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3 Myths About Building an Independent Advocacy Practice

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3 Myths About Building an Independent Advocacy Practice

The real shame of this new series of posts is that it’s the result of feedback from people who gave up on their dreams of starting and growing independent, private advocacy practices. The further shame is that all those patients who they might have helped will not get their help, and may never get what they need from the healthcare system. Over the years, hundreds of people have come and gone in our profession. My educated guess: for every 10 who take the early steps toward fulfilling their dreams, only 2 or 3 have succeeded. Further, the people one might expect would be the successes have, instead, given up. Why do so many walk away? Because before they started, they assumed things about starting and growing an independent practice that just aren’t true, usually without realizing they had made an assumption. So that’s our topic for the next few posts: The myths that too many advocate wannabes buy into, eventually forcing them to walk away from their dreams. We’ll begin with the first 3: Myth #1: Advocacy is just a service, so since I already know how to be an advocate, it won’t cost me anything to get started. If you think of advocacy as sitting in a home office, talking on your home phone, and doing research on your personal computer, then you’re right, it doesn’t cost you much of anything. But that’s not what advocacy is. And doing no more than that sets you up to fail. Building a successful advocacy practice requires us to set the stage for being successful. It’s about investing in yourself to support your success. Start-up costs include marketing (including a website), developing financial processes (possibly hiring an accountant), obtaining liability insurance (which may cost you thousands of dollars), joining one or more professional organizations, and more. And if you think “do it yourself” means it’s free, think again. Succeeding means you understand and embrace the concept of “time is money.” If you’re spending time doing administrative tasks, then you aren’t working with a paying client. If you don’t have enough paying clients,…


 

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