I am blessed to have a job that I love. I look forward to Monday morning almost as much as I look forward to Friday afternoon. I know that each week, I am doing important work that has a dramatic effect on the lives of my clients and their families.
I own a senior move management company in Lincoln, NE called Changing Spaces SRS. We assist seniors who are going through the rightsizing process, finding that perfect place between “too much” and “too little.” We help clients who are rightsizing their homes, their possessions, and their lives. Each client is unique and each situation a new challenge.
Many of our clients have lived in their current home for 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years and have decided that it is time to make a move. They will be downsizing to a new home, condo, apartment or retirement community and are faced with the daunting task of letting go of more than half their possessions. They are overwhelmed, scared, anxious, and unsure. Changing Spaces SRS comes to take our clients - and their families - by the hand and lead them through the process, start to finish. We assist them with sorting and deciding what to keep and what to let go of, we do all the packing, we manage the movers on moving day, we assist with placing everything in the correct spot in the new home, and we unpack all the boxes so our clients can feel settled and at home almost immediately. After the move is over, we assist with finding new homes for the items left behind at the former house, either by selling (via an estate sale) or donating. We do all of this with a staff of 21 wonderful people, ranging in ages from 25-69, all of whom bring a unique set of skills and perspective to the job.
By the time we are finished working with a client, we have had the privilege of being witness to so much of their lives. We sort through memories, years of possessions, long-forgotten items and even the general day-to-day stuff such as their well-stocked pantry or their overflowing sock drawer. Truly, by the end of our time together, we are bonded with that person and that family.
Our business is all about connecting. That connection is truly what sets us apart: anyone can be hired to put stuff into boxes, but we are there to create a connection with them, listen to their stories, talk with them about their possessions. We are there to stand witness to a major transition in their lives. We treat them as though they are our family, and we build a real trust with them.
That trust is built “in the trenches” of people’s lives. Our clients are in a vulnerable position when they come to us. No matter their position in life, no matter their line of work, when they approach us it is because they need real help, and what they want is a genuine and caring connection.
The same can be said of any business, I am sure. It is the genuine and caring connection that sets your business apart. I think of the network of people I surround myself with as a business owner: I’ve got a graphic designer, a lawyer, an accountant, a scrap metal dealer, a used bookstore owner, antique appraisers, consignment store owners, home health care professionals, hospice nurses, trust officers and financial planners, real estate agents, trash haulers, handymen and so many more. None of these people offer a completely unique service, but they do all offer that personal and genuine connection that lets me know I can trust them.
These genuine connections don’t come from polished interactions at networking events. For me, these connections are based on hard-fought experiences won as we are clearing out a musty basement filled with 50+ years of possessions, sitting bedside a dying client and planning his estate sale, visiting with a potential client in their living room and listening to her genuine fears about moving to a new home, or getting a home prepared to be put on the market in the 95-degree heat of a summer afternoon. When I’ve been “in the trenches” with someone, I know that connection is a real one. The walls come down and we become real with one another. That is when I know that I can trust them to do good work to help my clients.
Truly, no matter your line of business, whether it be a tax accountant, graphic designer or senior move manager, you will be better at it if you are establishing genuine connections with your clients, co-workers and others in your network. It is these connections that make our work matter, and it is these connections that make our lives matter.
More about Jeannine
Jeannine Bryant is the owner of Changing Spaces SRS, a Lincoln, NE based Senior Move Management Company which assists seniors and their families through times of transition by providing rightsizing and relocation services (www.ChangingSpacesSRS.com). She is a nut for organization, helping seniors, and minimizing the burden during times of change.
Originally from North Dakota, Jeannine earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, and a Master of Arts Degree in English/Great Plains Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She lives in Lincoln with her husband and two young children.