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The Health Advocate’s Olympics
Like many of you, I have been glued to the Olympics for more than a week. I stay up very late every night (and have to drag myself out of bed in the morning!) to watch athletes who can twist or turn or propel their bodies in ways that seem practically inhuman. A mix of awe, pride, respect and, when it comes to Chinese badminton players, incredulity. Watching the athletes and the competitions, I realized there are some metaphorical similarities between what they do, and what we, the pioneers of the profession of private health advocacy, are working to accomplish, as follows: • Invisible Preparation These athletes, no matter what country they hail from or what their personal background is, have spent years preparing for the opportunity to compete in the Olympics. We don’t see them. With few exceptions we don’t even know they exist and are devoting their lives to the pursuit of their Olympic dreams. Then when the Olympics roll around, they must perform at the very top of their games. To our clients, our preparation is the same. We are working and working to improve and perfect our service delivery. But until patients really need us, they don’t even know we exist. And once they find us, they expect us to be at the tops of our professions, available to improve the quality or extend the quantity of their lives. • It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint No, I’m not talking about the 50 meters vs the 1600 meters, or the 100 meter dash vs the long distance runners here…. instead I’m talking about the long term investment in creating a worthwhile service business. I hear from newly-in-business advocates who are frustrated because their phone isn’t ringing the moment they print their business cards. They think that just because they say they are in business means they should be busy and successful. That’s not so different from me stepping outside my front door and running to the end of my street, then wondering why I can’t be eligible to run in the Olympics. Or wondering why, when…