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The Advice That May Tick You Off
In 2012, I blogged about this very topic. One ticked-off reader then attacked me on Twitter. A day later, both she and another member of The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates left the organization, both citing the post. Ouch. But it was good advice then, and it’s still good advice today. So at the risk of provoking additional readers, I’m going to wade into those waters again. Since most of us are self-employed, in the process of either starting or growing a professional practice, you’ll find that this advice will serve you very well, even if it IS maddening or frustrating to you. Why now? Why this timing? What is it about this time that compels me to offer this advice again? Because we’re already experiencing the heat of a new presidential election cycle. You can’t encounter news media without seeing, hearing or reading about a political candidate and what he or she said or did to incite voters. And when we do – OH! – we immediately react with an attaboy or attagirl – or disgust – but rarely do we just experience that headline or story with complacency. Candidates’ stands on the issues, and often their behavior, are highly polarizing. Politics and healthcare are so closely related they cannot be separated. The ACA/Obamacare, abortion rights, birth control, stem cell research… And it’s not just about politics and healthcare. Other lightening rod issues like the economy, gun control, foreign policy, immigration, global warming, gay and other civil rights…. Almost any political issue can come between you and your success as an independent, private, professional advocate. Thus this advice for you – YOU, who are a new, relatively new, or soon-to-be business owner, someone who must now consider the well-being not just of yourself and your loved ones, but of your advocacy practice, too…. The advice: Stay silent in public about politics, issues and your opinions. Period. In person, online, or anywhere but home. Here’s why: As a professional, you must be focused directly on your client and his or her needs. The minute the two of you disagree on…