Overcoming Ba-a-a-ad Habits That Sabotage Your Success

If I want to be a hand model, then I should not bite my fingernails. Agreed?

If I stuff my face with cookies when I’m trying to lose weight, then I will probably not lose much. Right?

If I can’t sleep and I keep drinking coffee, then I may be preventing myself from falling asleep. Not a good idea!

Not unlike the effects of these bad habits, over the years, I’ve identified many B-A-A-D habits that stand stand squarely in the way of the ability to succeed at being an independent health or patient advocate or care manager.

No, they have nothing to do with biting your finger nails or stuffing yourself full of cookies – or even sheep! Instead they have everything to do with how you respond to inquiries from potential new clients in your efforts to guide them to do what you want them to do:  hire you and pay you.

Today we’re going to look at Ba-a-ad habit #1:

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Does Your Phone Number Match Your Location?

We are a mobile society, aren’t we? “They” say (yes, I often wonder who “they” are!) that Americans move an average of 7 times in their adult lifetimes. Personally I’ve skewed the averages myself, having lived in 9 states, with 19 moves.

I know moving!

One of the big tasks we have to manage when we move is to change addresses on everything from bank accounts and bills to magazine subscriptions to holiday greeting cards.

That done, most of us think – whew! – there’s no need to change our cell / mobile phone numbers! Keeping the same number means we can stay in touch by voice and text without skipping a beat. Right?

Possibly no.

Because, if you own a practice, you probably can’t afford a mismatch between your old number and your new location.

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More Professional Email Tips

A few months ago, we looked at creating a professional email address – just the address itself, and not the practicality of how it might be used.

Today’s tip fills in that practicality gap, because there have been a handful of times in the past couple of weeks where email addresses became a headache to deal with!

Whether you are just beginning to develop your practice, or you’ve been working in advocacy for a while and think a change is in order, or possibly for one of the reasons cited below, here are some tips to help you manage your email and appear more professional.

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Rubbing Elbows

As a patient advocate in private practice, especially if you are a solo practitioner, it can get lonely to be the only one who really understands what your work life is like. Believe me – I know this!  I’ve been self-employed, working from home, since 2001.

No coffee pot convergence early in the morning. No water cooler chat. No one in the employee break room, or popping over to my desk to say, “Let’s grab lunch!”

No distractions (welcome or otherwise.) No commiserating. Just me, my phone, my computer, and… silence.

Yes. If that’s your situation, too, then I get it.

Some of you are reading this thinking, “Oh my! Sounds like heaven!” But if that’s what you’re thinking, you probably haven’t worked for years at home by yourself 🙂

Truth be told – I love it. It fits me. I get a LOT done! And when I walk away from my desk in the late afternoon, I have often crossed many tasks off my list.

But there is one HUGE (and I do mean HUGE) downside to this sort of work environment. That is….

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What Could Go Wrong? Managing Expectations. Establishing Boundaries

Mrs. Franklin is 87 years old and has several old-age-related health challenges. Although her husband died many years ago, she has lived quite well on her own since then. Her son, Jimmy, lives 800 miles away. She has no other children.

Jimmy Franklin has hired you to be his mother’s advocate; to attend appointments with her, to arrange for her transportation to those appointments, and to provide feedback to him about his mother’s health, including her cognitive abilities. He reports that she’s been forgetful lately. He’s also worried something will happen and if she needs hospitalization, he wants to be sure you’ll be there to advocate for her, at least to stay with her until he can make travel arrangements.

The stage has been set….

What could go wrong? Plenty. Here is an example, and some must-do tasks to go along with it:

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