I was in a little gift souvenir shop a couple of weeks ago and came across a little card that really got me energized. It was from a company called quotablecards (www.quotablecards.com). On the cover of the card were a series of quotes that spoke to life in general, a number of which really sparked me. It got me wondering why do we so much value quotations, what about them inspires us, causes us to smile, nod with understanding or maybe makes us set our jaw firm and determine to do better / different /more.
It seems that some quotes just cause a great emotional response. “My name is Inigo Montoya” . Don’t movie quotes just cause a smile to jump to your face or maybe another one causes a tear to form in your eye or your heart to warm slightly or it makes you want to turn on a nightlight. Five words can bring an emotional rush. It’s like a small key opening a big room.
Successories (www.succesories.com) has made a business of using quotes as inspirational and motivation triggers combined with pictures. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. They have an incredibly large offering of everything that you could hope for in little reminders to fire you up. If fact, I believe that they may offer you the ability to
make your own.
Quotes can serve to steady your ship in the midst of the chaos going on around you, reestablish your focus and get you back on the path. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” I think it is often that we need gentle reminders we are part of a larger community.
And lastly, quotes also teach us / remind us / hit us along side the head with a two by four about the larger things that we forget about while we are involved in the day to day to day to day minutia that is our lives. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son”. I should tattoo that one to the inside of my eyelids.
I love quotes. They are like vacation photographs that say so much more than what is visible in the picture. “Great things do come in small packages”.
I’m really an accountant at heart (and at mind). I love numbers. I love the logic of them. I love the way things fit together. I’ve been involved in manufacturing /production for a long time and the things that I like most about production is the pattern of it all. I love the elegance of MRP (Material Resource Planning). There is a real beauty to the method of it.
When we bought McDonald Containers, I worried about the parts of a business that require the skills and passions that I don’t have. Mostly, the sales end of things. How in the world would someone who is most passionate about logical things ever going to be able to deal with the softer side of business? I knew that I was going to have to get out and meet Funeral Directors and visit funeral homes and really get to know people and try to understand their needs. This was not a skill set that I had. I have a friend that I envy in this area. He is the most engaging individual and is probably one the the best “people persons” that I know.
So, what to do, I needed to just get out there and do some visiting. I found that funeral directors are some of the most considerate, friendliest people in the world (even to people making sales calls). I have visited maybe a thousand funeral homes over the last 5 years and I don’t think that I have ever been turned away harshly. I’ve met many directors that were willing to set aside what they were involved in to spend a couple minutes with me at the drop of a hat. I certainly am not a skilled communicator and need to work every day on how to listen better (just ask my wife), but you guys and ladies, have turned this into (dare I say it) an enjoyable part of my job.
We were in upstate New York last week on vacation and I took some time to visit with some of our customers in the area and it confirmed how much I appreciate working the the funeral industry. One funeral home I visited, the director was in the prep room occupied, but was willing to free himself up to spend a couple minutes chatting and letting me get to know him better. Another director was in the middle of preparing for a service and also was kind enough to give me about 15 minutes of his time so we could get to know each other better and discuss how we can work together.
I just wanted to say thanks to all the funeral directors and staff members that I’ve met over the last six years and say that a I really am thankfull to be involved in an industry that is so relational at it’s core and kind in its interactions.
One of the funeral homes I visited while I was in New York had this beautiful wood entry door and I thought to myself that there are many lovely funeral homes around the country but what is really beautiful is the character of the people inside.
It was my daughter’s last day of work today. She is returning to Clemson in about two weeks and we have a little vacation planned first. She has worked with us for four summers now, during high school and now after her first two years of college. Her major is in entrenpenuerialship and her goal is to have her own business some day, but probably not this business. She needs to leave her own mark first.
I had an uncle who was a farmer. He had 5 sons and probably would have loved to have one of them take over the family farm when they grew up, but all of them chose different paths. Was he disappointed? I don’t know, I need to ask my mother some day (it was her brother). I also worked for Bissell, Inc. in a previous life and I remember that they had a rule about Bissell family members had to first work somewhere else and meet certain educational requirements before they could join the management ranks in the family business.
Is a family business a good thing? It’s been wonderful to be able to spend time with my daughter and see her start to connect the dots about how a business operates, but I worry that I’m too hard on her or not hard enough. She hopes to have a business internship next summer somewhere and I think it will be great for her to see how other businesses run.
We didn’t get into business to have something for our kids to do and I can’t say that I’m disappointed that they want to do their own thing. What’s that about “if you love something set it free”? If someday she (or her brother) finds what I do intriguing, I might enjoy working with them again, but I think that exposure to other ways of thinking will do them a world of good.
So, is this a family business? We love our family and have had a number of them wander through over the years, but I think they all need to find something they are passionate about and charge into it. “Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life”.
- Guess which one is Michelle. Yes, I’m smiling.
Michelle has been the voice on the phone over the summer and you may have talked with her, so you may miss her. But she is blazing her own path and looks to create something that only she could do. Yes, I think this is a family business, because we love families and, even if none of our family works here, they are still one of the biggest reasons that we get up in the morning and come in.
It certainly is the digital age. I know I spend more than an hour a day on the web and I’m sure that the generation behind mine is spending significantly more time. What does this mean to doing business? Is it good or bad or just the new rules of doing of business?
My father is 79 years old and he has a facebook page and knows his way around the web almost as well as I do. My mother-in-law (in her 70s) lives in a couple of places around the nation to soften the change in seasons and she probably stays as well informed about goings on as if she were only in one place (via the web). If “information is power”, then we must be the most powerful people that history has ever seen.
So, change may not always be good, but I would rather ride on the train than get hit by it. We have attempted to use the net to reach out, not only to new funeral homes, but also to our current customers. We feel like the better we know our customers and the better they know us, the better we are able to serve them.
The revised website has been about 2 or 3 months in the making. We wanted it to be more than just a presentation of our products. We attempted to give you a glimpse of who we are and what we are trying to accomplish. Why? I don’t know if I have a “business philosophy”, but I think that too often the supplier / customer relationship is adversarial and we don’t want to operate that way. We hope that by letting you get to know us better, we can be on the same page. I think that our goals are not mutually exclusive. We both want to serve our customers and make a reasonable profit doing it.
I hope that this revised website helps you determine if we are the type of company that you want to do business with. We feel that includes so much more that just if we have the lowest price (although our goal is to have that as well). Please give us a call if you have any questions that the new site does not answer or if you want to give us feedback or (we hope) maybe you would like to place an order with us.
Hey, thanks for visiting and we certainly hope that the revised website helps you decide if McDonald Containers is a company that is a good fit for your mission of helping families through a very difficult time.
There have been many changes recently for McDonald Containers. We’ve moved to a new (bigger!) facility, started working on a new website and, most importantly, added an oversized cremation tray to our product line.
Since we’ve moved up and out, we decided to start a blog. We are hoping that we can use this to connect to our customers on a more personal level and also keep you up to date with the on-goings at McDonald Containers.
The most current update is that we’ve moved our facility from Peeples Street to 740 South Edisto Avenue, Columbia, South Carolina 29205. It is only about 8 miles away from our previous location, but double the square footage!
We have only been here a couple of months, but so far we have loved the new location. We have really utilized the high ceilings and created a layout that fits us best. It seems to really exceed our needs!