Brent Williams came from a family of engineers, so he likes to tell people that he’s the black sheep of the family. Brent grew up seeing and using his father’s drafting tools and learned how to make mechanical drawings early on. In high school, he took drafting classes in part because he was already familiar with the work and because it was fun.
Brent was also interested in music, specifically drumming. When he started college, he was on a full scholarship for Jazz Studies and performed as a jazz drummer. However, he began to have doubts about his ability to support himself as a musician post-college, so he took some time off and later returned to college and joined the architecture program at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, reasoning that architecture was both creative and technical and therefore a good fit for him.
During his time off from college, Brent distributed window film for the company 3M, and during his last year in architecture school, the company contacted him to offer him a position as a product rep. Brent reasoned that he could take the job temporarily to save up money and return later to finish his degree, but as it turned out, he ended up making a career out of the product rep side of the industry.
In today’s wide-ranging interview, Brent discusses sales, his involvement with CSI, his interest in cycling, and the importance of social media, internet tools, and branding.
- What inspired Brent to pursue architecture
- What happened after architecture school
- How Brent got into the product side of the industry
- What Brent likes about being a product rep
- The prevalence of sales in architecture
- How Brent got involved with CSI
- The social media presentations Brent was giving in 2008
- Brent’s interest in cycling
- Curating your personal brand
- The CEO agenda
- Brent’s advice for aspiring architects
- What Brent knows now that he didn’t know then
- The book that changed everything for Brent
- Where listeners can find Brent
Top 3 Takeaways from This Episode
- Be a visionary
- Live your values
- Don’t hesitate to delegate
Brent Williams’s Advice for Aspiring Architects
“Don’t take yourself too seriously, keep your mind open, try to envision what you’re going to be ten years out, and realize that you almost certainly will be wrong. Don’t let that hurt your feelings, and constantly be willing to reinvent yourself.”
“Everyone is capable of doing anything they want to do.” –Brent Williams on what he knows today that he didn’t know back then
“Seth Godin, This is Marketing.” – Brent Williams on the book that changed everything