Most people do not like moving. A lot of people will tell you they dread it. But Deshawn Strong loves every part of it.
"I just love interacting with customers, hearing customers tell their story,” Strong says.
Strong’s own story is also one of moving somewhere new. He worked as a mover for more than a decade and decided to start his moving company, Strong Movers, last year.
“I just decided, why am I living somebody else’s dream and not fulfilling my own?” Strong says.
Strong’s story is one of a series of stories we call SWFL Reinvented. We created the series based on suggestions from viewers who said they still worry about the economy and want to see stories about people who nearly lost everything in the recession , or decided to start something new out of nothing , or had an idea on how to do something better and found success .
Strong credits his success, in part, to his mother. When he was growing up in Fort Myers, he says the two were close.
“We were born on the same day,” Strong says. "She was the person you talk to when you’re feeling down. And she always told us, just believe in yourself and keep God first.”
Strong says his parents also told him to treat everyone with respect.
Moving wasn’t Strong’s plan. He graduated from Lehigh Senior High School and started college with the plan to study business.
"For the summer, I just wanted to earn extra money, so I started working at a moving company and just fell in love with it,” he says.
He started working for a national moving company and he was good at his job.
"They rank their movers and drivers and my customer care was off the charts,” Strong says. "With that, I became the number two mover in the whole nation."
He credits his mom and the lessons she taught him for his success. But last year, after a battle with cancer, she passed away. Strong says her passing inspired him to reinvent himself. He decided to leave his good job and try to start his own moving business.
"Every day when I wake up now I just want to go out and make my mom proud and make my family proud, and be the man she always envisioned for me,” he says.
"I didn't know what I was going to do. I didn't take out a business loan, I just took out my savings and started Strong Movers,” he says. "There were doubts, but I and my wife talked it over and she believed in me and I wasn't accepting failure."
He says the first year in business has been difficult. But he feels like he’s learned new lessons about how fast the business world works, and he says he’s confident his business has turned a corner and will continue getting more successful.
Strong says it’s important to him to give back to the community. He organized a back to school backpack drive in August, and he plans to give out turkeys for Thanksgiving.
"The more and more we grow, the more and more we can do for the community,” he says. "Not just for Dunbar, but for the whole Southwest Florida in general.”
He says he wants children, especially, to see his story and realize they can reinvent their situation. They just have to be strong.
"Just don't give up on yourself,” he says. "Just keep trying, keep trying. Every day you're going to face obstacles.
“You just gotta think, what are you doing it for? Me, I'm doing it for my kids and my family."