5 Pieces of Funeral Service Advice From Our Founding Fathers

founding fathers adice

If you’ve ever had a conversation with me that lasted more than 5 minutes, you may have noticed that I’m a huge history buff. Not that I’m bragging, but if you called me today and asked me to recite the Declaration of Independence to you, I could.

Anyways, it turns out that even though most of our Founding Fathers were born hundreds of years ago, they can still teach us a few timeless lessons about funeral service.

So before you take a bite out of that corn on the cob, let’s take a look at these 5 lessons we can learn!

Lesson #1: Inspire those around you.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

– John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams was our sixth U.S. president and is one of the few presidents to pay off a huge chunk of our national debt.  The key to his success was that he motivated the people who worked under him so much that they were able to achieve the seemingly impossible. This advice is important to remember at your funeral home, especially when you think about your funeral home’s marketing messages. As a funeral home, you’re selling hope to your client families, so inspire them through uplifting marketing messages rather than depressing  advertising.


Lesson #2: Build a strong foundation.

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

– Thomas Jefferson

As one of our Founding Fathers and the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson was well known for his beliefs and core values. What funeral service can learn from him is that you should come up with a mission and core principles for your funeral home, and stick to them.

While your funeral home’s appearance, branding, marketing and customers might change, your core values should always remain. Doing this will not only help your firm build a strong foundation, but it will also make it easy for your employees, families and community to believe in you and your values.


Lesson #3: Don’t let “good enough” be good enough.

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin is, without a doubt, one of the most influential people of all time. Some say his intelligence got him far in life, but I think it was his proactive, “roll your sleeves up” approach he took to all of his accomplishments.

Now that funeral service is going through many changes, we face the challenge of proving our value to our consumers. Take the “Ben Franklin Approach” and instead of just telling families why you’re valuable, involve them let them decide how valuable you are by themselves. One way to do that is through inbound marketing. By creating educational content such as blogs, articles, brochures and pre-planning guides, you can engage your potential families by offering them the information they’re looking for. When you’ve helped them make a challenging time in their life less difficult, you’ve become a valuable resource to them!


Lesson #4:  Don’t try to be anyone else.

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was a President who faced many pressures during his presidency, but persevered thanks to his commitment to what he believed in. If Lincoln hadn’t stuck to what he believed in, we’d be reading a very different story in our history books.

Lincoln’s presidency demonstrates that you can’t be everything to everyone, so find out what you’re good at, and stick to that. For example, if you’re not a low-cost provider, don’t try and be one. You’ll only muddle out your value and become a “me too” funeral service provider.


Lesson #5: Take risks.

“The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt wasn’t one of our “founding fathers”, but he can be seen as one of the most productive presidents of our time. He built our Navy and more than 150 national parks and forests, wrote 35 books, won a Nobel Peace Prize, played a huge part in amping up the U.S. foreign policy (and many other things).

Through taking huge risks, Roosevelt made a few mistakes, but accomplished more than most presidents ever have. What we can learn from him is that taking risks at your funeral home may not always be safe, but the faster you can make mistakes, the faster you can learn from them!

See…our Founding Fathers did know a thing or two about funeral service! So while you’re eating your BBQ ribs and watching fireworks, be sure to give our Founding Fathers a nod… after all, their timeless advice is worthwhile.

Happy Fourth of July from the funeralOne team!


What are some of your favorite quotes or lessons from our Founding Fathers? Share them in the comments below!

Skip Willoughby


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