The One Thing That Will Cause Your Private Advocacy Practice to Fail

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The One Thing That Will Cause Your Private Advocacy Practice to Fail

Here are samples of some inquiries I have received from people wanting to be advocates. See if you can guess what they all have in common: I want to help Medicaid patients find doctors who will take their insurance. We plan to help children with mental health issues find the help they need. I want to help young girls who find themselves pregnant find the social services they need to get them through their pregnancies. I want to work with churches and senior centers to help their members and attendees understand their medical care. I want to help lymphoma patients with shared decision-making about their treatment. I want to help children in _____ County who have neurological disorders. (The county named is in a poor, rural part of a southern state.) One thing they have in common is that everyone of them has a noble and worthwhile mission. They have developed missions that come from each inquirer’s heart.  There is no doubt there will be people who need them and who they can help. But that one thing they have in common is also the one thing that will cause them to fail in private practice, too. How so? They will fail in private practice because there will not be enough paying business to keep them afloat. To be clear – if they want to do these things as volunteers, on their own time, at their own expense, some may be very successful!  Certainly those folks they hope to help can use their help.  For those of us with money trees in our backyards (or sufficient savings) to allow us to be advocates without the need for income from the work we do will find plenty of people who can use their help. But in order to be in business – a real business that provides you with an income – you need to provide services that people will pay you to do, and pay you enough to cover all your expenses plus income for you, too. If you don’t perform services with a clear-cut, willing and able payer, then…

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