Funeral Industry News

Confucius Say: Man Who Run Behind Car Get Exhausted

August 21, 2009

Ryan Thogmartin is the CEO of DISRUPT Media | Follower of Christ | Husband | Father | Entrepreneur | Host of #DISRUPTu! and #FUNERALnationtv | Lover of Skittles DISRUPT Media is a social media content agency that focuses on storytelling for funeral companies. We use real stories to build creative strategies that achieve actual business goals.

Confucius Say: Man Who Run Behind Car Get Exhausted

Some business plans revolve around the latest trends. I often wonder about the wisdom of such plans. How do you decide which of the ?latest trends? will work for you? Those you read about in the current issue of trade magazines may have been be written by directors from areas much larger than your community – or even worse – in areas much more progressive than yours? Should you implement new ideas just because they work somewhere else?

A certain amount of discernment is required before making trendy changes. I am not saying that you ? as a funeral professional ? should cease educating yourself ? I only make the point that you should use common sense before embracing change. I am all for exchange of information but I would be remiss if I tried to apply everything I absorbed without careful consideration.

There are some common-sense issues that are part of our ?cellular? knowledge. We are hard-wired with certain things from birth. We are born with a sense of right from wrong. We just ?know? that kindness is important. We all have a sense of a greater power in our lives. We all know that it is never too late to run away to join the circus ? oops ? wrong blog (sorry Ryan). Seriously, some things are second nature and we do ourselves disservice if we race after every new idea that pops up.

I live in an area with a high concentration of Asian customers. Just last week I read of a new business trend ? that of changing phone numbers for more recognizable ones. Upon checking, the only series available to me was 4444. Did you know that in many Asian dialects, the number 4 sounds similar to their word for ?death? and insinuates ?bad luck? The change for me, because of my trading area, would NOT have been wise, although it might have been fine for others.

? Another observation. I know of a rural director who purchased FBI-type communications devices that fit behind the ear (a chord ran under the collar and connected to a waist-mounted transmitting device – not figure-flattering). The salesman SOLD him on the benefits and cited examples of many successful funeral homes using the concept. Wow ? he purchased one for each director on staff ? which numbered two ? himself and his wife. Now they could easily track minister, family ? and each other ? even though they were rarely out of visual range. Not a lot of thought went into jumping on that bandwagon and it lasted for almost a week ? needless to say, after her best friend asked if she was pregnant again, his wife suggested an alternative destination for the unit ? and it was nowhere near his ear!

Stop chasing cars but continue learning and absorbing. You can learn from seminars at International, National and State conventions, but attendance is often impossible. Many factors come into play ?costs may be prohibitive ? time away from the funeral home might be difficult to arrange ? distance might make it improbable ? BUT, THINK OF THIS … each time you log on to you open yourself to exploring new ideas and innovations. You can do it from your own chair. It is all free so there are no excuses for remaining uneducated.

Embrace the concept. Ask others about the latest fads ? what?s working and what?s not. Start a discussion group. Salespeople will be only too willing to educate you on the latest ?FBI devices? or worse, but ? be your own best friend. Don?t get ?EXHAUSED? by running behind too many cars. Relax and settle into the driver?s seat. That?s where you belong.