By Amanda Hosey

How many times have you really wanted to learn how to do something but given up because you felt like it just wasn’t “in your wheelhouse”?

Often we fall back on thoughts of inadequacy from our youth with thoughts like, “I’ve always been terrible at__,” “I’m just naturally bad at __,” or “My dad was right when he said I’d never be good at __.” But the truth is, while some may be born with an innate ability to perform a particular task without much practice, those who aren’t still have the ability to learn to do the same things, often better than the “naturals,” simply because they will work harder to do so.

A friend from high school comes to mind. She was not the “smartest” kid in school; she was not a naturally gifted student. She was very average. But she really wanted to get a business degree. In college, she worked harder than anyone. When her peers were out partying, she buckled down and kept learning. She took classes at a slower pace, knowing her limits. She graduated with honors and is a successful business owner now, while many of the smartest people we knew from high school flunked out because they didn’t know how to study. They’d never had to before.

As a business owner, it’s essential that you have that “growth mindset” that allows you to keep learning and not feel defeated by failures.

You’ll see this idea again and again in this year’s Restoration Industry Leaders Review on page 24, which offers an inside look at three well-established, successful restoration powerhouses. All three have learned to accept the changes of the industry over the years, to roll with the punches, and see a chance for growth in failures. That’s the only real way to make it in any industry.

Remember that those times you fall short of the goals you set for yourself are opportunities to learn and improve your business strategies, management skills, etc. People with a growth mindset look for ways to do things better next time; they read books, talk to peers, and take classes. Also keep in mind that learning is never one size fits all. If the books aren’t working for you, but the forums are, great—lean on what works best for you.

It’s also important to enjoy learning to be better at your work. If you don’t like learning how to grow your business, how to be a better leader, and other aspects of your work, then maybe it’s time for a difficult discussion with yourself. Is this really the work you want to be doing?

Most importantly, learn to embrace your confidence in yourself. If you believe you can learn and grow in your career, it will be a lot easier to do so. Otherwise, those failures will always just feel like failures.

Amanda Hosey is the managing editor of Cleanfax. She has worked as an editor and writer for more than six years, including four years with Cleanfax. Reach her at