Tori Dixon | Licensed Funeral Director
Give us your full name.
Tori S. Dixon
Share the kind of work you do.
I am a Licensed Funeral Director and a Licensed Professional Counselor
How did you come to do this type of work?
I believe that both professions were a calling from the Lord. I did not intend to pursue either of theses careers, but the Lord had other, better plans for me. It wasn't until I completed my undergraduate degree that I knew the Lord was calling me into the helping profession--first as a Funeral Director and many years later as a Professional Counselor. Isaiah 61:1-3 has been the foundation upon which I model my career.
Can you share the risk in pursuing doing the work you love?
I believe that in order to reap the harvest and reward of truly helping people and changing lives, there will always be risks involved. Because I am in the helping profession, I am working with people who have experienced emotional trauma be it from grieving the loss of a loved one or some other life event. Whenever there are emotions involved, you can run the risk of burn out or becoming emotionally attached with persons that you were unable to help for one reason or another. In these cases, I trust that God placed me in their lives to either plant or water a seed that He will ultimately be responsible for giving the increase.
Tell us a few things you have to be consistent in to do your best work.
Be consistent with your word, with your vision and with the pursuit of your goals. Working consistently on your vision is what makes it become a reality.
What do you do to keep learning how to do your work better?
I am always sure that I surround myself with people who know more than I do about what I do. I try my best not to be the smartest in the group. There is much learning to be done when you humble your heart to the idea that there are others who know more, have more experience and perspective that will challenge what you know. This attitude produces growth and allows for me to work better.
Who are the right people for you to surround yourself with in order to be successful?
I think I alluded to this answer in the above question but I'll elaborate here. People who share the same values and understanding of what defines success as I do is helpful. Some people define success by how much money they make; other by how many lives are changed by the work they do. I'm not saying that either is right or wrong however, I'm saying that it is important to align yourself with people who share your value system when it comes to defining success. I think it's also important to surround yourself with people who believe in you and in your dream. That doesn't mean they'll agree with you, but they will support you.
How do you go about planning for a project or your day?
Honestly, I don't really have a system. I'm a forward thinker and I work with my calendar to keep important dates, meetings and deadlines in the forefront of my mind. I like to have an idea of what I'm doing the next day the night before so I can pray for guidance on how I need to handle the day's events.
How do you measure your progress?
I measure progress one step at a time. I have to remind myself to celebrate the small steps. There are a few projects with giant steps ahead but every small step I take toward that goal, I celebrate.
What's been one of your favorite moments doing the work you do?
I always get excited when a family or client says they've been helped by the work we've done together. That's what brings me the most joy. I recently received an email from young lady that I helped plan and complete the funeral arrangements for her mother. She was so grateful for the work we did together and said it helped her on her journey to healing. That email was a reminder to me that I'm doing what I'm suppose to be doing and it's the fuel that keeps me going.
When working on a project, what tools do you use for communicating with your team and/or clients?
In this technological age, I often communicate through email with my team and clients and through email primarily with clients. I think communication is so important and whatever feels comfortable for myself and my clients/families is what I use. Each client/family will be different so I make adjustments when necessary.
Do you have a project or product that you want to highlight today?
Right now, I'm working on a project to help eradicate the stigma of mental illness. Mental health is near and dear to my heart and I am working to get the help and resources to millions of Americans who go undiagnosed and untreated. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that nearly 43 million Americans have a mental health disorder and many of those are never formally diagnosed. We must end the stigma of mental illness in our communities and encourage open, honest and caring dialogue about mental illness. One of the ways we can do this is to support organizations looking to increase the presence of community mental health centers--to return mental health support to local communities for easy accessibility to those who need services.
Tell us what you have discovered in life that you can share with up and comers who want to do the work they love?
There's an old hymn of the church entitled, "Hold to God's Unchanging Hand". The song starts with these words, "Time is filled with swift transitions." This is a reminder that I'd give those up and comers who want to do the work they love. You do not have time to waste. Pursue your passion with a sense of urgency. Always remind yourself that your life's passion has at its end, the passion of another who's waiting on you to walk in your destiny. What you're doing today will affect someone else's passion tomorrow. Don't wait for next month, next week, next year, when the money is right, when the timing is right, when everything feel right. Those of us who are doing what we love begin our work in unfavorable conditions but we weathered the storms and did it anyway. Time waits on no man--that includes you!
What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?
You'll get better--at life, at knowing who and Whose you are, at being who you are and at loving who you are; just don't give up on you.
What book are you reading right now?
I'm reading several books. A few of them are professional in nature (I don't want to bore your readers) and "31 Days of Prayer for your Future Husband"
Who are some people you admire in your line of work or other entrepreneurs?
I have a dear friend working on a nonprofit for kids teaching them how to code and build websites. Though his line of work is totally above my pay grade, I admire the heart and passion he has for children, education and the future of our children in the area of technology. I'm also working with another young entrepreneur how's the owner of a funeral home. This has been her dream since she was nine years old. Getting to see her walk in her passion every day brings an unspeakable level of joy to my heart and I'm so proud of the work she's doing in her community.
Where can people find you online?
You can find me on Instagram at: @tori_lpc; twitter: @graciouslyTori
Share the last good movie you watched?
Get Out was the last good movie I saw. It was such a provocative way of looking at some of the social issues in our America.
Which of your friends or family members probably tells the best stories about you?
My mother definitely has some great stories. I'm too afraid to reveal the names of others--to protect my privacy. :-)
What's been your favorite travel destination?
I must admit that I haven't done much traveling. I'm playing a trip to St. Croix to celebrate my 40th birthday later this year--I think that'll be amazing!
Have any good music you're listening to at the moment you would like to share with us?
I listen to a little bit of everything but nothing in particular.
Last question - what do you want the world to remember you for?
I want to be remembered for the woman who loved God, loved people, and helped as many people as I could.