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President's Message - Either Way, the Decision Should Be Deliberate

by Keith Walker, CFSP

As we head into fall, in addition to football and watching the Buckeyes, I look at this time of year as a beginning of a new business year. Fall is a time to recommit to our business goals. After enjoying summer as much as possible, fall has meant to me, since school days, a time to get back at it with vigor. As funeral directors, we often do not get the time to sit down and really look at our businesses. It is refreshing and important to work on our funeral home in addition to working in our funeral home. Other areas of our lives are equally important to our careers and likewise need to be taken seriously and given their due attention.

For each of us, in each area of our lives, we are largely where we are today because of the decisions we have made in the past. For good or bad, when we really look at it, we are where we are because of the things we decided to do, to not do, or to not decide. I recently read the book Awakening the Giant Within by Tony Robbins and have gained a renewed sense of the importance of making decisions and sticking with them until they are realized.

Since this is a newsletter about our careers, let's look at some decisions facing us in our careers. First is for whom do we want to work. This decision, which for many of us was made years ago, has a tremendous influence of how rewarding our careers are in multiple ways. For the younger members of our profession, this decision is especially critical. Whether we choose to work for a family owned firm or a corporation, a rural firm or an urban firm, a traditional firm or a progressive firm, this decision is very important. Secondly, how will we decide to work within our profession? Will we decide to be committed to the families we serve? Will we decide to take the time to learn what people go through after a loss? Will we decide to go the extra mile for the families we serve as well as for our employers, our coworkers, and our employees? Or will we decide to take it a little easier and focus on ourselves first? These decisions have longterm ramifications and the old proverb "The more you give, the more you get" is certainly true.

Another decision that needs to be made by owners and employees alike is whether we will make a sincere effort to grow our funeral home businesses or are we satisfied where we are. Either decision is, of course fine, but the decision one way or the other should be deliberate.

Now, once a decision is made or a goal is set, then what do we do? That is where many of us get stuck or lost in the process. It is fairly easy to say we have decided one thing or another. But in order to turn a decision into reality, planning and effort are required. There are many methods of goal setting and achievement available. One method for achievement planning I recently learned from a Brian Tracy publication is as follows. Write your decision or goal at the top of a page. Then force yourself to list twenty ways you could achieve your decision on that page. At first the actions will come to you fairly easily. But somewhere about number fifteen it will get difficult. Keep at it and force yourself to write all twenty. Then go back and pick out one with which you will get started on right away. Keep your list for when you have completed the action you selected. Then start on the next.

We have all been granted just so many years. This is obvious to us as funeral directors. Let's make sure we live the years we have as deliberately and with as much purpose as possible.

Enjoy your beautiful fall season & Go Bucks!
Keith Walker

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