Four years ago, Jared ’03 and Risa ’05 Meyer were looking to start their own business. The Mays Business School former students wanted to start a business that directly reflected the values of their marriage: compassion and service. Values for them were determined by their faith and wanting to be people who look outside of themselves to serve others. “Texas A&M holds true to that, as well. It is about everyone making an impact beyond your own world, which Texas A&M does a good job instilling in their students,” Jared described.
When thinking of who they could serve with these values, they wanted to target a market that they felt were underserved locally. They recognized a need for service-based businesses for the elderly, and soon decided on Caring Transitions, which fit all of their requirements of being able to show compassion to others as well doing a service for the elderly.
Caring Transitions is the nation’s largest provider of transition services for seniors, including relocation, estate liquidation, and right-sizing. Caring Transitions focuses on helping people in a compassionate and caring manner during a vulnerable time for their customers. “It is fulfilling to meet people at this time of their lives,” Risa said. “We care about empathy and relationships. These are not repeat customers, but the time we do have is very in-depth. We get to know them and their story and that is a gift we don’t take lightly.”
Finding the right balance
The Meyers agreed that one of the biggest challenges they had to overcome was the unknown factor of starting their own business. For them, it was realizing that they were taking on something that was bigger than themselves and was tasked with learning how to run a business. Risa is challenged to prioritize the best use of her time and, as a former academic advisor for Mays Business School with a very set to do list, this is a very different role for her. The business was built on trust, and it was trust that allowed them to grow at strong pace. For them, there was an interpersonal aspect to this business that really starts with “How can I help you?”
Family time is of the utmost importance to the Meyer’s family, so finding a balance between work and family time is essential. While finding that balance with family, Jared also found support in Risa. “When we first started the business, we just had our second child, so my wife was at home with the kids,” Jared said. “She was a huge support for me in the earlier stages of the business. Doing it together gives us something to join in. It gives us something to work together in and talk about and build together.”
When working together, it is important to figure out where your strengths and weaknesses lie. “We really figured out where my skills and his skills are,” Risa said, “and we let each other run with it.”
Learning from those who came before
As Mays graduates, the Meyers have taken what they learned from the classroom and implemented in their business. Jared said he recalled concepts and principles quickly as he dove deeper and deeper into business.
They both agreed that the relationships you make at Mays are a great way to learn. As for current students who are looking to start their own business, Jared and Risa provided some advice: “Understand your personal limits and find the resources to help overcome those limits. We can’t do everything. We want to operate from our strengths and the areas where we need development or our weaknesses, we need to find people to fill in those gaps.” Jared said.
Risa simply added, “Just be a learner.” She wants students to be able to observe those who have walked in the same path and to ask for help with the same passion.
The pair is being recognized for their work, first with the Caring Transitions’ Rookie of The Year award in 2016 and then with the Franchise of The Year award in 2017.
Jared and Risa are continuously looking for ways to serve their growing market. “Our market is growing and it is still underserved in areas even around us,” Jared said “We want to bring something to a population that needs it. We are looking to expand and provide more services to more people.”