Luis Aviles: Moving Forward
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAN FRANCISCO — For most people, the loss of a job would be considered a setback, but for Luis Aviles, it was just the nudge he needed to move his career forward. “I had been working for a local moving company for about a year when I was unexpectedly let go,” he recounts. “Instead of being discouraged, I actually felt empowered to go out on my own as an independent mover. I’d only been working in the industry for a year, but I’m a fast learner and felt I could definitely succeed. After doing some research about starting a business, I bought a truck, got my license and insurance, and started advertising my services. The rest is history.”
Today, as owner of Moving Forward, Luis says he enjoys being his own boss. “Running my own business keeps me busy, but it’s worth it. I don’t mind working long hours, because I like being in control of my schedule and the direction of my company. I don’t have to answer to anybody, and that feels good.”
Originally from El Salvador, Luis came to the United States in 1986 and resides today in San Francisco. When asked his favorite part of living in the city, he says he appreciates the commute—or, more precisely, the lack thereof. “Living and working in San Francisco, I’m really glad I don’t have to deal with the daily commute. Most morning traffic consists of people entering the city, so it’s really nice to be here already.”
Outside of work, Luis spends the bulk of his free time relaxing. “As a business owner, I work all the time, so when I finally have some time off, my first priority is to catch up on sleep. However, I also like to have fun when I get a chance. I go to a lot of concerts, enjoy wine tasting in the Napa Valley and occasionally get away for a long weekend in Las Vegas or Miami.”
In regard to his professional career, Luis espouses the virtues of being honest and upfront with customers. “As a business, there’s nothing to be gained from keeping things hidden from customers—it can only hurt you,” he explains. “I tell my employees, ‘If you accidently break something, just tell the customer. Don’t try to hide it, because they’ll only be more upset when they find out about it later.’ I also make it a point to be upfront and accurate when giving estimates. A lot of companies will underestimate just to get the job and then change the price later, but that’s no way to gain a loyal clientele.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Luis says he’d take an extended vacation. “Being a business owner, it’s hard to get away—I can really only take off for three or four days at a time. So, if I were to retire, I’d take two weeks or so, head to Miami and just hang out on the beach.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite Bay Area winery?
A: I have two: Beaulieu Vineyard in Rutherford and Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards in Sonoma.
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco 49ers.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
A: Ham and eggs over easy
Q: If you could time-travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: I would go to the past and buy some property.
Q: Do you collect anything?
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A: Vintage coins and bills. I used to work at a liquor store, where I would count the money at the end of the day. After doing that for long enough, you get good at telling apart the rare coins from the rest.