Heather Hansen

Advocate Is a Verb

The word “advocate” is a verb and it’s time for you to start doing it. Before we started with social distancing, I was doing a lot of traveling. I’d been in San Francisco, Boston, Nashville and Miami in just ten days. On one of my flights the woman next to me noticed my bracelet, which reads “advocate”.

“Are you an advocate?”

I smiled and said. “Actually, I wear this bracelet to remind me to advocate. It’s a noun, but advocate is also a verb. I wear it to remind myself to ask for what I want in ways that I’m likely to get it. And to remind myself to build my credibility, use evidence and ask questions effectively. Because ultimately I believe that no one can advocate for me as well as I can. And no one can advocate for you as well as you can.”

Now she’s a client. She saw that if she could begin to see advocate is a verb, she could begin to start advocating. She’d stop looking for someone outside of her to be her advocate and she would start advocating for herself.

It’s time for you to advocate. You might need to advocate for yourself, your boundaries, your ideas or your checkbook. It might be that you need to advocate on the phone with your bank, in a meeting with your manager, or at dinner with your partner. There are all kinds of opportunities to advocate.

But the job is yours. Rather than looking for an advocate, start looking for ways you can advocate. No one can do it better than you can. Because no one has your passion, your talent, your experience or your drive. And no one wants what you want as much as you want it. You are the one who knows. So own your wants and needs. Advocate.

It means you have to build your credibility and use your evidence. You ask your questions and present your case. And you recognize that advocate is a verb. So you do it. You act. And you ask for what you want, and you get it. Advocate is a verb and it’s time for you to start doing it.

Heather Hansen

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