As I was trying to figure out what to write for this month’s column, I stumbled upon this quote – and boy did it strike me as profound. This can be read on so many levels!

For me, it made me realize I need to learn to move on from life’s hiccups and stresses quicker. Sometimes, I get a bit “hung over” when the stress of life, work, and expectations reach certain levels. Perhaps, instead, I need to look at each day as a new day – with a fresh to-do list, and a new opportunity to take another bite out of everything on my plate. If there is anything I’ve learned so far this year, it is that it is okay for things to not be perfect. As Sheryl Sandberg says in Lean In, sometimes “done” is good enough. We cannot live our lives under the shadow of perfection.

As I stared at this quote (which, by the way, has varying sources including Will Rogers and an old Cherokee Proverb), I thought about other meanings it could hold. When it comes to an industry as a whole, it could also be interpreted as making sure we aren’t spending so much time in the past, that we aren’t taking the time to pave new roads for innovations, ideas, and even new talent and industry leadership. It’s a widely known truth that people fear change. It can also be understandably difficult for a longtime business owner, industry veteran, or thought leader to take a step back and entrust the work they have done to advance the industry into the hands of “fresh blood.”

But let me ask you a question. Have you ever met an industry that is harder working that this? I doubt it. And I think you would also be hard-pressed to find another industry with the work ethic and servant heart of restorers! In my opinion, you are all cream of the crop. The best of the best. Age and generation have nothing to do with it. Each generation brings its own strengths and weaknesses.

At the RIA’s International Restoration Convention & Industry Expo in Palm Springs in early March, there were a number of “young restorers” in attendance, and several opportunities to network with and learn from them. Many are wise beyond their years, and anxious to bring the science, methodology, and work ethic from the generations before them into a whole new era for the restoration industry. They spoke about guiding the morale, vision, and direction of their companies; learning their talents, and learning where to ask for help. They understand the concept of spending more time, as a leader, on the business than in it, and how to create unique organizational structures that keep everyone accountable and motivated.

So let’s all work together to embrace, respect, and wholeheartedly appreciate the groundwork laid by current and past generations of restorers – and be sure we work together to ensure the next generation of restoration industry leadership is better prepared than ever before to carry the torch!