I am learning how to breathe again. You will never believe what happened. I called an attorney’s office last week to get an appointment. I spoke with a receptionist who accidentally sent the attorney-prospect a note saying I needed a consult for a medical malpractice case. He called me and left a message giving me his direct number. So when I heard his message I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I returned his call, got him on the phone and explained that I was a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant and explained the CLNC® services I could offer. His firm had just lost their legal nurse consultant. He asked me to come and make a presentation. So I am going to knock this out of the park.
To have a better relationship, a better CLNC® business or a better life, often all you have to do is be willing to invest in the smallest of ways. Invest today to ensure your comfort tomorrow. Stop the insanity, i.e. all the excuses for why you can’t, won’t or shouldn’t do something. Today is the day to commit to one small action.
Tom’s Tuesday Tech Tip: The Best Christmas Gift Ever for Myself and Hopefully for Certified Legal Nurse Consultants
Christmas was just three days ago (it’s hard to believe that there’s only 362 shopping days until the next one) and many of you are probably still digging out from under mountains of discarded wrapping paper, cardboard boxes and all the various flotsam and jetsam leftovers after Christmas. Vickie and I have moved toward simplicity — with music and books being our primary gifts to each other.
This holiday season everyone has different wishes, hopes and expectations. Children experience Christmas so differently than we adults do. Sharing the joy of a child at Christmas is one of the most beautiful things I’ve experienced. Especially when they get the one gift they’ve always wanted their entire lives.
Over the years I’ve run into students at my CLNC® Certification Programs who can’t easily answer a simple question. When you ask them what time it is, they proceed to tell you how to build a watch before they can say “It’s 11:15.” When this happens I want to shout, “Objection, non-responsive!” in the middle of a long, obviously rambling answer that has nothing to do with what I’ve asked them. I’m sure you all know someone like this. Hopefully that person’s not you.
The ability to “answer the question asked” is a quality successful Certified Legal Nurse Consultants must possess. Attorneys are crazy-busy people and don’t have the time to listen to unnecessary details or rambling communications. Attorneys are like the police on the old Dragnet TV series: they want “The facts ma’am, just the facts.” The next time you’re in an interview with an attorney-prospect and he says “Tell me about yourself” he’s not asking you to regurgitate your autobiography; he really wants to know what you’re going to do to help him win his cases.
If you veer off, even just occasionally, start today to retrain the way you think.
Tom’s Tuesday Tech Tip: What I Really Want for Festivus and for Certified Legal Nurse Consultants (the Rest of Us)
This year is almost over and there have been a lot of advances in the tech world. Computers are faster, bigger and smaller and Windows® 7 works better than anyone expected. Pocket cameras are better than ever. Smart phones do everything but shop and cook for us. But there’s still a lot of technology advances to be made that I think will improve our lives. I want to end the year with my personal tech wish list for 2011 and hope that some of you Certified Legal Nurse Consultants share a few of these wanton desires with me:
I was speaking with a woman, Jean, who wanted to start her own business. While we were talking I realized I couldn’t determine what was driving her, so being the direct person I am, I went straight for the jugular and asked her, “Why do you want to start a business?” She was equally blunt in her answer, telling me, “I want money to buy nice things, a nice car, nice clothes and a nice house.” I believe in pay-off, but this type of drive for starting one’s own business is, in my opinion, hardly a mission statement.
Contrast this with another young woman, Lauren, who I have mentored to start her own business. Her business model is actually more difficult, requiring investors, a large front-end capital outlay and a commercial lease, but I predict she is more likely to succeed. Why? Because, unlike the first woman who was money driven, the second woman is driven not just by the passion of wanting to own her business, but also by the passion of the business itself. In other words, she fervently believes in what she is creating. Now that’s a formula for success.
At Vickie Milazzo Institute we have lots of policies and procedures. Not as many as we had at the hospital, but still enough to fill an electronic employee manual to overflowing. One of my favorite policies is the Institute’s “Interruptions” policy. This simple policy sets up a hierarchy of reasons and times when a person working “on drive-by,” as we call a closed door, can be interrupted. The intention behind this policy is to give us all the space and time we need to do that work which calls for uninterrupted concentration. Of course, this policy is routinely and regularly ignored.
I love reading about new computer accessories so that I can share new discoveries with my CLNC® amigos. Other than Vickie, computer accessories are my sole vice. Like probably every Certified Legal Nurse Consultant out there, the workspace on my desk and around my monitor is decorated with toys and clutter. I’ve got a talking Kin g Julian from Burger King (who reminds me that “I’ve got to move it, move it!”), several Jack-in-the-Box “Jack” heads, photos of Vickie and ME, friends, family and past-NACLNC® conference Top Tens and Tomentary™s, the odd screw or other connector from projects I’m sort of working on and lots of stickies with my reminders of the things I’ve got to move them, move them. If there is a pattern in the chaos, I haven’t discovered it yet.
In my 28 years of legal nurse consulting education, I have personally mentored thousands of Certified Legal Nurse Consultants and CLNC® graduates. After all these years, I still love to mentor. I think it’s in my DNA and I like knowing that the advice I’m giving doesn’t come from a textbook or some other expert. I’ve lived it for 28 years and I always pride myself on the fact that my advice is real and grounded – there’s no fluff. Of all the mentors at Vickie Milazzo Institute, I’m probably the toughest. I’ve always lived a “buck-up” lifestyle and don’t like it when a person makes excuses for why they can’t do what they know they have to do to succeed.