Building a business: Lessons learned in the first month of the R9 Accelerator

The Constructables: Jo, Sarah, Tui (Left to right)
Sarah Day from Constructables gives us a rundown of her last 4 weeks at the R9 Accelerator, where she’s working towards ensuring that construction-related businesses begin on the right foot - with the highest possible chance of success.

There is lots going on in our world and there isn’t enough time to get everything done. But basically, it’s awesome. Really hard at times but really awesome. I’m totally out of the comfort zone of a shy introvert from the public sector who tends to perfectionism and spending time in her head.

This programme is forcing me out of my shell, breaking me of accumulated bad habits, and helping me to feel more like myself again. I’m learning how to talk about more things more effectively, every day. And I’m revelling in the novelty of being able to work on just one project at a time, as frantic as it is. I’m also meeting some pretty amazing people that I never would been exposed to otherwise.

Every week I’m inspired, exhausted, excited and overwhelmed. By the weekend I just want to curl up in a ball and hide for a while. But really, this is a good thing.

Well, that’s enough about me.

I’m part of a wonderful team that met for the first time at the R9 Rev Up at the end of January. We’ve spent a lot of time consciously learning how to work together and this is starting to pay off.

Tui is a social outcomes oriented entrepreneur who is passionate about enabling others (she really is) and in learning through human conversations and connections. She moved up here from Christchurch to take part in the programme and has been giving it her all.

Joanne is our service design guru. I’ve been blown away several times over the last couple of weeks by the connections and the insights she has come up with.

We are working on helping the people who build our homes to build a more sustainable business for themselves. Sounds easy, right? Turns out it’s not that easy. We are talking about a complex regulatory and operating environment with a lot of players and a lot of things in the pipeline and in play. Everyone has an opinion.  

I’m trusting that we find our way to a useful value added solution that satisfies the needs of small construction businesses and our sponsors, as well as our need to create sustained impact that makes the world a better place. Of course we will! Somehow, we will change the research we have done on sustainability, business acumen, financial literacy, education, health and safety, building methodologies, behavioural drivers, repeatability, exponential business models, risk and transformative technologies (among other things), into an amazing and useful solution.

And we need to work quickly – since we are already almost half of the way through this roller coaster ride.

The R9 Accelerator, a Better for Business initiative delivered by Creative HQ, brings together a mix of public and private sector people to work on opportunities to make it easier for businesses to interact with government.