Wednesday, June 9, 2021

WEDNESDAY WISDOM: Allstar Piano Movers - Doing What No One Else Wants to Do

 

ALLSTAR PIANO MOVERS:  DOING WHAT NO ONE ELSE WANTS TO DO


"When you choose your fields of labor, go where nobody else is willing to go ." Mary Lyon


Our son, Evan playing his great-grandmother’s piano in Harmony.


Marcie and I are downsizing and we recently gave our beloved baby grand piano to our son, Evan, who lives in Atlanta. This piano originally belonged to his great-grandmother over a hundred years ago. Back in the 1980s it played a cameo role in a PBS feature film called Courtship that was filmed at Marcie’s grandmother’s home in Brookhaven, Mississippi. It has served four generations of piano players, including my wife and her siblings, and all six of our children. 

It was given to us about 40 years ago. Needless to say, my wife, Marcie, is very fond of the piano. Seeing it leave our house was a bittersweet experience for her, even though she knew it was headed to a wonderful new home. 

That raised the question of moving it to Atlanta.

Anyone who has ever moved a baby grand knows that is no small feat. Not only are they very heavy, but they have an awkward shape. My 69-year-old back was personally dreading playing any part in the project. One wrong move can mean disaster for the piano, the movers, or both, as illustrated here:


Fortunately, Evan decided to call in some professional help. He phoned several movers in the Atlanta and Orlando areas to check on their prices and availability. He and my daughter Kate (who overheard Evan’s calls) both reported that most of the people he talked to were less than enthusiastic about taking on the job. All, that is, except Curtis Harris.

Curtis answered the phone energetically. “Yes, sir,” he said, “we would be happy to help you move that piano. Tell me more about it. Where are we taking it? What is your time frame?”

Since his prices were fair and because of his upbeat attitude, Evan hired him for the job and made an appointment for pickup at our house.

Five minutes before the appointed hour, Curtis Harris rang our doorbell, introduced himself and his brother, and said they were there to move the piano. Marcie and I watched them work their magic, quickly removing the legs and the pedals, carefully wrapping the piano itself and all the parts, and gliding the heavy body out the door and into the truck — seemingly with very little effort.

As they worked, we found out about them and Curtis’ company, Allstar Piano Movers LLC. We learned that the brothers were originally from Connecticut, but moved to Atlanta to take care of their elderly grandmother. Curtis worked for another company for ten years and then started his own business. Moving pianos is all they do. 

From their base in Georgia, they cover 12 states. By all appearances their business is very successful. For example, they were picking up three pianos that morning in Orlando and moving them to Atlanta.

I asked Curtis to tell me his secret. He said his success stems from keeping his word (like showing up on time), being upbeat and cheerful, and, most importantly, doing what others aren’t willing to do. “I found something no one else wanted to do — moving pianos — and worked to become the best around. Now I have virtually more work than I can handle.”

Curtis knows how much other people hate the idea of moving a piano, so he created a niche for himself doing that. His perspective is similar to football great Jerry Rice’s attitude: “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” 

We’re delighted we found Curtis and Allstar Piano Movers LLC. He made a hard job easy for us. Based on what I learned from Curtis, I now have a new suggestion for anyone thinking of going into business for themselves: Find something no one else wants to do and learn to do it well.

We can happily report that Curtis delivered the hundred-year-old baby grand safely to its new home in Atlanta and set it up for Evan to play, as shown below. Mission accomplished!

Evan playing his piano at his home in Atlanta.