We are about to approach the beginning of our third year! Many changes have come along with that: a name change, brochure and marketing changes, staff changes, a new car with new magnets and a new language. We have made it this far and we are learning, growing and continually challenged. Life is all about moving on, and here I am, still moving and learning.
I’m going to share some LifeMoves stories with you. I’ve been privileged to meet and help a lot of people the last couple of years. Some stories will make you laugh and others might bring a tear to your eye. I’ve shed a tear or two, and I’ve hugged clients while they were crying.
At the very beginning, we were “Change of Address”. Great name, but we competed with the post office, Fedex, and every mover in Milwaukee. Needless to say, we were definitely at the very bottom of the list. This became my real introduction to websites. The language of the web is actually very interesting. I have always been fascinated with language because the manipulation of words can do so much good or bad. The fact that attorneys study to know what simple, little words to use depending what side they are on, speaks to this point.
The next problem was that this was a brand new concept for me. Concierge move management is not a concept that was familiar to me, or probably even most people Milwaukee, or the entire state! I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to explain what LifeMoves is. One recent time, someone asked me if I was a life coach. I answered, “actually at times, yes!”
Well, I can tell you very honestly this was not a dream I had held my entire life. I was out having lunch with a friend. We pulled up to my apartment. A very dirty truck was parked in front of my building. Two guys got out and the first thing that they did was pull up their pants and pull down their shirts. I looked further into their truck and saw a really dirty dashboard filled with fast food containers and an assortment of other items. I only hoped that those two were just carrying boxes up and not unpacking.
Then it’s like this voice came to me from nowhere. Women seem to instinctively know how to put things away and in a clean space. I spoke to a friend of mine about this and the idea blossomed. That was in January and by the end of March, I was starting to set things up for a new company; in two states at one time! I thought I knew something about business, after all, I had owned a business with my husband for just about half my life.
What I learned was that I had a LOT to learn, and starting a business from scratch was completely different than purchasing a successful business that you have worked at for many years. These two things are very different! Even when my former company had 300 employees it was never as difficult as this was! What I had enjoyed the most about that company was the people and I’m happy to say, “I still love the fact that I employ people and therefore contribute to the city. I am also so very lucky to have met so many wonderful clients!”
Everyone! I never thought of that at the beginning either but everyone moves and there are so many people that are part of the moving industry. My first LifeMoves’ presentation was to a wealth management company. Since then, I have done presentations to insurance companies, real estate agents, bankers, interior designers, brokers, movers, athletes, relocation companies and senior living homes. Wow, it’s a big world out there!
Remember for me, this was a concept. With that in mind, I did not want to charge for our services until I tried it out. I felt very strongly about not training people on someone else’s dime. The very first job, I remember clearly. It was for my nephew and his 8-month pregnant wife. He thought it was a great idea. He was going to be out of the country on business, so he basically had it made. He didn’t have to help and we worked for free. We greeted the first moving truck, early one morning.
I had a crew of 5 including myself. We came with some equipment but had no idea what we were in for. His pregnant wife sat on a chair and watched as we got to work; eventually, her sister in law came over and took her out of lunch. When they got home, the entire house was clean, everything was unpacked and put away. Their furniture was placed properly and their artwork was hung. We even lit a candle on the kitchen table just as they were walking in.
This was the first time I saw true amazement and gratitude. Seeing the stress literally fall off of their faces instantly when they walked in was incredible. I was hooked! And I am still amazed watching the reactions on my client’s faces every time we finish a job. It never gets old!
I will be sharing more stories with you in the near future. Through them, hopefully, you’ll see why I feel so strongly about the power of LifeMoves and why I am so grateful to have met so many wonderful people.