Ep. 142 – Todd Harra’s “Last Rites”

You’ll die trying contain sensitive subject matter and conversation surrounding death and dying and
may not be suitable for all audiences listener discretion is respectfully advised. We have a show. Yes,
not just this show you’ll die trying not just the obituary which
follows, you’ll die try but months ago, you said you wanted to. You wanted to tour. Let’s tour the
funeral home. Let’s see in person. All the ins and outs of the funeral home. That’s
that’s common. That’s common because we have a show. And we’ll talk about that show soon. But for
now, let’s talk about this show season two episode 140 of you’ll die trying a show which pulls back the
curtain and takes down the walls Brick by Brick exposes the hearts of those who are caring for those
who love most. Listen to the people. Listen to them. That’s what our service is about. That’s why
we’ve created cremation jewelry and made our monuments taller and added black to the casket
selection and did this and did that it’s not because we want to make more quote unquote money or
this or that or make things more difficult. It’s because you asked for it. And you know, Mama gets
what mama wants. I hear all kinds of old men, not old but older men say mama gets what mama
wants. She wanted that or V. You asked a few months ago for a tour of the care center and not just on
tick tock at Nathan Morris music, which we just surpassed 300,000, which is ridiculous. But you said
on tick tock and comments we want to see in person a tour. So we came up with this little plan, we
devised the plan. And so we’re doing that. Not only are we going to do that, but we’re going to show
the community of Glasgow, Kentucky who has shown us so much trust and support and hey, I need
you for the last two years, we’re going to create an opportunity to gather as a community. And we’re
going to put on a show at the historic Plaza theater August 6 7pm. Tickets are on sale right this
second. And if you want a tour of the funeral home, then be sure to head over to Nathan Morris Of course you can hear stuff about this podcast, but they divorce That is
where you can buy tickets, you can buy VIP tickets, right this second, get all kinds of really cool stuff. meet and greets. tour of the funeral home and that night, a show with yours truly, yes, I’m going to
be performing music. And we’re going to immerse the audio experience with the funeral world it’s
going to be really special to say the least co headlining with anthem. Lights, grab your tickets, right
this second at Nathan Morse You’ll see get tickets really big and red. You can get VIP
tickets and get a tour. You can get general admission net proceeds, as always, are going to benefit
the National Suicide Prevention, lifeline and their efforts to always be available to answer the call for
those of us in need. Special thanks to everybody who has made yet the brand new single, so
successful, like over 124,000 streams on Tik Tok alone, and just over 36 hours that was insane.
Special thanks to everybody that the team the people who believe in what we’re doing, and why are
you releasing music? And why are you doing this? And why that you’re a funeral director? Yes, I am. I
am a funeral director. And I believe that meeting people where they are is paramount. Right? And
isn’t it pretty amazing to know that there are people in this world who will at a moment’s notice drop
everything for you, but are also creative and perform and have a podcast and do fun stuff like shows
for the communities that they serve because they love them and give of themselves tirelessly. I’m not
tooting my horn. I’m just saying that’s that’s what I do. That’s why I do what I do. And I’ve always
created and I will continue to create because if I’m not creating I do not feel as if I’m living which is a
very odd thing. Maybe to you to hear but that’s fact. Again, thanks for everyone streaming yet it’s
available on all platforms. Of course. There’s an eighth Morse Grab you those tickets right
this second again proceed, you’re gonna benefit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and none of
this would ever be possible. If it weren’t for our friends at Big turkeyfoot coffee, there’s going to be
coffee they’re not going to lie. I mean, you don’t go to a Justin Bieber concert and get coffee but you
go to a Nathan Morris anthem light show and get a coffee. Thanks so much to the guys and gals that
big turkeyfoot coffee head over to You’ll Ford slash shop grab a bag grab some of
that brown brew swag, you know, again, net proceeds National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
EFF Express funeral funding thank you so much as always working tirelessly on the back end to assign
insurance proceeds to cover funeral expenses on the front end, the most important and funeral
directors can gather with family so they can create a meaningful celebration families can gather grief,
celebrate someone so deserving, and not have that looming balance do hanging over their heads.
Again, eff working tirelessly on the backend they have a function called family pay where the funeral
home is able to advance funds from that insurance policy directly to the family. Yes, it is called family
pay. It is real Morris family does utilize EFF and I encourage you to reach out to them visit Express
funeral and learn how they can benefit you and tell them that You’ll DieTrying sent
to you. Have you ever thought about becoming your own boss? I mean, I have I did. It’s important and
maybe you’ve always wanted to run a business and management and I want to tell you I have a thing
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Sorry, I’m finishing attacks. I’m humbled by Justin asking me to be at reference for him on his resume.
He just graduated from nursing school. So kudos to Justin and absolutely is what I said. Actually. I said
my gosh, I’d be honored. I realized the path of least taken is the most difficult path. years of math
match books and newspaper ads and Kleenex with your logos and parish bulletins and cups and
napkins and pins and bags with your logo and Boston gold. It’s always been that way not always but
those things over time were added and then they become the status quo. And here we are.
Introducing new tools for getting our names out there. We just completed a first responders luncheon
and tonight is actually a dinner and one of our homes. We are We’re flipping our own burgers and
brats and we’re handing out plates to our first responders, EMS, police, fire, sheriff’s, all the first
responders who are at a moment’s notice available to you, and you and you. And we’re just as a way
to say thank you, handing them a burger, sprats, whatever. My point is, they’re always outside of the
box thinking here. And there tends to be a little noise that is created there. All of which is good for a
community. I mean, if the intention is genuine, then the response the receiving of is appreciated. It’s
the unknowns. It’s the social media. It’s the Snapchats and Twitter’s and Tik Tok, this scares this
profession, maybe, I believe it does to a degree. And I also realize culture and a profession, and field
where it is so important to be mindful of attentive to the hearts and needs of those who are caring for
those. And it doesn’t seem as if it is a top of mind. As if it is a top of mind priority. I said today on a
zoom call that I obsess over culture. We have a culture, code, a culture, deck of cards, if you will,
which we are proud to pass on to all of our new team members, existing team members as a
reminder, even people who are just affiliated, whether they’re vendors or third party of sorts we like
to we are proud of I send it to many, I think it’s important. Culture happens, it is going to happen. It
exists. So if you’re at a place a majority of your adult life, let’s be honest, and in funeral care, it’s like
29 hours a day. Why not? Be excited to be at the place in which you’re there. Performing works.
Culture happens, so help curate and create one you’re proud of. I realize that the first step I know
what the first step is. I really get it. It’s one of the first pages of the culture code within Morris family
and for made it so difficult. But the first step is simple. It’s what’s your guiding light? What is it? Yes,
answering why you do something is what creates the movement, in my opinion. 1,000% Martin Luther
King Jr. I just saw a TED talk a few years ago, and he said he had a dream. People from all over all
walks of life, all colors would pack in these hot buses and travel just to hear this man speak. Because
he believed in something, traded the movement. He answered the why and people came in droves.
Right. So he shared his guiding light that says Why, and our guiding light is to delight families,
specifically speaking, and I quote delighting families, everything
that then follows revolves around that. It’s that simple. That’s how we created the culture. That’s our
that is our that is our North Star. delighting families is our guiding light from there. We then put into
the place of how are we going to do that? So we started to ask team members what what can we do?
Being innovative, being progressive, being thought leaders, actually jumping in the cold water and
not just dipping your toe trying something new. putting yourself out there on social media, offering
another opportunity to educate people so that they can make educated decisions. Stop printing
$13,000 worth of annual calendars. Calendars are on our phones. I think they’re beautiful and great
and we’re awesome for decades. It’s going to be a tough thing to start but necessary because do
calendars speak to the hearts of the recipient. It’s For the longest time, something I thought was
rocket science. And when we started taking over the operation of Haley McGinnis, and then Morris
family, and afterwards, it’s the first thing that we tackled in 2013 was culture. Why would people want
to come into the doors of a place where they sense and feel animosity and heaviness and disdain and
unhappiness? It’s important that the insides of your four walls are representative of what your
ultimate goal is. And why do you do what you do? I remind myself why I do what I do. Often, when I’m
pacing around my backyard, getting random places of poison ivy on my legs, I don’t even know where
poison ivy is in my backyard, when I pick up my sticks and drop them in my burn barrel. And when I
decide to rake the corner of where the pull stuff is, and all those leaves that tend to pile up over
there, it’s maybe dumb to you, but you actually might understand and I think and remind myself why
I do what I do. And I do what I do, because I genuinely believe that everyone is worthy to be loved
and cared for i I’ve thought that since my mother began instilling that into me, who my mother retired
yesterday, and my mother three years ago, was heading up this massive payroll, shift new software,
building it from the ground up and implementing it for hundreds and hundreds of employees. And it
was a three year nearly build, actually 24 months roughly. But I remember those times and the
seeing the level of commitment. And my mother is a no fuss, no fuss, don’t fuss, don’t give me a
tension person. And I witnessed a room filled with people from multiple departments across different
companies join and share their love and admiration for my mother, as a co worker, employer,
employee, and person and friend and I looked at her and spoke on behalf of my brothers that I have
never been more proud of her in my entire life. My mother grew up one of eight. My mother raised us
three boys to be men. My mother did not have a college degree and was in the workforce during a
time when being a female and not a college degree meant that you were the bottom you were the
very bottom. Never ever using that as a crutch. Excuse complaint means to be little someone else for
they’re doing her wrong. She worked and started at this company as an administrative assistant.
And then worked her way around her place was given an opportunity and thrived, continued to thrive.
And a 35 year old man who moved here from out of state stood up to say wow, it’s weird for me to
acknowledge this at 35. But you know, you are my mentor, and hero. I look up to you. My mother who
never wants a fuss. I mean, so much so that the people putting on this retirement luncheon at the
tables had just black tablecloths. The plates were blue and that was it. And there was a dry erase
board that says we will miss you Elizabeth. Because my mom is all about everyone else, right? My
mom’s why I believe since I was a baby was for my kids. Because my kids are why I go to work. My
mother went to work until the day she had me. Think about that. And there are a ton of incredible
people out there that work hard I had no but I am going to spotlight my mom because my mother has
never once ever once wanted the spotlight but has all I always deserved it. It is amazing what can
happen. When you answer why a roomful of people from all walks of life and multiple departments
across two companies stand one after another, after another, with tears in their eyes because they
will miss what my mother has done her by in her support her encouragement, her kind words her
hard work, her intelligence, my mother, no college degree, Rose, Rose, Rose. Because why. She to, on
top of loving her sons, believes in loving others and doing unto others. Culture happens to be a part
of something that you can be proud of. Within the culture. And I think the homework, create a culture
code. They’re out there. We mimicked and mirrored one we have reached out to we have sought
advice. We have researched companies because culture, culture retains people, right? You want to
have a place where people are so excited to come teach them everything where they outdo you.
Right never suppress, ever create a place for them to thrive, be themselves be authentic. You know,
here, you’re here, your four walls, the four walls will absolutely bend. They’ll bend and mold and
stretch. Stay inside them though. Policy Yes. Culture? Hell yes. I just want our profession to be hyper
focused on culture. Communicate, be efficient. Be thorough, of course, this profession is mostly that I
have no doubt, communication. I think there’s room for growth in all aspects of communication. Yes.
Be culture driven. The community will sense it, the people will sense it. Most importantly, your people
who serve at your right and your left will be forever. proud. I’m proud of my mom, Elizabeth, and you
have earned it. She has worked 52 years. Never once a handout has been asked of her. She is
incredible. And to those of you who made my mother feel loved and continue to thank you. She is my
first love. And I am forever grateful for the life that she worked tirelessly to create
and maintain for my brothers and myself amidst so much. Heaviness, adversity. Create a culture
you’re proud of, because culture happens. What’s your guiding light? Why do you do what you do?
Most importantly, first? What’s your guiding light? Be sure to follow me on Tik Tok at Nathan Morris
music. Grab you some tickets for that show. Visit Nathan Morris Get your tickets right this
second and let me know that you did that.
Send me a little thumbs up or a tickets emoji over it. At Nathan Morris on Insta at Nathan Morrison
ticket. Already said that at Nathan Morris on Twitter, follow the podcast You’ll DieTrying podcast.
And then of course, Mike and Christine on the obituary. They’re killing it. I love their dynamic. They’re
like they’re like peas and carrots. They really are. They’re their best friends and they’re my they’re
my friends. I appreciate them. I appreciate you. Thank you for streaming yet. Thank you for
supporting everything I do. Thank you for getting tickets to the show. I’m excited to hear about your
culture code. happy retirement mom