At some point in our lives we’ve all received bad advice that in retrospect we know we should have never listened to. But the worst advice is not advice at all. It comes in the form of negative naysayers who convince us that we’re not good enough, smart enough or strong enough to start a business or pursue a career dream. I asked two CLNC® consultants to share how they almost let naysayers extinguish their fire for their new legal nurse consulting businesses.
While at the Houston CLNC Certification Seminar in 2006, I bought a magnet that simply said “Houston.” I put it on my refrigerator to remind me that this week in Houston had changed my life and my career.
I came home energized and ready to build a CLNC business. I was fortunate to have many contacts in the legal field because I worked as a professional liability claims manager in the healthcare industry. I began talking to people I knew, many of whom delivered discouraging messages.
Falling into the category of “worst advice I ever followed,” I accepted the advice of these naysayers and continued for two more years in my comfortable corporate nest with great benefits and no risk; though the desire to have the flexibility and the autonomy of an independent legal nurse consulting practice continued to nag at me. (Maybe it was my “Houston” magnet.)
In March 2008, I attended the 13th Annual National Alliance for Certified Legal Nurse Consultants Conference in Las Vegas. The theme was “Go All In for CLNC Success.” Vickie challenged us with her 5 Promises; one of which really hit home, Promise #2, “I will go for it or reject it outright.” The promise gave me pause and made me ask myself: was I willing to reject my dream outright? Going all in was intriguing, but I am not a risk taker by nature. I married a wonderfully exciting risk taker, so I had decided that I was the one in the relationship who had to be the stabilizer.
Timing and circumstances in life have a way of changing the way you view yourself. The comfortable nest I enjoyed with my employer began to be shaken a bit. I had enjoyed a lot of flexibility, but was advised that the flexibility would soon end and my in-office time requirements would be more strictly scrutinized. In the past I had the flexibility to work from home two days a week. This had made transitioning into motherhood the first time and maintaining my comfortable corporate nest a breeze. At the same time I learned I was losing this flexibility, I also learned that I was expecting another baby. I was given three months to make a decision about my future plans with the company.
I am a person of faith and have a great belief that God directs our paths. I sought His counsel through much prayer and believed that it was time to “Go All In!” I discussed the move with my risk-taking husband. He was on board. He began to challenge me to start making calls, “get out there and sell yourself.” My husband is a great salesman. As the saying goes, he could sell ice cubes in Alaska, but I am not bent that way. I have always hated trying to sell anything and certainly didn’t want to have to sell myself. Nevertheless, I took his advice and spent the summer sending letters to every person I knew in the legal industry and dropping off sample work product to help build my CLNC business.
I found a law firm seeking a full time in-house paralegal with medical experience to review cases. This was my chance! I responded with an email to the ad suggesting that what they needed was a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant to navigate the medical issues in their legal cases. To my surprise, they called to set up an interview. I went in armed with sample work product and wowed them with my ability to educate them on the medical issues in their legal cases. I walked away with my first case. They have fourteen cases waiting in the wings.
Meanwhile, some of my old contacts have come through. One was a call to review three cases from three different attorneys. I am going all in. To my chagrin, my husband was right!
The best advice I took was to “go out and sell myself” even in the face of the naysayers. I went out and sold myself and now have a growing, flourishing CLNC business. I am excited about what going all in means for my family and me. To this day that Houston magnet still sits on my refrigerator reminding me of a seminar that really did change my life.
Laura M. Averette, RN, MSN, CPHRM, CLNC
The worst advice I listened to or contemplated listening to, came from dream squashers! You know who they are. They can be friends, peers, parents, relatives, associates, spouses and the list goes on and on. They are individuals who try to make you feel that you are going to fail or have failed at doing something new. Dream squashers try to make you believe that if you don’t immediately gain instantaneous high-level financial success, then you must be a failure. I guess some dream squashers might have good intentions but I’ve come to realize, good intentions or not; don’t listen to them and distance yourself from their squashing messages. Most dream squashers have never been risk takers. When you talk to them about your passion to become a successful legal nurse consultant, you soon find out that they really don’t know what they themselves are passionate about. They want to squash any passion they see in others since they know they lack passion and creativity themselves. Listen to your heart, follow your dreams and couple your CLNC knowledge with action to gain meaningful success! Remember: Knowledge + Action = Success!
Lawrence H. Frace, RN, CLNC
Comment to congratulate Laura and Lawrence for not taking someone’s bad advice.
Success Is Inside!