Growing up in a military family, I learned early on how to pack it up and move quickly. As my dad was transferred from one base to another, my family would follow the same tried-and-true routines, and each move invariably went off without a hitch.
Fast-forward twenty years or so. When I decided to make the move from Upstate New York to Charleston, South Carolina, I knew it would be a breeze. My parents made it look so easy every time, and I was just one person with one person's worth of belongings.
How hard could it be?
I conscientiously set about making my plan. Find myself a great real estate agent—check! Have an offer accepted on a lovely home—check! Rent a moving truck and hire people to drive it—check! Organize my stuff and pack everything except the absolute bare essentials—check, check!
Then the unexpected happened. The lovely home I was buying had a wall literally full of fire ants (wait, what?). Suddenly I no longer had a house to move to.
So, I found a new house to buy. I say this like it's an easy thing, but I made sight-unseen offers, one after another, and each time was outbid. With everything already packed, I spent the next three months living on takeout and alternating through the same few outfits (and daring anyone to comment on it).
But I did eventually find a home, and in January it was finally time to move!
Well, if you know anything about January in Upstate New York, you realize how much of a challenge that was in and of itself. The week I moved, it was 15 degrees below zero. You read that right! And with those freezing temperatures, my movers completely bailed.
Luckily, a friend offered to fly up and drive the moving truck, enabling me to drive my car with my cat.
You would think that would be enough overcoming of challenges, but no, no! My friend’s flight was then canceled due to a freak Southern snow storm, and we had to quickly reschedule. Of course, then the truck wasn't available on the new date.
I wish I could say the troubles stopped there. Well, they did not. We had everything from a flat tire on the truck to icy roads slowing us down. Add in my dear friend needing to stop every hour for her specific coffee and snack needs, it took us a whopping fifteen hours to make it to my new Southern home.
But was it worth it?
Absolutely. I can now go to the beach year-round, and I am loving the history, the nightlife, and the natural beauty of the Charleston area. And I was able to have a barbecue in February!
Would I do things differently next time? Of course. But the bottom line is that while I had this move planned out to perfection, things still went wrong, as they are apt to do. I could not have anticipated fire ants or flat tires or freak snowstorms, but I could do my best to stay agile and roll with the punches.
What I had to do to ensure success was pivot quickly and find new solutions. Luckily, I had a strong team of friends, family, and coworkers to support me. They stepped in, made suggestions, and volunteered solutions, and ultimately I was able to reach my goal.
The same can be said for running a business. It's important to have a plan, but it's equally important to understand that things will not always go according to that plan. There needs to be a support system in place to help run damage control when things go sideways, whether that’s a bad product review or ill-timed technical issues. On the other hand, if things go better than anticipated, it’s vital you have the team plan in place to manage unexpected growth.
That’s the kind of flexible support everyone benefits from, and exactly the sort of support 1406 provides not only me as a team member, but all of our clients. Having the ability to rest easy knowing one has the trusted support they need, when they need it is the key to success—be it for a growing business or a cross-country move!