From Moving Countries to Moving People. How this Entrepreneur Created a Life & Business with Purpose.
The decision to leave your home country is never easy, but due to economic, social, political or environmental reasons, it’s often necessary. Nicolas Mosos and his family, however, weren’t forced to immigrate from Colombia to Canada — it was a choice to find new opportunity and to build the life they knew they deserved.
Below, Nicolas tells O2E Brands about his experience as a franchise owner with You Move Me.
O2E: Why did you decide to leave Colombia?
NM: Most countries that people emigrate from are densely populated, so opportunity is limited and competition for jobs is much higher. My parents are well-educated and had great jobs in Colombia, but you need many years of study to achieve what you can in Canada with simply a bachelor’s degree. My parents realized that life didn’t have to be as hard as it was, and that immigrating would give me a better quality of life so that I could enjoy living it.
O2E: How did you get involved with You Move Me?
NM: When we first came to Canada, I started working as a truck team member for 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. That job paid for my university education and then a backpacking trip in Europe. When I returned, my boss asked me to come back and lead the sales division in Toronto. During this time, O2E Brands launched its third brand, You Move Me.
I was working at the Toronto head office and saw the new brand being built firsthand. When we integrated You Move Me sales into my responsibilities, I realized how strong the business was. Having seen 1-800-GOT-JUNK?’s success, I decided to get on the boat. I sold my guitar collection, my cars, basically anything that wasn’t essential. I convinced my dad to join me and we opened You Move Me in Kitchener/Waterloo.
O2E: So you and your dad are co-owners. How did he react when you told him you wanted to start a moving franchise?
NM: His first reaction was the same as everyone else’s: that an immigrant starting a moving company was cliche. My parents said the same thing when I told them I was going to pick up garbage for a living, too.
But they saw me work in the O2E Brands system for years so they knew the company had something special. When we came to Vancouver and they saw the office, the brands, the people and all the support behind it — they knew this wasn’t just another moving company.
O2E: What does this job give you that previous jobs didn’t?
NM: For me, the main thing about this venture has always been development. Within the O2E Brands system, I have so many mentors and people to look up to and learn from. It’s been challenging in the same way you’d expect it to be, as it would be for any new business owner. But I have a network of people to call on who are going through the same thing as I am. It’s comforting to know that I’m not in this alone, I’m fighting the right battles, and I’m with the right team.
O2E: Do you think franchising is a good career path for immigrants?
NM: As an immigrant, there’s already so much to learn when you come into a new country. You don’t know the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ — especially in the business world. You can do your research ahead of time but it’s different when you actually live it. When you join a franchise system, you’re partnering with locals who understand the business climate and already dominate the local environment. It makes business ownership accessible and I feel supported as a part of a team.
O2E: What has franchise ownership been like for you so far?
NM: Prior to opening a You Move Me franchise, I was constantly networking and looking ahead to my next career move. A lot has changed now; I have a specific path and I’m in control of where it’s going. This allows me to be more focused on the work that I’m doing and not worry so much about what’s coming next.
There’s a common misconception that as a business owner, you make your own schedule. But that’s not true — your customers do. But I’ve earned so much independence because the higher purpose behind this is my own. Every step I take for this business is for myself and for my family. It’s a very gratifying and liberating experience.