And They Called it Puppy L-o-o-ve

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firstlove< ….cue Paul Anka or Donny Osmond…. >

….  Remember when you were a teenager in puppy love?  Oh! You couldn’t stand to be away from the new person in your life!  You knew you would love each other forever – but the rest of the world that was getting in the way of that love. THEY thought you were too young, but you knew better! ….

And they called it puppy love
Oh I guess they’ll never know
How a young heart really feels
And why I love her so

It was the highest of highs, finding love for the first time!  Like no other, you couldn’t imagine feeling any better than you felt at that point in your life.

Hormone-driven passion… the dopamine, serotonin, estrogen and testosterone… Giddy with new-found love, you took chances and made stupid decisions….

And, as happens with any risk… sometimes you got caught in compromising positions – sneaking out, passing notes in class, or even the ultimate in getting caught when you thought no one else would be home….

At the extreme you might have even paid an “ultimate” type of price. Your reputation, a teen pregnancy, a total rethinking and reshaping of your future….

Of course, what we all know about puppy love is that it doesn’t last. The reality of puppy love is that you eventually have to deal with the real world (like parents and money!) no matter how distasteful that might seem and no matter how much it appears, at the time, to shatter your dreams. Few puppy love relationships last longer than a blip on the radar of a lifetime. Yet, we learn so much from the experience.

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Common Courtesy and Who Owes What?

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Hysterical brunette talking with two telephone receiversIt was a desperate plea from a young women (we’ll call her Bethany) with a real problem:

Bethany had been through several years of infusion treatment for services rendered outside of her network, beginning while she was still a teenager. Her insurance company covered the service (because it wasn’t available at all within her network). So insurance had paid Bethany’s mother for each claim, and then her mother paid the infusion provider. The problem was that, over the years, the mother had paid less than the total amount due – and then she passed away.  The infusion company got in touch with Bethany and insisted on a lump sum payment for the balance of well over $100,000, payable within five days or they would take her to court.

Desperate (Who wouldn’t be? Could you come up with an unexpected $100,000+ within five days?) Bethany began trying to find help. She found a few advocates online and phoned them.  One advocate recommended Bethany get in touch with me. Of course, I don’t do advocacy work myself, so the only recommendation I could make was that Bethany connect with additional advocates through the AdvoConnection Directory….  I didn’t hear anything more until…..

A few days later, I heard from one of our members who Bethany ultimately contacted – the one who took Bethany’s case, negotiated it and got it straightened out for her. But the advocate was stunned and frustrated by something Bethany told her, so she forwarded that frustration on to me.

That is….

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The Best 3 Minutes and 16 Seconds You’ll Spend Today, This Week, Month or Year

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mikiagrawalOne of our APHA members* forwarded this video link to me, interested in the idea posed about starting one’s practice before it is perfect.

So I watched it…  And watching it was perhaps the best 3 minutes and 16 seconds I have spent on business motivation in a very long time. So I ask you, too, to spend your next few minutes viewing it – then come back here for a few comments….

Standing Out in a Noisy World

<tap> <tap> <tap> <waiting for everyone to come back to this post….> <tap> <tap> <tap>

OK – so in those few minutes I heard a very young and clearly experienced and knowledgeable Miki Agrawal** sum up the mental approaches and attitudes it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.  (I am truly impressed!)

Her suggestions, and her approach, are spot on for those who think they want to start and grow a patient advocacy business! I’ll provide some highlights here because they are so valuable.

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The Best Way to Find New Clients

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… Isn’t by osmosis.

An email arrived this week – one that is representative of dozens, maybe hundreds of others just like it I’ve received in the past few years.  It asks “why can’t I find any clients?”  It represents others that have asked that same question, or similar, like “how can I market my business? or “how can I get my first client?” or “what am I doing wrong?”

I receive these frustration emails 2, 3, 9, 10 times a month.  Frustrated not-quite-advocates who want to start and grow a health advocacy practice…

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Ripped from the Headlines…. a Warning for Health Advocates, Too

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commonsenseA kidnapping and murder last weekend raises questions for all professionals who work one-on-one with strangers….

If it can happen to a real estate agent, it can happen to a health advocate, too.

I’m referring to the headlines about Beverly Carter in Little Rock, Arkansas.  She was a real estate agent who had gotten a call from a stranger to show a home she had listed for sale.  And then she disappeared.  Her body was found several days later in a shallow grave.

See that second sentence?  “She was a real estate agent who had gotten a call from a stranger to show a home she had listed for sale.”  It could just as easily have said, “She was a patient advocate who had gotten a call from a stranger to discuss the problems he was having with his medical care (or medical bills.)

Like real estate agents, the nature of the work we do is to help strangers.  In fact, if we don’t help strangers, then we won’t stay in business for long – it’s not a choice, it’s a necessity.

Common sense should tell us never to just show up at a stranger’s home – and yet, I have no doubt that many of you reading this post have done just that.

And as you read this post, you are thinking, “well, sure, but….. “

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