The Pharmacists First Guardian

Benjamin Coakley

Recent Posts

Don't be a fool this month.

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Sat, Apr 01, 2017 @ 12:08 PM

While April 1st is the annual celebration of April Fool's day - this year, don't let your financial plan, or lack thereof, make a fool of you. While everyone is on their own unique path towards financial freedom, there are several mistakes that a lot of people make.

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Tags: savings, financial plan

Do you have the luck of the Irish?

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Fri, Mar 10, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

Wishing you all an early happy St. Patrick’s Day! As we spend the day celebrating Irish heritage, the Waypoint team has come around to the discussion of luck. Are you lucky like the Irish, or do you have to work for things?

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Tags: pharmacy owner, debt reduction, savings

Who was your valentine this year?

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Fri, Feb 17, 2017 @ 03:37 PM


Traditionally, Valentine’s Day has been reserved for couples. But this year, we want you to think of it differently. Your year-round valentine in the pharmacy is someone or something that loves you back. As an example, PBMs are probably NOT your valentines.

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Tags: pharmacy contingency plan, succession development, exit planning, written goals, pharmacy owner

The 5 best ways to keep your pharmacy New Year's resolutions

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 @ 09:45 AM


Keeping New Year’s resolutions is difficult for everyone – especially when they revolve around your pharmacy and livelihood. The stakes are higher and the pressure to succeed is significantly greater than resolutions pertaining to yourself. So, why is it that setting and achieving goals for your pharmacy year after year is such a difficult task?

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Tags: pharmacy contingency plan, succession development, exit planning, written goals, pharmacy owner

The Two Most Vulnerable Times for a Pharmacy Owner: The Startup Phase (Part 2)

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Mon, Nov 07, 2016 @ 02:33 PM


Being a pharmacy owner requires a person who is not afraid to take risk.  Combine the risk of just being a business owner with current dynamics of the pharmacy world and it becomes easy to see this risk can be significant. In the past 40 years of studying and working with pharmacy owners, we have discovered that the risk of pharmacy ownership varies throughout the lifecycle of the pharmacy owner and pharmacy itself.

We have discovered the two most vulnerable times are during the startup phase and the contribution phase. We discussed the contribution phase (pharmacy exit strategy) in great detail last week. This week's blog is about the startup phase of your life in pharmacy.

The startup phase applies to you as the pharmacy owner and to the actual pharmacy itself. The risks associated to the pharmacy are typical of most businesses starting up. We are interested more in the risks associated with the new owner and his or her family. These are often the most overlooked in the process. So, let's dive in to some examples.

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Tags: community pharmacy, Community Pharmacist Lifecycle, pharmacy startup, pharmacy startup phase

The Two Most Vulnerable Times for a Pharmacy Owner: Your Exit Strategy (Part 1)

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Fri, Oct 28, 2016 @ 10:28 AM


Being a pharmacy owner requires a person who is not afraid to take risk.  Combine the risk of just being a business owner with current dynamics of the pharmacy world and it becomes easy to see this risk can be significant. In the past 40 years of studying and working with pharmacy owners, we have discovered that the risk of pharmacy ownership varies throughout the lifecycle of the pharmacy owner and pharmacy itself.

We have discovered the two most vulnerable times are during the startup phase and the contribution phase. The startup phase is somewhat self explanatory but the contribution phase sometimes can be a little confusing to understand. We are going to discuss the contribution phase in more detail today and the startup phase in more detail next week.

What does it mean to be in the contribution phase of your life in pharmacy? This is the time in your life where giving back becomes a high priority. This is the time where you are actively in the process of emotionally, financially, mentally and physically separating yourself from your pharmacy. Therefore, you are actively participating in your community pharmacy exit strategy. There are many moving parts at this stage of the game and that is what makes this an extremely vulnerable time for you and any other pharmacy owner.

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Tags: community pharmacy, pharmacy exit planning, pharmacy exit strategy

Pharmacy Owners: What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say?

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Wed, Aug 31, 2016 @ 08:44 PM


Pharmacy owners often leave things up to chance. Sometimes it is a result of not having enough time to focus on them. Sometimes they simply have put important things on autopilot and they hope they end up some place they can live with. They're often like the airplane pilot who radios the control tower and says, "I'm lost, but I sure am making great time!"  Here is a brief list of things that we have seen put on autopilot: retirement planning, exit/succession planning, contingency planning, personal/family planning, etc. Isn't this like trusting a fortune cookie to make decisions? Aren't these too important to leave up to chance?"

I actually got a fortune cookie message a few weeks ago that said, "The Future is Yours." I immediately began thinking what that actually meant and if I needed to do anything to get this future the little white piece of paper promised. I then realized that it is what it is. It is a little white piece of paper with a saying on it that means nothing unless I take action.

This means taking my future and the important things off autopilot and assume some responsibility in my future success.

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Tags: community pharmacy, pharmacy owner

Pharmacy Owners: It's Time to Go Back to School

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 @ 09:57 PM


It's that time again. It's time for the kids to go back to school and for your life to go back to normal for the next 9 months. Speaking of normal, what is normal for you? We did a marketing campaign a few years back where we asked pharmacy owners if they were normal. Some of the responses were humerous.

One owner said if "Running around all day like a chicken without a head is normal, then I'm normal." Another said, "I get up do my family duties and then head off to the pharmacy with the thought that I won't see my family again until the next morning. If that's normal, then I guess I'm normal." Finally, a young lady said to us that "If being able to spend time the way I want to is like chasing rainbows and unicorns, then I'm pretty much normal."

All of these examples are humerous, but they are sad as well. The questions that come to my mind when I think about this are: Why don't most pharmacy owners have the time for the things they feel are most important? Why can't pharmacy owners have their proverbial cake and eat it too? Is it too much to ask for pharmacy owners to have the life they want to live?

I think the answers to this require pharmacy owners to go back to school.

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Tags: community pharmacy, community pharmacy owner, community pharmacist success

A Tool for Living Your Pharmacy Ownership Success Story

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Fri, Aug 12, 2016 @ 03:08 PM

There must be a million ways to live the pharmacy ownership success story.

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Tags: community pharmacy independence, community pharmacies, pharmacy owner independence

What We Learned in Chicago these Past Three Weeks

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 @ 07:46 PM


Trade shows are great for many reasons and not so great for a few. Some of the reasons they are great are they bring people together to discuss new ideas, you get to see old friends you haven't seen in a while, and the destinations are usually first class. The reasons they are not so great are they are extremely hard work, you learn so many new things it is often hard to prioritize them, and they are extremely hard work.

The Waypoint team prides itself on going to these tradeshows because it is a great honor to be invited and at the same time it allows us to be the eyes and ears for the community pharmacy owners who are not able to attend.

With this being said, we normally stumble across several ideas or observe certain things that are helpful for independent community pharmacy owners. We attended two of the largest tradeshows in Chicago over the past month and what we learned/observed may surprise you. Below is a list of those things.

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Tags: community pharmacy owner, community pharmacist independence, pharmacy patient experience