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My goal was to be licensed ONE YEAR after graduating | Passing the ARE with Michael Barton

The ARE® is NO JOKE. Studying for them is stressful, taking them is daunting, and failing them is heartbreaking. And multiple fails can really kill someone's confidence. Well, not for this guy! Michael Barton pushed through all the odds and doubts even after multiple fails and is now only a few exams away from becoming a licensed architect! Stay tuned for a really inspiring and motivational story that will have you asking how you can get his willpower!

Passing the ARE with Michael Barton

Michael Barton was born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT, where he currently resides. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Urban Ecology with an emphasis in Sustainable city infrastructure and then completed a master's degree from the University of Utah Architecture. He has a wife and three kids (Nora, Luca, and Clara). He grew up just like every other kid getting in trouble and having fun with friends but he especially grew a love and passion for soccer, and that is where he spent the majority of my childhood. Besides soccer, he loves being in the mountains, hiking or skiing, doing long-distance runs, and hanging out with friends and family. His initial interest in architecture was sparked by his late grandfather, a brick mason who was always talking to him about the projects he was working on and the ins and outs of his business. Going into college, he thought he wanted to become a structural engineer but then quickly realized the role he wanted to play was one of an architect.


Michael joins me to discuss his ARE® journey and the ups and downs of becoming a licensed architect. When Michael was at his lowest low and ready to give up, he joined Mind Over ARE. He gained a huge boost in confidence and went on to pass his next exam! Michael has a wonderful and inspiring story, watch or listen below.


Michael's architecture journey

With his love for art and his background in construction, Michael found his happy place in architecture. Despite his enthusiasm to start becoming an architect, his journey began with his disappointment of not getting into the Bachelor of Architecture program at Utah University.


He thought, "I want to become an architect, but I don't want to wait another year to apply and MAYBE get in." So he went on to get a bachelor's in urban planning. Even though it was such a helpful degree and he enjoyed it, it wasn't really something he wanted to pursue in the real world.


After graduating, he worked for an architect, which inspired him to go on to the master's program. Michael wanted to find a good balance between work and life, so he decided to take on renovations and other projects as a freelancer. That work made him realize he wanted to start his own business and take it to the next level by getting his license.


The exams & joining mind over are

We all know the ARE® is probably one of the toughest exams out there. His initial goal was to pass all of the exams within a year. Sadly, that didn't happen. Michael took the exams and had four fails in a row. He talks about how he was in a dark place mentally, lost his confidence, and wasn’t sure if he wanted to continue down this path any longer.

Michael explains that he decided to join Mind Over ARE because it was finally time to tackle the exams from a different angle.

"It wasn’t until I joined the program that I realized that I knew the information; I just needed to figure out what NCARB was really asking," he said.

Michael says Mind Over ARE taught him how to peel back layers to analyze questions and the importance of understanding the fundamentals to the core. The biggest thing Michael said he gained from the program was figuring out his learning type, how to leverage it, and who he is as a student.


Michael was so happy to share that he’s halfway through the process and has only three more exams left! He talks about how he got his confidence back with all the studying he’s been doing plus the tools to set him up. Michael’s proudly scheduling his next exam in a couple of weeks and planning the next exam around 2 weeks after that!


It truly warms my heart when people joining my programs realize they CAN do it. I always try to remind people in Mind Over ARE that you either get the outcome you want or the lesson you need. And that's an additional realization the whole ARE® journey shows us. There’s always going to be a learning curve. That’s part of growth. With new levels come new problems but also new confidence.


Michael's ARE® advice
You get out what you put in.

Michael encourages people who are just confused about what to do and where to start to dig a little deeper and figure out more about themselves beyond architecture and the ARE®. To learn who you are as a student, learn what works for you, and try out different practices to boost your confidence. This is exactly what is taught inside Mind Over ARE.


"You know these tests and what they’re all about. You know the knowledge that you’ve obtained and need to obtain." It's just a matter of honing your study skills, making time for your priorities, and trying something new.

I’m so glad I got to talk to Michael and share his ARE® journey with all of you! His confidence radiated throughout the whole interview, and it was such a beautiful thing to see! His story is motivational and relatable and will inspire you, especially if you feel like you're not exactly where you want to be on your timeline.


If you're ready to join Mind Over ARE, our next group will be opening tomorrow (when this post goes LIVE). Make sure to join during the open enrollment period, 4/5-4/10, to get into this next group so you can learn the proven strategy to pass your exams! Join here.



Reading this after the enrollment period has ended? No problem! Join the Mind Over ARE waitlist now to get first access to my next ARE group program.


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If you enjoyed this episode, it's inspired you, or you've found value in it, please let me know on Instagram or YouTube @ByoungDesign.


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