You’re Moving WHERE!?!
Life & (Business) Doesn’t Have to Be Hard if You Follow These Principles
I wouldn’t call myself a risk-taker, necessarily, but my family’s decision to bet everything we had on a move halfway around the world almost 7 years ago has paid off in ways we couldn’t have imagined at first.
But, first things first! Wind back the clock to early 2010 and you would have found my family ensconced in a comfy home in Southwest Florida with all the trappings of a seemingly successful life. Things looked good from the outside, but we weren’t a happy family at that point. My husband and I looked at each other late one night and decided that our lives were running us instead of the other way around. So, after some pretty heavy conversations over the following days, we made the decision to take control and do something about it!
A few weeks later, after searching for opportunities in various places in the U.S. and in Europe, my husband looked up from the laptop one evening and said, ‘What about New Zealand?’ And the rest, as they say, was history! Just 10 short months after that random question, we had sold or given away everything (a very freeing experience I must say), packed 6 suitcases and 2 small boxes full of the most important ‘stuff’ and caught a 1-way flight to New Zealand to begin a new life!
In essence, we pushed the ‘reset’ button on life, and it has undoubtedly been the best experience we’ve ever had as a family for a few different reasons…
· My husband and I had to work closely as a team in order to get all our ducks in a row to move. I think for the few years previous to that point, our lives had been on parallel tracks with each of us working toward personal goals. THIS forced us to re-learn how to work together on a common goal, and we realized that we actually DO work really effectively together!
· The mind-set we needed to cultivate in order to maintain our sanity through the massive effort of making a major life change was really beneficial. We made it a point to maintain a really positive outlook on the move and everything it entailed, and this transferred over to our daughter (only 7 at that time) who also approached the move with a sense of anticipation and positivity, even though she would be leaving her friends.
· We learned to hold on to our vision, even in the face of some people asking us “Are You Crazy!?” We knew in our hearts that the decision we were making was the right one for US and that we had to go live our lives regardless of how difficult it may have been to leave our families and close friends behind. We stayed true to what we wanted to do rather than what some thought we should do. That being said, we had a heap of friends who were very supportive of the idea and maybe even a little jealous of the courage it took to do what we did. To them I say… “It’s never too late!”
· We learned to identify what items were REALLY important to bring with us. For the years leading up to this move, I must admit, we were stereotypical American “consumers” with over-loaded closets and a house stuffed to the gills with “stuff”. Packing our bags and the 2 small boxes we brought over was a GREAT exercise in differentiating ‘want’ versus ‘need’ and a lesson that I think our daughter has really carried with her into her teenage years (a great lesson to learn early in life).
· We had to rely on each other once we arrived in NZ for support, encouragement and socialization, as we had no friends or family here. (I’m happy to report that things have significantly improved on the ‘friend’ front.) This helped us to re-connect and re-establish strong bonds within our little family and to truly enjoy each others’ company as we traveled and explored our new home every chance we got.
So today, as I write this nearly 7 years later, I look back on that time fondly as one of the best moves we’ve ever made as a family. Even before our move, my mission in life has been to have a positive impact on as many people as I possibly can. Now, I feel blessed to be able to do this every day here in NZ through my work as a Business Coach, Trainer and Speaker. Given my experience with hundreds of businesses over the last 7 years, I can honestly say the lessons we learned through our move can be directly applied to any business seeking to stand out…lessons like:
· BE BOLD! Be courageous enough to stand out and do something unexpected.
· Have a great team in place that truly treats the business like their own and works exceptionally well together.
· Foster a positive, growth-oriented culture at all levels in your business.
· Create a shared vision that you and the team are working TOWARD.
· Focus on the really important things in your business – the 20% of activities or clients that will impact 80% of your results and help your business move forward faster.
· The team is your family. Treat them like it. I believe Richard Branson famously said (this is paraphrased) ‘Treat your employees right and they’ll treat your customers right.’
· Get in touch with your ‘why’. When your reason for being shines through all you do, those clients who share your values will be drawn to your business. And aren’t they the ones you want to work with anyway?
Here’s to YOUR journey. May it be as eye-opening and fulfilling as ours has.
“Catalyst For Positive Change”
Jennifer gets her clients focused, gets them into action and gets them results.
Jennifer’s mission in life is to positively impact as many people as possible, and she feels truly privileged to be able to live out this mission on a daily basis through her role as a Business Coach, Trainer and Speaker.
Jennifer brings 26 years’ worth of business experience as well as an international perspective to the table. During her time as a Coach and Trainer, she has helped hundreds of businesses to improve their performance - from strategy to sales process to customer service and financial improvement.
Jennifer, her husband and daughter have recently become NZ citizens and sometimes refer to themselves as ‘recovering Americans’. She launched a new business venture in 2016 – JFDI Limited (short for ‘Just Freakin’ Do It’) - and she’ll be writing a book or two over the coming year. Watch this space!
In her ‘spare’ time, Jennifer loves the outdoors, is a voracious reader and has even dabbled in a bit of amateur theatre.
Jen can be reached via her website JenniferMyers.co.nz