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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Employers as Clients – Pushing the Right Buttons and Avoiding Landmines, Too

employee benefits button

One great idea for marketing our advocacy services and acquiring new clients is to reach out to employers to encourage them to hire us on behalf of their employees. When done well, and right, it can be a win-win-win situation for all involved, and in the end, the patient-client-employee feels extremely well served. Seems pretty simple, right? Well, maybe not so… Many independent advocates have attempted such outreach in the past, only to be met with brick walls and great frustration. I think they just didn’t have enough knowledge about the HOW and the WHY. So that’s a bit of …

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Science, Darwin, and Advocacy Ethics

“Back in the day” there was a piece of advice that admonished us to remember that if you went on a first date, or when you invited the boss to dinner, or while you were at work, or during similar scenarios where you needed to be aware of the sensitivities of the company you kept, you should make sure you avoided conversations about religion and politics. The reason to avoid those conversations with folks was clear: you always wanted to be sure you didn’t offend someone else at the beginning of a friendship or relationship or ongoing with people you …

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When It’s Time to Use IDK

time out

No one can ever be expected to know everything about everything at the moment they need to know it. Yet, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about medical providers – and too many health advocates, too – it is that there is a major reluctance to say “I don’t know.” It’s as if the fact that they don’t know something reflects on their ability to be useful. As if they are “less” because the answer isn’t right there in the front of their brains and rolling off their tongues. I just don’t think that’s right, or fair, or kosher. Whether …

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Confessions of a Failure

duck - failure concept

Think of the successful business people you know or know of. They probably run different kinds of businesses, even non-profits. Their businesses are different sizes, too – from solopreneurs to multi-national conglomerates. They represent different sectors of business from manufacturing and selling products to offering personal services – and everything in between. What is the first thing most of them have in common? Most of them, at one time or another, have failed. Some of their failures were highly visible – and well publicized. Some of their failures are never to be spoken of (meaning we have no idea what …

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Beware Those Wolves in Sheeps’ Clothing

wof in sheeps clothing

This post was originally published in July 2013, and was updated in July 2020. Two unrelated stories have crossed my path, but their bottom lines are the same. It’s too easy to be fooled. Story #1: … is based on a scathing article from the Wall Street Journal about the amount of money medical device companies pay to the doctors who use their products. The story is mostly focused on investigations from the Justice Department starting with one doctor who lived and worked in California, Dr. Aria Sabit, who insisted on using certain spinal implant products because he owns part …

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