When we founded The Moving Crew in January of 2010 we needed every single job we could possibly get. In those lean days sometimes we couldn’t fill the calendar how we liked, so we took any job whenever the client needed it, regardless of the impact on our personal lives. I would have four days off with nothing happening and no work, but then have to cancel a special day with my wife or friends to go make a few dollars as we worked to build up our name.
So it went for a few years, and the calendar began to always be full. It was working! We started working with families through their second and third moves and so on. We added movers and trucks. We began to receive 5-star reviews on Yelp and Google while our personal referral network exploded.
There was a time when all of us would tell war stories like the time I did 16 days of moving in a row. Yeah, that was fun to brag about with the boys once it was over, but you know my body was hurting, my mind was fried, my quality of life was low, and my relationships suffered.
As we have grown we have hired more drivers and movers who were not also owners, and we have tried incredibly hard to not over-work our employees. We always aimed at no more than 5 moves in a row for them (and us) but it never works and we have absolutely pushed people too far in an effort to serve the clients. Yes, the guys like making big paychecks, but their bodies hurt, their minds are fried, their quality of life is low, and their relationships are suffering.
I cannot justify that.
Last week we had a move that should have been great turn out very badly. When the 5 of us owners got together to discuss what happened, we realized that the driver and one of the movers had just done 10 days in a row, getting back at 1:00AM on the 9th day. No wonder they struggled on day 10! These nice, hardworking guys were still doing the best they could, but they are human beings.
Faced with this realization, our leadership team decided we ALL need 1 day off every week. 1 day where we don’t have trucks out (unless they’re on a long-haul), we don’t take calls, we just live our lives and spend time with our loved ones. We feel strongly that this is the right thing to do.
It’s funny to me that we got so caught up in being 100% there for our clients, that we were hurting our own Moving Crew family members. That was out of balance and I think we can do better to care for everyone.
Life is short and wonderful and strange. While it is very important to work hard, it is also important to take care of yourself and enjoy the short time we have. I deeply love my Moving Crew family, and I beam with pride when I get to discuss this business that we have built. I love my clients and the wonderful relationships I’ve made, the places I’ve seen, the stories I’ve heard.
We’ve put in 7 years of astoundingly hard work, and we will continue to work hard to provide high-quality, professional service. But for now I am happy to announce that we will also be taking a little better care of ourselves and our families.
Thank you for your support and understanding. Maybe we’ll see you on a Sunday afternoon at the river, the park, the lake, the trails, or the diner. Have a wonderful summer!