One of the questions we ask pharmacy owners is "Are you happy with your life outside the pharmacy?" Owners typically tell us that there are many things that they would like to improve about this aspect of their lives. Some even laugh and say I didn't know such a thing existed. It is our opinion that most owners want to work to live rather than live to work.
Which leads us to the next question, "Why are many owners still trapped behind the counter and working 60 - 80 hours per week?"
Unfortunately, there isn't just one answer to why this happens. Wouldn't it be nice if there were just one, but that would be too easy (and quite frankly, boring). There are typically a myriad of factors that lead to these situations. This blog is going to address a few of the main reasons and then give you some tips that can help you have a happier lifestyle outside the pharmacy.
The most common reason pharmacy owners tell us they cannot leave their pharmacy is the staff cannot handle things when they are gone. It's been our experience that most pharmacy owners hire people based on need rather than based on talent. Most pharmacy owners get to the point where they are so overwhelmed (or the team appears to be overwhelmed) and they hire the first person who walks through the door with a resume. This is not the best practice for pharmacy owners who wish to enjoy a great quality of life outside the pharmacy. On the contrary, the pharmacy owners who do enjoy a great quality of life hire for talent and constantly train their employees to do what they need them to do.
The second most common reason pharmacy owners tell us they are anchored to the pharmacy more than they would like is they don't know how to delegate. Once you have the right people in place, then you can begin to delegate things to them. The best way to learn what to delegate is to write down all the things you currently do. Then you can begin to distinguish between what is really important for the pharmacy to be successful and what has to be done just to keep the doors open. You should be able to delegate the things that aren't as important to your staff. The more freedom you have to focus on the things that make your pharmacy successful now and in the future, the more you will be able to accelerate your progress.
The third most common reason owners tell us they cannot get out of the pharmacy for an extended period of time is they are the face of the pharmacy. They tell us they have branded themselves instead of branding their pharmacy. If you have this issue, then I would suggest you begin thinking about branding the pharmacy. For example, if you have another pharmacist on staff, make sure they are the one greeting all the patients who walk through the door. Let him or her do the patient consultations. These things will create a pharmacy that is less dependent on you and business will not drop off once you have the ability to spend more time away from the pharmacy.
All these reasons contributed to pharmacy owners not being able to have the time they want away from the pharmacy. There are a few things you can do right away to improve your life outside the pharmacy. We will go more in depth into these in the next blog.
- Book the trip you have always wanted to take - I feel like Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams when I say "If you book it and pay for it, you will go." This is one of the best ways to make sure you take that trip because no one likes wasting thousands of dollars.
- Take every other Friday off - Most owners tell us they can be away from the pharmacy for at least a day without things falling apart. Pony up for the relief pharmacist because life is too short and you don't know how many Fridays you have left.
- Focus on the things that will free up the most time - there are things you are doing now that others can do for you. Delegating these first will dramatically increase the amount of time you have.
You may have to find the right combination of the things listed above to start having the life you want outside your pharmacy. This is worth aspiring to because most owners tell us they don't want to miss out on the most important things in life. Even if you have missed out on some of them, commit now to not missing anything important in the future. If you do, we feel like you will begin making progress towards the life outside the pharmacy you have always wanted.
Below are an assortment of tools that we have to help you with the issues and goals listed above. Please feel free to download the ones that are most relevant to your situation.
Why do we do what we do?
Our mission is to help independent community pharmacy owners achieve all their goals and dreams, inside, outside and after their life in pharmacy. In doing so, we are helping independent community pharmacies remain independent and thrive for many years to come.
When a pharmacist reaches out to us for information and help, we give them as much free value as possible. In addition to providing educational, self-assessment and strategic planning tools, we invite qualified pharmacists into our formal discovery process.
The first step of the process is completing The Inspired Goals Workshop. This complimentary and private 90-minute session enables us to deliver a free, detailed and personal Inspired Independence Blueprint. The blueprint provides a roadmap for achieving your goals and enables you to fully understand the value of joining The Inspired Independence Program.
If you wish to learn more about any aspect of our work, the free value we offer, or to be considered for The Inspired Goals Workshop, visit our web site at www.waypointus.com or call 843.873.4420 and ask for Ben or Matt Coakley.
At Waypoint Pharmacist Advisors, we take care of you!