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Digital Detox & Declutter

August 24th, 2015

First of all, RIP, Justin Wilson.

Second…this weekend, and this past week as I embark on a fall semester, I’ve been thinking a lot about digital detox & declutter. I just saw this article over at Fast Company that brought it back to the surface.  I started by taking an inventory of my digital accounts.  This took a minute.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 9.53.46 PM

This is just a snippet of it, and just a snippet of one channel.  Furthermore, said channel (Faceplace) is one I’ve not been on much this year via the personal page.  But, I have tried to keep the book pages updated. (Some pages listed here I’m not the primary owner of, either.)

But you get the point: I think the first step of figuring out your digital detox is to get on digital or plain paper all the channels that you digitally hang your shingle out at as a first step.

Once the inventory is taken, the next step is to decide what you can keep and what can go. Now, I don’t think employing the #KonMari approach of the “does it spark joy?” test necessarily can apply here, as some items in social are more about marketing and less about personal joy than say, a scarf or a skirt.  So then, what test should one use?

Is it the number of likes/followers or members one should consider? For example, I had another interesting challenge this weekend, when one of my pharmacy groups on LinkedIn hit 20,000 members.  They now shut off allowing more members into the club, and you have to request the membership to be bumped up.  Linkedin approved it.  But, is that a group I want to cut off if it is on the chopping block?

Probably not.

On the other hand, if I cut off pages/profiles/groups/likes with low numbers, they may be new, and need time to take off.

Clearly, I’m still shopping for a test.  Because it is time for a digital purge.  And, purging would allow me a little more space to try all the flashy new toys in social, like periscope, meerkat, beme, plag, etc.

Do you have a social media/cleanout/purge test?  If so, what is it?

Hmmm….

A Tale of 3 Classes

August 19th, 2015

I was reticent to post about this topic, since I’m trying to compare an apple to an orange to a papaya, but I’ll go ahead and do it anyway.  DISCLAIMER:  these are three DIFFERENT things, and I’m attempting to COMPARE them, which probably isn’t fair.  But, for the love of education and my points below, I’ll work with the disclaimer and move on from there, as the real point of my post isn’t to directly compare, but to instead share.

This summer, I had the pleasure of taking 3 very different (OK, radically different) courses.  The only thing they really had in common is that they were called “classes.”  They were the following:

1. altMBA, inaugural class – Seth Godin et al.
2. ACE’s Course for Department Chairs
3. Harvard TH Chain School of Public Health Executive Education on Health Outcomes Research

I won’t go into the details of the course materials, as technically that’s all proprietary and owned by each respective institution.  But, I’ll tell you the major things I picked up on as themes after having the luck to take these 3 courses.

1. You have to be a life long learner – I don’t give a &*^! what profession you are in, but the world is now changing so fast that you must, must, MUST be a life long learner, period.  Whether that means going back to school full time, part time, taking a class in executive education, or just taking a class on Excel over at your public library, you must stay educated.  For example, I went to the Harvard course to brush up on biostats and epidemiology, and those are courses I took 20+ years ago!  I’m dusting cobwebs off in my brain in those areas!  But I have to do it, in order to learn new things and be more effective and valuable to my employers (and myself).

2. It’s just as important to learn what you WANT to do, vs. what you do NOT want to do in life – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–your life is like a big garden.  Weed out the junk you don’t dig. Water and fertilize the stuff you love.  In an area of the garden, try some new things once in a while–sometimes they flourish, sometimes they don’t. After taking these courses, I know what I’m interested in, and NOT–at least in the arenas these courses covered.  That’s really important to discern.

3. You already have all the answers within you - This one may appear to be completely counterintuitive to my entire post, but it really isn’t.  Sometimes, you need to take a class to be reminded of the voice inside your head.  Sometimes you need a push or a phrase from a teacher to turn up the volume on your gut.  While teachers are there to guide you, ultimately you and only you have the answers you need to live your most authentic and best life. Sometimes, that takes going to a class or learning from a teacher who will yank it out of you and remind you to pay attention to your intuition.

That’s it.  I guess that wasn’t so bad – as I stayed away from comparison.  Instead, I shared what these classes had in common.

Remember, the next time you’re on the fence about taking that class – if you can afford it and not drown in a sea of debt to take it – go for it.  Learn. Grow. After all, that’s why we’re here…!

Go for the Win-Win-Win

August 18th, 2015

So, for the last couple of days I’ve been killing the last 3 brain cells left in my head at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health on health economics, biostats and epidemiology.  I posted on Facebook I was seriously the dumbest one in the room, and this time, I am correct in my statement.  Everyone here is truly a gifted medical, biostats, research or life science rock star.

Anyway, I was also reminded this week, while exercising said brain cells, of the following personal policy, which I’m going to share with you right. Now.  It is this:

When you can, always create a win-win-win.

First example: a friend emails me about a writing gig this week.  I can’t. Plate is full.  However, I refer him to several other writer friends who seek side gigs. That’s a win for him with referrals, a win for my other referrals because they need paying gigs, and that’s a win for me, because it’s not on my plate.

Win-win-win.

Get it?

Example two: asked to teach a class this fall.  I’m already teaching 3+ classes, and oh, yeah, have a new gig on my plate as well.  Oops, can’t do it. But, I know someone who can and would LOVE to. Connected parties. She will be teaching.  It’s a win for her, because she’s teaching and loves school.  It’s a win for the school, because they need a teacher.  Last, it’s a win for me, because it’s not on my plate.

Win-win-win.

See the theme here?

Said another way, this is called the maximizer in Strengthsfinder.  The maximizer is always seeking win-win-win situations. The one + one equals three equations.

And now, after a very long day of brain melting, is my point:

…always try and go for the win-win-win in your life too.

If you’re a stats nut reading this, I’ll even go ahead and assign a p value of .001 on my assertion.  Just don’t make me show my math!

Pharmacists: Robbery, Theft, Diversion Tools

August 15th, 2015

M&PHi readers.  A moment for my fellow pharmacists.  Normally I don’t write much about the profession here, but today I’m going to…because some of my friends LITERALLY have been on the wrong end of a gun or a robbery this year and in recent years.

Indiana currently has the dubious distinction of being #1 for pharmacy robberies in the country, as outline by Drug Topics here.  This is NOT something I want our state to be #1 at, frankly.  So, a couple of thoughts, speakers and tools to get this out of control problem reeled back in and gladly hand over the #1 rating to another state outside of our borders.

1. Pharmacy Podcast with guest Ken Fagerman: Listen to this podcast by the folks over at Pharmacy Podcast, and read Ken’s book.  There are some ideas in it on how to reduce the risk of robbery, theft and diversion.

2. Rx Patrol – Follow them.  They are trying to index pharmacy robberies.

3. Attend a conference on the matter – Get educated.  In Indiana, there will be a couple upcoming conferences on this, here, for example.  And, yours truly is speaking at the IU RHM law school at this symposium, where I will touch on the needle exchanges, and new Indiana laws on drug abuse.

Stay vigilant and smart about this topic, pharmacy peeps. It’s the only way we’re going to stay safe.

The Amazing Adventures of Erin Albert – for the Remainder of 2015

August 8th, 2015

clockIt’s time for an update.

Here’s what I’m up to for the back end of 2015.  (BTW – where is the year going?!?)

1. @butleru – teaching 3+ classes this fall:
a. Entrepreneurship in healthcare and life sciences – #RX640. The hey soul classic.
b. BU Well, the new open access journal – not so much teaching as instead being sherpa for the students on their OWN writing journeys (I don’t generally find writing a group class activity), and
c. Teaching randomly in a few other courses – in the new BSHS program, and ethics on social entrepreneurship.
d. Always, managing the continuing education for the college as well.

2. New gig at @MyersStauffer as site-based faculty – and one monster steep learning curve served up to me piping hot in pharmacoeconomics.

3. Books#STEMPrincess2.  Having a bunch of setbacks/first world problems on this one, but it will happen, come you-know-what-or-high-water.  Already shipped on Multipationals the first half of the year – woot!

4. Talks – speaking at the Milwaukee Club this fall for one of my former Deans as a grad student.  Also some accepted talks at IU RHM School of law on pharmacy law, American Society for Pharmacy Law’s annual meeting and the IUPUI Assessment conference on the journal, BU Well.

5. Travel – Boston, Milwaukee, Miami, Price Edward Island, Montreal, Quebec City, and the holidaze in Ireland.

6. Tribes – must set up one cool tribe on slack.  I’m busy. The most interesting people in my world are busy too.  But, slack is one place where we can still stay in touch in a safer environment (now especially that I’m rarely if ever on the faceplace anymore).

I think the plate is sufficiently full.

What are you working on to make 2015 your best year yet?

Eggplants, Ravens and Shipping: What I’ve been Up to This Week

August 8th, 2015

eggplantThis is the first moment of my week that I don’t feel that I’m winded just trying to keep up. Scary, consider it is Saturday.  But, I had some really, really good excuses as to why I was in the weeds this week and not posting.  Here goes.

First, my big new epic announcement: I’ve taken on a new job.  This week I became a health outcomes pharmacist with Myers and Stauffer LC in Indianapolis.  I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m no pharmacoeconomics expert, but I do realize why this is so important to understand as a pharmacist, and am willing to learn. Now that I’m on board with M&S, I’m excited to get busy and dig in.  Trust me, it is a very steep learning curve (it reminds me of landing in a foreign country and not speaking the native tongue), but I’m on it, and although my stomach is a little queasy on the slow ride up, I’m really excited to start screaming and learning on the roller coaster on the way down!

This was the big new challenge that has entered my life.

However, remember that book I wrote on multipationals?  Yeah, this is where it gets interesting: I have not left my old job behind.  I’m also still at Butler University, with 100% of my previous teaching and workload of responsibilities.  This is multipationalism at its finest, in that I’m now not leaving a job behind, but starting a new one, on top of my current stuff.

How will I manage all this? One. Day. At. A. Time.  But, since most of my colleagues at Butler have already been managing two jobs in one, I’ll be looking to them for answers on how to best to manage it.  I smell a book idea around this too…beyond the multipationals book.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.  If you have tips on how to manage this – I’m all ears.

On top of the big job shift, I also managed to ship Project 13 for altMBA and close that chapter of my life.  Today, I hosted #altMBA #Indy, where I shared what I learned from Seth Godin’s inaugural program.  I could not think of a better posse of people to show up for it, so it was a blast to share ideas.  (Not to mention, that item on my to-do list is officially checked off.)  In it, I had a glittery raven and shared the eggplant prompt from the course.  If you don’t know about either, I’d encourage you to check out altmba.com and learn.

My greatest lesson in participating in altMBA I will, however, share with you, which is this: you don’t need a big fancy or prestigious course, college or guru to seek answers to problems or challenges in your life.  You already have all the answers you need within you.  You just have to know how and when to listen to yourself/conjure up your own answers, and then implement, and avoid the resistance.

After sharing with you why I was MIA this week, I feel better.  Now, I can spend the rest of my weekend resting and getting ready for the roller coaster of next week, and soon, the beginning of the fall semester at Butler University.

If you’re on the roller coaster of life and experiencing big change right now too, embrace the excitement and unknown, and hold on tight.

It’s a wild ride, this thing called life!

 

5 Things I <3 Right. Now.

August 3rd, 2015

Due to a technical glitch, I can’t work much on #STEMP2 until I get some answers. Until then, I thought I’d interrupt by book writing, and continue the writing habit by instead giving you 5 things I’m in love with right. Now. Ready?

1. BlackJaguarWhiteTiger – on Instagram. I’m fascinated watching up close video of big cats.

2. Podcasts – seriously, I can’t get enough of them in my car and while working out right now. There are obvious choices like James Altucher, Tim Ferris and GaryVee, but the real gems I’m also listening to are the lesser known…like Does College Matter?Aspen Institute, Biz Chix, and How to Be Amazing.  My only tiny criticism here is that I’d like to hear more women running regular podcasts. Stitcher and iTunes…you must have these apps on your phone. Immediately.

3. Live video streaming - I shut off all the bells and whistles on my smartphone…except…for periscope notifications.  I took Meerkat off the phone a while ago, but I probably need to put it back on.  The fascinating thing about live stream video apps is just that – everyone now has their very own live video streaming channel. Real time. That’s very, very cool to me.  So, I’m watching my friends on periscope in particular so I can figure out how to use it myself.

4. MPR app – I’ve been looking for a decent free drug/pharma app. Now it’s finally here!

5. Quora – I’m late to the Quora bandwagon, but it’s pretty good to get evidence off of the beaten path.  I’m not answering anything over there, just listening and watching…

Julie Andrews Sound of Music rant over…!

Erin, the Ignorance Slayer

August 1st, 2015

altMBAIndyThe universe had to stop sending me the signal I needed to hear what Jane McGonigal had to say.  First, I presented at a meeting where she was keynote in July (and unfortunately had to leave before she spoke), and second, finally caught her on the Tim Ferris podcast (now that I’m addicted to podcasts with Stitcher in my car).

I knew she was a game designer.  What I didn’t know was her own story of her concussion and her invention of a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” type game she played with her sister and inner circle in order to recover.  Between missions, power ups, enemies, secret identities, and super powers, she led herself through to recovery.

But, I think there’s a bigger idea here – in that this gaming can apply to our personal missions too.

Before, my mission was (and still is) to litter the universe with knowledge.  But instead, I’m going to make a game out of it, and slay ignorance.  So, I’ve changed a lot of my descriptions around the net to “ignorance slayer” and plan on using that 2 word term to describe the theme of what I do.

Case in point, next Saturday I’m slaying ignorance around one of the scariest human topics of all: change.  As part of the inaugural altMBA class with Seth Godin this summer, we learned how to manage and wrangle change in the favor of our calling and passion, rather than cowering from it.  And, my challenge now is to share it with my local community to help serve others who can’t access Seth’s class–for whatever reasons.

The game will be to share this coursework with as many as possible.  I hope if you struggle with change (and who doesn’t?) you’ll consider coming out next Saturday morning to make this happen.  To help yourselves manage through change and thrive, and help me slay more of that nasty, dark icky goo–ignorance.

Power up with me…?!?

Reason # 5,462 Why We Need More Women in STEM

July 24th, 2015

I was chatting with a design/arty friend of mine yesterday (she’s awesome), and somehow, we landed on the subject of wellness wearables.

“Do you wear or did you wear a wellness wearable?” she asked me.  Of course, I replied that I have a Fitbit flex, but it’s sitting in my jewelry box because it’s hard to charge without me sitting on top of it the entire time.

She replied, “Yeah, I used to wear a Nike FUEL band, but it really p*ssed me off, it was so ugly – so I stopped wearing it!”

She brings up a very good point.  And a point that I think deserves to go under the bucket of needing more women in STEM.  Although I don’t know it officially for a fact, but my guess is that all the original fitness wearables were NOT designed by women, because they are all pretty ugly.

There have been some add ons that make some of them prettier – Tory Burch, for example has a fitbit flex band that looks more like jewelry.  However, I digress.

My point?  We need more women in STEM.

Period.

5 Cool Items for Your Consideration

July 22nd, 2015

Yes, yes yes.  I know I should be working on #STEMPrincess2 right now…but I granted myself a work hiatus today, since I spoke about the #STEMPrincess project at #NACW15 instead.

I wanted to throw down a few cool things I or my friends are putting out there for you, my fab 13 fans, in hopes that you’ll take the ball and run with it.

Here goes…

1. What I learned at altMBA – 8.8.15 – Indy – Studio B.  Come and hear what I learned cover-to-cover at this event from Seth Godin’s course at #altMBAIndy.  If you REALLY want to go big, you can apply for altMBA2, which is starting at the end of August.

2. The STEM Princess Teaching Contest - So, one of my friends on instagram posted her first grade classroom stripped down today as she prepares for another year of teaching.  That inspired me to think of some way to share cool STEM education ideas and give back.  So, you can hurry over to Periscope and watch my really terribly shot post on the contest for ideas, or better yet, go like the STEM Princess Facebook page, like it, and then plant your awesome STEM teaching idea on the page.  The best teaching in STEM idea will get the book prize pack on the page.  Contest ends next week.  And I really don’t care if you’re a kindergarten teacher, or a professor teaching PhD candidates–I just want everyone to share their best teaching stuff in and around STEM.

3. And while we’re on the subject – Periscope.  Live streaming video is something for the LIFE of me I’m trying to figure out.  And yet, I’m reminded of my grandmother’s terrible picture taking habits when I jiggle the camera around.  Sloppy video aside, I think live streaming video is the NEXT thing in social media.  So, if you’re trying to figure it out too, meet up with me over at that channel on your smart phone.  You should be able to just type in “erinalbert” and find me…and my jiggly camera.

4. SMDames15 – Speaking of social media (see how this post is just one big loop?) Shout out to Amy Stark and Digital Dames for putting together the next and upcoming #SMDames15!  I’m lobbying hard for experts in Periscope, Meerkat, Slack, Plag, and Zoom to share how they use these amazing new tools.  Registration I’ve been told will be up soon.  So if you’re trying to figure out all this new fancy social media whiz bang gadgetry, or don’t have the time to research it yourself but need a fast download, you should mark your calendars now for November 20th at Oak Hill Mansion.  It’s always a good time and a great crew of women in the house.

5. Travel – The Erin Albert roadshow is heading to DC, Boston, Miami and Ireland this fall!  For what? Stay tuned…!