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Recognize your part in the big picture

Editor’s note: This article was written by guest blogger Anthony Cirillo, FACHE, ABC, a healthcare marketing and experience management expert and expert guide in assisted living for about.com. For more information about the author, please see our About page.

I am an avid reader of Success Magazine and particularly like one monthly columnist, Mel Robbins. In August she had a column entitled, “Get Over Yourself.” It chronicled her conversation with a New York City taxi driver, a successful owner of a taxi company. Trying to talk about topical things of the day, she brought up former Congressman Anthony Weiner. The cab driver had no idea what she was talking about.

And then Mel had a revelation. This from her article:

“When you are in the middle of a breakdown in your life or business, you think everyone on the planet knows and that shame keeps you beaten down. Here’s a 26-year-old born and raised in New York, and he’s never heard of Wiener. In that moment, I understood why comebacks are possible. They are possible because most people don’t know or care what you’ve done.” She further states: “We are all so worried about what everyone thinks that we limit what’s possible. We also convince ourselves that everyone knows. It’s called ‘imaginary audience syndrome.’ ”

Henry Ford has a related quote: “The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.”

That is good stuff. Sometimes we take ourselves too seriously. And while the long-term care industry is serious business, we often forget the context of where we fit in people’s lives.

We are selling something they don’t want.

It could be years before they need it.

They are struggling with other no less important issues in their lives.

So while we may be shouting from the roof tops how great we are and all that we offer, it often falls on deaf ears.

Want to connect with those people?

Intersect their priorities at this point in time.

Families are struggling to make ends meet, so invite coupon-clipping experts to present a seminar on how to save money. It could be fun. It would be an adventure in learning. And families will remember who sponsored it. This is just one example. You can think of better, but you get the idea.

Caregivers are often suffering from worse health than the loved one they are caring for, so pamper them. Have a caregiver appreciation day. Offer free spa services to them while you care for the loved one that day too.

Baby boomers are struggling with taking care of mom and dad while trying to figure out how to retire, so invite financial experts to present an educational program. Help them figure it out. It benefits you in the end.

What you have is sometimes what people don’t want or need at this time. But they have other needs. Intersect them.

Don’t limit what’s possible. Think outside the healthcare silos we have created. Think about the larger slice of life context. Realize you are an important part of it, but you are not the greatest thing since sliced bread.