Five Ways that Moving is Just Like Starting a Business

A few weeks ago, my husband and I moved for the second time in two years. We needed more living space and it was time to experience a different part of the city.

While preparing and unpacking from a move is hard work, I’ve come to realize that it’s a lot like starting a new business. It’s not that long ago that I launched The Running Start. So, here are five ways that I’ve found that moving and starting up are similar:

  • Put together a plan but be prepared for the unexpected. When I first started my business, I drafted a rough business plan. While I didn’t end up doing all of the tasks on my list (some of my priorities changed along the way), I did stick to my key goals and adapted the plan whenever necessary. The same can happen when moving – put together your list of things to do but be prepared to switch gears when things change (i.e. the landlord wants to show your old place while you’re in the midst of packing, etc.).
  • Weed out unnecessary tasks (less is more). A key lesson that I’ve learned in running my own business is that there are only so many hours in the day. So, it’s important to focus on the “must haves” and let everything else fall into place when you have time. It’s the same challenge when moving. You know that it’s important to pack-up all of your boxes before moving day or you’ll run out of time. If you focus on being prepared for the move, you can deal with changing your address with Canada Post and other tasks the day after.
  • Take it one box (or day) at a time. It can be pretty overwhelming to move into a new place (or start a new business) and look at all of the boxes (or tasks) that you need to unpack/tackle. If you just take it one box (or project) at a time, you’ll feel a lot less overwhelmed and will be amazed by how much you can accomplish in just one week.
  • Collaboration is key – accept that you need help from others. My husband and I decided to hire movers this time, as we had accumulated a lot more stuff (i.e. wedding presents, new furniture, etc.) over the past two years. It was such a wise decision as the move went a lot faster. Over the past year and a half of running my business, I have also learned that you need to work with others (either outsourcing or being the person outsourced to other freelancers) to complete projects that have a tight deadline. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and build that into your project budget.
  • Adapt and move around obstacles. If there is one guarantee in business, it’s that you’re going to face some obstacles. Whether you’re moving or starting a new business, be flexible and ready to change paths on the fly. For example, we didn’t expect to have to remove the door in our new place to fit our couch through but poop happens. Luckily, our movers were very skilled and they got everything in without making a scratch. Be prepared to move around perceived barriers (there’s always a solution) in your business and you’ll be just fine.
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