hustle

All That – But Missing Your Bag of Chips?

Over the years, I’ve met, discussed, emailed, pleaded, and thrown my hands up at (probably) hundreds of advocates who have never truly become professional, independent, practicing advocates. They might have told you they were/are advocates. They SAID they were in business. But their efforts were half-hearted. They didn’t ever ACTIVELY go into business. Instead they joined an organization, or set up a website, or printed business cards, or told their friends they were in business… they might even have listed themselves in a directory or two… But it was all very half-hearted. Why? Because of that idea that they weren’t …

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Need More Clients? 3 Marketing Realities and Resources

marketing target

“My directory listing doesn’t attract enough clients. What am I doing wrong?” “I get calls, but we hang up the phone without a contract! What am I doing wrong?” “I finished working with my client and don’t have anyone else to help. Now what?” These are questions I am asked frequently and repeatedly. Maybe you have the same ones! The answer to each one relates to marketing.

Coloring Outside the Lines

When people ask you what you do for a living, what do you – as an independent health / patient advocate, or care manager — reply to them? It would be simple to say “I am an advocate” which, then, may require further explanation. That further explanation would likely include examples of the kinds of work you do (I attend doctor appointments with seniors. Or, I manage medical bills and negotiate them when they are too high. Or I help people figure out what their own choices are for treatments… or…. ) That further explanation is always valuable, especially if …

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3 Myths About Building an Independent Advocacy Practice

The real shame of this new series of posts is that it’s the result of feedback from people who gave up on their dreams of starting and growing independent, private advocacy practices. The further shame is that all those patients who they might have helped will not get their help, and may never get what they need from the healthcare system. Over the years, hundreds of people have come and gone in our profession. My educated guess: for every 10 who take the early steps toward fulfilling their dreams, only 2 or 3 have succeeded. Further, the people one might …

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Top 10 “Best Of” APHA Posts: 2017 in Review

As 2017 comes to a close, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the blog posts you, my readers, considered to be most worth your reading time. Using post analytics, I’m able to see how many of you have read each of the 44 posts from 2017. Then, accommodating for the fact that some posts have been online for 11+ months, while others were just posted recently, it’s easy to tell which ones captured your imagination (or google’s search interest) to make the assessment. So here are the top 10 posts (well – OK – I …

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5 Lousy Excuses for Walking Away from an Advocacy Practice – and 1 Very Good One

stop making excuses

The blame game has been on my mind recently after several emails or phone conversations, plus the results of an exit survey offered when APHA memberships expire. In all cases, people gave reasons (as in, excuses) for why they felt like it was time to give up their practices or let their memberships expire. In almost every case where someone actually started a practice, then decided to step away, they blame some part of their practice that didn’t work out. They wanted to be independent advocates. They certainly expected to succeed when they got started. Their passion and drive were …

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Advocates Are Afraid to Do This – Until They Love to Do It

Earlier this year we hosted one of our APHA Workshop weekends*, with about 30 individuals who are somewhere in the process of growing an advocacy practice. The APHA Workshops were originally designed to support the BUSINESS of advocacy only. The idea was that most advocates have abundant skills and abilities to advocate – they’ve advocated for themselves and loved ones, and sometimes non-family patients for years. What they didn’t know was how to successfully start and run a sustainable business / practice to allow them to do their advocacy work. For five years, we hosted those original workshops all over …

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