…You need to be a dreamer. It sounds cliché, but imagination is an important ingredient in entrepreneurship. Before I had an idea to change the moving industry, I had a vision to move to the United States and make a better life for myself. Neither of those achievements would have been possible without hope and imagination.
Is the American Dream still alive? If you speak to many of the immigrants we spoke to, who came to this country with nothing but grit, resilience, and a dream, they will tell you that it certainly is still alive.
As a part of our series about immigrant success stories, I had the pleasure of interviewing Meyr Aviv, founder and CEO of MovingAPT, a leading interstate moving company based in Miami, Florida. Aviv founded MovingAPT in 2010 and, since then, the company has experienced consistent growth via revenue and customer acquisition. Most recently, MovingAPT doubled its YoY revenue from 2020 to 2021.
Aviv is also the founder of iMoving, an online platform that provides users with key information on moving companies by comparing prices and reviews, and streamlining the booking process from start-to-finish.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I grew up in a warm and loving family, the youngest of seven brothers and sisters. Despite my family dynamic, however, I was raised in a dangerous town called Lod, Israel. I was exposed to violent crime from a young age and can remember hearing gunshots outside my window at night. But instead of going down the road it seemed I was predestined for, I focused on getting out as soon as possible. I knew I wanted a better life for myself so that’s why I moved to the United States.
Was there a particular trigger point that made you migrate to the US? Can you tell us the story?
As a kid, my parents instilled in me a love for American culture through movies and literature. From a young age, I was itching to move and experience the land of the free firsthand. I served in the army for three years and got a temporary job with El Al, an Israeli airline company, for three months. Working for an airline company gave me the opportunity to get a visa anywhere I wanted so, naturally, I chose the United States. The rest was history — I moved to the states with a thousand dollars in my pocket.
Can you tell us the story of how you came to the USA? What was that experience like?
It was definitely nerve-wracking heading off to a foreign country with minimal funds but I was equally anxious as I was excited to start a new life. A couple of days after landing in NY, I got a job at a moving company. The pay was decent, especially given that I didn’t have many qualifications in that area. It was definitely a culture shock after serving in the army for three years.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped make the move more manageable? Can you share a story?
I wouldn’t say there’s been a particular person I have viewed as a mentor. I have always been a self-starter so I leaned on my experience and grit to get through difficult periods of adjustment. For example, I remember August of 2008 was an incredibly difficult time to be in the moving business due to the economic recession. My business had collapsed, and I ended up finding myself in an incredible amount of debt. I lost everything and was sleeping in my car. But I have always believed that everything happens for a reason and I knew I would rise up from rock bottom.
So how are things going today?
Business is flourishing. MovingAPT has doubled in gross revenue year-over-year. Our newest venture, iMoving (now operational for two years) is meeting our revenue goals and we are adding two more services to the platform: auto-ship and moving boxes. I am really grateful that we have weathered the storm over the past year — the economic downturn caused by the virus proved that we really have a strong business model.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
My business is also my passion project. By making moving easier, cheaper and more accessible, we have helped people navigate what is often an overwhelming process and major life milestone: moving.
To supplement this, however, I spend a lot of time volunteering at homeless shelters and food pantries in the Miami area.
You have firsthand experience with the US immigration system. If you had the power, which three things would you suggest to improve the system?
The biggest pain point I experienced was how slow and meandering the process was. From receiving my green card to becoming a legal citizen, 10 years had gone by. The system should be faster and more efficient.
Can you share “5 keys to achieving the American dream” that others can learn from you? Please share a story or example for each.
- First, you need to be a dreamer. It sounds cliché, but imagination is an important ingredient in entrepreneurship. Before I had an idea to change the moving industry, I had a vision to move to the United States and make a better life for myself. Neither of those achievements would have been possible without hope and imagination.
- Second, you need to create plan. This step sounds simple, but it does require a tremendous amount of patience and research. It took months for me to create a blueprint for my company, gather data and assemble a team before I was even able to start operating. That said, taking the necessary time and care to plan is crucial for success.
- Third, you must be decisive. After my misfortune in 2008, I realized that I needed to put more trust in myself to make decisions. Being savvy and decisive is definitely a skill I have honed over the years that has contributed to my success. Plus, you have to be a little fearless if you’re moving to the land of opportunity!
- Fourth, submerge yourself in information. From an early age, I prioritized versing myself in American laws, cultural norms, literature and everything there is to know. Arming yourself with information is the best way to be prepared. This is also true from a business perspective. I make sure to keep on top of news and trends that are affecting my business and the larger economic landscape by reading, listening to podcasts and immersing myself in information.
- Lastly, and most importantly, you must be positive. Positivity and imagination are the alchemy of a successful person. Positivity is also the way to instill others’ belief in you.
We know that the US needs improvement. But are there 3 things that make you optimistic about the US’s future?
The first is technology. Even though there are some negative side effects, I believe that technological advancement is improving our lives. A great example of this is the pipeline for self-driving cars. In the future, autonomous vehicles can prevent drunk driving and car accidents — not to mention, it’s pretty cool!
I also think that having access to information makes me optimistic. There are lots of countries with governments that are withholding information or regulating news. Here, we have access to medical research, think tanks, legislation and anything we wish to learn about. As I mentioned before, information is the key to preparedness and success.
Lastly, the infrastructure of our economy is strong. It’s easy to become pessimistic about the economy when a pandemic swoops in and causes an economic downturn. But all things considered, the foundation of the American economy is — and always will be — strong.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them.
Elon Musk. I would love to pick his brain to learn more about what made him move in a direction no one has ever gone. He’s truly an innovative thinker.
What is the best way our readers can further follow your work online?
They can visit our websites!
Take a look at www.imoving.com if you’re looking for a moving company. It is the “Expedia” of the moving industry and a one-stop shop for all your relocation needs. You can do everything online without having to speak to anyone over the phone.
Check out www.movingapt.com as well — we are an American-owned and licensed moving company servicing thousands of interstate moves since 2010.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!