By: Katrina Azer
𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒎𝒂𝒄𝒐𝒈𝒆𝒏𝒐𝒎𝒊𝒄𝒔 𝑻𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒑𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒎𝒂𝒄𝒊𝒔𝒕 |
It’s equally frustrating, yet understandable!
Recently, I had a pharmacist reach out to me who needed help figuring things out in their career. After I mentioned I charged for my time, they didn't want to invest.
Here is the thing, I charge for my time for two reasons:
Because I value every single minute of it. I guard it like a treasure; after all, who gives away their time for free these days?
Free help is never appreciated. And little outcomes arise from it; think of that gym membership that you’re forced to use up because you paid for it!We make commitments when we invest, and we become emotionally invested because of the financial investment we make.
But this edition is not about me telling you why I charge.
This small scenario highlighted to me a big barrier to most pharmacists growing in their careers.
Let me share a wee story!
Back in 2020, I remember coming across a coach who charged something like $699USD for two sessions.
At that time, I had never bought any services of that sort online before because.. well… I thought anyone who provided services online was a scammer (lol - terrible I know!). But that was me and my finite pharmacist thinking.
But I was at that point in my life when I had just exited retail pharmacy and was lost, with no backup plan or anything. I wanted new skills and to grow, and there is nothing of that sort that guides you to figure things out. Still, I was SO NERVOUS to make that investment in myself ($699USD was a lot of money, especially when converted to NZ currency, ~$1100NZD!). I debated it for 2 days, as the sale time counter kept running out.
I was desperate.
I needed the help.
I remember my palms shaking as I clicked Checkout.
“I feel like I am lighting $699 on fire,” I thought to myself.
And wow, I was wrong!
That was the best investment I made in my life. It set me on the right trajectory to be where I am now.
Until now, I beat myself up about the time I wasted not taking up help like that earlier; it was a waste of my life. There is nothing worse than feeling like you have no idea what to do with your life. Sometimes having that different perspective to wake you up to your potential—a sounding board—is all you need to wake up from that haze of feeling like you’re falling into a bottomless pit, and there is no aid at hand.
Six months later, when I created my role in a digital health company, started writing online, and now dare to blaze new trails, building my own company and now an academy, I am convinced that that was the best investment I ever made. It completely changed the way I thought about buying online services and educational products.
Sure, there are some people out there who try to pull the wool over people’s eyes.
But broadly speaking, most online services and education products are great.
Especially if you can learn from someone who has already proven themselves to be a helpful mentor to you for free through their online social content.
So, I did it again…. and again….and again…I spent thousands..
I continually invest in myself, learning from online courses and people who’ve been there and done that. There is nothing like learning from someone who has been in your exact position and teaching you how they got out of their rut or how they built their business, etc.
In fact, I have a yearly ‘educational’ budget that I spend on all sorts of weird and wonderful educational products that are mostly unrelated to pharmacy!
Do I hesitate to spend the money?
But up until now, I’ve never been disappointed.
Because I purposefully and strategically choose what I spend my money on. It has to:
clearly answer a specific question I have
help me build a new skill that I need for my business
give me clarity of direction in a big step I am taking
Now, here is the thing, I could spend the time figuring it out on my own, but generally, that costs me weeks and months and is never straightforward. I know this because I did that, and it’s burdensome and draining! I tried it and decided that from now on, if there is a solution out there that’ll help me get on track within a few hours, I’m in!
Because the drain of figuring it out on my own in many cases has completely put me off pursuing that endeavour altogether (and what a wasted opportunity that is!).
I can tell you that any money I spent on online education or services up until now has returned 10x the investment.
Many pharmacists reach out to me, but many don’t want to invest in the solution, whether it’s me helping them clarify their direction or recommending a specific course. They simply don’t see the big picture.
And the sad thing is that sometimes they lose their direction, while the solution is right in front of them, but because they ‘think’ it’s a waste of their hard-earned dollars, they waste their entire future instead of a few thousand dollars!!
The best investment I made in myself was to expand my horizons beyond pharmacy and learn other skills that would strengthen and complement my business and role as a pharmacist.
Many a time, we think that growing in our pharmacy career means we need that next certification or postgraduate degree. While this is true, I believe that I yielded more returns by building other skills outside of pharmacy, and it strengthened my overall career portfolio. It made me unique and that’s what we all want in our careers, to stand out from the rest, because then our skills are sought after and that translates to more $$$.
For example, I may have been a good pharmacist but had no idea how to market myself, how to distinguish myself in the industry, or how to stand out. We’re no longer in the age of just plugging a bunch of skills into CVs and expecting that to lift our profile. It’ll get us a job, but it won’t get us the fulfilment or satisfaction we desire, because when you learn how to build a stackable skill set, you can go to whatever company and set your rate, or even better, you can build your own—I know because I’ve done both!
And I only learned how to do that because I invested in myself BIG TIME!
So, invest in yourself.
Stop wasting time trying to figure it out yourself and feeling like you’re still stuck in square one…
Take that course.
Pay for that coaching session.
Get that help.
Trust me, if it clarifies your direction or helps you build a skill that you feel would elevate your career, just take it!
Stop sacrificing your future for a few dollars - look at the big picture.
Yes, it’s a hard call. I get that!
But it’s nowhere as hard as feeling miserable, lost, and purposeless.
If you want to invest in something and you’re feeling reluctant, here are some questions that may help guide your decision:
Does it answer a specific question you have?
Does it help you build a skill that would elevate your career?
Does it align with your vision and aspirations?
What is the reputation of the person or institution providing the service or course? Do they have social proof? (i.e. they have an online reputation, or built trust through their content)
Does thinking about the outcome of taking that course/skill/service (aside from the dollars) make you feel hopeful, satisfied, or content? What does your ‘gut instinct’ tell you? Trust yourself.
Do you desperately want it or need that help?
And most importantly.
Think about YOUR FUTURE.
Think BEYOND your pharmacy degree.
As I always say, your degree is nothing but the foundation; you shape it however you like with extra skills and learning; that’s what makes you truly uniquely YOU.
Until next time, invest in yourself! 😊