Posts

Wendy Weber, PharmD, MBA

What Would You Do If You Knew You Couldn’t Fail

Many years ago during a job interview I was asked, “What is your biggest fear?” It took me all of about two seconds to respond. Failure. The interviewer sat speechless with a look on his face that was a combination of shock and holding back laughter. Once he composed himself, he shared that he was expecting a more typical answer like heights or snakes. Something tangible. He never expected a naïve student to answer so quickly with such a thoughtful and honest answer.

The fear of failure has always been my biggest motivator. Blame it on my stubbornness or, perhaps, my cluelessness as to what I’m getting myself into. Regardless of the underlying reason, if you tell me I can’t do something my new mission will be to prove you wrong. Over the years, I have been my biggest champion and my biggest obstacle. It’s easy to step away from a challenge, especially when I think the end result may be less than perfect in my eyes. Learning how to use my fear of failure to keep me moving forward is a daily choice.

Learning how to use my fear of failure to keep me moving forward is a daily choice.

Tammy Kellebrew

Get Out Of Your Way

As writers, we have all struggled at some point. Whether it has been finding that next writing project, identifying a topic or overcoming writer’s block, we can all relate to the challenges associated with the craft we love. But how many times have you created additional obstacles that have prevented you from applying for or accepting a writing assignment?

I don’t know anything about that topic.

I’ve never written a blog.

That project is going to take too much time.

That assignment doesn’t pay enough.

I have no idea what SEO is (Search Engine Optimization – yep, I had to Google that one… more than once).

It’s time for all of us to get out of our own way and do what we are capable of doing. Kick that little devil off your shoulder because you ARE capable and KNOW a whole lot more than you give yourself credit for. No more excuses. If you want to build your business and extend your reach, it’s time to make yourself a little uncomfortable. After all, you can’t fail.

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Endless Possibilities

Just like a blank canvas is full of possibilities for an artist, a blank page is full of possibilities for a writer. Challenge yourself to explore the possibilities. As a writer with a limited portfolio, I know that if I want to be considered for more writing jobs I need material to share. In order to build my portfolio, I need to step out of my comfort zone and write about topics and in styles I may not be familiar with. Instead of thinking of what will happen if you fail, change your mindset to “I will do this and it will be amazing!”

How do you change your mindset? Easier said than done, right?

Here’s some guidance to get you started:

  • Research a topic that interests you.
  • Write about that topic in a new format.
  • Add the sample to your portfolio. You wrote it. Be proud of it.
  • Share it on your blog, if you have one. You may need to tweak the content a bit to fit the format, but at the very least, talk about what you learned.
  • Apply for a writing opportunity about the new topic or in the new format.
  • Find a support network (the tribe at HMN is a great one) – ask questions, use their tools and resources, and most importantly network!

Believe in Yourself

What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail? Honestly, I have no idea what, specifically, I would do. Perhaps, that’s because I need my internal competitor pushing me to take advantage of a new opportunity. Until I identify that opportunity, I can’t say for certain what it will be.

My goal for 2019 is to try new things, and that means stepping out of my comfort zone. Writing a blog post is exactly that: stepping out of my comfort zone, doing something that I know I’m capable of doing but have never done because I was afraid it wouldn’t be well received or that I wouldn’t have anything to say that others would want to read.

So, knowing I couldn’t fail because there is a whole tribe of HMN #SavvyScribes that have my back, I seized the moment and just proved to myself that I could do it. I wrote my first blog for an audience that is more than my family and friends. It’s time for a new mindset. I just did it… and you can too!

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

The Value in a Writers Community

Nurses and other healthcare professionals are in prime positions to educate and empower consumers and members of the healthcare team through their expertise and experiences. There are a number of mediums open to those who want to share information to address issues and challenges professionals and consumers face in the healthcare world.   

Blogging, Podcasting, Video Blogging, participating in live TV/radio interviews and authoring articles in professional as well as mainstream publications are just a few of the mediums open to professionals who want to share information to empower peers as well as assist consumers as they navigate the complex and fragmented healthcare system.

Getting started can be a challenge as the publishing world is not an environment that most healthcare professionals know well. As a nurse, I hesitated to enter the world of journalism when I was offered a job as Editor in Chief for a large publishing company that had recently entered the world of healthcare through the area of case management. I was not confident in my ability to write and was not clear on how I could be effective. I was told that I was being offered the position due to my expertise and vision for the practice of case/care management. I was a leader in the field and valued because I could share the vision of where the industry was going and help the publication team to ensure they were providing information that was relevant and useful to readers.  

What I learned through my experience as Editor in Chief was there is a great deal of help for those who want to contribute but are not professional writers. Publication companies have editors in place who would take my copy, edit and polish my work so when it was published, the message was clear and professional.

In my role as Editor in Chief, we expanded into areas of webinars and conference planning. Through my broad network, I was able to encourage professionals doing important work in the area of case/care management healthcare, to write articles, participate in webinars or speak at a number of conferences I was responsible for coordinating. The exposure allowed them to share their work so others could learn. It also allowed those reading or hearing the information learn so they could improve their practice. It was a win-win!

When I was diagnosed with a brain tumor in late 2014, I had to leave my job. I found writing helped me to heal. I knew my experiences as a patient were not unique to me and I wanted to share what I learned to educate and empower others. As I improved, I sought out ways to share my experience. I connected with a group of Nurse Bloggers who helped me start a Blog and in July of 2015, I launched Nurse Advocate. I have been blogging weekly for 2 years and have shared information that has helped many to meet the challenges they face when thrust into the complex world of healthcare.

One of the resources I have found to be helpful as a nurse journalists/blogger is The Healthcare Marketing Network, a global community of freelance healthcare writers, authors and communication creatives. The Network is opening doors for healthcare professionals who have information to share. The founders bring a mix of expertise that allows them to assist experienced healthcare professionals who want to break into the world of journalism to learn the craft as well open venues where those who are seasoned healthcare writers can share information.

If you are a healthcare professional who wants to share information you have learned, take some time to explore the Healthcare Marketing Network to launch your career in the area of publishing!