Funeral service providers have a reputation for reluctance to make changes even if necessary for their own good, are generally slow to adopt pretty much anything new and rarely create from within. What if we took the example of the canary in the coal mine? You know, a safety net just in case we were to get a sniff of dangerous carbon monoxide and can abandon the mine before coming to harm? This business is not that simple, however so few ever get to taste the sweetness of success after taking a risk.
Why is that? If we watch an episode of Wild Kingdom starring Marlin Perkins following the annual migration of wildebeests we can see in real time how we seem to act. Just keep our heads down, move with everyone else and don’t venture away from the herd. “Damn that river crossing, I’m staying right in the middle and just trying to survive.” Never mind a new route that may make more sense.
Does the fear of failure suppress risk taking? Creation of new products or services should be initiated among funeral professionals because that’s where the “rubber hits the road” (more on this particular reference in the next paragraph), but the majority of something new comes from outside, not within. Is it because everyone is so busy and simply putting extra time into something that may not work out isn’t worth the effort? Did you know the modern day church truck was invented by Samson Diuguid, a funeral director back in the 1800’s in Lynchburg, Virginia? Because church aisles were too narrow for pallbearers to walk on both sides of a coffin, Diuguid created a much used product that made our job easier and the funeral experience better.
What about taking a risk in the funeral industry that my invoke ridicule and embarrassment? Oh no, not from fellow funeral professionals! Back to the Diuguid folks, they actually had the gall to use a rubber wheeled and a motorized hearse to carry a casket! It’s said that other funeral directors made fun of Diuguid and even coined the contraption “blasphemous to the profession.” We have the same twits in abundance today and you can see them flitting around “busy” at funeral meetings and conventions. They are easy to spot; usually adorned in full funeral director dress inclusive of suit, white shirt, and not too flashy tie. Funny, since there isn’t a family to serve in site…impressive huh? Interesting about this particular sect of the herd is that they themselves have never invested, created or invented anything in their lives however are the first in line with nay saying gibberish ridicule of “my families won’t” or “that will never” and so on. Funny though, when the something new takes hold they follow rest of the herd sometimes too late as the crocks are lurking for the finely-adorned stragglers.
As for me, I’m going deep in the mine with a cage full of canaries and keeping my #FNhustle on to make #FNchange to better our industry. Yep, I’m going to fail at some of my initiatives. Yep, I’m going to be ridiculed (however not to my face because the before-mentioned finely-adorned, nay-saying eunuchs who literally don’t have the balls to do so). And yep, I’m going to succeed and just keep mining.
I challenge you to go get some canaries and enter the mine; it’s hard, nasty work, you might fail and get laughed at or you may actually do something to make a difference. If not, please start shopping because the new season of conventions and meetings are starting and you’ll need to be seen. From behind a thick fog of smoke in the Command Post, Cheers Y’all! #thefuneralcommander