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Last Update: Saturday September 18, 2021

Key Idea: Respect the Talents of Others

Nancy and Eric Goshow profoundly respect each other and they have deep and abiding respect for every person on their team.

Key Question:


Push yourself.  Break out of the Mom-and-Pop modality. It requires a decision and often hard choices. And because most businesses are still Mom-and-Pop businesses with under $2 million in annual revenue, there is a lot to learn. In the case of Goshow, Nancy was nervous that if something happened to Eric, she could not be the managing partner of the firm because she was not an architect.

Q:  What are some of the ways Eric and Nancy began to break outside the Mom-and-Pop mentality?

A:  Continuous education is the first step. Nancy went on to get her degree in architecture. Next she went through the process for Goshow to be certified as a Woman Owned Business.

In January of 2005, Susan Scott of Fierce Inc said, "This is no small thing. The process to become certified took a year, involving filling out endless forms, answering multiple lists of questions about our structure, submitting thesis-like documents explaining who we are, why we are, what we are, and what the heck we really do. Just when we sent off a batch of forms, another batch would arrive."

Susan reports that her offices were physically inspected and she fully expected a doctor's physical to be required to verify that indeed she is a woman. The reason this process is so rigorous today is because the status of being woman-owned has been abused in the past. Any woman who achieves certification will find it to be a useful marketing tool.

Eric was comfortable turning the role of Managing Partner over to Nancy and to redefine the firm as a Women Owned Business. Leadership beyond their business. Nancy and Eric both volunteer and contribute to their industry, their community and their faith. They are constantly re-examining the first principles of their life and practice.

Questions for this clip: 1 | 2

Think about it

What can you do or should you do to move past $2 million in sales? What can you do or should you do to move past $4 million in sales?

Clip from: Goshow Architects

New York City: Meet  Nancy & Eric Goshow of Goshow Architects. A major part of their work comes out of the $60± billion in annual small business contracts set aside by the US federal government.   At least 23% of all federal contracts are mandated to go to small business, but you've got to be certified!  Priority is given to those with diversity and with women in leadership roles. This set-aside  doesn't stop there.

The federal and state governments look carefully at all the big business contracts and are more favorable when they see big business award 23% of their sub-contracts to small business. Now, the Goshow's field, architecture-and-design, is one small segment of these contracts and sub-contracts.

Virtually every very creative, small business can have a role in lowering the cost of government while improving services.

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Goshow Architects

Nancy Goshow, CEO and co-founder

36 West 25th Street
New York, NY 10010

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Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1978

Respect the Talents of Others

NANCY: I looked at architecture and I was encouraged at Penn State to go into the School of Home Economics, which was the school that the women went to in those days -- and, to study interior design in that school. And they were not really accepting – how do I want to say this – women were discouraged from studying architecture at Penn State in those days.

If I had been a man I would have been encouraged into the architectural program at that time. But, I was not encouraged – I was discouraged -- and I was steered into the college of Home Economics.

In about 1986, I was able to go to a course offered to women by the federal government called American Women's Economic Development Corporation. And through that course I was able to take classes on how to run a business, which we desperately needed because, we were trained as designers and architects. We really didn't know the ins and outs of running a business. We didn't know the rules of business. So, I took that class and when I was done with it, I realized that in order for me to really be a part of Goshow Architects, the firm, I had to become a licensed architect. And so I started on my journey in 1986 to become a licensed architect. And by 1989, I had passed my exam and had received my license from the state of New York.

NANCY: Hattie this is the Morris-Jumel Mansion.

HATTIE: Even Nancy's spare time is invested in architecture. She is the President of the Board of Trustees of the Morris-Jumel Mansion Museum, an historic house built in 1765, the oldest residence in Manhattan (overlooking Yankee Stadium).

NANCY: That is why George Washington had his headquarters here during the Revolutionary War while he fought the battle of Harlem. In those days, you could see both rivers. So it was a very strategic point. He could see in both directions – he could see the troops coming.

HATTIE: Tell me how this firm got started.

ERIC: I met Nancy in my last year at Penn State. So, she was not in the Architecture school, she was in a related field in interior design. But, I really didn't know her through classes, I met her socially in my last year at Penn State and we were deciding what it is we were going to do with our lives. And, one of the fantasies – and it was just a fantasy – was that we might just want to get married and practice architecture together. After about 10 years, it was always in the back of our minds to do this. We really had to discover what we wanted to do – that's the first thing. That is to say, what markets we wanted to involve ourselves in -- at what scale, what size projects we wanted to do. And, how you prepare yourselves to do that sort of thing.

You are not going to get a 100 million dollar building as a “mom and pop” shop, for example. But we could be very happy doing residential projects – interiors and houses in the countryside, very happily. And that is the way we started actually because we were a “mom and pop” shop at that point. And we did that for quite a few years because we didn't want to incur overhead costs. And we wanted to get our feet wet. And we wanted to see if anybody would come to us and want to pay us to do this.

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