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What Does It Take to Be an Overnight Success?
If… … I could wave a magic wand, and any potential private, independent patient advocate who reached out to me for support in getting his or her practice up, running and successful would be just that – an overnight success! Well, OK. Maybe not. In the past few weeks, in my usual email or phone exchanges with dozens of patient advocates, there have been recurring themes. See if any of these sound familiar: Business is picking up, but I really could use more. Business is slower than I would like. I’m not sure how long I can stay afloat. I can’t quit my job until I know I’ll have enough business to support myself. I tried, but I don’t get enough phone calls so now I have to go find a job. Then there are those who say nothing at all – who just, one day, decide they aren’t going to try any more because they believe success has eluded them; their expected flock of needy patients didn’t dial their phone numbers or sign contracts. If one of these thoughts feels familiar, then this post is for you. I’ll start with the truism that is well established for any start-up business, no matter whether we are talking about a private advocacy practice, or Walmart. That is – there is no such thing as an overnight success. The US Government’s Small Business Association tells us that it takes 3 to 5 years for a business to know whether it can become successful and maintain that success. Uncle Sam even hints at that fact by giving us three years to show break even or profitability on our income taxes. But for some reason, many of the people who decide to become advocates think that they will be overnight successes. They think that, contrary to all the evidence, they will buck the averages — and voila! Their businesses will thrive just because they hoped they would. If you think about it, we wouldn’t really want it to be too easy to be successful. If it were so easy as to hang out a…