Monday, August 17, 2015

Hire This Bitch Advocate!

It is so hard to care and be strong for someone at the same time. As my brother’s advocate I’m a ferocious, tenacious, determined lioness. When his mental and physical health are out of synch I cannot afford to take the time to “feel.” I have to go into overdrive in a proverbial boat with only one paddle. My brother holds the other oar, which is not accessible when he’s in trouble.

It is so important to have both oars in place before you hit the rapids; namely, power of attorney and/or signed consent forms. When my brother is well he insists that he can take care of his own health care; he refuses to sign the necessary forms that allow me to navigate the system when he is not well. While not impossible to row with only one oar, it makes success more difficult and less likely.

For the last three weeks I have been riding the rapids with only one oar. My brother’s health was fairly stable; diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and mental illness…the waters were calm. Suddenly my brother was having seizures which were incredibly frightening not just for us but for the other tenants in his group home. What had changed?

 My brother told me that week he saw his psych doctor; they took him off Zoloft and put him on Prozac. That was the only change. The emergency medical teams gave him glucose, but he refused to go to the hospital; his blood sugar was around 45.  It had happened the night before but no one knew it; he was alone in his room and was embarrassed, so he didn’t tell anyone. The next day his blood sugars were low again and he walked into the emergency room. They gave him glucose and a sandwich and sent him home, knowing that the EMTs had treated him the day before. The following day he had another seizure and 911 was called; this time he went to the hospital.

As soon as I got a call from one of the group home employees, I called the hospital. My brother had told them not to talk to me about his medical condition. I told them that my brother’s directive did not include prohibiting their listening; I gave them an earful. I ran down the history of the past week along with his medication list, and the phone number of the In Home Supportive Services worker who took care of his meds. I also advised them that my brother should not be released until he was stable without medical intervention (IV glucose) for a long enough period of time. I gave them the names of his primary physician and his psych doctor. I told them that the only change was the Prozac, that I felt there was an interaction causing his blood sugar to crash, and that he had never had the problem when he was on Zoloft.  They listened.

After my brother’s release he was still having low blood sugars. They did not put him back on Zoloft and he was becoming increasingly paranoid and depressed and anxious. He was afraid he was going to die. He was not sleeping. He was disturbing the other residents at 3:00 a.m. because his blood sugar was low. Yet he was making excellent choices for diet. I called his primary physician; they listened. I called his psych nurse; she listened. Then I got a call from the house manager; he was at risk of losing his housing. Then I called the psych nurse again; she listened so well, that she spoke: “You just said the magic words. If he is at risk of losing his housing, we have the ability to intervene.”

Suddenly I had a voice; Donna from a special program at Behavioral Health called everyone to the table and they got together. I got a call from the physician’s nurse: “Your brother said I could talk to you about his meds.” They took him off one of his diabetes meds; his blood sugars are no longer low. They were talking about putting him back on Zoloft and would decide in a week.

That week was loooooooong. My poor brother, going through withdrawals from the antidepressant and worried he was going to die one day and fine the next, was labeled a psychotic and threatened with hospitalization. I intervened and brought forward his history, the full story about what was going on, and the demand that hospitalization was not necessary if he was self-aware and being supported. They listened.  

Today, it all came together; the rapids are calmed…a booster shot of Prolaxin, a prescription for Zoloft, and an observant nurse who will call the physician about the huge amounts of water my brother is drinking which only reduces body salts (increasing pressure on the brain and the thought process.)

Tuolumne County’s hospital was closed quite some years ago but they kept the Behavioral Health Hospital in tact for as long as the budget would allow. Five years ago, the budget ran out, the mental health hospital closed, and all they have is three beds that can only be occupied for 24 hours, and an awesome staff.  Without their listening and understanding, without their appreciation for advocates like me, where would I be?! I’d be up a creek without a single paddle. I shudder to think about what that would mean for my brother.

Now, and only now, can I “feel” as a sister. Now I can cry tears of fear, frustration, anger, hopelessness, and gratitude. I often feel that I am a “bitch” when I am an advocate; it makes me feel guilty and rude but I will be a bitch if that is what my brother, or any other client, needs me to be. Until the water calms, my brother and clients, and their families deserve peace of mind that their loved ones are being properly and accurately cared for.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Elevator Pitch

photo of elevator business planning advocacy advocate health mission statement monarae-beads Steve Snodgrass
As I'm building my business, and talking to people about it, I feel uncomfortable. Advocacy is something I "do" much more than I talk about. I've been having a hard time finding the right words to describe what is always a very complicated and involved process.

Today I found the words that describe what I need: Elevator Pitch.  The idea is to describe your business in the time it takes to go from the first floor to the top. Here's my pitch; tell me how many floors we went!

photo of elevator help button elevator business planning advocacy advocate health mission statement monarae-beads Cory Doctorow

I am building my health advocacy business. I provide resources and management services to clients and their families who are experiencing complicated health and living issues; I also help prevent negative experiences with planning services. Unlike insurance and hospital advocate employees, I give 100% allegiance to my clients, who receive the best and most affordable resources, care and planning for various stages of medical and living circumstances.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

How to Find Love, and Keep it

Tears started flowing in the first 30 seconds of this video. Tears I COULD. NOT. STOP. It was as if someone else was crying. It WAS someone else crying. It was the true me; the one I hide from.

At first I was like, what’s up with these tears?! Then I was like, I want a man like that.

photo of insecurity imperfection love loyalty safety overweight acceptance music video monarae-beads AndYaDontStop

When I shared this on Facebook I said, “If you can’t feel like this, if you can’t SAY this, then it isn’t love.”
I then realized, this little voice inside me was saying, if you can’t feel this way about yourself, if you NEED to hear this, then you can’t handle this kind of love.

photo of insecurity imperfection love loyalty safety overweight acceptance beauty society monarae-beads Classic Film

I know I need to love myself. I think I do love myself. I’m proud of myself. I love my body, well most of it. But there is this perfection that I seek, that I cannot find, that keeps me from seeing what is truly there.
There is a part of me that has been taught that if I am fat, if I am ugly, if I am less than (fill in the blank), then I will not be loved; worse, I will lose whatever it is I think love is.

What touches me deeply in this video, is when he says, “I’m not going anywhere.” That is all I want; safety, loyalty, forever.

photo of insecurity imperfection love loyalty safety overweight acceptance beauty society monarae-beads
We Heart

Lovers of women who are reading this, yes we need to love ourselves, but we need to be TOLD we are worthy of that love. We need to hear a voice that is LOUDER than our inner demons/ego. We need to hear it often, especially when we don’t believe it is true. Sure, we should love ourselves, but we are women, and we are taught not to trust in a society that historically, perhaps as far back as the first encoding of our DNA, that what we think is not important; only what they think about what they SEE is important. And actually, all the same is truly said to lovers of men.

Woman or man, you need to speak the truth about your love. Don’t take it for granted.

Friday, July 17, 2015

How to Name Your Baby

photo of
Courtesy One Way Stock
I really need a name for my business and I can’t create a web site or new blog without one.  A name is so important!  When my father was in the hospital they kept mispronouncing our last name; how disrespectful to a man who was literally on his last breath!  Even The Bible makes a big deal about knowing the names of all who came before you. Look at the struggles we go through naming our children.

photo of name words opportunity advocacy health advocate monarae-beads
Courtesy Phantomswife

A name has to be just right. "Words are the voice of the Heart" 

What is just right for my business? The name must offer an answer to the need of the client. The name must convey a sense of being helped, listened to, rescued, relieved, comforted, and supported. My clients are in a quandary over money; bills that are too high when they shouldn’t be, bills that are unaffordable, bills that are confusing, and fear of losing estates and a lifetime of building inheritance and earnings. My clients are confused and at a lost to find resources, or even to know that they qualify for known resources. My clients are in emergent situations; they don’t have time, energy, or knowledge to deal with the medical system.

photo of Book Cover Health Advocate Start Business Practice trisha torrey monarae-beads
Trisha Torrey

I joined the Association of Professional Advocates, attended a call-in seminar, and bought a book. I’m half way through The Health Advocate’s Start & Grow Your Own Practice. The accompanying workbook, and its answers, are the beginnings of my business plan. I’m excited by my cash flow statement; I will only be $25,597 in debt by the end of month 13! I actually feel good about that. I never saw debt as a sign of growth.

 August 8 is the first class at UC Berkeley… having second thoughts about spending the money. I will figure it out. I projected six grand for my educational spending for the first year.

photo of free tv hulu showtime advocacy health advocate monarae-beads
Free Showtime!

On other fronts, Showtime is free for 30 days on Hulu. I’m catching up on House of Lies, Shameless, and Ray Donovan. One of my tomato plants is not putting out new flowers! My zucchini and cucumbers are getting their first blooms. The weather is beautiful. My orchid has a brand new leaf!


photo of question answersadvocacy health advocate monarae-beads
Courtesy Walkn Boston
ANSWER THIS: What would you name my health advocate business? What words ring for you when I say,
“My advocacy provides financial and practical resources for you or your family members to help negotiate medical billing and auditing, doctor’s visits, hospital stays, insurance claims filing and appeals, diagnostic research, and estate and end of life planning. My allegiance is solely to you, not the hospital or insurance company. I find what you need in ongoing or emergency situations, with any health condition or status. I am your very own, personal advocate. I will fight for you.”?

Monday, July 13, 2015

I'm Having a Baby

photo of Business Plan, advocacy, advocate, small business association logo monarae-beads
Today I am researching Small Business Administration (SBA) resources. I’ve dreaded creating a business plan for years. Now I’m ready to dive. The SBA has a great online planning tool that lets me complete a plan at my own pace and guides me through all the necessary parts.
photo of having a baby, birth of a business, advocacy, advocate, monarae-beads
Courtesy Stephen Poff

The business plan is described by the SBA as a “living” plan; as if it is alive and breathing. What an “ah ha!” moment. People refer to their projects as their “baby.” My business plan is a living breathing baby; it is the DNA of my health advocacy business. What a cool way to think of it!

When someone raises a child and the child leaves home, they (we…I) experience “empty nest syndrome.” Often the cure to the syndrome is finding a new purpose or project or hobby or whatever…finding a new “baby.” The same thing happens when someone retires from a career.
photo of isaac newton, mona baroody, graduation, growing up, leaving home, empty nest, starting over, advocacy, advocate, monarae-beads
Currently my son is 18 and entering his 2nd year of college. I am not a typical empty nester because my son is still at home…well, sort of. At the local community college he has found a social life he didn’t get to experience in high school, so he is rarely home.  I get the security of knowing I will see him more than parents whose children are far away at school. I get the pseudo-security of letting him go more slowly; pseudo because it is a false sense…I couldn’t worry about him more if he were far away, than I do now.

photo of graduation, growing up, leaving home, empty nest, starting over, advocacy, advocate, monarae-beads
Courtesy Laura Hartog
One of the things that happen when we experience the emptying of the nest is the space to fill with a new focus…a new baby. I recognize that growth away from my son and toward my new baby, myself, is the best thing I can teach my son. Just as I am proud of my own mother for the wonderful life she has created for herself, my son will be proud of me too. I now realize that the success I have in growing “away” from him gives him the security he needs to grow away from me. He’s going through empty nest too.

photo of god, presence, universe, miracle, coincidence, starting over, advocacy, advocate, monarae-beads
Courtesy Alipyon
Holy Cow!  Cue “News Flash” music.  Enter voice: We interrupt this blog to bring you an important phone call. C. (that woman who you most often describe as “evil” and “out to get you” but has recently turned over a new and more pleasant leaf) has an important message to deliver; a local housekeeper, and parent of a childhood school mate to your son, is in need of advocacy and I’m putting her on the phone with you now. “I heard you do that kind of thing; I need your help.”


photo of ask and ye shall receive, presence, god, universe, mustard seed, horoscope, advocacy, advocate, monarae-beads
Courtesy Art Aspirations
Thank you God. Today’s message is loud and clear: “Do Not Doubt You Are on the Right Path.”
It started with a horoscope that said “Some of the paths you are exploring now seem a bit daunting, Aquarius. Don't worry about that- you are in your element now. Enjoy these new connections and paths you are looking into and really, give yourself permission to thrive in the things you're checking out.”
And the next thing I know I am helping a local woman whose ex-husband (father of her 5 children, 3 little ones still at home and the oldest only 20) needs a lung transplant. She’s been working alone trying to get him on the national transplant list and there are a few requirements he’s having trouble meeting and she’s thinking positively about future resource needs when he gets on the list. The Universe truly does conspire IN my favor!
photo of question the answers, advocacy, advocate, monarae-beads
Courtesy Walkn Boston
How have you noticed the Universe conspiring in your favor?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Manifest Destiny Advocacy

photo of Manifest Destiny Advocacy Advocate Veteran Moose Orchid Garden Bead Jewelry Necklace Flowers Monarae-beads
Courtesy of BK
I am present. The Universe and God are showing me loud and clear signs that things are happening. It truly does conspire for me. My vision of a Health Advocacy business expands more each day. I see myself broadening my education and filling my skills gaps. I see myself doing internships and publishing research. I see myself teaching and contracting with hospitals and social services departments. I see myself recruiting health and law students at colleges. I see myself giving T. E. D. talks. I see myself opening nationally. I see my blog giving people the answers they need on the fly. I see myself raising funds. I see myself changing political paradigm.

Photo of Manifest Destiny Advocacy Advocate Veteran Moose Orchid Garden Bead Jewelry Necklace Flowers Monarae-beads
Yesterday I went to the VA with my friend S. Her husband has Alzheimer’s and I’ve been helping her negotiate the “systems” to provide care for both of them.  It was a great meeting where roles were defined, progress was made, and possibilities were brought into the light. I received a packet of information from the VA rep that she only received yesterday; very helpful for those who will be considering long-term Medi-Cal nursing care. I’m excited because it means that my friends will be able to plan and it alleviates the fear of the unknown and loss of assets they have worked so hard to build.

photo of Manifest Destiny Advocacy Advocate Veteran Moose Orchid Garden Bead Jewelry Necklace Flowers Monarae-beads
I volunteered at the Moose Lodge too. While there, my friend Francis (She dubbed me “The Resourceress”) suggested that in my business plan I include creating a fund to grant people the ability to pay for advocacy when they can’t afford it. What an awesome idea to help more people and get paid; I’ve done it for free for so long. I also made sure to sign up for the jackpot which is now over $600; I made an audible plan to spend my winnings on the first UC Berkeley class for health advocacy (August 8 is not far away.) I’ll need a place to stay a night in San Francisco if anyone can put me up.

photo of Manifest Destiny Advocacy Advocate Veteran Moose Orchid Garden Bead Jewelry Necklace Flowers Monarae-beads
I love the orchid from Mom!
It’s sprinkling this morning. Hopefully we will get enough to water my garden and skip the hose today. I picked some large strawberries yesterday and trimmed the mint. Wondering what I should do with all that mint I decided to look up some recipes. I pinned a bunch to my Food board on MyPinterest page; yummy sweet and savory ideas! The last of the flowers dropped from my orchid. My mom bought this one for me and it’s the first I’ve ever owned. I’m hooked!


photo of Manifest Destiny Advocacy Advocate Veteran Moose Orchid Garden Bead Jewelry Necklace Flowers Monarae-beads
I bought some lovely beads from my friend Lea and I’m working on two ideas for a new necklace. I imagined a waterfall of orange flowers. On one hand I have woven a base and started fringe with the flowers; it is feeling like a lot of work and I’m likely to run out of beads or steam before I get the lush bouquet I want. On the other hand I have made a bunch of clusters with the headpins I had on hand and attached them to chain; it’s looking more promising and possible.

photo of Manifest Destiny Advocacy Advocate Veteran Moose Orchid Garden Bead Jewelry Necklace Flowers Monarae-beads
Courtesy Walkn Boston
I’m such a creative girl. Beader and Advocate. I’m thinking of a name for my business and Creative Advocacy comes to mind. I want a name that is lasting, clear, and conveys what people want to feel when they hire an advocate.

ANSWER THIS:  What feelings would you be looking for in a situation where you need advocacy? What words or phrases would you suggest for a business name?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

You Should Get Over it

photo of sleepless thoughts voices german advocay monarae-beads
Courtesy KaMa Photography
I'm up waaaay too early! Thoughts about being fired and why and who and why, why, why keep me awake.  Did I have a dream about it which spilled into my waking moments?

photo of sleepless thoughts voices german advocay broken toe monarae-beads
Courtesy Becky Striepe
My foot is killing me; broken? Noticing a gap on the right between toes that isn't matched on the left foot, I taped the toes together. It lessened the nerve pain, but it really hurts this morning; but not enough to drown out the emotional pain of rejection from a job I rocked at. Yes; I rocked it, but still got fired. Such a struggle with the inner voice that wants to find me at fault.

photo of sleepless thoughts voices german advoca monarae-beads
Courtesy Iqbal Osman
Thank God for the will to bring the voices of my mom, my friends, my champions, and my soul. The voice that calls me a phoenix. The voice that says, "Thank you so much for your help; what would I do without you!" The voice that says, "You will be okay; follow your passion." The voice that says, "You can do this. You SHOULD do this." Thank God for the "should"; because left to my would at this moment, I would find myself going through the routine of working for someone else who doesn't recognize how much I rock.

photo of sleepless thoughts voices german advocay easy street monarae-beads
Courtesy Erica Zabowski

Why would I wish for the comfort of that monotony and dependence? Because it is easy. Because it requires no thought, no faith, no courage; it repays me with mediocrity, lack of passion, and bills being paid.

Thank GOD for the "should"(NEVER thought I'd say that!). I should push through and do what I need to do to make it work. I should also look at how I've pushed through every day, researching, organizing, and making positive strides. I should look at how much closer I get every day to making my passion into a business that will grow my soul and bring comfort to others in a HUGE way. I should keep going. I should keep pushing through.

photo of sleepless thoughts voices education college berkeley advocay easy street monarae-beads
I have decided that I should enroll in the UC Berkeley Extension program for Health Advocacy. I don't know how I'll pay for it. The first class is on August 8; only one day in San Francisco. Only $300.00 plus the expenses for travel and sleep.

I have decided that I should join the Association of Professional Health Advocates. I've decided that I should begin my business plan. I've decided that I should change the world by giving peace of mind to others, even when it feels in this moment that I don't know how to give peace of mind to myself. I've decided that today is another day that I will walk in possibilities and successes and destiny.

photo of sleepless thoughts voices education college berkeley advocay satisfaction art monarae-beads
Courtesy Alex Proimos

As I look for pics for this blog I'm immediately rewarded with a smile.  My mom will appreciate the sleepless photo with the German thought bubbles! I think I get more pleasure out of finding pics for my blog than the writing itself. The writing is healing, but the art is fulfilling. is a great way to find pics that are free to use. Enter a search term, then click the pull down under licenses and choose "all creative commons."

photo of sleepless thoughts voices education college berkeley advocay satisfaction art monarae-beads
Courtesy Walkin Boston

How do you advocate for yourself in moments of disappointment or despair? What do you tell your self? How do you get through it?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Learn is a Four Letter Word

This morning I am looking into educational programs for health advocacy. I feel that a certification will give me credibility as well as teach me, among other important things, what I don’t know about the professional side. One thing I discovered is that there is now national or international standard of knowledge or skills for health advocacy. A certificate only means that I completed their courses. Would completion of courses give me credibility?

photo of advocate credibility trust influence reach learn monarae-beads
Courtesy David Armano
Credible: believable. If I have a certificate of completion does that make me believable? It seems to me, as a consumer, the person with experience is the one I believe. In order to gain experience I need to be credible; a catch-22. If I use my certification as a status, I must also state who certified me; is it better that UC Berkeley or Stanford certified me than the University of Wisconsin?


Photo of advocate skill passion learn education monarae-beads
Courtesy Juhan Sonin
It is advised to consider where I plan to earn my income, when choosing an educational program.  Do I want to work for someone else or myself?  My answer is, “both.” I want to be involved as a contractor for professional organizations, and I want my own practice.  However, with respect to education and how I want to be employed, it is a matter of whose skill set I need to comply with.

 As an independent advocate I need advocacy skills and business skills. I guess I already knew that; 3 weeks ago I started looking for a business coach.  I feel very good about my ability to look at the medical system from the patient perspective. But I already know there is a gap in my knowledge about efficiently getting desired results from the medical system. I found a list of master skills/services; this will help me find my advocacy gap. When it comes to business I completely lack confidence; this is the area I need to learn about most.

photo of advocate skill passion learn education online classroom books monarae-beads
Courtesy Deslizate Naranja!
Accessibility is also an issue to consider. I love the motivation of being in a classroom, not to mention the networking opportunities that come with it. However, the “right” program with physical presence can be a challenge for me. If I had to move, what would happen to my home, my son, my pets, and how could I afford it? Additionally, if I choose the convenience and affordability of an online education, does that influence credibility?

photo of advocate skill passion learn read education online classroom books monarae-beads
Courtesy Soon Koon
One of the links I found led me to a book on starting an advocacy business.  Doh! Amazon!  One search and I found several books. If I buy the book through The APHA (Alliance of Professional Health Advocates), I can get a free month of membership. Their membership is only 50.00 per year and they have the best resources I’ve found so far. They have a series of four books and 2 are available on Amazon.
Courtesy WalknBoston
I should wait to be sure before I start spending money; am I strong enough to self-govern or do I need the structure and accountability of a program? It comes, as usual, full circle back to “know thyself.”
Answer this: How do you like to learn? Self-taught with books and other media? Structured classroom? Online classroom?

Friday, July 3, 2015

How to Mine for Gold - Pace Yourself

picture of Necklace Flat Celini Spiral White Glass Coins circus ethnic african mexican hispanic bead weaving peyote monarae-beads who does she bead she isphoto of Garden Harvest salad fettucini shrimp stevenot wine monarae-beads who does she bead she is 

I had an amazing day yesterday.  I stuck to my plan and conducted “business” until noon. Then I talked to my brother who is recovering from a recent health crisis. I had a nap. I finished my necklace. I went grocery shopping. I made a beautiful dinner for myself. I talked to friends. I watched some TV. I ate TWO pomegranate and dark chocolate Hagen Daas ice cream bars. I danced in the rain; gorgeous, overdue, welcome, cooling, fragrant drops of water!
How was your day?

photo of Eureka gold mine found monarae-beads advocacy
Courtesy Charlie Day
Yesterday I felt I had found a gold mine.  I am so excited about finding a professional certification program, but feel I found it so quickly I need to think a bit about it…temper my excitement.  My mother always said, “If you still want it after two or more weeks, then it is worth putting more energy into it.” I think that is the real reason I love window shopping.



photo of Eureka gold mine found planning monarae-beads advocacy
Courtesy Tormod Ulsberg
In my new focus on career and building my own business, I feel a need to really know myself. What my strengths, skills, weaknesses, and road-blocks are.  That thinking alone is a big step for me; it requires a pacing that is slower and more controlled than my usual “go for it” behavior. I’m really planning; even my horoscope said that today is the day for a plan!


picture of apha Eureka gold mine found organization monarae-beads advocacy
Alliance of Professional Health Advocates
So, instead of diving into the school, I decided to look at the organization that revealed it to me.  The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates helps people in different stages of advocacy. They provide advocates with business support to start and grow their practices. They have 4 levels of membership based on the status/size of your practice.

The Pace membership describes me to a “T”: 
"Maybe you have assisted a friend or loved one, but do not have paid advocacy experience.  You’re looking for a way to boost your advocacy resumé or gain more inside information about this type of career. Or perhaps you’ve been helping others for many years and now you want to figure out how to get paid for the help you provide in the future."
The total cost of the first year is $49.00. That is less than my GwynnieBee subscription!
photo of Eureka gold mine found planning organization investigate monarae-beads advocacy
Courtesy Ognian Mladenov
For now, I’ll research other organizations and sign up for the APHA non-member newsletter. After all, if I want to be a professional, I need to be my own patient. I would always advise my clients to thoroughly investigate before making a commitment to anyone who is involved in the well-being of their loves and lives.


photo  of survey question the answers monarae-beads advocacy


In the meantime, I need to think about whether I should have a separate blog for advocacy at this point, or should I wait until I have a more professional focus? Do you think it would hurt my long term goal to have others watch me grow into my business?
I feel like it is a more honest approach that will gain interest, loyalty, and readership.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

ADOS...Attention Deficit OH SHINY!
Courtesy Flickr Cambodia4Kids
Today I am looking at the “job” of advocacy: what words are used to describe advocacy jobs, what are the qualifications, and what are the requirements.  In the process of looking at the gazillions (actually I got to page 5 of the job listings before being inspired to write) of available jobs in advocacy, I found that there are many organizations that provide advocacy for their own causes. Among these causes for advocacy there is a concentration on young people, homeless people, and voters.  There is a severe lack in my discovery today, in the area of providing resources and advocacy for individuals who do not fit a singular category.  The people I want to advocate for always fall into multiple categories.
Courtesey Flickr OEA-OAS 
People I have advocated for need whole-life-spectrum resources. The breast cancer patient who needs to know how to pay for medical care, also needs to know how to structure their finances to optimize their best position for financial support. The Alzheimer’s patient who needs to be protected from wandering, also needs support from the constant physical presence of multiple care givers; the caregivers also need support. The mental health patient who needs to protect their own rights in a crisis, also needs to protect the rights of their family members’ to participate in their medical and financial care.
Courtesy Wesley Fryer
Sure there is NAMI, and there are many associations concerned with Alzheimer’s and breast cancer. But I have yet to find an organization that is concerned with whole-life-advocacy, other than departments of social services which connect several different resources.  However, their system is complicated and often always, my clients need advocacy to negotiate that system. But I don’t want to be a social worker in the system of county social services and welfare; I want to make that system user friendly for my clients.

As I continue to look at advocacy from the perspective of educational requirements I see three avenues: law, sociology/medical licenses, and experience. I don’t want to do what is being done; I want to do what is not yet being done. I need to find a balance between understanding and supplying what others expect and what I want them to see.

I get to create my own requirements and I get to decide which education will be most supportive for my work.  However, I need to continue this avenue of research from the perspective of credibility.
ADOS (Attention Deficit OH SHINY!) ALERT
OMG, look what I found!
And look what else I found! 

NOW I’m really excited!  UC Berkeley is my alma mater. The helps with business planning and supplies and financing! The masterlist includes educational programs, events, organizations, and more, more, more!  WOOOOOT!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How to Monetize (Make Money) with a Blog

money monetize a blog picture Chantal Pare
I Googled “how to monetize a blog,” and picked three links that looked good on the first page.  The first two looked a lot like sales pitches for e-books products or courses. The third one had a splash page that led me to a site that had a GREAT look. They too were selling, but in a way that was more pleasant and in a way that gave me something for nothing (I found a bunch of links and instructions for posting pics without violating rights.) Eric Weinke
The third site has inspired me to write even before finishing the reading that attracted me to it.  A light came on as I was reading what 26 Expert Bloggers like to do to monetize their sites.  I kept reading about how the best thing to do, the most profitable and controllable thing, is to create your own product.  Until now I couldn’t fathom how I could be an Online Advocate or create a “product” out of what I love to do. Then I realized, “How many times have you googled for information?!”  I can create products that will be useful to others the same way they have been useful to me.

picture of map for goal setting plan to make money monetize Angie Torres
Another thought occurred to me: “clear and measurable goals.” This phrase occurs any time I want to create a plan or analyze a changing situation. I can do that with my blog because I know how many subscribers I have, and I have analytics built into my blog.  There are some basic things I need to do, even though I already have a blog; I need to blog from my own domain, I need to have a clean site, I need to find my niche and where others in my niche hang out, I need to build and maintain connections.
Are you a blogger? Do you make money with your blog? How do you form connections with your blog?