keenchick

Stories and thoughts about family and life

Speaking Greek. . . or Geek

on June 19, 2012

I work in insurance.  That sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?  Except when I tell you I work in Health insurance, not life, or dental, or auto, or home.  And I work on the side of insurance that primarily pertains to the medical providers (physicians, hospitals, etc.) and how they get paid.  How they’re contracted, their billing needs, etc.   I never used to think I was all that important.  I used to just think I was some grunt who had a job and I just happened to do it fairly well.   As I watched friends from high school either become or marry doctors, lawyers, accountants, and other high-dollar professionals, I remember thinking that I was never smart enough to do that kind of stuff.  I fail, miserably sometimes, at math, for example.

I’ve come to appreciate how each of us is truly an expert in our own field, though, as I’ve grown older and have helped various friends find their way through the insurance maze.  I’ve done just about everything in this field, from customer service, to claims payment, to contracting and credentialing (validating the physician you’re seeing is qualified and meets the standards set by the plan), to project management to provider relations (liaison between the carrier and the healthcare providers).  I finally realized a couple of years ago that I was killing myself in a job that wasn’t “doing it” for me anymore, and I was encouraged to think outside the box and start my own business.  I’ve been the president of my own company for over two years now, and it’s finally starting to pay off.  I can’t believe how much I love my life, and even the challenges aren’t all that awful.  My mentor reminded me when I started that being the boss means the responsibility and the success are all yours, and good, bad, or otherwise, you reap what you sow.

Anyway, as I’m talking to my web designer on the phone this afternoon (one of the smartest people I know, by the way), I was reminded of how we really are all a lot smarter than we give ourselves credit.  I’m a dreamer, and a planner.  I envision what I want, and I want to see it develop.  I have quite the plan for our website, and she’s designing a supplemental website especially for one of my clients.  We’ve exchanged e-mails about my wishes, and her comments, or questions, and then my clarifications.  We’ve exchanged phone calls, and bounced ideas off each other.  And each time we talk, I’m a little more amazed.  Amazed with her, and amazed with me.  I hear the words coming out of my mouth, and I know what I know, but sometimes hearing myself I still marvel at where I’ve arrived in my life.    Janice (my web designer), and I chuckled this afternoon as we were discussing clients and our conversations with them, and how you can make a client’s head explode without really meaning to.  Sometimes it’s as simple as explaining in too much detail, and sometimes it’s because they (as I do) want the moon and realize that first you have to buy the spaceship.

Janice and I were in college together, and worked on many a project our last two years of school.  We’ve found that we have an incredible collaboration, and that feeds so easily into what has developed into a very nice friendship.  We’re able to share stories about the kids, and talk about web layout or data integrity with the same ease of conversation.  I love those talks with her, and even when we know we’re not quite understanding one another, we can talk through and find a solution.  As I was explaining the various intricacies of what I wanted in our new website this afternoon and began throwing one scenario after another at her, I realized how really complicated my business is, and that you can’t just be any old grunt to do what I do.  I love being able to have the conversation and make the decisions and not beg for permission like I used to.  It’s so nice to cut through the red tape and just get down to what we both know, and how to make it happen.

Sometimes I can’t believe I’m running my own company.  Sometimes I feel like I’m “playing house.”  Confucius says “do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”  I think I’ve found my happy place, and it’s inspired me to do so very much more with my life.  So, here’s to all my geeky friends who often speak “Greek” about their respective industries.  The writers, the editors, the designers, the professionals and the ones who think you’re not.  I hope you all realize how truly intelligent and important you are.  The world couldn’t continue moving forward without you!

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