Andrew Wilson gazed at the modest east Oklahoma City brick house.
“It's not much now,” Wilson said. “You've got to use your vision glasses to really see what it will be.”
Wilson, 38, bought the house in May and plans to use it as a second location for You Move Me, a moving business he opened in Tulsa nearly a decade ago.
The Oklahoma City branch is the product of what Wilson has done his entire life — continue moving forward.
“If you're satisfied, life gets boring,” he said. “It's not that we need to expand, but that we want to.”
Wilson owns two businesses, one in Kansas and You Move Me in Oklahoma. He has 70 employees.
His life may be comfortable now, but the road here hasn't been a smooth one.
Wilson attended Pittsburg State University in Kansas, where his mother was a history professor and his father was campus president. He earned a business degree in 1999 and married his college sweetheart, Krista.
In 2002 he deployed with the U.S. Army to Afghanistan. One night he received a care package from his family, and inside was a Fortune magazine.
An article about 1-800-Got-Junk, a junk removal company owned by Brian Scudamore, caught his interest.
“At that time, the business was just starting out; it wasn't what it is today. But I connected with Brian's vision,” Wilson said.
Wilson, 28, had accumulated $30,000 that he had planned to use to obtain a graduate degree.
Instead he opened a 1-800-Got-Junk franchise in Kansas, and he did it from Afghanistan.
Scudamore's company participated in the VetFran program, which recruits and hires veterans as franchise owners.
“As a veteran, Andrew was able to have half of the franchise fee waived so he could have more capital to fund his growing business,” Scudamore said.
Scudamore said veterans prove to be exceptional franchise owners.
By the time Wilson returned home, his business was ready to take off.
When Wilson returned from Afghanistan, he opened his second business, You Move Me, in Tulsa, where his wife had moved to be closer to family members.
The couple banded together, with his wife crunching the numbers and Wilson, not yet able to afford employees, doing the heavy lifting and promoting the business. Wilson aimed to create a company based on ethics in an industry that in his opinion was often less than professional.
“I love being in a service-based business,” he said. “I love the feeling of wowing people.”
Wilson's movers bring morning coffee for the client and leave a house plant when they finish the job. His clients have provided him with countless memories.
He recalled a Mother's Day when a woman was moving after a divorce. When the movers brought in her “welcome home” plant, she was moved to tears.
Wilson said he's moved hoarders and tornado victims, families coming together and those that have fallen apart.
A middle-aged man who was dying from cancer called from his hospital room to schedule a move for his wife and children.
“It was the one thing he wanted to do before he died. He was still working for his family; still taking care of them. So he organized every part of the move and paid for it. He bought them the house and called us to move them in.”
Wilson said he never expected to learn so much in the moving business.
“It reminds me that the little things count,” he said. “The idea is that we are moving people, not just their boxes.”
To learn more about You Move Me go to www.youmove