tools

Where In the World Are You Today?

I used to wish I had a secretary or admin, if only to answer my phone!

These scenarios may sound familiar to you: 

  • You’re in the middle of writing up an assessment or report – and the phone rings.
  • Or, you finally take a vacation, and you keep getting phone messages that require a response – because your business is your brand, after all.
  • Or, you find yourself in meetings all day with not a minute to return a call.
  • Or, any of a dozen other scenarios where your time, on any given day, is committed, or just not your own. 

But the phone doesn’t stop. And you feel like you need to answer – or reply quickly…

I have found a solution that takes about one minute a day and works even better than having (or paying) someone to answer your phone!  As follows:

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The Third Question to Ask a Prospective Client

A few months ago we looked at the FIRST question to ask a prospective client.  That first question is actually a self-defense move; making sure you aren’t getting yourself into a problem with someone who has been advocate-hopping and avoiding payment.

Find that First Question to Ask a Prospective Client

The second question to ask them is their first name. Yes. Just their first name at first, so they won’t think you are trying to delve into their personal business, or their situation too far, before they are ready. Should the call progress and you know they’ll be comfortable sharing their last name, too, then it will be time to ask more.

And then – Question #3 – this is a question to help you too!  Asking this question, and getting an accurate-as-possible answer can help you save time, money, and frustration.

What’s that question?

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The Solution to the Paralysis of Analysis

Years ago, I wrote on the APHA Blog: Just Can’t Throw the Switch? The Analysis of Paralysis

Wow!  What a nerve I touched with the point — that sometimes we spend so much time worrying about what might happen if we attempt something big (like starting a new business) that we are too paralyzed to actually take the leap.

So let’s take a look at that leap…

Yes – it’s a biggie!  And while it’s not to be taken lightly, there are some truths that might help you take the leap.

First – let’s define it:

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Ask for the Money

It sounds like a simple task, doesn’t it?

And yet, in all these years, I have found that the lack of ability to ask for money is one of the most consistent barriers cited by those who either decide not to open an advocacy practice, or those who fail after hanging out their shingles.

In my last post I wrote about a non-solution – creating a non-profit organization. So many who want to be advocates but don’t want to ask for money think that if they start a non-profit, they won’t have to do that dirty ask-for-money deed. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Instead, here is the simple truth:  if you can’t ask for money, you will not succeed at becoming an independent advocate or care manager. Because, if you can’t ask for money, you will not get paid for your work. No one is going to simply write you a check or give you their credit card number if you don’t ask. If you can’t and don’t get paid, your independent practice can’t succeed.

Logically, then:

If you CAN ask for money, then you’ll probably do just fine, as long as you have estimated correctly how much to charge a client.

If you CAN’T ask for money*, then either you need to learn to do so – or – you might as well walk away from your dream or desire to become an independent advocate.

If you’re one of the folks in the “Can’t Ask” group, and you truly want to make the leap to the “Can Ask” group, then here are some ideas for you:

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A Simple Switcheroo

Doesn’t it drive you crazy when you are trying to fill out a form, or log into a website, or anything else that requires you to use a login ID or password – and it just won’t let you log in?

It happens on computers – Macs and PCs both. It happens on tablets, and phones. And it happens anytime you’re expected to use your private info to log in.

Then it will tell you – oh! – just reset your password!  So you do. Only to realize that whatever device you are using has saved your old login information and keeps overwriting the new info. 

So frustrating!

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