Last week’s post about the Paralysis of Analysis – the situation that many almost-professional private patient advocates find themselves in – those who hesitate to take that last step – the step of reaching out to new people and asking for payment for their services – the switch from volunteer (I can do this, I’ve done it dozens of times before) to paid professional, in business, make no excuses, doin’ it for a living paid patient advocacy….
It really struck a nerve.
One advocate wrote and asked whether I’d been reading her diary. Another said she felt like Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver (“You talkin’ to ME?”) A dozen posts in the AdvoConnection Forum (undoubtedly representing dozens of others who read those posts but didn’t comment themselves) indicated that yes – guilty as charged – they just can’t do it.
What’s “do it”? They just can’t ask for money. They’ve been helping others for free for years, either loved ones or friends – and they hesitate to make that leap from volunteer to paid professional.
I understand that! It’s hard to ask for money in the same ways it’s hard to toot your own horn by telling the world about your successes. Asking for money for your professional expertise is a lot like bragging – and of course – as we were raised, we were all told not to brag! This is particularly true for women, those of us who have grown up in a society where our contributions and hard work have often been undervalued. (I note that none of the emails or Forum posts came from men…. )
So how is it that some advocates HAVE been able to make the leap successfully? What do they know, and what are they doing – and doing well – that others just can’t bring themselves to do?