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Digital Goodies

June 22nd, 2017

I turned a few of the popular, useful things into immediate digital downloads for you, my fab 13. Here they are!

Enjoy! And I hope you find these useful.

Two Random Things

June 19th, 2017

1. Because….cats.

2. To all who are doing the day job, then coming home and doing a SECOND shift on ANOTHER gig – be it your own gig, another job, or just being the hardest job of all – a parent, I’m here to tell you that you rock. Double on a Monday, and especially if you’re still hustling at 10 pm after a very long, arduous Monday.

That’s all I’ve got left today.

6 Things I Love Right Now

June 18th, 2017

1. @TasselFairy obsession. I will hire her to decorate my tiny house.

2. Unicorn Hair – while we’re at it on unicorns.

3. These are the 10 Things the World’s Longest-Living People Do.

4. Tweet of the week - from Bryan Mills, CEO of Community Health Network. He was one of our HBA Indy manbassadors – and he and his team showed us what good looks like for gender parity.

5. Paper and Peony.

6. Upcycling – while I’m on my #30DayPurge fest.

My #30DayPurge Upcycle Challenge

June 11th, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 10.21.35 AMI have a lot of…stuff. It’s really getting out of hand. Furthermore, this hoarding of stuff does NOT fit into my tiny house fantasy further down the road.

So, I’m going to declare right here, right now, that I’m going on a #30DayPurge. But, I’d honestly like to go beyond just tossing stuff – I’m going to add the twist on top of trying to figure out how to best #upcycle my stuff.

Yes, of course there’s donating to Goodwill or Salvation Army or other large nonprofit – but I’m looking to do more clever things than that with my 30 day purge. Donations to smaller non profits, I’d like to do. Donate to causes and make the world a better place than just the mere obvious choices. And, of course there’s always re-selling items.

I’m going to try and keep my list here, so you all, my fab 13, can hold me accountable. And seriously, if you have better ideas on how to upcycle the stuff I’m mentioning in my 30 day purge, tweet me your best ideas @ErinLAlbert – I’ll be watching, listening and waiting for you to save me from my stuff! I’ll also try to keep a board over at Pinterest called Upcycle, to show some ideas that I found while marching my merry way around the inter webs.

Day 1: Christmas Cards – Best idea I’ve found thus far on the internet are cutting out the art and either use them as postcards, or tack them on to blank cards for the next holiday season.  This isn’t clever enough, and it requires me to keep them for another holiday season. On the other hand, you all know how gaga I am for cards–and of course my favorite non-seasonal items go straight onto my #walloffame.  No one writes them anymore; thus, I’m struggling to depart with them in a positive way to give them new life. Thoughts here? My favorite is this thus far – which I now have a big fat stuffed envelope full of for the postman Monday.

Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 1.21.14 PMDay 2: SharpiesSharpies are rad. They’re this amazing combination of bright colors, and I always feel like a rockstar when using them to autograph my books or sign cards–they’re like a power pose for notes.  So, while I can’t say I’m ready to part with my 24 packs of Sharpies just yet, here’s what I’m doing to put them to good use.

I’m throwing an autographing party – again!  At an upcoming nonprofit board meeting, I’ll be taking along a big glass bowl of Sharpies for our board members to autograph in advance 100 or so thank you/blank notes.  I did this during our first board retreat this year – and all. The. Cards. Are. Gone. But I can’t tell you how many people noted and appreciated the hand-written and signed thank you notes. So, I’m doing this again!

Day 3: Notepads – I will be the first to admit that I tend to have sticky fingers at hotels and events, where I’m taking notes…I just tend to lift the entire pad of paper and take it with me rather than just the sheets I took notes on. A decade or two later and bam – 3 drawers full of blank notepads. Another easy way to purge here – take them to your next non profit board meeting and let the members scribble away on them! That’s what I’m doing soon. (And I’m putting all my office supplies for this event in one box – also recycled from the box/repackaging area in my basement.)

Day 4: Sticky notes - Uhm…kind of the same deal is notepads, but back in the day, they were the rage at my day jobs. So, a big wad of them is going to the meeting too. What I like about handing out sticky notes is that each board member can “Ask” for a contact or idea on the area s/he is working on, and the rest of the board members can jot down individual ideas and pass them over to him or her. Sticky notes for sticky ideas – and out of my office closet. Next!

Day 5: Pens - See Day 2, 3 and 4. ‘Nough said!

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 8.34.45 PMDay 6: Lanyards – Those who know me well also know that I keep my lanyards from meetings. I know, weird. Anyway, I used to hang them on my Patronus x 2 (Patroni?) on my #walloffame, until I had so many of them on the Patroni that they actually toppled them.  So, I took them off at the new year when I re-arranged my wall, and kept them in a box since. The box is in my office closet at eye level, causing me fits of messy anxiety any time I walk into the closet. This has led me to think – either I need to display these in a more pleasing way, or get rid of them.

I decided on the former course, so I then did what I’d highly recommend to you – I shopped my basement for a solution. Thankfully, I found this kitschy daisy hook wall hanger that I think I bought at Goodwill ages ago for a buck or so, and I’m using it for the display hooks, had my bro spot weld a couple of the flower leaves that were falling off of it – and voila! A cute and quirky display of my lanyards from meetings of my past. I also ROYGBIV’d my lanyards as you can see (I think they make medication for that) – but regardless, it was fun detangling the box and remembering all the cool meetings I attended, spoke at or developed from the ground up.

Day 7: Unmentionables drawers – while I probably shouldn’t mention them, I did try things on (at least things I thought had a shot in Hades of fitting) and then piled the non-fitting up, thanked them for their service, and bagged it up for Goodwill. Now, unmentionables cleverly being up cycled – not really sure I can rock this one…but hey, there are some cool options around the interwebs on recycling bras, like here, or here.

(Jack, I’m sorry to say you will not be the recipient of a pet recycled bra ball in the near future…that’s just a hard limit here.)

Onward.

Day 8: Back to the Office Closet - It’s pretty safe to say that I could spend an entire 30 days purging stuff stacked up in my office closet at home. So, it’s more than a little intimidating. I went back to it today to clean up another section of it – my thank you notes, business cards, printer cartridges, and crayons area. Now, I’ve identified that I have about $200 worth of old HP 94/95 printer cartridges that I’m trying to donate to a cause over at Facebook, hopefully to one of my entrepreneurial or nonprofit friends. The struggle is real.

Day 9: Lipstick - Those who know me well also know that I’m a HUGE fan of mac makeup. Why? Maybe it’s because of the cool black bullet-shaped tubes of lipstick that I hoard? Perhaps. But, I have an entire bag of used up mac lipstick tubes and blush containers that I dug out, collected and am taking back to the mac counter on Monday for their back-to-mac campaign.  Just another reason to ❤️ them! Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 1.01.35 PM

Day 10: Magazines - My brother collects old cars. My mom, recipes and coupons.  Me? I’m a huge sucker for magazines. The glossy pages, the pretty fonts, the scented pages of perfume ads. I can’t. Let. Go. I have boxes of old Victoria, Traditional Home, and Martha Stewart magazines in my basement that I really need to part with. Now, I could take them to Half Priced Books and get rid of them en masse, but tha’s kind of a travesty–and cheating with my upcycle part of the challenge.

So, I’m going to try instead ‘cut out therapy’ – whereby when I’m watching inane TV (which is mainly when I’m watching TV in general), I’m going take a stack of these at a time and cut them up. I’m going to find the pages that I love, then put them in a safe place for now, and in the future create something magical from them. I was spying this morning over at Pinterest ways to decoupage furniture. This one is going to take me a while, but I already plowed through a half a box today.

Day 11: Magnets – When I go abroad, I like to bring back something tiny for my friends and co-workers. Usually, that means refrigerator magnets. I had a dorm refrigerator in my home office that had beverages in it, covered in these travel magnets. But, in an effort to pare down, I unplugged the refrigerator, will most likely sell it, and I took the magnets to work so I could stick them on my file cabinet there. I got rid of energy sucking out of my house from my extra fridge, and I got a small release of endorphins when I think back to all the really cool trips I had abroad when I bought all the magnets. Win-win.  If you want to go hard core on recycling your own refrigerator magnets, have at it here.

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6 Things I Love…Right Now

June 10th, 2017

mismatchedshoesI didn’t get it done this weekend – no #6onSaturday newsletter this morning – sorry. I was buried in planning for #Manbassadors and some other HBA IN meetings this week. Dropped the ball, I did, my peeps! I hope you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me.

But, in looking around the best of the internet this week, there was a LOT of Debbie Downer news…I don’t even want to list it all here.  Instead, I’m going to fill this white space with stuff I love this week, just for you, my fab 13. Ready?

6 Things I Love, Right Now

1. Carmelo Blandino art. And, his instagram page.

2. Symplur’s Healthcare Hashtags Project - as in, loved this a long time, but just registered #HealthCarDev for HBA IN, coming in September to Indy!

3. Jar of Awesome – stared at it yesterday – need to get some more brightly colored post its and fill it up with June tiny wins.

4. Mismatched shoes – It’s a thing in New York, apparently, but I LOVE it. Often take my purple Blowfish flats and mix them with my reds, as illustrated above. And, it fits completely into my goal to become an eccentric, well-dressed crazy cat lady by the time I retire!

5. Payhip – this amazing simple to use site lets you upload PDF files and SELL them. No up front costs, no BS, no mess. They do take 5% on every sale, but so what? It’s instant downloads for the buyer! Since so many people kept asking me about the healthcare certifications tracker, I just stuck it there and now anyone can access it anytime, for the mere price of a cup of coffee.

6. 2nd grader, Lucy – a hand-written thank you note to the safety crew at IMS – for helping Scott Dixon at the Indy 500. I’m still not sure how he walked away from that crash…but Lucy and I were glad the safety team helped Scott.

There.

If you get bogged down in negative press, sometimes as I do – take on my little erin albert dot com challenge here this week, my peeps. Post stuff you love and care about on your social and blogs. Don’t give way to the negative. Next thing we know, the internet will once again be full of cat memes and unicorns – let’s get back to the awesome, shall we?

Imitation is NOT the Most Sincere Form of Flattery

June 5th, 2017
Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 9.46.52 PM

My cat, Jack, the original thinker.

Someone allegedly once said (Colton?) that ‘imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.’

Both I, along with my cat Jack, respectfully disagree.

Cats kind of do their own thing, and that is probably one of the biggest reasons why I’m a cat person over a dog person. (Although, nothing against dogs, I just grew up with cats; I’m an equal opportunity pet lover.) But my preference isn’t the point.

The point is, I appreciate that cats are original.

‘Copycat,’ on the other hand, is a term with unclear origins, but there’s one thing I do know: the term is not a flattering one. It basically means “imitation of another,” and originally was associated with crime.

Lately, it seems there’s a lot of similarities among several pharmacists who write and publish with very similar topics to each other, which is rather incestuous, in my mind. Nearing 290,000 pharmacists in the US, along with hundreds of different types of practice settings available, one would think there’s less similarities. I’ll also come out and say it – some of my own work has been copied recently and not so recently, and while I’ve never read any of it beyond the titles, it’s not a sincere form of flattery; it’s just a copy of something that’s already been done. You’re frankly not doing anyone in the universe a service by regurgitating others’ work…we need you to be solving original problems–ESPECIALLY in healthcare!

On the other hand, everything has probably already been done before, and while I understand that counter argument–that’s not an excuse to pump out second rate stuff and imitate others incessantly. That energy should go toward making progress instead of wasting it.

So, I wanted to write a quick post with some gentle suggestions I personally use to be original. These below are steps I employ to try and do innovative work that is not copycat. I’m going to go ahead and ironically imitate myself here, because most of what I’m about to write I’ve already written in other places…

7 Steps to Be an Original (And Less of a Copycat):

  1. Hang out with people not like you - There’s a joke in pharmacy (and I’m sure several other professions) that it is small and somewhat incestuous, in that you always see and hear from the same people over and over at pharmacy meetings every year. Pharmacy also has one of the highest rates of marriage in the same profession, in that both spouses are much more likely to both be pharmacists (according to a calculator produced in the NY Times a couple of years ago). It really is a small world. So, remedy this if your profession is small too and - get out and hang out in other worlds! Hang with people not like you. Some of my most creative friends have absolutely nothing to do with healthcare and pharmacy, and I LOVE working with them, because they force me to get out of the pharmacy and healthcare boxes and think differently. You can do this virtually by following people online too – just DO NOT COPY them! You can also study what their big gnarly problems are and how they are solving them. Could those solutions apply to your industry?
  2. Read books outside of your comfort zone - After 4-7 years of undergrad/pharmacy school, most pharmacy students are burned out on reading and studying pharmacology, med chem and pharmacy administration. If you’ve been cramming for your professional credentials, and you’ve earned them, do yourself a favor and take a break from them on occasion. Read a thriller, or a trashy novel, or try to read a book on the topic you never had the chance to study in undergrad that you were fascinated by. I’m always trying to learn more about quantum physics. (Although, much of it still blows my mind–I wonder how healthcare works in the other parallel universes?) I love art. I’m reading about ethical decision making in big data right now. READ stuff that isn’t in your normal profession. Same idea as #1 – it will force your brain to work in different ways.
  3. Listen to podcasts that are different - Same reasons as 1 & 2, and they’re free and perfect for you if you commute and/or work out regularly.
  4. Attend at least one meeting outside of your profession once a year - This year, I went to HIMSS17. I’m going to #BlogHer17. I spoke at SXSW. These are 3 meetings I’ve never been part of or attended before…ever. I’m speaking at Indy Big Data and Social Media Dames (#SMDames17) this year, on topics that have very little or nothing to do with pharmacy. While I admit that I’m very lucky to have the time and resources to attend and participate in all these meetings, you may need to make some tough choices and only attend one meeting outside your profession due to time or financial constraints. If this means cutting back on your first profession’s meetings, it still might be worth it for you, IF you’re constantly trying to find new ideas, rather than recycling everybody else’s stuff inside your profession.
  5. Focus on your own stuff - Comparison really is the thief of joy. Both of these aforementioned statements I did not originate – to be clear, but I do practice these to stay original. As I stated above, I pay attention to what’s going on out there in my profession, but if I see copycat articles, I really don’t read past the headlines. I’m focused on what I’m going to do NEXT. What’s still missing? What’s an unmet need? Frankly, healthcare needs more innovation anyway – so I’m going to focus on fixing more problems over here, rather than wasting my time on critiquing copycats over there. If you’ve actually been lucky enough to find something that has never been tried or done before–run with it*–you just received a fabulous gift from the universe! (*As long as it’s not going to hurt you or someone else.)
  6. Travel - Get out of your daily ‘to-do.’ While travel sounds expensive, it doesn’t have to be…hop on a bus or in your car and drive to a city an hour away for dinner. Take a road trip on your weekend off. Go see how other people live! Get out of your routine. The weirder and the more remote the travel, the better. When I went to Beijing for a month, I appreciated small things, like being able to drink tap water, and ICE when I got home. I don’t take cold drinks and potable tap water for granted anymore! Travel makes you appreciate different ways of living, but most of all, makes you appreciate the small things that we really take for granted every day in our lives, and again forces you to adapt and flexibly think about your approach to the universe.
  7. Thank people who help you - The world owes each of us absolutely nothing. Kick entitlement to the curb immediately. When people help you out, call them out on it and celebrate! Catch them doing something good, and share it with the world. Send them a thank you note. Ask them how you can help them in return. Never skip over the gratitude part and just start copying them, either. That’s a big middle finger to them helping you, actually.  You’re already in the social capital hole with them in the first place, and then to turn around and copy them is just digging yourself into a deeper hole, which eventually will come back to bite you in the dupa via karmic retribution. (If I catch people doing this once with me, they don’t get a second chance to do it again.  And yes, I have a clear list in my mind of the guilty here, and while I won’t name names, I’ll never, ever forget who made this naughty list. I digress.) Gratitude can become a spiral upward prophecy, because if you start thanking people around you, they in turn return the favor and pay it forward. Sometimes people aren’t even aware of the impact that they have on us for original ideas, and so when we find that eureka moment and it was due to a chat we had with someone, we need to recognize and foster that behavior by promoting gratitude. It also can help us attract more innovators and creatives into our lives. Most of all, people are helping you with their most precious resource of all – their time. And time you never get back, so be sure you’re approaching your gratitude with enthusiasm, because you got lucky that others helped you – they didn’t have to!

There. I wanted to share this on this very crazy Monday with you, as these seven steps really help me be more creative in the work that I do and deliver to the universe. Let’s keep it as original as we can out there – the universe needs us to stop wasting time being copycats and start being original problem solvers!

___

Erin Albert is a writer, podcaster, pharmacist, curator, lawyer and original thinker–the last bit of which she shares in common with her cat, Jack.

 

List of Pharmacist Healthcare and Wellness Certifications

June 3rd, 2017

I keep getting asked how to get access to my curated list of pharmacist, healthcare and life sciences wellness certifications & professional designations list. It’s now chock full of over 200 of them!

Well, here’s how:

1. Subscribe to my random newsletter over to the left of this page – and wait for it to randomly show up in my #6onSaturday newsletter….

or

2. You can buy it right now as an immediate download here for just 5 bucks. (For a pharmacist, you’ll earn 5 bucks working for about 5 minutes.)

I’m an access for all kind of girl!

How to Work with Me on the Pharmacy Podcast

May 26th, 2017

I keep getting asked how to work together on the Pharmacy Podcast. I’m focused on career development, so I put together a slideshare on a few of the ‘buckets’ of work I’m doing this year and in 2016 to help those discern if we can work together. Enjoy!

Pharmacy Podcast – Career Development – Co-Host Dr. Erin L. Albert from Erin L. Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD, PAHM

6 Things I Love Right Now

May 25th, 2017

1. I don’t like most eNewsletters, but I dig this one by Jocelyn Glei.

2. I like her article on What else? too. I suffer from What-else-itis. However, as a counter argument and futurist, I think it’s important to keep an eye on the future.

3. Picking out my swag for #SMDames17.

4. This ad from Whiskas.

5. The case for being a little underemployed. Seriously – the 40 hour work week needs to go the way of the Dodo.

6. Best. Birthday cake. Ever. Thanks mom! (And no, she wasn’t drinking when she…er….’decorated’ it.)

#DoYourWhy

May 23rd, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 6.49.37 AMIt was fun to be on the OTHER side of the interview table – my sincere thanks to Josh Scarver of #DoWhatYouDesire, for having the tables turned and I became the interviewee!

My hope and wish for all my fab 13 this week: to do your why. Do something around why you’re here. Help the universe…we’re waiting for you to share your superpowers!