Today marks five months since I joined the Restoration & Remediation team! My main goal so far has been to learn as much as I can about the restoration industry – and you – as I can, as fast as I can. A student I am, and a student I will remain for now. There’s nothing worse than a newbie coming into the field and pretending to be an expert, right? 
So as a relative outsider, who’s trying to slowly work her way to the inner circle, here is what I’ve learned about the restoration industry so far. Please feel free to comment on this list -- tell me what you think!
1) Every family-owned business has an amazing story to tell.
This might be my favorite part of the industry so far. I’ve heard so many success stories – businesses starting decades ago, and building a lasting legacy through innovation and go, old-fashioned hard work. This runs the gamut of businesses too – restoration companies, insurance agencies, equipment manufacturers, chemical companies, you name it – they’ve got a story! I wish I could tell them all as each is as worthy as the next of being shared, and each has its own take on success.
Quick little promotion here – R&R is featuring a Throwback Thursday (#TBT) post every week on our social media pages! Have a photo and story you’d like to share? Send it to me:
OK… moving on.
2) If I don’t know something, it’s OK to ask! This is a friendly bunch.
Thank goodness! To those of you who have so graciously answered by “newbie” questions, thank you! 
3) There are a lot of different software options out there. 
I learned this one the hard way. While I could list off who I consider the top five software choices for restoration companies, I really didn’t have a working knowledge of any of them – much less their similarities and differences. Let’s just say I’ve been making myself a student of software and spending time reading up on each. I’ll leave writing about them to the experts, for now.
4) Everyone believes they have a product, knowledge, or technique that can change the industry.
Hear me out on this one. It’s the only critical point on my list, I promise! It’s time for some people to get a little more original with their marketing and routine at trade shows. If I received $1 for every time I heard, “I can help this industry if they’ll let me,” I would be a rich woman. The truth is, yes, many of you have something that can help restorers in one way or another. But wording it that was is a bit condescending. Instead of just insisting you can help, talk about how specifically you can help.
5) I’m not sure how any of you get any sleep. Ever.
Seriously, fill me in on this secret! For the restorers out there, no matter the size of your company, you and your crews are responding around the clock! Add into that your personal life, kids, their activities, trade shows, training, conferences, etc… and you’ve used up more hours than there are in a day! 
Here’s a high-five from me to you for rocking what you do every day. Changing peoples’ lives, and helping them get back on their feet in what could be one of the lowest points in their life to far.
To everyone who’s been so kind and welcoming to me so far, thank you! I can’t wait to see what I learn in the next five months!