Whinery – How to Make Your Fortune

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Whinery – How to Make Your Fortune

Maybe you’ve heard that old joke: Know how to start a winery and make a small fortune?… Start with a large fortune. On my recent visit to California, I was reminded of that joke. I was teaching APHA Workshops in San Diego and it came up twice:  first because one of our attendees brought me a bottle of wine from her northern California neighborhood (thanks MR – delicious!) and second…. Because we followed the money to improve attendees’ chances for success – great success! – as private, independent health and patient advocates… amidst some “whining” – because it’s a topic very few like to think about. Here’s why and how: Most of the huge-hearted souls who decide to shift their careers to advocacy haven’t been business owners before. They have been doctors, or nurses, or even teachers or social workers, or enjoyed a career in something totally unrelated to healthcare (like me!), many of whom have worked in large bureaucracies or practices or corporations, but weren’t in charge of the money as it came in or went out. They haven’t had to deal with capitalization, or cash flow, or budgets, or balance sheets, or other workers’ paychecks before…. In short, they really don’t know how to deal with the money aspects of their business. As a result, too many end up losing so much money that they decide to (or are forced to) step away from where their passion lies. They go out of business not because they weren’t great advocates, but because they didn’t handle the money well enough to sustain it. Who loses?  Those advocates – and the hundreds of patients they might have helped during their careers.  Every job, whether we’re working for someone else or for ourselves, or (in our cases) for clients who hire us, has its tasks and requirements no one likes to do.  They are the necessary evils of work and success. When you work for someone else, those tasks are assigned to you whether you like it or not.  When you work for yourself, whether you own a pizza shop or you…


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