When and why did you join PWN?
At least as far back as 2004, so ten years! My massage therapist referred me to Grace Furst for therapy and Grace invited me to PWN. The impact was immediate; I was a few years into owning my business It’s a Breeze Moving, and felt isolated, without collaboration, needing a place where I could brainstorm for business ideas, where I could build my business being of service to the membership and its connections. I needed a place to recharge.
I’ve been a member for ten years and on the Board for at least eight. I like to be involved in an organization, and if you are going to be a member, why not be a part of what makes it great i.e. defining the Mission, enrolling new members, creating the space for success, and having fun!
What is your current occupation?
I’m the CEO of It’s a Breeze Moving, a company I founded in 2000 that specializes in managing (on behalf of the client) complex, large residential moves throughout the SF Bay Area (and I have clients in SoCal, Arizona and Nevada). I’ve also coordinated the moves of businesses such as an interior design firm and a law firm since they were colleagues of mine.
My real occupation is as a Planner, a Strategist, the professional that tries to ease the stress off of the client with my expertise, who creates beauty and order in a home making it seem familiar and comforting even though it’s a different space. Since 2007 I’ve also been the Move Coordinator for the San Francisco Towers, a high-end life care community in SF, where I move Seniors, and help the families move their belongings when they pass.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I’ve been working since I was 16. I am 55 now, hard to believe, and the things I tolerated, even endured, when I first began in business would have resulted in a disaster.
What to you enjoy about this work?
I like being challenged. My team and I laugh all the time about how nuts we are to enjoy the challenge of taking thousands of items out of boxes and putting them in drawers and on shelves, organizing them by type, by use, by size, creating order, creating convenience and creating beauty. I enjoy the creativity. I enjoy the strategy and planning. I really like the finished product. And it’s a kick every time a client tells me that after we left they “never changed a thing”. It means we got it right, the organization works.
What role has networking played in your career?
All of my business is by referrals, which means networking. I rely on referral partners and former clients to help their clients and friends by telling them how I can ease the stress of their move. And I return the gift by sharing the names of all of the great professionals with whom I work. Not everyone does that by the way, some people like to keep their list of reliable contractors a secret so that it’s a benefit of their reputation that they can bring in just the right professional. I prefer to share and promote the pros that I have found to be dedicated, committed, on time, effective. I want them to succeed.
This week I’ve hired on behalf of clients the following professionals – residential moving company, crane operator, wine shipper, fine art shipper, piano mover, housecleaning company, audio visual tech, office moving company, junk hauler, landscaper and contractor. My successful business depends on the professionalism of these companies/people who help me get my projects done.
What’s your favorite tip for success with networking?
You have to stand behind your referral. Meaning that I refer people to the best person for the job whether they are in my networking group or not. If I need a referral from you I want you to tell me about someone whose work you’ve experienced, whose outcomes you’ve seen, who you know to be a professional. I don’t just want the name of the person in a group so you can check off a requirement.
Can you describe the strangest situation you faced in your work, and how your resolved it?
Last year we cleaned out the estate of a very interesting man who was deceased. We were hired by the estate’s trustee. A few days before we began, I was told that the man had enjoyed hunting and that there was a loaded shotgun in the house and possibly other guns in unknown hiding places. Hmmmm, very dangerous that loaded gun. I called a friend for help, an Alameda County Sheriff. The following day he came running up the steps, located the shotgun, unloaded it and handed it back to me. Now what? We found (unloaded) three shotguns, three handguns, and 30 pounds of ammunition. Many phone calls later I was driving towards a gun shop while the Trustee faxed the death certificate.