It was a HUGE leap of faith—faith in my own abilities, faith in my savings account, and, heck, faith in some good ol’ fashioned luck coming my way. (COVID wasn’t really a big thing in January 2020... so much for the good luck!)
In January 2020 I launched a senior move management company, Linda’s Daughter, LLC. The month prior I ended my career in software sales, leaving behind juicy commissions, health benefits and the cozy infrastructure of an established company. Gulp. At launch time, my husband, Bob, was a mostly-silent partner in Linda’s Daughter, as he was busy in his role as an IT exec in Corporate America.
Sixteen clients and 12 months later, Bob is now full-time active at Linda’s Daughter LLC . We both have learned an incredible amount from working up close and very personally with our delightful clients and their families. Some lessons were around aging gracefully and some were simple life lessons. Here’s my three biggies:
Lesson #1- Love your people, leave your stuff. Some clients know right away the few key pieces— the cuckoo clock they carried home from their honeymoon in Bavaria sixty years prior, for example— that they want to bring to their new, smaller, home. Others want to take EVERYTHING and squeeeeeeze it in. Not only does this create trip hazards, it also creates an overwhelming living environment. At this point, you don’t own your stuff, it owns you.
I have learned, in the end, it’s all just stuff. It’s the people I love and the memories I make that are truly worth keeping. And on this note, leaving stressful corporate jobs to open a senior-services business has reinforced a favorite mantra: “Work cannot love you back. Only people can.”
Lesson #2- Have a hobby or interest you can carry with you into your later years. My clients who are active in hobbies (sewing, fishing, golf, gardening, etc.) are BY FAR happier & healthier than clients who say things like “I used to spend my time coaching Little League, but now the kids are grown & gone and I just don’t have the stamina.”
So what if you are going from 2,000 square feet to 600 square feet-- let’s make a multi-purpose craft corner to keep the creative juices flowing! Space shouldn’t be the barrier to continuing life-enriching hobbies. (Learning this lesson has rekindled my long-lost love of gardening. Plans are underway for my Spring 2021 raised-bed veggie garden! Green beans, anyone?)
If physical limitations get in the way, then physical therapy can be the key to rekindling your joy found in hobbies. Drop me a note and I’ll introduce you to the best there is!
Lesson #3- Know the EXACT location of your (and your parents’) important documents. Some clients have their important papers (wills, living wills, health proxies, etc.) in fireproof boxes they can lay hands on in two minutes. Perfect! Others are more like “I think they’re in a drawer in the hutch” only for me to find long-expired pizza coupons in there.
I’d eventually find the documents for our clients—sometimes buried under the aforementioned pizza coupons!-- but in an emergency, hunting for needed papers just adds stress to an already stressful situation. (If you need to get these type of documents created or updated, drop me a note & I will refer you to trusted resources.)
It’s been a fantastic first year at Linda’s Daughter LLC, pandemic and all. Our clients and their families have made me and my husband better, happier, people and for that, we are grateful.