The Wheel is Turning, But The Hamster’s Dead

August 20, 2009
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Often ? because of lack of planning ? there isn?t a viable succession plan in place. I have known owners who have jealously guarded the bankbooks and purse strings so closely that when they succumb to ?Inevitable Numeric Ascension?, even their families don?t know how to keep the business running smoothly. The scenario is further complicated when the owner/director/perhaps even founder thinks he is going to live forever. Other times he feels that the business can?t go on without him.

There comes a time to us all when we need to borrow from Vaudeville line ? ?Leave ?em Laughin?. Don?t let the show go on so long that the audience?s appreciation wanes. If that happens, the worn costumes, the runs in the stockings and the cheap wigs become an issue. Drop the curtain at a high point in the show and the appreciative audience comes back for more. It is true for any professional at the top of their career.

So it is with the aging funeral professional. I don?t mean quit on the spot ? but exercise wisdom. They should stay on as the figurehead but consider letting the younger people on staff strut their stuff and show what they are made of ? after all ? a lot of time and effort has been invested in training them. Now give them the chance to pass the final exam. They were taught the skills but often they don?t feel it is right to eclipse the teacher.

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Promise yourself that when start to feel the saddle sores of life, you will let the other cowpokes lead the trail ride for a spell. You might be very surprised to witness ?first hand? how well you trained them. Sitting back in the saddle and relaxing on the trail now and then is good for the soul and allows others see that you understand the aging process.

One day each of our ?numbers will be up? so don?t let anyone say that we didn?t know when to quit. Take a lesson from Vaudeville – ?Leave ?em Laughin?.

Side thought ? I once actually saw ? as probable cause ? on a medical certificate of Death ?His Number Was Up? ? but it was cleverly worded ? ?Cause of Death ? Acute Numerical Ascension?)

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