The story of funeral service is one that is ever-changing.
And, as you may have experienced, transformation of this degree often yields moments that vary wildly between “what an exciting time to be in this! and “what are we actually doing here?”
And that yo-yo experience might feel very tough sometimes. So how do we deal without kicking our feet in the sand and just giving up?
Before you decide to quit your job and become a dog-walker, hear me out with these 6 things that all of funeral service needs to hear when the going gets tough:
#1: Don’t turn a blind eye
Many funeral professionals will turn a blind eye to the change going on, and continue going about their business; selling caskets and putting on traditional-as-ever funeral services. But, is this really the answer? I can relate this situation to a movie scene where the captain of the ship in Titanic (the Leo DiCaprio version) puts on his proper captain’s attire, and stares in shock at the beautiful details of his sinking ship, as he tries to come to terms with his ship’s undeniable demise.
If we really want to understand what’s going on here in funeral service, we have to embrace it. See it. Both on a micro and macro level. Awareness is the first step. We can’t change anything we don’t acknowledge. What do you see when you look around you at your job, with your colleagues, your mentors, and competitors? Take a good look around, and pull yourself out of it enough to see it all.
#2 Don’t try to fix it
Whatever is broken, cannot always be fixed. What if you let it break instead? And learned from it? Whether it’s a relationship, a product, or a business model that is feeling broken or no longer working, see what happens if you let it fall away. What could manifest instead?
#3: Let failure create a blank canvas
If you let one thing ago, by nature, something will take its place. This is true about funeral service in general, but can also be applied on a very personal level. Individual failure allows you to start anew, once you’ve learned from your failure. Collective failure gives us an opportunity to see new ways we can serve.
#4: Remember that creativity is the opposite of of defeat
When we feel resistance coming up on us, it’s easy to feel defeated. But this is such an opportune time for creativity. In fact, some of the greatest innovators in the world become best friends with the tool failure, and allow it to inspire their creativity. Failure is a loop – we fail, we learn, and we re-create. Use the challenge or failure you’re up against as a source of your inspiration to thrive, and what you might end up with is magic.
#5: Ask for support when you need it
Whether it’s from your families, your communities, your co-workers, or your mentors – if you’re experiencing a challenging time, ask for what you need. Often times intense emotions and experiences point to very clear needs. What is this situation pointing to for you, or for funeral service?
Ask yourself that question, see what comes up, and ask for support to get you there. More often than not, your families, your customers, your friends, all want to see you, and our profession, thrive.
#6 Allow yourself to be seen
It’s so easy to run and hide when things don’t go our way. But what if we showed up in our challenges, and our failures? What if we shared, with authenticity, what didn’t work? People are allergic to veneers. Especially in this digital age. They can smell fake from a mile away. If you’re in the middle of it all, share it. Share what’s not working and see what kind of support you naturally attract when you do that.
I would love to see more people speaking up and out about this transition funeral service is going through. Instead of being demonized for our high pricing and inadaptability, maybe if we practiced showing up more in this chapter, people would be willing to help in the re-building of the empire.
Imagine a world where….
Where hands come together to build a new funeral service. A new product. A new space. A new you. It sounds “whoo whoo”, but don’t knock it till’ you try it. Optimism isn’t just a state of mind, it’s a natural tendency towards success. And it’s a practice.
We hope this post serves as an invitation for you to take whatever has come your way as an opportunity for growth. For adaptability. For leveling up in whatever way you feel you’re being called to.
Tell us in the comments below, what challenges have you faced recently, and how did you overcome them?