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Archive for December, 2016

A Random Sampling of…36 Questions to…Love?

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-12-05-55-pmI don’t know if this really works (most of my adult life has consisted of relationships with cats and fictional male characters in books), but there’s a TED talk out there on this subject, along with a NY Times article on the 36 questions you can allegedly ask anyone that will make you fall in love with them when you ask (or when they ask you? Or when you each answer? Or only after you stare them eyeball to eyeball for 4 minutes?) I’m not clear on exactly when and how the love arrives….

What I am clear on is that I’d like more love in this world (and in my own life in 2017), so I’ll take a shot at answering a random sampling of them here.  If nothing else, maybe my fab 13-14 fans will in turn ask themselves and their significant others the same questions.


1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

Living: Gloria Steinem and/or Bjork
Dead: 4 way tie between da Vinci, Einstein, Joan of Arc and Bill Cunningham.

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

In a helpful and inspiring way, maybe.

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

All the time. I detest the phone. Except when I’m mad…and those conversations go even worse, because they aren’t rehearsed. That, and I’m mad…

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

Writing for an original book project or working on an original big project that ultimately helps people. Preferably in my jammies. Glass of wine or kir royale waiting for me at the end of a full day’s work, handed to me by my partner in crime, too, please–with zero calories in it, and a box of chocolates. (This is, after all, my perfect day.)  In my Paris apartment.

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

Solo: In the Jeep. All the time. Also in the shower.

Last time I sang to someone else? Can’t recall.  (The world already knows I’m crazy – don’t need to keep re-confirming through performance.)

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

In my sleep. (I hope.)  I’m feeling it at age 86.

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

Do I have a partner? If I did, I’d want him to be whip smart, with dark, dry humor and hellbent on intrinsically motivated to make the world a better place.  I’d like to think I have these 3 characteristics (less 1, more 2 & 3 on me, personally.)

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

Everything. But most of all, for my education.

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Three way tie: 1. Time travel, and 2. mind reader/psychic and 3. teleportation.  But if time travel could include teleportation, we could knock that down to 2.

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

That I made a difference in the world before my demise.

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

Finding a way to go through and finish grad school 3 times, and not go into debt at any time over it.

16. What do you value most in a friendship?

Keeping it real.

20. What does friendship mean to you?

See above, and helping each other out–taking that text or call, sharing time (the one thing we never get back), and laughing it out/lifting each other up more than crying.

22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.

If I had a partner, I’d want him:

1. smart, 2. funny, 3. takes his work, but not himself seriously, 4. loves to travel and experience new adventures and, 5. kind/generous.

26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share …”

Just a partner in crime, please. But good, positive, world-changing crime. That, and some inside jokes and high fives when one or both of us kicks some @$$.

27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.

I play my cards close to my vest at first, but once I’m in, I’m really all in.

There’s some of the answers. Take the quiz with your sig other, if you have one. Or, just take it yourself. Double dog dare you. Especially at a new year.

Who knows? You may just discover something you didn’t already know…and become one step closer to enlightenment, or love, at least according to the New York Times.


Top 7 Predictions for Pharmacy in 2017

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-6-01-05-amNow is the time of year to throw down the gauntlet and make some predictions.  Here are mine for pharmacy in 2017:

1. Pharmacy school enrollment will decrease – I’m not the first one to say this, ASHP has said this…but I did warn of this a while ago, based upon my experience in law school, back in 2014.  But all hope is not lost for pharmacy schools. Those who offer multiple degrees or one of a kind unique programs in tandem with PharmDs will be ahead.  Also, all is not lost for pharmacists…in fact…

2. The new pharmacist education and skill demonstration will lie in certifications.  I’ve written about this, started tracking certifications, and with a growing list of over 200 now, can only see this as a +++ for pharmacists who want to do education and demonstration of skills in the future.  I’ll have more on this growing area of pharmacist education in 2017.

3. More career diversity in pharmacy – At this point in time, now more than ever, pharmacists can enjoy a wide variety of career options.  However, it will take the bold and daring pharmacists out there to go out on a limb and really explore the fringes of healthcare and where pharmacists can make a difference.  HIT, informatics, wellness, employer wellness, addiction recovery–these are just a few arenas in the larger diversity of options for pharmacists.

4. Specialty grows – again.  Small molecules just aren’t where the pipeline is at – it’s all in specialty drugs and biologics. More biosimilars will make it to market and get through the courts too.

5. More mergers?  I’m not sure the mergers are done quite yet. In healthcare, economies of scale are important for cost savings, so I don’t believe we are done quite yet with mergers and acquisitions.  Look for more HIT and big data companies to join forces with hospitals and retail pharmacies to make more meaningful outcomes for patients in 2017.

6. Hybrid pharmacists – Pharmacists +  _____, the _____ being some other career avenue or education.  A pharmacist MBA. A pharmacist attorney. A pharmacist in public health, a pharmacist who is also a NP or PA.  I hate to be bleak, but pharmacists are a dime a dozen.  Pharmacists with a residency are a dime a dozen.  What’s rare and coveted are two brains in one. The hybrids will be a step ahead of everyone else.

7. The rise of the portfolio career for pharmacists – Pharmacists historically have just done one or two things professionally.  I think the portfolio career will finally hit pharmacy, and much like the hybrid pharmacists, those who do more in pharmacy than just one gig will rule 2017 and beyond.

How to Make a Wall of Fame in 5 Easy Steps

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

walloffamedec16For the last 2 days, I tore down and re-applied my home office wall of fame. A detailed picture of the new wall ready to go for 2017 is here.  I also had pics of the process of tear down and reconstruction over at instagram.

The wall of fame is like a live Pinterest board, completely customized for you. I guess I was a sucker for Pinterest long before Pinterest came to the internet.

Anyway, one of my friends wanted a wall of fame for herself…so I thought I’d cook up a little recipe here on how I built my wall of fame…ready?

How to Build a Wall of Fame:

1. Curate and compile a bunch of stuff you care about – for me, on my wall of fame, I have the following categories of items:

  • Thank you cards – this is the whole reason my wall of fame got started in the first place – tons of thank you cards and nowhere to display them.
  • Travel ephemera – like postcards, photos, business cards of amazing restaurants, ticket stubs to museums, etc.  This can either be from my travel, or from friends who send me postcards from exotic places.
  • Ticket stubs – Yeah, my U2 and Guns N Roses Ticket stubs were lovingly taken off the wall and immediately put back up on the wall, because I loved the concerts.
  • Pictures – of people you care about – friends, family, and in my case….cats.
  • Other items you care about – for me, that’s art by James Brandess (pretty sure every postcard of his work is on the wall of fame and remains on the wall), flowers (cut from various magazines).
  • Girlpower stuff – Well behaved women seldom make history bumper sticker, WCS Yale stuff, Girls Rule, etc.
  • Quotes – love a great quote. I also love a few notes from the universe that made it to the wall.
  • Poetry – Phenomenal woman? Yes, please.
  • Stickers, pins and cards of causes I care about – non profits, friends’ businesses, etc. This of course includes my own projects, books, and characters!
  • Funny jokes – memes galore and old-fashioned cartoons that cracked me up!
  • Characters from my past and present – Gumby, Pokey, Snoopy, Hello Kitty, Chococat, and of course the STEM Princesses.
  • Sparkly stuff – I have two office Patroni that are on the wall, a bulldog, and now Gumby and Pokey in 3D.
  • Other important stuff…to me.

2. Find a blank wall in your crib that you stare at a lot.  My wall of fame is directly across from my desk in my office, so I stare at it a lot when I’m thinking. It helps me trigger other ideas.

3. Start taping up items from #1 onto #2.  Caution – if you have drywall, you might want to find more user friendly means than I have – I use tape. That’s not good on drywall. You could try putting up a big cork board or use gooey backed stuff instead of tape. I’m NOT prescribing that you destroy your wall here, peeps! Do as I say and not as I do…

4. As you collect other great stuff over the year, add to it.  Now, the tear down occurred this weekend after an accumulation of 11 years’ worth of stuff.  It was literally layers upon layers of stuff.  What did I add to it for 2017? Well…

  • My one sheet of goals for 2017 – and they are strategically placed at eye level in an area that I have to stare at every time I leave the room.
  • Photos and certificates that never made it to the wall until now.
  • More stuff I love and cite all the time, but for some reason never made it to the wall. (Frank O’Hara’s Having a Coke with You is a great example.)

5. Curate and clean – repeat.  I may start making the cleanup of the wall of fame an annual ritual.  I loved taking everything down, reading it and remembering all the great times that triggered a lot of it.  Then, once I had everything down, I #KonMarie’d it.  Took the pile, went through each item, thanked each for its service in my life, and either put it in a category for going back up on the wall (like step 1 above) or put it in a storage box which is now in the basement.  (I guess if you’re doing true #KonMarie, you should be pitching it.)

Life has seasons. Friends come and go. The focus of your career, friends and family may change.  So, the wall of fame has kind of served as a post to me of things I love, and just like seasons of life, needs to be celebrated and at times curated and cleaned up.

I can’t wait to see my friends’ walls of fame!

Reverse Engineer Your Best 2017

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

I love a good end of year/start of a new year “how to” list. Clearly.

Here’s a tip I read from Laura Vanderkam: try thinking ahead to 12/31/17. If you achieved every goal you wanted to during 2017, visualize how that would look and feel on 12/31/17. Then, think about the big chunks of work it would take to get there.

Those are your goals for the year.

If you need more visual stimulus, set up that private board over at Pinterest.

Top 7 in ’17 for HBA Indiana

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

This is around the incoming work I’ll be doing for HBA Indiana in the coming year.  I needed to take a pause and list out the exciting things we’ll have for HBA in Indiana moving forward.  And, if you’re a woman in healthcare/lifesciences/biotech/devices in Indiana, please consider joining us this year – it will be fun and educational.


As we continue upon the holiday season and begin a new year, we wanted to reach out and thank you for supporting HBA Indiana throughout 2016 with your membership!  Without you, HBA Indiana Chapter would not exist – we appreciate YOU, who make what we do fun, exciting and memorable!

Here are the top 7 for 2017:

7. Our outgoing 2016 chapter board at HBA Indiana – the following members worked tirelessly in 2016 to provide the chapter great programming and leadership—thanks to all who served!.

6. Our incoming board for 2017 at HBA Indianathe following members will work hard for you in 2017, and we’re excited to have them on board for the new year!

5. Our volunteers!  Our volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization!  And, if you’ve never volunteered with HBA Indiana, now is the time to get involved in the new year.  We have needs on several of our committeesEmail us with your committee interest at: with “I want to volunteer for HBA Indiana” in the subject line.

4. Our first program of the new year coming on 1/11/17! Join us at Eli Lilly Corporate Center for our first program of the new year, Kickstart Your Career: The Plan, The Pivot and Finding the “A-ha.”

3. Our social media portals – join us over at:
Facebook page:
LinkedIn group:
Our chapter homepage:

2. Our national events coming in 2017 for HBA Global – mark your calendars now:
WOTY – 5/11/17 – New York City
National HBA Conference – 11/6/17 – 11/8/17 – Philadelphia, PA. (BTW, you can sign up for speaking consideration at the national conference now at the call for presentations:

1. Y-O-U!

Thank you again for supporting our chapter in 2017!  We’ve got even more events, ways to connect and benefits for you in the new year – and we look forward to seeing you at our 1/11/17 event!

Cheers to a new year – and you,

HBA Indiana

Scrum vs. Kanban; The Chicken vs. the Pig

Friday, December 16th, 2016

pexels-photo-195226One of my friends at work (a programming/software guy) was trying to explain Scrum vs. Kanban to me this week.  (I’m not even going to attempt explanations there–you can Google those.)  While it’s kind of Greek to me, I did reach the point in the Scrum book where it was entitled, “The Chicken vs. The Pig.”  Something I could relate to.

I asked him about that.  While controversial, it goes back to the old concept of…breakfast. At a breakfast of ham and eggs, the chicken is involved (by providing the eggs), but the pig is fully committed.

This is a fable that has spread of course beyond the world of software and project management.  But it’s worth pondering…especially for you when it comes to projects you’re doing as optional in your life, either at work, at home, or anywhere in between.

How fully committed are you to this project or thing you’re considering doing? Are you fully committed? Or just involved?

At the dawn of a new year in a few weeks, this is something worth pondering….

More on Getting Your $#!T Together in 2017: Review 2016

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

tagul-erin-albert-dec-2016Ok, people, please bear with me.  But I do honestly want to help each and every one of my fab 14 fans out and prepare all of us for the new year coming.

My post below didn’t have all the tips on how I went about writing my goals for the coming year. I wanted to back up and write down a few more, so I remember for next year, and to help you all out now if by chance you haven’t written all your goals down yet for 2017. (And you do, right? I don’t have to drag out all that hypothetical and real data that says if you write down your goals you’re much more likely to achieve them, right? I know you’re way smarter than that! ;)

So…a couple of other suggestions from the peanut gallery on how to have a kickin’ rockstarin 2017 involves….going back.

Did you review what you did this year in 2016?  You need to start there.  Here are a couple of suggestions on how to go about this process:

1. Start with your 2016 goals – How many did you achieve?  I looked at mine, and I achieved about 75% of them for 2016.  This isn’t bad.  On one hand, a lot of radical change happened in my life in 2016.  On the other hand, I don’t usually want to achieve 100% of my goals every year, simply because if I don’t have some super lofty stretch goals in there, then I’m not going big enough for the year.  My point: see what % or ratio of goals you actually accomplished THIS year FIRST.

2. Do a couple of word clouds – I think it’s important to understand what words you have around Y-O-U before you can advance.  So, take your most recent documents – your CV and/or resume, your blog, and your LinkedIn profile, and literally copy and paste all that text into any word cloud you want. (Here’s a list of 9 different word clouds.)  One of mine is above from 2016.

What do you see? Is it reflective of the work you did this year?  And, is it reflective of WHERE YOU WANT TO GO in 2017?  What words do you want bigger? What words do you want to get rid of?  This is the weeding and fostering process you want to go through BEFORE you write your goals for 2017.

3. Use the books: Your Best Year 2017 and Designing Your Life to reflect on ’16.  Both of these books have some tools to reflect on 2016 historically, and TODAY.  Use them.  One item I failed at in the past was moving on too quickly from my current state into the next whatever without reflecting much on what worked and what didn’t for TODAY.  These books are explained more in my other post.

4. Also in Designing Your Life – take the 5 year tests – There are 3 5-year tests in the book. I’m not going to spoil the fun here, but make sure after you get clarity on 2016, you know where you want to be 5 years from now, so you can reverse engineer your 2017.

5. Chunk down your goals into big buckets – This coming year, I have work, education, other freelance work, health, money, travel, and other as categories. Use what big categories work for you – they may be slightly different.

Ok, NOW you may write your 2017 goals.  It’s really important (and like I said before, something I’ve failed at in the past) to reflect on what I really did currently and in the current year before moving on to next.  As a future-focused gal, that’s always been my challenge.

Don’t be me…

Pharmacy Podcastastic

Friday, December 9th, 2016

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-12-19-44-pmNot going to lie – this just made my day!  Thanks to Todd Eury and his crew over at the Pharmacy Podcast for this tremendous honor in 2016!  Most of all, I hope my colleagues in pharmacy found it helpful.

If you’ve got more you want to discuss on #pharmacy career development in 2017 – hit me with it and let’s keep on rocking out there!!!

Top 10 List – 1Q17

Friday, December 9th, 2016

1q17wordcloudWow. 2017 is almost here.

You know what that means….time for another top 10 list of items I’m focused on for the first quarter of the year!

Here we go:

Books – More than 1 bullet here.

1. Wrapping up The S(He) Says Guide to Mentoring with Dr. David Borst – this is a 2-books-in-one combo. Pre-reserve your copy over at Indiegogo until 12/31/16.

2. Also, still cranking on SWE3 – the 5 year anniversary third edition of Single. Women. Entrepreneurs.

3. Last, starting to FINALLY crank on #STEMPrincess4!

4. HBA Indiana – starting presidency of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association – Indiana Chapter in 2017. We’ve got a lot of work to do here in order to kick the year off right!  You can come out and say hi at our first event of the year on 1/11/17.  This org has a mission of achieving gender parity in the ranks of healthcare companies, boardrooms and heads of organizations.  Sound familiar?  Also heading to HBA’s national Leadership Conference in Dallas in January!  I’m excited to meet colleagues in different chapters.

5. ASPL – continuing my work with ASPL, we’re shopping for publications for our first ever benchmarking survey of pharmacy law and ethics educators!  Yay!

6. Pharmacy Podcast – I’ve got a lot of miniseries ideas here – the hardest part will be focusing on which one to begin with in the new year! BTW, if you ever have ideas around healthcare and pharmacist career development that you want to hear about, send them my way. I want this work to be useful and helpful to the pharmacy masses!

7. Pharmacy Times/Pharmacy Careers – taking a deeper look at other ways to stand out as an expert within pharmacy beyond formal education this quarter. Stay tuned.

8. Meetings – still trying untangle this – but meetings I’d love to attend in ’17 if I had unlimited time and money would be:

  • HIMSS, February, Orlando – Shark Tank Keynotes, anyone? Yes, please! – Actually, I’ll be podcasting from this one!
  • Social Media Marketing World, March, San Diego
  • AMCP ’17, March, Denver
  • IBPA’s Publishing University, April, Portland, OR
  • Asembia ’17 Specialty Pharmacy Summit, April, Las Vegas
  • HBA’s WOTY, NYC May 11, 2017
  • Podcast Movement, August, Anaheim

(If anyone wants to comp me registration on any of these, let me know – hahaha! I know, a long shot, but don’t ask, don’t get!)

9. Indiana & HIT – Still trying to wrap my head around where the health IT community is in Indiana.  Started a tracker of companies, but need to do more work on this moving forward… Oh, yeah, and heading to SXSW17 as a mentor! I’m speaking at the Westin at 5 pm on 3/10 – come on out and say hi!

10. Coding – Still trying to grapple with and learning the menagerie of ICD-10, HCPCS, and CPT codes. It’s like a language from another planet inside another language (healthcare), but I’m working on it!

They Only Love the Diamonds After They’re Gone…

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

So, I’m a business mag junkie. HBR is of course part of my coffee-klutch morning reading.

This morning was not different.  I stumbled upon this article, which I thought articulated a feeling I’ve had before in several organizations I’ve worked for in the past, (I’ll not name any guilty parties), but most importantly, clearly shared the benefits why rock star employees should get involved in associations and volunteer.  Most of all, the following quote:

“…professionals are often taken for granted inside their own organizations.”

Think about it. It’s really true. There’s so much awesome talent around us, yet, when we plan a conference, retreat or seminar, the first thing we often do is look for the shiny, wise speaker OUTSIDE of the organization. If we need a new leader, we go OUTSIDE the company for someone to save us, when in fact this HBR article says the exact opposite should be happening, as outsiders take longer to adjust and get productive than insiders who are promoted.  (AND outsiders get paid 18-20% more – this should be a double DUH/no brainer to hire an internal candidate instead!)

I hope every leader of every organization reads this article, then the lightbulb comes on.  Take the blinders off and look around you at all the amazing talent staring you in the face before you head outside the 4 walls for a “better” or “more qualified” expert.

And most of all, if you’re an employee who has been taken for granted too many times, consider volunteering, joining associations, and getting involved outside of your day job.  It’s imperative for your career.  Even if you ARE happy where you are right now, it’s still a good idea, as businesses fold overnight. Pink slips can pop up at any time these days. It’s important to have good cred both inside AND outside of your day job….

<drops mic…and magazine….>