Undertaking the National Board Exams

Sweaty palms, increased heart rate and overthinking—to some, test taking can be an extremely stressful and daunting experience. But what about these factors when taking the National Board Exams, and how do they affect overall outcome? What are some ways and resources that can be utilized to avert these barriers, and how may we apply them to assure proficient success? Continue reading

Life/Work Balance, Is it Possible?

Funeral Professionals are some of the hardest working and most empathetic people out there.  Day in and day out we put our time and our emotions out there to every family we serve and our communities.  With this, many of us miss out on all the normal life activities like kid’s birthdays, kid’s sporting events, date nights with your spouse, working out, and even cutting the grass is hard to find time for and the list goes on and on.

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A Hmong the Living

Funerals are a cultural event. As funeral directors, we are sometimes asked to understand diverse customs and rites that are not our own. How you react when asked to open up your funeral home to another culture and their traditions is important to the future of your business.

Earlier this year I had the honor of serving the Yang family when their father passed away. The Yangs are Hmong, an ethnic group of Southeast Asian decent Continue reading

What Have I Learned Thus Far?

I have learned many things during my 10 years licensed and 15 years within the profession.  The major take away is that you get out of this profession exactly what you put in.  If you are one who is comfortable on the side lines and doing just what is expected of them then don’t expect advancement or career growth.

If you are the guy or gal who thought you would come in Monday through Friday, 8-5, and be able to leave work at work then you obviously flipped the coin incorrectly when choosing your career path.  Continue reading

You Don’t Look Like a Funeral Director

That’s the typical response I get, from the young and old alike. Younger people have a stereotype of what a funeral director should look like – thank you Netflix. They might expect Lurch Adams or perhaps a character from “Six Feet Under.”  The older folks walk into a funeral home looking for a middle-aged, church-going man. I don’t fall into any of the above-mentioned categories, but that is the change in our industry. Join me in my exploration. Continue reading

Be Happy, Serve Well

Everyone wants to be happy when it comes to your career.  So with that being said, if you are unhappy with where you are employed, it’s time to have a conversation or potentially move on.

Now, I am not saying grab a box and start packing up your things.  I am simply stating that if you are unhappy, try and figure out why.  Make a list of the things at your current place of employment that you consider negative and then make a list of things that you would consider positive.  Take a deep hard look at this list and determine if the positive outweighs the negative.

In our line of work as funeral professionals we must be positive in every facet of what we do.  Continue reading

Getting Creative with Funeral Hospitality

I am currently traveling for an industry specific educational retreat. I have been attending the event for the past three years and have focused my studies on Funeral Home Management, Leadership, Sales, and Marketing. This is my graduation year (I’m excited and bummed at the same time) and I decided to try the newest class available: Hospitality and Event Management.

Arguably, no trend has seen such wide spread change in our profession as Catering, Hospitality, and Events.

In a trade not always known for embracing change, I’m astounded by how many funeral homes and cemeteries that are integrating services and facilities such as catering, reception rooms, event centers, and life events, into their general price lists. Continue reading

Journey to Columbus

My journey to Columbus actually began in Memphis in 2014. Stick with me on this one!

My plane had just landed and I stepped outside of the airport into the sweltering heat of a July day in Tennessee. I was already sweating as I crested the doors to the passenger pickup area only to discover that my shuttle was nowhere in sight.

It was my first time attending the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association University (ICCFAU) which is a week long educational retreat held every year on the campus of the University of Memphis. I was there to continue my academic growth as a funeral professional, but I did not know what to expect.

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Folks, Get Ready…

Get ready… and what I mean by that is get ready for all the criticism you will receive being in this profession.  If you were to take a poll of a 100 people I’m assuming most people would say they believe funerals are a rip-off and a funeral director is out to take advantage of someone at a tough time.

I have been in this profession for 14 years now and have heard this as many times as I have heard the phrase “People are dying to see me” which was not funny the first time or the millionth time.

Obviously I have dedicated my life to being in this profession and I take it very seriously and will defend it, so I am a tad biased.  People just have zero clue as to what they are truly paying for.

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Sorry For Your Loss

What can you say to someone who has experienced a death close to them? You may do your best to console them with well worn phrases such as, “I’m sorry for your loss.”

You may choose to liken their experience to something from your own past… “I know how you feel. When I lost my mom…”

Or you may even take the spiritual path to grief relief and exclaim, “They’re in a better place.”

Whatever your method of giving condolence, you may want to consider what is going through the mind of the mourning before digging up a clichéd and possibly offensive message.

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