Rice Paddy to Rice Paddy in 3 Generations

Sociologists have discovered there is a saying in every culture that is best illustrated by the title to this article (which is the Chinese version). Basically, it refers to the lowly peasant who works hard to break out of the rice paddy life by starting a business which he then passes on to his heirs…. [Read More…]

What Proof Do You Require?

We live in a litigious society. More and more practitioners are ending up in lawsuits.  Often it isn’t really their fault. Lawyers will tell you to make sure you always CYA! Richard Callahan, former funeral home owner and funeral director has spent the last 20 years of his career as an Expert Witness in a… [Read More…]

Too Busy To Succeed

Most of us know that success requires that we spend, at least, some time working “on” our business instead of “in” our business. Yet, in practice, we find this piece of essential wisdom to be nothing more than a tired cliche’. Having spent the bulk of my career studying funeral practitioners and all of my… [Read More…]

A Comment That Changed My Life

Many years ago I fell prey to a “woe-is-me” episode. A friend made an offhand comment that changed my life direction and I want to share it with you. But, first, let me say that his comment really offended me. That’s a true friend…someone who tells you what you NEED to hear regardless of how it… [Read More…]

Knowing Too Much Causes You To Underserve Families

Some years ago a study was conducted. A group of people were divided into “tappers” and “listeners”. The tappers were asked to pick a popular tune and tap it out and the listeners were asked to identify it. The study found that the “tappers” predicted that the listeners got it right at least 50% of… [Read More…]

Part 3: The Owner Is Ready

Maybe you are anxious to exit your business. Or perhaps you dread the day you will no longer be involved. Either way for a successful business transfer you need to be ready. It has been my experience that when people think they are ready and even eager to exit the business they have only given… [Read More…]

Part 2: The Business Is Ready

I have lived in my house for 30+ years and we are getting ready to sell and move closer to my daughter and her family. I have two goals: Sell for top dollar Sell quickly So we are getting it ready by repainting it and updating a few odds and ends. Not more than we… [Read More…]

Should Women Wear Pant Suits?

I seem to have a penchant for joining fights that aren’t mine. Not long ago I was presenting a seminar on dress and decorum to funeral directors at a large state convention. Several women asked for my opinion on wearing pants. Frankly, I hadn’t thought about it so I didn’t have one. Since then, I… [Read More…]

Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

I think it is fitting to celebrate Thanksgiving by reading Lincoln’s original Thanksgiving Proclamation with my family.  Here it is in its entirety: By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation 1863 The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To… [Read More…]

Is Funeral Service Ready For Innovation?

Uhhh…NO! I got an email from Harvard Business Review today. It invited me to take an assessment on innovation readiness for my company. Instead, I took it as if I worked for all of funeral service as I know and experience it. The results weren’t surprising but still disturbing. I did my best to be… [Read More…]