CELEBRATING ONE YEAR OF ECOENG
A year in and EcoEng has survived what was a tough year for many in the industry! Drew Wilson reflects on the highs and lows of starting up a small engineering consultancy...
Why did you start EcoEng?
Drew (D): “I started EcoEng because I wanted to create something a bit different in the engineering environment. I wanted to be on the forefront of where I believe the industry should be going. And still, a year on, my strongest conviction is to approach engineering projects in an innovative and sustainable way. That’s the agenda of EcoEng.
“The corporate environment isn’t typically conducive to forging new paths, and this was my biggest frustration. I had this dream to build a team of like-minded individuals with energy and enthusiasm to offer value-added engineering services to clients. As engineers we have the skills to build more than just infrastructure. We can build better communities if we set aside our technical blinkers and take a holistic approach on every project.”
What have been your highlights?
D: “Getting my first sizeable invoice paid was obviously quite a high for me! I spotted an opportunity to upgrade four old, dull parkhomes into funky new site offices. It was something totally different from my core business but it was fun and came to represent what I want to achieve; to add a splash of colour to engineering. I want to pursue similar projects this year so watch this space!
“From a personal perspective, for the first time in my career, I feel completely balanced. I’ve found time to fit in a regular exercise regime, which keeps me sane, and I haven’t missed a single school swimming gala or sports day in 12 months. I treasure every minute I can spend celebrating these milestones with my two girls; they’re only young once.”
What unexpected challenges have you overcome?
D: “I never expected it to be difficult to walk away from people or work that doesn’t align with EcoEng’s values. The financial pressure of running your own business can be overwhelming, but the risk of taking on the wrong project or working with the wrong people is even more daunting. There are challenges on a daily basis and the learning curve is steep. The key is to stay true to yourself.
What’s your goal for 2019?
D: “I’ve loved building great relationships and earning the trust of my clients. Each time I get a referral or a repeat client project, it validates my quest to work with like-minded professionals who want to do things differently.
“I want to continue to offer an excellent service, deliver on my promises and add value to projects through innovation. Most of all I want to raise levels of sustainability on projects where I’m appointed; I want to explore different ways of doing things and ‘play’ more. My goal is to work with a client who shares the same vision to go beyond box-ticking.”
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you have given yourself a year ago?
D: “It’s going to be tough, hang in there and listen to your gut. Surround yourself with people who want to succeed together, whether they’re clients, business partners or employees. I’d tell myself it’s all worth it!”
If you’ve been part of our journey this past year, thank you. If you’d like to find out more about our story, experience or services, please get in touch!