Confessions of a Failure

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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 they are.) In some cases they lost life savings, or millions of dollars, or years of time.

What is the second thing those who failed have in common?

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Turkish Lore and Sir Francis Bacon Suggest a New Approach to Workshops and Bootcamps

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It’s been a conundrum, now solved.

It’s been a wish, now solved.

It’s been a challenge, which has now been solved, and solved with a solution that will continue to grow the profession of advocacy (hopefully) far into the future!

Announcing…

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Beware Those Wolves in Sheeps’ Clothing

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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 of the distributorship company and is making money in a half dozen ways – from kickbacks to distributorship profits – over each surgery he does.

But the story-within-the-story is that Dr. Sabit is also named in 12 lawsuits over the deaths of people who died as a result of his surgeries – and who had received those implants to help them live better-quality lives. It matters little whether the fault lies with the implants or the doctor’s skill level; those patients are dead.

But there’s more to the story, of course, and unfortunately, it’s not a part of the WSJ article.

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“I’ve done advocacy for friends and loved ones all my life. Now I just want to get paid for it!”

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I wish I had a nickel for every time someone told me “I want to join the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates because I’m good at advocacy, I’ve done it for years for friends and family, and now I just want figure out how to get paid for it.”

Honestly?  Sometimes those words make me want to scream, because I know they will never make that leap.

The problem is, no matter how simple the answer, no matter how many opportunities they have – the majority of people who can make that statement will never be paid for independent advocacy work.

Why not?

The answer is actually very simple (it’s only four words!), and is provided below.

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Bogus Claims Will Come Back to Bite You

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(This post is being published in May 2020 – in the midst of the pandemic – when many advocates are working from home, and hopefully taking time to update and improve their business practices. I hope the message here rings true for those of you – the few of you – who need it, and that necessary changes will be made accordingly.)

…..

True confessions here! I met my husband on Match.com. We met and married in 2006. Today we continue to live our happily ever after.

Prior to meeting him, I dated a handful of other (so-called) gentlemen I met on Match.com who weren’t “all that”. And, sad to say, (or, at the time, what seemed appalling to me) when I met them in person, after reading their profiles and seeing the photos they had posted, I was amazed at how much they had either stretched the truth or, in a couple of cases, out-and-out lied. From posting photos that made them look 30 lbs lighter or 20 years younger, to claiming they were far younger than they were, to saying they were widowed or divorced, only to learn they were really married… yikes.

(I had to wonder how little regard they had for me, or any other woman they hoped to connect with, that they didn’t think we’d ever figure out the truth? Then what?)

So what does this have to do with building an advocacy practice?

Plenty.

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