Are you insane?


You know the definition of insanity right? Not the literal definition, but the figurative definition.

Insanity – doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.

So, I ask… are you insane?

I think we all are at some point or another. If we are all having an honest conversation here, there are certainly times where we all do the same thing we have always done, hoping that circumstances change and we get a different result.

But why is human nature’s default instinct to wait for the circumstances to change for us, instead of the default being for us to change the circumstances? A lot of times its simply because hoping circumstances is EASIER, requiring no work or effort. Being “change averse” seems simply to be human nature.

Now look around at the successful people in your life, the ones who are movers and shakers. What do we know about them? I would venture that anyone would agree to the following:

  1. There aren’t many true “movers and shakers” out there. But the few cause enough disruption for everyone.

  2. They are less apt to sit and wait for a problem to self-correct; they take the bull by the horns and fix the problem themselves.

  3. They see a problem, they focus on the problem, and they adjust, tweak, and change their actions in an attempt to trigger a different, more favorable result.

  4. They are often times perceived and critiqued as being “crazy” or “insane” simply for not following the norm.

  5. And most importantly, they are not afraid of CHANGE.

But how many times have you heard someone say, “He/she is crazy for doing that, that will never work”. I know I have said it off the cuff – and it’s usually when I’m internally jealous of someone doing something I wish I would have thought of first 😊.

Okay, here comes the time in the blog post that we relate this back to the funeral industry….

I would venture to guess that there aren’t too many people in this industry that claim it as an “innovative” industry or one that is an “early adapter” to new technologies. This industry tends to move slowly – and for some reasons, I can understand that. This industry is “risk averse” and I understand why – doing things differently takes confidence that whatever new is being implemented is not only going to work, but be positive for the funeral home’s brand; and also it the precious resource of time to figure to change the process from how its currently being done. Funeral directors schedules are unpredictable and erratic, they are constantly working with time constraints, and if something new is tried and doesn’t work, the guilt of disappointing a family is tremendous. Thus, this leaves funeral home owners, managers, directors and staff left to playing the conservative card – instead of risking pushing the envelope.

While I do have appreciation and empathy with the situation of a funeral director, this shouldn’t be used as an excuse not to change. Think of it like this, if you are the owner of what has in the past been known as an Irish Catholic funeral home and suddenly the demographics of your community are changing as the Irish Catholics have moved out and in has come a Jewish population (and I pick this as an example only because of the dramatically different service and merchandise selections used in the Jewish faith). Now what do you do? You have to do something if you want your business to continue on. So, your options are:

  1. Pick up and move your funeral home to an area, following your Irish Catholic demographic to wherever they are moving?

  2. Adapt to the change in demographic of your current business in its current location by educating staff, introduction of new merchandise, getting involved with the Jewish community, etc.

  3. Do nothing and watch your demographic move away and eventually watch a person who is willing to serve this market step right into your back door.

Now in this scenario, who do you feel is insane or crazy? I would venture to say if a funeral director followed scenarios A or B, they would be judged by professional counterparts as insane or crazy for leaving a geographic region “that has been so good to the business for so many years”, or becoming the token Irish Catholic in the Jewish community. I wouldn’t say they are crazy, I would say that playing the market safe, smart and conservative. The crazy ones are those who are watching their business, their future, their retirement, and sadly enough, their employees jobs fade into the future.

This is only one example of how NOT CHANGING is INSANE.

While I know the casket and cremation merchandise realm the best, there are so many opportunities left on the table for a funeral home to be earning additional profits. And listen… listen… and listen again. I am not talking about the easy profits that are generated by raising prices. There is money left on the table every day at every funeral home. In fact, money is left on the table within every business, small and large so there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Only be ashamed if you know money is falling off the table and you aren’t doing anything about it.

Whether your additional profits are passed directly onto a family through lower prices, investment in facility upgrades, or even offering each family a nice fruit basket to take home after the service – THE FAMILY IS THE BENEFICIARY of the profits your business generates based upon your willingness to change your everyday routine.

So have I convinced you yet? Have I convinced you that you are insane? It’s okay, I can be insane too sometimes. Now, its just time to pick up, move and shake, and CREATE CHANGE.

-Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end. - Robin Sharma

#change #family #insanity

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