Mid-Year Resolution Check Up – What Have You Accomplished?

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goalAt the mid-year point, past the July 4th holiday…. time to take stock.

All those resolutions I made on January 1 – how have I done? How many have I checked off my list?

True confession time: I have NOT lost all that weight I was planning to lose this year, nor have I quit smoking (well, seriously – I never started so I didn’t really have to quit anyway). I’m not saving any more money this year than last, and I haven’t read the Bible or War And Peace.

Yikes. Time to get a move-on.

OK – your turn. How are YOU doing with your resolutions as we make our way into the second half of the year?

Of course, I have my excuses…. don’t we all?

As business owners, we have our goals for any given year, too.  You might have determined that this year you wanted to:

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What Private Patient Advocates Can Learn from Paula Deen*

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pauladeenHey y’all!

If someone had asked you on the June 20, 2013 to describe Paula Deen, you might have described her as a bubbly, vivacious, popular Food Network star, author, well-merchandised cook or chef.  Whether or not you liked her, and no matter what you thought of her approach to food, you at least had to admire her empire and popularity.

Over the next week, her empire collapsed, seemingly because she fessed up to using the N-word during a lawsuit deposition.*

The bigger they are, the harder they fall.  It makes no difference whether or not Deen’s fall was fair or right. It happened.  It remains to be seen whether she can recapture what she had.

We can think of other well-known people who have “fallen” too.  Tiger Woods, OJ Simpson, even Martha Stewart and Bill Clinton.  With varying success they have come back to their original popularity, although for the rest of their lives, their names will always be accompanied by an asterisk.

Do you see any patterns?  Except that they were all “big” – until they weren’t – it seems their only similarity is that each made a misstep, even though their missteps were entirely different.

But let’s look at the bigger picture here, because it’s through the bigger picture that you’ll see why this point is important to you and your patient advocacy practice.

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We Get By With a Little Help from Our Friends

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ringo(Can’t you just hear Ringo in your ear? and yes, if you understand that reference, you’re dating yourself!)

This week I was reminded several times about all the folks who are trying to develop their patient advocacy practices on their own, thinking they need to conquer it all by themselves.

They don’t.  They shouldn’t. And they run the risk of failing in business until they start thinking differently.

Here’s why:

  • Patient Advocacy is a time-intensive, hands-on undertaking.  Each client needs a great deal of attention, usually immediately.  Yet time isn’t something we can find more of; there are still only 24 hours in the day.
  • Patient Advocacy is intense, and no one person can be that intense 24/7/365.  To stay healthy ourselves, physically and mentally, we need down time, and relaxation time, self-care time.
  • Life happens.  We all deal on occasion with family emergencies or last minute “surprises”.  Like times we ourselves might get sick, or when a family member needs us.
  • Patient Advocacy represents many skills and broad knowledge, far more than any one single person can know or do by him or herself.
  • (add your own reason here)

Unfortunately, too many of us learn this the hard way.  An accident, a sudden illness, a death in the family….

If you were pulled away from your business tomorrow, who would keep it afloat for you?

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With a Nod to Dr. Phil – How’s That Workin For Ya?

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drphilTrue confession here – I am not a HUGE fan of Dr. Phil’s. However, in the early years of his TV show I used to watch on occasion and felt like he made some great points about the choices we make and how we live our lives….

Here are some of my favorite Dr. Phil-isms:

  • No matter how flat you make a pancake, it’s still got two sides.
  • You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.
  • That dog don’t hunt.
  • Opinions are like asses. Everybody’s got one!

And then there’s the one I find most applicable to decision-making, when things just don’t seem right and I’ve come to a crossroads…

  • Just how’s that workin’ for ya?

During the past few months, facing one specific difficult decision, that saying has rung in my ears many times. Eventually, just this past week, it resulted in a big change for the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates too.


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Obamacare Seeks Navigators – Is There a Role for You?

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navigationIt seems that word is getting out about one of the aspects of the Affordable Care Act that hasn’t been highlighted much before now.  That is, the role of “navigators” and “in-person assisters” as they are called by the government.  Many of the folks who read this blog are interested in whether there is a role for them (especially whether they can make any money from such a role!)

The answer is – maybe – but probably not.  Because these “navigators” may not be what you think (or hope!) they are.

Here’s why:

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