5 More Resources on Writing and Publishing

Screen Shot 2018-03-30 at 10.29.37 AMAh, yes, writing and publishing–not a week goes by without someone asking me about this topic. And, next week my brand new book will be here (and just out on Kindle) – so I thought it was time to revisit this topic again, but with someone who does more coaching around it than me of late. So, below I’m going to share with you some new and older resources around writing and publishing and why it is so important to do this as a professional. Ready?

Whether you’re writing your first book, or 13th in my case – there’s always room to learn more about writing and publishing. My sincere thanks to SPS and Marcy for this opportunity to share more about something that I love to do!

Never. Stop. Shining.

trepbookcoversI’ve had an awesome week.

But, I’ve also had a butt-kicking week.

One of the questions I kept getting asked at SXSW was – “How do I stop getting people to see me in only one way, as a _____?”

(The blank = typically what your first profession was, or your first major in college.)

First off, this is kind of the generalist vs. the specialist argument that I’ve often described here before. Second, people love to put other people in nice compartments – that’s probably why the Container Store is so wildly popular. We like to make things simple and neat.

Sorry, but life is not simple and neat. And the most interesting people often aren’t simple.

Third, many with the indoctrination of ONE JOB FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE (the very old concept of the industrial revolution) may not ever understand that people have to have MULTIPLE careers ongoing now – not just one. ONE JOB IS DANGEROUS, because what if that ONE JOB goes away overnight?

The other challenge the SXers often asked about was “How can I do multiple things in my career?”

That’s actually easier. You simply make time for the things you care about.

Yes, you have to get a day job to feed your bank account and bills. Sometimes, you get lucky and you can also feed your soul at your day job. But, if you can’t, you still have 8 hours every day to do something that feeds the latter. Maybe you won’t get paid in $. But, your spiritual capital will benefit. Or, better yet, you can learn key skills while doing passion projects that can lead you into being paid for them in a gig later on.

The bottom line with both of these questions: never stop being you. Shine on. If the rest of the world tries to put you in one nice little box because they comprehend that you can only do ONE thing, that’s their problem, not yours. Second, know that you’re not alone, if you’re out there reinventing yourself, or your career, or juggling a lot of different things. It’s OKAY to want to do more and grow in your life…to try new things. In fact, you’re now in the majority. And those box putters with ONE job are going to have a very, VERY rude awakening soon…

2018 Indiana General Assembly Bills on Healthcare Pharmacy and Practitioners

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 8.38.50 AMBelieve it or not, it’s spring. That means that the Indiana General Assembly should be winding down another session (although, this year, they didn’t get everything done, so they’ll be back.) Until then, I’ve compiled a list of the more relevant healthcare bills that passed the session thus far, and a few that have not yet been signed. Check it out, download it for free for a limited time, here.

Dear Mayor Fadness of Fishers,

If you don’t live in Indiana, look away. For I’m about to send an electronic rant the way of my city (Fishers, IN)’s mayor…I have been whining about this problem on social media for years, and one of my friends basically (in a very nice way) suggested to me today to stop whining and send the mayor a letter instead.  So, Bailee – this one is for you…and all the other entrepreneurs in our fair city who want to try and change the world, but not go broke doing so.

Dear Mayor Fadness of Fishers, IN:

Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 5.31.46 PMI’m continuing to see a disturbing trend in our city. In this post, I will attach a photo of a large section of our city and housing stock currently for sale. And, it was just taken today.

It’s difficult to see the range of property prices on this map, but there’s a range of $1,500 (for one property, which I’m guessing is a rental) all the way through to nearly a million dollars. Most are in the range of $300K+ on this map.

What I find disturbing about this map is that there are few, if any, affordable housing options listed on it currently. In fact, I live inside the boundaries of the picture attached. And candidly, if I had to shop again in this section of Fishers today, I don’t think I could afford buy a house here.

I am also a part time entrepreneur. I’m solo. I went to college, and graduate school. While I don’t have a lot of debt (zero educational debt), I do have a mortgage. Quite frankly, I hate it. I detest having a mortgage. Debt is a lot like indentured servitude; it limits one’s options. And yes, I made the choice to live here and carry debt, so I live with and deal with my choices–and I’m lucky enough to be able to pay my mortgage each month. However, I worry for the rest of our fair city–and our future.

What’s disturbing in addition to the escalating home inventory cost in the city is that the vision of the city itself, at least from my understanding, wants to be entrepreneurial. We just had a big grand opening of an IoT center in the city. We have big hopes and dreams of being a strong tech hub for startups. A lot of entrepreneurial momentum is going, which is great. But, respectfully, how can we encourage and foster entrepreneurship in our city if we don’t have affordable places for the dreamers, doers, creatives, young professionals with ambition, and risk takers to live?

This is not a new problem, it’s relatively well documented; but it is relatively new to us.

Yes, I understand we have rentals here. But does renting an apartment really tie our young professionals to the city? Not really. Nor does it give them any incentives to grow roots here. It just costs a bit less, and even worse, builds no equity for our young professionals to stay. They’ll just move on to greener and more affordable pastures, if our housing stock just keeps on escalating in price. After all, isn’t being an affordable tech hub our #1 selling point as a state? We seem to be disconnecting from this concept. This should bother you and your city council. It bothers me. Just look at San Francisco’s problem for a glimpse of our future on our current course when it comes to a housing crisis.

I’ve been following the tiny house movement for a decade or so now, as well as mixed use properties, where retail by entrepreneurs exists on the first floor, and owners live above their storefronts on the second floor. Other cities are on this – look at what Witchita is doing with MicroMansions, or Detroit–or the grandfather of them all, Tumbleweed. I just returned from SXSW where they had printed a house for $4K. What about our retirepreneurs? They need housing that’s affordable too–multigenerational living is skyrocketing with granny cottages in back yards – but can we offer this in our city? All of these options are cool and cute, too. Tiny does not need to be boring, ugly or an eyesore either. It can be awesome and a new way to live, which actually decreases financial burdens on home owners, allows them to create more flexibility and take more risk for their careers (like become entrepreneurs), and brings communities closer together.

Why don’t we try some different housing options in our city of entrepreneurs? What if we could create an affordable ecosystem where people could live without the confines of hundreds of thousands of dollars in housing debt, so they could create and thrive without worrying where the next mortgage payment is coming from? Tiny houses would be awesome, because people might actually be able to afford to take more risks with their careers and not carry mortgages, yet build equity in our city by reaching home ownership without the enslavement of a ton of debt. Considering 40% of the US workforce may be freelance by 2020, that presents some challenges from the traditional model of home ownership and/or mortgages, because freelancers do not get paid as regularly as employees.

If you truly want to be an entrepreneurial city, you’ll be worried about this as much as I am. Please stop with the granting of McMansion subdivision permits and zoning, and start considering alternative housing that is affordable and providing some zoning relief for creativity. We need to support our entrepreneurs and dreamers more than just by offering them a place to work–we need to also offer them a safe, affordable place to live. I know you know this as well when it comes to entrepreneurs finding affordable retail space in our city too – but I’ll save that problem for another post.

I’ll stop the letter for now…but I won’t stop worrying about this…nor should you.


Erin L. Albert


#IoT Checkup on…Smart Speakers

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 10.10.07 PMI’ve been keeping my eyes and ears on Smart Speakers. I love the idea of them–”Alexa, save me time and help me not waste it at the grocery store!” But, I don’t really love the idea of them always listening. I don’t own one…yet. But after this analysis, I’m not completely clear on which one has the solid advantages over the other.

And, of course there are more options out there than the two I’m about to compare. I’ll let you go research those.

Now that more apps are coming for them (they call them Actions in Alphabet Google Home or Skills on Amazon Echo), and after attending a SEO meet up at SXSW, where the bulk of the conversation was not about SEO on search engines anymore – it was a land grab for SEO on these smart speakers, I thought I’d take a look at a little more on what they’re offering:

In my opinion (and mine alone here), I think Amazon has the big advantages of higher market penetration with 20 million homes and growing (last I saw, there are 120 million homes in the US?) Also, I think Amazon has been a little more aggressive in partnering up with others for the technology and knowledge (AARP is a key example).

On the other hand, Google Home speaks more languages now and possibly in the future, has a wider variety of retailers you can buy from (not just Amazon), and has a lot more “Actions” than Amazon has “Skills.”

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 10.07.28 PM

I looked a little closer at health and fitness in both of the smart speakers. While they have fitness I think nailed down pretty well, they’re not doing much in health yet. “Answers on Cigna” is probably one of the more recent examples on Amazon’s Skills. However, there are some skills in the Amazon store that have little to no description, and are poorly rated.

So, methinks both platforms would want to screen out bad apps (skills & actions) much like Apple does with podcasts on iTunes. (Quality, anyone? Especially when it comes to our healthcare.) If you’re reading this and you work at Alphabet and/or Amazon: pay attention to healthcare apps/skills/actions – they need to be super accurate. In fact, I’m kind of surprised that FDA isn’t creeping into this space and starting to watch what happens in this arena, because it’s a land grab right now and kind of the wild wild west….considering healthcare is highly regulated, I’m guessing someone at FDA is watching the drug bits.

The podcast geek in me is interested in the Chompers Skill that was put up by Gimlet media relatively recently. It has high ratings, and was created by a company that creates…podcasts.

So, after my little analysis here and above, am I ready to buy one? Nope. Not yet. But I see the day where I might trade my privacy in for my time wasted at the grocery store. Until then, I’ll keep my eyes and ears open to see who wins this new frontier (and battle) in commerce.

Sources for table and this article from:

https://www.voicebot.ai/2017/11/07/cirp-says-27-million-amazon-echo-google-home-smart-speakers-sold/ https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/05/google-says-it-sold-a-google-home-device-every-second-since-october-19/ https://www.sdentertainer.com/news/privacy-concerns-home-smart-speakers/ https://www.wired.com/2017/06/guide-to-ai-artificial-intelligence-at-home/ http://www.businessinsider.com/cleo-new-alexa-skill-for-teaching-foreign-languages-2018-3

A First for Me, on IIB

Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 10.48.18 AMShout out in March for Women’s History Month. And, specifically, to Inside Indiana Business, for recognizing this important event with an all-woman powered episode. I had the opportunity to be on the other side of the camera, interviewing CEO and co-founder of Codelicious! Check it out here.

And thanks to Gerry and his crew for the opportunity!

Single Women Entrepreneurs: 5 Years Later

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 2.57.01 PMMy new book is in the house! Right now, it’s available at Amazon Kindle and the hardcopies are available only at my store. And the books are NOW AVAILABLE!

Here’s the official press release.

There’s a podcast below too!

Here are some FAQs I’ve already received on this book:

1. Why did you write this book?

This one has been a long time coming, and candidly a year overdue, but, Single Women Entrepreneurs: 5 Years Later is my follow up with women from the first book, Single. Women. Entrepreneurs., where I go back to the original women in the first two editions of the book, and ask them follow up questions, like – “Is your business still operating?”, “Did it change?”, “How did you change?”, “Has your advice on being a woman entrepreneur changed?” I also had a new woman in the book, Mona Das, as I wanted to show that women are also still out here starting businesses and running their own show. Although, it’s very, very hard to do really well and ‘successfully’, although everyone has a different definition of success.



2. What did you learn while writing this book?

That again, running a business is hard. Even women who were seemingly successful in the first books–women who were winning awards, held at high regard in their communities, doing really cool things–still had to close their doors in some cases, because they ran out of capital. Or they became burned out. On the other hand, some women just figured out how to make it work, despite major life changes. There’s no one way to do things, and by showing different approaches throughout this book by talking to women all over the US, I thought it was important to show both ends of the spectrum – the good and not so good, because that is REAL. Being an entrepreneur is not all glamorous–despite what Instagram and Facebook portray.

3. Why should someone else read this book? 

I think everyone should read this in order to understand the REALITY of starting a business. It’s not easy. I think it’s also really important for everyone to read this book because there are unique challenges to women who start businesses – like gross underfunding. Bootstrapping is an uphill battle that many if not all women face in this book. The more we talk about the challenges, the easier we can try to find solutions.

4. Who is in the book?

You can find a list of the women and their businesses at the press release, here.  And here, I need to thank all of the women who dared to appear in this book. Talking about starting a business is one thing. Talking about maintaining a business and the challenges with it is something else completely different, and it takes courage. So, shout out to all the women in the book who dared to share. I was really surprised by the amount of change that happened in many of the gals’ lives over just 5 years, which is a tiny span of time. That may speak to the fact that our economy is changing rapidly–and that’s another item I worry that colleges aren’t sharing enough with their students. The way that we work in the US is changing; 9-5 40 hour work week jobs are going the way of the dodo. So, how can we share with the next generations how to change, adapt and thrive in this new economy?

5. When will the book officially launch?

As soon as I have the ship date on my physical book. Which should be soon! (I always try to give you, the fab 14 a heads up in advance.)

6. What do you hope to get out of this experience with this new book?

If one woman gets inspired to start a business by reading this book, it will have achieved an amazing endpoint. If another woman who started a business on the fence to close decides to forge ahead with her business, or even close it based upon the wisdom in this book, great.  You can be what you can see, and I don’t see enough women in the literature sharing their business ideas and businesses with the world.

Thanks, as always, for your support. Every book is a journey, and every book an opportunity to make the universe just a little better place.

My Recap of SXSW Health/Interactive – 2018

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 4.57.22 PMSpring is one of my favorites. And now, one of the hallmarks that I know spring is coming: SXSW! I just returned from SX for 2018, serving as a mentor again this year in health and wellness.

(What did I get asked about? Find out over at the SXSW 2018 recap episode, here!)

Here’s what I learned, and I only witnessed a tiny fraction of one day of this epic, several-week-long festival in music, film, interactive and education.

My Recap of SXSW 2018 Interactive: Health

1.    New this year for virtual attendees: SXSW live streamed several, if not all their keynotes this year on Facebook. I watched Esther Perel, who’s talk was entitled, The Future of Love, Lust and Listening. Her new best-selling book is new called The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. She also runs a podcast with couples therapy, and the 2nd season started during her time at SX. If you run over to the SXSW Facebook page now, you can still see her talk, and other huge keynotes, like Melinda Gates and Elon Musk – for FREE!

2.    Also, new for me this year – the Trade Show. It was broken into several different categories. It had 2 stages (discovery and next stage), and then several exhibitor pavilions – health, international, social impact, and startup village. Strolling through a tiny part of the trade show at the convention center, we stumbled upon some really cool companies – like wethos – a company that’s like Fiverr or 99 Designs that works for nonprofits: https://wethos.co/. Super smart cities were there for economic development too. For example, Raleigh, NC had a booth there, which featured small business owners who are awesome in Raleigh. Shout out to Videri Chocolate Factory, who was in the Raleigh booth, and who’s chocolate was yummy, and dark chocolate is healthy, right?

3. Also new this year: the SXSW Wellness Expo at the Palmer Events Center Exhibit hall as part of the trade show. You can check out some videos of it over at Instagram.

4. Thank you to Dell for hosting a women funding women session. Although I couldn’t get to it with my compressed schedule, I appreciate that they had a session to help women entrepreneurs get funded with their businesses – as women entrepreneurs are grossly underfunded.

5.  Also, shout out to my friend Shwen Gwee and his friends – who ran a Health Spark 2018 Session March 11-12th for SXSW. He had topics from blockchain in health, to using chatbots in health, AI, machine learning, and digital wellness. I saw while I was there an interesting statistic during his “Barracuda Bowl” – where startups in health tech competed to win a cash prize – that by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed through conversation WITHOUT a human!

6.    Also on the HIT front, talked to the Founder of CareSet – which works with Medicare claims data to help companies guide drug launches. We’ll need to get Ashish on the podcast!

7.    Also, I hit the bookstore again this year. I would LOVE to see more of this in the future! You can go and meet the authors too for autographs and pictures.

8.    Overall hot topics this year in interactive/health: AI, AR, blockchain, and SEO relative to video and most of all – digital voice technologies – for everything, including health. (Hey Alexa – can you go run for me tonight?) I attended a packed meetup on SEO – and all the talk was about video (and how to get video to show up high on SEO rankings) and digital voice technology SEO. SX also live streamed a session in one of their pavilions with interactive AI pet dogs that learn the voice and behavior of those interacting with it.

SXSW I approached a little differently this year – I went in with a tight itinerary and stuck to the plan–and had a friend come along - NaShara Mitchell - a fellow educator/entrepreneur. (Otherwise, the conference can get a little overwhelming.) Thankfully, the day ran like clockwork! So, overall, a GREAT day for me in Austin – and I hope that you, too, have the opportunity to attend the festival soon if you’re in health and/or wellness. It’s like a breath of fresh air for healthcare – something we desperately need in this country!

The New Order for Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs): From the Unicorn Helpdesk

unicornI was recently asked a ton of questions about the MSL role, in several different venues–including SXSW. Unicorn helpdesk to the rescue!

First, resources are already out there so you don’t go reinventing the wheel on the MSL:

MSL Book

MSL Career Primer – Online Course - this contains all my work on the MSL role in the past 10+ years.

Ok – next, if you’ve dove into these resources, here are my thoughts on questions I was asked recently about the MSL’s future, other roles tangential to it, and conferences on or for MSLs. (Opinions are mine and mine alone here…).

I believe that the MSL is here to stay. Pharma and biotech companies would be completely stupid to get rid of them. (Yes, I said stupid.) In this era of high dollar drugs, personalized medicine and specialty pharmacy exploding, MSLs are needed now more than ever, because every new drug is not necessarily right for every patient. Sometimes there’s a pharmacogenomic test or a clinical process/assessment a patient has to go through to even be considered for a therapy. Further complicating matters, it may be a subjective test by the clinician. It’s only become more sophisticated and complicated – that’s why the MSL has a great future, because they’re the clinicians and experts who can educate the practitioners on the drugs and the processes around those drugs before they get to the (right) patients. And while a few MSLs are PhDs, I generally feel that MSLs are better with a clinical background than a bench pre-clinical background (my opinion only). I’m also a fan of a mix of backgrounds on a team – but at the end of the day, the MSL should be talking to academic thought leaders who treat patients – not rats in a lab. That’s why having an appreciation for clinical practice is important to the MSL.

Second – there are other roles tangential to the MSL role that are also growing and probably here to stay. There are health economics and outcomes (HECON) MSLs, which also have a role with payers, and healthcare plans. They focus on outcomes data for the most part – and where I think they’ll be even more valuable over time is in the area of value based outcomes reimbursement. I just read the other day that apps will start being approved with molecules by FDA to track value based outcome payments and reimbursement for specialty drugs.

Yes, there will be an app for that.

There are managed care liaisons as well – which may be a hybrid of the two roles above, but their clients would be more of the payer decision makers. Back in the ‘olden’ days of MSLs – the MSLs did all the roles above, but now companies realize that different audiences require different types of professionals to call upon them, so bigger companies may have MSLs, HECON MSLs, and managed care MSLs. Smaller ones may not. But all roles are essential for a strong community understanding of a new drug or biologic.

Finally, there are in house medical affairs folks that work with the field based roles and sometimes work directly with medical information. Often, I’ve seen in house medical affairs people wind up out in the field as a promotion; rarely the other way around. Generally, calls centers for in-house medical affairs are a starting point for pharmacists new to the industry, and most (not all) don’t want to remain in a call center for the rest of their lives. So, one way to move up is to start in the call center, then move over to medical affairs as a MSL. (If your company has the forward-thinking culture to promote from within.) It will be interesting to see which drug companies pick up on the chat bot technology and employ it in their medical affairs teams in house. Chat bots won’t work for the MSL role, however, because true MSLs are or should be working with the science in ways that aren’t necessarily even tried in clinical trials just yet, like investigator-initiated trials.

Biggest challenges for MSLs today include time (it’s always a challenge) as well as pressure to be in more places at once. The sheer volume and size of most MSLs’ territories demands that they be in several places at once. Solid time management skills, self direction and self motivation are and always have been keys for successful MSLs. Also, MSLs have the constraints of doing more with less, just like all of us in healthcare these days. This also includes conference coverage and maximizing time at conferences. (My friend Kristin Eilenberg has this one covered, btw.)

I would also say that the other challenge for most competitive MSLs is career ennui. What I mean by that is–the MSL, if s/he wants to move up inside the company they work for, either must move, (to the home office), be a manager of MSLs (in the field), or just work as a MSL for another company or therapeutic area. MSLs generally are type A people who love a challenge, and get bored easily. So, career development is always a challenge for the best and brightest here. I’ve never seen a career progression conference here out of the MSL role – that might be something cool to explore. (I don’t personally have the capacity to develop this type of conference right now. If you’re a conference organizer – you’re welcome.)

As for useful conferences for MSLs – I track those here. And while this list is primarily pharmacy based, most MSLs are still pharmacists – so there is overlap. I’ve previously addressed some of my favorites in the MSL Guide I wrote above, and not much has changed in the conference world since then. For the most part, the same vendors are at it, with a few other newbies thrown in of late on top that I can’t comment on, since I’ve not been to their events.

Last, but certainly not least – I’d personally love to see the MSLs get more involved in a product’s launch these days, particularly if the drug is high dollar, has a pharmacogenomic test associated with it, and/or is a nightmare to bill, or has limited distribution. (One of the checkpoint inhibitors with your online billing guide = you’re doing it right. I won’t say which one…you’ll need to investigate that one on your own–as I’m not here to promote drugs.) Just finding an actual launch date for a drug can be a massive time vacuum – and these are all areas where the MSL can help.

That’s the latest thoughts on the MSL role. Again, smart companies fully realize their value, and I don’t see them going away any time soon.


Opening of SXSW Interactive: Esther Perel

Awesome. (Caution: explicit language.)


Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 8.08.36 AMAfter reading this article in the WSJ this morning about the ‘trouble’ behind a high schooler wanting to go to trade school after high school, coupled with a memory from law school of learning about the biennale in Venice (I know, this is a weird mash up), I think one of the things we forget about college is that we not only get an ‘education’ in books inside the classroom, but we also get an education in growing up and becoming independent adults outside the classroom.

(So, follow along with me here on my argument, which is a bit odd, but hopefully I’ll make my point at the end.)

One thing I think many universities are also missing out on are these classes or communities that are created AFTER college. For example, my first alma mater – Butler University – is where I share several connections with other alumni in the community that I still am connected to this very day. I think it’s kind of like going to Hogwarts–in that once you’re in, there’s a community that you automatically become a part of…for life.

However, people are rebelling that the cost of college is exorbitant. I agree to some extent. But, where I think the value and opportunity lies and that many universities aren’t taking advantage of – is the community itself–the alumni–built over time. Re-gathering the people and alumni is important, and a valuable win for all parties. The relationship between the individual and the 4 year undergraduate institution should never stop upon commencement. It’s always going to be there, potentially.

Some might argue that’s what we call “homecoming”, Erin. Duh. Yeah. I understand. However, I’m not talking about everyone meeting out in the parking lot before the game to drink beer. Candidly, that is not enough.

I think every university should have it’s own biennale. So, in Butler’s case, maybe a Butlernnele. (Or a McKinnennele, or a Concordiannele, or a Shenandoahnnele.)

What do I mean by this?

Every other year, or even every year – the university coordinates and celebrates a day or a weekend focused on alumni and their contributions to the world. They can teach the students at the university what they learned, connect and re-connect, and make the community of alumni even stronger. It gives the alumni the opportunity to share their work and wisdom, and in turn creates layered learning for the next generation. It gives the alumni an opportunity to re-connect with the university, and it gives everyone an opportunity to focus on one of the most valuable and unexploited advantages of attending a college in the first place–the community itself.

It drives me nuts and breaks my heart a little every time I get one of those slick (super expensive to print) magazines in the mail from my 4 alma maters on alumni and the university. Please – make that come to life instead and dump the magazines. Live stream the Butlernnele. Share it with the community at large and celebrate the one-of-a-kind community that has been created in the alumni pool.

I’ll step off my soapbox now.

And if the gal up in the WSJ article above chooses to be a mechanic – she can do this idea with her alma mater too. I think it would make an awesome car show!

See You at SX?

Screen Shot 2018-03-08 at 4.56.19 PMSuper pumped for the weekend – as I’m heading to Austin to mentor again at SXSW! Hope to see you there?

The thing I love most about it is the people – it definitely brings out my tribe. When you talk to people there, they’re doing a bunch of different cool, interesting things.

That, and the Austin weather. It’s the BEST this time of year – 70 degrees? What does that really feel like, anyway?


#SMDames Turns 5

Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 6.57.11 PMEXCITING NEWS!

This year, in 2018, the #SMDames franchise turns 5. If this event series was a kid, it would be a wiry headed spitfire of a child. But, instead, it’s a conference series that gets amazing women in social media together to share their stories and teach other women how to spread their own through channels online.

Social media is getting bashed a lot these days, but considering large brands have over 250 digital experiences to manage now, social is only going to get bigger and more varied – it’s not going away.

So, ladies, mark your calendars and get ready to join the 5th birthday party with us this year on 8/3/18 in Indy!

I have to change to stay the same.

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 10.01.17 AMWillem de Kooning said this.

And I love this piece on CBS Sunday Morning about the #1 restaurant in the world, Eleven Madison Park, which, when named #1 restaurant in the world, decided to shut its doors, melt everything down, and start over again–at its height of success.

Last night, I shredded my LinkedIn profile, and decided to start over again. This time, focused on my #1 strength – being futuristic. It doesn’t really have my day jobs on it anymore. Instead, I wanted to focus on the future of several topics that I follow, study and research.

After all, we have to change.

A No Today…

Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 6.01.34 PM…means a no today. Tomorrow? All bets are off.

And trust me on this – for those who really want to do big things, try new things, and go for it – they’re going to face a lot of failure. Tons. Like, exponentially more than the average person.

I’ve been rejected more times than I have fingers in the past week on various fronts. But I just get up, shake it off, and realize that I’m that closer to a win…a yes…a proceed.

If you want to avoid Nos and failures – don’t try. Don’t stick your neck out.

And enjoy your boring, safe life.

Answers from the Unicorn Helpdesk – 2/18/18

unicornMore questions – with more answers this week. Here we go!

Q: How do you transition to a full-time writing job?

A: You don’t really, overnight. Being a full-time writer does not necessarily translate into full-time pay.* I’ve been writing for decades now, and I’m still not making a huge income from writing. Now, JK Rowling and EL James do – but they are the exceptions. You can see yesterday’s post on fallacies on book publishing. The exceptions may lie in grant writing and medical writing – but other than that, you’d be best to consider writing a side hustle, then grow it over time.

Q: How do you find great podcast guests?

Keep your mind, eyes open and ears open. Seriously – there’s so much going on in the world that if you keep up with everything going on in your field, you’ll never run out of interesting topics and speakers. My problem isn’t finding speakers and topics, it’s time. Podcasts upcoming: include part 2 of our design thinking in pharmacy episode with a design thinker, more on our brand new Digital Communication, Leadership & Entrepreneurship APPE rotation with the Pharmacy Podcast, and so much more.

How do you transition out of a day job after 30 years at one company into retirement?

Of all the unicorn help desk questions of late, I find this one the most interesting. With 10,000 baby boomers now retiring every day, and several very lucky Gen Xers, coupled with us all living longer, this is a great question. I’m interested to hear what you think on this one – tweet your ideas to me @ErinLAlbert over at Twitter with the hashtag #RetireRight.

What is the hottest trend in social media?

Live video streaming. I’m just trying to figure out if the reach is better at Facebook Live, or Youtube right now. (Although, once recorded, Facebook alleges that video is indexed on Google.)

What’s your favorite new app?

I’m trying to figure out Radish.

What’s the biggest thing you accomplished this week?

Thanks for asking! I finished my next book, Single Women Entrepreneurs: 5 Years Later. It’s a year overdue, honestly. But, a part of me thinks it was delayed for a reason. What reason? I’m not quite sure just yet. But, I’m moving forward with the launch. So, if you know anyone who wants to talk more about women entrepreneurs, and why single women entrepreneurs start more businesses, I’d welcome the chat.

*Full-time pay is a relative and subjective amount, of course. I’ve only made 5-figures with my writing career thus far per year.

8 Biggest Fallacies in Book Publishing

Screen Shot 2018-02-17 at 10.46.45 AM

I write and publish books. But that doesn’t mean that I’m special. It just means that I’m lucky enough to spread the word on my writing and try to bring people with me on my learning and writing journeys.

While we’re at it, here are some huge fallacies I’ve discovered in penning my 13 books now over the past decade and navigating myself through the world of publishing. Just about to keep it real with you all.


8 Big Fallacies in Book Publishing:

  1. Writing and publishing a book will make you rich. Uhm, no. Sorry. Unless you’re one of the ultra rare (JK Rowling or EL James, as two quick examples), you’re not going to get rich in book publishing. Even the greats take decades and write dozens of books before they can make a living off of their writings and royalties. If you have a fantasy that you’ll quit your day job and just automatically replace the income overnight with book royalties, think again. It no longer works that way.
  2. Writing and publishing a book will make you famous. Again, nope. This is not the case. You may have 5 seconds of fame if you write about a hot topic in the press at some random point in time. But, you’re not going to be an overnight superstar just by writing one book.
  3. You don’t have to sell your book if you get picked up by a traditional publisher. This one is completely and utterly wrong. In fact, many ‘traditional’ book publishers now are more interested in the size of your tribe to sell a book, rather than the content of the book itself. The only one and the best one to market and sell your book is Y-O-U as the author. No one else cares as much about your stuff as you do, period.
  4. After publishing your book, you’ll make a bunch of money off of speaking and consulting gigs with little to no effort. Again, wrong. While yes, you do get invited to more speaking gigs and talk about your book–many places will not pay you big bucks out of the gate to keynote for their conferences. Maybe you’ll get lucky and get travel & expenses. But, if you think you’re going to publish a book overnight and then start demanding a $100K honorarium to speak per talk, you’re delusional. The writers who command this type of honorarium either were famous in an arena outside of book publishing prior to writing and publishing their book, and/or hustled their way to big bucks for speaking. It doesn’t happen overnight.
  5. Because you’re so rich and famous from book publishing, you can and often do give away free advice. Well, maybe if you’re Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. But, both of them know what I also know–that time is the most precious asset of all. And time is money. That’s why they both say “No” a. Lot. I rarely, if ever, give away free advice any more as a consultant for this reason. That, and people don’t seem to value free advice. A subset does, however, value strong advice–and is willing to pay for it.
  6. The easiest books to write and publish are children’s books; anyone can write a children’s book. False. I just had a conversation with a fellow writer about this one this week (who also happened to write both children’s books and adult titles). Children’s books are by far the HARDEST books to write well–for a myriad of reasons. You can listen to an upcoming podcast episode I have coming up on the Pharmacy Podcast/Pharming Your Career about this very topic in the next month or so – watch for it.
  7. Once you’ve written a few self-published books, you’ll find a traditional publishing route, an agent, and you’ll start making great money. Oops – wrong, again. In fact, the more I write and publish, the more I realize that I need fewer, not more people between me and my superfan readers. I want to be able to know who purchases my books, and how I can better serve them. When publishers and Amazon hide that information from me as an author, I can’t connect with my fans and readers, which is a huge detriment to better serving them in the future. Thus, it’s really important for me to have a direct line to my fans and readers.
  8. Everyone has at least one book in them. This one, I actually do believe. However, where the men get separated from the boys occurs when the book actually gets written and published. If I had a nickel for every time some aspiring author came up to me and asked me how to write a book, and then never acted upon the advice (which is generally – sit down, and write it), I shake my head and realize I could be picking up another nickel. Writing and book publishing isn’t something that requires a high IQ. It instead requires perseverance, determination, grit, and a little stubbornness. People who write and publish books are brave and hard workers. They’re okay with working through and despite the universe telling them they CANNOT do something, and instead just doing it. They show up, they do the work, and they see the project through to the end. My latest book is a case on this as well – it’s a year late, but this weekend, I approved the final galley. It’s late…but it’s done.

There. I hope this helps demystify the halo around book publishing. If you know an author out there who is cranking out books and trying to make the world a better place through their writing, congratulate them on their work, support them by honoring and paying them for their time, buy their books, and give them reviews at Goodreads and Amazon. Because, for all the reasons I list above, they’re not getting all the glory that you think.

A Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day, all.

(Although I’ve admitted here on more than one occasion that I’m not the biggest fan of the day.)

I’d really love it, however, if everyone could stop the shootings and madness, particularly in schools.

The part I do like about this day is that it’s supposed to be about love.

Not hate.

My valentine is going to Broward County this year, too.

FAQs from the Unicorn Helpdesk

unicornI’m officially now part of the Unicorn HelpdeskTM.

Pray tell, what is the Unicorn Helpdesk?

Well, we help with assorted questions and queries that come across our desk from time to time.

Here are a few of the latest.

1. What Podcast Host would you recommend?


2. What are you reading right now?

I’m finishing Dan Pink’s new book, When.

3. How can you help me take my pharmacy career to the next level?

Well, I used to offer some masterminds on this in the past, but they take a lot of time, and I can’t always sit at the desk awaiting coaching sessions–it’s hard to be on demand in the real world. So, the solution was to come up with an online course with one on one live coaching built in as a feature of the course. The course is called 57 Cool Jobs for Pharmacists.  All my new online courses are here.

Another option for rising P4 pharmacy majors and even adults in the real world is here.

4. What class(es) do you recommend for publishing and writing? Do you offer a class on publishing and writing?

I don’t offer one, but I recommend this one. (Full disclosure: I took it and I know it’s solid.)

5. Can we talk for 15 minutes about __(insert topic here)___? 

Yes! We can. Just pay online here (scroll down to the coaching section) and then we can get a 15 minute Skype session set up for you.

6. How are you using Anchor?

I use Anchor for occasional updates on what I’m up to on Fridays for the weekend and the weeks ahead. Think of it as mini-podcasting.


8 Ways to Work Together in 2018

Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 1.55.37 PMAs we all plot and plan our 2018s, I wanted to reach out and update a list of ways that we can work together in 2018. Not only because I like to be organized, but after mind mapping the best hits of my 2017, I realized that collaborations in ’17 were some of my favorite things, and I therefore want to expand this mojo into ’18 and beyond. Here’s a list of some of my tribes and work.

(And thanks, BTW, to name just a few of my collaborators in 2017: Valita Fredland on big data and privacy, Dr. David Borst on mentoring women, Todd Eury on the Pharmacy Podcast Network, George Zorich on his Pharmacy Entrepreneurs book, and of course, our former fellow Dr. Lauren Steinbach during her fellowship wrap up. In addition, orgs that I partnered with, thanks: Wharton Reimagine Education Awards, Indy Big Data, HIMSS, SXSW, ASPL, Cardinal Health, and HBA Indiana.)

So, here’s how I can play in the sandbox with the universe:

1. Pharming Your Career Podcast - Pharmacy Podcast Network – Here’s a sampling of my past two years’ work as a podcast co-host, but moving forward in 2018, I’ll have my very own channel on the network to focus on the following domains:

We are working on our rate card for mid roll sponsorships, one episode, miniseries, and at meetings and conventions for 2018 – hit me up if you’d like to learn more and reference “Pharming Your Career.”

If you’re a pharmacy major or a practicing pharmacist and want to learn more about new media and podcasting, of course you can apply to this.

2. Books - So, my next massive book launch is Single Women Entrepreneurs: 5 Years Later. This book will be out 1Q18, and is available for presale now at a sig discount. Also, I’d LOVE to share the stories of the incredible women in this book in media (podcasts, TV, radio, and any other channels), and started to share some of their massive value bombs online in quotes digitally. If you run a podcast or show that works with entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs or supports singletons, let’s talk – I’d love to share more with you and your tribes! (#STEMPrincess4 will be coming, but later in the year.)

3. Sponsored written targeted info – We’ve got a pretty massive following at the pharmacy podcast (67K listeners and counting) – but in addition, I’ve got about 75K in my personal rolodex too – and those tribes are segregated between entrepreneurs, pharmacists, healthcare executives and others in STEM. I’ll also be writing for Pharmacy Times/Pharmacy Careers again next year, so if there’s a career development topic you’d like addressed, – just say the word!

4. Online Classes – One of my goals in 2018 is to start a school online. And now, I’m glad to report that before the 1Q18 is up, I now offer 4 classes online in the realms of:

In two of the four classes, I include one on one time–so after you complete a course, we can chat about your unique situation and career goals.

5. One on one – As much as I’d love to work with everyone one on one who hits me up as a coach, I just can’t do it any more for free. So, I went ahead and put some blocks of time rates on my website store – I’m always happy to provide insights when people are ready to acknowledge that coaching takes time – our most precious and finite asset. I even dropped in a 15-minute option this year for those who just have that “quick” one question brain picking need. As a student, I pay big bucks for advice from coaches and experts, and they’ve coached me to stop giving the goodies away for free. (Oh, and I’ll be doing mentoring sessions one on one at SXSW 2018 too. I hope to see you there!)

6. Speaking gigs – Unfortunately, I’ve had to turn down a couple of these already, because they didn’t fit into the topic buckets I’m focused on for 1Q18 thus far, but the topics I DO like and want to discuss are:

If you’re shopping for a speaker in these arenas, let’s talk.

7. On demand Trackers – Bringing back the trackers for pharmacy meetings, women’s leadership programs, healthcare certifications, The Know Thyself Kit, and Who’s At the Helm of US Healthcare in 2018. Of course, they’re randomly available for free to my newsletter subscribers (you can sign up here), or they are available on demand at the Instant Download store.

8. Other – Ah, the infamous ‘other’ category. I can’t resist. If you want me to teach a class, write a movie script, or record a rap, or do something completely off the wall, I’m certainly open to it if the message fits my jams. If not, it’s all good – but if my life has taught me anything in 2017, it is to be a little more open to new ideas. So, dear Universe, here’s your odd ball category for your consideration. Shoot me an email with your off the wall idea.

Regardless of my own fate in 2018, I hope that your 2018 is great. Consider writing down a list of favorite ways you like to work, then share – because you never know who could be listening, and dying to work with you. My list above is not all inclusive, but I like that it is/are starting points.

What are yours?

Pokes from the Universe

I’m a believer in woo-woo.

You know, when that crazy idea pops into your head, and then suddenly everything in the universe is bringing everything to you that you need for that crazy idea to come to fruition.

That happened to me today – so I took it as a sign, then went for it with a big ask.

It doesn’t matter what the big ask is…it just matters that I went for it after the woo-woo.

May you find a woo-woo to go after this week. If you get hit with one, do me a favor and go for it (provided, of course, that it doesn’t hurt you or anyone else).


Self-Publishing School

Yesterday, I spent most of the day, in class.

In my crib.

About…book publishing.

Now, as someone who is getting ready to publish her 13th book – you may be thinking, “Albert, aren’t you a little late for publishing school?” Kind of.

But, there’s always more to learn in reading, writing, publishing and marketing a book.

I’m going through Self-Publishing School, and it’s one of the BEST, most comprehensive trainings I’ve been through (or almost through) yet on books.

Check it out here.

Falling off the Bandwagon

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 7.48.32 PMOr is it just falling off of the wagon when you slow your roll on your New Year’s Resolutions?

That’s me, when it is coming to this blog. But, fear not, I’m back.

My resolution (that I’m slipping on) – I’m trying to blog every day – at least for the month of January. I’m trying to be consistent on posting on at least one channel each month this year.

Everyone is telling me I need to go video next month. That requires several more things than me and my keyboard – like video set up, a face that doesn’t look like it’s been through the war all day (and trust me when I say that I have a face for radio), and oh, yeah. Things to talk about on camera. Can I really talk that much that many days in a row on camera?

So…if I can figure all that out – which channel should I go video on for the month of February? (And thankfully, it’s a shorter month.):

-Facebook live stream?
-YouTube (live stream?)
-Instagram stories?
-Anchor video?
-Snapchat won’t be an option here – since I still don’t get it.

Too. Many. Choices.


An Exclusive Offer…for the Fab 13-14

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 5.57.20 PMFriends,

I’m putting out a new book, as you know, Single Women Entrepreneurs: 5 Years Later this year. It’s coming soon–the end of 1Q18. (You can pre-order your limited edition hardcopy now at a big discount at my Square store. After launch, price is going up up up and after the hardcopies are gone, it’s e-book only!)

But, I need a few of you to help me out this time.

This launch is going to be different. This time, I’m going to bring a few awesome peeps along with me on this launch.

I’m launching, this time, with a group of ambassadors!

They’re going to get some BIG exclusives from me – like – they get the book first for reviewing. They will get the inside scoop on the ladies inside the book at a closed Facebook portal. They’ll also get INSIDE the ebook. Last, they’ll be invited FIRST to exclusive events happening around the book. And, they’ll also have access to the VIP events that ONLY the ladies of the book and brand ambassadors are invited to – so this is going to be. Epic!

Want in on being part of the few, the proud, the #SWE5Yr ambassadors? Then fill out this form. And, maybe we’ll see you on the flip side…?

How to Write and Publish Your First Book

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 5.57.20 PMAfter 13 books being published of my own, and coaching 7 different student teams into writing and publishing their own, the #1 question I get in the book realm is:

How do I write and publish my first book?

Man, if I had a nickel for every time I got asked this one, I’d be wealthy.

First, I’ll be back at SXSW 2018 for a live mentoring session on this as one of many topics I’ll be discussing. You can sign up here.

But, instead of building a course on my own, and if you can’t get to SXSW live for a one on one session, I’m going to give you access to a course series that’s already BUILT and pretty easy to use. I’m going through it myself – and even though I’m ahead of the first book by more than a few, this program is laid out pretty simply and it seems to be pretty intuitive thus far.

Here it is.

The Young and the Restless

Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 10.59.53 AMI used to watch this soap opera religiously in the summertime. Is it still on?

I digress.

Anyway, one of my friends recently told me I have no patience. Since said party reads this blog, I though I’d write a rebuttal.

Of course I have no patience. That’s because I’m a person who likes to get things done, and also doesn’t believe in perfection. There is no perfection. But, I do know there’s time. And time is always running out. So, patience, therefore, is not something I have…patience for. Because time is finite.

Entrepreneurs aren’t really patient, either. They know that the clock is constantly ticking. And in order to truly change the world, things need to get done. We can’t sit around and twiddle thumbs. That doesn’t get anything accomplished – beyond a good thumb workout.

So, the bigger message here: the next time someone tells you about your faults, think about them as strengths instead. Maybe they’re even your super powers. After all, they are part of what makes you uniquely you. So, wear that cape and own it!

If I can just find the patience to put it on…

Alexa…Fetch Me the Wild Wild West

Question: The final frontier – the new wild wild west – what is it?

Answer: real estate on Alexa and Google Home, in my opinion.

Getting real estate on the home home activated voice-controlled smart speaker is the new land rush. If you ask Alexa for toilet paper, for example, which brand will she pick? If you’re asking to play a particular podcast, which one? If you’re asking for music, will your favorite band be there?

Companies need to figure out how to be on the list and the top of the list on these devices.


I’ve been reading Dan Pink’s new book named…When. The hospital/surgery section is where I’m at right now (and if you work in healthcare, you should read his book).

And I’ve been thinking a lot more about time.

The older I get, the more I realize that time is more valuable than even money – because, unlike money, once we spend time, we never get it back.

My public service announcement to the fab 13: be careful about how you invest and spend your time. Pretend it’s like investing your money. Where and when do you spend it?

Pharmacist & Healthcare Certifications

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 7.25.12 AMDon’t you love it when you spend 6-8 years of your life totally immersed in a field of study, like pharmacy, then the pharmacy school ships you off into your “professional” life, never to be heard from again? (Except, of course, when they’d prefer donations from alumni.)

Like it or not, you are responsible for your own career development after pharmacy school–not your alma mater.

Here’s a great way to develop your career! One of the hottest ways to do that now is through certifications. What happened a few years ago now for me was that I didn’t know what vegetable soup people had behind their names, so I started tracking certifications and professional designations so I could understand what they are, and how they could be leveraged for an interesting pharmacy career.

So, now I offer several products and services around Pharmacist & Healthcare Certifications. Here they are, just for you:

1. Pharmacy Podcast – on Certifications – generally – free.

2. Pay per view – of a PDF of the certifications list – which I update generally quarterly as an instant digital download. It won’t, however, be updated as often as the third offering below:

3. Now, I’m also offering a Class online for certifications – but it’s real-time access to my pharmacist certifications list, along with other content. Think of it like a subscription.

Never let it be said that a former pharmacy school professor wasn’t still trying to help out her fellow pharmacist kind…career develop to your heart’s content here!


The Cranberries

I grew up on the music of The Cranberries. That’s why yesterday was extra shocking when I read that their front woman, Dolores O’Riordan passed away yesterday at the very young age of 46.

Other than to take a moment and appreciate their music, (of which I have always been a fan), I hope that wherever she ends up, may Dolores be rocking.

Or better yet, lingering.

The Dupa…of a Book

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 8.37.10 PMFirst off: thanks to all who voted for my new cover, Single Women Entrepreneurs: 5 Years Later online this weekend. There’s a pretty clear winner – appreciate it!

Now, enter the confessional, after spending 90 minutes writing the back cover of this book new book above–ready?

The back covers of books drive me crazy–both as a reader and as a writer.

First off, I know when people grab a physical book and consider reading/buying it, the first thing they look at is the front cover, followed by the back cover, then the TOC or guts. I generally find myself doing this too. Or I did in the past. (And the first gut page I go to is the copyright page. I know, I’m probably the only person on the planet who does this. I’m a nerd.)

But, what drives me nuts on most books are quotes. Authors spend a mountain of time getting quotes from other authors about their books. I get why – it helps both authors out, which I understand, but seriously – as a reader, I really don’t care what anyone else has to say about the book prior to reading it. I just don’t pay any attention to any of those quotes. They mean zippo to me. Zilch. I honestly think I’d rather see blank space than quotes. (This also goes for the first few pages of the inside of the book that are filled with quotes. Again, I skip those.)

What I care about on the back cover is the following:

I suppose this post is a half rant, half public service announcement to other authors out there, but it boils down to this: Please stop gathering and printing quotes on your book. Instead, let’s hear about you, why you wanted to write the book, and why it’s important–with a place for ongoing conversation.

Spare us the quotes!

Rant over.

Peddle Your Oddities…

…as special commodities – according to Sinead McKeough. So said my Instagram feed today anyway.

I have a lot of oddities. But I’ve sometimes found myself covering them up, rather than maximizing them. Why do we do this to ourselves? Instead of trying to fit in, we should instead try to stand out.

The older I get, the more comfortable I get with this. After all, I’m certainly not everyone’s jam. But to those who I do fit with, I appreciate that they sometimes appreciate my odd bits, even if I don’t.

Thanks to Moneyish

Thanks to Moneyish and Reed Alexander for the opportunity to get on my soapbox about women, STEM and gender parity one. More. Time.

2 Things

Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 8.43.31 AMI was asked by a reporter recently what I do when I’m faced with covert or overt discrimination in STEM, the workplace, in my career, etc. (And trust me, it’s been far more covert for me, and I still don’t think I’m everyone’s jam because I’m an ambitious woman – which isn’t a popular thing to say – but honest. You all wanted me to keep it real this year – so here it is!)

I do two things.

1. I move forward – I’m not a past-dweller, nor can I change anyone but myself. So, if I’m not someone’s jam, I simply move on and keep on doing my work. I work harder, too. Eventually, I am lucky enough to find people who do get my flavor and who want to collaborate, and then we move forward together, creating win-wins along the way.

What’s that saying? ‘Don’t chase people – do you and your own thing. The right people will show up in your life and stay.’ – Something like that-ish. And I believe that.

2. I make d*mn sure the next generation of girls don’t face these egregious practices – I write books for girls to show them what STEM possibilities include, so they’re aware of the choices and options, regardless of their gender. I coach college students in my rotations to make sure they carry on the profession of pharmacy as men and women who look at each other as perhaps different, but qualified, with an appreciation for differences. I mentor women of all stations, ages, colors and orientations step 1 above, and show them that they create their own nirvanas, rather than waiting for someone else to hand nirvana to them.

That’s all I can do.

Go or No Go on Freebies?

Screen Shot 2018-01-11 at 6.39.37 PMI had a friend reach out to me this week to help talk her off the cliff of giving her services away for free. So, I thought I’d share my mental rubric for determining whether or not I should give away my goods/services or not. I don’t know if this is “right,” it’s just the way I think before I say yes or no – and frankly, my time is limited, so often my answer is the latter.

1. If I can’t be paid for this service, what other consideration can be in the mix?  So, stuff like networking/big crowds, social media exposure, free ticket registrations, or memberships can be enticing. If the org or person can’t pay you in cash, what are other forms of capital they can provide?

2. Is the consideration worth it to me? If they cough up cash or other consideration, is it enough for you to say yes to? For example, what are you charging per hour? What do you make per hour at your day job? What is your salary per year, broken down by hours? What does one day of vacation from your day job cost you in lost salary? If they aren’t offering you enough of value for whatever you can be making at work, then I probably need to just say no.

3. Is it for a cause that I care about?  If it’s a non profit, they usually have smaller budgets. Do I care about the cause enough to donate to it?

4. Did the person asking do something for me in the past?  This, above all is something I carefully consider. While I don’t have a long memory about irrelevant stuff, (and some relevant), one thing I keep in the vault of my long term memory is who helped me out in the past, and who did not. If a person asking really helped me out when I needed it in the past, I will often say yes – but for the INDIVIDUAL, not the thing/cause they’re asking for.  If the person asking did nothing in the past for me, it’s probably going to be a no again.

And on the flip side – I know that you, my fab 14, aren’t like this – but to some others out there who shall remain nameless: PLEASE STOP ASKING FOR STUFF FOR FREE.

Brain picking sessions and meeting over coffee are borderline offensive to those of us who coach and consult professionally. That’s like asking a day job professional to come in on their day off and work for free. DO NOT DO IT. I pay, heavily, for top tier coaches for myself – and so should you. It’s your life, after all – why not pay someone to help you get to a better place? You pay for your doctor to treat you, you pay for your lawyer to write your contracts, please PAY coaches for their time.

Conversely, if a friend of a friend connects me, I generally will meet with parties interested, but I’m also doing less of that. I just go back to bullet 4 and make the call that way.

It’s not selfish to want to get paid. And I’ll say that goes twice for the ladies out there. You need to make money too – to feed your family, to pay your bills, and to save some for your retirement and a rainy day – there’s nothing wrong with that!

So let’s all vow to STOP giving away our most precious assets of all – our TIME and our KNOWLEDGE – for nothing!

The Inaugural APPE Pharmacy Rotation in Digital Communication, Leadership & Entrepreneurship

You asked, dear univScreen Shot 2018-01-11 at 6.23.53 AMerse, we deliver.

Drumroll, please….today we officially announced the inaugural advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) rotation in Digital Communications, Leadership & Entrepreneurship for pharmacy students today for the 2018-19 academic year. This rotation was years in the making, and requested by the pharmacy community at large. We worked hard between the Pharmacy Podcast Network and Pharm, LLC to create a one-of-a-kind experience for students.

I’m excited about this rotation! But it’s not for everyone. We made a video of the APPE here, which includes detailed instructions on how to apply. (A writing sample on the application is strongly encouraged, as well.) We will review applications on a rolling basis.

Good luck to all candidates!

P.S. Here’s an anchor on FAQs:

Online Courses & Courses I Recommend

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 6.42.50 AMIndiana State Pharmacy Law – MPJE Review Course

Introducing the Indiana State Pharmacy Law – MPJE Review Course! If you’re preparing to take MPJE in Indiana, here’s a course for you. It has my 2016 Indiana State Pharmacy Law book, along with a mock exam, as well as updates from 2014, 15, 16, and 17 legislative sessions.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 10.58.43 AMCertifications for Pharmacists and Healthcare Professionals

This is the course to subscribe to in order to stay up to date on over 200+ professional healthcare, life science and pharmacist certifications now available throughout the universe. It’s tough to keep up with all of them, so let me do the heavy lifting for you. That way, you can focus on which of the 200+ you’ll be pursuing to take your career to the next level.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 9.13.00 PMThe Medical Science Liaison (MSL): A Career Primer for PharmDs, PhDs and MDs

This is a curation of the content I had all over the internet and amazon, but in one place, bundled with a 30 minute coaching session with yours truly after the coursework has been completed. I just did the math, and I’ve been in and around the MSL role now for 20 years. (Has it really been that long? It has!) So, if you’ve been dying to know what it is like to be a MSL, and if the role is right for you, dive in! I’ll even see you on the flip side!

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 10.59.13 PM

57 Cool Jobs for Pharmacists: What is Your Next Career Move?

This is my latest course now launched in Feb, 2018. It includes a LOT of stuff – including a coaching call with yours truly and several tests to take before we chat on what your next career move could be in pharmacy.

How to Self-Publish a Book: Self-Publishing School

This is not my course, but if I had a nickel for every time someone asked me for advice on publishing - I wish I would have had this link. Now I do, just for you! I recommend Chandler’s class.


9 Friendly Reminders…From Holly Butcher

If you think you had a bad day, go read Holly Butcher’s story. Then, most of your problems, if not all of them, will be reduced.

Her reminders that resonated with me:

1. Live a healthy life.

2. Be grateful for each day.

3. Don’t buy things – buy experiences.

4. Listen to music.

5. Hang with your pets.

6. Give blood.

7. Get into nature.

8. Put down the phone and be present.

And my favorite…

9. Eat the cake.

Thank you, Holly, for the reminders.

Follow Up

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 6.49.31 PMDoes anyone else out there feel like your life consists of 99% follow up, and 1% actual action?

Mondays in particular are like this for me.

It’s borderline stalker-ish, but it’s really the only way to get things done.

That, or chuck the idea.

I’m not a chucker.

To all who follow up – I salute you today. And every day.

APPE in Digital Communication, Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 3.18.47 PMRight now, I’m waiting for a video to upload to YouTube about the aforementioned rotation we’ll be offering for the 2018-19 academic year for pharmacy students. For those of you who might be outside of pharmacy – APPE = Advance Pharmacy Practice Experience.  Students in pharmacy are required to go on several of these APPEs before graduating.

This video is also taking over an hour to upload, but it’s a 23 minute video.

I have a lot of patience, dear internet, because I lived in the era of dial up. Of pong. Of geocities. Of Pac man and table top games. Of real telephones, and of real TV antennae.

All I can say about the rotation at this point is: I wish someone would have offered this type of rotation to me when I was in pharmacy school. Both times. That, and I’ve been a pretty vocal critic of pharmacy schools of late. So, rather than standing around complaining, I decided do something about it, pitch in and help fix what I think is broken in pharmacy schools right now.

More to come here.

Social Media Stuff

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 12.27.18 PMI’m a social media geek – and there are far worse labels than that. I love that we have another communication set of tools by which to share information via social media. So, here are some recents on the topic and resources to learn more – particularly for healthcare professionals.

Pharmacy Podcast, SeniorRx Radio Podcast on Social Media

Facebook live discussion with Amy Stark on what we have planned for 2018 with #SMDames18 (mark your calendars, BTW – it will be the first week of August, most likely 8/3/18). This also contains information on #IN_SM17 Smackdown Awards, and the new book coming, Single Women Entrepreneurs: 5 Years Later!

Chat with Abdul Hakim-Shabazz on Social Mediahere’s the conversation – ’tis the season!

Last but not least – here’s all the places where you and I can connect. From my most favorite to least favorite social media portals:




Twitter:  @PharmLLC   @Yuspie   @ErinLAlbert  @PharmingCareers (the new podcast channel for Pharmacy Podcast)





Facebook: Author page, Single Women Entrepreneurs, STEM Princess Book Series, Multipationals, Law School, Yuspie, The S(He) Says Guide to Mentoring, Plan C, and Pharming Your Career Podcast.

Happy connecting!

The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM: Lesson Planning Contest!

Screen Shot 2018-01-06 at 9.02.59 AMGot lesson plans?


This year for my company’s charitable efforts, I’d like to give away copies of the #STEMPrincess books. But, I’d love to hear more on how they’re being used in the classroom.

If you’re a kindergarten teacher or up to 4th grade, and you’ve used the #STEMPrincess series in the classroom creatively – shoot me an email and let me know how you used it. The teacher with the most creative use will receive books for more #STEM interaction in the classroom!

We’ll take curriculum ideas until 3/31/18.

BTW – the poster above is also available as a downloadable printable PDF here.

My Least Favorite Month

Screen Shot 2018-01-06 at 7.32.41 AMStarted this post yesterday, but was derailed by some phone calls. (I know – blowing the NY resolutions already!)

I was challenged by one of the fab 14 to write about my vulnerabilities.

First, I looked it up to see that it basically means “weakness.”

Here’s my first of MANY vulnerabilities: I hate January. It’s my least favorite month. The holidays are over, it’s cold, vacation time is gone, and–did I mention it was cold?

But, I suppose it’s a do-over-reset-button-hitting time.

I’m trying to figure out a way to make January my favorite month. If you have thoughts on how, I welcome them.

Tryin’ Out

Tonight I had to shoot a 1 min video on an Aha moment for EO Fire and JLD’s podcast about my new book, Single Women Entrepreneurs: 5 Years Later, which you all know you can grab a limited edition hard copy of now before it officially rolls out 1Q18. Considering he has 1.5 million listeners, I have no idea whatsoever if I have a shot or not getting on, but since all 14 of you are cool, I thought I’d share my try out vid with you – enjoy!

New Book in 2018?

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 7.41.35 AMIf you’re a writer and you have a new book coming in 2018 around any of the following topics, I’d like to chat with you about the podcast I work on, Pharming Careers. We’re at Twitter  and Faceplace.

-Career development, general
-Career development, healthcare, life sciences or pharmacy
-STEM and STEM education
-Women’s issues in the workplace
-Anything else around leadership, business, careers and more.

Email me – tell me the title of your book, when it’s coming, and details.

Ode to My Resolutions…and to Chocolate

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 7.19.13 PMAll the coaches, podcasting gurus, and overachievers have been sending me one message this new year as I prepared mentally for my 2018, which is the following: consistency is the new black. Or perfect. Or great.  Said another way – consistency is everything when trying to build something of your own. Showing up, putting in the work, and releasing it into the wild regularly is the key to long term “success.”

This month, I’m going to try that theory out, by blogging every day for 31 days in a row. Now, those of you know that while I often finish big projects, it’s the little ones that I often let slip. (Like my 30 day purge challenge. Uhm. Didn’t quite finish that one up.) I’m going to write 31 days in a row just for you, my fab 14, and I’m not allowing myself long posts anywhere else until I finish what I started here.

Tonight – I’m going to write about one of my worst nightmares that I read about today. This.

The thought of chocolate becoming extinct, just…well, makes me sad. If I had to pick a food as my bestie–why, hands down, it would be chocolate. This holiday season alone, my family and I (ok my dad and I) have gone through (easily) at least 4 boxes of chocolates. Not to mention my liking of hot chocolate, chocolate on my ice cream, chocolate on my cookies, and pretty much anything else sweet. (Name something sweet or better yet salty that isn’t enhanced by chocolate on top. I can’t think of any.) And as I write this – I’m on the exercise bike – so don’t judge too hard.

Furthermore, YES, I know as a healthcare professional that the chocolate varieties with a bunch of sugar in them are terrible for us. My counter argument: that overdosing on ANYTHING is bad for us – including even water. Everything in moderation! And, there are benefits to eating dark chocolate that we, the chocoholics love to whip out when we’re being pummeled by obesity and diabetes stats.

I don’t know why I’ve always had a thing for chocolate. I just do. And I don’t know everything, but I do know this: the world without chocolate would be a sad, less bright place.

Researchers: please get on this ASAP.


Single Women Entrepreneurs: 5 Years Later

Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 9.16.15 AMHappy New Year!

I wanted to kick the new year off right and talk about the new book I have coming 1Q18, entitled Single Women Entrepreneurs: 5 Years Later.

First, I wrote two other editions of a book called: Single. Women. Entrepreneurs. ironically more than 5 years ago now. It all stemmed from a report from the Kauffman Foundation (also several years ago), which looked at gender, marital status and entrepreneurship. In that report, the one place where women started more businesses than men was a tiny chart which contained a breakdown by gender and marital status.

The winning category for women? Single women! But, there wasn’t much more of an explanation in the report than that tiny table. So, I set out to find my own cadre of single women and ask them about their businesses, and most important WHY they started them.

The books were released, and were shared in several venues – like The New York Times, NPR, the BBC, Entrepreneur.com, even Forbes had a shout out on the SWEs.

Of course, with 2017 and now 2018 being the years for women (finally) starting to gain some prominence in world leadership, I wanted to follow back up with the ladies who were brave enough to appear in the first two additions of this book. So, I did it. And, our communities over at Facebook and LinkedIn have now grown to over 3,000 people who love our SWEs too! We have women in the book who have wildly different businesses – from retail, service, consulting and side hustles.

The book is officially coming out 1Q18, but you can reserve your copy in advance now. This time, I’m running a small print run of books for presale, and once they’re gone, the book will only be available in Kindle version. You can reserve your limited edition hardcopy now at a discount, here. Those who pre-order will get the book first.

It has been an honor to share the women’s stories in this book series, and most important, I think 2018 WILL be the year of the woman…but most of all, for the ladies’ accomplishments; not the actions of egregious men (#MeToo). This is my wish for the new year, and through this book project, we hope to share with the world the amazing work these women are doing and have done in building their businesses, and their lives.

Jar of Awesome

Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 1.42.40 PMIn the Year of Our Lord 2017, I did something I’ve never done before. I set up a Jar of Awesome. During the year, when I had really cool stuff happen, or wins, or just loved something in my day, I put it on a post-it note and stuck it in the jar. I wanted to try this not only to remember all the cool stuff that happened, but to also be able to pause and appreciate it and the people in it at the end of the year.

Today was the day that I went through the post-its. There are hundreds of them, and all contain a great fond memory of the year.  I also sent out thanks to the people who showed up in the jar again today, to wish them a happy new year, and to thank them for being a part of the best hits of my 2017.

There’s a lot of hate, crap and garbage in the world. Just turn on any news channel and you can watch the vitriol 24/7/365. That’s why I think it’s really important to collect the good stuff. The wins. The people who really go out of their way to help you throughout the year, because we rarely talk about the good–the fun–the wins–the making the world a better place stuff.  This was my hope for the jar of awesome, and today I unveiled the good stuff one more time before moving on to 2018.

Think about finding a jar of your own for 2018 awesomeness, maybe? It was one of my better experiments, and one I’m going to try again in 2018.

Pet Projects that Feed Your Soul

Screen Shot 2017-12-29 at 11.08.54 AM‘Tis the season to reflect. I’m still doing just that here. And I’ve already done this to some extent – I know, but I wanted to think about my favorites today.

I read an article this morning about reviewing what pet projects you worked on during the year. These aren’t work projects – they are just projects that you volunteered to do – that you didn’t get paid to do, and that most importantly, fed your soul.

Here are some of mine during 2017 that stuck with me through the year. I’m recording these to share, but I’m also recording them for me, my fab 14 – so I don’t forget them and the energy they brought, so I can focus on these (or this type of) stuff for 2018.

1. #HealthCarDev – This, the Healthcare Career Development Unconference, was probably my favorite new event conjured up in 2017. It was an unconference of 20 amazing women sharing their stories on career development to a nearly sold out crowd in Indy. It was also the #1 topic our HBA IN audience wanted to hear about in 2017, so it was an honor to develop a creative venue by which to share stories and education and create a win-win for all.

2. #PurpleSocks – I love the ability to honor people in creative ways – the people who I admire, who do great work, and who often go unnoticed. That’s why it was fab to create a new award this year – through purple socks – to honor those who did a ton of work with HBA and HBA Indiana this year. And, even some who didn’t work with us directly, but who we love and admire in healthcare, HIT, and life sciences, from a distance. That, and designing custom socks was something I could never have predicted would be something I did.

3. #STEMPrincess Water Stewardship Badges – This technically was in 2016 and 17, but I loved creating and working with the Girl Scouts of Hamilton County to create something just for the Brownie troop on water stewardship with Waverly from the children’s book series. This will be fun to do even more of in the future.

4. #SMDames17 - I’ve been part of #SMDames since the beginning with Amy Stark, which is actually 5 years ago now. It’s truly been an honor to help women learn how to share their stories on and through social media, and I look forward to helping Amy grow this franchise over time. (BTW, she and I will Facebook Live tomorrow (Dec 30) from 1 pm eastern on – you may want to join us at the SM Dames page on Facebook in advance and watch us share what we discovered in 2017 and what we see coming for 2018.)

5. Mentoring Women/Collaboration with a Mentor – this one has several parts -

a. the 2017 book I co-wrote and published with one of my mentors – Dr. Borst and I had a great time on this project together.

b. co-presenting with one of my mentors on big data and ethics at Indy Big Data and ASPL – thank you, Valita Fredland for the opportunity to share the stage with you on this important topic – twice!

c. Mentoring the fellow and students at the day job – Dr. Steinbach has branched out in a new direction this year – but we’re glad to have had her in our fold upon graduation this year. Also, love working with students.

d. #Manbassadors – LOVED putting together, intentionally, an all male panel who discussed nothing but how to promote, sponsor and mentor women in healthcare and life sciences.

e. Mentoring at SXSW – Discussed crowdfunding, entrepreneurship, and STEM at a conference that not only was on the bucket list, but also was my TRIBE of peeps!

6. Overall NFP work with ASPL and HBA IN – I’m officially done 12/31 with both of these responsibilities – and had fun trying new experiments with both organizations and helping them get their names out there.

7. Social & earned media – Had a lot of fun sharing all the projects above and more with and through social and earned media – and most important, bringing other women and men along with me to discuss projects through traditional and earned media. Special shout out to all the parties who gave us a shot at these.

These were some of my favorites this year. What were yours? Take a few minutes and reflect. Tear apart, dissect and go through your year and figure out what your hi-light reel would include. It’s important – so you can carry some of that energy into 2018 and keep the momentum going!



Happy Jolabokaflod

2017bookfloodHappy Jolabokaflod!  I think I’ve written about this Icelandic tradition here before, but since another one is upon us, and it combines some of my favorite things (hello, books and chocolate), I thought I’d write about it again and share with you what I’ll be reading today (and yes, I’m taking the day off.)

Ever since I’ve been a kid – I’ve had my nose in a book. I’ll also never forget that time I was on my way to Paris, and the drunk truck driver who sat next to me on the plane reported to his friend on his cell phone that there was, “a bookworm back here.” Yeah. That’s me. (And not exactly my fantasy seat mate on the way to one of the most romantic cities in the world – story of my life! LOL!)

Anyway, you can read all about Iceland’s book flood tradition here, or just run a quick google search and presto – you’ll see all about it.  For my own book flood, I have a pile from the library that I chose for myself (on the left here) and a pile on the right – books that were given to me, or that I bought for myself.

The library books are what I call brain candy – trashy novels, light stuff, and Hallmark in a book, basically. The books on the right are serious, related to work, entrepreneurship, and STEM.

Regardless – I love this tradition, and plan on making it a habit moving forward. I’d invite you to as well. One of the best moments of this holiday season for me was going to a bookstore and seeing how busy it was the week before Christmas.

My faith in humanity has been restored!


18 Things We Need Less of and More of in 2018

18 Things The World Needs Less of in 2018:

1. Hate & haters
2. Political gridlock
3. Celebrities who do nothing, except be celebrities
4. Predators – and those who cover up for them
5. Strip malls
6. #FakeNews
7. Multitasking
8. Bad airline travel experiences
9. Time at work
10. Stress
11. Non biodegradable glitter
12. Confusing personal income tax systems and rules
13. Identity thefts
14. Culture of being too busy for anything
15. Societal pressure to live up to someone else’s standards other than one’s own
16. Bad TV
17. Pollution
18. Finger-pointing, name-calling, and censorship

18 Things The World Needs More of in 2018:

1. Love
2. Women (and Men) who lead with integrity
3. Books. Always. More. Books.
4. Open minds
5. Independent entrepreneurs with creative ideas to share and spread
6. #GoodNews
7. Presence at the present moment
8. Flexibility – when it comes to work, jobs and economic development
9. Time with friends and family
10. Peace
11. Biodegradable glitter
12. Privacy
13. Time for more things that matter
14. High Fives
15. Hugs
16. Main stream media with content that matters
17. Personal responsibility
18. Rainbows, unicorns and happiness.

2017 Goals: A Breakdown & Analysis

Screen Shot 2017-12-16 at 1.44.25 PMIn December, ’tis the season to work on goals for the following year.

I am of the old school, in that if you don’t write down a goal, it really doesn’t exist, and therefore, the chance of it coming to fruition is random to zero.

Also, I’m also a huge hater of those whom I call “Big Hat, No Cattle” – AKA, those who are all talk, and zero action to back it up. Do you have this type of person in your life? If I find them in mine, they get dismissed…quickly. What drives me nuts about BHNC people is that if they’d channel 10% of that hot air into actually finishing what they keep talking about, it would be done! As a doer, this drives. Me. Insane.

Thus, for all these reasons, I write down my goals. I never want to be the big hat, no cattle person. Ever.

So, before I move to 2018, I have to look at the goals I wrote for 2017 and analyze what worked and what did not.

In an analysis of my 2017 goals today, I only hit about 64% of them this year. Not my best year, candidly – that’s a D- in many classrooms. (Vulnerability point, especially for a recovering professor.) But, I can state with conviction that of the goals I was crystal clear about, I definitely had a higher percentage of success than those that were more fuzzy.

Where I definitely won:
-Money – savings, maxing retirement – the more clear you get on these, the better. Although, I constantly am concerned that I won’t have enough at retirement – since that thing called a ‘pension’ is nowhere in my life. I don’t even know if Social Security will be around by the time I ever (if I even) retire.
-Non profit work – I completed 100% of the goals in one non profit arena I served in during 2017, and 75% in another. Not too shabby. I also exceeded many goals for both of these experiences.
-Travel, Speaking and Meetings – I got to many of the places I wanted to go this year (including SXSW, which was a bucket lister for me), Scotland, and several others that weren’t on the New Year’s Resolutions list, like BlogHer, podcasting at a couple of conferences, and HIMSS. The only place I didn’t get to that I really wanted to go this year was Prague. Maybe someday.

Where I partially won:
-Books – got 2 of the 5 I wanted to get done done this year. Well, 1.75 right now. Book 2 will be done soon! The thing with my books is that they’re in a cue of topics. I just keep going through that list, and realize that the most I’ve ever realistically done is about 2-3 per year. The point is that I keep a cue here.

Where I epically failed:
-How much time do you have? Lol, seriously – my fab 14 knows that failure and I are tight, and this year was certainly no exception. While I’m candidly not comfortable sharing all my epic failures here in this public venue (not to mention boring you with a long drawn out dissertation on all of them), I’ll share a couple – like health.

Working out 150 minutes a week was a goal of mine, which was an utter failure. But I start over every week and try. Thirty minutes is my goal. Some days I get there, and most days I don’t.

There were at least 3 other major areas of my life that I completely crapped out in this year. One was education – it’s really starting to bug me that I don’t have my PhD. (I know, I know! But at least I admit it.) But I’m still exploring this. And maybe I just need to get over and realize that my subsequent/future education may only come from the institute of the school of hard knocks moving forward – AKA the real world…rather than an accredited institution of higher learning.

I’ll spare you from the other two big fails. But, I can tell you that I’ll definitely be working on at least one of these two other epic failures again in 2018. The other I may just chuck, as it just may not be for me. I haven’t quite decided yet.  Need a little more reflection.

In the meantime, I invite you to reflect on your own year too. Ask yourself:

This is the powerful stuff that can lead you to plotting out an even better 2018, which is my wish for all fourteen of you.



Library Stack

Tonight, I’m floating through my stack of library books, as many of them will be due soon. I’m reading Amanda Palmer’s book, The Art of Asking, and Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Habits.

Notes to self:

1. If I do happen to get a significant other again some day, try Neil’s trick on page 39 in Amanda’s book.

2. From High Performance Habits, name your 3 best words in a day to describe you in your best state:

1. Creative
2. Autonomous or Independent (tie)
3. Free.


2017 – Other Cool Stuff & People to Thank

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 6.45.11 AMBeyond the blog posts, long posts, and Medium, there’s a lot of other really cool opportunities that came my way this year. In this post, I’d like to celebrate all the amazing people and companies below who invited me to collaborate, talk about my work and/or share knowledge this year:


The S(He) Says Guide to Mentoring (2017) with Dr. David Borst

-Single Women Entrepreneurs: 5 Years Later and #STEMPrincess4 in 2018 – God willing!

Pharmacy Times/Careers Columns:

Medical Affairs: A Growing Career Path

Midyear Managed

Continuing Your Formal Education After Your PharmD

The Future of Pharmacy: Working from Home

Top Certifications & Designations to Enhance Your Pharmacy Career


SXSW – mentoring in 2017 – thanks for this bucket list opportunity!

Wharton Reimagine Education Awards – judge – thank you for the chance to see what’s coming in education.

Book Interviews:

Zorich, G. Entrepreneurs in Pharmacy and Other Leaders. Outskirts Press, 2017.

Kratz, J. One: How Male Allies Support Women for Gender Equality. Niche Pressworks, 2017. 

Book Reviews:

Voci, E. Resilience Art: A Grief Coloring Book Using Ritual and Music to Help You Grow, Mascot Books, 2017. In Press.


Social Media Stupidity - Abdul Hakim-Shabazz - Indy Politics

HIMSS: Intrepid Healthcare Podcast – Joe Lavelle

Get Social Health – Janet Kennedy

Your Working Life – Caroline Dowd Higgins

Pharmacy Podcasts in 2017 - and wow. So many great guests to thank!


IBJ Woman of Influence 2017

The Corner of the Court

On the Dot Woman

Drug Topics: Dealing with Stress in the Pharmacy

Confronting Gender Parity

Do What You Desire

Inside Indiana Business – Segment on Health with Barbara Lewis – HBA

Original Event Content:

Inaugural Pharmacy Law & Ethics Educators’ Benchmarking Survey Results – ASPL (Journal write up coming soon in 2018)

Ethical Use of Big Data – IndyBigData and ASPL – with Valita Fredland

Manbassadors – HBA IN

#HealthCarDev – HBA IN

#PurpleSocks Awards – HBA IN

Op Eds:

The Somewhere Between 4-40 Hr Work Week – Inside Indiana Business

Hitting the Half Year Reset Button in 5 Steps – Inside Indiana Business

6 Practical & Positive Post Conference Practices – Inside Indiana Business

8 Great Places to Connect in Indiana Healthcare, HIT and STEM – IIB/Biocrossroads Life Sciences Quarterly

Free Tools that (Almost) Get You in Two Places at Once – Inside Indiana Business

Thank you one and all for an amazing year, riddled with a ton of really amazing opportunities – I am grateful!

Top 5 Posts of 2017 – Erinalbert.com

Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 7.41.58 AMApparently, I have a few more than 13 fans. Or, just 13 fans all over the world hitting the site more than once.

According to Google Analytics of this site (which has changed significantly, and which I’m not really digging on the changes, but that’s a post for another day), I had visitors in 2017 to this tiny blog from all 50 states, and a few places OUS.

Awesome. Thanks!

And, I love the film High Fidelity, and I grew up on stuff like Billboard and David Letterman, so a solid top 5/10 list I. Dig. I did one over at LinkedIn on my long posts there for 2017 (some of which overlap here, some of which do not.) And, pharmacy podcast network was kind enough to put out their top 10 list of 2017, of which many of my co-hosted episodes took prizes in the top 10.  (Thanks there to Dr. Soliman of ACMA, Dr. Safran of InfoSAGE, Jacob Morgan, and the option of interviewing myself on the episodes that made it into the top spots.) I always knew I had a face for radio! And, I ran the #best9 on my instagram channel: photo is here. There are several people to thank around projects and the photos that garnered many likes. I am thankful for you all!

Last but not least, I wanted to check and see what posts resonated with you, my fab 13, at this tiny blog during 2017. Below are the best, again according to Google.

5. How to be a Podcast Guest Superstar – Glad some found this helpful. If you really want to be a rock star guest on podcasts, make it EASY for the host to schedule and work with you. I can definitely see a difference between the professionals who understand and ‘get’ how podcasting really works as guests, and those who are novices. Hopefully this post helped with a few podcasting guest virgins out there!

4. HIMSS 2017: You’re Doing it Right – I really tried hard to bring along the fab 13 with me this year to all the meetings I attended. And, being a HIMSS virgin, I wanted to share this absolutely OVERWHELMING convention with the masses. I really enjoyed learning from the HIT crew, meeting some rock stars for the first time f2f (like @Mandibpro and @Nickisnpdx). I think organizers of HIMSS did a phenomenal job with their social media ambassador crew – all event conference and meeting planners should take a cue from them to maximize their impact online! With the #STEMPrincess saga continuing in 2018, I’m super glad I know more homies in informatics/big data too – I’ll be back!

3. What color is your side hustle? 2018 Edition – This was a post over at LI too. I’m glad you’re all reading up on this, as I continue to study it. Forty percent of us are going to be working for ourselves in just 2 short years from now, according to all the stats, so are we preparing for this coming radical change? YOU are, because you’re smart like that. And, in 2018, SWE3 is coming – and several of the gals in this book are still side-hustling it!

2. SXSW recap - 2017 was the year I FINALLY got to SXSW to speak. This was epic, because this event was a bucket list must do item before I die kind of thing. I’m so appreciative to the organizers in Austin for this opportunity. And, I wanted to share what I learned at the meeting – so I podcasted about it. I’m glad you all went on this journey with me! Best bit: I’ve been invited to return to SXSW 18 – so I’ll be back!

1. Hitting the Half Year Reset Button – This one did really well over at LinkedIn too, since they picked it up and broadcasted it wider. As I read it, I realize that it’s great to try twice a year, quarterly, or even monthly if you’re super ambitious. I already subconsciously did it on one item for the new year that has been bubbling in the back of my brain for years now, and the more I think about the idea, the more I like it, so I’m taking the next step on it.

As always, I am totally floored and amazed when people say that they read this tiny blog. It’s kind of cool, however, because it’s like they dig into my brain and reach some of the better stuff. THANK YOU for stopping by in 2017 or in years past, and let’s all make it a point to completely OWN 2018 with our own voices, ideas, and posts/blogs/books. Cheers!

Pharmacy Schools: It’s Time for an Extreme Makeover. But How?

pharmacyFriends, Romans, Pharmacykind: Lend me your ears. For I am about to get on my soapbox and pontificate about…pharmacy schools. (That, and I’m avoiding editing galley 1 of my next book tonight. Writing for me always trumps editing.)

So…pharmacy schools these days. A lot of conversations about them and what they teach of late, I have had (not to get too Yoda). And now that I’m on the outside of them and only educating as a preceptor, I think it’s time to drop what I think we should consider for schools of pharmacy. The following are my opinions and mine alone, but I don’t think I’m alone in a lot of what I’m about to say; it’s just that others in pharmacy may not be as opinionated as I am, or as overt about it. But, I’m going out on my own with these ideas. Here we go.

I think it’s time for an extreme makeover of pharmacy schools.

What do I mean by this? Well, I’ll outline below 5 areas that I think need attention IMMEDIATELY in US schools of pharmacy.

The remainder of this article is archived and available online here.


A Clean 2018: 1 Tool to Create Your Best New Year

This past week, I spent time in New York City with one of my favorite entrepreneurial authors, Dorie Clark. We had a mastermind group for clarifying what we want to do in 2018. The timing of this mastermind was spot on, as I’m also thinking about how to maximize my 2018 right now.

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 8.56.19 AM

Also, in the past, I’ve sent out similar holiday cards to my network and friends to help inspire them to write and think about their own new year coming. While some people really trash New Year’s Resolutions and goals, I am in the opposite camp. If you can’t dream, visualize and articulate your best year beforehand, how will you ever arrive? As a coach, I’m a fan of getting people to write down and visualize their goals as well, because as I’ve shared before, the universe has a funny way of fetching what we want and need when we hang the intentions and desires out there on the hook of life.

While I only had a couple hundred physical postcards made up this year for my holiday card list, I really ideally wanted to share my holiday card with everyone in my network, which fortunately or unfortunately is too big now to send to all.

But, thanks to digital and the internet, here is part of my holiday card, which is a tool that I hope will help you think about your own new year, and in turn create a best case scene for you and your circles moving forward.

It’s down below visually for you, and I’ll also put it on Slideshare over here so you can download it too.

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 8.34.55 AM

I wish each and everyone reading this post a very merry holiday season, and happy new year. Let’s get out the cleaners, scrub up on our visions of what we love and want more of in our lives, help the universe clearly see what we want for the new year, and make our best 2018 squeaky clean!

17 Things I’m Thankful for in 2017

Screen Shot 2017-11-23 at 9.52.45 AMHappy Thanksgiving, all!

Here are 17 things I’m thankful for this holiday season, since it is 2017:

1. My friends - who really carried me through this crazy year – thank you so much for having my back!

2. My family -  ditto. After all, my mom is one of my fab 13!

3. Several jobs, a roof over my head and my bills paid. (Technically this is 3, but I’ll go ahead and lump them together.)

4. My angst filled cat, Jack.

5. Books, writing and the ability to express my opinions in America. As I have a lot of them. Helping people bring other books into the universe too - Whether that’s helping someone get into the writing habit, editing, supporting, referring or being a part of someone else’s book, it’s all good. I don’t think the universe can ever have too many books.

6. Unicorns, Glitter, Hello Kitty, Rainbows, and Pusheen - In that order, beginning with most important.

7. Podcasts - I love listening to them, producing them with Todd Eury over at Pharmacy Podcast, and even being an occasional guest on them.

8. My library card - Said it before and I’ll say it again – books are portable magic.

9. My iPhone – which actually almost gets me in 2 places at once. Everyone loves to trash our phones these days – we are addicted, we pay too much attention to them, yada yada. But I love the ability to reach out to someone in my network almost on demand these days. It can spark ideas, projects and strengthen relationships, not tear them apart.

10. The haters – Believe it or not, I’m sending out a virtual hug to the haters today too. After all, they challenge me to look at the world differently, push me to be better, and remind me how NOT to behave. Thanks for the inspiration!

11. The inspirers – To all my virtual and actual mentors – thank YOU for your inspiration as well!

12. My health – While my sanity is questionable at times, generally, I’m still healthy. Being involved in healthcare makes me extra empathetic to those who aren’t as lucky.

13. Travel – This year – to Amsterdam, Scotland and so many other US parts. While I love to hate on the crappy service of the airlines (don’t search for my Twitter rants), I do appreciate that once the plane finally does get in the air, we can travel to magical places that get us out of our comfort zones each and every day, potentially.

14. Planning educational experiences – My favorite thing about leading HBA IN this year has been the ability to conjure up really interesting, inspiring and edutaining events for the community at large in Indiana. I’m grateful for that opportunity. I also continued to show up for Amy Stark’s #SMDames17 event. I’d love to see her spread this to other places beyond IN in 2018.

15. Speaking gigs – This year, I had the privilege of speaking at several national meetings – SXSW (a bucket list item for me), ASPL, Indy Big Data, through HBA, several panel discussions, and all of it was fun. I’m excited to be returning to SXSW in 2018 too! Yay!

16. Second chancessomething I’m working on, and suck at, but working on…!

17. I saved the best for last. This year, I am most thankful for…YOU! But for you, this blog would not exist. And next year, the blog turns 10. Thank you for reading, commenting and cheerleading me on – it’s not always been easy, but I know if I’m helping just one soul out there through these musings, I’m on the right track.


Pharmacy School: Is it Time for an Extreme Makeover?

pharmacyFriends, Romans, Pharmacykind: Lend me your ears. For I am about to get on my soapbox and pontificate about…pharmacy school. (That, and I’m avoiding editing galley 1 of my next book tonight. Writing for me always trumps editing.)

So…pharmacy schools these days. A lot of conversations about them and what they teach of late, I have had. And now that I’m on the outside of them and only educating as a preceptor, I think it’s time to drop what I think we should consider for schools of pharmacy.  The following are my opinions and mine alone, but I don’t think I’m alone in a lot of what I’m about to say; it’s just that others in pharmacy may not be as opinionated as I am, or as overt about it. But, I’m going out on my own with these ideas. Here we go.

I think it’s time for an extreme makeover of pharmacy schools.

What do I mean by this? Well, I’ll outline below 5 areas that I think need attention IMMEDIATELY in US schools of pharmacy.

1. Department re-orgs - Today, as it has been for I don’t know how many decades, most schools of pharmacy have only two departments: 1. pharmacy practice and 2. pharmaceutical sciences. That’s it. (Okay, some may have a social and administrative sciences department too, but very few.)

This is not only an overly simplistic view of pharmacy as a profession, but it’s borderline malpractice in pharmacy, because pharmacists do so much more these days than these 2 slivers of pharmacy practice. And while I’ve personally had a variety of pharmacy gigs over my career thus far, I never refluxed ANYTHING after organic chemistry, and I personally don’t work daily with patients in clinical pharmacy any more.

Ergo, I believe we need more than these 2 departments in schools of pharmacy. We need departments in:

The faculty to lead these departments may or may not be pharmacists as well. If you think I’m wrong, go look at a few pharmacist job descriptions over at Glassdoor or LinkedIn. What do you see? You’ll see that employers need pharmacists that can play with big data sets and pull out meaningful data. They need compliant pharmacists (i.e. pharmacists that know and understand the law). They need pharmacists who are creative, innovative and lead.  I can’t remember the last time I saw a job posting for a pharmacist that asked them to be able to draw a chemical structure of a drug. Wait, that’s been…never.

With this re-org I would also say that I think smart schools of pharmacy have co-deans of the program. One co-dean could focus on the internal college issues (like new programs, the vision for the college internally, working across colleges), and one co-dean could focus on external college issues (fundraising, working with external stakeholders, community building, etc.). A good dean would never be home, because she would be on campus during the day, and off campus at the same time integrating the school into the community. There is no way one person can manage everything a dean has to do. And even though there should be an associate dean – that associate dean should be focused on academic issues within the college, not setting up new programs, or attending a bunch of cross college campus meetings.

2. If the departments change, so must the curriculum - Therapeutics and pharmacology consume most of the classroom time in schools of pharmacy. Courses like pharmacy law are crammed in a 1-3 credit hour class one semester, and treated like a red-headed stepchild of the curricula in schools of pharmacy. However, pharmacy law should be a very large chunk of the curriculum, because NO ONE WILL CARE HOW MUCH YOU KNOW ABOUT PHARMACY if you don’t have a pharmacist license and are in jail, because you violated the law. Let alone the new MPJE being a really tough test. TAs and Pharmacists alone should not be teaching pharmacy law, in my opinion. The law has become far too complex. Also, advocacy and policy are barely touched upon in pharmacy schools. And yet, they are absolutely critical to the profession surviving and thriving in years to come. Regulation is made by LAWYERS, not pharmacists or healthcare professionals.

Similarly, the therapeutics and pharmacology should be cut back and more emphasis should be placed on data and digging through it. Look at hospital EMRs as one example. Or, big data sets for public and population health. A pharmacist counseling one patient may have an impact, but a pharmacist spotting a trend through a large data set can positively impact an entire community. Very few pharmacy schools are teaching how to look at big data, by learning SQL or R, for example. Also, big data analysts will be future leaders, because they can better study population trends, understand the data, and make meaning again.

Same deal with the other categories/departments above. There are new gene therapies coming out each and every day that may cure diseases! However, they are expensive. Also, in the era of genetic mapping, we are just on the cusp of understanding what someone’s personal genotyping means. Do and can pharmacists share appropriate therapies with patients? Absolutely! IF they are trained.

3. Apprenticeships – While some may argue that we have residencies and fellowships to cover this, along with APPE and IPPE, I’m not so sure we’ve got that right in pharmacy schools, either. Since there aren’t enough residencies and fellowships, maybe it is time to consider a first or second year pharmacist out of school under an apprenticeship instead? IPPE is a bit of a waste, because students are too green, but is APPE long enough? I don’t know the answer to this. What I do know is that this is a profession in which you learn by doing, not just studying textbooks in a classroom. I do know that on APPE we also focus way too much on pharmacy instead of the BUSINESS of pharmacy.

4. More project based learning - So much of pharmacy school is: memorize a bunch of stuff, then take a test. That’s again 20th century learning and mindset instead of preparing students for the 21st century. Now, employers want employees who can see problems, turn them into opportunities and create something from nothing into value-added service and/or products. This means hands on, project-based, problem-based learning. And not just one on one with patients. We need to think bigger. So, can we all ditch all these standardized tests and instead start giving students projects and problems that the real world and bosses try to manage every day? What can pharmacists do to solve environmental challenges? Emergencies? Public health issues? Education of the masses? More Shark Tank, less test-taking. More writing and speaking, less test taking. More assignments on finding better answers, rather than THE BEST answer…for the test.

5. All faculty should be practicing – Not just pharmacy practice, or clinical practice. But all professors should be out in the real world practicing. If you’re in pharm sci, that means you’re in a lab making something. If you’re in pharm practice, you should be out in practice (and NOT just in clinical practice.) If you’re in any of my new departments above – you should be practicing in those areas. While I’m sure there are some career academicians out there who think that full time faculty on campus should only be focused on teaching and publishing in some journal with a high impact factor, they need to be practicing in the real world too–otherwise, how can you see the issues coming, teach to the issues, and the change within the profession? I think many of the outdated dusty structures and curricula were also put in place by faculty who have taught in an institution for 30 years without working in the real world for decades. Also, I think tenure needs to die as well, because of this bullet – everyone needs to keep their hands in the practice and not in the ivory tower alone. No one should rest on her laurels just because she has tenure. We all must stay hungry and a bit foolish if we’re truly going to be innovative.

There. These again are my opinions and mine alone. But, I do not believe that pharmacy schools are adapting to changes fast enough. Change is coming, whether or not we choose to adapt. We must fix this, or we are doomed as a profession.

Thanks to Career Coach Caroline!

Screen Shot 2017-11-19 at 9.18.21 AMIt’s always fun to be on the OTHER side of the podcast mic.  Sincere thanks to Caroline Dowd Higgins, who gave me the opportunity to be a part of her podcast, Your Working Life. (It will be over at iTunes in the near future too.)

On this podcast, we discuss #STEAMED education, the #STEMPrincess Project, #Multipationals, developing a career portfolio, time management, burnout, vacation and so much more!

This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful and thankful for friends like Caroline, who are doing important work to show others how to live their best lives. Give a listen, and thank you for listening – I’m thankful for YOU, too!


Swiping Right on Second Chances

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 7.47.20 AMFor an app I’ve never used, I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had this week about swiping right on Tinder.  I actually had to look up that swipe right was the positive choice on Tinder, but I confirmed that yes – when you swipe right, that’s a plus/green light situation.

How many of us don’t like to swipe right on second chances? (My hand just went up.)  What’s that saying – “Fooled me once, shame on you, fooled me twice, shame on me”? I think that’s it. Anyway, sometimes we have to try and give a second chance to things that just didn’t work out the first time – for whatever reason(s) – bad timing, not a good fit, whatever.

The easier path (trust me, I’ve taken it more than my fair share of times) is to cut bait after the first try and fail. Don’t look back. There’s a reason it didn’t work out. Move on. Onward. Nail that SOB shut and move. On! (Yes, I’ve been accused of having too many hard limits. I probably should have made a T-shirt with #HardLimits on the front of it.)

However, the older I get, the more I realize that viewing the world in black and white is probably not the best way to view it–it can oversimplify things. Sometimes, gray intervenes and makes things a little more complicated than black or white. A “no” yesterday could mean all bets are off today. Maybe the other person just had a really bad day, week, month or year and took it out on you and your relationship. Maybe now is the time. Maybe if you swipe right on the second chance, it will be all green lights this time via the universe.

A better question to ask yourself: How does this situation/person/option make me feel? Do I get a warm and fuzzy from it, or is there something not right? Is the feeling compelling you to go for a take 2, or not?

As Brene Brown as I get: I sadly do not have all the answers. Just more questions…vulnerability at its finest!

My bottom line for you this week before our Thanksgiving: consider the option of swiping right if you’re like me with a bunch of hard limits. It may just open up a universe of possibility you never would have considered before.



My Favorite Things…Right Now

This week was rough. Not gonna lie. So, when it gets tough, I just start Julie Andrews-ing it up. In here.

Here are a few of my favorite things…right now. (And no, no one is paying me for any endorsements here.)

1. I recently stayed at Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale. It was quirky and had its charms. One of my favorite charms of all was the Red Flower bath products – and specifically, icelandic moonflower.

2. Sparkles the Unicorn Shea-infused socks. Say that fast 3 times. Skip that and just buy a pair.

3. Prague – the one international destination I had on my goals list for this year that did not. Happen. Of course, Scotland did happen, and I’m grateful for it, with a bonus trip to Amsterdam.

4. Leonardo da Vinci – Walter Issacson – Until, of course I see how thick his books are when I get them at the library. Then I think, how might I ever get through it all? Then I think: how did HE ever write and edit it all? Then I fan girl and try my best to get through it. This is what will happen when my book shows up from the hold list.

5. 2018 – Got myself a new calendar today to plan ahead, and masterminding with the fabulous Dorie Clark as a super duper treat for myself in New York later in November. I am SO EXCITED for it and the possibilities in 2018!

…and then I don’t feel–so. Bad.


2 Mini Life Hacks

Yes, using the term “lifehacking” may be cheesy. But, here are two lifehacks I use to expand time.

1. My work uniform hack - I think I’ve written about this before – but I have my own work uniform. It consists of Rafaella Black pants (best fitting, hands down, Oprah was right), black T shirts (short sleeved in summer, long in winter) and several copies of the same black jacket that I wear to work (I won’t reveal my black jacket source – I don’t want the price to go up!) Pretty much every day. It saves my time AND decision making super powers, because I do believe that we only get so much decision making power in reserve, and we need to save it for things that matter. To me, I don’t want to think about coordinating a work outfit that is different every day. For variety, I switch up the color of scarf I wear. That’s it. I don’t go crazy.

2. My airplane notes hack – Everyone always wants to know how I manage to write hand written thank yous. Well, 1. I love it. and 2. I try to find the time when otherwise not available. So, plane rides are a GREAT way to knock out thank you notes. Just take a wad of them, with stamps, and start writing. When you get to the other side, address them and give them to the hotel to mail. Voila! A lighter load on the way home, a concentrated bit of time to write thoughtful notes while everyone else is watching crappy airplane TV.  (Sleeping might also be a great choice on planes, but I don’t sleep well on planes–so there’s that.)

The older I get, the more I realize that it’s the little things that make a HUGE difference.

Top 5 I’d Teach in 5

I was recently asked what I’d teach if given 5 minutes to do so, to a group of rock star level professionals, but in completely different arenas than healthcare. Here are 5 ideas I’d love to discuss:

1. Alternative Ways to Sell Your Books

2. Top Leadership Experiences/Programs for Women

3. Top Big Data Aggregators, and how to OPT OUT of their collection of YOUR data.

4. Top ways to market and lead an event.

5. Top ways to follow up.


Super top secret stuff in some of these…LOL!

Missing the #Mixtape

Screen Shot 2017-10-22 at 9.06.23 PMAfter watching Outlander episode 306 an embarrassing number of times today, I hopped over to Showtime and caught High Fidelity. As a child of generation X, I love this movie for four reasons:

1. John and Joan Cusack together – it reminds me of my own life – working with my brother as a sibling, and we’re all from the Midwest. The Cusacks are from Chicago, me and bro grew up not far away in South Bend.  Joan’s character is usually right vs. John’s, and so is Erin in real life vs. bro, etc. (I’m certain my brother would refute. But he can argue on his own blog. Wait. He doesn’t have one. So I win!) I love the Cusacks together in Grosse Point Blank too with their sister Ann.

I digress.

2. The record store – we did this in college, with Tracks. Just hang out and hunt for obscure bands and imports. West 38th Street, Indy. Always fun to do after finals.

3. The top 5 lists – a practical way to order chaos in one’s life.

4. The mix tape – Last, and maybe most poignant for this evening’s post/discussion. Raise your digital hand if you ever received a mix tape, or better yet made one for someone else. These little plastic cartridges of heaven were sheer art forms ahead of their time.

Today, someone creates a playlist on Spotify. But it’s just not the same. Less instant gratification, because you had to carefully craft the tape.  There is and was an art to the curation, order, and most of all message one wanted to send another in creating the mix tape.

I need to hunt mine down. They’re buried in the Erin Albert basement archives. I miss my mix tapes.

In the meantime, dig out your own, and see if you can find a way to play it.

#BackToSchoolRx: A New Miniseries on Graduate School at Pharmacy Podcast

Pharmacists, healthcare professionals, and all professionals: have you ever fantasized about what it would be like to go back to school after your first professional degree?

The Pharmacy Podcast Network will be exploring vicariously different add on career and educational degrees for pharmacists this fall! After 37,000 views of this post on LinkedIn, we know this is a very interesting topic for pharmacists. We’re designating the official hashtag to this Back to School Miniseries as: #BackToSchoolRx.

#BackToSchoolRx: A Miniseries on returning to school for professionals:

We’ll be exploring the add ons of: business, informatics, the culinary arts, and even PhD programs. We’ll also talk about the money part for grad school, and wrap it up with what you can do with an add on degree in terms of career development off the beaten path for pharmacists.

Personally, it’s been an honor to bring this miniseries to life, and we’re excited at the PPN to bring it to our 66,000 listeners this fall!

We hope you can tune in at www.pharmacypodcast.com, over at iTunes and at Stitcher. As we roll out the series, I’ll be posting links to the episodes here as well. To our current and upcoming guests for this series, THANK YOU for all that you do for our community at large. We have the blessing of living vicariously through your experiences!


How To be a Podcast Guest Superstar

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 5.04.14 AMAs a podcast co-host on The Pharmacy Podcast Network, (and as someone with a face for radio – LOL!) I’ve probably hosted somewhere between 50–100 guests by now. I am NOT an expert — yet. However, I know when I spot an awesome guest or idea for the show, I want to help and make the guest sound like a rock star that he or she is and bring value to our 65,000 listeners! So, here are a few tips on how to rock a podcast…as a guest. Ready?


  1. Say yes, IF you have something to discuss — Most podcast hosts will have a reason why they want you on your show. For example, right now I’m working on a miniseries for pharmacists considering going back to school after pharmacy school — b school, c school, and i school, etc. As I reach out to my network and ask for people to participate, I have something specific in mind for them. If you’re comfortable speaking about the topic they want you to discuss, go for it! Now, there are proactive approaches in reaching out to podcast hosts when you’re pitching an idea or wares, but that’s worthy of a separate post, if not an entire book.
  2. If you say yes, make it EASY for the host who gave you the shot — A good host will keep telling you the next step. My second step after reaching out and the guest saying yes is booking a time and sending proposed questions with the appointment time. As a good guest, this means booking the appointment easily. Don’t go back and forth forever trying to find a time. I’ll also state in the defense of my brothers and sisters in podcasting as hosts: many of us podcasters out here don’t have the luxury of doing podcasting as a full time day job either, so try and be flexible if the podcast host has a weird schedule. For example, I can’t podcast during the 9–5 most of the week because I have another day job. Also, DO NOT CANCEL unless you absolutely have to — podcast co-hosts have a lot of guests, recordings, series and topics to juggle, and when you cancel, that can throw a huge wrench into a production schedule. Bottom line: be easy to work with and don’t be a diva here!
  3. Prepare and practice — Just like anything, one gets better with preparation and practice. This includes being a podcast guest! Ask for your questions beforehand, and review them. Also, practice giving answers that don’t drone on. Also, when you’ve finished your thought and answered the question, remain silent so the host knows they can move on to the next question. If there’s a question on the list you aren’t comfortable answering — have the host strike it prior to recording. Also, if you can’t come up with a good answer on something, suggest a change to the question on something you prefer to answer. (For example, I had a guest once who said s/he didn’t really read books when asked what book s/he was reading at the time. AWKWARD, and not to mention — it made her/him sound ignorant and unprofessional. Help the host help you be the rock star that you are by making the questions better in advance.)
  4. Listen to a few episodes — It’s important to listen to a couple of episodes of the podcast you are a guest on, because nothing looks worse than a guest saying they haven’t listened to the podcast nor understand the format and timing of it. Gauche. Please don’t be that guest. Professional podcasters will send you a guest dossier in advance — study it and understand how it will work. How long is a typical episode? What is the format? How does the host lay out the show? Know all this before you skype the day of with your podcast host.
  5. Join or connect to the podcast online — To be a great guest, you’ll follow the host and the podcast at social media portals, and pay attention to episodes upcoming. Jump in and share your awesomeness with your tribe that you’ll be on a podcast soon!


  1. Have a glass of water for recording — The last thing you want to do is cough into the mic a bunch of times — H2O to the rescue!
  2. Wear a headset — you want to cancel all the background noise. My iPhone headset plugged into my macbook does a decent job on recording — so be sure to get somewhere quiet, turn off the gadgets and nervous shuffling behavior, and wear a headset so you can be completely focused on the conversation.
  3. If you fumble, pause, and start over — Professional podcasters will have editing as well, so if you hiccup or derail while answering a question, just pause, ask for a do over, then re-answer the question. Watch the “likes” “uhms” and other space fillers.
  4. Stand up – your voice will be more supported and it should cut down on squeaky chairs or nervous habits as background noise. Podcast guesting is partially a performance.
  5. Thank the host and be conversational — The interview or chat shouldn’t make you sweat! Just make it a conversation. Use the host’s name during the recording.


  1. Share the URL to the podcast — Being a podcast guest helps you! You should share that you’re a thought leader in your arena by sharing the link to the podcast — through social media, your email footer, on your LinkedIn profile, and even via embed code on your website (if you have that capability and if the host will share the code with you).
  2. Send a thank you note — Podcasters aren’t the best about sharing their snail mail addresses, but if you can find one, send them an old fashioned thank you note. If not, an email will do. Yes, include your business card too — and let them know you’re ready to help them again in the future, especially if you want to be a return guest. I would say 99% of guests never do this. Here’s your opportunity to be part of the the 1%!

That’s it! It’s fun to be on the other side of the mic as a guest — because hosting is a LOT more work than being a guest. Guests have the easy part! So, enjoy being a guest on the podcast, and help the host help you shine like the rock star that you are!

Networking: 5 Friendly Reminders for All of Us

Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 9.21.48 AMI’m about to write a post about one of the most (over?) discussed business topics of the 21st century: networking. Before you yawn, I’m posting about this topic because the unwritten rules of networking seem to be violated a lot lately. So, I wanted to lay down 5 friendly reminders for all of us (myself included) on how to network like rock star professionals that we should be, rather than amateurs.

A lot of what I’m covering below came from many books and thought leaders on this topic – these aren’t my original ideas. People like Hazel Walker, Dr. Ivan Misner, (and their book, Business, Networking and Sex), and several other books (Harvey McKay’s Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty, Keith Ferrazzi’s Never Eat Alone, etc. are where I attempted to pick up and implement many if not all of these principles. These are not new and not mine, but I really try hard to adhere to them.

  1. Your network is your net worth - Social capital is like financial capital, but a little different, in that more isn’t necessarily better. Unlike money, a network is a living, breathing thing. You have to treat it as such. Feed it. Nurture it. If you see something of interest to a friend, send a quick note and the link online to an article and write, “Thought of you when I saw this – hope you are well!” Give–to those especially who have earned it. It’s about relationships first, which leads me to my next point…
  2. Always build the relationship first - My biggest pet peeve of late with LinkedIn is that people try to connect, then automatically send a hard press sell on their wares before we even get to know each other. You need to build the relationship FIRST, then and only then can you start selling. And this goes double for women. We want a relationship FIRST. If you start selling out of the gate, the channel is muted automatically. Let me connect to you if you offer and we’ve never met. If I like your jam, then I’ll connect and watch your posts for a while, then maybe we can chat. I need a digital handshake of your online presence before you get to sell me anything directly. Also, please stop the group spammy LinkedIn messages. If you can’t take the time to send me a direct personal message about whatever it is that you’re selling, then it really can’t be that important.
  3. Givers gain - give more than you receive. Proof in point: here below is my written recommendations section from my personal LinkedIn profile–I’m walking the talk here, so you all can keep me honest. Try to give at least 2-4 times more than you receive. Below, I’m really close to 5 times on recommendations. That’s the goal I try and set for myself. On the other hand, I can’t give arbitrarily. You have to make sure you have #2 in place first, and they have to do good work – you can’t just start recommending people you don’t know and haven’t worked with. That, too, is inauthentic. Give as it is earned, otherwise, your giving becomes meaningless.

4. Always play the connection game in your brain - I really don’t do as many one on ones anymore, but when I do meet new people to my network and chat with them, I’m always playing the connection game in my brain. As they talk, I go through my virtual brain Rolodex to check if they know people in my network who share a passion. If not, and if they’d like to be connected, I make the connection. I personally believe that those who share a common passion are often times better to know each other than not. A way that author and coach Jenny Blake of Pivot rolls this way is something she calls the 20/20 or a 30/30, where if she is meeting someone one on one, she’ll start with the other party and discuss for 20-30 minutes one thing they are working on, then she offers insight, then they switch. I like this because it sets the giving playground equally.

5. If you called the meeting, own it - That means, NEVER be the person to cancel the meeting if you called it in the first place–unless the world is literally falling apart. Those who are in demand for one on ones are really, REALLY busy in some cases, and if they said yes to you the first time, you may never get a second chance if you cancel. And, savvy, busy professionals always keep a mental list of who dissed them, as they are good guardians of the one item we never get back: our time. This also means that if you asked someone else to coffee or lunch – you at least offer to pay.

There. Again, not rocket science, not new, and not revolutionary. These 5 principles are just what I try to live by, and wanted to share with all of us, myself included, as articulated friendly reminders.

Happy pro-networking!


Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 8.46.58 PMI took a 24 hour vacation from Twitter on Friday the 13th. I’ll let you Google the brouhaha that led to it, because it involves a long tale, a man whose name I don’t want to taint this blog with, and a bunch of tweets. And while no one likes rape or rape culture, I left Twitter for a day for the procedural issues behind the story.

Here’s why I left: I don’t like what Twitter did to Rose McGowan, because it was arbitrary. Lots of others on Twitter (mainly white men) have violated Twitter’s policies as Rose did in the past and present, but their accounts were never partially suspended over it.

Rules are rules, and they should apply to all, equally. While I get that no social media portal is a democracy, what I don’t dig (and I don’t think ANY of us should) happens when the rules are arbitrarily applied to certain people, but not all people on the platform.

I also understand there was controversy in women leaving Twitter for the day, in that ‘silencing’ women was exactly what the patriarchy wanted, and should we be speaking up rather than shutting off the channel? Trust me when I say we did the most damage we could do to Jack and Twitter by the radio silence for a day. Why?

Because we aren’t the customers of Twitter. We are the product.

Big data is all around us, and we are creating tons of it each and every day. Companies like Twitter (and Facebook, and LinkedIn and all other social media portals) are collecting that data (our “digital dander” as Valita Fredland and I like to call it in a recent Big Data and Ethics talk), and then selling that information back to other companies. We are the product.

At least you KNOW you’re the product on sites like Twitter and Facebook. What’s really scary is that there are data aggregation companies that are collecting, repackaging and selling your data to others and YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW IT. (I’ll let you google “biggest data aggregators” to learn who.) Nor can you even opt out of that digital dander collection. That, my friends can only lead to digital DANGER.

So, ladies and gents who left Twitter – nice work! You hit a portal hard where it counts. If they have no data from you, then they have no data that day to sell to someone else. And taking away their product – YOUR digital profile and tweets or your digital dander – is the biggest damage you can do to them.

While Jack posted that things are going to change around Twitter in response to #WomenBoycottTwitter, it remains to be seen if the new rules are applied equally, or with discrimination. We’ll be watching, Jack…

4 Things I Love, Right Now

1. Outlander - particularly this week’s episode, Freedom and Whisky.

2. Creativity Rules – Tina Seelig’s new book.

3. Graduate school and pharmacists – for the new miniseries on Pharmacy Podcast, beginning soon.

4. 2018 – I want to start one daily habit in 2018, but I’m not exactly sure what that will be quite yet.


Interview on Healthcare, Law and Bioethics in the US

Screen Shot 2017-10-01 at 12.11.11 PMA shoutout to Anthony T. who dared to ask me questions for a mid-term interview he has in his coursework. His questions, along with my answers are below – which if you read in depth are just more questions…there are no easy answers in heatlhcare. (Caution: the opinions below are mine and mine alone – and I have a LOT of friends over at Facebook who completely disagree with me. We all have strong opinions about healthcare right now, which is a good thing for a democracy.)

Good luck with your assignment, Anthony!

Q1: Why did you choose to work in healthcare?

EA: I liked science and STEM in general, and also wanted to help people. For me, it was a choice between medicine and pharmacy, but I chose pharmacy because I didn’t want to be married to one career. After choosing pharmacy, I also have the opportunity to do a lot of additional things with my career and pivot – like law, business, entrepreneurship and writing.

Q2: What do you feel the biggest public health challenges in U.S. are now?

EA: 1. The opioid epidemic is killing our country….literally. Whether or not the genesis of the problem is in prescription drugs or illicit, I personally believe that addiction is an illness, and yet, we don’t have enough affordable options to treat it. A lot of this problem was caused by the economic issues we’re having in this country too. Health permeates everything – if society is sick, it affects commerce, work, employment, and so many other facets of life.

2. We are running out of effective antibiotics, as just one example. On the other hand, drugs that are newly approved for the most part are for orphan diseases and/or are high cost. How can we afford these as a society?

3. The graying of America – 10,000 baby boomers every day now are retiring. How can we help them live better, healthier lives while still covering everyone in this country for care? If they want to work and live independently, how can we help them live this way affordably and contribute to society?

4. How might we incentivize innovation in healthcare and life sciences while still making healthcare affordable?

5. And last but certainly not least, affordable healthcare is probably the biggest challenge now and in years to come. Our healthcare now consumes 17% of our total GDP in this country – and that is not sustainable. Other countries provide better and more affordable care – so we need the next generation of healthcare professionals to study other countries’ systems and bring the best hits back to our country, stat.

Q3: Regarding the Affordable Care Act, what are some of the gaps you feel should be filled to improve the U.S. healthcare?

EA: If you study other countries’ healthcare systems, you’ll discover that some of the best are driven more regionally and locally. I don’t think (and this is my personal opinion, and mine alone) that the federal government can do the best job of optimizing both the affordability and accessibility of healthcare in the US.  Our federal government was designed by our Constitution to be limited. The states (again, in my opinion) should drive healthcare and create more innovative solutions. If we wait for the federal government to solve this problem, we’re doomed.  No offense to the hard working federal government employees, but innovation comes from the states and regions, not the federal government. Bottom up (local) usually provides far more innovation than top-down government.

Some of the best healthcare systems on the planet almost set up funding via a competition – the regions with better outcomes with their people receive more funding. Innovative ideas are more likely to be spread this way. I hate using the Hunger Games analogy, but it’s a good one in the sense that there are regions that are known for certain commerce, or in this case – it would be regions known for better, more innovative healthcare ideas. Why not fund healthcare innovations this way so great ideas can spread? I think this may be one of the concepts around block grants for states with the feds, but this is just one example on a race to the top, rather than to the bottom of healthcare.

Q4: Do you think that the Affordable Care Act is an individual mandate, if so is this good or bad for the individual?

EA: I think while it’s a good thing for the individual to be covered, it also must be affordable. Mandating something that is unaffordable is unreasonable–it sets our citizens up for failure, (much like Thomas More wrote about in Utopia). I think ultimately, we need to have a fundamental debate in this country on whether or not healthcare is a right or a privilege. Countries like China have written into their constitution that their citizens have a right to basic healthcare.  Right now, we do not. So then, the next question after the fundamental right question we should be asking ourselves is – should healthcare be a for- or non-profit service? If it continues to be for-profit (for the most part, at least for working Americans who are mandated to have insurance coverage) how much profit is too much? For the pharmaceutical companies? For healthcare insurance plans? For healthcare providers? For everyone else in the industry?

On the other hand, how are we going to get big pharma, medical device and biotech companies to innovate if profits are smaller? Innovation in healthcare and life sciences is risky and expensive. You also left off an interesting party here too – what about companies who are paying for the vast majority of employees’ healthcare in this country? They are paying billions of dollars to insure their employees. Should employers have to pay for their employees’ healthcare? They don’t pay for our car insurance or home owner’s insurance for the most part – so why should they have to pay for healthcare?  Maybe we could get to the point where we have something like Medicare for all – the basics can be covered, then all of us can buy a supplement if we’d like. But that’s going to cost us a lot of money we don’t have. Healthcare is not free. Where are we going to get the money?

Q5: How can law and bioethics work together to improve the U.S. healthcare system?

EA: This may sound really odd coming from a pharmacist-attorney, but I think we need LESS law and red tape, particularly by federal government, in order to innovate healthcare in this country…not more. Ethics, similarly–ideas like autonomy, beneficence and justice (as just one example from the Common Rule 45 CFR 46 on the Protection of Human Subjects)–would suggest that individuals should have more freedom and choice when it comes to healthcare, which would in turn suggest less, not more mandates. On the other hand, laws like HIPAA and HITECH are there seemingly to protect us – should we have even more privacy laws to protect our data in other realms beyond healthcare?  Big data beyond healthcare and banking is still the wild wild west and largely self regulated. Healthcare is one of the most highly regulated industries in the US. Should it be? The more regulation, the more red tape, the higher the cost.

As I mentioned – not a lot of answers here. Just more questions…

Pen Power

PenPower“The pen is mightier than the sword,” was penned back in 1839 in the historical play, Cardinal Richelieu. But it still rings true today. In the play, the Cardinal also states, “Take the sword; States can be saved without it!”

I am a firm believer in putting down our swords and picking up our pens in order to affect positive change in the universe. Through books, sharing ideas, stories and journeys through the written word, we can make our world a better place. But, we don’t even need to go to the book stage in order to make positive pen power. In fact, I recently had two real-life, different situations where a written letter or email put some positive power back into the universe.

Story 1: I had a slight altercation with unprofessional conduct on a recent flight. (I won’t say which airline, but those who follow me at social already know.) When I arrived home, I wrote a letter to the CEO of said airline and voiced my concerns about their rampant unprofessional conduct with their customers during one leg of my flight. I also sent a copy of said letter to CEO of another company that both I and they do business with them (as advertised on one of their joint services) and asked that CEO if he should be conducting business with the airline. If I can’t trust the airline, should I be trusting this other company?

This letter triggered 2 phone calls from the ‘another company’ above, and a $350 travel voucher from airline this week. That one letter resulted in a lot of follow up, $350 for me, but most important, attention from both companies on how they disrespectfully treat their customers. Maybe not a perfect fix, but at least some attention on the matter.

Story 2: Being an avid reader, I subscribe to several print magazines (I know, I’m old school). Anyway, one of them is Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Recently, I have been researching whether or not to switch banks. They had an article recently that focused on the best banks for different types of people. So, I went back to that article shopping for a new bank, only to find I really wasn’t characterized there. They focused on retirees, millennials, families–but nothing really for entrepreneurs or single women–and we have radically different needs in a bank than these other categories of people.

I voiced my concern via email to the Editor in Chief of the magazine, and stated the facts (that single women are outnumbering married women in this country, and starting more businesses, etc.) Not only did I hear back from the magazine, but I also heard back from the writer of that particular article, along with their correction for future articles on this topic. And, this month’s Kiplinger’s had a one pager in it for single women. While I can’t take credit for sparking the article on single women–I was impressed that Kiplinger’s was actually paying attention and cared what their readers have to say.

Here’s my point: yes, you can rant over at social media and complain. David vs. Goliath stories on social media are always ephemerally charming–and I usually root for the Davids. But sometimes, it’s even better to just go over to MS Word or grab a piece of paper, thoughtfully pen your issues, and then print, sign and mail your comments via old fashioned snail mail. Even send an email.

As I was reminded yesterday when discussing negotiation at #HealthCarDev – a wise recruiter said, “I can’t help you if you don’t communicate to me what you need.” She was absolutely right. We have to clearly articulate what we need. NO ONE is part of the psychic friends’ network–so if you tell the universe and others what you need, you just might get it.

Be careful what you wish for….lol!

Too Much Success: A Recipe for Failure?

Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 7.32.47 AMI’m on a seefood diet. As in, I see it, and I eat it!

And while I don’t really consider myself a foodie, I do get super excited when I have the chance to head to a one Michelin Star restaurant – usually only while only on vacation, and usually only on the splurge night (my most recent encounter was at the Rijks in Amsterdam right after they earned their first Michelin Star). When a restaurant hits 3 Michelin Stars–that’s the big time. I’ve never actually eaten at one, because they’re typically next to impossible to get into.

So I read with one eye brow raised this story of French chef Sébastien Bras who announced recently he wanted to renounce his 3-Michelin-Star rating and be removed from the book. He claims there’s just too much pressure in trying to maintain the rating he’s had since the late 90s. Apparently, other chefs who earned the distinction in the past but didn’t want the long term pressure would either close their restaurants or just change concepts. He simply wants to be de-listed.

What I keep thinking about is comparing Bras’ success with those of younger girls, who we tell often they are ‘smart’ and ‘perfect.’ These are the same girls who ultimately stop trying to learn or work on anything hard or challenging, because they will no longer be considered ‘smart’ or ‘perfect‘ in the eyes of those around them. These are also the same girls who opt out of STEM careers–they encounter their first challenge and back off, rather than diving into the challenge, rolling up their sleeves and knocking the work out of the park (for a string of cliches).

Bras feels ‘liberated’ for his decision, according to this article, and the more I think about this, the more I agree with his decision. There’s no room to experiment or be innovative when you’re ‘perfect.’ There’s no room to grow. And for artists (and I think we’re all artists because we all can create), it’s a death-knell to not have permission to experiment and have the autonomy to try new things…which can be the biggest failure of all for artists.

So, the next time you try to crawl your way into a 3-Star restaurant, or tell a 5-year-old she’s perfect, pause. Reflect. Maybe seek out a different standard–like innovativeness, creativity and even touch of weirdness, instead of perfection. After all, there is no perfection; thus, it’s impossible to sustain something that doesn’t exist.

What Color is Your Side Hustle? 2018 Edition

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 4.00.28 AMSorry, fab 13 – I’ve been away on holiday in…Scotland. Outlander fan, I am. It was awesome – and I’ve scattered a few pictures of the voyage over at the Instagram page if you’re interested. I owe you a #6onSaturday newsletter, which I’ll try and crank on for you soon of what I learned during my time away.

While I was away, my library sent me notice that I could check out a new career book now out. Staggering updates in one of my favorite books on career development that I often recommend to students and mentees — the 2018 edition of “What Color is Your Parachute?” is out. And, there are some dramatic and staggering stats in it. I’ll let you read it, because it’s that important (and I don’t want to steal thunder from the author), but suffice it to say — our work worlds are changing, right before our eyes.

Careers now are complicated. Here in news out of Indianapolis just this past week, Lilly announced a near 8–9% layoff of their workforce over the coming year. Angie’s List locally will be letting go duplicates of their workforce with an approved merger. The change is disruptive and whiplash-inducing these days.

However, the silver lining here is that we always have options. Gig work, part time, full time, near full time, and one of my personal favorites — the part time side hustle. Just this past week, one of the books I wrote on the options of the side hustle, Plan C: The Full-Time Employee and Part-Time Entrepreneur was featured in Huffington Post (thanks, Caroline Dowd-Higgins, for sharing)! I also found this infographic from Entrepreneur on what type of side hustle you should try. My favorite book of 2016, Adam Grant’s Originals also talks about the side hustle.

Whether you’re considering an Etsy store for your knitting or crafts, all the way through to being a full-time independent 1099 consultant, there’s a lot of different ways you can attack your career these days. I also say, sometimes looking at the spectrum of options, it can be a little overwhelming and unsettling. But, there are a lot of coaches out there who can help you weed through the menagerie.

Also, we’ve worked really hard this year with HBA Indiana to provide content that matters to our members, and on 9/29/17, we’re taking on this very large topic of career development particularly in the healthcare, life sciences and healthcare IT spaces in an unconference format. This unconference will feature many entrepreneurs and many different approaches to your career. If you’re in the Midwest, consider attending to create an offensive strategy for your career moving forward, particularly if you’re in the healthcare and life sciences space: tickets are here.

I’m glad to be a part of the energy around how the way we work is ever changing in this country — and although with natural disasters, chaos and closures going on all around us, I’m thrilled to be a part of how to help get through the chaos, spot the trends, and create the BEST career mosaic for others.

BTW – here are the books I’ve written on the subject, just in case you haven’t read them:  Plan CSingle Women Entrepreneurs, and Multipationals

Selected Pharmacy Podcast Episodes on Career Development & More!

This is about to be a long post, but I wanted to put, in one place, some of the Pharmacy Podcast Shows for the fab 14, AND for your listening pleasure! And I moved it up, since it was starting to get buried in the blog.

If you’re a pharmacist or leader in healthcare, IT, pharmacy practice and/or elsewhere, the following episodes will be of benefit to you.  And to all the guests during the year on the podcast, a SINCERE THANKS for helping us reach over 67,000 listeners and for sharing the pharmacy healthcare love!

Single Women Entrepreneurs: 5 Years Later – More on the New Book!

Part 2 of our 2 part Series on Design Thinking – with Cardinal Health FUSE

Part 1 of 2 – A Chat with Former NCPA President and Owner of Mullins Pharmacy – DeAnn Mullins on the Future of Pharmacy

Part 2 of 2 – Chat with DeAnn Mullins  

Writing and Self-Publishing to Enhance Your Professional Brand in Healthcare: A Chat with International Author and Book Coach of Self-Publishing School, Marcy Pusey:

Link to Self Publishing School is here.

Answer to the #1 Question I Received at SXSW 2018 – On Side Hustles:

How Does DEA Set Quotas on CIs and CIIs?

SXSW / HIMSS 2018 Recap

More on our Inaugural APPE Rotation in Digital Communication, Entrepreneurship & Leadership 

Design + Pharmacy, Part 1: Pharmacy Design Discussion with Fiona Sartoretto Verna 

Entrepreneurial You: A Chat with Author Dorie Clark

Ensuring Gender Equality And Removing Unconscious Bias While Hiring: Kieran Canisius of Zocket.me

Immigration Issues for Foreign-Born Pharmacy Students and Hiring Managers

Social Media: ASCP

The First and Annual Women’s Leadership in Pharmacy Panel at #RBC2017 from Cardinal Health

NABP and the .pharmacy Initiative: Deterring Rogue Online #FakePharmacies

Breaking Into the Pharmaceutical Industry: PharmDs – A Chat on the BCMAS Certification

A Chat with Co-Founder of GoodRx, Doug Hirsch

Part 3 of our Conversation with Former DEA – Joseph T. Rannazzisi

DEA Part 2: Our Chat with Joseph T. Rannazzisi, cont.

For the Class of 2017: Congratulations!

Manbassadors: Sponsors for Women in Healthcare

57 Cool Jobs for Pharmacists

SXSW 2017 – A Recap

InfoSAGE: Healthcare Informatics Leader Dr. Charles Safran

HIMSS 17 Post Show

HIMSS 17 Pre Show

A Valentine for Women, Gender Parity and Leadership in Healthcare:

The Future of Work in Pharmacy & Healthcare Part I – With Special Guest, Jacob Morgan:

The Future of Pharmacy Work – Part II

7 Steps to a Super 2017:

“Men”toring Women – Why it is critical for Men to Mentor Women

Merry Midyear – 4 part miniseries coming to the podcast with Dr. Lauren Steinbach hi-jacking the mic:

The American Society for Pharmacy Law – an Intro with Aaron Moore:

Pharmacy as a Third Space – Tisane Pharmacy (NYC):

Disruptive Women in HIT – Mandi Bishop:

How to get more Leadership in Pharmacy – Alan Spies:

BU Well: A Student-Driven Multimedia Publication – Anne Leighty:

Feeling the Burn…Out – How to manage burnout in pharmacy:

Maximizing Medical and Pharmacy Meetings – Kristin Eilenberg of Lodestone Insights:

6 Things I Love, Right Now

I’ve been busy with other stuff, like the SXSW panelpicker – so forgive me, my fab 13, for no new #6onSaturday this morning. Instead – I’ll share with you 6 things I adore right. Now!

1. Scotland – love this feature coming from Victoria Magazine on the Jacobite Steam Train.  And, of course, Outlander season 3 starting again Sept 10th and looking ahead to season 4- but who’s counting?

2. Hummingbird migration – Talk about short man syndrome, these little birds are the biggest bullies at the hummingbird feeders this time of year – but they’re getting ready to flee.

3. ReadingExtreme You right now. The author hooked me by interviewing Angela Ahrendts.

4. Podcasting – doing homework and recon on a series I’ll be rolling out over at Pharmacy Podcast this fall on – grad school. More to come!

5. Big data and ethics – in prep for Indy Big Data.  (BTW – there’s little to NO regulation of the collection and use of your data online…it’s pretty scary.)

6. Women’s Equality Day – is officially today. But should we be celebrating it?  I’m torn. But, I’m glad we have a day for consideration of the right to vote! This was 1920, not that long ago!

Thanks, SXSW Style

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 10.17.00 AMToday is the last day for SXSW 2018 Panelpicker voting. Our panel on #WonderWomen of the forthcoming book, Single Women Entrepreneurs 5 Years Later – is featured in our panel. We had nearly 400 shares shares on social of our panel – and while I can’t see the number of votes, I’m guessing we did pretty well.

This is my post of thanks to all who voted and shared. We really appreciate it. Our Single Women Entrepreneurs of the US appreciate it, and I hope to have the opportunity to share their stories in a wider audience in the spring of 2018, in Austin TX, thanks in part – to you!

Cheers, thanks again, and have a great weekend!

Don’t Limit with Goals & Anti-Goals: Treat Your Work/Career/Life Like a Garden Instead

BESIf you follow me over at Instagram, you know I’m kind of a flower nut. I grew up in gardens – my mom is a gardener, and both of my grandmothers were gardeners too, one of which had a farm. I was reminded of gardening again when I read the post which the gurus are touting around the internet, about the importance of setting anti-goals. But, I have a bit of a problem with that idea, in that it doesn’t quite hit the mark for me as a career coach in an ideal state.

I’ve always been a cheerleader of writing down your goals. I do it once a year, as a habit, and then carry them around with me. I LOVE checking them off when they are accomplished, which in turn gives me some free mental space to think ahead to future goals too. It’s a great habit!

What I believe the writers of the linked article above are focused on is ensuring your day is NOT filled with stuff you hate. Important, yes, but again where I have a problem with it is that it focuses a little too heavily on what you don’t want, and sometimes focusing on what you don’t want can reverse, in that it takes your eyes off of your goals and sometimes puts the icky stuff front and center in your life, rather than the stuff you actually love and care about instead. You attract what you focus on.

This is where I return to the garden, which I still think is the best analogy for living your best life, career path, or day. Like a garden to a gardener, I think you should focus both on what you love–water, care for, and nurture your goals and/or best stuff. But, I also think you should spend a little time on what you don’t love – and weeding that stuff out of your day/life/career. Weed out the icky stuff. Also, are there items in your career garden overgrown? Meaning–is it time to cut back, or move on to another area of your life? Do a little trimming if you’re over extended and burned out, maybe?

Much like our lives, gardens can get over grown with stuff that consumes us and causes burnout. (In my current garden, there is a battle between daisies and Black Eyed Susan in the picture above – another analogy – which do you want more of and less of, or do you prefer a balance?) I also think of my career in seasons too – much like a garden. What season are you in with your day job, or side gigs, or non-profit work, and/or is it time for a change?

Your garden is your life/career/work palette. Don’t just think of it as a list of “love” and “hate” – I think that’s way too simple an analogy for a best life. Sometimes, there are surprises in your career or life you never expected that pop up too, and what if they don’t make it to your love and hate lists? You could miss out on something amazing just thinking bi-modally.

I’ve said my peace. Whatever analogy you use for your work/career/life, I hope most important that it works for you – whether that’s a love/hate list, a garden, or something else in between.


Erin Albert is a career coach, pharmacist, entrepreneur, community builder, writer and hack gardener.

P.S. It’s World Photo Day today! – Get out and take a pic or two – maybe of your garden?

Podcasting, in 5 Minutes or Less

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 8.42.45 PMWhen @AmyStark wanted me to talk about podcasting in a 5 minute talk at #SMDames17 (that happened today, as a matter of fact), I must admit that even I was a little intimidated to drink from this firehose in 300 seconds. There’s a steep learning curve to podcasting, and I’m still learning myself.

So, I wanted to share a little more about the “Podcasting Hierarchy” I flashed at the audience for 5 minutes today, and share a little more with you, the fab 13, on where you can go to dig a little deeper (or climb a little higher?) into the world of podcasting, if you’re so inclined.

I laid this out via Maslow. Let’s begin with the basics at the bottom. If you’ve never listened to a podcast before, take out your smartphone, head to iTunes or wherever you buy apps and look for Stitcher. Download it. Then start picking out podcasts you like. If you don’t have a smartphone, use a desktop player, like ShortOrange.  Right now, I’m personally listening to a lot of EOFire, BizChix Podcast, The Ask GaryVee Show, Tim Ferriss, James Altucher, and of course, the Pharmacy Podcast. Find stuff you’re interested in and step into the world of podcasting by listening.

Maybe you listen – and you have your favorites. Great! The next step is…if you’re building a business or brand, to ask yourself: does your ideal customer or Avatar listen to podcasts? Do your competitors have podcasts? An episode I like of EOFire has a link on defining your ideal customer or Avatar. Personally, I’ve noticed that while my target market for many of my books tend to be women, more men than women listen to podcasts. I don’t really know why that is, either, but realize your ideal customer, then ask if they listen to podcasts, OR could YOU be the FIRST podcast in your space?

Next up – try pitching to be a guest on your favorite podcast that fits your brand. I’ve personally not been good about this – I’m a little more focused on getting great guests on my segment of the Pharmacy Podcast. But, if you’re a rabid fan of a podcast in particular and it fits you and your jam, then why not pitch to them? You can try on the podcasting concept on someone else’s show, before you get heavily invested.  Another way to test the waters low stakes is try the free app Anchor.  You can record little audio snippets and updates with this app, then post it online at your other social media portals. It is, methinks, ephemeral now – I think the anchor clips (or waves as they call them) go away after 24 hours.

Let’s say you’re hooked. Great! Next up, you’re going to need to learn the mechanicals of a podcast, and frankly – this is the steepest part of the learning curve. It’s also where you need to spend the most time getting educated and understanding your why – why do you really want to start a podcast? What’s the goal or outcome? It’s where I’m still learning – and that’s also the technical aspects of recording, editing and hosting a podcast. One of my favorite places to learn is She Podcasts, a closed Facebook group of women podcasters. I’m lucky, in that on the Pharmacy Podcast, I don’t do my editing – we have a founder/wizard in Todd Eury who does that. All I use is a magical microphone, my MacBook Pro, Skype and a call recording software for my computer. You could use Garage Band, or maybe even quicktime.

See, I’m still learning here.

If you have multiple parties speaking live in the same place and not using Skype, you should also have a mixer. Then you need to use Audition or Garage Band to edit the podcast, add the jingle/intro, and any audio jingle outtros. Also, it’s nice to get the “uhms” cleaned up throughout the recording. This is where I’m still lost – and I’m still trying to learn more about the editing process.

Last but not least, at the top of the podcasting hierarchy (at least technically speaking) is getting a host for your podcast. I don’t mean emcee here either. I mean, you can’t just throw your podcast onto your WordPress site – it needs to be hosted by a site built for the bigger bandwidth necessary to stream and listen to podcasts. We use Libsyn at the Pharmacy Podcast, but you’ll see in my slide above that there are several choices for podcasting hosts. I’m not even going to go there when it comes to getting registered and the podcast on iTunes…that alone could take hours. Even simple stuff, like the right podcast art thumbnail for iTunes is a science in and of itself.

The peak or summit of this hierarchy is honestly creating a sustainable podcast. There are costs associated with equipment, jingles, hosting and the most precious resource of all – your time. It takes a long, long time to make a podcast profitable with advertising revenue and/or helping you drive your business.  Massive time vacuum.

So, this post was a little longer than 5 minutes for me to write. But I wanted to leave a digital leave behind for more on this podcasting magic, because it really has been magic for me. I’m grateful to the Pharmacy Podcast for the opportunity to co-host, and glad to help the women in our audience today at #SMDames17 think about another channel for themselves and their businesses to consider….


Where’s Your Operating Manual?

OperatingI have a drawer full of operating manuals. In fact, the folder for them got so big I had to segregate the small appliances from the large ones. I have them for my toaster, microwave and other kitchen appliances, and even my lawnmowers.

Yet, some of the most complex entities on the planet come without operating manuals. Those complex entities? People. And, while I hate to compare humans to appliances (I realize this is a banal comparison–we are far more complex as humans than toasters or can openers), I will for the point of this article, which is this: do we clearly communicate with each other on how we best operate? If not, should we?

Kyle Westaway made me re-think about this concept of an operating manual for us as individuals this weekend in his newsletter, which I recommend.

I’m also a big fan of getting to know yourself via the Know Thyself Kit I’ve shared in the past – but by sharing your results on you, you do in a sense create a better path for people to communicate and work with you, which in turn gets you to a better, higher quality version of your very own life. So below, after doing some research around the internet, I’ve gathered a few questions that you may want to ask yourself, then share with your co-workers, family and friends on how to best work with you – because, frankly, most of us are not part of the psychic friends’ network.

Questions for a User Manual On…You:

  1. What is your favorite method of communication? (I’m an e-mailer, and I don’t like the phone. The best thing the invention of the phone ever did for me was grant me access to the internet.)
  2. What does it take for you to say yes to working on someone else’s project? (For me, care about what you’re trying to convince me to do. If you don’t care, why should I?)
  3. How does someone win a gold star with you? (For me, don’t waste my time. Gold star level happens when you ask for my time AND plan an agenda around the time, rather than just ‘picking my brain.’ Follow up also wins gold stars. I also like Jenny Blake’s idea of a 30:30 or 15:15 – where you each share something you’re working on or baffled by, and the other suggests ways to solve/improve or make better the issue, then trade and split the time.)
  4. What drives you crazy? (Again, for me – wasting my time. Or, going back and forth on an idea if you want me to execute on that idea, especially if you give me no wiggle room to invent. Or, noise. I’m not into noise when I’m trying to pound out my work.)
  5. When do you best operate – do you work best in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings? (I’m a night owl. Writing is starting to creep in to my mornings too.)
  6. How do you give and like to receive feedback? (In writing, please.)
  7. What’s the best way to show gratitude with me? (A hand written thank you note. It endures longer than the text, email or phone call. See the theme here? In. Writing.)
  8. What type of projects I love to work on include: (For me, studying the future of healthcare or many industries, entrepreneurship and women, gender parity, STEM and girls, and research around any of these areas. I also love outlets for sharing these ideas too – like podcasts, books, talks, etc. If I have some room for creativity here, even better!)
  9. How do you best like to make decisions or draw conclusions? I’m going to do a lot of research on something before I drive a stake into the ground. So bring me some real numbers and don’t bring a bunch of puffery. Opposite, don’t be wishy washy with your own opinions – either state you don’t know yet, or state your opinion. Be clear. Don’t go back and forth, because that lands me right back in question 4 above.
  10. Include me in and opt me out of…: (Include me anything new, exciting, and different where you need someone who is creative and/or can get me around other thought leaders in creativity. Opt me out of…purely social invitations. I don’t like parties, showers or weddings. Not my jam.)
  11. What do I value? (My time, working on the frontiers of knowledge, creativity, and honesty/integrity.)
  12. What’s your One Thing? (This is the question on what you’d give up last in all that you do or what matters most, from the book with the same title. For me, that’s easy…writing.)
  13. What gives you satisfaction – what’s ‘winning’ for you? (Getting things done, checking off my list, and creating new things that never existed before that in turn hopefully make the world a better, or at least more educated/edutaining, place.)
  14. How do I best like to be rewarded? (Hands down: give me my time back. If you can end a meeting early, or give me the day off to go speak, or give me vacation, I’m going to love it. I love income, true, but time is the one thing we never get back.)
  15. Strengths/weaknesses? (Futuristic, maximizer, intellection, ideation and input – pretty much anything to do with ideas, I’m totally in–writing, speaking, planning, executing. My weaknesses include: idle chit chat, social stuff, and sales.)
  16. What’s your best working climate? (Quiet, flexible, autonomous, can work from anywhere, and a ROWE environment for me, please.)
  17. What’s your tennis ball? Go read the book Known by Mark Schaefer to learn about this test and others for perseverance and sustainable interests.

Consider answering these questions on yourself, then take a brave step and share. I’ll even go so far as to state that LinkedIn should have a section in our profiles that allows us to share our User Manual-ness if we opted to.

Again, it would be really great if we could all share our best states of operation in the workplace, and in life – for all the reasons above, and one more: maybe, just maybe, it will get us to a happier place. No more guessing on how we best work together – we’ll know! And, if you do share, THANK YOU in advance for sharing for those of us who aren’t psychic. No more guessing – yay!

Sources I used for this article: 


7 Steps to a Unicorian, Utterly Unforgettable Panel Discussion

#SMDames17 Facebook Live from Carmel Digital Media Lab Today

The girl with the face for radio accidentally stepped in front of the camera today for #SMDames17!

Tickets while they last are at: SMDames17.eventbrite.com.

and a separate one over at youtube.

Who’s at the Helm of Healthcare?: A Focus on Deans at US Schools of Pharmacy

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 9.18.02 AMThis week, the academic pharmacists are meeting for the annual summer meeting of AACP, or the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. So, I thought it might be fitting to post about where we are in terms of gender and leadership at schools of pharmacy again.

First off, when people argue with me about STEM professions overall, and state that there aren’t many women at the helms of STEM organizations because most women opt out of said STEM professions, I always return to pharmacy to refute the argument. Simply because pharmacy, as a profession, since the 1980s, has historically and continues to attract more women than men into the profession, and has for several decades. Historically, 60-70% of pharmacy students are women.

However, when you look at leadership–the very tippy top of pharmacy schools in this case–at the Dean position–that majority disappears. It actually flips, in that 25% of women are running schools of pharmacy as deans, and 75% are men! I went over to ACPE, the pharmacy school accrediting body today, to check the stats again. Despite the fact that ACPE updated its website of accredited programs and actually made it harder to go through the schools to see who’s at the helm, here’s my analysis:

Clearly, women still aren’t running the US schools of pharmacy. (Also, and candidly, I find it interesting that many pharmacy programs are ran by people who are not pharmacists. How can you run a program if you’ve never worked the bench as a pharmacist? I don’t understand this, but I digress.)

Here’s my point with this post: even though pharmacy as a STEM profession attracts more women, there are not more women at the helm of US pharmacy schools (and most of healthcare, as I’ve previously shared). We’re not even at parity – not event close, and we are actually backtracking again.

If we really want gender parity, particularly in leadership positions and in STEM, we’re going to have to keep banging on this drum, ladies and gentlemen. My plea: I hope the 35 women deans in US accredited schools of pharmacy are getting together at AACP this week and having a frank discussion about how to solve this problem – because it is a problem. And while I’m on my soapbox, my challenge to the Council of Deans at AACP: put in writing that you’re going to fix this by striving to attain 50/50 gender parity in pharmacy school dean roles by 2020. That shouldn’t be too hard to do considering the majority of pharmacists are women. And, if you get pushback on workload, try what one school of pharmacy does: have co-deans.

For all the reasons in the literature and then some – we have to have diversity in leadership in order to make programs stronger, more creative, and yes, even more profitable. While a lot of pharmacy schools are non-profit, they can still benefit by improving their programs with more revenue if they are attracting more students and higher quality students–to improve research and programming for students, who in turn can graduate and better serve their patients.

5 Cool Items I’m Working On…Right Now

1. This – on the pharmacy podcast.

2. This – coming soon at #SMDames17 – I’ll be discussing podcasting. Here’s registration if you’d like to take your social media game to the next level.

3. This – working on lining up speakers for #HealthCarDev in Indy with HBA IN. Here’s a peek at our speakers.

4. This - I’m glad Indy and Mother Nature are getting all of the rain out of the way for our HBA IN 7/26 event at the top of Eskenazi Health at the Sky Farm!

5. Upcoming talks – on big data, privacy, ethics – so many egregious real-world cases to choose from…hopefully I’ll see you at Indy Big Data or ASPL to discuss them with you!

4-Letter Words

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 8.46.47 PM

Caution: this post is explicit. Well, explicit at least to me.

No, it won’t be full of profanity–at least the traditional vulgar words. (And I won’t even go down the road that showed that those who do swear are more honest.)

Oh wait. I guess I just did.

Anyway, that’s not the point of my article. Instead, I wanted to share with you my own home grown list of 4-letter words. And all of us in business and life should be very, very cognizant of them – because in a lot of cases, they’re even worse than a string of expletives.

My 4-Letter Word List:

  1. Time: My one true enemy and precious resource all bundled into one. There’s never enough of it, and once it’s gone, it’s never coming back. I’ve said this many times before, but it bears repeating: if someone gives you their time, they are never getting it back. Honor and respect it by not wasting it. Don’t be late for meetings. Don’t be late and barge in and apologize – that’s even worse, as you’re basically flipping everyone else in the meeting who showed up on time the bird. Don’t blow off or cancel meetings if you called them in the first place–especially last minute, unless there is a REALLY good reason why. Always respect others’ time…and your own, because it is finite. (And if anyone out there can ever teach me how to make more time, I’m all ears–you’re my new BFF!)
  2. Debt: Avoid this 4-letter word like the plague. Debt is an albatross around your neck and shackles on your limbs. If you’re in debt, you have very few options. You’re restricted. “Interest” is another awful word, but it’s more than 4 letters. I still try and avoid it. Pay off your debt. If you don’t have debt, you have one of my favorite words: freedom. You have options, and you aren’t as shackled or confined to your present state. Choices, options, and freedom = awesomeness.
  3. Meet: Meetings play right in to #1 above. I try to avoid them at all costs, ESPECIALLY if there is no agenda or meaningful reason for meeting. I really don’t like meetings WITH agendas but can also be solved with a 5 minute email. One one hour meeting with nothing productive out of it is 1 hour, 60 minutes or 3,600 seconds of your life you’ll never get back. See #1 above.
  4. Talk: High ‘I’ aside on the Myers-Briggs, one of the companies I used to work for (who shall remain nameless) had a crazy number of meetings. They’d have meetings to discuss meetings. They’d just talk at these meetings to hear themselves–the talk would come out, but very little would come of it. (Probably another reason why I hate meetings–scarred for life.) Here’s a two-letter word I like a LOT more than the 4-letter word of talk: DO. Let’s DO more, and talk less! The talkers but non-doers have been branded “Big hat, no cattle” in my life. Less talk, more action!
  5. Tele: Two items here: 1. tele-phones and 2. tele-visions. Both are incredible vacuums of time. The thing about the telephone is that you never know if you’re interrupting the person on the other side of the call (unless you’ve of course scheduled in advance with an agenda, which 99% of telephone calls I receive do not).  There’s a joke over at pinterest for high introverts: if they pick up the phone when you call, they really like you. That’s true!  Send me an email – and I’ll go over it when I have a second to breathe, not to mention a record or trail of our interaction (I can’t remember everything – I don’t have that superpower). Second, the thing about televisions – well, you already can guess where I’m going there – huge time waster. Now don’t get me wrong, I love watching Pride & Prejudice for the 500th time as much as the next gal – but I just have to make sure I earned the flake time after doing some actual work.

There. These to me are far, far worse than typical profanity. They are my brand of profanity.

So, what are your 4-letter words?

The 1 Day Girl Getaway

Today, I hopped in my car, went down to gal pal TBB of Historic Indianapolis, and off we went to the ‘Natti – Cincinnati! We hit many vintage shops, a macaron store TBB conjured up, hit the Findlay Market, tried out Jean-Robert’s new restaurant, L (YUM!), even went to the American Sign Museum (thank you, Atlas Obscura). Pics at Instagram if you’re curious.

The thing I love about getting away for a day:

1. You can reconnect with an old friend.

2. You can see how another city lives.

3. You can get the Hades out of your own world for a few hours.

4. You can steal awesome ideas from the new city and bring them back to your own city.

5. It can help bring you some fresh perspectives and ideas.

6. You can barter and exchange ideas – both with your friend(s) attending, and the city your visiting.

In conclusion, I highly recommend you grab a girlfriend, get in the car, and go. I’m so glad we did!



Happy Birthday, America!

And here’s what I’m working on…

6+ Things I Love This Holiday Bookcation Weekend

Other than our freedom…

1. More fodder for my bookcation: @cspan Book TV.

(Honestly, however, I wish they had more girl power on the channel. More books by women, for women, on subjects for business women.)

2. & 3. Other ways to cram in more books: authors @ Google and talks @ Google.

(But again, need more girl power here too.)

4. When books aren’t fast enough for a topic you’re researching (like me on a subject I’m prepping a round of talks for today) – there’s Slideshare to looksie for fresher content.

(Just be sure to watch for valid sources…none of that #fakenews nonsense.)

5. Another work around when you can’t cram in that 600 page book – search the author at Stitcher and see if they’re on podcasts.

(Sorry, iTunes, your search  just not as handy here. I hope the developers’ conference is true and that you’re rebuilding iTunes for podcasts to make it more user friendly.)

6. Last but not least, but something I do love right now that has nothing to do with books…Haim’s channel on Pandora.

(I have no complaints, comments or criticism here. Just 100% awesomeness.)

Happy Holiday Eve – and if you have served our country to protect us and defend the freedoms we enjoy this holiday weekend and all year round – an extra thank you to you for your service!

How to Hit the Half-Year Reset Button for 2017 in 5 Steps

resetOk, my good people – we are now officially in 3Q of 2017. While my head and heart sometimes feel stuck somewhere between 2011-2012, it’s time for all of us to pause and hit the reset button now on this year for our careers and lives. I’m going to share with you part of what I coach my clients to do at this time of year, and part of the method I use on myself for this time of year to make sure I’m heading in the right direction.

  1. 1. I pull out my personality CV - This I’ve discussed before, but it’s a listing and warehouse of all my personality test results over the past decade - Strengthsfinder, results from books like Designing Your Life, values assessment, and about 30-35 other tests I’ve taken on myself over time. (I also have a list of tests that I share with my email subscribers which I distribute through my newsletter – you can sign up here to receive the list from time to time.) You MUST begin with who you are before getting the map out and determining where you’re going–and to skip over this step is an atrocity to your future. So, pull out your personality CV and check it out again, objectively, to understand who you are and what makes you tick. Re-read it.
  2. Next, pull out your goals - I have annual goals that I keep in my Moleskine notebook that I drag around with me. Wherever you keep yours (and I hope you wrote them down somewhere), pull them back out and take a look at them. How are you doing? What can you check off the list? (NOTHING makes me happier than marking a check against items on this list in particular, because they’re big ticket items.) Luckily, I got the chance to check off a couple July 1, but I’ve still. Got. A. Lot of work to do to achieve the rest of my goals for the year! Awareness again is key.
  3. Update your resume/CV and LinkedIn profiles - Add the big achievements, take off the stuff you no longer want to return to, and edit. Ruthlessly. That last bit is really hard for me, because I personally like to have a lot of irons in the fire. And sometimes, it’s the irons that lead me down a different career pathway I never could have predicted. Either way – get all your personal job/career marketing materials on you up to date. And, important note on social media online, including your LI profile: it should have one foot in where you’ve been or where you are now, but it should also have another foot in where you want to head. If you don’t know where you want to head next, read on…
  4. Reach out to 5 people in a new career direction, and try to meet them before the end of the year - This one may sound crazy – but after you do the first 3 steps above, I’m guessing that several of you may want something more for your career. Is something missing? Do you feel stuck? Are you burned out? Do you want to try something else? If so, reach out to 5 people doing the work you think you’d like to try next, and have lunch with them (or a phone call–and you buy lunch, BTW). Ask them what they love about their current work, and what drives them crazy about it, and what keeps them up at night. Then ask about education, certifications, and other experience that led them to the gig they have today. There’s creative license here too – don’t just focus on your day job. Focus on non-profit experiences you appreciate, or part time gigs, people who work at companies who you admire, or people who have started their own businesses or projects that have NOTHING to do with their day jobs (this last group is my tribe). Considering the # of 1099s by 2018 is still around 40%, I don’t believe we will be working in the future the way we do now. We’ll have a lot more affiliative associations and gigs rather than steady 9-5 work coming–for good or not so good. Prepare now for this epic change coming by putting feelers out in different areas of your own career zone. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
  5. Reset your short term goals - I just share some of my 3Q goals online and on my email footers, so others can read what I’m up to and focused on. I try to make it easy for the universe to help a sister out…if my friends read my innocuous email footer and an idea pops into their head, they send me cool stuff around the work I’m doing. Make it easy for the universe to fetch you whatever it is that you’re seeking by this type of practice. If you’re a little more private about your stuff, share your goals with a trusted friend or inner circle member. The more you share it, the more the universe will help you out…I am a big believer in this.

There. I hope you found this helpful. As I went on my own bookcation this weekend, one of the things I read about was myself. It’s a complex story–a heroine’s journey, but it’s important to read and study in order to invent a better happy ending – and a rocking rest of 2017!


3Q17-4Q17: What’s Coming Up?

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 10.06.41 PMI cannot believe I’m about to write down what I need to get done for the rest of 2017. I still think sometimes I’m stuck back in 2011 or 2012 somewhere.

Anyway, here’s my list for the rest of 2017. Inspirational color palette to set the tone – check. Kind of a melon-y, sunflowery tone, methinks.


3Q17-4Q17: Let’s Roll!


1. SWE 3 – or bust. Next new book.

2. STEMP4 – really want this to be done in time for the holidaze; let’s see if I can make that happen.


3. HBA Indiana – continues to produce amazing programs and stuff. 3Q17 will be no exception. The big project I’m working on is #HealthCarDev on 9/29 - the first ever Unconference for the chapter. We’re going to have 18 speakers in a 1/2 day session that will rock. It’s all focused on healthcare career development. We’ll also have the inaugural #PurpleSock Awards for healthcare amazingness in Hoosierland at our awards gala in November. Read more about how to nominate your healthcare hero or shero here. Here is the nomination form – if you know someone great, nominate them.

4. ASPL 

5. Shopping for a cause – since my terms with these two orgs will be up 12/31, I’m shopping right now for one cause. Not sure what it will be just yet, but I’m on the lookout, universe!

Talks & Events:

8/1/17 – #SMDames17 – Indy – talked podcasting.
9/14/17 – Indy Big Data – Indy
9/29/17 – #HealthCarDev – HBA IN – Indy – we’ll also have a super cool countdown campaign to this that will occupy some time in July & Aug.
Judge for the Reimagine Education Awards.
First week of Nov – 2 talks at ASPL – one on big data and ethical use, and one on ASPL’s first ever benchmarking survey of Ethics Profs at US Schools of Pharmacy.

Pharmacy Podcast:

Big series this fall about one of the biggest topics I am asked about as a career coach. More to come!

Life Changer:

Trip to Scotland. It was awesome. Pics at Instagram.  I think that covers the highlights, and the highlands…LOL! Slangevar!3Q2

Everything Old is New Again

Sony is pressing vinyl again – after 28 years.

Millennials think it is time for analog watches.

Flip phones make a comeback? (Smart phones may make us dumb, anyway.)

The Atari retro console is coming back.

Maybe let’s just go back to the 1980s and stay there.

Summer Bookcation Reading List

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 12.57.14 PMHere’s how I roll on a #bookcation:

1. Go to the library – take your book bag. Here’s mine. It’s a little beat up, but it works hard here at Chez Albert.

2. Go shelf by shelf – pick up stuff that calls to you, read the inside jacket, and throw it in your bag if it looks interesting.

3. Repeat until your bag is brimming.

4. Check them out.

5. Go somewhere off the grid, preferably with a scenic view, and fruity beverages.

6. Get lost in your book bag.

Here’s what I’ll be bingeing on this holiday weekend:

#AskGaryVee – Read all his other stuff, this is his latest. Thank You Economy is still my favorite, but let’s see if Gary Vee and his ghostwriters can turn me around on this one.

All You Need is Less - Fits into my 30 day purge challenge.

Flourish – Why not?

Who’s Pushing Your Buttons – Because I seem to have several of these in my life right now…need to take away the buttons. The guilty shall remain nameless.

Flow – read it before, but one more time definitely won’t hurt.

Communicating for a Change – which looks it was written in some type of religious construct, but I’m sure I can learn something from it.

Surprise – I liked the cover, but I personally generally don’t like surprises…

Awe – Most intriguing book of all that I picked up – because of the cover art.

Unstuck – again bright cover, and always shopping for how to shop better for ideas…

Highly Paid Expert – dig the title…

Money Secrets of the Amish – Seemingly obtuse, but considering I have Amish heritage and they DO hustle, maybe this is where my entrepreneurial streak comes from – better read up on it.

You now know what I’ll be up to this holiday weekend. Whatever you’re doing, my fab 13, do it as only you do you!


Digital Goodies

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

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

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

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.)


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. I dig this idea too.

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.

Day 12: My desk - Nothing like leaving for part of the week and returning to a stack of bills – ugh. But today, I managed to get to woodgrain on my desk. I have no great ideas on how to purge here. Small suggestions: pay your bills online if/when you can. Put a shredder near your desk to make things easy to get rid of, and I do try to walk my shredding to a recycling bin that helps out the local school system, or to a recycling center instead of just putting it in a landfill. There’s these ideas, but I’m exhausted just thinking about them. Have at it if you have the will!

Day 13:  #70PiecesofAwesome for #SMDames17Ah – you thought I forgot about this – not likely!  I’ve been stuck in the land of recycling the magazines. Last night, I spent time making my #70piecesofawesome for #SMDames17. Which, if you’re in Indy, you need to attend, ladies – there’s always more brain space for more on social media and spreading your story to a wider audience. Democratization of media at its finest!

Day 14:  Thought I forget, eh? Not likely. Just been busy with travel and talks of late.  But now that I’m back…I’m ready to share one of my best tips of all with you on purging – ready? I’m prepping for my PURGE TRIP!  Yes, soon I’ll be heading to a country I’ve never been to, and I’m taking clothes with me that aren’t coming back.  I roll through my closet and start piling up everything that has holes in it, pilled up and completely worn out – to take with me on a trip outside the US. I wear it while I’m traveling, then it stays behind in the hotel rooms across the planet.  Now, while one may find this wasteful, I disagree. Actually, you’re leaving the clothes behind in a place of rest on a different continent, where others could recycle them or donate them should they choose. I’ve also done this with suitcases too. I think of it as an international funeral for my trusty clothing that has served me well.  Now, I’m off to keep digging through my closet!

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6 Things I Love…Right Now

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.


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

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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

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….


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

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

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.)


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!

2016 & 2017 Podcasts on Pharmacy Career Development – An Update

This is about to be a long post, but I wanted to put, in one place, all the 2016 & 2017 Pharmacy Podcast Shows for the fab 13, AND for your listening pleasure! And I moved it up, since it was starting to get buried in the blog.

If you’re a pharmacist or leader in healthcare, IT, pharmacy practice and/or elsewhere, the following episodes will be of benefit to you.  And to all the guests during the year on the podcast, a SINCERE THANKS for helping us reach over 63,000 listeners and for sharing the pharmacy healthcare love!

The First and Annual Women’s Leadership in Pharmacy Panel at #RBC2017 from Cardinal Health

NABP and the .pharmacy Initiative: Deterring Rogue Online #FakePharmacies

Part 3 of our Conversation with Former DEA – Joseph T. Rannazzisi

Breaking Into the Pharmaceutical Industry: PharmDs – A Chat on the BCMAS Certification

DEA Part 2: Our Chat with Joseph T. Rannazzisi, cont.

A Chat with Co-Founder of GoodRx, Doug Hirsch

Career Development: Working for DEA

For the Class of 2017: Congratulations!

Manbassadors: Sponsors for Women in Healthcare

57 Cool Jobs for Pharmacists

SXSW 2017 – A Recap

InfoSAGE: Healthcare Informatics Leader Dr. Charles Safran

5 Steps to Manage Through a Career Crisis

HIMSS 17 Post Show

HIMSS 17 Pre Show

A Valentine for Women, Gender Parity and Leadership in Healthcare:

The Future of Work in Pharmacy & Healthcare Part I – With Special Guest, Jacob Morgan:

The Future of Pharmacy Work – Part II

Certifications for Pharmacists – Another Way to Enhance Your Pharmacy Career:

What is a Medical Science Liaison?:

7 Steps to a Super 2017:

“Men”toring Women – Why it is critical for Men to Mentor Women

Merry Midyear – 4 part miniseries coming to the podcast with Dr. Lauren Steinbach hi-jacking the mic:

5 Roads into Loving your retail pharmacy career – 5 part series:

The American Society for Pharmacy Law – an Intro with Aaron Moore:

5 Part series on the 5 Roads out of Retail Pharmacy:

Pharmacy as a Third Space – Tisane Pharmacy (NYC):

Disruptive Women in HIT – Mandi Bishop:

How to get more Leadership in Pharmacy – Alan Spies:

BU Well: A Student-Driven Multimedia Publication – Anne Leighty:

Unusual Career Paths in Pharmacy – Shaun Young of Ardina:

Feeling the Burn…Out – How to manage burnout in pharmacy:

Writing to Enhance Your Pharmacy Career – Dr. Elaine Voci

Maximizing Medical and Pharmacy Meetings – Kristin Eilenberg of Lodestone Insights:


Fielding lots of questions on the #Manbassadors panel. Here’s my 90 second spot on attending 6/13/17 in Indianapolis. I hope to see you there!

Here’s the link to registration – grab your tickets!

Introducing…the Waverly Water Stewardship Badge from the #STEMPrincess Series!

waverlybadge3EXCITED! Today is the day the first ever students on planet Earth will be receiving the first of its kind, the Waverly Water Stewardship Badge tonight at the Brownie troop for Hamilton County Indiana!  Thanks to Tammy, the Troop Leader and Kristin, supermom and epiphany gal around the water stewardship concepts this year for the Brownie troop.

Here’s some ideas if YOU want to be a water steward of planet Earth and earn the Waverly badge:

1. Get a group together – maybe it’s Girl Scouts, a church youth group, Boy Scouts, a meet up – whatever.

2. Read the story of Waverly and the STEM Princesses, here.

3. If you want to focus on water, here are some ideas for your group to explore during the year:

-Visit an actual wastewater treatment plant. See what we actually do to our water, and how the treatment plants recycle it.
-Visit your water public utility and understand water tables/water sheds in your area, and how water moves throughout your state. It’s actually fascinating, and I learned a lot when I visited Citizens Water in Indianapolis. There are people who do what Waverly does each and every day in your own water utility as water stewardship super heroines and heroes!
-Clean up a natural area that has water–and/or organize a bigger group to volunteer and clean up an area with water. Maybe you can work on a park with a stream, river, or pond. Trash around any naturally occurring water can pollute it, so it’s important to keep natural water NATURAL!

Other ideas:

Project Wet
Sustainability Projects on Pinterest or here on Pinterest
See if your state has a water stewardship program for kids, like Michigan or California.
Learn about a body of water near you – in Indiana’s case, Lake Michigan.

The Hamilton County Indiana Brownie troop did projects around water throughout the year.

4. At the end, share what you learned along the way with others.

5. Grab your badge. The only place you can get Waverly is right here.  If you have a whole posse of peeps to buy for, feel free to reach out to my peeps and we can work out a bulk discount.

6. Most of all, share what you did – inspire others to make sure our water stays clean.

And to the Hamilton County Brownies – CONGRATULATIONS for your accomplishment, and wear Waverly with pride – she’s excited to be part of your uniform!

Pharmacy + Law = A Roundup on the Career Combo

pharmacylawI often get asked about the pharmacist and law/attorney career dynamic duo….so I wanted to put all the stuff I refer peeps to in one post again.  Here we go!

Life Science Lawyer – the book.

American Society for Pharmacy Law – and the podcast on it from pharmacy podcast.  There’s also the pharmacy law podcast at Pharmacy Podcast.

Law School: A Few Short & Plain Statements – book on the warping of my own brain during law school, after pharmacy school.

Career Alternatives for Pharmacy & the Law – linkedin post.

57 Cool Jobs for Pharmacists – some of the pharmacy law gigs intersect with this post.

Indiana General Assembly pharmacy and healthcare law roundup – for 2017.

Going back to law school after pharmacy school is also addressed in 46 Doses of Advice.

More for the Class of 2017

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My last graduation – from law school.

Dear Class of 2017,

I wrote this post over at LinkedIn this weekend, as graduation and commencement season begins.

Here are a few other bonus pieces of advice for the class of 2017:

1. Try not to be high maintenance – As you move your way into the world of work, try not to be high maintenance.  Don’t demand the corner office just yet instead of the cubicle – you’ve got a few years of work to earn it before you can ask for it.  It’s OK to challenge your elders (in tenure) at work, but you should also respect them too. They can also teach you a thing or two about the School of Hard Knocks. The last thing you want to be branded early in your career is high maintenance.  Focus on hard work, learning, and stretching yourself instead of demanding European Lager and Carmex in your dressing room.

2. Go out of your way to be old-fashioned.  I’m not talking about the drink, or go hipster. I’m instead suggesting that you be old-fashioned with your gratitude. Write people thank you notes. By hand. With a pen or pencil. The old fashioned way. Put them in the snail mail. With a stamp. The old-fashioned way. Make sure you try to distinguish and establish your very own old-fashioned brand of gratitude for those who take time to meet with you and help you along the way.  People are busy, and the universe owes you nothing. So, when people stop and help you, celebrate that.

3. Read. Again, this may sound a lot like #2 above, but you really need to read those old fashioned things called books. Get a library card – you don’t need to buy every book off of Amazon and go broke either while furthering your education. Read everything you can get your hands on too. Read trashy novels if you like – but just keep reading!  A great imagination can be your best friend over time and serve you well.


The Older I Get…

…the less I seem to be working on things I actually went to school to do.

Is anyone else experiencing this, or is it just me and my weirdness?

As I sent off an email to my personal girl crush fan club (and by fan club, I mean people I admire, not the other way around) today, I realized that a lot of the really exciting, awesome, fun stuff I’m working on – the stuff that gets me geeked – is stuff I really never studied in school.

Writing books, podcasting, putting together awesome content that changes minds – this is stuff I never learned in school. And I’ve been in a school a few times…

Is it that the world is just changing too fast these days, or is it something else that’s going on here?

More questions…

“This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time”

Guess which movie this is from?

Well, it’s Fight Club.

And yes, I know, the first rule of Fight Club is…to not talk about fight club.

But, we’ll acknowledge that first rule, then move on tonight to my point with this post, which is this.

I was asked recently why my work is so “intense.” That’s easy. It’s because of the quote of this post. Literally, our lives are ending one minute at a time.  Our time on this big dirt ball is finite. No one is going to live forever. (Except maybe Elon Musk, or some other eccentric bajillionaire who figures out how to live forever on the internet….but who would want to live there forever?)

I digress.

What I don’t understand is…why would anyone sign up to do half a job? Why not either say NO and move on, or say YES, or @#$% YES,  and give it 150%? Why are you doing it if you only want to do something kinda, sorta, but don’t?

The bottom line: the clock is ticking. What are you doing about it? What are you doing to leave this Earth better than you found it? Why are you doing what you do, and most of all – are you doing what you were meant to be doing while you’re here?

The clock is ticking…

New Pharmacy and Healthcare Laws from the 2017 Indiana General Assembly Session

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-6-01-05-amIndiana Peeps of the Pharmacy and Healthcare Persuasions:

While the local Indianapolis news spent a lot of time on the really important news this week, like the controversies swirling around the Unicorn Frappuccino, it appears that the Indiana General Assembly was hard at work creating new statutes for all of us in health to follow this past session! Now that it’s over, officially, I wanted to take a looksie and see what will be changing soon, if not already, in the land of pharmacy, medicine, healthcare, and allied/public health.  Here’s what I found.  I haven’t read them all myself just yet, but… happy reading!

HEA 1019 – Controlled Substances – Looks like we have some new C-Is.

HEA 1278 – Cervical Cancer Prevention

HEA 1642 – Diabetes in Indiana

HEA 1308 – Various Professional Licensing Matters

SEA 175 – Healthcare Consent (sorry IGA, Healthcare is one word in my mind.)

SEA 549 – Health Record Information

SEA 112 – Hospital Police Departments – an interesting read if you work in a health system

SEA 303 – Direct Primary Care Agreements

SEA 392 – Emergency Medications (in schools)

SEA 497 – Medicaid Eligibility of Former Foster Children

SEA 499 – Opioid addiction

HEA 1069 – Immunizations for Higher Education Students

HEA 1273 – Network Provider Referrals

HEA 1336 – Department of Health Matters

HEA 1337 – Telemedicine Matters

HEA 1439 – FSSA Matters – Medicaid issues in here.

HEA 1148 – Cannabidiol and Treatment Resistant Epilepsy - (This bill is not yet signed by the gov as I write this on 4/25.)

HEA 1493 – Long Term Care and Home Health - (This bill is not yet signed by the gov as I write this on 4/25.)

HEA 1541 – Addiction Treatment Teams - (This bill is not yet signed by the gov as I write this on 4/25.)

SEA 59 – Professional Licensing - (This bill is not yet signed by the gov as I write this on 4/25.)

SEA 156 – Drug and Alcohol Treatment Reporting

SEA 243 – Substance Abuse Programs

SEA 404 – Abortion, child abuse, and human trafficking

SEA 510 – Substance Abuse Pilot Program

Legislators – if I missed any, do let me know so I can share it with my friends in health!  And actually, I did leave out a few. In fact, I left out the top 5 most important bills for pharmacists that were either passed this session, or sitting on Gov Holcomb’s desk right now, waiting for autographs.  

What are they, you ask?

Sign up for my newsletter, and you’ll get them sent to your inbox the next time I send another #6onSaturday. How? On this blog page, enter your email address in the upper left box – it’s that easy.

In the meantime, you have PLENTY to read above…!


A Rant, with Friendly Reminders

After some seriously bizarre energy over the last 2+ weeks coming my way, and pleading for the universe to take it away over at the faceplace, I need to state the following for the record, as a reminder to myself more than anything. If it helps the fab 13 out too, great.

1. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t and won’t have all the answers.

2. In fact, every day I have fewer answers. As I’ve said here, I just tend to have more questions.

3. I try to be fair and look out for the majority, even sometimes the minority (when there is injustice), but when that doesn’t work and I’m fighting an uphill battle, I do start asking why, then I think about quitting, just like everyone else. Sometimes, quitting is OK. In fact, quitting is better than doing something half-baked.

4. While I’m generally a rule-follower, I have a problem with rules if there is no rationale for them, or worse yet, nothing better than “that’s the way we’ve always done it” as the excuse for why something is done the way it is.  Or, if a rule was founded on something antique. Rules must change, just like everything else.

5. I am doing the best job I can, with the resources I have, and the time allotted. If that’s not good enough, see #3 above.

6. (Caution: the link I’m about to share has rated R language, so don’t go there if you’re PG), but...this. Said another way, the past is in the past for a reason. It should probably stay there.

7. I have no crystal balls, special powers, or magical abilities. I just work hard.  There are no shiny secrets to being ‘successful’ either. If there are shiny secrets when I do get to the land of successful one day, I’ll be sure to share them. For now, I’m just working hard.

8. Success is the best revenge.

9. Ok, I lied. THIS is the magical shiny secret to success (sorry, more R rated in the link).  And I needed this reminder this week.

10. Quit fighting weird energy/arguing and get back to work. Make things that matter.

Rant. Over.

erinalbert.com’s 2Q17 Media Kit

For your viewing pleasure – it’s updated and ready to go!

Erinalbert.com media kit – 2Q17 – one sheet from Erin L. Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD, PAHM

Top 5 Cars…and How they Compare & Contrast…to Your Career

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 10.04.45 PMTonight, I’ve been doing some hard core meeting planning (not my best thing)…and I’ve been thinking about networking.

Not something I enjoy doing at a live meeting….with a focus ONLY of…networking. I liken it to a spray of cheesy pitches and card trades that go absolutely nowhere post-networking-event.

So, I was thinking of a game or something we could play along with this networking event coming up.  Since it will be in May and in the Indianapolis area – the first thought I had was – Indy 500. That led to cars. Then, I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to compare and contrast one’s top 3-5 cars vs. their careers? As in, describe what you love most about your favorite 3-5 cars, and then compare those loves to your own career.

Too Pluto? I don’t know, but I’m going to try and write through it below.  Below are my top 5 favorite cars, what I love about them, and then the bit about comparing and contrasting to my career.

5. Pretty much anything Fiat.  While the newer models are ok, I’m really more of a vintage Fiat 500 kind of girl.  What I like about them: they’re easy. Tiny. Can zoom around quickly, go a lot of places that other vehicles cannot, and you can park them pretty much anywhere.

How this car fits into describing my career:  This one is pretty obvious….but being flexible about your career in this day and age. You have to be willing and excited to go places where no one else has gone in your chosen career (in my case, building a portfolio that has a weird but interesting intersection between pharmacy, business, law, writing, podcasting, etc.)

4. 1959 Karmann Ghia Coupe. Yes, pink. Yes, like Andi’s in Pretty in Pink.  This car is a classic, but has a bit of a funky edge in the pink color. And, candidly, it’s a little bit ugly.

How this car fits into describing my career:  Classic, but with a bit of a funky edge.  Also, some wear and tear on me just like Andi’s car….been in my career officially for over 20 years now, and I’ve incurred some bruises…lol! There’s always some ugly in one’s career, but that’s part of the life journey, right?

3. Jeeps.  I prefer the Liberty and now I have a Renegade (which ironically has a Fiat engine in it – see #5 – lol). They are reliable, sturdy, can plow through snow, aren’t egregiously expensive, and you can crank on the 4-wheel drive when needed.

How this car fits into describing my career: I’m reliable, and I can plow through a snowbank of work, if needed. I won’t comment on the egregiously expensive bit. Ha.

2.  BMW Isetta: Once again, in the 1950s, this type of “bubble” car was made by several manufacturers; my favorite design just happens to be the BMW version. It’s fun, it’s literally bubbly, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

How this car fits into describing my career: While I take my work as seriously as a myocardial infarction, I don’t take myself too seriously. Work should have a little fun in it…!

1. And my number 1 favorite car is…the 1956 Porsche 356. Black, convertible. Goes fast and is slightly dangerous. The Porsche 550 Spyder was what James Dean died in.  All the convertible Porsches share the commonality of being fast and dangerous.

How this car fits into describing my career: Fast, just like life itself. And also just like life itself, inevitably fatal.  This car is an excellent place to end on, both for my analogy and my post.

What’s your favorite car, what do you love about it, and how or does it fit into your career development or career path, in any way?

Ladies and gents, start your engines…!

SXSW Recap

Here it is – SXSW recap after attending and speaking my first year – enjoy!

Who’s the Helm of US Healthcare? A Spring 2017 Checkup

I’ve been tracking women at the helm of healthcare organizations now for a while–and overall, the news is still pretty blue at the top. But, for those of you who get excited when women leaders break the glass ceiling like I do, I have an exciting bit of news, that honestly didn’t get much press for some reason – but I’m here on my bandwagon to trumpet it!

This spring, for the first time in a long time, if EVER, a woman finally made it to CEO of a top 15 pharmaceutical company! Congratulations to GSK for promoting Emma Walmsley to the CEO position. I’d personally like to thank her for allowing me to finally put something besides blue and zero at the bottom of this list:

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 10.37.52 AM

I also decided to start tracking the % of women on the corporate boards of these healthcare companies this time around. First, let me just say that some companies don’t really have their board of directors listed anywhere ‘easy’ to find – I literally had to dig into some recent 10K reports to get these percentages sussed out. Odd.

Second, the standard deviation of percentages of women on boards is wide – you can see above it varies anywhere from 6.7%-41.7%. Considering it has been shown that more women on boards increase corporate profitability, I challenge all of us to consider these statistics when investing our hard-earned money in our mutual funds, retirement programs, and IRAs.¹

The other group I analyzed thus far this spring (as I try to do every 6 months) is retail pharmacy chains. Unfortunately, I don’t have any great news here….not much change, and I still think if aliens landed on Earth and only met these leaders, they’d be very confused about the lack of women at the top:

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 10.36.13 AM

If the rumors are true and Amazon is getting into the pharmacy business (which are just rumors in my world – hearsay – I don’t know if it is true or not and don’t take any ownership of this rumor in any way, shape or form), I looked at their board, and they have 33% women on it, which could be a strategic advantage for them, as their percentage is a little higher than some of the companies above.

And, shoutout to Sanofi² and Cardinal Health for having the highest %s of women on their boards in the lists above.

I’ll continue to do my homework and study up on other healthcare organizations this spring and bring more of this information to light – even if I have to root around in 10Ks to do it. If I’m wrong on any of the data above – call me out on it, give me a link to the corrected info, and I’ll gladly update it. It’s important. The only way we’re ever truly going to get to gender parity in healthcare leadership is to keep on holding up the mirror….

1. I really despise it when people reference data but don’t provide actual sources. So, here is a recent source and study on this: http://www.catalyst.org/media/companies-more-women-board-directors-experience-higher-financial-performance-according-latest.
2. Sanofi is a company based in France. Do they have a higher percentage of women on their board for this reason? http://fortune.com/2016/03/22/french-women-corporate-boards-quota/ Maybe. But we’ll take it!

2Q17: What’s Coming Up

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 7.06.15 PM2Q17 is here!

You know what that means….time for another top 10 list of items I’m focused on for the second quarter of 2017.

Here we go:

Books – More than 1 bullet here.

1. SWE3 should be done soon – the 5 year anniversary third edition of Single. Women. Entrepreneurs. If you’re a ‘trep (man or woman), please take this quick survey.

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

3. Launching the S(He) Said Guide to Mentoring – book signings and a tour – awesome!

4. HBA Indiana – we continue to grow HBA IN with events in April, May and June – a huge signature event with Jennifer Cook of WOTY 2016 fame coming into Indy at Roche, (which was a total door buster!) followed by the start of our mentoring program kickoff on 4/27, followed by a networking event in May, and a huge manbassador panel discussion event in June for women in healthcare. HIT is still on our radar screen too.  Also, helping to set up a first ever, ‘we’ve never done this before’ type of event for HBA Indiana coming in September – hold on to your hats – this one will be wild!

5. Pharmacy Podcast – This quarter, I want to dig into informatics as a career track for pharmacists, as well as a few other arenas for pharmacist differentiation. HIMSS17 was a hit 1Q.

6. Meetings – LOVED what we did at HIMSS17 with the Pharmacy Podcast. We’re taking the Pharmacy Podcast back on the road for Cardinal Health RBC in San Antonio this summer!

7. I’ll be precepting pharmacy students again this quarter – for the following academic year – yippie! And great projects for them to work on…

8. Said yes to judging at the 2017 Reimagine Education Awards.

9. Attending #BlogHer17….this conference has been on my radar for years now – finally can make it happen.

10. Getting a year older this quarter – happy birthday to me. #Forever29.

Upcoming Sightings and Stuff I Love to Promote:

5/5/17 – Milwaukee book signings for, The S(He) Says Guide to Mentoring with Dr. David Borst and yours truly. http://tinyurl.com/SHeMentors  

5/18/17 – 5-7:30  PM – HBA IN’s Nothing But Networking, SunKing Brewing, Fishers: http://tinyurl.com/NBN1HBA

6/13/17 - 5:30-8:15 PM – HBA IN’s “Manbassadors” Event: Getting More Women Sponsors – Barnes & Thornburg – http://tinyurl.com/ManbassadorHBA - WARNING: This one will sell out–grab tickets STAT!

7/26/17 – 5:30-8 PM – Nothing but Networking with HBA IN and Women & Hi Tech – Eskenazi Rooftop Garden, Indy – mark your calendars!

7/26/17 – 7/29/17 – The Pharmacy Podcast is heading to the Cardinal Health Regional Business Conference in San Antonio! http://rbc.cardinalhealth.com

8/1/17 - #SMDames17 is in the house! https://www.facebook.com/SocialMediaDames/

9/29/17 – 10 AM-3 PM- #HealthCarDev Unconference – Miles Printing/Harding Poorman – Registration this summer – mark your calendars!

Have a MERRY 2Q17!


Informatics for Healthcare Pros

If I learned anything at HIMSS17, it’s that informatics is coming to healthcare – big time.

Blockchain, AI, virtual reality, interoperability between systems, apps, the cloud–you name it. It’s already most likely being used in healthcare somewhere.

Taking advantage of being around the wise ones at HIMSS, I went ahead and was lucky enough to get one of them for the Pharmacy Podcast. Dr. Charles Safran has an app out for families to better manage their parents’ medications and care.  Yes, we discussed InfoSAGE.

But, the more interesting part of this conversation was on career development in informatics for healthcare professionals.  Dr. Safran is a medical doc, but there are pharmacists, nurses, lab techs, and pretty much every other player in healthcare now with paws on the technology and informatics that’s here and coming in the future of health.

Listen in on this – and if you’ve been considering a way to differentiate yourself as a healthcare pro, look at informatics.  After all, it’s the future…

10,000 Hours & 10 Years

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 9.13.22 PMSo, about this time, 10 years ago, I embarked upon a first for me: writing my first book. I can’t believe it’s actually been 10 years since I’ve been writing and publishing books, but a dozen or so books later (give or take multiple editions of a couple of titles); here we are.

The S(He) Guide to Mentoring just launched last week, and after it, I have two more books to get done this calendar year: 2. #SWE3 (which you can help me figure out the cover art concept for here), and 3. #STEMPrincess4, both of which are already finished in my head.  I just have to make it happen on paper….(and which, BTW, I’m still looking for a print sponsor for STEMP4).

I haven’t given much thought ahead to books and writing for 2018 and beyond. Although, I suppose I’ll keep writing. I don’t know. Am I the only person who still reads books? Surely not. I know a few of my fab 13 blog followers here read them.  I do hope they never go out of style. If they do, I’ll be the last one kicking and screaming when they try to take away my library card.

Regardless, if you’ve never read anything but this blog, all the way through to my mom, who has read all of my books at least twice, or even if you’re somewhere in between on the fandom scale for all this work, thanks for tagging along. I hope these have been semi-helpful to readers. It helps me ignore all the haters, critics, and snarkies out there too when I discover these works are actually useful and helpful to people.

And even though the 10,000 hours expertise theory by Gladwell has been debunked now, I still want to recognize the 10-year milestone coming this year. It’s almost here.  And besides, every book is a journey. It’s a tour. It’s a collection of ideas with an endpoint, and the beginning of a conversation, all rolled into a few bits of paper. I’ve been on a few of these paper journeys now…and I’m grateful for each and every one of them, as I am each and every one of my 13 fans.


How Do You Get Inspired?

This was a question one of my faceplace friends asked today.  (Well, at least I think it was today – it showed up in my faceplace feed today – not that that nails it. Anywho…)

I quipped “books, podcasts and ideas,” but I think it’s much broader than that.

Travel, art, people, ideas, books, podcasts, meetings, events, even silly walks in the pocket park across from my crib inspire me. Driving in the car inspires me. Monotony inspires.

What inspires you?

What Got You There Won’t Get You To the Next Place

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 7.06.15 PMHow’s your 2017 going?

Mine has been…interesting. Mixed bag. Twists and turns.

The good news today was that the first book of 2017 finally arrived!  It’s on mentoring, The S(He) Says Guide to Mentoring, and it’s with one of my own mentors, Dr. David Borst. He was dean of the business school I attended, and we’ve kept in touch through the years to the point of co-piloting on a book together.  All the fancy press stuff drops soon, but of course, my fab 13 always get the scoop here first.

(You can listen here if audio is more your style on the Pharmacy Podcast about our collaboration. Or follow the magic on Facebook.)

This book is a first for me, in that it is really two books in one. David has very, very different ideas on mentoring from me. But the common theme here is that we’ve both set up women’s mentoring programs in the past, so we wanted to share our experience in that particular arena, even though our approaches and philosophies are radically different. We hope to inspire a few other men and women to start and lead mentoring programs for women–it’s one way we can get more women at the helm of organizations moving forward.

The book is literally flipped too – his side is 180 degrees from mine. And, there’s oddly enough several blank pages in the middle of our book, so people can take notes on our different perspectives as they read through it.

This book for me was an experiment.  First, I’ve not co-piloted on a book in a long time. Second, I’ve never been part of a two books in one experiment. Third, I’ve never written about mentoring formally as the topic or focus of a book before.  We even played with the front cover to make it negative and positive space – in that the black or negative space was the opposite perspective of a man or woman.

My point with this post is this: you can, and should experiment. Keep experimenting. Don’t do the same thing over and over again and expect different results (unless, of course, your results are consistently awesome – congrats to you if they are!  But if they are–are you pushing yourself enough?)

I don’t know if I’m pushing myself enough these days or not. But, hopefully this book will help a few men and women in turn help other women. If it does, I will have considered it a success. It also has reminded me to keep experimenting, and stop doing the same thing over and over again–regardless if it is a wild success or a big fat failure.



Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 7.40.12 AMIf you’re not part of the healthcare world, you may not know that this past week was historic for many, in that it was…match week.

If you’re not familiar, it’s the week when those graduating from pharmacy and/or medical schools find out if they “matched” to a residency after graduation or not.  A residency allegedly speeds up your training, in that you’re gaining up to 3 years’ of clinical training crammed into one.  (‘Allegedly’ – I don’t know if I personally buy that…).

While I will reserve my own opinion of the process and the clinical residency itself, what really disturbed me yesterday was the pharmacy matches…or lack thereof. You can see the data at my faceplace page – but basically over 1900 students did not match into residencies this year.

The problem with this is many fold. First, many pharmacy school professors love to extol that having a residency straight out of school is the “best” thing one can do for her career. (And the majority of them extol this, because that’s what they did.  I’m here to gladly trumpet the fact that the world has changed – radically.)

So, when professors set a clinical residency as the gold standard, but there aren’t enough residencies to go around, pharmacy schools are basically setting some students up for failure.  This is not a good precedent to set, especially at the launch of one’s career.  (And yes, I’m a professional failure artist myself, but getting students to fail at launch is probably not the best place for them to learn that very hard lesson.)

Regardless of the lack of residencies and the allegations of it speeding up one’s education, if you’re in that pack of 1921 students who did not match yesterday, here are some humble suggestions on what to do next.

1. Don’t panic.  Consider yourself LUCKY you didn’t match.  I’ve heard stories of students working CRAZY hours as a resident, and while their personal education might be sped up for a year to three years, they also worked double or triple the amount of time that they should have…. I personally like my profession, but I went into pharmacy so I didn’t have to do it 24/7/365.  Otherwise, I would have gone to medical school.  So, take the rejection as a WIN for yourself and your sanity for the next 1-2 years.

2. Go work for a year.  I joked that I did a residency at the school of hard knocks – AKA, working in the real world as a pharmacy manager (PIC) right out of school.  Retail pharmacy is an equally solid training ground for you. It will also help you pay the bills and keep your eyes out for work that you may want to do for the long haul. Many who did not match actually ended up in retail and are still there, because they LIKE it.  True, it’s not for everyone, but it is for some. It will also teach you how to manage relationships with your patients, patience, customer service, and making really tough calls sometimes on trusting your gut.

3. While working, look at late fellowships or next cycle’s fellowships and/or residencies. Fellowships aren’t typically in hospitals. Some focus on research, some on industry, some on managed care, and even focus on consulting.  If you’ve never really felt in your heart that clinical in a hospital was your cup of tea, but you wanted to try something different, look at fellowships.  You can also work, and take a day or two off and head to AMCP’s Nexus in the fall, where many residencies and fellowships in managed care hang out.

Realize, however, that you’ll most likely go backwards in terms of your salary if you’re out in the working world but then want to try a residency or fellowship.  That’s a hard cut to swallow, especially for students coming out with a lot of debt.

4. Consider furthering your education.  Those who asked me already know this, but the first time I graduated from pharmacy school with a 5-year BS in pharmacy, I ran screaming from the building.  I was done with school.  However, since then, I’ve gone back a few times, and I NEVER went into debt when going back either. (Note: I always had a full time job in addition to part time post grad education and/or employers who helped me pay for it in part. I would never recommend going back to school full-time these days…the world has just become too volatile for that.  Of course, if you’re independently wealthy and can afford it, rock on….)

A PharmD alone anymore really doesn’t cut it. As sad as it is to type this, PharmDs are now a dime a dozen. What separates you from the herd?

As I was just discussing this yesterday – consider the changes coming in pharmacy – and I’m talking RADICAL disruption that will occur in next 10-20 years.  If, for example the rumors are true and a large online retailer is getting into the pharmacy business and begins delivering drugs by drone from a central location – what will that mean to pharmacy? If more vending machines are allowed on college campuses, in hospitals, and at major employer campuses for prescriptions, what will that mean to pharmacy?  If employees don’t get healthcare insurance from their employers in the future….what will THAT mean to pharmacy?  If telemedicine and telepharmacy are exploding, what education do you need around communication on a screen rather than face to face with patients?  Think ahead.  Because, if we don’t, we could miss opportunities, or worse…we could miss our profession.

There.  No one wants to fail at the beginning of her career. However, as I’ve said here before and will continue to say–failure can be the best thing that ever happened to you.  It can provide you windows and doors that you never even considered in the hallways of your career and life.  And while I’m glad there are pharmacists who love working in the hospital, it doesn’t have to be for everyone, nor is it a ‘gold standard’ for a pharmacy career anymore.  The leaders and true decision makers aren’t running around on floors recommending a dose for vancomycin (there’s an app for that now); they are looking further into the future and more broadly at healthcare and making change happen today.

HIMSS17 Recap Show – Pharmacy Podcast

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I am HIMSS virgin no more.

Listen to our HIMSS17 recap show – if you’re a pharmacist, or if you’re curious about this event but have never attended.  Also, you might want to listen to this show if you exhibited at HIMSS and want to know how to maximize your presence at a huge healthcare conference overall.  Most of all, if you’d like help in your booth with podcasting the rock stars at your next conference or event, let us know. (Specifically, let Todd know.)

I am grateful for the opportunity to have attended this amazing show!


Today, I got up and was at Fishers High School by 7:55 AM to talk…STEM careers for a couple of hours with 5 other women. It was fun. (Thanks to Amanda Howard, Math Teacher  for hosting us!)

Here are some of the questions we were asked, along with my more well-thought out answers after this morning, when I was sleep deprived and not fully caffeinated.

If you had high school all over to do again, what would you change?

See my answer at the Faceplace, along with several of my friends’ answers.

When did you know you wanted to be a <insert career> or study <insert major>?

I knew I wanted to be in healthcare after general chemistry in high school – it was a struggle between medicine and pharmacy, but I chose pharmacy over medicine mainly because I didn’t want to be fully married to just a job. I also need to feed my creative soul, so I needed a first profession that was a little more flexible.

What is the biggest misconception about your job or field of work?

That (at least for my first profession of pharmacy) we take pills from big jars and put them in little ones. Pharmacists do way, WAY WAY more than that now. It’s a lot more complicated than that now, thankfully.

What advice would you give to someone embarking on a brand new career today?

My advice in general for the high school students was to play Nancy Drew. (Thankfully, they knew who she was still today!) Ask questions. Be curious about the world and people. Investigate. Supersleuth.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

For me, it’s about variety. I don’t like doing the same day twice or over and over again. Variety and change are important. To others, it was more about flexibility. Still others, that they were solving problems and making the world a better place.

How important is art to STEM?

This was actually asked by one of the students, and my favorite question. To healthcare and design of it – Art is EVERYTHING. We need to disrupt healthcare. It’s a mess. I spent 45 minutes waiting to see a doctor last Saturday, and when we can get an Uber faster than we can see a doctor when we are really, really sick is just so many levels of beyond broken that I can’t even begin to justify how much design thinking we desperately need to jam into healthcare to make it more efficient. Art. Is. Everything.

Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to say that after hearing the panel discussion today, we still have a LOT of work to do to get to gender equality or parity in STEM moving forward in this country and state. We need to support girls and women. Help them help themselves when it comes to choosing STEM careers, and have more candid discussions about the stereotypes and flagrant discrimination when it comes to women in the workplace. We need to head this stuff face on…otherwise, it will never change.

The Manbassador

I’ve been focused on gender parity for years now. But one trend I’m digging of late is: the manbassador.

These are dudes who are in on the gender parity and generalized diversity discussion these days. Several top B schools (Wharton, Harvard, etc.) have started Manbassador chapters so men can get in on the conversations about gender parity and why diversity in boardrooms, C suites and everywhere in Corporate America is so important.

One of the boards I’m serving on right now is also focused on a panel addressing this exact topic this summer.  And, if you’re man enough to join this movement, here are some ideas on how you can get in on the conversation – even if you can’t come to our Indy event in June on Manbassadorship:

1. Stop Talking…on all male panels.  With one exception here – I’ll allow all the cool dudes out there to speak on all-male panels if the topic is how to get more gender parity and diversity in the workplace. There’s your one exception. You’re welcome.

2. Sponsor women at work - If I ever get over this perpetual cold I’ve had all winter and the frog out of my throat, I’m going to have a podcast on this exact topic over at pharmacy podcast.

3. Start your own Male Ally chapter – It takes a strong man to build women. Smart guys have done this – why not you?

4. Check your bias - I actually have bias strongly pro-woman. But at least I know that about myself, since I’ve taken several tests now about it. You should get a baseline on yourself.

And current manbassadors: you’re the real MVP. Thank you for realizing that women need a seat at the table too!

Ode to My Thermal Leaky Coffee Mug, May It Rest in Peace

Today, I threw away my travel thermal coffee mug.

This is normally not a big deal for most people. But for those of us who can survive only after a morning filled with Java, it was a big deal for me.

After the 50th time of it leaking coffee on me on my way into work and murmuring profanities at myself as I wiped off my coffee stained bag, I decided it was time to put it down for good.

I had that thermal mug for well over a decade. More like 15+ years. It was red. From Starbucks. Sexy. A gift.

Now I have to buy a new one.

The last one served me well.

To all my fellow coffee lovers: take a sip for me and my former mug tomorrow morning. And if you have a thermal travel mug that keeps your coffee warm but does NOT yet leak, give it a wink from me.


HIMSS17 – You’re Doing it Right

Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 11.18.12 AM

Yours truly, along with founder of the #pinksocks movement, @Nickisnpdx (L), and Joe Lavelle of Intrepid Healthcare (R).

Well, I’ve tried to absorb as much knowledge as I can before my head explodes at #HIMSS17 this week. It’s been a BLAST talking to so many rockstars of HIT and healthcare that I’m starstruck!

One of the coolest new methods of learning for me at the meeting was actually co-hosting at Intrepid Healthcare’s #JoinTheConversation podcast desk at Experian Health with Joe Lavelle in place of Todd Eury as a co-host of the Pharmacy Podcast for a few of the episodes.  I even had a slip in the NCPDP session where I created a new word (adjudification = faster adjudication of healthcare claims. You’re welcome.)

What I also realized in that the harmless invite of asking people I’d only worked with on the phone or via Skype in the past to the booth was that it really boosted traffic for the space.  So much so that it would be wise for orgs going to large scale meetings in the future would benefit from having live podcasting from their booths.  Just saying!

If you need help with this at your next big pharmacy meeting booth, I’m certain that Todd Eury would be happy to help you out, or in the broader healthcare community, Joe would.  Either org is great, and podcasting is where all the cool action is these days…just ask me and my new pink socks.

The other thing HIMSS did really well was having a social media team of ambassadors - I think EVERY trade show (inside or outside of pharmacy) should have one. These are digital influencers that can spread the halo of all the awesome things happening at your conference online through social portals.  And let’s face it – who better to spread the word on a conference than those who would be at the conference anyway, speaking at the conference, and being the awesome thought leaders that they always are?  And, I’ll go critical on my first profession for a moment: we don’t have enough social media ambassadors in pharmacy. For whatever reason – we need more pharmacists tweeting, Facebook live-ing, Periscoping, Pinning, you name it. (And HIMSS, if you need a pharmacist for 18 into social media – I’d be happy to help!)

These are the items I will definitely retain from #HIMSS17.

Women IN Healthcare: What do you need to be successful?

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HBA Indiana is conducting a survey of educational needs of healthcare and life science employees of the state of Indiana. If you work in biotech, life sciences, healthcare, pharma, medical devices or healthcare IT, can you please take 5 minutes and complete this survey so we can better assist our healthcare and life sciences community of Indiana? You don’t have to be a member of HBA to participate – and 2 who complete the survey will win a $25 Starbucks gift card.

Caffeine and career development – what more could you ask for?

Also – if you’re seeking more info on our mentoring program from our segment on Inside Indiana Business this past weekend, here it is, just for you!



I’ve got my hat, my puppets and my #HIMSSVirgin T shirt packed!  See you next week at HIMSS, and thanks to Mandi Bishop and Kristin Eilenberg for helping me understand what I need to do in advance of this monster meeting! (And thanks Todd, for letting me record this show!)

Happy Valentine’s Day

6stepsgenderparityvalentineshowValentine’s Day: admittedly, never my favorite holiday. How mass beheadings led to a day full of hearts, flowers and chocolate is beyond me.

Maybe love really is a battlefield.

Anyway, my valentine to the universe this year is a little different. It’s in podcast form, sparked by a post I wrote over at LinkedIn a few weeks ago during the women’s march.

I can’t think of a better gift to get all of us this year: a little more peace and equity.  A little less bloodshed & battlefields.

Have a great holiday!

Boredom -> Beautiful

I watched a series of TED talks recently, one began with a quote from Flaubert:

“Be boring and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

I watched another TED talk about how leaving the internet made someone…bored.

Boredom, I think, is something that leads to beautiful things.

Case in point: my first book of 2017, written by my co-author, David Borst. He emailed me a while ago and said he was bored.  That led to discussing how to collaborate on a project, and then, a book. (Actually, 2 books in one.)

The other day, I was bored, and so I started thinking of podcasts I could do for Pharmacy Podcast. Bam! I got a great idea for a series, that I’m now working on – hopefully, I can pull it off for our listeners, so I can deliver some kick-dupa content.

I do live a pretty boring, routine life. It’s not half as exciting as others might make it out to be.  But, I think moving forward, I need to foster and grow my boredom, because it can lead to amazing stuff.

The next time you’re bored, monitor yourself. Is that when the great ideas pop into your head?  If so, welcome boredom. Don’t shun it.  Because it could lead you to your next very best thing.

Subscriber Goodies

Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 8.05.52 AMAfter curating several lists now for several years, I’ve decided that the only way people may access the Google Sheets in the photo now are to subscribe to this tiny blog. Just put your email address over to the left here, complete the two step authentication process with Mailchimp, and you’re in.

However, these lists will also be randomized in my random #SixonSaturday emails, and will only be available for a limited time via viewable links within the newsletters.

Nothing great lasts forever.

Don’t miss out!

More GirlPower Stuff

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 7.39.48 AMAfter 2 crazy weeks, I’m happy to report that this weekend, I’ll be cooling it, and getting back to working on #SWE3.

In the meantime, here’s a roundup of some really cool stuff for women and girls that we’ve been working on or seeing over here at the ranch the last couple of weeks.

Inside Indiana Business/Biocrossroads article on 8 Great Orgs in HIT Healthcare and STEM – many of them focused on women.

The No Limits Radio show I did (or tried to do) this week on Activism.

Interview with Abdul-Hakim Shabazz and Dave Meeker on WIBC about how to manage social media in these interesting times.

Wonder Woman stamps – now available for her 75th birthday, and great for slapping on letters to your CongressMEN about your feelings around new legislation.

Also heading over to a new podcast, (at least new to me) on Get Social Health.

Oh, and WCS Yale applications for the 2017 summer session are now open.

And the ladies of HBA are rocking! Really solid crew I am working with this year.


Today was a tough day…on several fronts.  I don’t know if it was technology, bad mojo, or my sign is not entering a new good phase with the Chinese new year or what…suffice it to say, it was not an easy day.  I did, however, focus on solving problems.  All. Day. Long.

Case in point, my interview today on WFYI’s show, No Limits, about activism.  While I am normally pro-politics and any good old fashioned and spirited debate, today’s show got a little ugly, in my opinion.  It quickly turned from a show about positive action and getting involved to affect positive change, into a political bashing of our new federal administration.

While I’m the last person on the planet to cheerlead for the new administration or its beliefs, I did not go on the show to bash anyone and spread negativity.  I honestly went on the show to share pragmatic, actionable items that people (women in particular), to join/start and do in order to affect positive change in this country.  It has to be a long-term commitment.  It can’t be something changed in one rally or by making one sign or wearing one hat.  It’s something that has to evolve and consistently have energy within it in order to turn the Titanic.  (And yes, our federal government, albeit a limited one according to our founding fathers, is now in fact a Titanic.)

Regardless, here is my list of ideas on how to support gender parity and get more women at the helm of the government and organizations, one more time, just in case you’ve stopped by this tiny blog for a few tips on how to jump in beyond a one-day rally.

And last, while I did not want to spread any more vitriol today, I will leave you with a story about how I feel about people who care.

There’s an ad on my wall of fame that I’ve kept on the wall for many years now. It’s a Virgin ad.  I ripped it out of a magazine.  It says, “People who give a damn, you rule.”

People who give a damn DO RULE.  It’s the people who care who ultimately affect change.  Whether you are worried about immigration, women, education, the environment, or anything else–give a damn. Get involved. For longer than one day.  It’s the only way things change, in light and dark times…

Why I didn’t March Yesterday

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 7.07.39 AMWhat I am about to say may seem controversial; however, I think what I have in mind is just an extension beyond what the millions of protestors felt yesterday when they poured out into cities to march in the USA for women; it’s just a little longer-term thinking.

Hear me out.

I didn’t march yesterday. I didn’t march, because I was trying to run a board meeting for a non-profit that serves women in healthcare, and that is concerned with getting more women at the helm of healthcare organizations, equal pay, and everything you’d expect from an organization that supports women, leadership and gender parity. This day had been planned for a long time, and hopefully, it will positively affect several women and address their leadership skills over the course of 2017.

While I get that a march might be a good start, what happened after all the women (and men) returned to their hotel rooms, or home?  Trump is still in the White House, with his paltry 13% women-led cabinet.

The bottom line: Nothing changed.  

It is what comes NEXT that I think is crucial to women gaining leadership and authority in this country – not a one day march.

Here’s my point: if you REALLY support women and their climb to leadership positions, support gender parity and equal rights for women, a one day march isn’t going to cut it. We have to train, sponsor and support women who attempt and gain leadership positions.  If you REALLY want to support women, here are some humble suggestions that may, at least in my mind, have much longer term results than a one-day march:

1. Help her learn how to run for political office - There are a few solid leadership training programs out there for women to learn what it really takes to run for office (and it takes a LOT, trust me, I’ve been to several political training programs, and I still personally have not run for office yet).  My favorite for very biased reasons is the Women’s Campaign School at Yale - because it is bipartisan, and because it’s real. They train you on what it REALLY takes to run for office. (And I’m here to say, it isn’t easy to run for office. I find the process intimidating, to say the least, and few things intimidate me these days.)

2. Sponsor her in Corporate America - Women have all the mentors they need for right now, thanks. What they really need in order to get into leadership positions are SPONSORS. Sponsors are men and women already in leadership positions who can fight for their ‘sponorees’ when they’re not in the room at the same company.  These need to be senior leaders sponsoring junior up and coming leaders AT THE SAME ORGANIZATION. Men–I’m telling you here that the best way you can step up and help this cause is to start sponsoring more junior women at the company in which you work.  And, I’m talking to senior women here too who think they have zero obligation to bring along the next generation, since they had no support.  You DID have support, and it’s time to pay it back by sponsoring other women, period.

3. Teach and give her opportunities to lead in nonprofits - Schools are not teaching students how to be good citizens and civically minded.  I never had any formal training on Robert’s Rules of Order for running a board meeting, or the very real fiduciary duties of serving on a board (Duty of Care, Duty of Obedience and the Duty of Loyalty)–that is, until I went to law school on the fiduciary duty part, and then I learned all the horrible things that can go wrong when boards aren’t in compliance with fiduciary duties.  We have to train our girls AND boys on how to serve in these capacities, so they can stretch their leadership skills and become good stewards of organizations.  There needs to be some level of formality, like taking notes and follow up that comes out of these boards in addition to and supplementing fiduciary duties, along with civility.  Are we really teaching our girls (and boys) how to be good civic-minded individuals, or just the few and privileged?

4. Teach and give her opportunities to lead in FOR profits - Ditto to #3, but there’s a whole other level and range of issues here – millions or billions of dollars at stake and tens of thousands of jobs vs. a tiny non profit that is all volunteer driven.  Again, where is the training for this?  Boardroom Bound is a course I took on my own.  There are others.

5. Vote with your wallet – Of all the steps above, this is the easiest to implement, and anyone can do it. Write down a list of the top 10 retailers you spend money with. Then, go look at their corporate websites. How many women do they have on their board? How many C-suite officers are women?  If you see no women, just stop buying stuff from their stores. Quit them, cold turkey. If you really want to go crazy, write their CEO a letter and tell him (most likely a him, anyway) why you stopped buying from them, and that you want to see more women on their board and in their C-suite before you consider returning to their company.  Nothing gets corporate America’s attention more than money.  I loved that Pink Magazine used to write up a naughty list–a list of companies with all male boards, and I wish they still did this, because it makes voting with my wallet that much easier.  (You can do this too, by the way, with your political candidates – ask them when they are campaigning how many women staffers they have…this is one of many issues you can bring to their attention that is important to you.)

There. I mean zero offense to the men and women who took the time to march yesterday in protest; I’m glad they did. But, if we really, truly and fundamentally want positive change and gender equality in this country, we’re going to have to do a LOT more than just march for one day, ladies and gentlemen.  We’re going to have to change, step up, and create this evolution the long haul.

January Journal Posts

This is courtesy of Pinterest, and this pin.

What are you most looking forward to?  Scotland in 2017.

Three goals of this month: 1. HBA first event – check. 2. HBA board retreat – almost check, and 3. Dallas for HBA Leadership Conference – almost check. And 4. Finishing the S(He) Says Guide to Mentoring – almost check.

One thing you learned about yourself last year?  That it’s OK to cut bait on something that’s just not working, AS LONG AS…you did everything you could to try and make it work.

Three words that describe your style: 1. creative 2. hard-working 3. futuristic.

A good idea: focusing on one good idea at a time.

The Best Thing to Come Out of the JP Morgan Conference

JP Morgan conference is a big one for pharma. It usually is one of the first conferences for biopharma in January for each new year.

Believe it or not, the best thing to come out of this year’s JP Morgan conference wasn’t any whiz bang drug pipelines, new miracle cures in development, or financial analysis to beat the street.  It actually was this letter, which was signed by over 100 executives of biopharma companies who finally recognized openly that there’s a problem in healthcare leadership: a serious lack of diversity.  I’m glad they’re finally acknowledging what the rest of us already knew–that there aren’t enough women at the helms of healthcare organizations.

If you are unaware of how bad the problem is, check out my slide deck and tracker of this in pharma and healthcare realms:

Who’s At the Helm of US Pharmacy and Healthcare? from Erin L. Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD, PAHM
Considering women make 80-95% of all the healthcare decisions in this country – for themselves or their families – I’m baffled as to why there is not more diversity in healthcare.  Hopefully, we can turn this ship around!  This is also one of the major reasons why I ran for HBA Indiana President this year.  Their mission is one of mine: to get more women in the helm of healthcare/biotech/pharma/pharmacy organizations.

This Tiny Blog’s Media Kit

I’ve been quiet – I know. I’m over here trying to get my 2017 groove on.  But the first week was full of challenges.

Anyway, several people have asked me for a list of my services now, so I thought it was time to put together a one sheet media kit on my wares.  It is now here:

ErinAlbert.com Media Kit – 2017 from Erin L. Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD, PAHM
I’m still over here working hard to help out my fellow and lady pharmacy and healthcare career kind through various channels and by various means.  One way that I’m working on right now is the spring mastermind class, which you can query by completing this form. And this may be the only mastermind I run in 2017, because I’ve got a few books and other projects to crank out, in addition to awesome gigs and conferences to attend (like HIMSS, and SXSW this quarter).
Regardless, I love helping healthcare professionals re-think their career development.  After all, we are now working and living in an economy where the employers don’t care about your career development.  Only you have the power to make your career go vrooommmmm…..so what are you waiting for?
Let’s work together!
Happy 2017.

A Random Sampling of…36 Questions to…Love?

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

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

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:

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…

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

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

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: pharmllc@gmail.com 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: https://www.facebook.com/HBAIndy/
LinkedIn group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3726508
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HBAnet_Indy
Our chapter homepage: http://www.hbanet.org/chapters/Indiana

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: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2017AC-Speaking).

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

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

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

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

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:

(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…

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….>


My 2016 Digital Holiday Card

Merry <Whatever You Celebrate Insert It Here>!

Here’s my annual digital holiday card.  I still love physical cards, but I can’t reach everyone, so I’m keeping the old school card part, just making it digital.  You can read the letter on page 2 here.



Top 10 Blog Posts of 2016

newyearAs I said over at LinkedIn, I like to pause at the end of each year, go back, and see what posts really resonated with my peeps.  I did this with LinkedIn long posts for the year, here.

Now I’m going to do it with this blog.  Here are the top 10 blog posts for 2016, based upon Google analytics for this lovely little website and corner of the universe. Ready?

10. An open letter to the Editor of Girls’ Life – All I can say here is, I hope the editor listened.

9.  Seeking one sponsor for our Amazing STEMPrincess4 Adventure – Thanks for checking this out. And yes, I still would like to have a sponsor of this 4th book in the series.  A couple of other books are in production before this one, but this one is definitely coming in 2017!

8.  Attention Crayons, Markers and Pencils – The big rollout of #STEMPrincess3, and my first-produced coloring book!

7.  Avoiding Midyear Meltdown – This week is ASHP’s Midyear.  I hope that Lauren and I helped even just a few students rock it and not let them be intimidated.

6.  STEMPrincesses and Girlpower! – Going for American Dreams at HSN and the announcement of my STEM Princess advisory board…love it!

5.  Largest pharmacy and healthcare groups on Linkedin: 2016 – I had to analyze the groups over at LI for another project, so I shared my findings.

4.  5 Roads into Loving Retail Pharmacy – So, this post was over guilt. Since I had just completed a 5 Roads out of Retail Pharmacy miniseries at Pharmacy Podcast, I wanted to do a 180 and talk about how to not only stick it out in retail, but to love it. Glad that others picked it up!

3.  Pharmacy Podcasts on Your Career Development – I decided that I needed to throw my 25 podcasts recorded in 2016 into one blog post, since PP has several co-hosts, and frankly, to make it easier to tweet.  I guess people are finding that helpful?  I don’t know, I don’t know many podcasters out there yet, nor how they optimally output their shows…but I’m hacking my way through this.

2.  M is for Multimedia: BU Well – I am so pumped that my tribe loves journals, reading and multimedia, and the fact that this post was the 2nd most popular this year is awesome!  It was my proud parental moment of rolling out the inaugural edition of the STUDENT driven multimedia healthcare journal, BU Well.

1.  An Analysis of…Bossing Me Around – The most traffic this website received this year was far and away around the time I left my teaching gig. And apparently, you all are curious about bossing me around.  As I said back in late July and even to this day, while it was not an easy decision to leave, what was easier was knowing that my work life balance was back to an even level, and it was a great 10-year run serving in academia.  Will I return to teaching, many ask? The answer is that I never left teaching – I’m still teaching as a preceptor and fellowship director – my classroom has just changed.

Thanks for stopping by my tiny digital corner of the inter webs in 2016.  Even if my work is remotely helpful, it’s been a pleasure serving you, my fab 13, in 2016, the past, and onward!


5 Years

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-5-47-16-pmI’m about 1/3 in to interviewing all the SWEs/MWEs/SWFTEs/MWFTEs for the third edition of my book, Single. Women. Entrepreneurs., coming in 2017!  One of the things I’ve learned is that a lot. Can. Happen. In. Five. Years!

These ladies have: shuttered businesses, started new businesses, gone back to a day job, ran for office, married, divorced, and chucked it all to move and travel.

There’s a lot of variety and a lot of lessons learned here.  So much so, that I needed to pause for a second and think about my own past 5 year journey….so here’s what I’ve done in the past 5 (or since I wrote the 2nd edition of this book):



I wonder what the next 5 years will bring?

37 Places to Hide My Horcruxes

In an effort to celebrate my first round of edits being done for my next book (or my part of the book), I’m now going to creatively take a break and get back to my fave – writing – and share where I’d hide parts of my soul–if I had to–just in case, so you know where to look for me.  (Because planning in advance on where to hide bits of your soul is uber important….)

1-13. I’d start with my 13-ish books. Thirteen bits in 13 books.

14. In the non-floating books in the library. That way only hard-core readers would find bits of my soul.

15. In a night stand light. Oh the shenanigans I’d see…lol!

16. In the Mona Lisa. Then I’d be visited all the time.

17. In the Eiffel Tower.

18. In one of the arches at Etretat.

19. In a flower pot in Colmar.

20. In a block at the Coliseum in Rome.

21. In a cat. Preferably Jack. Because he is one well-kept, well-rested cat.

22-25. In each of my 4 alma maters inside a classroom. Just to keep eyes on the place. And spot new talent.

26. Inside the hope diamond.

27. In a turntable that still randomly gets used.

28. In a porsche 356. (Not a replica, either – an original.)

29. Inside a man’s scarf. Men and scarves… (I digress.)

30. Inside a copy of a first edition copy of Pride & Prejudice.

31. In one of my vintage friend’s brooches.

32. In my MacBook.

33. In a camera that tapes Shark Tank.

34. Inside the Book of Kells.  (I’ll stop with the books, promise!)

35. Inside the peony bush on the south west corner of my house. Or in any of the hydrangea bushes outside my old house, facing the fountain.

36. Inside the one and only fountain I ever installed.

37. Inside Snapchat. So I could FINALLY figure it out.


When An Alpha Chick Should Considering Going Beta

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-4-03-43-pmI kind of posted this as a joke this weekend over at faceplace: 7 Important Things to Know Before Dating an Alpha Female.  Although, a lot of it is true.

As a self-proclaimed Alpha Chick myself with a football stadium full of hard limits and high interest in investing my time, most of the time, in anything else BUT dating, I can attest to the fact that we are not easy. We’re complicated. We definitely don’t like being told what to do (most of the time, anyway), and we definitely know what we like and don’t like – and the cherry on top: we are stubborn.

Not an easy brew to swallow.

But, ladies, in retaliation or response to the article above, I’d like to humbly suggest that sometimes, we should consider going beta.  Here are a few times when downshifting might be in order:

When an Alpha Chick Should Consider Going Beta:

1. When he’s trying, give him a shot – In a swipe left or right world, the dating universe is brutal…BRUTAL. I. TELL. YOU.  (No, I’ve never been on Tinder, and have zero aspirations to do so…but I’ve heard horror stories.) And, props to a dude who can stick out his neck and dare to ask a woman, let alone an alpha woman out.  If he’s bold enough to step up and ask, why not give him a chance?  You’ll know pretty quickly into the date or hang out session (do people date anymore?) whether or not he’s going to get a chance #2 anyway, which leads me to…

2. When he asked you out, let him plan it - Don’t get super pushy here. He’s again trying, props to him for that.  Try on what he likes and see what he suggests.  Hang back and let him either shine or fizzle out. And sometimes, the choice he comes up with may be even better than any suggestion you could have imagined anyway.  If he tries to pull you to a monster truck rally, why not experience it once? Then you can check it off your bucket list and move on…

3. When he’s happy to see you, reciprocate - It’s ok to get a little gushy.  I know, I know, hard for us hard core ladies to do, out there slaying dragons all day with our game faces on, but you can slip into beta and show him that you’re excited to see him as well! It’s NOT WEAKNESS. It’s actually a STRENGTH.  Your energy is powerful, so make sure you’re putting out the right kind around those whom you care most about, and maybe just get it back in return.

4. When he’s an expert at something that you’re not, learn from him – Get beta by getting curious about his expertise or hobby. Ask him a lot of questions. Get to know something about his interests.  If you’re a true alpha, you’re naturally curious about the world anyway, so this arena shouldn’t be too hard to go into beta on… Constant learning and not being an expert at something is beta first, then alpha – so go BETA and learn something from the brother!  (Besides, most alpha chicks crushed on at least one previous teacher or professor.)

5. Doors, handkerchiefs, and paws – Old fashioned in these 3 arenas is still white hot in many alpha’s minds. One alpha chick purported that around doors, she pretends her arms are broken to let men get ahold them for her. A guy who hands you his handkerchief when you got something caught in your eye (or you were crying, god forbid) is flat out chivalrous (unless he was the guy who made you cry too, but most alphas never let ding dongs like that see us cry).  And, hold the guy’s paw or arm!  It’s OK. Besides, it will keep him from digging around and texting/checking Tinder while he’s under your spell – LOL! (If he’s that interested in checking Tinder, you won’t be putting up with him for very long, anyway.)

Again, I’m no dating expert. I barely do it myself. But, I do know a thing or two about being an alpha.  Sometimes, however, it’s OK to go beta. And to my sisters out there in AlphaLand – you don’t always have to be alpha ALL the time–you can pull it back a little once in a while…and while I don’t agree with all of the article above, I do agree with bullet #7:

we ARE worth the hassle!

Tools for Getting My $#!% Together for 2017

screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-4-36-54-pmI am a woman who normally likes to be organized.

Not about everything. In fact, I’m sitting in my recording studio/closet and frankly, it’s a mess.  But that’s not what is important to me.

What IS important are my goals/feelings/aura and objectives for 2017.

This is where I don’t have my !@#$% together yet. But I’m working on it.  And with 2016 nearing its end quickly, I thought I’d share some of the tools I’m using to plan ahead with you, so that you, too, can get your !@#$% together for 2017.

Tools to get my !@#$ Together for 2017:

1. Designing Your Life - I love this book. It made me pause and take inventory on the stuff that really gives me energy, and the stuff that drains me.  It’s refining my mind mapping technique a bit too.

2. My new Moleskine – Actually, I cheat and buy these in bulk when they (rarely) go on sale – but trust me, I’ve got a brand spanking new one lined up for 2017 to store my brain dumps, to-do lists, notecards and thank you cards with postage when I’m on the go.

3. Your Best Year 2017 – I have zero clue if this book is good yet or not, but I ordered it today. After all, what could it hurt?  I think the more clear we can get on the year ahead, the better off we can plan ahead, set goals, and them implement them!

4. The Desire Map – This one is good for you to focus not on your goals specifically, but how you want to FEEL throughout your life and times. This one is good for those of us who are left brained, analytical thinkers.

5. Change Your Aura Change Your Life – I had a picture taken of my aura a decade or so ago in Sedona.  It was more of a gag than for real.  But, I do think there is some merit to chakras, meditation, and focusing on what you want–specifically the energy that can flow into you based upon what energy you put out.  So, I’m working on my chakras for 2017 too.  It’s part of my “Get Erin Albert’s !@#$%! together plan.

There. I freely admit when I’m building stuff.  And the biggest construction of all I’m working on for 2017 right now – myself.

p.s. Do you live in the Indianapolis area and want more hands-on training on how to get your 2017 career development goals together? Meet us at Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association’s kickoff event in 2017, 1/11/17 at Eli Lilly and Company! Here’s the registration form.

Cool Stuff from the Land of Medical Science Liaisons

There’s some cool stuff going on in the world of Medical Science Liaisons, of which I still watch and support!  In fact, I need to address this cool gig in a pharmacy podcast in 2017…I’ve promised the audience this, and I will be delivering on my promises.

In the meantime, here are some things going on in the land of the MSLs:

1. *EyeforPharma: Reinventing Medical Affairs – As the role changes, so too does the emphasis of the role.  Check out the report at Eye for Pharma about this.

2. The Annual MSL benchmarking Survey – TriNet Pharma is running its annual MSL survey right now.  Contact them and fill it out if you’re a MSL.

3. Medical Affairs Board Certification – ACMA is now offering BCMAS – the Board Certified Medical Affairs Specialist.  I’ll be the first one to admit that I know the least about this – but I will be checking it out in 2017 for the MSL masses.

Pharmacists are still a huge part of field based medical affairs…and I think there’s now more opportunity than ever in this arena. More to come on it in 2017, and if you love drug info and communication as a pharmacist, PhD, or MD, consider this role for yourself.

*This part of the post is sponsored.

My Ode…to Snail Mail

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-4-01-35-pmI’ve said it more than once here: I’m a big fan of penned letters. Thank you cards? Total sucker for them. They are on my wall of fame in my office at home, and just behind me above my clock at my work office–both places where I look–often. I rarely, if ever, throw them away.  (And I’m not really a hoarder of things or stuff…but I am of these for some reason. And yes, I still have my notes from high school too.)

Read this over at HuffPo too, and I agree. With all of it.

Do you think Darcy would have sent Elizabeth Bennet a text if he had the option?  Lord, I hope not. Do you think Gandhi’s letter about peace to Hitler would have been better suited for an email?

Uhm, no. (Although it arriving faster via email might have been a plus.)

The thing I love most about snail mail is the enduring quality of it.  The thoughtfulness of the screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-4-13-45-pmcomposition, as well as the giddy anticipation of getting something that’s not a bill or a piece of junk in the mail.  It was customized just for you, and a secret, enduring conversation between two parties.

No servers involved.

So, can you do me and the universe a solid this week and maybe write one to a friend, sig other, or maybe even a foe?  Grab a notecard and an old-fashioned inky pen and just go at it.  Buy a stamp. Get a funky envelope. SWAK it.  I did. You can too.

Skip the server…

Talking vs. Doing

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-6-53-39-pmThis skill set (talking vs. doing) ought to be a spectrum on the Myers-Briggs.

If you haven’t taken the MBTI before, it’s another “personality” test, that measures your personality.  I’m an INTJ, with emphasis on the I.

If I put the Talking vs. Doing on the end of the Myers Briggs, I’d be a INTJD.

Those who can talk have a special skill.  And after I spent over 2.5 hours talking online last night in my masterminds, I realized that I’m not really a talker.  I’m a doer.  Give me a jacked up inbox and watch me knock it out to inbox zero.  Give me a really gnarly problem and I’ll solve it.  Got a list of action items? Bring it.

Some say talk is cheap. I might be in that camp to some extent, but then again I’d prefer to stop talking about it and just do it.  Those who talk and those who do may be on opposite ends of the spectrum. Not sure.  I’m too busy doing.

Just don’t make me talk about it.

The 10 Year Shelf Life

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-5-18-48-pmLast evening, I had the chance to interview a gal, Mona Das of Moxy, for a new book I’m working on.  She said something I’m still trying to wrap my head around.

We discussed significant other relationships, and she actually phrased that personal sig other relationships typically only have a shelf life of 10 years or so.  When I asked her why, she replied that we change over time, and if we are changing and growing, people just often evolve and grow in different directions.  It almost made it sound as though if we weren’t breaking up each decade, it meant in a way that we aren’t growing.

I find this viewpoint utterly fascinating.  I tend to think a little differently about relationships overall as well.  I approach them like seasons – some people are meant to be around all 4, while others are just around for a season or two.  (And yes, I am still a sucker for a happy ending and the Hallmark Channel.  I just don’t know if it really exists in the long term.)

Having grown up in the traditional corn farmed Midwest, I always was raised (or at least had the perception) to think that the gold standard for finding a significant other meant ‘forever,’ or until the death parting thing.  But later on in life, as others divorced and their sig other relationships Chinua Achebed, my viewpoint changed.  Now, after Mona’s comment, I’m wondering if we aren’t moving on with significant others, are we not growing?  Are breakups actually a good thing for one’s self-actualization?  When we end a relationship, does this put us up higher on Maslow’s hierarchy?

I really don’t know.

Last Week to Work with Me in 2017/18!

Applications close 11/15/16 for #APPE & #Fellowship @MyersStauffer for 2017-18 – app links in my @LinkedIn bio! #pharmacy #pharmacist pic.twitter.com/3c5r0cNpBQ

— Dr. Erin L. Albert (@ErinLAlbert) November 9, 2016


Link to APPE rotation application is here.

Link to Pharmaceutical Pricing Fellowship is here.

Deadline to apply for both is 11/15/16!

Messed. With. Texas.

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-5-45-50-pmSo, I’m on my way home from Texas. It was bigger than I remembered. LOL!

Seriously – it’s great to get out of your life for a couple of days and immerse yourself somewhere else.  Making it even cooler, I saw a couple of old friends from my past, and did something I rarely do…historically reviewed parts of my life.

This is not normal for me. I’m typically a forward, future-focused, look-ahead and not-in-the-rear-view-mirror-kind of girl.  But with this tiny post and this amazing end to the week, I’m here to remind all of us, myself included, that it’s OK to go back every once in a while.

Besides, backward may just lead to the path forward…


screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-6-49-05-amAfter attending the Women’s Campaign School at Yale a few years ago, I learned that campaigns have phases.  Right now, we’re in the “Get out the Vote (GOTV)” phase of our US elections, being that they officially are tomorrow.  This is the phase where everyone is just trying to get people to show up at the polling places…and vote.

I’m pretty sure that everyone has beaten this dead horse, and I’m not going anywhere near the POTUS candidates in this post to stir that pot anymore (I’m skipping Facebook until next Wednesday in peeking at my feed).  I did vote already–although I did throw up a little in the back of my mouth when I did.  And, don’t get me wrong, the “How to Move to Canada” posts get more interesting and eye catching as the election draws near.

But all that aside, my friends, I’m going to ask you to please get out and vote.  Vote for your least vile candidates.  Take the Tums and head to the polls.  Just do it.  Because people have fought and died for our right to vote.  Women in the US didn’t have the right to vote until 1920.  Nineteen Twenty, people!  That’s not that long ago.

Picking the least vile candidate is a right and a privilege in the US…so let’s be sure we don’t just throw in the towel and let someone else decide for us.  Picking the least vile is ALL OF OUR RESPONSIBILITY.

Happy Election Week!


2016 & 2017 Pharmacy Podcast Shows on YOUR Career Development!

This is about to be a long post, but I wanted to put, in one place, all the 2016 & 2017 Pharmacy Podcast Shows for the fab 13, AND for your listening pleasure!

If you’re a pharmacist or leader in healthcare, IT, pharmacy practice and/or elsewhere, the following episodes will be of benefit to you.  And to all the guests during the year on the podcast, a SINCERE THANKS for helping us reach 60,000 listeners and for sharing the pharmacy healthcare love!

For the Class of 2017: Congratulations!

Manbassadors: Sponsors for Women in Healthcare

57 Cool Jobs for Pharmacists

SXSW 2017 – A Recap

InfoSAGE: Healthcare Informatics Leader Dr. Charles Safran

5 Steps to Manage Through a Career Crisis

HIMSS 17 Post Show

HIMSS 17 Pre Show

A Valentine for Women, Gender Parity and Leadership in Healthcare:

The Future of Work in Pharmacy & Healthcare Part I – With Special Guest, Jacob Morgan:

The Future of Pharmacy Work – Part II

Certifications for Pharmacists – Another Way to Enhance Your Pharmacy Career:

What is a Medical Science Liaison?:

7 Steps to a Super 2017:

“Men”toring Women – Why it is critical for Men to Mentor Women

Merry Midyear – 4 part miniseries coming to the podcast with Dr. Lauren Steinbach hi-jacking the mic:

5 Roads into Loving your retail pharmacy career – 5 part series:

The American Society for Pharmacy Law – an Intro with Aaron Moore:

5 Part series on the 5 Roads out of Retail Pharmacy:

Pharmacy as a Third Space – Tisane Pharmacy (NYC):

Disruptive Women in HIT – Mandi Bishop:

How to get more Leadership in Pharmacy – Alan Spies:

BU Well: A Student-Driven Multimedia Publication – Anne Leighty:

Unusual Career Paths in Pharmacy – Shaun Young of Ardina:

Feeling the Burn…Out – How to manage burnout in pharmacy:

Writing to Enhance Your Pharmacy Career – Dr. Elaine Voci

Maximizing Medical and Pharmacy Meetings – Kristin Eilenberg of Lodestone Insights:

Access to 4 Lists: 2017 & Info Putting YOU Ahead

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-7-11-59-amHappy Friday, all!

I’ve been thinking about how to get my tribe ahead of the pack, and in 2017 I want to do this for my fab 13 fans and followers of this blog.

So, here’s what’s up for 2017.

The subscribers to this blog (and ONLY the subscribers to this blog) will have access to the following documents:

The Know Thyself Kit
The 2017 Pharmacy National Meeting Calendar
The Women’s Leadership Programs Grid
Pharmacist and Healthcare Certifications

So, if you like to be ahead of the pack (and who doesn’t)? go over to the left side of this page, and put <-your email address in the “sign up for my mailing list” box and go through 2 step verification.  That’s all you have to do, and in my random emails to you over the coming year, you’ll have access to these 4 spreadsheets as an added bonus.

Power to my people!


Avoiding Midyear Meltdown

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-7-57-00-amIf you’re not in pharmacy, you may not have heard about Midyear.

It’s a meeting thrown by ASHP (the hospital pharmacy association) and it occurs at “mid” academic year, but actually at the end of the calendar year.  It’s a huge meeting where last year pharmacy students start trying to figure out and interview with companies for either fellowships or residencies or both.  This year’s meeting will happen in Las Vegas in a few weeks.

Pushing 140 schools in the US, we’re talking a lot of graduates here.

The process can be somewhat intimidating, especially if you don’t know what you want to do after school.  And, both residencies and fellowships are fiercely competitive.  (Again, 140 schools, thousands of students, and not enough experiences to go around…).

In an effort to help out pharmacy students around the US, the fellow Lauren Steinbach and I put together a mini series over at the pharmacy podcast on how to prepare for Midyear.  Part 1 launched just in time for post-PPS-freak-out.  (PPS is the service that posts all the jobs for Midyear, and it came out this week.)  We also have a lot of show notes for this one, which you can also find over at Slideshare.  If you have no clue which route you should take, try this quiz I put together to see if you have an inclination one way or another.

If you’re a P4, please listen to this podcast and read the show notes.  You have just enough time to set yourself apart from the herd…but ignore it, and you’ll just blend in, go un-noticed, and may not get your first choice experience after pharmacy school…and why oh why would you want to do that after spending nearly a decade of time on your education?


My Fellow ‘Treps


Todd Eury, the Yoda Behind the Pharmacy Podcast, showing me around his fair city today

Today, I FINALLY met my podcast-brother-of-another-mother, Todd Eury, in his town (Pittsburgh) for a 2017 planning session of The Pharmacy Podcast!  And, it reminded me of a couple of things I might be taking for granted in my life.  I wanted to throw them down here so I don’t forget.

First…’treps.  Of all the tribes I traverse, I have to say that the energy of the entrepreneurs in my life ARE THE BEST!  Entrepreneurs are always additive, and rarely reductive (unless, of course, they’re sharing with me who to dodge, which still in the end is positive!)  ‘Treps answer everything with, “Yes, let’s!” or “Yes, and…!” seldom, “NO WAY!” or “Absolutely NOT!”  Todd is definitely of the “Yes, let’s” camp!

I hope I never leave behind my fellow entrepreneurs, BECAUSE I and the universe need more of their energy!  We need more people who can think creatively about making the world a better place.

Second, it’s really funny to stop and see how far you’ve come along in life.  Todd and I were looking through his 350+ episodes of the pharmacy podcast, and we listened to the VERY. First. Podcast that he did LOOOONG ago today!  We were straight up laughing out loud at the editing of it (hey, I’m not the best editor, but it was pretty hilarious to listen to!) And I mentioned to him that us listening to his first podcast is like me reading my first book.  It’s CRAP!  (My first book is crap. I can’t judge his first podcast!)

But the great thing is to see and hear how far you’ve come from the first to today.  It’s literally palpable.  That, and we can try to take our work seriously, but also have some self-deprecating fun along the way too!

Even though I had to be up at 3:45 AM this morning to be in Pitt in the morning for a planning session, it was totally worth it. I think I have a better plan for what I’m up to in 2017 with the Pharmacy Podcast.

Better yet, I had the chance to meet up with a fellow entrepreneur in person…and that, of course, is priceless!

The Importance of Being…Bored

headermentoringborstalbertBoredom can lead to a lot of great things, believe it or not!

Such is the case with one of my new book projects in 2017, a collaboration between myself and one of my mentors, Dr. David Borst. Today, we just launched a 32-day campaign over at Indiegogo to pre-sell copies of our new book coming next year, The S(He) Guide to Mentoring.

This entire book project started from an email conversation about being bored and trying something new. And, for the first time ever, I’m collaborating on a “2 books in one” model. Dr. Borst will be writing his perspective on starting his women’s advisory mentoring board up in Wisconsin, and I’ll be discussing my own perspectives of starting women’s mentoring programs here in Indy. But our perspectives are separate, and we’ll meet somewhere in the middle of the book to “end”.

I’m passionate about mentoring women. We still do not have enough women in C-suites, on corporate boards, and making the decisions on the OTHER side of the transaction, even though we make 80-90% of the purchasing decisions in this country. I’ve always wanted to write about mentoring, sponsorship, even anti-mentoring, but until the boredom email came along, it wasn’t on top of mind.

My point of this post is not to sell books (although, it would be swell if you could check out our campaign). Instead, it is to share with you that boredom can lead to really, really cool ideas and concepts…like this book. And while I’ve written my fair share of books, I’ve never really written a 2 books in one concept, and I’m excited to see how it turns out!

The campaign runs through Small Business Saturday – I literally couldn’t think of a better day to end it on. Dr. Borst is running his own shop now that he’s retired, and all my writing projects happen in my own little realm–they aren’t part of my day jobs. So, we’re out here hustling with all the other small business owners, this time to provide the priceless product of women thinking about their mentors in a new way.

My Feed

screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-5-41-44-amWelp, lately I’ve been into…Google Chrome extensions. I’ve thrown honey on, buffer, boomerang, and in a desperate moment due to the heated and ridiculous political season, added the Facebook News Feed Eradicator.

Normally, I like to know what’s going on with my friends, but some of them (not all, but some) have really had a field day with the elections.  First, off, yes, I voted.  I also threw up a little bit in the back of my mouth when I did, but I did. It’s done. So I really don’t need an hourly re-hash at how bad the candidates are for our country, thanks.

Second, I continue to feel about Facebook as I’ve always felt: it’s a giant vacuum of time suckage.

So, yesterday I asked you to consider checking your facebook feed to see if it was OK to leave behind just in case.  Today, I challenge you to think about whether or not it’s time to eradicate your login feed altogether.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: time is the one thing you never get back.

Your Feed

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-7-00-27-amI have a new pharmacy student on rotation at work today – so I need to get to work and get organized. But before I do, I’m going to leave you with a little challenge that one of my friends left me over at the faceplace.

Sheryl, another social media rock star, said she worked with a 34-year-old colleague who recently passed away. She also said if you looked at his Facebook feed, it represented his fun-loving, sports-loving, friend-having self. It made her smile.

She then challenged all of us to go look at our facebook feeds.  If we suddenly passed away, would what is on the feed represent the stuff that mattered to us?

For me, my Sheryl feed test resulted in the following: stuff I’m working on for 4Q16, books, entrepreneur stuff, healthcare IT stuff, chocolate, hello kitty for president and some unicorns.  There’s also pictures of my books and my travel adventures, like the one above.

So, yes, I’m good with my faceplace feed.

In this heated political era, I’d offer you the same challenge: check out your feed. Does it represent the things that matter to you?  If, God forbid, something happened to you today, would you be OK with what’s standing on your feed…indefinitely?

Happy Monday!

My Top 10 List: 4Q16

fall-autumn-red-seasonMy Fellow Americans and Earthlings:

First of all, I already voted.  That ought to get me some type of free blocker of all political ads until the election on my channels.

That aside, here’s some stuff I’ve been and will be working on for 4Q16.

1.  Pharmacy Listening & Reading Survey for 2017 – I can’t write and podcast unless I know what the audience wants – so behold, a place where you can give me feedback on what I should write and speak about for the pharmacy podcast and other writings for 2017.  It’s open until 10/31, and instead of not sharing the data, I am going to send an exec summary to ALL who ask for it when completing the survey, because I’m cool like that and NOT a data hoarder…

2.  SWE3 – Yup, started interviews for the 5 year anniversary, 3rd edition of Single. Women. Entrepreneurs., coming in 2017!  I can’t WAIT to hear what these amazing women have been up to over the past 5 years.

3. Indiegogo campaign for the S(He) Says Guide to Mentoring – The campaign is coming soon.  The book is arriving in 2017.  Follow the faceplace page link above for that magic.  While I’ve set up mentoring programs for women in the past, and mentored more than a big share of students, this is the first time I’m writing a book specific to mentoring, and collaborating with one of MY mentors, Dr. David Borst.

4. PowerPak article on the DQSA – is now here – yay!  This one was a couple of years in the making (kind of like the DQSA itself) – shoutout to my colleague, Dr. Angela Ockerman, for co-piloting with me on this.

5. 5 Roads of Retail Pharmacy Love – is on its way – part 1 is published, parts 2-5 coming soon! Regardless, it’s a long overdue love note to my first pharmacy gig, retail! Oh, and the fellow is on top of the new mini series over at pharmacy podcast coming on residencies vs. fellowships and prepping for Midyear.  Here’s a mini quiz you can take if you’re not sure yourself as a P4 which way you should go! (Take it in Chrome – it doesn’t play nicely with Safari, for some reason…)

6. HBA Indiana – I’m running for President. (Not POTUS.) Instead, I’m running for HBA Indiana President for 2017.  It’s time for me to get back out there and understand what’s going on in healthcare at the state and regional levels, AND help other young and mid-career women make their career marks! It also fits into the fact that I’ve been tracking women at the helm of pharmacy and healthcare companies in the US, and we’re not making enough progress.  Also, I started a Health IT company list for Indiana – why oh why no one had a list before I find baffling.  This will take me some time to develop–but hey, at least it is started!

7. Midway on the fall Masterminds – have a sign up list for spring if you’ve been shopping for a writing or pharmacy career coach!

8. ASPL - pharmacy, meet law. Law, meet pharmacy.  The two meet up at the American Society for Pharmacy Law, which will meet up in Austin, TX in a couple of weeks.  Of all the career paths I’ve studied, THIS group has the weirdest and most out of the box careers I’ve seen to date.  Got my new book out on pharmacy law in IN, and have new talks coming up this fall on pharmacy law – yay!

9. Plotting 2017 –  Now that SXSW is off the table, I’m definitely thinking about the freaky meetings I can head to in 2017.  I’m thinking podcasting, blogging, social media, self publishing and maybe a few others….we’ll see.  Regardless, it’s good to have a plan for the coming year!

10. Other – I know what you’re thinking… “Hey, Albert – where’s the #STEMPrincess4 book?”  It’s still here, it’s just cued up for 2017.  I figured I needed to get a few books ahead of it finished before I dove full time into that project. Besides, I’m still shopping for a sponsor for book 4.  I can’t blow this series into the ginormous brand it could be alone! So, if you’re reading this and want to help out with #STEMPrincess series, hit me up via twitter or social.  And until 11/15/16, we’ve got the Myers and Stauffer Pharmaceutical Pricing Fellowship and APPE rotation applications up – come work with me next year and see all the magic!!!!!

That’s all I’ve got for right now. Much love to you out there – I hope you “fall” into an amazing…autumn!

5 Roads into LOVING Retail Pharmacy

erin-albert-retail-pharmacy-podcastIn a 180-degree-move, I started a podcast miniseries today on LOVING retail pharmacy as a career.  After just completing a leaving retail series, I wanted to flip to the other side of the coin.

I’ll be putting the podcast episodes here too for my merry pharmacy friends.


Ok, I’m starting to feel a bit…guilty.

In writing an original post, then creating a 5-part mini series about the 5 Roads out of Retail Pharmacy over at Pharmacy Podcast, I’m worried that I may appear to be discounting or even trashing retail pharmacy.

I’m not.  Really!

I learned a LOT of valuable lessons about managing people and caring for patients through my various retail pharmacy practice experiences. I also learned a lot of soft skills through those experiences as well – like patience, fortitude, endurance, creativity and problem-solving – that I never would have learned inside a classroom.

So, I’m going to propose that I do this. I’m going to write 5 Ways to LOVE your Community Practice Pharmacy Career, right here, right now. I’m going to include ideas that I employed during my retail pharmacy times that helped increase my personal job satisfaction, or actions that others have employed, and hopefully it will in turn help you, if you’re in pharmacy, healthcare, or maybe even any profession.


5 Roads Into Loving your Retail Pharmacy Career:

1. Own it – why not own your own store? It’s becoming a reality for many pharmacists these days. Shout out to one of the wholesalers in particular who helps pharmacy owners take their businesses and their professions to the next level. Many pharmacists long to be their own bosses. In fact, back in the day, EVERY pharmacist was a business owner, because there were no pharmacy chains. So, if you’re going to be in it to win it, why not own it? I’ve never owned a pharmacy, but I acted like an owner when I was the pharmacist in charge of my first pharmacy – so “ownership” doesn’t need to be literal–it can be a mindset here too!

2. Get out of the fishbowl – Just like Hazel Walker described this week on the Pharmacy Podcast, you need to build a network inside the profession of pharmacy and OUTSIDE. That INCLUDES networking in your local community, with the patients you serve. My first couple of pharmacy experiences had me surrounded by glass around the pharmacy – so we used to joke that sometimes, we needed to “get out of the fishbowl.” Examples of this: could you get out into the community and discover nursing homes that need adherence packaging for their patients that you could help with? Is there an acute facility in a rural setting that could use your pharmacy’s help? Do you have a hospice program in your community you could partner with? If you’re the new kid on the block, why not get out and say hi to the doctors in your local community? Get out of the fishbowl and investigate!

3. Niche it – I have a friend in retail (large chain) who created a really interesting niche for herself in community practice pharmacy, which led her to meeting the US Surgeon General! There are pharmacies (yes, even in chains) that specialize different areas of pharmacy practice. So, even if you work in a huge chain, ask yourself the following: what are my passions within this profession? Also, ask your CUSTOMERS what their needs are as well. Do you have an older population, a younger/new family population, or something else? Find and fill their needs, and in doing so, you may just have created yourself an amazing career corner in practice! Even better – once you become the “go to” guy or gal, can you help train others about it in your company? Who does compounding in your neck of the woods? If everyone is a hot potato with it, why not own it and run with it? What about wellness? What about preventative care?

4. Step up – Volunteer. Do extra work. Show upper management that you want to train/teach/beta test/write/speak/ manage/help/recruit others and grow within your company or chain. Be the liaison between your pharmacy school alma mater and your chain. Take students on rotation and precept. The more you do and do well, the more you’ll get noticed, which is critical if you want to move up in the company you’re working within.

5. Play nice with others – This is a combo of all the 4 previous steps, but ask yourself how you and your pharmacy business can play nicely with others. Is there a visiting nurse service you could partner with in the community? Is there a way you could organize a community task force for disaster relief if, God forbid, something happens to your community? What about a tox away day? Can you set up a phone tree with other pharmacists to prevent theft and diversion in pharmacy? What can you do with strong non profits in your area that would help the community? Can you bring the community IN to your pharmacy to hang out and be a spot of joy and hope for your neighborhood, instead of another icky task they have to check off of their list? Ask yourself one more time what your strengths are, and how you can add them to your world around you to create a better retail pharmacy world. Maybe that’s through a broader, interprofessional pathway that could lead you to feeling FANTASTIC about your career of pharmacy.

After all, you picked a great profession! The sky is the limit….!

Pharmacy Podcast Miniseries:

Episode 1 – Introduction to the mini series

Episode 2 – Dr. Amy Lenell

Episode 3 – Dr. Kathy Campbell

Episode 4 – Dr. Chad Lesczynski

Episode 5 – Mr. Ron Snow

Et Tu, SXSW?

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-6-26-26-pmToday, I was rejected for the second time by SXSW2017.  Both panel pickers (the other rejection came a while ago for SXSWedu) were a big fat NO from the organizers for next spring’s big shin dig in Austin.  Considering thousands of panelpickers were submitted for consideration and only hundreds were selected, the panels were kind of running against crazy odds in the first place–but for me, this was a bucket-list item.

But that’s not why I’m writing this post–to share yet another of my fails in a big and ever-growing pile (trust me, there are many, MANY to choose from!)

I’m writing this post to ask you–when was the last time you failed? Like massive, epic, public, defcon-level-1 failure?  My fails this year have been big in scale and proportion.  These 2 are tiny compared to other whoppers I’ve made this year–some I’ve shared, some I have not. (Yet.)

My point: if you’re aren’t failing big, you’re not taking enough risk in your life.  You’re not growing, and you’re not pushing yourself enough.  Those who ultimately achieve big great hairy audacious things keep pushing, moving forward, failing, experimenting more, and trying again.  I know in the realms where I was professionally educated–law and pharmacy–we’re trained that failure is something to be shunned and avoided at all costs, because failure in these realms can mean big, bad things like death and/or incarceration.

On the other hand, if you keep succeeding and never face failure, what are you going to do when it DOES finally arrive? (Oh, and it will. Guaranteed.)

I’m not afraid of failure.  What I am afraid of is not trying…and most worrisome of all: regret.

So, celebrate that next big fat fail!  If you’re failing, you’re trying and pushing yourself.  Go on with your bad self, you rockstar, you!


P.S. If you were kind enough to vote, share and tweet about this and the other panel picker over at SXSWedu earlier this year, THANK YOU for your support during our panelpicker voting!  We could not have gotten this far without your support!!!!

First Bank of Karmic Retribution

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-9-47-06-amI was raised a United Methodist.  However, if I had to re-think my religion and study others, I agree philosophically with the Buddhists in a lot of respects.  One of the concepts I am a firm believer in is Karma.  (I also think cats are closer to Nirvana than the humans, but I’ll save that for another post at a later day.)

Karma is defined as the sum of one person’s actions, with some other stuff (like past lives’ actions, which in turn creates one’s future to some extent).  I don’t know if I believe in past lives, nor do I know if we go on other other lives after we leave Earth, but I definitely DO believe in Karmic Retribution, or the concept of–if you’re a good person, good will come back to you.  But, if you’re doing naughty things, Karmic Retribution will definitely hunt you down and bite you in the keister.

Such the case for me personally this week, where I must have been doing something right in order to avoid an epic-stage-bad-karmic situation.  I’m grateful that I had enough in my reserve in my account at the First Bank of Karmic Retribution to cover my own personal situation.  And while I know I was covered for this incident, I need to work really, really  hard to start making more deposits in said bank, so the next time I encounter an episode, Karma stays in the black on my side.

I’m writing a bit of a vague post, I know, and I certainly don’t need to go into the boring details about my own situation.  My point is this: make sure you’re not withdrawing too much in your own Karmic Bank Account.  Overdraft fees can be…egregiously high.

Have a great weekend!

My Favorite Things of 2016…Thus Far

screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-11-33-04-amAs I read around the internet this morning, all I can keep thinking about is Dickens’ opening line: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” T-minus one month before elections in this country, and there’s nothing but hate, vitriol, and indecency online, it seems.  It feels like the latter end of that opener to me this morning.

So, I want to turn this ship around.  Instead of joining the haters and the ugly, I want to flip this post and share with you some of my favorite things of 2016 thus far.  Ready?

Best book trend this year: Coloring books.  If you’re a reader of this blog, you know I love books.  But what I love even more than books is books you can make your own – stuff like Choose Your Own Adventure, or in this case…creating something unique from something else.  Coloring books allow you to do this.  And no matter what age you are, coloring books can be a fun, stress-free way to chase off negative energy.  Here’s the vid on our own STEM Princess coloring book.

Favorite adult book of 2016: Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, by Adam Grant.  There has been a bit of controversy over this book, but I don’t care.  It’s got some great ideas in it, and I found it fresh and inspiring (unlike the energy I’m seeing on most of the internet right now.)

Best talk I heard this year:  Bring on the Female Superheroes! by Christopher Bell. It’s over at TED. He’s right.  150% right.  350% right.

Best talk I gave this year: My talk on multipationals and the coming sea change in careers moving forward.  Slides are here.  I gave this talk to a couple hundred women at Women & Hi Tech this spring, and there were tons of great questions off of it.  While I still have a few talks left to go this year, I think this one will remain the most relevant to the future of work in this country, and you all know how much I love the future…

Best side project this year: Setting up the masterminds on pharmacy career development and writing/publishing.  This is something I tried in the past offline, but now thanks to Google+ hangouts, zoom, and slack, this is awesome to try online.

Best campaign: SXSW17 for the STEM princesses and children’s book projects, of course!  We find out Oct 18th if we are in…until then, THANK YOU ALL for your votes!

Best mentoring: for me this year was creating the Fellowship at Myers and Stauffer.  There is nothing better than creating a position where I can teach alongside parts of my work that I do every week.  It’s been a blast!  (And we are still taking applications for APPE rotations NEXT academic year at M&S and the fellowship for 2017-18 until November 15th – you can see both positions on my LinkedIn profile.

Best podcast show I heard: This is probably a 3 way tie between The Ask GaryVee Show, James Altucher, and Tim Ferriss, but all 3 dudes had interesting guests on, and answered interesting questions.  (Although, some of the content one of these 3 at times was not my cup of tea.  I won’t say which one right now, because I’m not falling into the haters’ trap that I mentioned above.)  I’m also going to be honest here and state that I’d like to hear more WOMEN podcast hosts in 2017 step up with interesting content moving forward.

Best podcast I co-hosted: I’m not done here yet over at The Pharmacy Podcast for the year, but thus far, I think the most professionally rewarding show was the 5 roads out of retail pharmacy miniseries.

Best article I read: I read a lot online.  But one of the stickiest articles I’ve read recently is this one, over at the Chronicle of Higher Education.  There are several reasons why, but let’s leave it at the point that I can relate with a lot of it.

Best article I wrote: The best article I’ve written this year has not been published yet, but it’s the first ever INTERACTIVE article I’ve written.  It compares fellowships vs. residencies for pharmacy majors, and it is coming out this fall over at Pharmacy Careers.  I actually created a quiz for the reader to take online to determine if she or he should try a residency, fellowship, a job or both out of school.  I’d never written an online quiz before, and while not scientific, I did have some of my pharmacist friends take it and it seemed to be pretty accurate.  Look for it this fall, pharmacy majors!

I hope this brings us back to the light side from the dark, even a smidge!

Women, Hi Tech and STEM

This weekend, I conducted my 6-month regular analysis of women in healthcare and positions at the helm. While data wasn’t all for naught, the advances women are making into the C-suites in the realm of pharmaceuticals and healthcare are not exactly at lightening speed, or any clock-able speed.  Here’s the data.

Alternatively, in Indiana this week, Women & Hi Tech is hosting their biennial Leading Light Awards.  And, emcee this year is none other than former Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann, (who, in my opinion, was the BEST thing that came out of the Pence administration–I wish she was running for Gov this cycle!  I digress.)  In my humble opinion, the nominees here are the bright future of Indiana’s innovation–they will be the leaders of tomorrow in STEM.  And, congrats to the winners!  (Also, shoutout to Christi Garcia of e-e-gineering for nominating me in the category of “You Inspire Us!” and…I won! Which also means I need to get back to work right after finishing this post…).


But, in this era of heated political debates, and not enough women in leadership positions–in healthcare, STEM, politics, media, and pretty much every other sector you can think of, I just want to hi-light this awesome ceremony here, and challenge the media to COVER this type of event, rather than spending every night focused on stuff that does not matter on the news–like sports, bickering politicians that don’t focus on the issues, and NOT showing the great diversity that makes our country great.  (If you need a picture that screams lack of diversity, particularly in Indiana, this one should do–I think there may be 2-3 women in it – but I can’t tell, since they don’t have a seat at the table.)

During the Indiana Gubernatorial debate the other night, I traded tweets with another person who is equally passionate about early education for Indiana and STEM, which I share, and which I personally think should be a focus in our campaigns this fall…and I challenged the twittersphere to the same challenge I’m giving the media above.  Why doesn’t our society focus on what really matters?

Until we do, I fear we’ll never be great again…

Challenge aside – CONGRATULATIONS to the nominees and winners, and especially to the student scholarship nominees!  Keep studying and doing what you’re doing, for tomorrow–hopefully–you’ll make better leaders than what we’re currently seeing and hearing.

And to the organizers at Women & Hi Tech – THANK YOU for focusing on the right stuff!



I’m still working over here.  Here are some updates of public documents I share with my peeps!

Healthcare Certifications for pharmacists and in healthcare – added a bunch!

Who’s at the helm in Healthcare? Sad to say, not many new women…

The Know Thyself Kit – added a couple of newer books out on how to help you get to your best you.

2016 Pharmacy Meetings – I’ll be heading to AMWA next week!

HIT List for Indiana – tracking health IT companies in Indiana. I’m surprised no one did this before…

Hope these help.

Seeking 1 Amazing Sponsor for Our Amazing #STEMPrincess4 Adventure!

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 5.27.36 PMHi:

I’m cranking out STEM Princess 4, among other books right now.

But, I’m not going to sugar coat it–I’d like to find at least 1 good sponsor to help me out for a print run of this new book in the series.

Here’s the deal – I don’t want to run a crowdfunding campaign on it because I have to hand over 1/2 the money to the platform owners, and frankly, they’re a TON of work – I’d rather channel the energy into making a great book!

Straight up – here’s what you get if you sponsor the printing, and there’s two different levels of sponsorship:

$1000 sponsor – I need 5 total at this level.  The 5 sponsors would share a two page spread for logos and ads inside the book, and each sponsor at this level would get 100 copies of the book.

$5000 sponsor – you’re it.  The whole, sole sponsor of the book. You get a 2-page spread for your logo or we can work with you on how you’d like your company logo to be part of the book.  You also get 525 copies to do with what you like!

That’s it. It’s that simple…and this is my plea.  If you’re serious about sponsoring the NEXT generation of girls engaging in STEM, email me.

Now, I’m going back to writing some books!

Going Way off the Blogging Grid…

Hi. I’m Erin. And I’ve been missing on the blog.

First, took a mini break this weekend to DC to see #NatBookFest.  It was interesting. Best part was Stephen King’s appearance, which I think was also on CSPAN Book TV.

I’m afraid to share that I’ll continue to be off the blog for a while.  There are way too other projects going on right now – but those I promise to keep you updated on as they roll out.

Fall Masterminders – your invites are in your inbox for writing and pharmacy careers for this fall.  I can’t wait to get started – and both have people who are in!

Also attending AMWA, ASPL and a few other local meetings this fall.

Cheers and happy fall!

Desk and Charitable Copy Requests of My Books

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 7.35.32 PMThese requests have been coming out of the woodwork lately, so I had to create a google form to capture, catalog and triage requests.  It’s here.  It’s also on the Square Store Page – in the “Donations” section.

Trust me, I wish I was independently wealthy enough to give away desk and charitable copies left and right, but I’m not quite there yet.  Please bear with me!


In an effort to broaden my horizons, I watched 2 radically different movies this weekend.

The first was Banksy Does New York – Banksy is a world-famous UK-based street graffiti artist who is also a bit of a mystery.  The doc focused on his 31 day residency of New York City a few years ago, and all the ‘hints’ via his social media channels on the location of the next art installation during his residency, and chasing that ensued during his random installations across the city.  What was most interesting was what happened AFTER people realized his art was installed somewhere – the removal of the art, the transformation of the art by other graffiti artists who thought Banksy sold out, etc., and the performance which actually became part of the art itself, really.  (And it also left me wondering about some art legal issues too – like, if Banksy left art on a building he didn’t own, who OWNED the art? Who owned the copyright in the art?  And, if it was removed, was it stolen?  Was it stolen if Banksy never said it was stolen?)

If the purpose of art is supposed to move you or get you to think, I think he definitely succeeded during his 31 day residency in NYC. Although, the mayhem that it caused was borderline ridiculous, considering the real challenges and problems in the world.  On the other hand, he actually made many political and social points while installing and scattering his art throughout the 5 boroughs.

The second movie, also a doc, Paycheck to Paycheck: the Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert was equally thought-provoking, but in a completely different way.  Here, we have a young mother of 3 kids, ill-educated (perhaps due in part to her marrying early?), with no healthcare insurance, making $9.49 an hour as a CNA, and doing her best to raise her family despite her own diagnosis of Graves’ Disease, and a former drug-addicted husband who lived in a different state at the beginning of the movie.  I’m not even going to try and sugar coat it, here: it looked bleak for her, particularly when she was trying to go back to school and get more education, and in particular when the kids had to give up their puppy.  I was exhausted for her just watching it.

The bright spot was Chambliss Child Care Center, which is a 24/7 center for kids who have working moms to help them with child care that is affordable.  Unfortunately, the waiting list for the center was crazy long at the end of the film.

One of the favorite games I like to play with my brain is trying to figure out how everything is connected, and I often think things show up in my universe at the same time for a reason.  But between these two films, the only thing I can see that is similar is the ridiculousness of both – in that the same energy put in to chasing some paint and street art seems incredibly wasted vs. putting more of our civic energy into helping more Katrina Gilberts in the world.  We’ll spend millions on street art, but we can’t seem to help working moms who are actually trying to better themselves with things like affordable child care and more education.

If Banksy is reading this, I challenge him to figure out a way to help the Chambliss Child Care Center, like he did for the second hand salvage store that donated to homeless/HIV patients at Housing Works in NYC in his film.  (I wouldn’t recommend fascism, however, as the vehicle by which he did it NYC.)  As for me, I’ll be making a donation to Chambliss as well.  For all of us, I challenge each to think about what we are channeling our energy into.  Is it something ridiculous?  More important, is there a way we can do better by our channeled energy to make the universe a better place?

That is all I have you for you on a Sunday morning.


There’s definitely a higher dose of crazy energy in the air this week, and no doubt I finally understood why when one of my friends posted over at the faceplace that it is both a full moon tonight AND an eclipse.

My horoscope (if you believe in that sort of stuff–I like input from a variety of sources) said that major change was coming for me in my career, a project or something epic today.  Why not on a Friday?

My point to you all – let’s keep it safe out there, but open-minded.  Maybe something interesting is headed our way that we never even considered before?

And, if nothing else, the weekend is almost here!

Let’s Fall into Masterminding!

fall-autumn-red-seasonThis fall, I’m going to start up another mastermind group.

What is a mastermind group? Well, there are definitions that differ.  Here’s one, here’s another, and here’s 7 reasons to join a mastermind group.

While I don’t complete agree with the 2 definitions I’ve given above, they’re close.

The only thing I’m not completely sure on yet for the fall mastermind is the THEME.  On the Google form I created, you may choose from the following topics as themes for a mastermind:

Those differ pretty widely, but I think it would be cool to mastermind in any of those topics.

My goal is to start in October, but it depends upon interest, topic, etc.

So, what are you waiting for? Go fill out the Google form and let me know what you’d like to mastermind on this autumn – we can ‘fall’ into it together!

#6 on Saturday – FOMO!

rainI just sent out the #6onSaturday email to my fab 14 fans.  In this email, I’m previewing a bunch of stuff I’m thinking about or working on BEFORE it goes out to the masses, in most if not all cases.

If you have a fear of missing out, put your email address over to the top left slot of this blog just below the twitter feed so you don’t miss my little nuggets of inspiration or know what shenanigans I’m up to before it’s unleashed upon the universe.  (It’s always nice to have a heads up on big stuff before it happens!)

To the fab 13/14 who just got the email blast – THANKS for daring to crawl inside of my head and being part of my brain on random Saturday mornings!

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life…And the Last Day to Vote for SXSW!

9/5/16 – Labor Day – is the LAST day to vote for SXSW!  So, here is my final plea to vote thumbs up for:

Color Me STEAMED: panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/60048

Get Lit: panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/59975

Here’s the video thanks for many of you who already voted!

5 Alternative Work Weeks

ClockI learned one big idea personally from the #5RoadsOutofRetail miniseries I co-hosted for the Pharmacy Podcast, and I thought Labor Day weekend was the best time to share it, which is this:

all of us aren’t working 9-5, M-F, 40 hour work weeks anymore.  Yay!

I like this idea a lot, because the 40-hour work week has been something that has been bugging me a long time.  It seems so…arbitrary.  And I roll my eyes every time anyone says they are working insane hours for other employers, rather than creating at least something of their own part time on the side (putting all your employment eggs in 1 basket as ONE stream if income is super dangerous these days.)  Yes, whomever you are working for at the time you should be giving your all to – but that should also include some time for YOU to build your own thing each week too!

BTW, thanks to Henry Ford for the 40-hour work week (and I say that somewhat crassly.  But in his defense, he got it down from a 48-hour work week.)

And what if you can get your work done in LESS than 40 hours? Why are we obsessed with time-based work rather than results-oriented work?  Where is the reward for getting your work done efficiently and ahead of time?

So, I wanted to explore this a little more in a post, since I’ve been seeing and hearing it more lately. Here are a few places I clocked it around the ‘net:

1. Of course, Tim Ferris has the age-old classic, The 4-Hour Work Week.

2. Amazon is going to a 30-hour work week.  Although it’s at 75% salary, it appears they are keeping full benefits.

3. Redesign your work day to start at 5 am – not sure I could rock this, but it’s another option!

4. Pitching…and Getting the 32-Hour work week (this, BTW, is the work week I’m on currently….and I love it!)  And, here’s a school system that’s experimenting (out of necessity), on a 4-day school week.

5. The most productive formula? A 3-day, 25-hour work week.  (But I’m not sure that one will cut it in the US for benefits…)

An Open Letter to the Editors of Girls’ Life

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 7.21.33 AMDear Editors of Girls’ Life Magazine:

A serious &*%$! storm of anger hit my Facebook feed today when I shared this photo, which was forwarded to me by another friend who knows I’m passionate about engaging girls in STEM education.  (Clearly, I have more work to do with the STEM Princess series.)

While my book series focuses on girls ages 5-9, and that’s not your key demographic for your magazine, I respectfully am glad I never read your magazine as a girl.  If I did, I might not have chosen a STEM career.  I might not have gone to graduate school, or started my own businesses, and wrote several other books in addition to the STEM Princess series. Instead, I’d be tackling the hard work of brushing my hair, figuring out fall fashion, and how to be pretty for the opposite sex.

I have had the blessing, luck and opportunity to know many women who ARE pretty…pretty curious, pretty amazing, pretty fantastic and pretty educated.  They are also pretty awesome!  They’re also women in STEM who are changing the world one company, project and volunteer engagement at a time.  (Two examples below – the magnificent Kristin Eilenberg of Lodestone Logic speaking at Troop #1887 in Hamilton County, IN on STEM careers, and Mandi Bishop Myers on getting more women engaged in HIT on the Pharmacy Podcast, here.)KristinEilenbergBrownieTalkHamiltonCounty

If you’d like me to share my list of pretty awesome women in STEM to help the next generation of girls be what they can see in your magazine, just email me and I’ll be happy to give you a list of pretty amazing women who are actually changing the world to feature in your magazine.  Better yet, I’d be happy to write a column for it.  That is, as long as I don’t have to write about hair, fashion or chasing boys…


Erin Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD, Esquire
Chief #STEMPrincess

P.S. Here’s an alternative that moms may want to consider, although I personally haven’t seen a copy of it, Kazoo.

The Final Countdown on SXSW: We NEED YOUR VOTE!

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 7.35.32 PMIt’s the final week for @SXSW 2017 #panelpicker voting – and I need ALL HANDS ON DECK here….!  If you voted for our 2 panel pickers, THANK YOU!  If not, I need you to please drop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and go vote thumbs up for the two following panel pickers:




And, OK, I’ll give you my own David Letterman top 10 list for reasons why you SHOULD vote for our two panel pickers on or before 9/2/16 – ready?

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Vote for these 2 Panel Pickers before 9/2/16:

10. Because we can get more adults interested in STEM at SX, which in turn can get more kids interested in STEM.

9. We could see a teleporter, a flying hovercraft in our lifetimes.

8. We can help teach other teachers how to help students learn how to write and publish books, so there will be even more and better books out there to help educate the next generation on public health topics.

7. Because I said so. (OK, that’s playing a parent card, I know, but I’m running out of reasons.)

6. Because = more STEM pros = more drones, and the possibility of never, ever having to step into another grocery or retail store again. Ever.

5. Because personalized medicine, and only having to have one pill that contains everything we ever need in one dose, courtesy of a future STEM superstar.

4. Because personalized chemotherapy, and only having the chemo target the tumor cells, not making a cancer patient sick or lose their hair via a STEM superstar who invents and hones targeted chemotherapy for the cancer cells only.

3. Because aerospace, and discovering the final frontier and if we are not alone in the universe.

2. Because solar energy, water preservation and cleanliness can both be waaaay better.

1. Because we can always, always improve the world in which we live.

5 Super Useful Items of Late

In an era where it’s easy to complain about stuff that doesn’t work (I myself threw down some massive frustration with a government website this weekend as just one example…) it’s nice to pause and instead discuss things that are actually useful and DO help.

These are items that have proven super useful to me of late, of which I am grateful for:

1. The Wayback Machine – When you want to see your company’s very FIRST website back in 1991, or when you’re looking for something at a website that is no longer there.  This sweet little site can just save the day!

2. Rhymezone.com - No, not for cheating at Words with Friends, but to actually write stuff that rhymes!

3. Hopper - This is an app that helps you keep your eyes on flight fares.  If I could only get this for clothes, hotels, and other items…my life would be easier.

4. YouTube – This was 100% straight up my teacher on creating the STEM Princess coloring book movie trailer this weekend.  Chances are, if I didn’t use it, I’d STILL be sitting in front of my macbook in iMovie shouting vulgarities.

5. My Canon Vixia HF G10 – On my old macbook, I had to buy some software and transfer video clips over through it in order to then be able to edit in iMovie.  With my new macbook, however, someone fixed that problem, so it makes uploading and editing video WAY easier.

If you get frustrated, I get it.  Maybe just pause and think of a few things you’re grateful for instead, and that may return you to a Zen-like state.

At least for a second…

Check out the #STEMPrincess3 Video Short

We know how to rock a Friday night.

Check out this video we put together on the #STEMPrincess series – specifically coloring book beta, (book 3).  Caution: it’s cool.

Better yet – get the book yourself, color some pages, and put it up on social with the hash tag of our SXSW campaign – #ColorMeSTEM and/or #ColorMeSTEAMED! (Vote for our panel picker, please: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/60048.)

The 5 Roads out (and in) of Retail Pharmacy: An Update

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 9.51.12 AMEPIC love on the 5 roads out of retail pharmacy miniseries we’ve been cooking up for our pharmacy friends over at the pharmacy podcast.

It’s been AWESOME putting together an all-star line up of professionals to help my pharmacists out there live their best career lives.

If you didn’t hear the episodes, here they are:

Part 1 – Pete the Planner, on Money  - and don’t forget Pete’s deal just for you, starting Sept 6!
Part 2 – Hazel Walker, on Networking
Part 3 – Tony Guerra, on how he worked the other 3 points in the article to his ideal gig
Part 4 – Yours truly, I’ll talk about the very humbling experience of going over to pharma post retail, then my hops back to retail & where I’m going to turn the tables and put the Fellow on as a co-host!
Part 5 – We answer ALL questions from the audience with a recap show – if you have questions, please tweet them to @ErinLAlbert or @pharmacypodcast, or both.  (You can PM me too if you don’t want the world to know your question.)

On part 4, I’m going to park my show notes and career path here for it – because it’s a bit complicated.

And yes, since it feels kind of bad to encourage some to leave retail pharmacy, I’m also committed to creating the NEXT miniseries on….5 Roads in to LOVING Your Retail Pharmacy Career!  Right now, I have the shell of the parts I want to discuss in an article, a few of the people I’d like to interview on this in mind, but we still need a sponsor for this mini series.  If you’re interested in sponsoring it, let me know.


Loving my Haters…and My Friends

Ya gotta love the haters.  One of them recently posted that one of my Pharmacy Podcasts sounded like an “infomercial.”

Friends, let me tell you–I took that one personally, because I work my *$$ off to bring the very best content I can to the podcast in order to help pharmacists get their biggest, best careers on.

Thankfully, I also have amazing friends.  One of my friends also helped me out on the podcast.  Pete the Planner was the guest on episode 1 of the 5 part mini series, The 5 Roads out of Retail Pharmacy at the podcast.  He discussed the first road out of retail – managing your money.

We all have hangups about money.  And, most of us also like to spend it.  But because Pete is cool as he is, he passed along a deal and discount for fans of this blog and fans of the Pharmacy Podcast below, which is on his new class about – making YOU a millionaire.

That may sound “infomercial”-like, but it’s really not.  Just like I want to help pharmacists find their best careers, Pete genuinely wants to help people achieve financial independence.

So, I’m going to give you the discount code and 411 to his upcoming live class below, beginning Sept 6.  And hey – when you do achieve millionaire status, DON’T FORGET THE LITTLE PEOPLE!!!  Especially…THE HATERS.


Pete the Planner says you have to be a millionaire. No, really.  It’s just math.

Hoping to be a millionaire doesn’t exactly work. Because hope is a bad financial planning strategy.

Don’t believe in hope. Believe in math. Math tells us most people can become a millionaire. Reality tells us that hope is why most people don’t.

The Million Dollar Plan shows you exactly how to become a millionaire, and more importantly, exactly how to remain a millionaire. It it NOT a get rich quick scheme or a scam, it’s simply a long term plan.

Pete’s 4 week LIVE training course starts September 6th. Signup at PeteThePlanner.com/MDP use coupon code: PHARM for $100 off the course.


5 Roads to LOVING Your Community Practice Pharmacy Career

heartOk, I’m starting to feel a bit…guilty.

In writing an original post, then creating a 5-part mini series about the 5 Roads out of Retail Pharmacy, I’m worried that I may appear to be discounting or even trashing retail pharmacy.

I’m not.


I learned a LOT of valuable lessons about managing people and caring for patients through my various retail pharmacy practice experiences.  I also learned a lot of soft skills through those experiences as well – like patience, fortitude, endurance, creativity and problem-solving – that I never would have learned inside a classroom.

So, I’m going to propose that I do this.  I’m going to write 5 Ways to LOVE your Community Practice Pharmacy Career, right here, right now.  I’m going to include ideas that I employed during my retail pharmacy times that helped increase my personal job satisfaction, or that others have employed, and hopefully it will in turn help you, if you’re in pharmacy, healthcare, or maybe even any profession.


5 Roads Into Loving your Retail Pharmacy Career:

1. Own it – why not own your own store?  It’s becoming a reality for many pharmacists these days.  Shout out to one of the wholesalers in particular who helps pharmacy owners take their businesses and their professions to the next level.  Many pharmacists long to be their own bosses.  In fact, back in the day, EVERY pharmacist was a business owner, because there were no pharmacy chains.  So, if you’re going to be in it to win it, why not own it?  I’ve never owned a pharmacy, but I acted like an owner when I was the pharmacist in charge of my first pharmacy – so “ownership” doesn’t need to be literal–it can be a mindset here too!

2. Niche it – I have a friend in retail (large chain) who created a really interesting niche for herself in community practice pharmacy, which led her to meeting the US Surgeon General!  There are pharmacies (yes, even in chains) that specialize different areas of pharmacy practice.  So, even if you work in a huge chain, ask yourself the following: what are my passions within this profession?  Also, ask your CUSTOMERS what their needs are as well.  Do you have an older population, a younger/new family population, or something else? Find and fill their needs, and in doing so, you may just have created yourself an amazing career corner in practice!  Even better – once you become the “go to” guy or gal, can you help train others about it in your company?  Who does compounding in your neck of the woods? If everyone is a hot potato with it, why not own it and run with it?  What about wellness?  What about preventative care?

3. Get out of the fishbowl – Just like Hazel Walker described this week on the Pharmacy Podcast, you need to build a network inside the profession of pharmacy and OUTSIDE.  That INCLUDES networking in your local community, with the patients you serve.  My first couple of pharmacy experiences had me surrounded by glass around the pharmacy – so we used to joke that sometimes, we needed to “get out of the fishbowl.”  Examples of this: could you get out into the community and discover nursing homes that need adherence packaging for their patients that you could help with?  Is there an acute facility in a rural setting that could use your pharmacy’s help?  Do you have a hospice program in your community you could partner with?  If you’re the new kid on the block, why not get out and say hi to the doctors in your local community?  Get out of the fishbowl and investigate!

4. Step up – Volunteer. Do extra work. Show upper management that you want to train/teach/beta test/write/speak/ manage/help/recruit others and grow within your company or chain.  Be the liaison between your pharmacy school alma mater and your chain.  Take students on rotation and precept. The more you do and do well, the more you’ll get noticed, which is critical if you want to move up in the company you’re working within.

5. Play nice with others – This is a combo of all the 4 previous steps, but ask yourself how you and your pharmacy business can play nicely with others.  Is there a visiting nurse service you could partner with in the community?  Is there a way you could organize a community task force for disaster relief if, God forbid, something happens to your community?  What about a tox away day? Can you set up a phone tree with other pharmacists to prevent theft and diversion in pharmacy?  What can you do with strong non profits in your area that would help the community?  Can you bring the community IN to your pharmacy to hang out and be a spot of joy and hope for your neighborhood, instead of another icky task they have to check off of their list?  Ask yourself one more time what your strengths are, and how you can add them to your world around you to create a better retail pharmacy world. Maybe that’s through a broader, interprofessional pathway that could lead you to feeling FANTASTIC about your career of pharmacy.

After all, you picked a great profession!  The sky is the limit….!


Taking the #STEMPrincess Advisory Board Challenge 1: Find Women of Earth in STEM

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 8.32.19 AMOne of the items we discussed at the STEM Princess Advisory Board this past week was showing more REAL WORLD EARTH WOMEN in STEM.  I totally agree with this.  So, this morning I challenged myself (after my ad board challenged me) to head over to Youtube to see if I could find real women of Earth doing the gigs that each of the 20 STEM Princesses do over at planet STEM.  Game on!

A few of my results are below.  If you want the entire spreadsheet of real world STEM Princesses of Earth, I hope you’re an owner of the first STEM Princess book, because they’re all in the google doc/resource guide, which has a link to it on the back cover of the first STEM Princess book.  (If you have the book and the URL, it’s on page 2 of the google document.)  So, this one in its entirety is for the loyal and original fans of this series!

Please note: the women I’m about to share don’t endorse the STEM Princess project, necessarily – I just wanted to link up amazing women doing the STEM jobs in the real world so girls everyone CAN BE WHAT THEY CAN SEE.  If anyone objects to the links below who are the video owners of the women’s footage below, tell me and I’ll remove the link…but I hope that is not the case.


STEM Princess                   Gig                             Real Woman of Earth Rocking the Gig

Abigail                    Aerospace Engineering              Cady Coleman at the international space station

Bella                               Bioinformatics                     Wendy Kan at Genentech

Fiona                           Forensic Scientist                  Prof. Jeni Smith, Penn State University

Grace                   Geophysicist/Seismologist          Dr. Charlotte Keen, Canada

Harper           Hazardous Materials/Toxicology     Valerie Meyers, Toxicology at NASA

I found many others.  This was an interesting study.  But I will tell you that I didn’t have much to choose from in all of the fields.

So, if you’re a woman in STEM, I’m going to challenge YOU like the ad board challenged me: to tell your story, preferably often and preferably online…so that women around planet Earth can be what they can see!


Your Career: Not A One-Way Street

onewayI already lamented this to my fab 14 with my email blast to them and them only (you can sign up over to the left <- if you want to be in the know first), but it’s something worth expanding upon…because it’s about you and your career, and you’re always worth discussing!

Careers are no longer a one-way street.  You don’t just go to high school, get into the best college, get a job, work there for 40 years, retire, and go off into the sunset.  That used to be the easy path, and what the majority of US workers did.

The good news and bad news is that it is a lot more complicated than that now.

What I mean by this I’ve previously discussed in Multipationals, but I don’t think I went to the full limits that I should have in that book about this topic.  Now, you have to think about your career as a 5-way intersection, with some streets being 2 way, and others one way.  And let’s throw in a roundabout here too.  You should, if you’re smart, have a portfolio of careers.  You should have a full or near full time gig, a part time gig or two, and one of those things on the side should be your very own.

In less than 4 years from now, 40% of us will be in this type of career path, where it’s a range of gigs, with different groups and tribes and employers, and in different lengths and durations.  You may or may not be considered a W2, a 1099 or if long enough, converting from one to the other as your relationship with some employers.

The hard part, I think, is coming up with the ideal career portfolio mix for YOU and where you are in your life at the time.  How much time per week do you want or need to work in your primary job? Do you get bored? Do you thrive with variety? How much variety? Then, what and how do you want to work – from home? In a space with others? Does it geographically matter where you work?

The career portfolio is really hard to rock well at this point, since there appears to be little direction on how, exactly to come up with a precise or ideal mix of career gigs for an individual.  I’ll tell you straight up that colleges aren’t training or inspiring most students to prepare for this change, either.

I’ll end by asking – if you have a portfolio career, and you’re happy with it – how did you come up with the right formula for you? Was it trial and error? Did you have a mentor guide you to your ideal mix? Did you straight up get lucky? I’d welcome your comments…


Just for the Fab 14: #6OnSaturday

I have 13 14 fans. (I upped it one after I saw responses from my boss me around campaign.  Thanks again if you gave me some food for thought there.)

The Fab 14 are awesome. And fabulous.

And since they’ve been my loyal cheerleaders and fans since this tiny blog started, I’ve decided to give them my best stuff exclusively moving forward.

On random Saturdays, I’ll be inboxing the #Fab14 a new little ditty I’m calling #6OnSaturday.  It shall be henceforth 6 little gems or nuggets of the best stuff I see on the net, stuff I’ve been pondering, or new projects I’m working on – BEFORE THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE GETS IT.

So, if you want to be #15, you might want to put your email address in the box over <- there and sign up.

First official #6onSaturday drops tomorrow.

XOX, my Fab 14!

The Thrill of Victory, and the Agony of Defeat

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 7.21.33 AMOlympics time!  Yeah – remember that line at the beginning of a major network’s sports opening?  (If you’re too young and don’t, you did not grow up at the optimal time, I’m sorry.)  And if you did, do you remember that horrible skiing accident and the dumbbell dude lifting the weights like a baller?

That was me yesterday.  Not so much on the skiing and the weight lifting (in fact, me doing either of those would probably be an excellent set up for a comedy), but mentally that was me.  I had bad news and good.

The bad news: no moving forward with HSN.  Worst part: I don’t know why the #STEMPrincess series was rejected from HSN.  Timeline?  Cost?  I just don’t know.  It was a disappointment, to say the least.

The great news: the first #STEMPrincess Advisory Board met!  I literally have a pile of 200 sticky notes with ideas, but I also have the next golden ticket item that I’ll be pursuing around this 3 book series, thanks to the ladies of this board, who all were inspiring and passionate about helping out.

So…as you have your own thrills of victory and agonies of defeat, I just wanted to share a few with you this week of my own.  Because NOTHING drives me more nuts than the wantpreneurs out there making it look sooooo easy to make millions of bennies.  It’s just not that easy.  The hustle/struggle is hard, and real.  Hopefully, you’ll have some people who have your back, as I and my #STEMPrincesses do now!

Cheers – and can you help a girl out by up voting my two panel pickers for SXSW next spring? http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/60048 and http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/59975. Thanks!


Upvote and Help the STEM Princesses Make it to SXSW17!

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STEM Princesses are packing it up for SXSW 2017 – the only part missing is YOUR UPVOTE to get them there!


Ok, let the craziness begin! From now (8/8/16) until 9/2/16, I need all hands on deck to help me get the #STEMPrincesses over to SXSW17 this year, and get the children’s book projects to SXSWedu.

This is where you come in, my fab 14! A big chunk of weeding through the thousands of proposals and actually presenting at SXSW is having a good online turnout of upvotes.

So, I’d like to ask you, sometime between now and 9/2, if you’ve even received a SHRED of decent help or advice from this blog or my talks or books over the past decade, please do me a HUGE SOLID and upvote these two discussions over at the SXSW panel picker:

1. Upvote The STEM Princess Project: 


2. Upvote The Children’s book series:


3. If you want to go the distance, tweet or post your friends to do the same. I owe you one if you can help me with this, really!  We’ve really got to get the ideas in these children’s books out into a wider audience, because YOU CAN BE WHAT YOU CAN SEE!!!! THANKS, everyone!

Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

In your current day job, do you know how to do EVERYTHING that you do STONE COLD, 100% all-the-way?  Could you do your job blindfolded, with one hand tied behind your back?

If so, then you should be afraid.  VERY AFRAID.

The only thing that keeps us advancing our skills and becoming more valuable in the marketplace these days is constant, continuous learning.  So, are you learning in your day job?

Even if you have your current job 80% mastered or more…you really should think about how you can move into another direction and start gaining more knowledge. Quickly.

If not, think about the best buggy whip manufacturer of the past.  Or typewriter maker.  Or quill producer.  I’m sure they were great at what they did, but I’m also sure that 99% of them went out of business.

The new comfort is being uncomfortable.  Get cozy with the growth and learning and being OK with saying, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.” Because if you’re too comfortable, you’ll be the best quill, buggy whip or typewriter maker of 2016…


Connect Where YOU’d Like!

Where would you like to connect?  I’m making this post just for my email footer (AKA the mini bill board) so we can connect in ways that are meaningful for YOU!  Ready?

Myers and Stauffer the first 4 days per week: http://www.mslc.com
Books: http://www.erinalbert.com/books.php
Blog: http://erinalbert.com/blog/
Co-host of the Pharmacy Podcast: http://pharmacypodcast.com
Pharmacy Times/Pharmacy Careers Column: http://tinyurl.com/EAPharmacyTimes
Inside Indiana Business: http://tinyurl.com/eaatIIB
Snail mail: PO Box 335, Fishers, IN 46038 (my favorite)

Other social media connection points:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erinalbert
Twitter: @ErinLAlbert @pharmllc @yuspie
Hash Tags I believe in: #STEMPrincess #Multipationals #SMDames16
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erinalbert/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/112647329320037673730/posts
Medium: https://medium.com/@erinalbert
Anchor: @ErinLAlbert
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ea6603/
Faceplace: https://www.facebook.com/elalbert
Snapchat: @ea6603 (I freely admit that I have no idea what I’m doing here…)

EM Forester said, “Only connect!” I liked his style.

Another Educational Angle for Pharmacists: Teaching and Learning Certificates

Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 9.39.42 AMAs I continue the #5RoadsOutofRetailPharmacy series for the Pharmacy Podcast, one item on education I didn’t even think of right away that might be useful (without a 5 figure price tag), is a teaching or teaching and learning certificate program.

These were originally designed for residents and fellows to learn to how to…shockingly, teach and formalize learning for other pharmacy students, in preparation for the residents to teach in the classroom and outside the classroom as a preceptor.

However, there is value in all pharmacists considering these programs to enhance their knowledge and skill sets.

So, I have begun tracking the teaching and learning certificate programs that I am aware of on the pharmacist and healthcare certifications tracker.  Scroll all the way down to the bottom and you’ll see a few.  If you know of others, by all means, tweet me at @ErinLAlbert and I’ll add them to the list.

It’s About to Get Obnoxious Up in Here…

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 8.32.19 AM…she’s on her STEM princess bandwagon again….(not that she ever stepped off).

But my friends, I’m about to get obnoxious with my asks this coming month, but I’m also going to  need YOUR help from 8/8-9/2.  I’m trying to get the #STEMPrincess project in to SXSWedu in 2017.

SX, if you are not familiar, is the holy grail of cool meetings.  Apps are usually kicked off there.  Authors give away advanced copies of their NEXT book projects at this event.  It’s the FUTURE, TODAY – which you all know I LOVE to be in the middle of!

So, in order to weave through the morass of 4600 other panels submitted for talks at SXSW, I’m going to call on you, my Fab 14 friends, to help me VOTE and spread the word on the Panel Picker for SXSW with the STEM Princess project!

Help Erin Get the STEM Princesses to SXSW17:

Step one: You have to register with SXSW in order to be able to vote.  Here’s where to register.

Second: I’ll send links to the 2 panel pickers I’ve submitted and put them in this post when I have them. Here they are:




Third: VOTE. Voting my the crew counts for 30% of the final decision on getting selected.  So I’m really, REALLY going to need your help in stepping up here.

Fourth: SPREAD THE WORD.  If you vote, then I’m going to ask you to pass it on to 3 other friends to have them vote.  The only way we’re going to get girls talking STEM at SX is to create the only presence NOW.

That’s it for now.  But I’ll go ahead and apologize in advance for the posts/tweets and groveling between 8/8-9/2.  Remember–I’m doing it for the NEXT generation of girls to turn into STEM rockstars.  Even though the bandwagon may be loud and squeaky, YOU CAN BE WHAT YOU CAN SEE!

An Analysis of…Bossing Me Around…

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So, tonight, for the first time, I took a peek at the back end of my boss me around portal.  (I’ll be closing it at the end of the weekend - so hurry and don’t miss out on this rare opportunity! Those who know me well also know I rarely ever open the suggestion box like this!)



Here are my observations thus far on the feedback from the form:

1. Wow.  Didn’t know so many of you actually watched what was going on over here!  I’ll go ahead and up the number of 13 fans to the fab 14 now…I think that number is safe to elevate.  And people I haven’t ever even met have left super thoughtful, inspiring comments.  Thank you!

2. For all of you who told me to relax: uh…why do you think I removed one gig?  That IS relaxing!
P.S. Alberts have two speeds: 1. ON and 2. OFF.  Yoga don’t go for this girl.  Tried it–and I freely admit, I can’t shut the monkey mind up.  I’ll continue coping.

(But the ‘meet me for coffee and a donut’ sounds good!)

3. For the person who wanted me to download and test the sports app–seriously?  (I’ll chalk this one up to spam.)

4. Thanks for the book and podcast suggestions. I’ll see what I can do.

Top ideas or topics to write about:

a. Time management is a topic you all want me to write about.  Hmm…I really don’t think about that one much, but maybe I should, since several of you mentioned it.  But, let me also just say that I don’t have a ‘regular adult life’ in this regard, either.  I’m not married.  I don’t have kids.  And, I have the rare help at home with my parents.  So, I’m not sure I can clearly be an authority figure on this, since I don’t fit the traditional ‘adult’ mold here.  (Although, I’m not quite sure there’s even a traditional adult mold anymore, either.)  If you’re married and juggle kids, GOD BLESS YOU, because that’s not something I do on a regular basis and not a level of time management I can speak to with any level of authority, so I’m not sure I’m the best person to rock this whole time management thing…? Hmm.

b. The other topic along these lines – work/life balance.  Here’s my thought on this: there is no balance.  You give your energy to the stuff that matters to you at the point in time you need to, period.  If that’s your family in the moment, then that is your focus.  If that’s your work, then work is your focus.  Balance is BS.  To think that it all “balances” out like a teeter totter is ridiculous.  Deal. (Yes, I’m tough love over here.)

c. Last, hard work and success.  Yeah, this one I could probably write about – in that while I don’t really feel “successful,” (at least not yet), I can and do work hard.  Although, a couple of my mentors have now mentioned that I work TOO hard.

That’s lovely in theory, but I also feel like women have to work twice as hard to get half the credit that men do in work and in life.  There, I said it.  So, I will continue to hustle and grind it out over here, because I’m a single woman.  It’s all on me–and if it’s to be, it’s all and only up to me.

Also, there’s a lot of wantpreneurs running around out there trying to make it look easy on social.  Look–of all the difficult things I’ve done in my life, one of the top 3 still to this day is starting a business, I just do it on the side, and I’ve owned my businesses for over a decade now!  Making things happen and building something from nothing is really hard, stressful and difficult work.  The highs are exhilarating, and the lows are SSRI-grabbing.  This is why so much of my writing has focused on real entrepreneurs, BECAUSE it’s so hard–and we should be CELEBRATING these hustlers!

Hard work, duly noted.  Success? Maybe later.

(BTW – still looking for 3 great stories with pharmacists in these situations for the podcast…if you can help a girl out.)

5.  In closing, I’ll leave you with my favorite quote left on the boss me around page, which is the following:

“I really enjoyed working with you at Butler. They are losing an awesome and overly productive professor ;). I wish you the best of luck! I can’t wait to see what comes of your new adventure.”

Adventure it already is…and will be over the coming months.

Stay tuned…and thanks again for all the comments. (Except the sports app.)

What Should I Do With My Career? One Simple Test

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 11.56.43 AMAs I’ve shared several times, I love to catch up on my online (and offline) reading on Sundays. I typically go to places around the inter webs I don’t normally travel on Sundays.

Such was the case this morning, when I stumbled onto this deep and interesting article from Cosmopolitan, which discussed what to do if you don’t yet have a dream job. In particular, I really liked bullet #1. What are your messages asking you?

Along with straight up asking the universe what I should be doing through an experiment, I’ve also been experimenting with Anchor over the past few months, and picking 1 question each week that I’m asked, then, answering it over online through Anchor. So, I went back to my blog post on what questions I’ve answered, then plugged the questions into a word aggregator. My personal questions are in the photo aggregated in this post above. So, it appears I should be writing about, discussing and sharing information about:

I’m less about the stuff I’m interested in here, and more about helping YOU unearthing what the universe is asking YOU more about through this simple technique, so you can move on to doing what you do best!

Go forth and try this exercise…ring up your voicemail. See what the universe is phoning in.  Scan through your inbox. Plug in those keywords for a visual at wordle or other sites if you need or want to. Do you see anything that surprises you? If so, maybe try to get more of that into your life…you could just very well stumble upon the work that is your highest calling…and maybe even make some money doing it, too!



Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 11.30.46 PMThis is going to be a long post, but it’s important, and it’s been a big, crazy week, and it’s still not over!

Flew over to Anaheim to AACP to pick up an award for our 21 Flavors CE Program, and display a super cool poster on BU Well for innovations in teaching.

Then, found out we’re still in the cue/queue for possibly appearing on HSN‘s American Dreams show with the #STEMPrincess project, WOOT!

But, believe it or not, none of that is my biggest news of the week–exciting as that all is.  Here’s my biggest news of the week, maybe even the past 10 years for me, which is the following:

Just 2 days shy of a decade, I am departing from Butler University as an associate professor.  My last day with Butler this second time around is July 28th.  (My first time around, of course, was after 5 years as a student in the pharmacy program.)

Many thanks to my manager, Dr. Julie Koehler and Dean Pat Chase, for taking a chance on me back when academia was never really even in the picture for my career. Thanks to many of YOU as well for your inspiration, teaching, sharing and collaborating with my students and me over the past decade as well!   I’ve had the tremendous privilege to serve BU and start many really cool, innovative projects during my second tour—like:

Over the past year, I’ve also been fortunate enough to work both for Butler and Myers and Stauffer (as my clinical site within pharmacy practice).  While I love serving both organizations, my workload at Butler never decreased when I began with Myers last August.  While I knew what I was signing up for at the time as a 1.4 FTE (after all, I created this crazy proposal!), what I discovered about myself during this past year is that even I have limits, believe it or not.

Yes, Erin Albert has limits.  You heard it here first.

In an effort to keep my health (and sanity) intact earlier this summer, I proposed to work closer to full time for Myers and Stauffer (4 days/wk) and work part time for Butler, shedding some, but not all BU responsibilities. Myers and Stauffer graciously accepted this proposal—yay!  Unfortunately, my proposal did not work out with BU.

But, in my own failed negotiation lies a gift: one free day each week to explore the NEXT erinalbert-isms I should or could be working on.

So, my fab 13 readers, what should I do with this gift of a day per week moving forward?  Of course, I have a million ideas to fill each gift of one day per week, (working on #STEMPrincess project more, writing other books, more crazy crowdfunding, speaking gigs, etc.) but I’m curious what you think!  I know I have a brilliant, amazing and creative network of friends with a panoply of great ideas.

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 5.05.48 AMI’m going to leave you with a Google form: http://tinyurl.com/OneDay4e for you to tell me what you think I should do on that free day each week.*  Maybe you’ve got an idea you think I’d be great at that I never even considered before.

Please complete the form if you have ideas, or want to chat about important, passionate work; you all know that as a pharmacist, attorney, entrepreneur, mentor, writer and STEM advocate, I love supporting these professions and causes, as well as many others.  I’m learning about podcasting, livestreaming, SQL, training & development, brand building for the #STEMPrincess franchise, coding and always…writing.

And even though I may be leaving Butler for now, know that they can never, EVER, take the Butler out of the girl!  #GoDawgs

I am excited and feeling very lucky about THIS NEW AMAZING ADVENTURE!!!! 

(*Of course, always keeping in mind that my one-day gift work could never conflict with my work at Myers and Stauffer.)

Who are you, where you are?

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 9.59.15 AMI got interviewed this week for how writing fits into building one’s brand.  I hate the term “brand,” because we’re PEOPLE, not brands….but that being said, I started thinking about who I am on different social media channels.

For example, over at Instagram, I tend to post a lot about books, quotes, flowers, occasional travel, and cats (it fits my crazy cat lady persona). At my personal twitter account, I talk pharmacy law and entrepreneur (and of course #STEMPrincess) stuff. At my pharm twitter account, I talk pharmacy professional stuff and more #STEMPrincess info, along with the question of the week anchor posts.  At yuspie, I talk entrepreneurship and generational data.

At LinkedIn, I stick to work and career development topics.

At Faceplace, most of my individual books have a page,  but on my personal page pretty much anything goes.

I’m playing with medium.

At pinterest, I have over 60 boards.  Lord help me.

The bottom line – think about where you are, and who you are on those channels? Do they match? Do you care? Some social media gurus say you should discuss a couple of seemingly random, fun things you care about in addition to the serious stuff you care about and work on in in your life. Not sure if that’s right, or even if I’m doing it right…but it’s fun to pause and think about….

#STEMPrincesses and #Girlpower: Onward!

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 6.51.53 AMEnergized by the girl #Ghostbusters power and the newly formed #STEMPrincess advisory board, I wanted to post a happy Friday update on some really cool action around getting more girls engaged in STEM education:

1. We have submitted the #STEMPrincess Trilogy to HSN’s show, American Dreams for consideration this week!  This is a show where HSN helps great product innovators share their work.  Super pumped about this so we can show there are actual products available to engage more girls in STEM education.  LOVE!  I also understand NBC is starting a show too, which is great, because we need more REAL entrepreneurs on television.  After all, you can be what you can see, and in this era of a lot of garbage floating around the media, it’s great to see those hard at work toiling to make the world a better place!

2. The first meeting of the amazing team of advisors on #STEMPrincess’s board will meet in August! Yay! Although, the room may not hold all that awesomeness at one time…we shall see.  And thanks to Kristin Eilenberg over at Lodestone Insights for hosting us! She’s clearly a brave woman…

3. Storytelling time for women – #SMDames16 is coming up! Did you get your tickets yet?

4. And speaking of more girlpower….I’m working on a brand new project that will be unfolding more over the next few months, which I hope will help the NEXT generation of women leaders get into even more C suites and boardrooms in the future.  What is that?  STAY TUNED!

10 Things I Love Right Now

heartWith all the hate, fear and vitriol floating around the universe and the internet right now, especially politically, (my thoughts are with you, Nice) I thought I’d try out the law of attraction and post 10 things I love right now, in order to bring me and the universe more good stuff, and less icky stuff.


10 Things I Heart Right Now:

1. Pandora channel – Borns.  Oh to be in my 20s again. (Then again, maybe not.)

2. Art – Bauhaus. I just say Moholy Nagy’s collection at the Guggenheim in NYC and loved that while it looked 60s and spacey, it was really made in the 1920s. Here’s to all ahead of their time!

3. Travel – Amsterdam and Scotland.  Planning my trip to Amsterdam to kick off 2017, and I WILL get to Edinburgh in 2017 if it kills me.  Which leads to the next thing I love right now, which is…

4. Outlander – On Starz – actually makes it worth buying premium cable again.  And two words: Sam. Heughan. I also love that the entire book series was an ACCIDENT!  I’m beginning to think all happy awesome things are just accidents.

5. Girl Ghostbusters – don’t care the story has already been done.  I love to see a good story with 100% girl power!

6. and 7. Food – Butter in NYC. Yum–yes I had a pillow of deliciousness – thanks for asking. And Angus Barn in Raleigh. After eating at both of these places in the past 7 days, the food I see these days’ bar has been set. Way. Higher. Not to mention the scale at my doctor’s office…

8. Mentoring programs – I’m becoming a student of why they work, why they don’t, and how to make them better.

9. & 10. Anchor – loving this little app, especially with my face, made just for radio!  I’ll be discussing how I’m using it over at Social Media Dames #SMDames16 coming up 8/3. #SMDames has been one of the coolest meetings I’ve attended in the past several years now.

#PharmFriday #QOTW

Every Friday I’m trying to answer or ask 1 question of the week (#QOTW), and I’m deeming them under the hashtag #PharmFriday over at Anchor.fm.  My account is under my handle on twitter (@ErinLAlbert) and I also try to post these on @pharmllc’s account on Twitter each Friday.

I’m also going to try to keep this list updated – so I can punt the questions over to others at anchor when they ask (because it feels like I often get the same questions over and over) – this will be a mini-audio-quora-like-page.  The most recent #PharmFriday #QOTW is on the top here:

When do you know it is time to quit as a leader?
What time of day do you write?
Should I go to law school after pharmacy school II?
Looking for 1 retail pharmacist ready to move on…request of the week
How are you using Anchor to build your brand or tribe?
How do I get out of retail pharmacy?
What can a pharmacy preceptor do to make rotations & fellowships better?
How do I get unstuck?
What meeting is on your bucket list?
What’s the most interesting pharmacy you’ve ever been in?
What’s your best tip for a out of the box scientific meeting poster?
How do you set up edutaining continuing education programs?
What do you use to record podcasts?
What should a community practice do if she wants to get out of community practice?
How do I reinvent my career?
What are you doing over the Memorial Day Holiday weekend?
What is your best advice to leverage social media to find a job after college?
What is your favorite podcast question?
How do you read a book?
How can I create a video for my platform/business/campaign cost-effectively?
Do you track your time?
What did you learn from Prince?
Law school after pharmacy school I?
How do you put together a peeps diorama?
Where do you get your stationary?
How do I find an illustrator for my children’s book?
How do I get my 11 year old in writing to write more and publish?
What are your favorite podcasts?
What is your best pre-vacation organization tip?
Writing as a vehicle for leadership: how writing can turn college age students into leaders?
What’s your best tip on writing?
How has writing developed your career and professional development?
What are your thoughts on sharing an experience vs. experiencing it solo?
What is your favorite social media tool, and how or why has it enhanced your professional brand?

So, go check these waves out over at anchor.  Enjoy!



At My WHITS End: A Chat About Gender, Leadership and HIT: Mandi Bishop

Here’s my pitchScreen Shot 2016-07-06 at 9.23.46 PM over at LinkedIn about my chat forthcoming today with Mandi Bishop.  But that pitch is really only a tiny fraction of the story.

The wider story is that there’s an egregious double standard out there.  One where Mandi got caught in the crossfire, when she posted about getting bullied when she posted a cartoon….a CARTOON, people…by a man for her “minsogynst” posting and stating she should be fired.  (BTW, to the angry bully/dude–since there were all men in the cartoon, I think you meant to say “misandrist,” but I digress.)

The interesting item is that men also posted the EXACT SAME CARTOON with NO ANGRY RANTS afterward.  My guess with the bully is that he posted snarky comments perhaps because the cartoon hit a little too close to home…?  After all, anger is really just fear, dressed up in a puffed up package.

The double. Standard. Must. Stop.  Mandi’s working on a group called WHITS, where she helps get more women into the HIT dialog, and hopefully rooms of leadership.  I hope you can listen in today over at Pharmacy Podcast.  And better yet, check your own world to see if there is an imbalance of leaders in your company/cause or even companies you support.  If there is an imbalance, ask why, and call it out.  Because if we keep on ignoring it, we’re just going to keep on getting what we’ve got…



Largest Pharmacy & Healthcare Groups on LinkedIn: 2016

As a LinkedIn Group owner of several groups for several years now, I’ve found that managing groups has become a larger pain-in-the-you-know-where over the past few years.  They’ve made it harder for us to communicate easily with our pending and current group members, in my opinion.  I even had to beg them to allow me the privilege of letting in more than 20,000 members in one group.  And, I get to deal with complaints of posts that are “too salesly” or “inappropriate” about a member from another member. Fun!

I have day jobs.  So, when I went in today to inventory and clean up my groups, I did a little fishing around to see what the largest groups are (at least the public groups) for pharmacy, the associations, and healthcare.

That, and after High Fidelity, I love a solid top 10 list…

Here’s what I found as of 7/4/16:

Pharmacy/Pharmacist Groups:

1. Pharmacist and Pharmacy Jobs – 38,556 members
2. Pharmacy Professionals Network – 25,615
3. Pharmacy MTMS – 23,307
4. Pharmacy Entrepreneurs – 19,351
5. Community Pharmacist Association – 19,306
6. PharmacyWeek – 17,634
7. The Pharmacists’ Group – 17,623
8. Pharmacist Career Network – 14,053
9. Specialty Pharmacy, PBM, Home Infusion, Mail Order and LTC Professionals – 8,839
10. Pharmacy Times – 6,821

Pharmacy Association Groups

HIMSS – 170,989
Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS) – 42,769
DIA – 36,021
ASHP – 24,176
ASCP – 13,962
AMCP – 11,629
ISPOR – 7,287
APhA Students – ASP – 6,236
AMWA – 5,673
AACP – 5,186
AHLA – 4,869
HBA – 3,855
ASPL – 2,077
FDLI – 1,677
ABA Health Law – 1,509
NACDS – 1,124
ACCP – 1,065


1. Pharmaceutical Jobs Biotech Life Science Healthcare Pharma & Medical Devices – 336,687
2. Professionals in the Pharmaceutical and Biotech Industry – 206,791
3. Managers of Pharmaceutical (& Healthcare) – 114,331
4. The Pharmaceutical Marketing Group – 112,978
5. Medical & Pharmaceutical Sales Jobs – 45,818
6. American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists – 30,373
7. Pharmaceutical Clinical Recruitment – 26,449
8. Biotechnology, Medical Device, Pharmaceutical Clinical, Regulatory, Drug, Lab Jobs – 23,311
9. Pharmaceutical Distributors – 23,164
10. GMP/GDP Quality Management Documents and Training for Pharmaceutical Companies – 22,993


1. Pharmaceutical Jobs Biotech Life Science Healthcare Pharma & Medical Devices – 336,687
2. Professionals in the Pharmaceutical and Biotech Industry – 206,791
3. Biotech & Pharma Professionals – 65,663
4. Biotech and Pharma Professionals – 58,801
5. MolecularLab (Community of Molecular Biology & Biotech companies, students, researcher) – 54,361
6. SIRE Life Sciences – Recruitment & Executive Search in Pharma, Biotech, Medical, Food & Healthcare – 43,123
7. Biotech/Pharma Opportunities in US – 19,320
8. Global Oncology group (Pharma, Biotech, Medtech, Medicine & Surgery) – 13,003
9. Oncology Jobs in Biotech and Pharmaceuticals – 10,373
10. Pharmaceutical/Biotech/Medical Devices: News, Career Management & Jobs – 9,698


1. Pharmaceutical Jobs Biotech Life Science Healthcare Pharma & Medical Devices Careers HR Recruitment – 336,687
2. Healthcare Executives Network – 251,938
3. Managers of Pharmaceutical & Healthcare – 114,331
4. Healthcare Executive US Networking Group – 80,659
5. Healthcare Industry Professionals Group – 74,841
6. Healthcare-IT/HER/HIS – 51,677
7. HFMA – Healthcare Financial Management Association – 50,135
8. Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) & Quality Innovators – 48,187
9. Healthcare Reform – 42,409
10. Jobs IT Healthcare – 36,878 

Managed Care

1. Managed Care Connections – 26,678
2. Managed Care Executives – 19,833
3. Medicaid Managed Care – 16,185
4. AMCP – 11,629
5. Managed Care Contracting Group – 9,792
6. Managed Care Provider Contracting – 5,995

I thought I’d share these before LinkedIn decides to get rid of the N on each group, or worse yet, gets rid of groups altogether…

Successful Men vs. Women in the Workplace: On Likability

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 10.08.39 AMI’ve said what I’m about to say in random places around the web – comments to my friends’ posts, and other places. I even posted about Zinnias this weekend on Instagram about why I love them - they are all similar, but my favorite thing about them is that they are each unique on their own.  I may have already blogged about it too at one point or another. But it bears worth saying again, because I’ve generally found it to be true, even if others don’t want to go there. I will.  Here goes.

The more successful a man is in the workplace, the more he is liked. 

The more successful a woman is in the workplace, the less she is liked.

That is, success and likability for men are directly proportional to each other.  More success => more likability.  For women, the opposite is true. Why doesn’t the world like a successful woman?  Candidly, I don’t know.  Gender stereotypes?  Ancient suppression of women as the ‘fairer’ sex?  A control issue?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that it has to stop, particularly if we want to achieve gender parity in leadership roles in workplaces all over the universe.

Not one to complain only, here are 5 ways we can reverse this horrible, degrading and downright awful trend:

1. Congratulate everyone–man or woman–for good work.  This may be a duh, but you’d be surprised how many workplaces don’t celebrate success anymore.  We’re all so…busy.  But, shouldn’t we make success and celebration thereof a priority?

2. Blind names on job applications and resumes – There are all kinds of studies out there that show that women who ended up using or having more masculine names are more likely to get job interviews, even more gigs based upon their name alone.  (Here’s one story.) Their NAME.  How is a name related to work ethic, working hard and doing an awesome job?  It isn’t, unless you factor in pure unconscious bias. But and unfortunately, psychologically it IS.  Smart workplaces will note this unconscious bias and just flat out blind names on resumes for hiring managers and search committees.  Then, you’re looking at the most qualified applications, and gender is no longer an issue, period.

3. Ritualize and promote diversity in the workplace.  This could be something as simple as a poll or survey on what a word means to each team member, like “leadership” or “diversity” or “fun” – and then sharing that individualized data with the entire team.  That promotes and demonstrates the richness of having a diverse team, in my opinion.  In a world that’s trying desperately for most to fit in, why not celebrate the opposite–what stands out among us?

4. Blind the suggestion box at your workplace.  Does your workplace even HAVE a suggestion box?  If not, why not?  If so, is it blinded?  Can anyone feel comfortable providing suggestions and candidly calling out bad behavior they are witnessing or experiencing, despite their rank or position?  If you lead an organization, you should have a suggestion box. That’s one of the few ways leaders can actually see and hear what’s going on out there.  Otherwise, everyone just sugar coats everything, and guess where you end up?  In an Emperor has no clothes situation.  Not good.

On the other hand on this suggestion, the paranoid lawyer in me thinks you’re inviting trouble here….but seriously -wouldn’t you rather know if trouble is brewing vs. not in your organization sooner rather than later so you can nip it in the bud?

5. Use 360 degree feedback.  Three sixty is yet another mechanism to hold everyone accountable. Everyone.  That includes leaders.  But, if you just use top down feedback in performance management, you’re only getting half the story.  Real, true and strong leaders demand 360 degree feedback, because they know that it holds everyone accountable in doing the best job they can.  If you’re a leader in your org and you’re not getting feedback from your direct reports, then I argue you’re not the best leader you could be.

We have to cease unconscious bias.  Time after time, there’s data all over the place that says diverse organizations bring more to the bottom line – revenue, customer satisfaction and make organizations stronger.  Yet, we still have preconceived notions that destroy the best version of our organization.  Awareness is the first step, and the tools above are a few ways to mitigate the problem.  If one leader reads this post and thinks about it, the post has done its job.

Did ACPE 2016 Get it Wrong?

MPI need to step up on my pharmacy education soapbox for a minute (forgive me).

But, the more I read ACPE 2016 (the document and standards for which pharmacy schools are held to for accreditation) and the more I watch the real world of pharmacy careers and practice, I can’t help to think that perhaps, ACPE 2016 standards for pharmacy education got it, respectfully, wrong.

The whole thing isn’t wrong. In fact, I like some of the changes.  Particularly the new Standard 4, which honestly should have been in there a long time ago. (Alan Spies and I discuss Standard 4 on The Pharmacy Podcast this week.) Professionals SHOULD be self aware and entrepreneurial, for example.  (Here’s a slide deck analysis of some of the ACPE 2016 standards I have taught around, in particular Standard 4.)

What I think ACPE got wrong lies in Appendix 2 of the document, “Expectations within the APPE Curriculum.”  Under “Elective APPE,” they only allow for 2 non-patient care pharmacy rotations.  Two. That’s 2 out of 10 where I come from.  This, in my opinion, is wrong if we truly want to expand what it means to be a pharmacist.

Yes, the majority of pharmacists still care for patients.  I get it.  And no doubt every pharmacist should have some exposure to the tough job of direct patient care.  But if you look at the biggest boom in STEM careers (of which I see healthcare as part of), you’ll note that the largest opportunities (particularly for leadership) are in IT, statistics, real-world health outcomes, managing big data sets, managing plans and formularies, entrepreneurship (disruptive innovation, anyone, in healthcare?) and preventative education design, which most in fact have little direct patient care involvement.

To limit all students to only 2 non direct patient care rotations is, in my view, a travesty to growth of the profession.  Some pharmacy majors don’t want to go into direct patient care. And, frankly, now that introductory rotations (IPPE) are required BEFORE APPE, shouldn’t students be exposed in those experiences to direct patient care?  I don’t think all pharmacists are suited for direct patient care, nor is it their passion–why should we then force students to rotate in that vein when they already know it’s not for them?

I’m not saying take away direct patient care experiences, either.  What I am saying is, be sure to include a wider variety of rotation experiences for students before they graduate, so they can find what it is that they love to do within the profession earlier.  (Here’s a post I did on fantasy line up of pharmacy rotations.) And, it helps the entire profession to expand on what it truly means to be a pharmacist–we no longer have that mentality of two gig tracks only after pharmacy school–retail and hospital pharmacy.  Pharmacy has become way, way more interesting and expansive beyond these two roles.  But, if you only expose students to these 2 (or even these 2 as the majority) experiences, we limit the very profession itself on what it could be–why not push the boundaries?

In fact, I think it would be wise for ACPE to consider more non-traditional career paths.  Maybe even have the students go somewhere completely different that dare I say, doesn’t even have pharmacists on staff normally, so they can be exposed to the wider world and where pharmacy could fit?  Perhaps even design their own non-traditional pharmacy rotation experience?  What if we made them go into an environment where no pharmacist was in order to learn how to advocate for the profession?  That, to me would be a far, far better experience than going to another hospital or another community chain drug store.

Most of the pharmacists I work around in my settings do not have direct patient care anymore, but they are leaders of the profession.  Isn’t it time that we considered the role of “pharmacist” to mean a wider definition of the profession itself?

I’m stepping off of my soapbox now.  But I won’t forget this nagging feeling that we are doing our profession a serious disservice…

5 Roads Out of Retail…Pharmacy

roadoutAfter the “I’m stuck,” statement, the next question pharmacists usually ask me about is the following:

“How do I get out of retail pharmacy?”

#ListenTo “QOTW: How do I get out of #retail #pharmacy? ” ⚓ https://t.co/y0FYSeT9TG

— Pharm, LLC (@pharmllc) July 2, 2016

I’m about to throw down some suggestions, and how I did it.  But before I do, allow me to preface this by saying that retail pharmacy is one of the hardest jobs I ever did.  It’s very hard work–both mentally and physically exhausting work–in dealing with the often sick or unwell public, insurance companies that seem to be really good at saying no, and providers who sometimes don’t know what they are doing.  It takes a great toll on a community pharmacist. If you have a bad day as a pharmacist, you could kill someone with one tiny error.  That’s why they are paid extremely well.  Every script you fill = your license on the line.

It’s not an easy gig.  Trust me, I’ve been there, done that, and did it for a large part of my career. Props to all of the community pharmacists out there trying their best to make it work in a very, very demanding career.  If you have a pharmacist in your community that you rely upon, give them some love!

I’ll also preface this by saying that retail pharmacy is also hard to get out of without more effort involved.  When I moved from community pharmacy over to the biotech industry the first time after 6-ish years in retail, it took a geographic move, 3 months of networking my dupa off, more interviews than I can count, and a massive pay cut to transport into industry.

What did I do? Well, I’ve already written about that in my first book.

Getting out was as hard as staying in, in the beginning!

So, if you’re still reading after all of those disclaimers, here are my top 5 suggestions to squeal the tires and get out of retail Dodge (if that’s really what you want to do…).

1. More education – I hate to say this, but this is something I tell all of my students: a PharmD anymore by itself just isn’t going to cut it.  There are 280,000ish pharmacists in the US now.  You MUST bring something unique to the table. The easier route is to go back and get education in a niche area that is in demand.

Case in point: the top 25 search terms in LinkedIn right now for recruiting happen to all be in IT – either programming, big data, or analysis thereof.  Get some HIT or MIS or MIT training, especially if you dig computers.  Consider programming if you want to get into informatics.  Pile on more ed around whatever the niche is that you want to pursue.

This could be another degree, although that’s an expensive proposition.  It could also be, for example, a certification.  Check out my tracker of pharmacist and healthcare certifications if you need ideas – there are over 100 of them now!

I’m also going to throw in speaking & writing here.  You can have all the wonderful knowledge in your head about therapeutics, pharmacology and drugs–but if you can’t convey that knowledge both in writing and public speaking, you’re doomed.  Why they took public speaking and intensive writing out of several pharmacy school programs, I’ll never know, but these are must-have skills on the roads out of retail and for any leader in his or her profession, period.

2. Volunteer – I listened to James Altucher’s podcast today with a futurist, and one point he discussed in trying to predict the future was to look and see what people are doing for free today, and whether or not you could turn it into a legit business tomorrow.  So, my question to you: what are you doing for free that maybe you could turn into a part time or full time gig of your own? Maybe that’s work at a non profit board, association, foundation, or free clinic.  Maybe it’s writing stuff.  Maybe it’s underwater basketweaving.

Another way to describe it: what are you doing on your best or ideal day?  Can you get more of that into a day job?

3. Network - Cliche, but it’s important.  Go right now over to Linkedin, and find everyone doing a cool job in your network that you’d like to do next.  Then, invite every single one of them out for coffee or lunch.  Then, find out what they love, what they are challenged by, then ask to stay in touch if that’s something you’d like to try.  Share your resume with them and have them be brutally honest–if you don’t have the right skills, how may you fill in the gaps?

I’m going to warn you here again: pharmacists coming out of retail are not going to make the money that they did in retail, with very rare exception.  So, are you really prepared to take that pay cut to get out?  If so, read on…

4. Determine what you really need to live on – Before you quit your day job to volunteer 100% of your time, I hope you pre-determined that you were independently wealthy and could take the money off to live your best life. For the rest of us with actual bills to pay – you need to take a hard look at your expenses and costs and what you really need to live on in order to see what type of cut you could live with.  This is one of the largest banes of leaving community pharmacy – because most community pharmacists get used to the money, then have the golden handcuffs and can’t leave the big paycheck behind to try other things.  Don’t be that guy.

5. Realize that your fantasy job does not exist (yet) - had this exact conversation at work today with 2 mentees – if you think your ideal dream job already exists on paper somewhere and someone is going to miraculously hand it to you, you’re going to be waiting. A. Long. Time.

No job is 100% roses, lollipops and sunshine.  It’s called ‘work’ for a reason. It’s…work.  But, if you can find a gig that allows you to be a little creative, you can bring in some work that really matters to a day job for you.

Example: When I worked at a big pharma co, I volunteered to work between the company and the state board of pharmacy to earn CE credits for the hundreds of pharmacists that worked at that company when they attended internal training programs.  That was slightly creative, not on the grid of my actual day job, but it led me to hundreds of other pharmacist contacts within said company to see what they were all up to for career ideas.  (Actually this example knocks out more than 1 of the 5 roads out.)

No doubt about it: retail pharmacy is a tough road.  Even tougher are the roads that lead away from retail pharmacy.  But, if you take the 5 steps above that I used before I got out, with a little extra luck and hard work, you should eventually hit the new career pharmacy superhighway.

p.s. Ready to hire a pharmacy career coach?  I’m available! Check out the rates per hour here.

p.p.s. Here’s the 5 part mini series via podcast!

Part 1 – Money with Pete the Planner

Part 2 – Networking with Hazel Walker

Part 3 – Tony Guerra on the OTHER 3 bullets above!

Part 4 – Yours truly on all 5 bullets

Part 5 – Q&A session on the other 4 parts

Introducing…The Inaugural #STEMPrincess Advisory Board!

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 10.43.48 PM


Inaugural #STEMPrincess Project Advisory Board Announced by Pharm, LLC

INDIANAPOLIS – June 30, 2016 – Pharm, LLC created a new national advisory board for its book series and movement to encourage more girls to choose STEM/STEAMED* careers under the #STEMPrincess book trilogy project.

The advisory board is comprised of 9 women in STEM careers, or leadership positions from the US to ensure the #STEMPrincess educational events, resources and programs are ‘edutaining’ and compelling for the next generation of girls choosing to pursue STEM careers.  The 9 advisory board members include:

Mandi Bishop – Firebrand, Social Entrepreneur, Women-in-Healthcare & Health IT Evangelist– Jacksonville, FL

Holly M. Davis – Executive Director, Center for Women and Democracy – Seattle, WA

Kristin Eilenberg – CEO, Lodestone Insights – Indianapolis, IN

Christi Garcia – Sales and Business Development Manager, E-gineering, LLC – Indianapolis, IN

Crystal Grave – Founder, President and CEO, Snappening – Indianapolis, IN

NaShara Mitchell – Founder, Studio B – Indianapolis, IN

Shelley Myers – VP, Consumer Health & Wellness, Fuzion – Carmel, IN

Tasha Phelps – President & CEO, Phelco Technologies – Indianapolis, IN and Independent Candidate, Indiana State Senate – District 30

Jennifer Ruby, Esq. – Attorney-Owner, Ruby Law and Founder, Finances 101 for Young  Professionals – Indianapolis, IN

Heather Torlina Hatcher – Biologist, research scientist, and STEM educator – Fishers, IN

“I have been humbled by this tremendous cadre of women who are already in STEM and said yes—to champion STEM education for girls with the #STEMPrincess project nationally,” commented Erin Albert, CEO at Pharm, LLC, STEM academician and author of The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM children’s book series.

“These women all want the STEM Princess movement out into the wider world in different, meaningful ways to in turn spark a new generation of women in STEM.  We know from the research that women in STEM are paid closer to parity with men, and have higher wage earnings. I’m excited to have this group of women already living the STEM dream help spread the broader message: that girls CAN be STEM superstars!”


About The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM: This children’s book series for girls and boys ages 5-9 is currently a story book (book 1), a hands-on activity book (2), and a coloring book (3).  The series is available online for sale at the author’s website: https://squareup.com/store/pharmllc.  More on the author at: http://erinalbert.com.

About Pharm, LLC: A service consulting think tank to healthcare, life sciences and pharmacy professionals, Pharm LLC educates on career development pathways through books, courses and articles to inform. Contact: pharmllc@gmail.com.

Beyond the press release – these women are all going to kick my dupa into gear on my STEM Princess dream – which is to get 50% gender parity in all corners of STEM.  Let’s do this, ladies!!!!

6 Things I’m Working On Right Now

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 11.26.33 AM1. <-This crazy poster for AACP Innovations in Teaching coming up in Anaheim, CA. I got the brilliant idea to lay it out more in pictures, like a Pinterest board, rather than a traditional sci/tech poster. Although, it’s half-baked right now. Not digging the layout. The struggle is real.

2. Finishing touches on an article for HCLA on leadership and quitting.  Seemingly incongruent, but really important for strong leaders.

3. Thinking about my talk topic for #SMDames16. I think I’ve got that one in the bag. Will I see you there, Indy ladies?

4. Next few Pharmacy Podcasts – looking at indie ownership, aromatherapy, pharmacy benefit management as possible upcoming topics.

5. Next book–wildly, wildly different ideas here. I may need to try several at once, since they are so vastly different.

6. The STEM Princess Advisory Board – first time I’m setting up an ad board for a book, but I’m disturbed by this growing backlash against educating girls and young women in STEM. Announcement on the amazing board coming soon.

Back on the #STEMPrincess Soapbox (Not that I ever left…)

Dear Friends:

There appears to be a backlash growing against girls being exposed to STEM careers.  This article is a fine example of it.

I’m here to state that I don’t like this movement–it’s scary. Because it’s basically holding women back.

Next, consider this report, that states it will take us nearly 120 years to close the gender pay gap. 120 years! I am sad to report that I will be dead by the time we reach gender pay parity.

Do you find this acceptable?  I do not.  And the one place where we get closest to pay parity is: STEM careers.  So, when organizations bash educators and the community at large for trying to expose girls to STEM careers early, I get twitchy, because this holds girls back.

Personally, I hated geometry growing up–all the rules to solve a problem–why not just solve the problem?  Physics wasn’t my best subject either, but I was and still am mystified by quantum physics, ‘spooky action at a distance’, and whether or not there are 10-11 other parallel universes going on at the same time.  I love art and writing. And despite (maybe because of) all of this, I still chose a STEM career–which apparently puts me in the category of “upper middle class” according to several reports.  (Although, trust me, I do not feel upper middle class. I feel middle class. But I at least have a shot.)

So, my friends, when people ask why it is so important to get more STEM education going on for girls, I discuss the data above, coupled with my own experience as a child.  While I think I can always do better, I turned out OK, and that’s thanks in part to a great STEM career.

The next time you see someone holding back a girl from exploring different career opportunities, STEM or not, call them on their BS, please.  I know I will.

Sincerely yours remaining on the STEM soapbox,



On Quitting

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 1.30.23 PM

Resignation letter – in cake. From: http://www.aol.com/article/2015/05 /04/newscast-directors-resignation- letter-really-takes-the-cake/21179566/


I’ve been asked to write an article on leadership over at HCLA.  (BTW, if you live or work in Hamilton County, IN, you should check out this leadership program – I learned a ton about where I live through it.)

Leadership is kind of like what Justice Stewart of SCOTUS said of pornography in Jacobellis vs. Ohio – hard to describe, but you know it when you see it. It’s also a very, very large topic.  Within the large topic of leadership, I chose a subtopic: factors for a leader to consider when quitting.

Quitting doesn’t seem like a very leadership-like trait. In fact, quitting is usually associated with some type of negative halo–leaders don’t quit!  They go down with the sinking ship.

However, sometimes, the BEST decision a leader can ever make is knowing when to quit when it is in the best interest of all parties.  It’s also very, very hard to do well. (BTW, this guy–you’re doing it right!)

Here, in this post, I wanted to lay out a list of all the reasons why a leader should consider when to quit work.  Although, many of the following reason(s) could apply to quitting other things – like bad habits, or relationships.

Regardless, leaders I think struggle with quitting the most, because quitting has a sense of losing or failure associated with it.  There’s also a factor of the unknown when quitting, and leaders like to control what goes on around them.

Instead, maybe we need to think about quitting as bravery or something noble, perhaps. It’s a necessary part of life in order for change and growth.

Regardless, I’ve traversed the internet and reading universe to bring you the ultimate check list on quitting. Here goes:

Checklist for: Quitting

Generally, there are two arenas that one should assess when leaving work:

1. the factors about you or that you can control, intrinsic factors, and

2. the factors out of your control, but that still affect you, like your manager, your leaders, or the culture of your organization. I broke them up in these two buckets below.

When it’s about you:

When it’s about where you work or external factors:

There. That’s about as comprehensive as I can get for someone on the fence about quitting.  If you stumbled on this post and sought a checklist, I think this one is pretty solid. Run through it.  Keep in mind, however, I’m NOT prescribing that you up and bolt from your day job without a plan if you ticked off several of the items above.  I’m just giving a laundry list of items to weigh and consider before you formulate a plan to leave.

And remember: life is short.  Don’t make it shorter by being miserable in a job with no love anymore. While we all need to pay our bills, that does not mean we have to suffer and toil all the time to an early grave…

Pharm Friday’s QOTW: How Do You Create a Creative Continuing Education Program?

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 7.25.36 AMI’ve been experimenting with Anchor a bit these days, (naturally as I have a face for radio)! Each Friday, I recorded a question of the week with my company, Pharm, called Pharm Fridays (QOTW) and provided an answer or asked another question around it.  You can find my anchor “waves” or audio files if you hunt for my twitter account after downloading the app (@ErinLAlbert).

This week, I’ll be discussing the following question:  “How might we set up an award winning educational program?”  One answer lies in a program we ran at Butler a couple of years ago now for pharmacy continuing ed (CE), called 21 Flavors: Ideas on How We Might Improve Medication Adherence.  But, I’ve used this format in non-pharmacy and non-healthcare venues and had success.  Most of the tools I used below are free, or at least have a free trial to use if you want to steal and reapply this format for your educational program.

I submitted this program to the inaugural AACP Innovations in CPE Award for 2016 at the annual meeting in Anaheim, CA coming up in July.  Did we win? Well, I guess you’ll have to keep your eyes on the social stream here to find out.  Fingers crossed!

#ListenTo #PharmFriday #QOTW: How do you set up edutaining continuing education programs? ⚓ https://t.co/hd0ALrvhXV

— Dr. Erin L. Albert (@ErinLAlbert) June 24, 2016

So, why was the 21 Flavors event innovative?

1. The “Unconference” format – we describe the unconference format above, however, we wanted to try having a larger cut of the audience participating as speakers at a themed event with one topic of focus–medication adherence. By having more of the audience members also serve as speakers, more voices were heard throughout the learning activity, which can increase the number of ideas and participation.

2. “Sticky” titles – We also used a theme of flavors or varieties of medication adherence and told everyone to pick a favorite “flavor” for their talk, in order to try and help the 21 different ideas stick with the audience. We also limited each speaker on what parameters he or she could utilize for their slides, such as more pictures, less text on slides, and less number of slides per talk. This was an experiment in more storytelling, rather than dependency on slides.

3. Short “triads” – We wanted shorter talks…we all seem to have shorter attention spans these days.  We also literally had a gong in the room and gonged speakers who went over their allotted time of 5 minutes. We actually reapplied ASHP’s pearl sessions with the stoplight learning activity model at this event, but raised the stakes with a very loud gong instead of a red light to keep the day moving! We batched speakers in triads for several reasons with reflection time, not only to give time to reflect immediately after 3 ideas, but also meet the requirement of the minimum block of time for allowing CE learning credit as 15 minutes.

4. Built in reflection – Not only did we want to keep it moving with 21 speakers and shorter talks, but we also wanted to have reflective time for tables to discuss the ideas immediately after each triad as well, to get the ideas to “stick.” Through 10-minute reflection periods in between a 3-speaker triad, small tables had more opportunity to discuss how they could utilize the 3 ideas in their own respective practice settings immediately, rather than waiting until after the event was over to reflect.

5. Learning and having fun – Some CE programs aren’t retained, frankly, because they are boring. But, very few who attended this event forgot it, as it was a fun theme of flavors of ice cream. We even created a Pinterest board for “pinspiration.” Although it was a learning event, it also was fun—“edutaining.” Learning doesn’t have to be boring!

6. We recorded it and shared it with the universe online – Not one of the 21 speakers protested when we decided to share the content with the universe live on a Google site, nor did anyone protest when we went to Drug Topics with the publication. Even though we did not offer homestudy CE online for this event, the ideas are still out there, nearly 3 years after the event, for everyone to learn from – and not just other pharmacists.

7. We built a free website with the content – As director of CE, I never before this event created a website to share classroom content. Thus, by experimenting with this content freely online, it helped the Butler COPHS CE Department grow other homestudy CE programs delivered online.

8. We turned the content into an enduring publication, for a wider audience – We never had any intentions of publishing the outcomes from this event in a national pharmacy magazine, but we did it! Article that appeared is online at our website and here: http://drugtopics.modernmedicine.com/drug-topics/content/tags/medication-adherence/21- ways-boost-medication-adherence.

9. Interprofessional – We utilized a variety of professionals, both directly inside and even outside of healthcare to share their expertise on medication adherence.


6 months, 6 podcasts

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 12.23.37 PMAs I was cleaning up the Linkedin profile this morning as part of my she-shed/reinventing work on myself project, I realized that I’ve been a podcaster now for 6 months!  Wow, has the time gone by quickly.

Props to Todd Eury over at Pharmacy Podcast for the privilege of trying to bring different career development avenues to the pharmacy word during my time with his shop.  He himself just celebrated his 300th episode, and updated his website.  It’s been so much fun reaching out to other leaders in and around pharmacy, HIT and healthcare to bring back the best hits on pharmacy and healthcare to our 50,000+ listeners.

Thus far, the 6 podcasts I ran or helped out on were:

1. Maximizing pharmacy meetings by investing in them wisely – with Kristin Eilenberg over at Lodestone Insights

2. & 3. Writing to enhance one’s career – part 1 and 2 with Dr. Elaine Voci, one of my writing mentors

4. Feeling the burn (out) – how to manage away from pharmacy and career burnout

5. Building a successful career path in pharmacy – including ‘trepping – with Shaun Young

6. BU Well – interview with our incoming student EIC, Anne Leighty.

I’ve really enjoyed my time here.  And frankly, discovered that I not only have a face for radio (haha!) but I also will be ramping up on this activity even more in the future. I have a few other ideas cooking and taping soon.  And, I recently gave a pearl talk on other podcasts for pharmacists to tune into.

By all means, if you’re in this space and have ideas on who you’d like to hear from, let me know – I’m only a tweet away @ErinLAlbert!

The Know Thyself Kit: Tutorial

I know I’ve been quiet.  I’m out back in the she shed reinventing myself.  More on that later!  And don’t worry if I remain quiet for the rest of June and July – the things I’m working on are worth the wait.

In the meantime, enjoy this little video tutorial I put together on the Know Thyself Kit, which is something I require all my rotation students to complete.  I just thought I’d put it up on video so I can send them the URL in prep for the rotation…it’s good exercises for ALL of us. Summer hugs to you all (just make sure you put on your sunblock!)

My Fantasy STEM Princess Summer Camp…for Girls

Waverly STEM Princess

Waverly – her cabin could work on clean water solutions for the world!

I was thinking about this today – since the start of summer is officially here: summer camp.  And, of course, post #STEMPrincess book trilogy, what my fantasy girls’ STEM or STEAMED camp and what that would look like, if I had to design said camp.

First off, below is my fantasy ideal – it so far does not yet exist in the real world….but I suppose it could.  In fact, there are a few ideas already in reality – like this list, this, and this list – all of which I found with a simple Google search (and cannot personally endorse, but certainly want others to encourage to check out.) NO ONE I’m mentioning below endorses my fantasy idea – I’m just putting down an idea here….any other disclaimers? I can’t think of any….let’s roll.

My Fantasy #STEMPrincess Camp:

1. First off – cabins – I think my perfect camp would be 2 weeks.  At it, you’d live in two different cabins during your two week stay – with your top 2 choices in STEM careers.  So, at my fantasy STEM Princess camp, each of the 20 STEM Princesses in the book would have her own cabin.  There would be an aerospace engineering cabin with Abigail fans, a medicine and pharmacy health sciences cabin for Piper fans, etc.  But, since girls are making the effort to go to camp, we need to get them into at least a couple of different STEM experiences.

2. For each career path, we’d need at least 3 camp counselors in each of the STEM career areas.  They would consist of the following: 1. an academic teaching in that particular discipline, 2. a practitioner working in the real world of that career path, and 3. A curriculum/assessment/designer.  So, back to the Abigail example – I’d have an actual astronaut (Mae Jemison–after all, this is a fantasy camp at this point), an academic – like Anita Sengupta,  Last, I’d need a rockstar curriculum and learning designer for this cabin or area (not that they’d have to be an expert in aeronautical or aerospace engineering, but be able to ideally design learning and teaching around this field). Ditto for the other 19 areas.

3. Teaching and learning at the camp would be – combo workshops, design thinking (real-world problem solving), panels and speakers sharing their experiences with the girls.  Girls could then journal daily on what they learned, what they liked, and what they did NOT like about that day’s learning.  The goal here is exposure to as many STEM career fields as possible.

4. Workstudy – I’d ideally like this camp to be on a farm, or have a farming component.  That teaches sustainability, local commerce, entrepreneurship, and hard work–tenets that will serve the girls in whatever professions they ultimately choose.

5. Music, art and design – STEM is the wrong acronym.  It’s STEAMED – that also has art, design and entrepreneurship in it.  All of these 3 additions to STEM education are absolutely critical in success moving forward.  So, we’d need to include them in this 2 week extravaganza.

6. Project based learning – I said this above a bit, but it’s worth pulling out again – small teams, interdisciplinary, assigned at the beginning of camp, regardless of cabins – where girls have to try to solve a problem over the 2 week camp and work on this project during evenings.  Big projects here too – like clean water, affordable education for more people, healthcare, wellness for communities, etc.  Teaches the girls to think big.

7. Wellness – positive images for girls, along with education on self-awareness, self-health, mind/body/spirit health, financial wellness, methods of mental and physical exercise – I could go on for days here, but ALL girls need more wellness education.

8. Sponsors – since I’m creating a fantasy camp here, I don’t need to worry much about our sponsors here, but while we’re thinking through on this – the sponsors of this camp should be the companies who need these STEM workers of the future. That might include: Amazon, Google (and all of Alphabet), Facebook, NASA, SpaceX, the federal government and their agencies, consulting firms (like McKinsey or Bain), IDEO, think tanks, etc.  It’s a great way to start early recruiting!  Besides, the ivory tower of education doesn’t always talk to the employers, and here, we could start the dialogue early on education for what the employers may need in the future.

There. All I need now is a bunch of spare time, and about $100 million dollars to set it up. LOL!  Seriously – there are some great STEM camps out there.  If you’re a girl lucky enough to be heading to one or more this summer, congrats! Share what you learned if you can.  For the rest of us, we’ll keep it as a placeholder idea on our blogs…for now.


I’m reading the book, Eligible right now.  If you are a Pride & Prejudice fan, read it – it’s modern day Lizzy in…the ‘nati!  And, Charlotte Lucas has a good job at one of my former haunts–P&G.

It reminds me of the fact that everywhere I look right now, there’s change.  Whether it’s a victorian British character brought back to modern day America, to my friends moving every 6 months to another major city to experience them, to others making major decisions–like switching careers, starting nonprofits to change the world, or having children–the only commonality is change itself.

The only thing to do is go with it.  Resistance here is futile…that and, change is inevitable anyway.

And the bigger and bolder you dare to make a change, the bigger and bolder I congratulate you.


Book Projects Galore

So…just in time for my #forever29th birthday, I saw my friends over at Pharmacy Careers published a big article - on the culmination of our writing projects at Butler University – yay!

Here’s a pretty grid of just our interprofessional publishing projects over the past near-decade:

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 9.18.15 PM

Shoutout especially to the faculty colleagues in our college (COPHS) and other colleges for these books – they were a TON of work: Julie Koehler, Lisa Hines, Angela Lupton, Gautam Rao, Catherine Pangan, Stephanie Fernhaber, and this year some new folks – Dick Fetter and NaShara Mitchell.

The only thing cooler than writing and publishing is showing students that writing and publishing is possible – and teaching them this! : )

25+ Career Options for Pharmacist-Attorneys

PharmacyLawThe sky is the limit, but here are a few ideas:

1. Patent lawyer
2. Healthcare lawyer
3. General counsel for:
You can find all of these here.

The Reverse Birthday Party

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.03.02 AMSo, happy birthday to me! It’s the week of my birth coming up.  Being #forever29 is fun.  But, this year I wanted to try something new.

Instead of getting myself more stuff (which I’m finding is a drain anyway–e.g. the more stuff you have, the more it has you), instead, I’m reversing the action towards the typical birthday, and instead of rewarding me, I’m giving back to the universe.

Yup, this week I’m giving stuff away….a reverse birthday party!

The idea or concept of a reverse birthday party is not completely new.  There’s a few good ideas and articles out there on the concept–like this, this, this, and this.  But the idea or concept in my mind for a reverse birthday party isn’t just about getting rid of stuff–it’s more, like sharing the stuff that matters to you with the world.

Case in point: I gave 325+ copies of one of my books away to kids just before summer on the #STEMPrincess series. Literally–I loaded up the Jeep yesterday with books and took them to a school.  If one kid this summer gets bored enough to try the activities in the book and gets interested in STEM–that would be the greatest birthday present of all.

Here’s some other ideas:

I’m going to try and do something like that each and every day this coming week.  I may need to get a little creative…but I’m going to take the reverse birthday challenge!  If you’ve taken this challenge before and have some ideas, tweet me your best ideas with the hash tag #ReverseBirthday…I’ve got 7 days to come up with ideas here! : )

Turn it Up to 11

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 9.00.24 AMI’ve never really been a Spinal Tap fan – it’s a little before my time.  However, in 2 different instances this weekend, I heard the term “turn it up to 11.”

Believe it or not, there’s actually a wikipedia post on this.  But I want to talk about it metaphorically.

Most bands can only go to 10.  But, some bands have the magic of going to 11.  This can include bands’ work on projects, new albums, etc.  What, exactly gets bands to use 11 on the dial?

I think it’s intrinsic motivation.  You’re never going to get to 11 on the dial by someone else creating the dial for you.  You’ve got to make your own 11.

On a Monday – we all should be reminded of that, myself included.  And as I hunt and pick between a few different pet project ideas I’ve been slow cooking on the back burner, it would be good to have that dial to go up to 11 when I need it.

I’m also granting you, my fab 13 that 11 on the dial…but you already had it. : )

M is for Multimedia: BU Well


Part of Shelby B’s infographic.

So, I’m like a proud parent here – more on BU Well!

One of the things I really wanted to focus on for this journal in making it different was to respond to the interactivity of the internet and digital age.  That means, get away from just print and move on to something more sophisticated than just print articles.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with print.  Obviously I heart print.  But that’s just not enough these days – and there’s so much more opportunity for public health and healthcare pros to communicate in and with via different channels – why NOT maximize them?)

We now consume other content as much if not more than print.  Case in point, infographics.  Did you know that an article that has an infographic along with it is 30 times more likely to be read?  Now, I don’t know if that’s statistically or scientifically true, but I have seen that statistic in digital print, so even if it’s only half true, it still bumps up one’s odds of being read.  And after all, isn’t that what the open-access journal is all about anyway – open access?

Let me take an example from the journal – (and yes, I did get the author’s permission to share here).  Shelby B. wanted to create an article around wellness on workplace and workspace wellness.  Great!  She first wrote the article in fall 2015, and then the student editorial team collaborated with her to co-create the infographic and shoot the video with her in spring 2016.  Below, the video:

This is important because future healthcare professionals and all professionals need to learn how to communicate through multiple channels to reach patients and the community at large.  By exposing student leaders to these multimedia platforms as opportunities to learn how to communicate in different ways is imperative.

Moving forward, the second volume of BU Well will focus on the future of healthcare.  From drones to lasers, I can’t wait to SEE and HEAR what the students will come up for that one.  While the ideas may be awesome, what’s more important is that they learn how to communicate those ideas….and I’ll look forward to learning even more from them then I can teach on my own…

Congratulations to the student authors and editorial leaders!  Go Dawgs!

BU Well, Volume 1 on Wellness is here!

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 3.18.50 PMIt’s Christmas Day here!

BU Well Volume 1 is published – check it out here.

Here is the official Butler PR.  Props to NPR for giving us a shout out.

Cover art was even designed by students.

To all the students: YOU. ROCK!  CONGRATS on doing something even I never did–publish and start a journal before you even graduated from college!

‘Twas the Night Before…

….the students’ first interprofessional multimedia healthcare journal was published,
and all through the house…
…not a creature was stirring…
…not even P.G. Woodhouse.

The articles were hung
on the website with care
in hopes that readers from all the universe
soon would be there.

On diabetes! On wellness! On apps for EBM!
Now package inserts in sight!
For drug information…as a possibility tonight.

This poem made little sense
to all who would not care,
but for the rest of us, little we can bear…

….to wait for tomorrow to come,
because it feels like Christmas eve
when you’re waiting for something brand new to conceive.

She sprang off her site
with anticipated glee,
tomorrow would be here soon enough…
…no fright!

This is my eccentric way of congratulating the 40+ hard working, totally dedicated students at Butler University, who for the past 2+ years have worked hard to create something that never ever existed before – a healthcare journal called BU Well.  Tomorrow, volume 1 launches into the internet universe.

It has been an absolute joy to bring this project to life with such a talented, smart, driven group of students at Butler University.  I’ve seen the infographics and watched the videos, and of course read the articles.  And while they are great, what is even greater is that our students through this project have lived through the mission of Butler University itself, because they are creating work that truly blends LAS core education in addition to professional/technical education.  If you read Butler’s mission – they’re living it.

Tonight, I’m proud to be a bulldog.  Go dawgs–and CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL the BU Wellers out there who have joined me on the journey of creating something new from scratch!  Cheers!

Sharing My Superpower…Only With My Fab 13

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 9.19.53 AMSo…I’ll never post this over at big places like LinkedIn, because it’s around my superpowers…and I don’t often give my superpowers away.  But, for my fab 13, I’ll share. Only for you, my peeps!

One of my biggest competitive advantages is that I…read. A. Lot. I have a library card for 2 counties, thanks to my Indiana state PLAC card (best $65 bucks I spend every year).  Lately, because it’s summer reading high season for me, I’ve been posting my stack of library books over at Instagram, to which one of my friends says he will henceforth just take his phone to the library, to check out what I’m reading, so he can check out the same.  (I get it – considering thousands of new books are published each and every day now, it’s next to impossible to keep up!)

So, I figured I’d share a post on how, exactly, I find library books to check out.  I’ve got a solid methodology that has taken years of refining.  This recipe I’m about to share has been streamlined and honed over several decades, since I received my first library card around age 5.


How to Find Library Books (AKA My SuperPower):

1. Make hunting for books a ritual – for me, I hunt books on Sunday morning while I’m watching one of my favorite TV shows (CBS Sunday Morning).  I just have my iPad out, and while I’m watching, if they mention a cool new book or author, I go to my library site and see if they have a copy of that book.  If they do, I put it on hold.  If they don’t, I….

2. Request the library to purchase a copy of the book.  Note I said suggest to the LIBRARY to purchase it, not me.  While I love to buy great books as gifts, I rarely, if ever buy them for myself.  (How I decide which books to buy for myself is an entirely different methodology and one I won’t discuss in this post.)  The bottom line: spend the library’s money – not your own when you’re exploring a new book.  (Arguably, it’s your money, since you’re paying taxes to fund your public library…but I digress.) There’s another advantage to you requesting the library purchase a copy of that new book you want to read – you’re up FIRST in the cue to GET the copy of that new book. Fresh copy. Just for you. Dig!

3. Go to the library when you have holds up – I usually set land speed records getting in and out of the library, because my sole purpose in going is to pick up my holds.  I don’t walk around in the library and waste time.  In. Out. Done.  I shop for the books I want to read online and during the week, every week.  While I think wandering around a library might be an OK way to waste time, I don’t like wasting time, period. So, you’ll rarely catch me among the stacks unless I’m hunting for something in particular.

4. Have a method for requesting books instantly – I’m listening to a podcast and they mention a book.  As soon as the car is stopped or I pause walking, I pull up the library website, and hunt for the book.  Not there? See 2 above.  If there, I put it on hold, then keep on trucking.  I’m guessing your local library system also has some type of mobile site or app you can access from your phone.  Always be hunting for good books, and better yet – make the process for putting them on hold easy button for yourself.

5. Know how you best read – For me, I love to wad a bunch of books together, then dip in and out of them all at once.  Maybe you only love to read while on vacation – great!  Make loading up your Kindle or app on your iPad part of your packing ritual.  Maybe you love to only read one book at a time, like my mom.  Cool – keep that puppy until you’re done.  Whatever method you use, make sure you set yourself up to maximize your own reading rituals.

6. Last but certainly not least, know this: you are not required to read a book from cover to cover.  I’m really not sure where it came from that one is absolutely required to read a book from cover to cover, but I don’t.  Nor should you.  If a book resonates with you – great!  Read on.  But if you’re just not that into it – life is too short to labor through it.  Books are journeys, and not every journey is for every person.  I’ve written here before that my friends all have different reading habits as well – like reading the first 100 pages of a book, and then discarding it if it’s not working.  Or reading the last chapter first.  Whatever methodology works for you.  The important bit here is to pay attention to how you read, note it, and then learn how to maximize it.

There. Again, this is one of my very top secret powers in my arsenal, and you’ll never see it on any other site than this one – so thanks, my fab 13 for stopping by – and I hope you share my superpower now…..! : )


57 Channels…Is Something On?

A little long post over at LinkedIn made me think of this post, which I’m about to drop here with you–all 13 fans. Ready?

How many of you, by raise of hand, use your different social media platforms as channels?  I started thinking about this and am trying to do it a little more.  Like…

Anchor – with my face for radio, I’m trying a #PharmFriday question of the week (#QOTW) wave each Friday – about, my best answer to one of several helpdesk questions I receive each and every week from my network.  This week I discussed live stream video:

Instagram – Here, I started a little recordation of the books I’m reading, what I didn’t like about them, and best of all what I like about them.  I’m @erinalbert over yonder.  If you’re a bibliophile like me, let’s follow each other!  The good Lord knows that I cannot read every book on the planet!

Twitter – Fast random thoughts @ErinLAlbert, healthcare and pharmacy stuff @pharmllc, and entrepreneur and generational workplace stuff @yuspie.

Faceplace – I have book pages there:

STEM Princess Book Series
Single Women Entrepreneurs
Plan C: The Full-Time Employee and Part-Time Entrepreneur
Law School: A Few Short & Plain Statements
Multipationals: The Changing World of Work, and How to Create Your Best Career Portfolio

And work pages:

Butler COPHS Experiential Education
BU Well

But on my own personal feed there – nothing but a bunch of political rants.  (I may need to take another Facebook vacation soon.  At least until December.)

My point is this: maybe we should all try to mix it up a bit instead of pumping out the same content on all channels.  There’s really no manual on this, but something I’ve been pondering.  As I said above, live video streaming is the next thing I’d like to conquer, but having that face for radio makes it a challenge…LOL!


7 Ways to Find an Illustrator for Your Book

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 9.27.33 AMThe universe seems to keep asking me this question a lot lately, so I thought I’d put together my various answers on the following question:

“How do I find an illustrator for my book project?”

…in one place so you all may get to the fun part – actually writing and producing your book – because the universe needs your book!

(BTW, if you’d like the audio version of this post, check out this wave from Anchor I did a couple of weeks ago on this same subject here…and below:)

First, a few issues before shopping for that illustrator to consider:

1. Make sure you include the illustrator in the production of your book–the earlier, the better.
2. The range of prices of illustrators can vary. Widely. They can charge by page, time, (or both) by the project, or even by character. Do you need a cover, or a full blown book page by page illustrated? Have a frank conversation on specs with your potential illustrator(s) so everyone is on the same “page” when it comes to production of the book. (Get it? Page? I like that one. I digress…)
3. Make sure you get it in writing – be clear on who is doing what, by when, and for how much, paid by when. Who owns it? Get a lawyer if it’s your first time. Be smart and transparent.

Now, on to the ideas for finding an illustrator!

1. Your mailbox – I am 100% serious with this one. If you start paying attention to the art that is hitting your mailbox, you might be pleasantly surprised. There are lots of local graphic designers that do a great job with your local charity’s gala, fundraiser, or event. Who is the illustrator behind that awesome soiree you just got invited to? Ask around. Shop local. Local artists are the best anyway, because you can meet with them eyeball to eyeball to gauge how interested they are in working with you on your project–and conversations are about 92% nonverbal anyway–so meet with those prospective illustrators in your very own backyard to find someone local who will rock it with you! See if there’s a local chapter of AIGA…that’s where the designers hang.

2. Other books – Good artists copy. Great artists steal. (Who said that? Picasso?) If you are an artist (and you are if you’re a writer), then why not shop the best book cover artists out there and see if they might be willing to work with you? I even use Pinterest to collect my favorite art for book covers.

3. 99 Designs – Don’t have a local tribe of artists? Well then, step right up into 99 Designs and find thousands of them, who will work hard to get your business!

4. Fiverr – Dare I say a cheaper version of 99 Designs? Yes, that may be a controversial way to put it, but like it or not–I am a fan of commerce, so it’s another portal where you can discover artists–and let’s face it, illustrating can get expensive fast.

5. Your network – Here’s a place where your network could actually help you! Who do you know who knows graphic designers/artists/illustrators? ASK! Check around. Even LinkedIn is getting into the freelancing networking community, which hopefully will be awesome. One more place to shop for talented freelancers to collaborate with – yay!

6. Publishers Weekly – a good general site on the publishing industry.

7. Your local art school or university – there are a lot of college students looking for cash.  Why not help them out by helping them get their talents into the universe by taking a chance on them?

So there you go. Get busy on that book. And, while you’re writing it, shop the universe for an illustrator. Whether it is a basic front cover you need for your ebook, all the way through to a page by page illustrated children’s book, there are great designers out there just waiting to work with you…to bring that book to life, and inspire another generation of creatives yet to come!

Happy May!

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 9.27.33 AMHello May!

In my completely biased opinion, we are heading into one of the best months of the year.  And I. Am. Pumped.

It’s been a minute since I’ve posted – but that’s because, as always, my fab 13, I’ve been busy.  This week was finals at one of the day jobs–which meant exams, grading, and posting of grades.  But that’s all behind me now.  And for all the students who suffered through my classes this spring, thanks for the memories and I’m glad we survived it together!

If there is anything this academic year has taught me, is that even I have limits.  I was stretched and challenged with more work in my life than ever, and have mixed feelings that I discovered and tested my own limits this year through work.  Sadly, I am only human, and definitely won’t be getting my Incredibles club membership card anytime soon.

But, those who know me well (all 13 of you) also know that I am not a history dweller. I’m an onward kind of girl.  So, this month, I’m going to decide the fate of my next book title and get cranking on it now that #STEMPrincess3 is out, and hopefully try out a couple of new ideas on that I’ve never tried before.  We’ll see how they go!

I wish you the best of Mays ever, my fab 13.  It’s our month!!!!

New Pharmacy Podcast: My Career Chat with Dr. Shaun Young, CEO of Ardina

I roll about career this year as a co-host on The Pharmacy Podcast.  This week is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and diverse in terms of career backgrounds – listen to my interview with Dr. Shaun Young, PharmD, MBA, CEO of Ardina – and remember: if you’ve seen one career path of a pharmacist, you’ve seen one career path only!

Stuff I’m Tracking…Just for You…

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 10.40.42 AM…OK, and me.  I confess!  All on google sheets – just for us:

National Pharmacy Meetings

Who’s at the Helm in Healthcare?

The Know Thyself Kit- good for high school and big kids

Women’s Leadership Training Programs

Pharmacist Certifications…and Healthcare Certifications

Enjoy! And if I missed stuff in any of the above lists and it fits the parameters – let me know!

3 Lessons I Learned from the Artist Known as Prince

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.02.01 AMI am a child of the 80s.  Therefore, any loss of artists from the 1980s reminds me of my own mortality.  Such is the case this week with Prince, who we lost.

While I was grateful for Prince and his music, he reminded us all of a few items through his life and work, some of which I think are the following:

1. You be, and do you – Prince unapologetically was and  did himself.  Remember the symbol, when no one really knew what to call him?  Yeah, perfect example.  He did what he needed to do, and didn’t really ask for permission or whether or not anyone minded.  He just did what he needed to do.  I like that.  We all should be little more like that.

2. Art allows you to evolve - He didn’t get stuck in the 80s rut.  He was constantly reinventing himself.  He did really creative things – music, film, collaboration with other artists, and yes, even my pal failure.  This year he was even writing a memoir and was still touring. He never stopped experimenting, which is fascinating for artists, because a lot find their style and just stop evolving.  He never did stop. (And…we both love the color purple!)

3. He stuck it to the man – He had some famous legal battles over issues of copyright, and right of publicity.  He really didn’t shy away from controversies – artistically or legally.  “There’s a dark side to everything,” he’s quoted as saying. Not going to lie – I like it when authority is questioned, and personally never enjoy the excuse of “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” I get the feeling Prince shared that with me.

There. The world will be a little less bright, sparkly, and purple without him.  Less partying like it’s 1999, and less flashy little red corvettes.  I am not patronizing here–I am merely appreciating his unique brilliance. If we all could pull that out of ourselves a little more, the world would be a truly better place.

But, I was glad so many of us experienced him and his music…we are the richer for it.


Dear FOX,

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 9.07.22 PM

The weirdest email I’ve ever received–that was legit, anyway.

Last night, you contacted me through a casting agency to appear possibly on your new TV show taping this summer, Superhuman.

First off, not only was this probably the weirdest legitimate email I’ve ever received, but I’m flattered.  I’m also impressed you found me through Kickstarter and the #STEMPrincess project.  Finding talent through projects that actually matter is commendable, and rare in reality TV shows these days.  Thank you for making my evening!  Truly, I’m humbled.

However, I really don’t have any dazzling, instantly visible talent.  I can’t memorize a line of chess pieces in order, or bend through lasers, or cook.  What I can do probably doesn’t make great TV.

Here’s what I can do, which probably makes terrible TV: I work basically 2 jobs right now (as site based faculty–at a college of pharmacy a couple of days a week, and at a site a couple of days a week), and I run two of my own companies.  I’ve published 11 books – on my own, without a publishing house to back me up or give me fancy advances to write them.  I’m single. I don’t have anyone else to rely on for my income and livelihood, so guess what? I get to hustle on my own. I’m often working late at night or on weekends.  I also read a lot of books, and listen to podcasts.

All this = BAD TV.

While I’m thrilled you’re actually looking for sharp talent these days, I think you might want to consider adding a show about real women out here busting our *&*!s and trying to hustle our way through our careers and lives.  Work is changing. I want to see more women on TV actually busting through the new way of work and getting to success in their own individual ways.  THAT would truly be a Superhuman show I’d want to see.

Thanks for your consideration and offer.  But writing a book or working hard probably isn’t sexy enough.



PS – here are some other TV shows I’d love to watch!

A Few Things I Was Reminded of Today…

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 9.58.52 PM1. You’re never going to please everyone – so get over it.

2. The only person you can control – is yourself.

3. Singing in class – probably not the best idea.  Unless, of course the class is voice.

4. Weird stuff will come your way – be open to it, but investigate.

5. All good things must come to an end. Including this post.



The 2016 13th Annual Continuing Education Symposium for Pharmacists at Butler University COPHS, June 2-4, 2016

Excuse me for a moment while I talk shop.

This week and pretty much from now until the top of June, I’ll be focused at work on delivering a top-shelf annual Continuing Education Program for Pharmacists at my first alma mater, Butler University.

If you’re a Midwest pharmacist, or visiting Indy as a pharmacist during the first week of June, you may want to register.  Here are a few hi-lights:

- Registration form, costs, and agenda.

- Full 3 day conference agenda.

- And of course, it’s included in the national pharmacy meetings list.

Topics this year include: pharmacy law update, new guidelines you may have missed, 2 new drug sessions, diabetes, bugs and drugs, biosimilars, and so much more!

- Hi-lights in audio at Anchor/Twitter: (yes, recall I do have a face for radio!)

Listen to “What’s coming to the @butleru #COPHS #CE 4 #pharmacists June 2-4, 2016 in #Indy?
” by Dr. Erin L. Albert https://t.co/MQNhq63we6

— Dr. Erin L. Albert (@ErinLAlbert) April 18, 2016




Who’s at the Healthcare Helm? An Update

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 2.27.55 PM

Who’s running the US healthcare system: in a word?  Dudes.

After reading this article by Scott Gilmore courageously standing up as a dude and proclaiming he will no longer speak at all male panels today, and along with it being National Healthcare Decisions Day yesterday, I thought it was time for a little update…in my tracking of leadership in the healthcare arena.

I wanted to check and see if my sisters made any progress in leading the US healthcare system, after doing a study back last fall looking at the heads of US healthcare – from pharmacy chains, PBMs, specialty pharmacies–to healthcare systems, non profits, government and even drug companies.

Back in the fall? Abysmal data. In fact, if aliens landed and met our healthcare leaders, they’d barely know women existed at all, let alone that women:

So, after this very depressing analysis in the fall, I wanted to go back and see if there was any good news 6 months later. Well, is there?

There were 3 bright spots.

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 2.41.30 PM

Women at the helm in top pharmaceutical companies? Zero.

However, we haven’t had a lot of positive movement in the right direction in most categories. And, we’ve lost some women deans in pharmacy schools too. Some charts, like the top pharmaceutical companies left, is just flat out embarrassing – zero women.

Because these numbers are abysmal, I’ve committed to tracking the data now publicly – so here’s my google sheet on the matter. That way, you can call me on it if my tracking is wrong (I never fear failure or being wrong). What I do fear, however, is not having enough women at the helm of one of the largest and wealthiest systems on the entire planet… No women in leadership could lead to really terrible outcomes for all of us.

How do we fix this? 1. We start promoting more women into leadership roles in healthcare. 2. Ladies, if we make purchasing decisions in healthcare, just like anything else – we can vote with our wallets. 3. Stop choosing organizations that don’t care about women, period. That’s it. The more of us who discuss this problem and call it out on the record, the better for all of us moving forward.

A dude over at Linkedin commented on this exact post that we need to get over stereotypes.  What I want to know is that of all the women leaning in out there, how many of us are really leaning in so much that we’re leaned over upon ourselves? How many of us as sisters have volunteered or nominated ourselves for leadership posts, only to be passed over for dudes?  It’s one thing if no women are out there asking to serve.  And it’s entirely a different thing when women are saying yes, but those making the hiring decisions are still saying no to smart, capable women.  That’s the bit I can’t really track, unfortunately.

But I’ll keep tracking what I can until we get to a closer general population % of women at the helm in healthcare.  I think I’ll be tracking for a while, unfortunately…

*There are stats out there that state women make up 40% of leadership roles in healthcare.  Based upon the organizations I looked at, that number is way, way high.


Who Are You, Anyway?

If I had a nickel for every time I was asked about the following, I’d be a rich woman.  But, since people keep asking me about it, I’m going to post on this then I’ll have a spot to refer them to. Yippie!

Who are you?  What do you love? What are your strengths, and what do you value? What skills do you have that people will actually pay you to do?  If you don’t know the answers to these questions right now in your life, then read on – I’m going to share with you the best tools I’ve seen thus far to get you at your best life intersection – at least for your work (I can’t really state if this works for your entire life or not…but I know it does work for work!)

Know Thyself from Erin L. Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD
The slide above is how I represent your best career intersection. It lies at a 4 way intersection between: 1. What you love to do, 2. What your values are, 3. What your strengths are, and 4. What someone will actually pay you to do. You’ll be pretty good if you can hit a couple of these at the same time, but I think it’s best to go for all 4 in this life.  After all, life is short and why not enjoy the ride?
1. What do I love? Think back to the last day you had where you never looked at the clock, yet time flew by. You were so entrenched in what you were doing, time really didn’t matter anymore.  WHAT WERE YOU DOING? That is a hint on the stuff by which you love to do.  Another way to look at it – I call it the lottery test.  If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do differently about your life?  Would you quit your job(s)?  Would you travel? Would you move?  If you have radical ideas to change your life based upon the lottery test, I’ll go ahead and ask–WHY AREN’T YOU MAKING THOSE CHANGES NOW?  Again, life is short!
The last day I experienced this, I was working on my peeps diorama for a display on innovations in teaching, believe it or not. Maybe I should be building more models out of sugary marshmallow?  I don’t know, but it was fun!
2. What do I value? I never was taught about this one, but it is absolutely CRITICAL to do work that matches your values.  If you choose not to, there’s always going to be this nagging feeling in the background that’s eating at you.  Trust me, I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and it’s not pretty over the long haul.
So, what to do about it?  Go to Google. Type in “values card sort”, and up should pop this card sorter that you can print out, cut out and start sorting.  Rank the values against one another.  What are your top 3-5?  Next, go to your employers’ websites and look up THEIR values.
I value knowledge.  Double check if you can hear that message/value loud and clear at this podcast interview I recently did with the “Is it legal?” podcast.
The big reveal: do any of your top values match those of your employer?  If not, why not?  If not, are you happy with your work? I’ll bet the answer is no.  Maybe if they are radically different, it’s time to start shopping for a new job….? I’ll let you decide.
3. What are my strengths?  Pretty sure 98% of the planet has heard about What Color is Your Parachute? and Strengthsfinder 2.0 by now, but just in case, run out and get these books, take the quizzes in them and figure out what your strengths are.  In the first slide, there’s even a link to a free strengthsfinder-like quiz.  I also really like the new release, The Episodic Career, because it also has a quiz in it that points to certain careers and it nailed mine for me!
For me, my #1 strength as I’ve stated on this tiny blog several times is far and away “futuristic.” I love talking about the future. So, future based projects for me? SIGN ME UP.  But this post isn’t about me, it’s about you. So, what is your #1 strength, and tie it back to your values and that last day you didn’t notice time going by–see any patterns or connections here?
4. What will someone actually pay me to do?  This one is the kicker, because not everyone will pay you to do everything that you love, that you’re good at, and that you value.  If you love something, but no one will pay you to do it, that’s called a HOBBY.  But hey, even hobbies these days pay with sites like Etsy and Ebay!
And, I’m sure there are other things that comprise this best life intersection. I’ve even given you a link in the first slide above in the upper left corner of the slide to all the other tests I’ve used on myself over the years to discover what I should be doing with my life.  Friends, family, travel, other books, podcasts can help you get to your very own best life intersection.  But for now, at least I’ve given you part of the map to get there.  Now it’s just time for you to plug the address in on your personal GPS and get navigating!

7 Circles of Adulting H*ll

So, this week, my water heater decided to break down.

Of course, it didn’t pick a convenient time to break, like on a morning during the weekend when I didn’t actually have to be somewhere on time.  Instead, it decides to break down on the. Busiest. Day. Of. 2016. Thus. Far. Literally on the day I needed to find a way to be in 2 places-at-once-busy!

Furthermore, I discovered my broken water heater not by sticking my hand under a warm sink tap.  No, oh no. That would be too easy. Instead, I discover it when I walk. Into. My. Morning. Shower.

Good morning!

I casually shared with my water heater after discovering the pilot light out that I, “ain’t got time for this today!” and stomped away from it.  There. Now who’s boss?!?

Then, on day 2, of course, after shutting off the water heater and draining it, the shower water was not only cold, but also dripping.  Little to no water pressure on top of the icy cold water really was candidly the straw that broke this girl’s back.

Two other items sparked this post: 1. An overheard ladies’ room conversation today about how “adulting sucks,” when someone else had car issues, and 2. This post, by yet another friend over at the faceplace, on how to pull your sh*t together as an adult (or at least make it appear as such…and caution, the language in it, too, is adultish).

I’m not writing this to declare that I currently have a big bowl of lemons in my house, a roast in the oven, nor mineral water in the refrigerator (unless you count the super hard Indiana tap water in the door of my fridge).  But, my point on being an adult is this, especially for the kiddos out there: We all grow up wanting to hurry through our lives to become adults and make our own decisions–we rush through childhood for this ‘golden opportunity’ of growing up.

Then, when we arrive, we realize that being an adult pretty much sucks for a big chunk of time.

On the other hand, sometimes it takes a really epic appliance breakdown to realize that we don’t appreciate what we have when we have it.  Hot water rocks, and it’s a total buuuuummer when you don’t have it.

The bottom line:

Don’t grow up kids…it’s a scam.  Trust Aunt Erin on this one.

My Fantasy Pharmacy Rotations

Knowing what I know now, but also what I don’t know yet, based upon where healthcare is heading, if I could rewind time and go back to pharmacy school again, (and completely ignoring ACPE 2016′s standards on what types of rotations students should have–which, by the way–is it time to rethink these?), here’s where I’d want to go on APPE rotations as a pharmacy student, 4 weeks each, 10 rotations total, during my P4 year:*

1. Calico – Part of the Google family of companies (Alphabet), this one is the health branch, which is also studying aging.  Who WOULDN’T want to work here who has a passion for healthcare?

2. Apple – But I’d want to work on HealthKit, specifically.  I think HealthKit could really revolutionize how we integrate health and wellness into our daily lives and our medical charts.

3. The Doctors or TEDMED – These are probably the biggest platforms I could come up with to have an impact on public health, and all pharmacists should have a desire to assist with public health improvement at the 50,000 ft. level.

4. IMS Health – This shop is probably sitting on top of the richest pools of data in prescription drug information.  Think of all the analyses one could do with this info!

5. Vaynermedia – We are yet still in our infancy when it comes to (legitimate) healthcare education through social media.  While this may seem like an odd choice for a pharmacy student, it’s not.  @Garyvee’s advertising agency focuses on digital and social, and let’s be honest, we need more healthcare professionals sharing their knowledge appropriately through these channels.  I know the healthcare stuff, it’s the digital optimization part I’d want to learn here.

6. Amazon Prime Air - This is an entirely new way of delivering products, and I think it could actually be utilized for pharmacy deliveries.  I’d love to see how Amazon plans to utilize this tech to deliver products to customers, and how it could be used in pharmacy too!

7. Beacon Hill Village - I love this almost co-op model of helping the elderly stay in their homes longer.  I think every city could benefit from this type of business, and would love to understand more on how it operates so I could bring it back to my own community.

8. HIMSS - for my association rotation (this is, of course a fantasy list), I’d want to work at HIMSS.  Particularly around their innovation work and surveys.

9. The Brand Institute – this shop comes up with all those crazy trade names for drugs.  To be a fly on the wall during conversations on naming drugs would be fly! (Get it? Sorry. I digress…)

10. Singularity University – Admittedly, this one is not healthcare focused either, but it is focused on the future of education. And all in healthcare need to realize that once they’ve signed up to be healthcare professionals, they’ve also signed up to become life-long learners.

There. Not super pharmacy-today focused, but definitely focused on the future of healthcare overall.  It’s fun to fantasize, if nothing else!

Where would YOUR fantasy internships/rotations be?

*Here’s my disclaimer back in reality: I don’t know if any of these shops actually take pharmacy students on rotations.  But then again, who cares? This is my fantasy list!


Writing About…the Things You’re Not Supposed to Write About

They say one should not discuss sex, religion or politics in polite society or blogs, but tonight, I’m going after one of the three.

Yes, politics.  (Sorry if that leaves you disappointed that I’m not writing about the other two, albeit the other two are tangentially involved.) ‘Tis the season.

The post trigger: someone I grew up with asked me recently how or why I had “changed” my political views so dramatically since I was a kid.

First off, I didn’t know that I had changed my views.  I’ve pretty much been the same way I’ve always viewed the world politically.

I’m a fiscal conservative, and social liberal (i.e. I’m pro-choice for women (with limits, of course), and I think that anyone who wants to marry another human should have that right, whether that’s same sex, different sex, or otherwise.  While we’re at it, I don’t dig that single people are robbed of benefits reserved for married couples either.)  In fact, I like it even more when the government stays out of my social business, overall.  I’m therefore a fan of LIMITED federal government. You know, that kind of government that the Constitution calls for–LIMITED. Besides, don’t we have other issues that the federal government is supposed to be focused on (like national security), and state government with stuff like schools and crumbling infrastructure?  I think the governments should focus on the issues they are supposed to, and leave the social stuff alone.

Now, as for a “label” on those beliefs…what am I?  Does this make me a Reagan Republican?  He said, “Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.”  I’m certainly not a tax and spend liberal.  Nor am I a draconian conservative that likes to take rights away from others.  If anything, I’m probably a Libertarian at this point–because per above, my favorite form of government is the limited kind.

I’ve noticed a lot of my friends over at the Faceplace want to try and stick labels on each other during this heated, tumultuous political season.  And I’ll be the first one to admit that I’ve mixed it up myself on topics I feel passionate about over there thus far, and I probably will a time or two again before November (eh hem, HEA 1337…by the way, I’ll be voting against all those who voted for this insane bill, and here’s hoping ACLU wins the battle on this bill being unconstitutional.  Here’s the list of votes, if you’re interested. Nuvo, if you’re reading this – keep your post up until November, please, I’ll need to refer back to it to know who to vote for…)

I’ll spare you any more details on my squabbles, but instead leave you with this: that whatever political ideals you identify with (or don’t), try not to waste your energy labeling others. Instead, channel the energy on getting educated and VOTING this season.  Although I’m not really enamored with any of the political choices for the next election, I will go to the polls, hold my nose, and vote for the least vile candidates, as we all should do.  (And ladies, that goes DOUBLE for us, since our sisters didn’t get the right to vote until 1920. Nineteen twenty!  That’s mid-to-late-Downton Abbey!)

And, when I posted about the Women’s Campaign School at Yale online tonight (which, BTW, is bipartisan, or in my case, tripartisan), someone asked me when I was running for office.  Answer: soon…and maybe even sooner if my rights keep on being taken away from me.

After all, it was Thomas Paine who said the following, “The duty of a true Patriot is to protect his country from its government.”  May we all be patriotic this election season.

Amen, Thomas….AMEN!

2Q16 Updates for My Peeps

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 10.26.51 AMHappy Spring!

Here’s the stuff I’m working on, peeps:

1. Women’s Leadership Programs grid – if you have a program I missed that you personally know is awesome, please let me know!

2. Pharmacist and Healthcare Certifications – I added PMP and all of PMI’s certifications this week.

3. Pharmacy National Meetings – Coming up next week: the Rx Drug Abuse Summit in Atlanta, GA.

4. The 13th Annual CE for Pharmacists at Butler University COPHS - registration popped up this week. We’re offering 19.75 hours of CE in this expanded 2.5 day event this year!  Day 1 (June 2 in the afternoon) is all about preceptor development. I’m talking about a pharmacy law at this event, personally, in addition to the shooooow!

5. Slides for Professionalism and your brand online as an entrepreneur at the 3/31 IN Small Business Expo.

6. A display for 3 really cool, different classes I’ve been part of for the 2016 Butler University Innovations in Teaching event. A “sneak peep” is above.

7. Plotting a bookraiser for the #STEMPrincess project.

8. Shopping for NON-clinical pharmacist people for pieces I’m working on for The Pharmacy Podcast and Pharmacy Careers. If that’s you and you’re willing to be interviewed, let me know.

9. Dabbling in and experimenting with Anchor.

That’s enough. For now! : )

The STEM Princess Children’s Book Trilogy: An Update

STEMPrincessSeriesI need to update the saga of the trilogy of #STEMPrincess trilogy for a moment. Please allow me to wrangle the web hi-lights up in one spot!

Once upon a time…

Back in fall, 2013 I ran a Kickstarter campaign for the first book, The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM, not to publish the book, but to give away copies to the Indiana library system.  It happened after I read this abysmal report on the status of girls in Indiana, particularly around their lack of success in AP STEM subject matter.  This can’t happen in my state.

Check. Success. Done.  The book was published in 2014.

Then, in 2015, I set out to create a hands on book for girls ages 5-9 to play with concepts introduced by the characters in the first book for STEM careers.  The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM: FUNBOOK Alpha was born. It includes an online answer key too, just in case anyone gets stuck (myself included).

Now, in 2016, the third book has been released, The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM: Coloring Book Beta, which allows children of all ages to connect with STEM professions and color their worlds STEM.  Most people love to color – so if this book can bring people together, release a little tension and educate along the way through colored pencils and/or crayons, even better.

When will it stop?  I’m not sure. But it doesn’t feel ‘done’ yet.  As well, maybe I’ll stop when more girls start choosing STEM careers, and we all get to gender pay equity.  I don’t see that coming overnight.  And while I love to sell books and tell the stories of the STEM Princesses, I’ve got a much bigger mission here than just books.  This series is training the next generation of girls and boys to show what girls can do – which is whatever boys can do.  It shows all of us what is possible.  And of course, one can be what she can see.  Last, as I just shared last week with Women & Hi Tech, the way of work in this world is radically changing–are we preparing the next generation for jobs that don’t even exist yet in STEM?

Last, the #STEMPrincess manifesto, created in the first book, and which has been included in all subsequent books.  We will keep you updated on Facebook, along with all other social portals with our hashtag.  When the day comes that we see 50%/50% gender equity in most if not all STEM professions, we’ll quit.  Until then…we’ll keep our sleeves rolled up, and continue the work.

More on…the Future of Work

So…on the future of work.  Here are some things you may want to read/listen to/or watch.  What inspired this post was a talk I gave this week at Women & Hi Tech on this subject.  Here are the slides.

1. Originals – book on creativity.  And creativity is going to be in the top 3 skills needed by employers by 2020. Of course Brene Brown has great books on creativity, and Gilbert’s newest book is on creativity too.  All of these are good.

2. The Future of Work Podcast – I’m a big fan of this one. Also listen to it on Stitcher.

3. The World Economic Forum – have a lot of white papers and research about the future of…a lot of topics.

4. Slideshare – believe it or not, Slideshare is a great place to get ideas on topics before they become books.

5. Of course – a few of the books I mentioned on the future of work, Multipationals, Plan C and Single Women Entrepreneurs.  All 3 provide different ways of viewing your future career.

The changes are coming.  If you haven’t been affected by them yet, you will be soon.  By reading or listening to the above, you’ll be better off with advanced warning…

New Stuff

Stuff I’m working on…

1. Just gave the future of work talk today – it was fun! Here are the slides.

2. Feeling the burn? You don’t want to feel this burn.  Learn how to prevent burnout here.

3. Next live talk? 3/31, where I’ll be talking about social media to small business owners.  Something along the lines of building the professional you online…? Not sure yet, still mulling this one over. In the meantime, go grab your tickets.

4. #STEMPrincess3 – 200 copies of the book are gone. Not bad, considering this is day 2 of sales for it!

There’s always more where this came from…but it’s still simmering.

Merry merry!

Attention Crayons, Markers and Pencils…

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 10.51.33 AM#STEMPrincess3 has arrived!

I’m working on the official launch, press, yada yada yada for March – but in the meantime, my fab 13, since you’ve been awesomely supporting me over the years, I wanted to let you be the first to know!

I know what you’re thinking, “Hey – Albert. Where are they for sale, again?” Thanks for asking!

They are at the Pharm Square Store, along with some other goodies – like stickers, the 3-book bundle (at a discount, I might add…) and a 10-book coloring book party pack if you want to get the coloring book in a larger quantity!  I’ve got some other tricks up my sleeve too – to help sell some books, yes, but more importantly – get more books out into the hands of girls PRONTO so they can say yes to STEM careers!

This first coloring book has been a lot of fun to produce.  Shout out to the amazing Pam Fraizer as well, who illustrated this 3rd book in the series.

Why did I do a coloring book, again? Because you can be what you can see – and that includes coloring! Girls need more positive role models in their lives.  If I inspire just one girl to consider and then choose a STEM profession who might never have thought about it before – that will be the reward here – to the girl herself for wisely choosing a career where she’ll be paid close to parity with her male counterparts, to me for leaving the planet a little better than I found it, and most of all – to the universe!

4 Things (Still) Bugging Me

Nagging, pawing, scratching at me, here are 4 things I’m troubled by.

1. Why are there so few women at the helm in healthcare? I already did the research here. Stats are bad. So, now how do we fix this serious problem?

2. Why doesn’t pharmacy benchmark vacation time?  And, now, HOW pharmacists work (remotely at home? At a brick and mortar pharmacy, etc.?)

3. There’s a lot of noise with girls & STEM education, but is any of it working?  Who is benchmarking girls’ success in STEM?

4. Are we preparing our students for the coming changes in work?  I’m speaking about some of the changes this week at Women & Hi Tech Executive Luncheon in Indy, but I fear our changes in education are not fast enough these days, because the world itself is changing faster.

Does anyone out there have any answers?

Writing to Enhance Your Professional Brand

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 11.40.03 AMOops. I just realized I didn’t share the 2-part Pharmacy Podcast series with you, my fab 13, on writing!

If I had a nickel for every time I got asked about this one, I’d be a rich lady. Now, I can just point them to this very post – enjoy this two part series for free with my dear friend and mentor, Dr. Elaine Voci!

Part I

Part II

Enjoy!  And let me know via twitter (@ErinLAlbert) if there’s anything else you’d like to hear about writing and professionalism, particularly in healthcare!

Pharmacy and Healthcare Bill Watch

Pardon moi for a moment while I take some notes on recent legislation, both at the federal and Indiana State levels on pharmacy and healthcare stuff:


CMS Covered Outpatient Drugs Final Rule - This one is a done deal.

Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act – passed the Senate on 3/10/16. Over at the house now, this bill would try to reduce addiction in this country.  Cynical as it may sound, this bill might be too late.

Indiana State:

SB 28 – Medical Malpractice. Increases cap on med mal claims in Indiana. (Not that this one applies to pharmacists, since we’re not covered under med mal statute.) At gov’s desk.

SB 80 – Pseudoephedrine.  This was not my pick of the bills, but it was close. I like that pharmacists may refuse to sell PSE, but I also like that the IN Board of Pharmacy will be involved in creation of rules here. Leave it to the experts. At gov’s desk.

SB165 – Codifies HIP 2.0. At gov’s desk.

HB1235 – Stricter drug penalties for dealing. At gov’s desk.

Feeling the Burn…Out

Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 10.55.04 AMNo, I’m not talking politics here…I’m talking about burnout.  While I’m focused on my first profession of pharmacy here when it comes to preventing burnout, it can apply to any and all professions, really.

First off, Americans suck at taking their vacation days.  So much so that we’re leaving about 226 million vacation days on the table each year.  Millennials are the worst when it comes to taking their vacation.  I think high paying/higher prestige professions are even worse about vacation, because we’re all pretty much Type A, and we believe that the world will fall apart if we leave the office for hospital for a week or two.

Hint: it won’t.

Pharmacists are clearly burned out. So are pharmacy students.  Even preceptors can feel the burn.

Of all the research I did on this topic (which is over at diigo here thus far and summarized over at The Pharmacy Podcast), it said very clearly we really should be taking our vacations.* There are many benefits to taking time off, like–

One of my all-time favorite experiences of my life has been my sabbatical from the day job in Fall 2013.  I planned it long before I took it. I came up with lots of possibilities and explored them.  I even in a type A fashion created a binder full of possibilities.  While I ended up doing radically different things than all the options I planned, it was actually super fun to plan.  To think of all the possibilities was – liberating.  I love the TED talk about the design firm as well that shuts down for a year after every 7 years.

Now I know this is extreme vacationing, and we all might not have that type of long-term time off, are you absolutely sure you can’t take a sabbatical, or at least your vacation time off?  Companies are starting to mandate it.

Pharmacists are stressed out. We’ve been asked to do even more with less.  I totally get it.  But as someone who is really working 4 jobs right now, I also know that if I don’t get away on my vacation time, I get extra crispy and lose the capacity for innovative ideas.  We’ve got to take our vacations to restore and rejuvenate ourselves – if for no one else, our employers…and our patients!


*As an interesting side note, in many pharmacist salary surveys online, I did not find where anyone was tracking vacation as a benefit for pharmacists within the surveys.  In a reddit post, it appears that retail pharmacists earn between 2-3 weeks of paid time off, hospital pharmacists about the same, and from my experience with pharma industry, pharmacists can earn up to 5 weeks of paid time off to the extreme.  But, because of our poor reporting of this metric in salary surveys, that in and of itself is a message that we don’t value vacation as part of the benefit package.  Should we?

1 Vacation, 1 Rant

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 1.45.26 PMHello, my wonderful fan base – all 13 of you!  I’m sorry I’ve been away, but I’ve been on one of those things they call a “vacation” again for spring break – to sunny Florida.  I really needed the sun, and appreciated the time away.

Upon my return, of course, was a huge stack of mail/bills/and catch up reading.  I read the local paper this morning and found a story on the Indiana Law Blog shutting down due to lack of funding.  This blog started in 2003, and we’re talking about a digital ton of information on Indiana law that will now be going away due to lack of funding.

Recently as well, I was asked about this post, and contacted by a relative of Ada.  I provided the original story that my friend over at Historic Indianapolis, Tiffany Benedict Browne shared with me.  I have supported her site in the past, and try to help out a fellow shepreneur whenever I can.  However, she’s always looking for sponsors of her blog that has thousands of readers.

Last, a friend at one of my works today asked if I was a backer in Books & Brews on Kickstarter.  Yes I was! I love adult beverages and books, so when they are combined in a local venue, I’m all over that.

Here’s 3 examples to get to the heart of my rant: if we want cool, entrepreneurial innovative ideas and venues in a city, state or country, we need to start supporting them.  Despite the fact that all of these folks are providing cool, valuable services, a very limited number of people are ponying up to support them.  There are not enough sponsors to keep ideas flowing.

While the pure capitalist might think that the market will tell what is and is not valuable, I don’t think I’m a pure capitalist anymore, and respectfully disagree with this notion.  Some things need to be sustainable – not purely private and not purely public.  That’s why I was rabid in helping the Indiana General Assembly get on board with social entrepreneurship business models for several years, and why I still like to support people doing cool things.

So, if anyone is reading this tiny post and can help out the businesses and blogs above, great.  But that’s really not the complete point.  The point is this: what are you doing to help your local community and local entrepreneurs?  If it’s nothing, why?  The entrepreneurs of Austin, TX make Austin great – but it’s the support of the entrepreneurs that makes the city even greater.

On the flip side, Indianapolis and surrounding mayors – what are you doing to help the local entrepreneurs?  If you help them, the entire community benefits, because they can create more jobs, create more locally-based economic cash flow, and create an interesting city that people want to visit.

This is what happens when I go on vacation and don’t write for a while, I get a little rant-y. But on the eve of another book coming that I published (in STEM, for girls), I felt compelled to mention that no cool ideas are done for free…so please consider supporting the local people who dare to try new things in your community if and when you can.  Otherwise, we’ll be living in a world full of large corporate strip malls and web pages that all look the same, are totally boring, and completely unremarkable.

March Madness…

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 9.44.25 AM

Hurry Up, Spring!


Is coming!

Not only do I actually get a real, adult spring break to warmer parts this year (at least in part), but also the following is coming up!

1. #STEMPrincess3 launch – it’s almost here! Yay! Don’t forget you can reserve your copy and get it first here.  And go find your crayons!

2. Women & Hi Tech talk – on St. Patrick’s Day, I’ll be talking about Workplace 2020 – something I never really did much when I released Multipationals, but bears some research and scrutiny, now that 2020 isn’t that far away.  Furthermore, with the world of work changing as much as it is, we all need a little more insulation when it comes to career development these days.

3. IN Small Business Expo – I’ll be discussing networking via social meeting for the first time at this event. Tickets are here. My partner in IN social media women & crime (lol) Amy Stark will be there too.

4. The Pharmacy Podcast – bringing a little more on writing to enhance one’s professional presence and career development.  Watch for it on the website.

Bring it.

5 Things I’m Working On

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 6.32.43 AMI’ve been a big fat failure on blog posts of late, simply because I’ve been busy in the real world doing my whirling dervish thing, which includes the following and what I’m working on now:

1. Writing as a vehicle for enhancing leadership.

2. And then, how you best visually display writing projects across multiple years at a poster session/visual carnival (I’m thinking road map, tree or something else visually that represents a body of work.) Obviously I’m still working on this.

3. The Future of Work.  Like the 2020 Workplace, but even more important, the rise of the gig/4th industrial revolution economy.  Like, why is entrepreneurship nearly at an all time low, but freelancing is nearly at an all time high…? What will the gig economy do to the traditional 40 hour work week? Will it totally usurp the notion of “traditional” work weeks in the US?

4. This pile above, as depicted in reality (no actors or stand ins have to portray my pile), sitting on my office desk that I must annihilate today, since it has been accumulating for a couple of weeks now.  I like to pile up all the work in one pile, then just watch it get obliterated as I work through it – can’t think of a more satisfying end to the week than cleaning up several messes all at once.  Besides, this is a shoutout to my former self and MSL days, when I’d travel solid for 2-3 weeks, then return home to master the “pile” of stuff that had been accumulating on my desk.  Nothing more satisfying than the sight of woodgrain at the end of a workday.

5. And, not gonna lie to you, my dear readers – I have spring break brain.  (Watch out for the Seinfeld remix at the bottom – it is explicit!)


Why Should Pharmacists Attend National Meetings?

Multimedia arguments as to why:

1. In print – new and out from Pharmacy Times.

2. In audio – from The Pharmacy Podcast.

This week, I’m working on the NEXT topic I’ll be tackling in multimedia for pharmacists and professionals.

What is it? Stay tuned, sign up on both sites, and find out first…soon!

4 Things to Do with the Closed Walmart Stores

All across the land, communities are losing their Walmart stores.  Love them or hate them, they actually did offer more options to consumer.  But now, they’re closing.

So, how could communities take advantage of this?  Here are a few thoughts (and yes, I’m certain there are property, tax abatement and domain issues o’plenty with the ideas I’m about to give, but I’m certain a creative city council and batch of attorneys could figure it out…)

4 Things to Do With the Closed Walmart Stores:

1. Combo startup accelerator/sales floor – Every community is dying for more opportunities to help entrepreneurs.  And, I just read that entrepreneurship is at an all-time low in this country.  So, why not help out the people who are trying to create jobs, by offering them some infrastructure, office space, AND, retail space to sell their goods?  Think of it kind of like a co-op for start ups. Like Etsy meets Studio B.  Or fall back to one of my favorites – Gather, NC.

2. Recycling hub – Kamikatsu, Japan has this one totally covered.  They recycle 34 different types of waste. They also have something called a circle store, where they sell up cycled products.  This weekend, I hit a goodwill outlet store – more for inspiration than anything else.  Buying there (by the pound) was an interesting experience, and one that I argue we need more of in our cities in order to reduce stuff going to landfills.  Why not offer this to a city or community, as a hub for upcycling?

3. Artists’ Studio and Gallery – Think meatpacking district in NY. Or go here. Or here. Or even here.  I’ve never understood why we don’t think of art more as a public good, when dump billions of dollars into stuff like sports instead.

4. Trade School – Combine all of the above with an entrepreneurial educational hub, where you can learn new trades and skills, start a business with some support, and sell your wares.  This could have a makerspace component to it as well, and in partnership with a community college or university, could really be a win-win.  While entrepreneurship is at an all-time low right now, freelancing is at an all-time high.  This also creates a community where aspiring and current entrepreneurs can get together and trade ideas.

That’s it this morning. Four cool ideas on taking advantage of Walmart’s disadvantages.

Using Firefox…in a MS Explorer World

I picked up The Originals from the library today. Ironic how I post about something, and it arrives.

Anyway, there’s a story on it about using Firefox in a MS Explorer world. Read it.

Also, I’ve been catching up on other podcasts this week – learning about and messing around with Anchor and creating waves, like this one, about what I’m working on this weekend, like the upcoming Women and Hi Tech talk on Workplace 2020:

I’ll leave you with this query: what was the last original idea, and more important, what did you do with it?  It was a gift…so try to do something with it!  My last original idea came to me yesterday, and I wrote it down, and I’m still pondering it.

Merry Weekend!

Introducing…the PAW Fellowship


I’ve written this so many times on this blog, my keys are worn out, but one more time: WRITERS. ARE. LEADERS.

That includes in the profession of pharmacy as well.

So, I’m working on creating more strong writers within the profession.

Introducing something we’ve been working on for months now – the Pricing, Academic and Writing (PAW) Fellowship!  This is a 1 year fellowship between Butler University COPHS and Myers and Stauffer, LC.

I don’t know of anywhere else on the planet offering this unique trilogy of skills in pharmacy, like:

1. Learn about the language of drug pricing – MAC, WAC, AAC, FUL, NADAC – there is a dizzying list of acronyms and nomenclature to know.  Everyone has their eyes on drug pricing right now, and in this opportunity, you’ll get to learn even more about it.

2. Academia – if you’ve ever thought about teaching, here’s another reason to apply for this fellowship.  You’ll get to work with moi on coaching/teaching and mentoring,  (and while I’m no expert, we can learn together)! Particularly around…

3. Writing – We’ve got all kinds of cool writing opportunities going on at BOTH sites – this is a place where you can write more and stretch your writing muscles.

Caution: You’ll have to work with me on this.  LOL!  Lawyers love full disclosure.

Ready to apply? Here’s the link.  Good luck!

Creativity and Place

After editing all day (both my stuff as well as others’ stuff), I need a break where I can write for a minute. Here it is, at 10 PM (finally)!

In the car on the way to work and home today, I listened to James Altucher’s podcast with Adam Grant about his new book, Originals.  (And no, I haven’t read the book yet, but yes, it has been on order from the library in cue for a while now.)

They discussed a lot of stories from the book, which studies creativity. But one story that caught my attention was on fashion designers and travel.  Apparently, fashion designers who had the most creative and out of the box ideas (as described by the fashion critics) weren’t those who just visited elsewhere from where they originated.  They were designers who worked elsewhere from where they originated.  They had to infuse or indoctrinate themselves into the foreign culture(s) in order to really step out and do something extraordinary.

So, next I’m thinking – am I shaking up my work places enough?

Are you?

Should we?

Do you go to the same place to work 5 days a week?  If so, can you shake that up?  Now, granted, I know some of us have to go where our clients or patients are (and all the messy legal issues like confidentiality, HIPAA, encryption, secure messages, trade secrets, etc.), so the work zone may not be easy to change up on a dime…but for everyone else, can you change it?  For me, I work out of 3 offices right now – work 1 (a cube area at Butler U), work 2 (an office at Myers and Stauffer), and home/work 3 (my second floor at home in my home office).  But even this I’m not sure I’m shaking up enough.

At a large corporation in town where I used to work, the employees no longer have offices. (This was very different when I worked there.) Now, they get a backpack, a locker, and a ton of soft spaces all over campus to choose where they work from, every day.  I don’t think I’ve personally ever worked in a situation without assigned seating, but the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of it.

This actually has me thinking of conducting an experiment on….myself. But I need to ponder it more.  Thankfully, procrastination is also good for creativity…

Clearly, I need to get my paws on this book.

Pharmacists, Indiana, Pseudoephedrine, and Methamphetamine

3 bills remain in the state 2016 legislative session in the jurisdiction with the highest number of clandestine lab methamphetamine busts in the US: right here in my backyard, in Indiana.

My friend Abdul-Hakim Shabazz had me on his radio show to discuss the 3 remaining bills and give my personal professional opinions on the 3 remaining bills.

The audio is here.  And these opinions are mine and mine alone – not those of my employers, my companies, or anyone else – just me. Opining.

Regardless of which bill you choose, Indiana legislators, (my personal pick of the remaining litter is HB 1390), pharmacists are getting threatened and held up in record amounts in the community. Whatever bill you pass, please don’t make them go further into harm’s way with pseudoephedrine. We are the most accessible healthcare professionals as pharmacists, but I worry that maybe, in times like these when drug abusers are robbing pharmacies and/or smurfing pseudoephedrine to make methamphetamine in clandestine labs at home…are we a little too accessible?

15 Classes I’d Like to Take and/or Teach Right Now

My valentine to the universe – a list of classes I’d like to take, then teach, right. Now.

1. The Global History of gender and pay disparity – how and why did we get to where we are today with unequal pay?

2. The Jane Austen Mindset – how can we get more girls and women to be independent?

3. Physics for the non-physicist – how can the rest of us understand complicated ideas like the Theory of Relativity?

4. How Art & Design Improve Health & Wellness – how can we use our surroundings to improve and/or maximize our health & wellness in a community?

5. Better Public Health through Social Media – how might we leverage social media for public health good?

6. How to Maximize Makerspaces – what’s next in makerspaces besides collaborative space, coffee and beer?

7. App Ideas to Implementation – take us through how to start and set up an app, from idea to the apple store.

8. Tinder for Writers & Illustrators – match.com for writing and illustrating, please.

9. Periscoping Better – how can we maximize live stream videos, now that all of us can be film directors, real time?

10. The Nonfiction Writer Writing…Fiction – how might those of us with the serious writing transpose over to the light side?

11. How Art Can Be Integrated into Healthcare & Wellness – art can make communities stronger, healthier and more well – but how?

12. Cities 2.0: Designing Wellness – What’s next for city and civic design to make all of us healthier and/or happier?

13. The Future of Work in STEM – As I’ve said repeatedly, 65% of STEM jobs of the future don’t yet exist – so what will they be, and how might we train the next generation to prep for these epic changes?

14. The Future of Cities & STEM – see 12 & 13, mashed together.

15. How to Use & Revitalize Architecture to Re-Design for the Entrepreneurial Mindset in a City – see 12, 13, and 14, along with 4.

Roundup: Innovations in Education

I like, every now and then, to peek around and see what other schools are up to in terms of innovative education experiences.  Here’s what I found recently.

1. Gap Year for Boomers – Burned out, boomers? As a fellowship, you too can spend 1 year on Harvard’s campus, taking classes of your choice, and networking with others while working on your own pet projects.  It is spendy, however.  Harvard’s not the only one getting in on the game of the gap year for the burned out – Stanford and several others are mentioned in this article.

2. Harvard’s new Design Engineering Master’s - design + engineering. Brill.

3. MIT’s newer MicroMaster’s Online – This is a type of feeder program that moves online edX rock star performers into an online MicroMaster’s program, then, level 3 is an invite to potential on campus classes.

4. Stanford’s new  joint degree undergraduate program - blends computer science and the humanities.

5. Harvard’s new Ed. L. D. Program – Sounds like they are trying to get the best and brightest into teaching. Too bad we’re way, way way behind on that in the States. It’s time to catch up.

6. Tulane’s Master of Jurisprudence in Labor Law – What I definitely needed more of in law school was labor law. ERISA alone made my head spin. Glad someone is on this.

7. Not using computers in the classroom, even in Silicon Valley – Do computers get in the way of grammar school? Interesting as well that 92% of kids these days dig book-books over ebooks.

8. Project based MOOCs - Coursera is trying project based MOOCs.  Of all, I am most skeptical about this one. Can you really replicate project based learning online?  Hmmm….

9. New master’s in Identity Theft & Fraud?

That’s the coolest stuff thus far…


7 Ways to Get Unstuck

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 7.46.51 AMStuck. Frustrated. Annoying.

You know – that place between the rock, and the hard place.  Trust me, I know the feelings all too well.

This is also probably one of the top 3 questions of all time I get as a career coach: How do I get unstuck? In fact, I just got asked yet again this weekend. So, I’m going to throw down 7 ways to get out of that sticky situation–quickly. Ready?

7 Ways to Get Unstuck

1. Get around those who do what you WANT to do NEXT, NOW – The best way to get where you want to go is to get around others who are doing what you want to do. Not only will you adopt the mindset of those professionals, but you’ll also be potentially exposed to more opportunities within that particular realm. If you want to be a writer, hang out where your writers hang out. If you want to be a rock star, hang out where the local music is played. A chef? The cooking school, or at a great restaurant. You become your environment, so why not get in the environment where you want to go? That also means reading books about the people who do what you want to do. Mentoring can occur with a library card – so use it.

2. When you find the right environment, ask questions – When I do luck out and find someone doing really cool work that matters–work that I myself may want to try one day–I inevitably become Nancy Drew (or Dora the Explorer, if you didn’t grow up with Nancy). I ask a lot of questions, like,

Quiz quiz quiz quiz quiz them. Investigate. Pick brains. But realize, however, that this shouldn’t be a free for all – their time is precious. Which leads me to my next point…

3. Thank them for their time and bring value to the relationship – After you’ve quizzed them, thank them (in writing–and no, email doesn’t count) and carry that contact forward with you. That means, check in with them from time to time, thank them, and see if you can bring value back to them. That first question you asked on their passions…can you keep an eye on that in the literature for them, then send info over to them on what they dig? Can you be a seeker and curator for them? Did you discuss a great book they haven’t read? Then send a copy to them!

4. Just do it – As cliche as it sounds, if there’s something you really want to do, why not just do it? What’s holding you back? I run into professionals all the time who want to write a book, for example. When I ask them how much they’ve written and receive no reply–they’re not just doing it. Stop asking for permission, or waiting for someone else to hand it to you. Quit talking about it and just do it! You can publish an ebook on Amazon for little to nothing these days–so would-be writers, what are you waiting for?

5. Realize that the rejection is just getting you closer to the next awesome thing more quickly – Do the work, but trust the process. If you were rejected from that job you really wanted, don’t dwell. Every flower must grow through dirt. Chalk it up as practice to get to your ultimate best next thing. Appreciate that the universe gave you the opportunity to practice…so next time when something amazing comes along, you’ll be ahead of your competition, because you had that opportunity to practice your interviewing/application/fear of rejection skills.

6. When you don’t see your ideal gig out there, create it – the 6th step: sometimes, your best gig or career portfolio doesn’t exist yet. That’s when you have to step up and create it yourself. I won’t lie – this is really hard to do, because not only do you have to sell yourself, but you have to sell the idea of the ideal gig to other parties too. The seemingly easier path to take is waiting for the ideal gig to show up…but sometimes, you’re going to be waiting…and waiting… This is how I landed in the position where I am today. I had to create it. It didn’t exist before. It took several open minds to make it happen, but all those previous rejections, nos and sorries led me to where I am today: in a one-of-a-kind gig that fits me like a glove. Now, I work in an environment that honors my values–change/variety, working on the cutting edge of innovation, life-long learning, and flexibility. Toni Morrison said that if there’s a book she wants to read, but it doesn’t exist yet, that’s her cue to write it. This applies to more than books.

7.  Make it easy for the universe to find you – You need to make it easy for the universe to find you. That means putting yourself out there. That means, putting all your contact information on your email footer…use it as your free mini-billboard. That means staying connected to your network.  That means…following up. Nothing drives me crazier than someone who makes it next to impossible to help them by not making it easy to follow up with them! Don’t be that guy. Make it easy for the universe to help you – people generally want to help, so make it easy for them.

There. Get out of that sticky situation, my good people, and get on with being the next version of you – the universe awaits your next upgrade of awesomeness!

The New Tradition: Non-Traditional

Raise your hand if you ever went to college and worked at the same time.

Keep your hand up if this was after college.

Keep your hand up if this was in the last 10 years.

I’m betting there are still some hands up out there.


Because the new tradition in learning is non-traditional learning.

Each decade of my life I have been in some type of school.  In my late teens and twenties – college. Undergrad. But, I pretty much worked the entire time I was in college.  Before that, high school–job(s), etc.

In my early 30s, it was business school.  But b school was part time while I did my work full time.  Actually, I vividly remember doing homework on the diamond cartel from 2-4 am at the pharmacy when my work was caught up and we were slow. (Diamond oligarchies are a girl’s best friend, even at 2 am, and even inside a pharmacy, after the progesterone suppositories are compounded.)

Later in my 30s, I went back to pharmacy school.  Again, at night, while I worked full time during the day.  Whomever is lucky enough out there to have enough cash lying around to fully fund grad school and quit your day job…rock on.  But for the rest of us, we have to work to keep on going back to school.

In my 40s, it was law school at night. Thank heaven that the law school I attended was founded as a part time evening program for working professionals, because per above, there was no way in Hades I’d have a shot at quitting my job for 3 years to pursue a law degree.

Where will I attend in my 50s?  I don’t know. Yet. I have a few years to figure  it out.  I’m working on it. And, I’m excited about the idea of it.

Here’s my point in this post: Most of us, if we are lucky enough to figure out how to get back into school–have to do it part time. Non traditionally.  We aren’t going to stop life to go back to class, because we can’t. We don’t have that luxury.  We’re working and living so we can afford to return to education and dip in, then dip out.

If universities out there just see education one way anymore, they’re dead. There’s just too much life going on out in the real world (and money to be made so it may fund education) in order to continue one’s education.  And in a world of craziness, companies shuttering overnight (where my state managed to yet again make negative national news by a certain local company announcing, rather tastelessly, that it was relocating to Mexico this week), and chaos all over, the one thing we might be able to depend on is furthering our education. Ourselves.



Queen of Wrong

This week, I’ve been wrong.

Several times.

But, it’s OK. It’s part of the human experience.  I at least felt better about it after watching this TED talk on it.

I’m not a queen. But if I was a queen, I’d be the queen of wrong–this week, and probably most weeks.

Another way to look at it is–we should be happy about being wrong.  Because, the discovery of being wrong means we are learning.  Growing.  Besides, encountering wrongness on a more frequent basis prepares us for pivoting, getting uncomfortable, and fixing.  If someone near non-human and perfect rarely if ever encountered an error–would they know how to face it when they did inevitably fail?

I also just read an article this morning on where the most stress in a job lies.  It’s about unpredictability.  What if wrongness and the discovery of it led us to being better managers of the unpredictable, which in turn leads us to a lower stress level at work?

What I always want to know as a teacher is–how do we teach students to get comfortable with being uncomfortable?  How might we prepare them for jobs of the future when they don’t even exist yet?  Part of that (I think) is getting them to learn from wrongness.  The classroom should be a safe place to experiment with wrongness.

A User Guide to M(e)

I listened to a podcast today featuring Tom Vander Ark on the way to a meeting in the Jeep, and so I strolled over to his website when I had a free second and found this handy little post, that they apparently do over at Google: A User Guide to Me.

Man, wouldn’t it be cool to have a user guide on your co-workers?  THAT would be handy!

We do something similar in RX640 Entrepreneurship in Healthcare/Life Sci at Butler: I have the students do a strengths and personality CV, or a Know Thyself Kit – but it would be even better to have these warehoused somewhere so we can access them.  I try to put up some pet projects in a 1 page summary of what I’m up to as well, because regular resumes and CVs only really talk about the past – they don’t really focus on where you’re heading.  And as a futuristic-obsessed #1 strength, I can’t be the girl who just focuses on past accomplishments.

But, for fun, I’m going to walk through Vander Ark’s user guide below. Ready?

About M(e):

What I’m working on (pet projects):

What I think I’m good at:

What I’m told I’m good at:

My least favorite things:

Good ways to work with me:

I can always help with:

How I learn:

That was fun.


Color me STEM

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 9.21.28 AMSo, there’s a ton of research out there that suggests coloring has benefits, other than a page just being filled in with the ROYGBIV spectrum.  I wanted to do a lasso around the internet on this subject and put a few solid posts here so I can refer to them later on…so this post is for me!  Read on, however, if you’re interested in this arena of research as I am right now.

The Healing Power of Art

Health benefits of coloring books attracting adults to childhood pastime

Anti-Stress Coloring Books for Adults: The Latest Way to Relax

Adult Coloring Books Promise Stress Relief

Why adult coloring books are good for you

Coloring Books for Existential Angst

Let Kids Create: 7 Benefits of Coloring

The American Art Therapy Association Art Therapy: Integrating Creativity, Healing, and Professionalism Conference 2016

Podcast on adult coloring

I’ll be adding to this over time as well when I stumble on other cool stuff in coloring.

The Back of Your Napkin

BackoftheNapkinEver met one of those work barons or heroes in your network after work for a drink or for a cup of coffee, where you started a conversation that was going somewhere? And, you needed to graph it out – immediately!

Thus enters the back of the napkin.

One of the best, most aspirational conversations I ever had was with a law mentor of mine, where she started literally mapping out my career on the back of a napkin. I stuck it on my wall of fame, and it’s still there (albeit a little shredded by Jack the Cat.)  I’m not sure if much came true from that actual conversation at this point in my career, but it was a super fun exercise to walk through at the time.

Anyway, I was reminded of this recently because 1. I heard the phrase again, and 2. I just saw it on Stanford’s d.school page – where their napkin is at their homepage, and their ‘manifesto’ is written on the back of a napkin – literally.

I’m going to challenge myself, and maybe all of us should who read this post – to think about what would go on the back of our napkins. Who are we? What do we stand for? And most important of all–who or what do we aspire to be?

The napkin also has its limits. There’s only so much space. So, this is where we insert the metaphor about the fact that we can’t be superheroes and do it all. We must pick our battles, and focus on what we really want to be great at, or do better than anyone else, or strive to be.

This weekend, I’m going to think about what would go on the back of my napkin today. Maybe all of us should. In this era of a serious crisis in leadership, it would benefit the universe if we all paid a little more attention…to that tiny napkin, and what we choose to put on it.

Sharpen Your Crayons…

Ladies and gentlemen: I love a good contest.  Here’s one! Print out the cover photo for the new #STEMPrincess3 book below, then color it!  Design it the way you want, then upload it back to your social media channels with the #STEMPrincess hashtag. We’ll give away copies of the new coloring book when they are in to the uber creatives…and…go! Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 6.55.30 AM

Beta Life

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 10.51.33 AMToday, I put book 11 to bed. Or, book 1, depending on how you look at it. It’s book 11 of mine, but book 1 of mine when it comes to coloring. Yes, #STEMPrincess3 (Or Coloring Book Beta) is off to the printers.  I’m sharpening my crayons and colored pencils in anticipation.  If you want to preorder your copy – here’s the link.  I also edited my new work bio page, and added the edited one page summary of my work this week to it.

That was not the only book I checked edits for today.  Students at Butler are cranking it out on 2 different children’s books this spring.  The illustrations in both of them are dynamite too.  Edits galore.

Last, I edited a 30-page portfolio on a project for work today–something I’ve also been writing like crazy for the past 3 weeks.  I’ve not done this before, however, so I freely admit that I’m winging it.

Everything these days seems to be in beta.  It’s all in draft format.  I’m just doing my best to keep it cleaned up as much as possible. Of course I joke that we’re all in janitorial–it just depends the size of the mess that we’re scrubbing. It’s not perfect, nor will it ever be–but if it’s tidy, I’m a happy camper.

That, and I just don’t think I can stare at a computer screen anymore today….

5 Cool Ideas for Universities

I’m not running a university.  But, if I did, here’s 5 things I’d love to see happen on the campus–the hypothetical campus I ran. Ready?

1. A sustainability program – preferably required as part of residential living on campus.  See this example for cool ideas (and yes, there could be a trash recycling major by separating your garbage into 34 different types!) I’d love to see circle stores on college campuses – it would be a mix of sustainability, entrepreneurship, commerce/business, and even a gathering place or third space (see Gather NC as an example–the old store front, not just the new pocket one).

2. Life skills badge – again, common sense stuff here, like #1 above, or budgeting, or balancing a checkbook, paying bills on time, assessing whether a house should be purchased, and/or buying major ticket items, like cars vs. living closer to work.  Even how to wash that laundry – really.

3. Cooking – So, the medicine students have to do it at Tulane, and now a bunch of OTHER med schools are requiring it – so why not all of us, or at least the other health care professions, if our real goal is to keep everyone well?

4. Let’s go back to #1 and talk about teaching students how to MAKE STUFF.  Or at least FIX STUFF. IKEA wants you to stop throwing their stuff away.  Why not start a campus circle store and make stuff out of recycled stuff?  Again, this is repeating #1, but you get the gist… people need to reconnect with making stuff with their HANDS.

5. Cold, hard cash for ideas – former president of Drexel University, Costantine Papadakis, used to give away cold hard cash to students for really solid ideas on improving their college experiences.  I really like this idea, because it puts the money right where higher education should be focused: on IDEAS. On making the world a better place, or at least our own corners of it.  If he could do it, why couldn’t the rest of us?


After a very frustrating day with technology, please allow me a rant.  This one I dedicate to: book-books.

I’m writing a dossier for a ‘work thing.’  One thing I’m assuming the ‘work thing’ needs is for the citations in it to be cited via one of the big 3 citation guides.

For those of you who don’t have to conform to certain citation guides, those of us in academia are subjected to various conforming style guides for citations, like

Depending upon whom you are writing for, they subject you to one of the big three aforementioned citation guides for your style and citations.

Anyway, I won’t mention which of the 3 I was trying to use online today, but suffice it to say, it was much like using The Book of the Dead in Beetlejuice: cryptic, not in any sort of reasonable order, and cumbersome to work around.

I’m just here to say that technology doesn’t always make things better.  Sometimes, technology gets in the way of things actually working.  Maybe I’m getting old and fussy, but this style guide online was awful to use.

To all book-books in the universe: I salute you.  And, to some extent, I miss you.

Tough Answers to Tough Questions

Seth asks some tough questions in this post. I tried to answer them below.

1. The difficult thing I’m trying to do is get students to publish before they leave college and lead through the written word.

2. I’m working on the intersection of pharmacy, law, entrepreneurship, and publishing, and littering the universe with knowledge along the way.

3. Right now, I’m trying to connect students to work on next year’s children’s book publishing project at Butler.

4. I would hope people who talk about me say that I work hard.  I’m tough, but I’m fair.

5. What am I afraid of? Running out of time.

6. The scarce resource is time. See #5.

7. I’m trying to change myself.

8. The change looks like the future–and in the future we have to change, or we get left behind.

9. Would my work be missed? I don’t know. I’m trying to focus on the work and not the impression of the work.

10. I stand for truth, justice, and the old American way – the way of working hard and going for what you want out of life. As I’ve stated before, I think America has lost this a bit. We need to get it back.

11. The contribution I’m making to the universe is small, but hopefully, I’m creating some others who go on to help litter the universe with knowledge long after I’m gone.

Snowhere to Go

It’s #blizzard2016, and ironically, the storm dodged the Midwest! (Or at least the bit I live in…BTW, that never happens.)

But, if you’re hunkered down and in, cozy, with plenty of milk bread and eggs, here are some things to catch up on over the internet and take advantage of that down time, if you’re over Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, that is…

Book Facebook Pages:

One of the new initiatives at work for all students at Butler University:

The new and exciting Pharmacy Podcast series I’ll be working on as a co-host in 2016:

Or, better yet, join a group if you’re in the pharma/life sciences/pharmacy spaces during your down time and start building your networks!

Groups Running on LinkedIn:

That is the one beautiful thing about the shady weather – in that it forces all of us to pause.  Why not use the time to reflect, too?  It’s like bonus time on your life.  Seize it!

2016 Pharmacy Meetings – My First 2016 Episode of The Pharmacy Podcast

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 9.13.48 PMThis post is a supplement to my first Pharmacy Podcast this year!  Yes, I’m co-hosting in 2016 – and really excited to be joining Todd and his crew this year.

The first podcast is on pharmacy meetings.  My guest is the great Kristin Eilenberg, of Lodestone Logic. Her firm also has a really cool database of over 4,500 pharmacy meetings called Lodestone Insights.

I’ve also got a basic pharmacy meetings list here, free to all.  Pharmacist and healthcare certifications are here too.


Group Meetings: My New Plague

Ever since I saw the harrowing “What this meeting is costing you” calculator over at HBR a week or so ago, I’ve been haunted by it.  Not only are meetings a vacuum cleaner of your time, but they’re also expensive. Really expensive.

So, I’m going to start watching my meeting calendar like a hawk on this – particularly if I’m the one instigating the meeting.  If I called it, I’m going to carefully assess as I get closer and closer to it the following:

1. Is there anything I can do right now to thwart the necessity of this upcoming meeting?  (If so, get off your keister and do it!)

2. Has everyone who has been invited REALLY need to be in the room?  (If not, give the option to cut them to them and next time, be a little more sensitive to dragging them into another meeting!)

3. Can I get this meeting done through email?  If so, go back to #1.

4. If I REALLY still think I need this meeting with other human eyeballs in the room, WHAT is the TANGIBLE OUTCOME I need from this meeting at the end?  (Hint: it better be good. Like monumental revenue generating changing the universe kind of outcome.)

5. Last but not least – can we meet by standing up?  Does it take the standard 30 or 60 minutes, or can we knock this out in 15 minutes or less? (Reward yourself if you do get out early.)

6. If we can get a meeting done in less time, can we just move while we meet (have a walking meeting)? Sitting is killing us – literally!  (If confidential, maybe not.)

There. This didn’t make the new year’s resolutions list, but if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a worthless time suck of a meeting.  Really, if the purpose of the meeting is to inform – just send an email.

100% Fun, and 100% Important

I carry…

…a Hello Kitty lunchbox.  It’s pink.

While pink has never really been my style, HK has been, and probably always will be.  It also says ’100% fun.’

I also the other day was explaining bloom’s taxonomy to a group of students. But I remembered that a much more fun version of Bloom’s was over at Pinterest, which I’ll link here for you, so the artist gets props.

Here’s my point: when I’m doing that educating stuff, I’m always trying to get people higher up in the tree.  I want people with the power of knowledge to create, because that’s the highest form of learning.  The learning means something, and you understand it so well, you know that you can change it by creating something new if you need to.

I was reminded that this applies to ALL courses and ALL learning.  In pharmacy law, for example, the students really have a lot of memorizing to do, down at the bottom of Bloom’s.  But, one can never really change the law or create something new at the top of bloom’s until they get the bottom memorizing and analysis stuff right.  If we want to grow the leaders, we have to take them all the way through to the top of Bloom’s.

Besides, creating your own world is way more fun than just accepting what already is…

I guess I’m more like HK than I realized.

But after all, you know she’s not a cat, she is a girl.

STEMPrincess3: Coloring Book Beta – Coming Soon!

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 10.51.33 AMSo, I’ve been littering my social media profiles this weekend with my new draft cover of the third book of the #STEMPrincess trilogy, Coloring Book Beta.  It’s not out yet, but you can sign up on my email distribution list on this blog page (right below the twitter thumbnail <-) for details on when it will be available and where you can get your copy of it – before the masses.

Coloring books are white hot right now, even for adults.  I get it.  There is something therapeutic about coloring. But, on top of that, girls and boys can be what they can see – and why not have them color a physician or a theoretical physicist?  If that’s the hook it takes to get them interested in STEM education and careers – I’m ALL FOR IT.

Stuff Women Academicpreneurs Like

A list of stuff I’m exploring right now:

1. Updated the list of women’s leadership programs’ Google Sheet today.

2. Pharmacists: anyone going to ASAP this coming week?

3. Healthcare and pharmacist certifications – I’m curious if anyone out there has completed a certification of late, and if so, what it did for their careers?

4. Joy Mangano – we need more women entrepreneurial rock stars in film, on TV, on radio, in podcasts, etc.

5. Biz Chix Podcast – I’ve recomended this content to my personal mastermind group, which was inspired by the podcast itself.

6. Changing higher ed – If anyone (beyond healthcare, of course) is ripe for change right now, it’s definitely higher education. I’m watching sites like the Chronicle, of course, but I’m interested in individuals’ opinions as well.  One blog and book I read recently is The Professor Is In.

7. Coloring Books – next up for the #STEMPrincess series is….a coloring book!


This morning, I sped read The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes.  In it, he pointed out something I too have been saying a lot lately, when it comes to the #STEMPrincess series, which is this:

Never stop learning.  And learning is just learning a new language.

He’s correct. For example, in the #STEMPrincess series, I’m merely trying to introduce the “language” of different STEM careers for readers.  Electrical engineering has a language.  Pharmacy and medicine have another language.   Even broad general professions have sublanguages.  For example, the pharmaceutical industry has its own language within pharmacy and medicine.  Computer programming has dozens of languages (C#, Java, Python, Ruby on Rails, etc.).

And, knowing the differences between languages can be valuable too.  For example, the sign “delta” means change in science and general chemistry.  But, in law, the delta sign means defendant. “Pi” sign in math means 3.14, typically, but the pi sign in law means plaintiff.  When a business offers several products within a category for a specific group of people at different points in time or in their lives, for example, this is an example of vertical marketing (like, a university offering both undergraduate and postgraduate education to its alums).  But in medicine, that could be construed as self referral, which is a no-no legally (like, a doctor referring only to one lab that he owns for his patients).

For those of us in multiple professions (which are most of us now), a big part of our jobs these days is serving as translators.  Instead of English to Mandarin, we’re discussing pharmacy to law or law to pharmacy (when I’m teaching lawyer or pharmacists about the opposite profession).

If you can pick up two different languages and communicate well in translation, you’re golden.  That’s a really valuable skill.  And in this era of the world being a very complex place, we definitely need more translators.

So, next time you’re shopping for something new to learn, just think of that in the context of picking up another language, if it helps…

My (Irish) Twin

At one of my jobs this week, we had an awesome retreat.  Prior to, we had to fill out a questionnaire about who we are, to later play a guessing game at the retreat about everyone in our shop in order to get to know each other better.

On the question about: “Do you have any siblings?” I put down that I have one brother, who is my “Irish Twin” in that we are 11 months apart to the day.

At the actual retreat, the question appeared on the guessing game: “Who has a twin?”

The answer? Me, apparently.  The “Irish” part was left out.

The interesting thing is, I didn’t even guess this question was about me.  Because anyone who knows me and my brother well also knows that we are pretty much 180 degrees polar opposite on our list of mad skills, with the exception of maybe one trait: we both hustle.

Hustling means that once we commit to something, we’re 100% in, and when we say we’ll do something, it gets done.  Other than that, we’re exact opposites.  He’s great with fixing mechanical stuff.  I’m terrible at it.  I’m a book and class learner.  I think I saw him crack a book in college once.  He works in auto racing. I work in pharma and higher ed. He hates to travel, and I love it.

See? Polar opposites.

Anyway, the point of this post is this: think about an opposite in your life, then think about how you’re similar.  It’s actually kind of interesting to do.  It helps divergent and convergent thinking.  Besides, we can get blinded to our thoughts based upon our own perceptions at times.

The bottom line: don’t be me at the retreat – who didn’t realize that I was the person in question.

Keep thinking strong, my peeps!

5 Areas to Get Into if You’re Getting Out of Pharmacy

No doubt about it – there’s a lot of pressure on pharmacists right now.  There are tons of schools, tons of programs, and a lot of competition. Our country has nearly 280,000 pharmacists now.  On top of the grind of pharmacy school (both financially and academically), a job after school isn’t always guaranteed, and even cheerier news – our jobs are 47% autonomous, or almost half likely to be automated (we are that brown circle, higher up in the center of the map).

I’m just keeping it real here. Pharmacy isn’t for everyone.  Not everyone can be a superhero in this field.  So, the next set of questions is – if pharmacy isn’t for you, what else is there?

Answer: A BUNCH OF STUFF!  Here are just 5 ideas, and there are so many more, that I thought I’d start the ball rolling here with a few.  The good news is that all of the items below still relate to healthcare and wellness – so if you’re sure healthcare is the spot you’d like to be in, but you’re not clear on where, here’s some ideas.

1. Bioinformatics – look up “big data in healthcare” and you’ll suddenly find all kinds of data that needs to be crunched.  Maybe you’re awesome in big database software, but maybe not so much in pharmacology.  There are degrees from bachelors all the way up to PhDs in bio and health informatics now. Evidence based medicine needs evidence.  The evidence comes from crunching the big data.

2. Robotics – This area is more engineering based – but let’s say you love science, but you also love putting your hands on objects you make and pulling apart stuff to see how it works.  If so, robotics may be for you. Here’s the list of the top 50 robotics companies in the world. See any companies you know?

3. Communications – If there’s anything healthcare needs more of right now, it’s advocacy for patients and proper on demand health education and communication.  It’s become so complex that you need someone to take you through it to make it simpler.  Thus, the expanding need for healthcare communications professionals. That could be everything from PR all the way through to patient advocacy, even advocacy with payers.

4. Design – Our environment impacts our health and happiness.  So, just as we have to be careful about those who we surround ourselves with, we also have to be cognizant of our environment–where we work and how we work also plays into our individual wellness.  Thus, I think there’s going to be higher demand for designers of the future to make everything healthier and more well (?) in our lives.  Like: homes designed that are more friendly for the elderly, or hospital design that helps patients recover more quickly, or neighborhoods and city planning that keep people well longer.  This is big picture public health stuff here – so if you like how things are made and what impact they have on us – design might be your forte.

5. Software – Coding. I don’t think that’s going away in the near future.  With the dawn of the internet of things (IoT) here in its infancy, we’ve still got a long way to go to integrate more internet controlled stuff in our lives.  So, if you’re into “there’s an app for that” kind of thinking, sign up for computer science and software. We’ve still got a long way to go!

There.  And don’t get me wrong – pharmacy was a great choice for me.  But it’s not for everybody. If it’s not for you, fear not. There’s still plenty of opportunity in and around healthcare to contribute in positive ways…!

The 2016 Virtual Social Media Hygiene Conference

I love a good conference. Really. More than most.

As the director of continuing education at Butler University, and being a convention goer, I’m constantly thinking about what my fantasy meeting would look like.  So, I thought I’d try a little experiment on one of my ideas with you, my fab 13, as I’ve not yet been able to put this conference together live.  I thought the next best thing would be to see if there are “virtual” materials out there, in the internet of things that could start the conversation around the topic.

What is this topic, social media hygiene?  Well, to me, that is the fascinating study of how people use the internet at social media to solve problems, learn, and share stuff, more specifically put.  That also has a very janitorial component to it as well, as I can personally attest to, with managing a few communities online, my fair share of social media personal pages.

So, back to my fantasy social media hygiene conference.  Here’s the presentations I’d like to see at this conference.  After each question or idea, I’ll put some resources I discovered on the topics as a starting point. Ready to see if this works? Me too!

The first ever and virtual Social Media Hygiene Conference!

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 5.18.18 PM

Scrub a dub dub, campers…want to know how others utilize social media?  Do you want to know how YOU can utilize the internet better?  Here’s an agenda!

1. How might patients find safe and quality online communities for networks?  This is my healthcare section of the symposium. OK, I know of PatientsLikeMe, but what other communities are out there for healthcare professionals? Patients with certain disease challenges? How often could or should patients utilize them, and for what kinds of information?

2. Panel Discussion: How might we optimize consumption of content without getting sucked in to the time vacuum online?  There has to be a happy medium between doing your business online and completely getting sucked into the vortex of too much time wasted online.  What is the happy medium for everyone, and what’s the happy medium for those who are trying to create brands?

3. What is the optimal mix of reposting content vs. creating content online?  Gary V. answers this question a lot, as do many other social media experts, but I really still don’t have a great answer on this.  Maybe it’s different for everyone? I don’t know, but a rich discussion on this by a couple of experts would be sweet.

4. What happens to our online presence when we die?  People don’t really put social media clean up in their wills for their executors – or do they?  What if no one cleans the profiles up after someone passes?

5. How might we best scrub up our online presence…and how often should we clean it up?  Janitorial. See above.

6. Everything old is new again: podcasting 201.  Somebody brought podcasting back. Even if it wasn’t JT, I’m super pumped it’s back, and I’d love to see more indexing and content culling of podcasts. Someone’s working on this, but I don’t think the service is up just yet…

7. Panel Discussion: What are our best social media hygiene rituals?  I read Flipboard in the morning, and post on my pages in the morning. I blog when the muse strikes. I tweet when or if something witty fires across my neurons (which is rare) and at other times, when I’m sharing live stuff.  But, how can this be better?

 8. I always feel like somebody’s watching me: how might we stay safer online?  Cyber security and safety online are the biggest issues with the internet. Just ask the federal government.

9. Keynote: The future of the internet of ‘things’ – what’s coming in IoT?  Of all the info here, I’m excited about the internet of things the most for the future. A house that detects if you have hypertension. A mirror that detects autism. A floor that can tell if you have plantar fasciitis.  Best of all, you’re 23andme human genome tying into your IoT house that can monitor you for things your defective genes MAY put you at higher risk for – this is the stuff I would LOVE to know more about!


There. That’s a start. And I didn’t even need to leave the comfort of my cozy office to start this virtual conference!  I’ll try to add more quality content to this virtual conference as I go along this year.  In the meantime, if you know of a LIVE conference like this one, that grants CE or CLE or both, I’m in. Just tell me when & where!



How to Start (And Finish) Anything in 2016

This blog post title seems a little ambitious, especially as I write it at 5 am.  But, one has to seize the opportunities when they come by, and one of the features and benefits of traveling to the EU is that I become a morning person and get up early for the first week or so after I return home.  (Those who know me well also know that this is about the only time I ever become a morning person.)

So, let’s take advantage of this opportunity, shall we?

I want to talk about this ripe time of year for making new changes in one’s life. Resolutions. Goals. Ideas to life, that kind of hard, gritty stuff.  I’ve also been refining my own goals a bit this weekend after writing them in Ireland last week.  I thought I’d share some of the tips I’m employing, in hopes that it might benefit you as well, as you approach your 2016 like a superhero, ready to slay those goals.

How to Start Anything

1. Start with what you know – We are all experts in something. Even though or if you might be trying something new that you’ve never done before, you still have valuable experiences, skills and ideas from the old that can be applied to the new.  For example, one item I’m going to get back to in 2016 is podcasting, as I’m co-hosting The Pharmacy Podcast. I’m rusty on the tech stuff, but I do know how to interview someone for an article or a book.  Furthermore, for the first episode I’m interviewing a friend rather than a complete stranger, so I’m hoping that friend will be flexible if we’re trying something the first time. When I get a little stronger and have an episode or two under my belt, I’ll reach out to strangers.

2. Go find out what you don’t know - Read books. Talk to people. Listen to Podcasts.  Get your paws on everything and anything related to this new area of your life that you want to fix/change/improve or start.  Example: I am terrible, awful and abysmal at working out–particularly in the winter time.  But, I read a book over the holidays on Aging Backwards by Miranda Esmonde-White that’s stretching to tone and strengthen the body, which led me to grabbing one of her DVDs so I can try it out vs. doing what I always do – walk on the treadmill or outside in my ‘hood.  I know you didn’t want to know my workout routine (or lack thereof) here, but my point is to go learn about something new or different before you try it.  A library card and the internet are your BFFs here.  Use Stitcher for podcasts if you have a smartphone, pick a few faves, then start listening. Most podcasts will lead you to other podcasts too, and before you know it, you’re learning like a pro. Talk to people too; just be sensitive to the fact that on 99% of subjects, there are already gobs of information out there–if you’re hitting up an expert on a subject, don’t waste her time with the basics that you can find on your own.

3. Build a plan - After you inventory what you know and then study what you don’t know, the next step is to start building a plan. I’m trying more of the one page business plan canvas for a straw dog or first time idea on paper.  Mind mapping can work too.  Describe your idea or what you want to change at a 50,000 ft. view, preferably on one piece of paper.  This may sound insane, but I personally need to draw it out by hand first before I head to the computer.  I just did this, for example, with the BU Well editorial calendar timeline for the spring semester.  Dates were on a grid, but I ended up mapping them out on one piece of paper visually so I could see them in another way. Whatever technique works for you, just try to get it out of your mind and dumped into some copyrightable form. (For the lawyers out there, the “fixed in a tangible medium of expression” bit.)

4. Sell the h*ll out of it - You need to sell it to yourself first. Then try a trusted friend to hold you accountable. Tim Ferriss just talked about in his new year’s show the accountability team framework – go listen to that if you need higher stakes accountability.  Then, sell it to your boss, co-workers, boss’s boss, etc. until you get a team assembled, if they are part of this idea.  (My bosses don’t need to know about my Miranda Esmonde story – but if you’re a pilates instructor, your boss might – see the difference?)  The more you get yourself, your team and the universe on board with your idea, the better. Besides, I think the universe actually WANTS to help you make a positive change in your life, but you have to share it with the universe in order for it to fetch.  It’s not woo-woo either.  Intention is important.

5. Start. Then tweak/add/maximize plan as you go - Hardest step here, folks. Start. Just do it. In my holiday card over at slideshare, you can find a permission slip on page 2 of that holiday greeting. If you feel you need a permission slip to start something, I’m granting you one for 2016….provided you’re not going to hurt yourself or others…go for it. It won’t be perfect. You will make mistakes.  But that’s what we call learning, and it happens – it’s how we grow.  As you go along, realize your project (and your entire life, for that matter) are in beta.  It’s always in draft, and therefore you can change on a dime if you need to.  Back to BU Well – we’re still winging it because it is our first year. Issues come up that we have to address that I never even thought of 5+ years ago when I started thinking about an open access journal for Butler students, but I’m remaining flexible. I’m taking notes for next year. Even if you have to fail and shut down something you built from scratch–it was a learning lesson for you–it had value.  If it’s working, of course – keep on trucking!

6. Realize that it’s OK to not know everything - I’m here to report to you as well that sadly, you’re never going to know everything.  But, that’s actually a good thing, because you’ve got so much more to learn!  That’s what can make life interesting. Never be afraid to say “I don’t know,” but don’t forget to put on the tail end of that, “…but I’ll look into it.”  Then, follow up and look into it.  I’d say of all the steps here, and beyond even starting, follow through is one of the toughest roadblocks to making our goals/finishing our projects and getting things done.  Show up, every time. Follow up, every time.

7. When all else fails, wing it - This is a bit of a combination of 5 & 6….but I made it a separate point for a good reason. If you’re trying to read about a subject but the book doesn’t exist – maybe that means it’s time for YOU to WING IT and create a book about the subject.  That’s what Toni Morrison says, and that’s how many if not all my own books were built.  If there’s no podcast on something you’re fired up about, why not start one?  If it hasn’t been done before, why not start and wing it?  Finding out that something doesn’t exist is actually a gift.  It’s like a secret that only you know.  It’s also a ticket to breaking out and being DIFFERENT from the herd! So, exploit that bit of info and create something yourself from scratch. Ship that art.  And maybe…just maybe…you’ll unearth the biggest gift of all – knowing your purpose for being here.

Wow. And deeply philosophical at 5:30 in the morning to boot. Maybe I should go to Europe more often…

3 Gifts for You in 2016

After taking a little R&R time in Ireland during the holidays, I do what I do every year at the end of the year: I think about my goals for the coming year. Such was the case this year, where I reflected on where I came from, where I am today, and best of all, where I want to go in the future.

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Me, nearly getting blown off the Cliffs of Moher taking a selfie. Don’t try this on a code orange weather day, like I did.

Also, on the plane ride, I had the opportunity to watch He Named Me Malala. To think that girls can’t even get an education in parts of the world completely breaks my heart. So, we all must try to do what we can to help educate each other, because educated societies lead to peaceful societies, and I think if the world could use anything more of right now, it’s peace.

So, here’s what I can do. I’m committing to tracking 3 different sheets of information in 2016 – in an effort to help all of us better educate ourselves and in turn, hopefully better understand the world in which we live. Education is the key to so much! As well, I want to share them with you, my awesome network, in hopes that it: a. is helpful, b. helps you with your own education and c. inspires you to create something else that matters, to help out man/womankind in the new year.

3 Lists I’m Tracking for You in 2016:

1. Pharmacy National and Regional Meetings – This list is one place where pharmacists can go to learn about national meetings – where they are, and when they are – in 2016 and beyond. We all know the power of networking and advocating for a profession, and one way we can do that is by attending and participating in national meetings. At this critical time for pharmacy as a profession, we must band together – it’s the only way our profession will survive and thrive! (If you know of big international pharmacy meetings that I can add, I’d love to hear more. This list is pretty USA-centric.)

2. Pharmacist Certifications – Once you’re in the door of pharmacy, your education is NOT over. In fact, with nearly 280,000 of us in the US, a career niche or specialty is almost an absolute must-have these days. One way to further your education is through a pharmacist or healthcare certification. I couldn’t find a list of them, so I created one. (BTW, if you know certifications I’m missing, please let me know.)

3. Women’s Leadership Programs – One thing that continues to haunt me: although the majority of pharmacy programs have women now (usually a 60%/40% split), there are few to no women pharmacists at the helm of pharma companies, hospitals, or any large chain pharmacies. One way we can change that is to brush up on our leadership skills. Voila! A list of women’s leadership programs is the newest kid on the block for Google Sheets. If you know a great woman who wants to take her leadership skills up a notch, this might be a place to start shopping for the next great leadership learning adventure in 2016!

The legacy big picture stuff here is that I want to litter the universe with knowledge. Though these 3 spreadsheets be small, they potentially could be mighty, in that changing just one life for the better–particularly around education–is something I DEFINITELY want to help others do more of in 2016.

Happy New Year! I look forward to hearing about your New Year’s Resolutions!


Leaders are Writers: But Show Me the Evidence

I’m working on another project today – that has me defending the argument (or belief, in my personal opinion) that writers are leaders.

I think we can all pretty much agree on this one – in that I do think most leaders of many professions are also prolific writers.  If you never thought about it before – take a meander with me around the academic publishing and writing block for a few sentences. Those who write textbooks? Professors who also write prolifically.  They tend to be throughout the professional literature within that field they chose to “profess.”

However, when I look into the literature on studies demonstrating that prolific writers are also leaders of a profession, I’m not getting a lot of hard core data around this idea.  There’s a bunch of anecdotal stuff – blog posts, tweets, informal writing.  But I’m not seeing much that is more rigorous.

If you’re a professional – where is the evidence in YOUR profession that the writers in your profession are also the leaders of that profession?  Help a girl out here.  I’m not seeing a ton of this in pharmacy…or law.  (But law you pretty much have to write, whereas in pharmacy it’s a little less frequent.

Maybe I’m off base here.  But I’m just not seeing much evidence.  Maybe because that’s a “duh,” or maybe it was studied hundreds of years ago.  Not sure.  But if you have something harder core, by all means, share with the class…

Just For You

My 2015 holiday card.  As much as I love hand-written notes at the end of the year (and really any time of the year), I didn’t get it done this year.  Just an e thanks to you all for your support of all my craziness…I wish you and your families the absolute best in 2016.  Cheers!

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 11.11.29 AM

On Goals

Yesterday, I realized that I finally met a goal I had been working on for years.  YEARS!

A year or so ago, the goal was almost achieved, but not in a form I wanted – so I had to get a little more specific with the universe.

This time, goal achieved, in a form I preferred.

The goal doesn’t matter.  What matters is that I never gave up on the goal.  Even on days when I thought it just wasn’t going to happen.  I had to keep refining the goal to get clear on what I wanted.

Of course, setting a goal and kicking back does not make it happen. The universe will fetch, but that doesn’t exempt us from hard work around it.  We still have to clock in and do our work to achieve the goal. Intention is not a free pass, just a channel.

This week, I mapped out all the cool stuff I did in 2015, in an effort to see what I should focus on for 2016.  (A kind of mind map for annual goals.)  I’m not fully done with this exercise just yet.  But, my point of this post is to set some goals for yourself.  Do the universe and yourself a favor and set them.  Be clear about them (as clear as you can, anyway).  Then, dig in and work hard.

That’s it.

Top Big Fat Failures of 2015

I could easily pull of a top 100 failures of 2015, but I’ll try to boil it down to my top of the list.  And, as an aside, before I begin my parade of big fat failures, let me just remind us all that if we aren’t failing a lot, then we’re not trying enough new things.  Constant wins is failure in and of itself, because it means that you’re not pushing yourself hard enough.  And, even though at the time you lost out, that just means that the universe is just making room to bring you something even better in the future.

Now, fall in for the failure!

1. Didn’t get a job I really wanted – It was 4Q14/1Q15 I was proposing a very unusual gig that involved my current day job, and I just couldn’t make it work.  But, it worked out well, because I got an even better gig 3Q15!  Guess the experiment in Q1 was testing grounds for the win in Q3.  (I’ve noticed that the universe gives me a lot of training ground these days to fail my way to something good…)

2. Didn’t get into 2 leadership programs I applied to – Which cleared the way for me to try an even broader leadership program with different professionals from around the world in it via altMBA! The other leadership program I’ve applied to now several times.  They keep on rejecting me – but that’s cool.  It’s just not my time.  But – I make them do the work and review my application. Every. Time!

3. Didn’t reach my goal on #STEMPrincess2 for presales – Not to mention, didn’t get this book done as quickly as I wanted to either.  But, I lived and learned.  If nothing else, I remember now the differences between a closed and parallel circuit – and I’m no engineer or electrician!  Besides, the hardest book to write and the hardest to sell is usually the 2nd in a series of 3..it’s my personal Empire Strikes Back…and I’m already working on #STEMPrincess3, so, I’m doing my best and moving forward.

4. Didn’t reach my publishing book goals for the year – I really, really wanted this to be the year I cracked 4 book titles.  While I published two, I didn’t get anywhere near books 3 and 4.  One of the 4 was an update, and one of the 4 was a brand new book that is screaming for me to write. (Seriously – it’s in the back of my head, screaming at me.  It’s starting to get annoying.)  I’m not sure trying for this goal is in the cards for me in 2016 due to some other stuff coming my way, but 50% of goal attainment on book publishing isn’t horrible for 2015.  I’ll take it.

5. Exercise/health goals – wanted to exercise 30 minutes each night after the nightly news and get in 10K steps each day, 5 days a week and eliminate sugar.  Oh yeah, and eliminate wine. Three words come to mind on describing the outcome of this goal:

EPIC. FAIL. HERE.  I may need to seek professional help on this goal for 2016.

6. Contemplation of a new certification – that was semi-associated with #1 above.  So, while I explored the organization that owns the certificates and learned a lot that I can apply to my other jobs, I did not go for the certification.

7. Travel goal failure – wanted to get to Vienna or the Amalfi Coast this year. Neither happened.  I did get to Canada and am going to Ireland, however.  I haven’t yet determined where I’d like to travel internationally next year.  International flights are pricey, and there’s a lot of unrest right now in the world.

Like I said, I could go on and on here.  But I’m not going to.  Instead, I’m going to chalk all this up to trying and learning from mistakes.  Maybe my timing was off.  Maybe it just wasn’t what the universe thought I needed.  Whatevs.

I show you my failures to inspire you, my fab 13, to just keep trying.  Just keep doing out there, people. Keep failing.  Because that’s the only way we’re going to learn and grow, and that’s the only way we’re going to figure out how to leave this planet better than when we found it…

Top 10 Posts of 2015

Before I hit my big fat failures for 2015 (and trust me, there’s ample material to write about in that post), I thought I’d check analytics to figure out what the top 10 posts of this tiny little blog were for 2015.  (I also did this with my top 6 posts over at LinkedIn.)  The following posts my mom dug, with a few other people out there in the internet ether.  Ready for the high traffic season?


10.  Pharmacy Stuff - I’m guessing the list of pharmacist and healthcare certifications was a hit on this post.

9.  Crowdfunding 101 – It was fun to put together an all-woman Crowdfunding 101 panel in 2015, and I’m glad this post and program helped a few raise their own funds for projects that can change the world.

8.  Who’s at the Helm in Healthcare? – I’m glad this one made the top 10.  Anyone who looks at this list in charge of diversity at these companies should frankly be embarrassed.  Gotta fix this, people!

7.  Sock-knocking letters of reference - How to get them.  Although, the older I get, the less I get the “how to get a job” stuff.  I’m not sure the “traditional” ways work anymore.  So, take this post with a grain of salt…

6. STEMPrincess2 is Finally in the House - A lot happened this year, and this book took longer than I wanted to get done, but it’s done, and I’m now on to #STEMPrincess3, and I won’t stop until we get 50/50 women/men  in more STEM professions.  Thanks to all who pre-purchased this book and had my back during its production.

5.  The Most Important Trait Not on the Syllabus to Learn – I was surprised by this being a popular post.  But, I’m glad someone is reading it.  The trait is super important, and sadly missing in college curricula.

4. Why I broke up with Facebook – Surprisingly, this post got a lot of hits.  I was bad about leaving the faceplace this year, (mainly because I’m still there), but I just read research this week that stated that if you leave the faceplace, you’re actually happier.  Jack the cat may be posting on my pages in 2016…stay tuned…

3.  Which Professions Are Better for Multipationals?  So, I managed to squeak out two books this year – STEMPrincess2, and the adult book on the changing world of work, Multipationals.  In this post, I shared an infographic on professions that work better for having multiple gigs.  By 2020, 40% or more of the workforce is going 1099 instead of W2.  Seriously, folks, work is about to get a lot more complicated in this country, and I was thrilled to study it and share it with the universe.

2.  National Pharmacy Meetings Second Half 2015 - Subsequent to tracking the national pharmacy meetings, a lot of my pharmacy friends were thankful such a list now exists.  Me too, I must say, because it was getting difficult to track all of them.  Pharmacy has become pretty niche and complex, so making things a little simpler can be helpful.  (BTW, the 2016 list is here.)

1.  55 Cool Jobs for Pharmacists - This, far and away, was my #1 post with the most traffic this year.  And, while in the past I chose not to write too much about pharmacy, I’m getting the signal from the universe that I probably need to communicate more about my first profession.  Don’t worry, peeps – I think I’ve got that covered in 2016 – but more on that in 2016!

A lot of pharmacy stuff in here.  And a lot of book stuff.  Sometimes, it’s good to know someone other than your mom is actually reading your blog.  And if it helps others – EVEN. BETTER!

The #STEMPrincess 2-Book Bundle

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 1.35.39 PMThis morning, I cranked out orders for the STEM books and even drew up a model of #STEMPrincess3.  (Lord help us, I cannot draw.)

A few people have asked now – so here it is!

Q: Where or how or can I buy the 2-book #STEMPrincess bundle?

A: YES!  The 2-book bundle is at this link in the Square store.  But, you might want to hurry, because I have a handful of the first books left!

Unfortunately, the Dakota doll doesn’t come with this bundle.  I’m still working out how to get the cost down of the dolls. (Yes, I know this series would be even cooler with dolls–agreed!)

But the world can’t handle the awesomeness of an entire book series AND 20 dolls ready to go in STEM, can it?

I can’t wait to find out one of these days…

Why I’m No Longer Selling Physical Books On Amazon

2Chloe2headI’ve had a lot of questions about #STEMPrincess2, now that it’s out.  One of them is, “Why isn’t the book-book available on Amazon.com?”

Answer: because Amazon takes 60% off retail with the publishers, immediately.  That, for me, after I add up all the production costs and illustration costs of my books, is BELOW my own COST in producing the book.

While I love helping the universe get smarter about STEM, I am not a bajillion dollar philanthropist who can give away her goods.  (At least not yet, anyway.)  I have to keep my eyes on costs, so I can continue to build this series of books and not run a loss on them.

So, here’s my challenge to you, my fab 13: The next time you’re trying to shop small or local, do all of us who dare to create stuff an epic favor: see if you can buy it directly from the seller, rather than going through monster retailers like Amazon.  I’m personally using Square Store to directly sell a few of my newer books now, including the STEM Princess series.  The big retailers are crushing us little guys, and you may not even realize it.

That is, until now!

My First AJPE Co-Written Article

After a not-so-great-day, thought I’d share some better news.

I had my first co-written publication out today in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education (AJPE)! Woot! Always a crowd pleaser with the academic pharmacy peeps.

As you know, I like to write books, but I haven’t done a ton of peer reviewed articles.  Have one now!

(And seriously, if you are into experiential education in pharmacy, you might want to read it – there are some really good ideas in it!)

STEMPrincess2: Finally in the House!

Drumroll, please….

Announcing the second book in the #STEMPrincess series – The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM: FUNBOOK ALPHA!

The only place on the planet you can get a limited edition hardcopy is here.  Once the print version is gone, it’s gone.

Ebook versions are available at eBookit.com: here.

And of course the Kindle version is available over at Amazon.

Last but not least, the press release!

STEM* Professor Creates Children’s Book Series to Introduce Girls to STEM Careers from Erin L. Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD

A Special New List for 2016 & Beyond: Women’s Leadership Programs

Everywhere I look, all I keep seeing is “pay gap,” “gender inequality” and that women still aren’t recognized for their contributions in the workplace equally to men.  We keep passing more and more legislation to call for equal pay for equal work, but clearly it’s not working, because we’re still not at parity.

So, at this point, I can either:

a. sit around and whine about it, or I can
b. channel the energy in a positive direction.

I’m choosing b. for 2016.

I’ve started a Google Sheet of Women’s Leadership Programs.  They may apply to either gender in some cases, or just focus on women in others.  I really don’t care about who they target.  What I DO care about, and why I’ve created this list is to help women get more leadership training, so we ultimately CAN lead organizations, and CAN BE PAID AND RECOGNIZED equally for our contribution to the global economy.

If you’re reading this and know of a fabulous leadership training program that needs to be on this list, send it to me – tweet me @ErinLAlbert with the link, and I’ll add it.

2015 Hits

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My 2014 and 2015 Goals

Today, I started thinking about 2016.  That led me to pulling out my goals for 2015, and checking to make sure I made some.  Here’s my winning report for 2015.

1. I met most of a work goal.  Two years ago, I wrote a not very clear work goal for myself.  I had the goal served up to me, but not exactly in a form I could stomach.  So, this year, I re-wrote the goal and achieved it.  (Well, most of it.)  What is it? Well, a girl must keep a few secrets…

2. I met a money goal.  Maxed out savings and retirement.  I just wish the federal government would allow us to save even more than the current limits on IRAs and 401ks.

3. I met 50% of my book goals.  I planned to publish 4 books this year, but only got 2 done.  Four was aggressive, I admit, but this wasn’t the first year I pushed myself to get to 4 books.  I’ll keep pushing on that one…

4. I met a certification goal.  As in, part of the goal was determining whether or not I should seek a certain certification.  I decided against it.  Sometimes, it’s OK to NOT do something.  So, I’ll consider this one a success.

5. I met my travel goals.  To get out of Indiana at least once per quarter, and out of the country at least once.  Check.  This year, I traveled to: ATL, DEN, ORD, BOS, CHS, Canada (PEI, Montreal, Quebec City), DC a couple of times, Miami, Louisville, and Milwaukee.  I still have one more trip to go too, so this one was a win.

I’ll put my big fat failures in a separate post.  Until then, start thinking about what you want to accomplish in 2016, which in turn will make you look at all the progress you made in 2015.  It’s a good thing to watch how far you’ve come…good for you!

2 Controversial Thoughts

1. Women have mentors at work, for the most part. What they lack, and what’s keeping them out of the C suite, are sponsors.

2. Employees come before customers.

Even though we all in our first glancing thoughts think the customer should come first–that’s wrong.  We should always take care of the employees first, that way they can take better care of customers.  Besides, the customers aren’t always right…

…but I’ll leave that controversy off this post.

2016 Goals – Track More Meetings, Events and Certifications in Healthcare

While I’m noodling on all my goals for the upcoming year, one thing I started in 2015 and would like to expand upon are two lists that I share publicly for my homies in healthcare and pharmacy.

First, on the 2016 Meetings and National Conferences in Pharmacy and Healthcare List over on Google Sheets, I’d like to start tracking callouts for abstracts at these meetings.  This will be a fun challenge, because I’m not a member of all these orgs, so I’m not sure how I’m going to track these, but I’m going to try!

Second, on the Certifications for Pharmacists and Healthcare Professionals Google Sheet, I’m going to try and start tracking prices of these certifications.  This one will be tough, because prices change all the time.

But, I’m a girl who likes a new challenge every now and then…

My 6 Suggestions for the Indiana General Assembly in 2016

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 12.26.39 PMDear Indiana General Assembly,

I write this from my tiny corner of the world, in pharmacy law.  Here’s what I’d respectfully request you consider in the 2016 Indiana General Assembly. (And these opinions are mine and mine alone – not my employers’, nor my companies’…)

1. Make Naloxone OTC in Indiana – I know Sen. Merritt is going to introduce a bill around this, but it really needs to happen. It’s already happening in 20 other states in the US, and the Midwest is suffering from a horrible affliction of prescription opioid and now heroin abuse.  More people in the US now die of opioid overdose than they do motor vehicle accidents.  The sooner this bill is passed, the better.  You need to include all forms of naloxone here too – nasal naloxone just got FDA approved, so it’s not just injectable anymore.

2. Don’t touch marijuanaOhio voters just wisely decided to not make pot legal in their state.  It’s still a C-I under the federal Controlled Substances Act.  And for all of those who want it for medical purposes, here’s an idea: why don’t we study it in double blind randomized placebo controlled studies (or head to head with other gold standards in certain disease states) to see if it actually has any efficacy and/or major safety concerns, JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER DRUG?  Yes, I’m aware that it is next to impossible to study pot in a clinical trial thanks to the feds as well, but seriously – why should pot get a pass vs. every other drug on the planet that has to go through clinical trials before it can be marketed in the US?

3. Add pharmacists to HEA1145 from the 2015 legislative session – When I asked why pharmacists weren’t included in the definition of “providers” in this new law, I was told that the IGA didn’t think pharmacists volunteered their time in healthcare clinics and centers.  REALLY?!? Pharmacists work at a lot of free healthcare clinics and centers, each and every day in Indiana!  Not including pharmacists in this bill is downright embarrassing.  Please fix this.

4. Make PSE/PE prescription only and traced in INSPECT - Pseudoephedrine needs to be prescription, and INSPECT really should be tracking it.  I know the lobbyists are all over this one and it probably will never happen in Indiana, but we still have a huge meth problem in this state.  I know right now we’re selling it as a third category of drugs as behind-the-counter, and it is tracked in a separate database, but that’s just not good enough.  We can do better here.

5. Stiffer penalties for juveniles who rob pharmacies and pharmacists – Indiana, we are now number one in the country for pharmacy robberies. Number. One. This is something I NEVER want my state to be on a top 10 list for–either now or in the future.  Juveniles are robbing pharmacies as a gang activity, even long term care facilities and hospitals for prescription drugs now. Problem is, the juvenile offenders are back out on the street quickly once they are caught (if they’re caught at all) because penalties for robbing pharmacies for juveniles aren’t stiff enough.  My profession and my colleagues and I did not go to school to play cops and robbers.  We’ve got to fix this, and one way to do that is make all who rob pharmacies pay the price.

6. While I’m wishing, here’s my most controversial law proposal of all: allow pharmacists to dispense contraceptives in Indiana - Oregon has done it.  And some other states I believe will follow.  Any state that tries to focus on gender equality should be behind this concept. Now, I’m not saying pass them out like candy, there are some safety issues with ALL contraceptives–and there would definitely need to be screenings and a protocol in place for dispensing them without a prescription. But, if we can empower women to make decisions over their lives during their child bearing years by removing one more barrier, the entire society will benefit. Just read the article above. And, I’m going to (controversially) state here that Indiana in the past has not been good to women overall.  Here’s a way to redeem ourselves.

These are items I’d like to see the IGA repair and fix in the 2016 session, from my corner of the world.  I know there are other pressing matters in the state as well–like education and infrastructure, just to name a few.  But, based upon my knowledge in this corner, the above would be great to see recognized from IGA in 2016.

Small Biz Saturday

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 9.24.55 AMHey there, savvy shoppers!  I know people reading this blog were WAY too smart to go out in the black Friday mess to shop.  So, stay cozy and shop small and local today!

Of course, you know our drill – buy #STEMPrincess2 now, and we’ve talked to Santa – methinks it will be to pre-buyers just in time for the holiday season…but that’s not a guarantee yet.  We’ve just put in a good word.

And regardless of whether or not you support the #STEMPrincess project, try to buy from local entrepreneurs this year if and when you can.  There’s a ton of articles that show that keeping the money in the local economy is the way to go when shopping at local retailers vs. the big boxy stores.

Merry holidaze!

5 Steps to Great Gratitude

This has been a hard year.  Not so much for me (although I’ve had my fair share of bad news), but for a lot of my friends, and my family.  Just last night at an event, Congresswoman Susan Brooks said herself that people are anxious.  The world these days is uncertain.  We’re living in chaos.  We are tense.

Cortisol levels are definitely up.

Life is hard sometimes.  We all fail.  We get knocked down.  We don’t get chosen.  But here are a few of my suggestions to get back up, and keep on keeping on…

1. Remember, it can ALWAYS be worse.  Right now, my front gutter is leaking, but at least I have the money to buy the trim to fix it. At least I can get up on the ladder to fix it (which I will be doing on Thanksgiving).  At least I’ve got a roof that isn’t leaking elsewhere, and at least I have a house to live in.  Some people aren’t lucky enough to have these first world problems.  When you start thinking the world is conspiring against you, remember that whatever situation you’re in, it can always be worse.  (And I’d personally like to thank law school for teaching me this lesson.  While lawyers can go dark, REALLY dark on the worst situations, learning to think about how things can go wrong makes you also appreciate that no matter how bad it is, it can always go darker.)

2. Quit.  When your mouth isn’t connecting to your brain, when the words aren’t connecting to your keyboard fingertip intersections, or when you can’t solve that nasty problem, do yourself a favor if you’ve been at it a while: quit.  Do not quit indefinitely…but get yourself a break.  Walk away.  Go home, rest, get at least 8 hours of sleep, and you’ll be surprised how you can get back at that nasty quagmire once you’ve rested your body and brain for a few.

3. Get around your peeps.  One more time: you are like the 5 people you hang around the most. Choose carefully.  If you can’t physically get around your top 5, then there’s this awesome thing called Google+ Hangout.  Get on it and talk to your friends.  I’m prodding myself to form another mastermind in 2016 for this reason.  I need some fresh perspectives from some amazing peeps, who don’t roll near me every day.  So, I’m bringing them to me.  And before this sounds selfish – I do hope to help them out as well with their challenges.  It’s a two-way street.

4. Recall that time is finite.  A student asked me today how I try to find balance between fixing problems and starting or creating new solutions.  As a fumbled through my answer, one thing I forgot to mention is that the most precious commodity is time.  (Some gurus say that it’s energy, but I actually think it’s time.)  Life is a fatal disease.  So, get stuff done, because you’re not going to be here forever.  That includes cessation of moping and whining, and instead focusing your time on what you can change, what you can start, and what you can create, and ultimately, crafting whatever it is what you want to leave behind as your legacy.

5. The best trick of all: send out some gratitude.  Not only will it make someone else’s day, but it will also remind you that all is not lost.  In fact, just today, through the morass of spammy invites and garbage that hits my inbox, a kind note from a pharmacy student, who I’ve personally never met, at another pharmacy school, who was also hitting some brick walls.  But, she shared that she was inspired by my work.  That’s cool.  So, I in turned paid that forward, and sent out a few thank you notes of my own today.  Hey, at least I have stamps and notecards.  At least my heat is on, and at least I can take a few minutes to time out and pay it forward.  I also replied to her that it is always darkest before the dawn.

Just make sure you have batteries in the flashlight.

There – 5 methods I employ to recall that I have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.  What’s your best tip for gratitude?


The Nail, The Daemon, and Running Like H*ll

For those of you elsewhere on Earth, we had our first snow in the Midwest this weekend.  While I’m not a huge fan of wintertime, I am a fan of the ritual of curling up with a tall pile of books during a snowy weekend, and reading to my heart’s content, which is exactly how I celebrated our first November snow.

This weekend, I had about 20 books from the library to go through (ehm, well, I’ve been busy and haven’t been able to get to them), and as I’ve shared here before, I don’t necessarily read books cover to cover.  I bounce around.  Furthermore, I usually think there’s “signs” that the universe is trying to give me when I check out a “collection,” of books, so I play a little game with the universe and try to figure out what that theme is in each pile of books.

I’ll share a few stories with you to see if you can help me find the theme.

First, I finished The Art of Work by Jeff Goins.  In it, there’s a sticky story about Walt Disney’s foot…meeting a nail.  The nail went through his foot when he was 16, and left him bed ridden for 2 weeks.  At that time, he finally figured out what he was going to do with his life – he was going to become an illustrator.  The author thought that it was the “pause” in his life of being bedridden for 2 weeks that caused the pause to understand and ponder what Walt was really here to do.  We all need to pause to think about what our callings are – and as this book stated, it’s easy to check out and ignore our calling and check the box.  The harder stuff is pausing to pay attention to what it is that we are really here to do.

Second, I’m reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic.  I’m not finished yet on this one, but two sticky stories here. First, the “spooky action at a distance” tale between herself and one of her friends, who were writing the exact same book at one time!  (Quantum entanglement, anyone?  Seriously, I love to geek out on this stuff.)  I’ll let you read the book for details on that one.  But the other sticky tale was a story about Ruth Stone, a farmer/poet who said that her “daemon” or “voice” would show up when she was walking home from the field as a girl, where she’d literally have to run like hell to get to a piece of paper and pencil to write down the poem that came to her as a voice before it left her head.  Gilbert herself recalled a dream that she immediately turned into a story on paper.

In the past, we used to call these daemons, or “other” entities that would show up and talk to us.  Somewhere during the Renaissance, however, we went from “having a genius” to “being a genius.”  We had a muse who would guide us, but somehow we managed to turn that into an internal pressure, rather than external.  We in modern times call this “flow.”

So, mashing these two books up, what do you think all this means?  Maybe that we all really don’t create alone.  Whether we choose to think we have an angel, quantum physics, or a house/creative elf in our lives, we have to listen.  We should be paying attention.  On the other hand, we can’t check out and expect these ephemeral forces to guide us completely.  We still have to show up and do the work.  We have to take setbacks as opportunities to move forward, in meaningful ways.

That, and of course run like hell when a good idea shows up.

I am grateful for the snow this weekend.

Pharmacy Stuff

Pardon my organizing for a moment, but I need to warehouse all of the pharmacy stuff I’m tracking or updating online in one post.  (And BTW, I still don’t know what the proper way is to represent one’s social media/online stuff on a CV; if you have a clever way to do this, I’m listening!)

Clean up on aisle 2015….

Pharmacy 2015, 2016, 2017+ National Meetings

Pharmacist Certifications (and in Healthcare)

Butler COPHS CE:

Tools & Techniques for Preceptor Development (homestudy)

Advocate to Vaccinate

Butler COPHS Ex Ed page on Faceplace, and Twitter

Pharmacy Times/Pharmacy Careers Articles

The Pharmacy Podcast interviews

The Student-Driven Open Access Multimedia Journal – BU Well

Slideshare – where I post slides from presentations

LinkedIn long posts – some of which are pharmacy-focused

I’ve posted a couple of times on how I use the most awesome SurveyMonkey in my work at their blog

And incoming board member for ASPL.

That, I think for now is it.

A Week

You know you’ve had a week when….you get home at the end of a long one, you have dinner, then sit down only to wake up when it’s time to go to bed…

Either I’m getting old, or I had a week.  I’m going to chalk it up to more of the latter than the former.

Really cool hi-lights, however this week included the following:

ASPL’s fall meeting – Left Miami Sunday to head home from the American Society for Pharmacy Law this weekend to kick off the week.  I’m really looking forward to being part of the board and helping this organization grow over the next 2 years, as this org has stuff I cannot get anywhere else on the planet, like pharmacy law education materials and the new case law compendia for members.

#SMDames15 – This 4th in a series over the several past few years now gave more women some ideas how to spread their messages around through social media.  #BigWin was the hashtag theme this year, and I’m glad to see the program alive and well without me as involved these days. Big shout out to Amy Stark and Digital Dames for keeping the fires burning at Dames.

Pharmacy Times dropped an article I wrote about…change in pharmacy.  It also framed change around what I learned at altMBA this summer.

Phi Lambda Sigma induction – This is pharmacy’s leadership fraternity.  It was fun to watch all the current earlier leaders in the profession be inducted as well.  I probably would not have qualified for this group when I was in their shoes, but nonetheless, it’s never too late to be a leader inside your profession, whatever that profession is – I think from the state of the universe these days, we need more leaders now than at any point in history.

Started putting together a mastermind for 2016 – A mastermind was something I tried way back in 2004 or 5 (it’s been a while), but I wanted to try it again thanks to the Biz Chix Podcast having a series on Masterminds.  If I want to take things to the next level, I’m going to need some peeps in my life to check me from time to time.

#STEMPrincess3 – Yup – STEM Princess 2 isn’t even delivered yet and we are already cranking on book 3!  But I think this one will be fun, and the genre of the book is on fire right now.  I know, I’m vague blogging here, but I should have more later one, after I’ve sold out STEMP2…hahaha!

Student projects at Butler are humming along – had the opportunity to review one of the Midyear posters accepted on BU Well and writing at pharmacy schools (good luck!), and the two children’s books on type I diabetes Ralphie the Giraffe and the Antibiotic Stewardship book (Andi, Chase and the Mysterious Case) are nearing manuscript delivery time. We also got a new homestudy CE program up on immunizations this week for pharmacists – as we are trying to reach a broader preceptor audience.

OK. Now that I really think about it, I see why I came home and crashed.

Here’s looking forward to a shorter holiday week NEXT week!

The Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Effect

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 10.37.35 PMI was reminded of this one this past week.  And, it’s something a wise lawyer once told me before I officially decided to attend law school.  AND, it applies DOUBLE if not TRIPLE to women more so than men.

I shall now try to explain.

First, pharmacists. They’re generally a brainy lot. They tend to be type A doers, and people who have to work as close to perfection as possible.  It’s a tough standard, but they do it, each and every day. They keep people alive, and that rocks.

But, pharmacy school isn’t enough for some. Some pharmacists choose to further their education. Some choose medical school. Others get a Master’s of Public Health, or MHA, or even PhD in pharmacology or pharmacy administration.

Others choose to go to law school.

There are actually a lot of pharmacist-attorneys in the US. I just got back from a very full meeting of them (which again spurred this post). I talked to a younger gal there, who was just finishing up the law school/bar exam deal. I asked her about the job-attainment process. She replied in the following way (which I’m paraphrasing)–but hopefully you’ll get the gist:

I’m having a hard time finding a job.  Pharmacies don’t want a pharmacist with a JD–it’s almost a repellant.  Pharma and biotech don’t want pharmacist-attorneys (or any attorneys for that matter) unless they have years of practical experience.  Law firms still aren’t hiring much, and even if they are, they can’t pay anywhere near what a pharmacist earns, and you’d have to work twice as hard.’

On top of this, she was young, attractive, and obviously smart. And yes, I need to emphasize “she” here, because what I’m about to share I think applies even more to women.

What the gal above is suffering from is what a wise once lawyer told me as the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Effect. Once you go to law school, you have a hypothetical missile strapped to your back.  Those who don’t know lawyers are petrified of them.  Those who have dual degrees are even scarier, because they know two professions.  And most of all, younger women with this dual knowledge are despised because of their brains and their success; they become an immediate threat. Successful women are less liked, whereas men who are successful are more liked.

Once you go to law school, people view you differently.  For women, I’m not sure if that brand of different is good.  It actually can instead be a detriment.

We have to get over this if we ever want women to achieve parity in higher levels of the workforce.  I admit – there are women in high positions that I can’t believe made it to the level they did, because they are completely inhumane to others. But there are men in that same bucket for me.  Companies with diverse talent at the helm are more profitable, and get more things done than only the companies with ROWGs running them.

I don’t know how we fix this.  Surely ignorance or dumbing ourselves down as women can’t be a solution.  (Or even if it is, I’m not signing up for that plan.)  But the next time you catch yourself feeling threatened, I’d like you to assess why when you encounter a lawyer-rock-star.  If you’re intimidated – do yourself and the universe a favor: get over it.  Ignore the missile strapped on back. It’s heavy enough to carry without anyone noticing, anyway…

Firefighter vs. Arsonist

OK–to all of those of you who were offended by the Starbucks holiday cup and Mee-Maw’s smell in that laundry detergent ad, this post is NOT. LITERAL.  Pyromania is a real thing, and I’d never promote any mental disorders or health issues to make light an analogy in my posts.

(However, this really doesn’t apply to my fab 13 friendly readers–who wouldn’t be like that anyway, because they’re cool.)

Disclaimer aside…I want to share a story with you.  Each week in entrepreneurship in life sciences/healthcare class, (at the best university on the planet with a pharmacy school, Butler U) I bring in a real-world entrepreneurial rock star to talk to the students.  There’s something extra-special about the mojo of fellow entrepreneurs.  This week was no exception.  I had none other than my friend, the fabulous Kelly Hartman of Insights Consulting and Outside the Box come in and share her story.

And she did.  She delivered as she always does.  She talks about the unique position of leading a non profit and a for profit business.  But her ending this time was…extra interesting.  She left the class with a question, which she asks all of her potential employees during an interview, which is this:

“If you could only pick one of the following as your career, which would you choose–a firefighter, or an arsonist?”

She stated that most of her hires chose firefighter, to which she replies positively.  It’s a good thing, because most of her employees HAVE to be firefighters.  They are putting out fires all the time in her line of work.  Problem solving is a key skill her employees need to master.

But, the more interesting answer, I believe, is the arsonist.  (This was the choice for me too, BTW.)

Arsonists have to know where to LIGHT the fires.  They have to START something.  They have to start something that MATTERS TO THEM.  To an arsonist, that’s the fire.  To the rest of us, that’s the fire of change–of doing something that can make a positive change in the universe–even if it’s risky, and sometimes, even if it’s dangerous.

So, which is it for you?  Are you a firefighter, or an arsonist?  Better yet–which one SHOULD you be?

I’ll leave that for you to ponder…

Rocktober Wrap Up

Yesterday was love a red head day.  Today is love a lawyer day.  So, thanks for the double love if you’ve visited my tiny corner of the world!

It’s been crazy around here of late, and my posts have suffered for it.  But I am working out here…really!  Here’s a few things still sort of in beta, but since all of the fab 13 are cool enough to keep it on the D/L, I thought I’d share…

1. Interview with Abdul-Hakim Shabazz on drug crisis in the US and Indiana – This is a huge problem.  Sixty minutes also had a featured story last weekend on the heroin problem in our neighbor next door, Ohio.  Here are my show notes on Indiana.  Abdul stated he was going to put the interview in a couple of places soon.

If any of politicos are reading this blog, I think we need to get naloxone OTC in the 2016 legislative session in Indiana for this problem.  We also need to get more needle exchange programs up and running.  And, I think we need to stay as far away as possible from legalizing marijuana right now, because so many people state that it is the gateway to heavier drug abuse.  (I know that won’t be popular with the tax revenue generating types, but tough.)

Last but certainly not least here, my pharmacist friends are getting robbed. A lot. We are #1 in the country for pharmacy robberies  now.  Indiana pharmacists are under the gun–literally.  We need to consider stricter and longer penalties for juveniles who choose to rob pharmacists.

(BTW – if you are a pharmacist, please take 5 minutes to complete the annual Continuing Education (CE) needs assessment – it helps us figure out what programming and education we need to put together for 2016 for pharmacists.  Link is here.)

2. Global health – In one of the classes I teach, students are giving global health system presentations on several different countries around the world.  The last day is Monday.  What is so striking about this is that every country brought up thus far has had significantly lower costs, and better care (through metrics like infant mortality and life expectancy) than the U.S. It’s time to really start looking to see how other companies do healthcare.  Our system is a mess.

3. Vook reports – In the entrepreneurship in healthcare elective this week, students had to turn in 3-minute vook reports, or video book reports on one business book they read during the semester.  Then they had to comment on each other’s videos.  Great books like Lean In, Jab Jab Jab Right Hook, the 4 Hour Work Week, and Zero to One were all discussed.  After taking altMBA this summer and having this video assignment, I wanted to try it in class.  The students made it look a lot easier than it actually was to create videos!  Awesome!  Also, put up a social entrepreneurship lecture for ethics class at Butler this week too.  Last in this realm, I created my first ever business plan canvas on an idea I’m helping out Butler on…stay tuned on what that exactly is – but try the one page canvas if you have a business idea – it’s a good place to start.

4. SQL – I’m trying to learn mySQL for work.  For those of you not like Dakota and into big data, it’s relational-based data software. Think Excel on steroids, or Excel with the ability to pull multiple datasets from multiple Excel spreadsheets in queries.  Anyway, after a 2.5 hour training session today online at Coursera, my brain is a little fried.

5. Continuing Education – We almost have a new homestudy CE up for pharmacists – it’s undergoing a final review now – but here it is on immunizations.  Thanks to our speaker, Carrie Jung, for experimenting with us at the day job on this…  And our annual needs assessment is up – if you’re a pharmacist and could take 5 minutes to fill it out – I’d REALLY appreciate it!

6. ASPL – I’m speaking in Miami next week about BU Well at the American Society for Pharmacy Law annual meeting.  Super pumped, because the pharmacy law educators for the most part are pharmacists and attorneys – so they easily get the idea of law review.  Presented BU Well at the IUPUI Assessment Conference too – that went pretty well–although, I still don’t really yet know how to assess an “awesome” infographic vs. an “OK” one….

7. STEMPrincess2 – of course is coming – but surprise emails have popped into the inbox for last minute details…  And there’s the two teams of children’s books cooking at Butler – Ralphie and his insulin pump adventure, of course, and Andi, Chase and the Mysterious Case

8. Class where I’m the student – On top of ASPL in Miami next week, I’m also attending a one-day course on Presenting Data and Information, which looks like it will teach us design strategies for conveying information.  Maybe I’ll get some infographic ideas here.  Oh, yeah, and #SMDames15 is coming up on Friday, November 20th!

9. Cleaned up the 2015/16 Pharmacy Meetings Calendar and the Certifications Grid.  Super pumped about some of the meetings next year!!!

10. Other – working on some big stuff for 2016 this week too.  Stuff, unfortunately that I can’t talk about just quite yet.  But hopefully, soon…what I hope to accomplish here in 2016 is to reach a bigger audience, particularly in healthcare.  We shall see how this pans out…

So, what have you been up to?  Maybe soon we can catch up and discuss.  I’ll bring the redheaded lawyer along…

Getting Comfortable…Being Uncomfortable

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 9.54.17 AMSunday morning is my reading morning.  I like to catch up on the news, read flipboard, all the papers, and try to understand what’s going on in the bigger world out there, since I’m usually caught in my smaller world of work during the week.  This weekend was no exception.

I ran across the following quote left in Wired Magazine, featuring the new head of the Rhode Island School of Design, Rosanne Somerson.  Now, I’m no art student, but I do know that RISD is one of the best, if not the best school of art and design in the entire country.  Two things about this article and appointment that I really loved, which I thought was worth sharing in a post here.

First, I love that RISD hired one of their own (as in alumna of the school) to head it.  There are key advantages to hiring someone to head an organization who actually attended it as a student: 1. they know what the product or service looks like on the user end, since they were a consumer of that product or service.  (In this case, we’re talking about education.)  Two, they not only know what is or was in terms of the product or service, but they also know what COULD BE for that product or service.  They know the challenges, problems and frustrations on the user end, so they can correct and right the ship before others from the outside can.

Second, the thing I really loved about this new head is her vision on what education really should be. It’s really about providing a safer place for failure and experimentation, which ultimately leads to innovation.  College should be a respite for learning from mistakes, because mistakes truly can be our best teachers.  And last but certainly not least, the one skill I think all of us in the workforce are going to need to get better at over the months and years to come, is truly being comfortable with discomfort.

We all have to get better at going out on a limb, taking some risks, and challenging ourselves to try new, different and yes, sometimes scary things.  That’s the only way we’re going to move toward progress.  It’s the only way to innovation.  And as I’ve said here before, and it’s worth saying yet again: the train to Awesometown goes through Suckville.  We must get good with failure in order to try, try again.  Even Darwin said that it is not the strongest or the prettiest who survive–it is the flexible, agile and adaptable to change who will make it in the long run.  That applies to evolution, and innovation.

So, congratulations to RISD for an excellent choice, although I don’t personally know President Somerson.  While I’ve never met her, she and I do share the same philosophy on innovation and failure.  And every parent with a high school aged student who is off to college in the next few years should be looking for this very same philosophy every time they visit a potential college or university for their children to attend.

5 Costumes I’m Considering for Halloween This Year


2. A Catholic Priest.

3. Head coach of a professional men’s sports team.

4. CEO of a top 10 US bank.

5. Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.

Here’s my problem:

No woman has ever held ANY of these jobs…so I don’t know what to wear.

You can’t be what you can’t see.

Happy Halloween 2015!

6 Steps to Plot an Awesome 2016

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Meet the new 2016 Moleskine on the left, and my maxed out 2015 Moleskine on the right

This year, I had to back up my plotting of goals/objectives/outcomes for the new year early.  A quarter early.  Why? Mainly because my Moleskine is full.

Yes, I drag an old school Moleskine around with me (I’ve waxed poetic here about it before).  But, I’ve had such a crazy 2015 that my current notebook is completely full.  Maxed out. Early!

The reason this affects my goals is because I post my goals at the back of my Moleskine, so I can look at them every time I’m waiting for a meeting to start, or just have a minute or two to spare.  It keeps my eye on the prize!

Anyway, now that the old notebook is capped out, I thought instead of reprinting the 2015 goals, that I instead start thinking about 2016 now.  Here’s what I’m mentally trying to work through in order to plot my 2016 goals, and I thought I’d share with the fab 13, just in case anyone might find this scheme useful.  Here we go!

How to Plot an Awesome 2016:

1. What do you value?  Honesty, working on the frontiers of knowledge, change, variety and autonomy are all still my top 5 values and they haven’t changed.  So, before you do anything else, spot check on your values, because that should drive everything else you do, including your goals.  Google “Values Card Sort” to get a card deck to sort if you don’t know your values, and make sure you DO know them.

2. Where do you want to go?  Yeah, I know all you mindfulness pros out there – the only place we can live is the present.  I get it.  However, we have to keep one eye on the future in order to grow ourselves over time.  So, where is it that you want to head in the future?  If you’re completely happy where you are in the present, fine, but you should have some type of stretch goals for yourself.  Maybe that means going back to school, taking an online class, or just starting up a mastermind group.  Whatever form that looks like – make sure you’re challenging yourself to ask where you’d like to be next.  Which leads me to my next idea…

3. What are you going to try that’s new to you?  This year (2015), that was starting a book series – something I never did before – with #STEMPrincess.  Next year–I already have my new idea (something I’ve never tried before) ready to rock.  It does, however, blend some of my current skill set with new things I want to try.  What is it?  I can’t really share just yet for several reasons, because a. there’s more than one item here and b. it relies on others to get it done, which I haven’t finalized just yet.  I know, I’m vague blogging.  But this isn’t about me and my goals, it’s about you helping with your own goals for 2016!

4. Who do you want to hang with and around?  Jim Rohn time – again. (I know those of you who read this are tired of me writing this, but it’s worth stating again): you are like the 5 people you hang around the most.  So, who’s that now, and who do you want that to be in 2016?  Get clear on that, and then you can design how you’re going to get around this crowd and make that change happen, if you aspire for change.  Groups, classes, meet ups, masterminds, book clubs – whatever vehicle you choose is great, but first think about the who, then the how.

5. What’s your crazy goal?  I’m always a fan of the big, hairy, audacious goal or two on the list.  I rarely make my own, but I love to write them down and try.  Besides, it’s creepy how, once you commit to any goal on paper, the universe tries to make it happen for you.  It’s always good to end with a little crazy, and there’s nothing better than dreaming big!  I may have something ID’d for this column in 2016, but I’m still pondering it.  Regardless, go big or go home!

6. Are you writing and sharing?  OK, once you’ve got that list of goals you’d like to make happen, two major things you need to do: 1. write them down, and 2. share them.  Writing them tells the universe.  Sharing them makes you accountable.  Now, you don’t need to shout all your goals from the rooftops, but you do need to find some safe people to share them and hold you accountable to make them happen.

That’s it.  You can of course pick different categories of stuff you want to work on – family, friends, job/career, school, investing, health, etc.   But at the end of the day, ANY work here in plotting a great 2016 is better than nothing.

Cheers to a wacky, busy and awesome 2016!

Who’s at the Helm in Healthcare?

First, this post is going to be long. Sorry.

Second, I don’t typically write about pharmacy and healthcare stuff a lot here.  Furthermore, I don’t like bashing my first profession of pharmacy.  However, I got into a written battle over at LinkedIn this week on a post where I asked in a group, “Where are all the women leaders in pharmacy?”  I kept getting told (by men) that there were plenty of women in healthcare leadership, and many of them were managed by women.

One item pharmacy as a profession in particular LOVES to tout (particularly being in STEM) is that it has a lot of women within the profession.  We average 60% women graduating pretty much across the board in pharmacy schools every year vs. 40% men.  And, it’s been that way ever since 1985, according to an article published in AJPE.  Considering the STEM crisis with women right now, you’d think at first glance these stats were awesome, and that pharmacy was way ahead of other STEM professions when it comes to gender equity, particularly in leadership roles.

Yay! Right?

Not so fast.

When you go up to the C suite to look at the leaders of pharmacy or healthcare, however, it is striking.  So, I conducted a super unscientific search of healthcare and pharmacy heads utilizing…Google.  (And for the record, some sites did a far better job of revealing their heads than others…it was next to impossible to find some of these!)

Who is at the helm of healthcare? An Unscientific Study of Gender and Leadership in the C-Suite of Healthcare Companies from Erin L. Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD

Literally, after looking at the demographics, if aliens landed on the planet and only talked to the heads of pharmacy and healthcare organizations, they’d swear that women were rare anomalies on the planet.  (Hint: we’re 53% of the population.)  And, this is so bad, that I kept going across types of organizations involved in pharmacy to try and find some good news!  Sadly, I don’t have much.

Ready to see how striking this is? (I’m about to color stereotype with pink and blue for a moment, forgive me, but you have to see how striking this really is.) Here are the top 15 community practice pharmacy chains in 2014, and who is heading them, followed by the percentage in the category of women:

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Not good.  OK, what about Specialty Pharmacy in 2014?

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Let’s try again.  How about 2014 Top Pharmacy Wholesalers?

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Next up, the 2015 Top 10 largest For Profit Health Systems in the US?

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Still seeing a LOT o’ blue.  Next up, let’s try Largest health systems, but NOT for profit:

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Blue. Blue. Blue.  (Granted, I don’t have Chief of Pharmacy listed in either of these, but finding the CEO was hard enough!  ASHP is working on this problem, which is good.)

OK, let’s shift gears and try top 10 largest Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs):

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Jeez!  What about the top 15 Pharmaceutical Companies in 2014?

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Is anyone else seeing a pattern here, and why the aliens would be totally confused if they spoke with the heads of healthcare coming in from a different planet?  I sure do!  What about Contract Clinical Research Organizations (CROs)?

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We’ve got to turn this ship around!  How about large, national pharmacy associations?

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What about Deans at schools of pharmacy in 2013?

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And State Pharmacy Associations heads?

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Let’s bring in the consultants here for a minute – largest healthcare consulting firms?

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 6.46.22 PM

The pink lettering above didn’t show up very well, but Bain has a Chairwoman of their board, which I normally didn’t include, but I figured at this point, we’d take all the women we could get.  (And, I will reserve my comments about women from Mitt’s binders here, I’m proud that he’s got a Chairwoman!)

And then, let’s get tecky – what about the big electronic medical record (EMR) software companies?

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 6.46.46 PM

And, my unscientific study would be remiss without a “Misc.” category in healthcare:

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 6.47.10 PM

OK, the best we can do in categories, ladies, is 38% of women at heads of state pharmacy associations.  Great! (Yay, ladies!), But unfortunately it is still nowhere near the ratio of 60/40 for women graduating from pharmacy schools. Ladies and gents, I’m not going off the deep end here, yet.  We’ve still got a LONG way to go to achieve anything toward 50/50, let alone 60/40 like graduation ratios have been and currently are in schools of pharmacy.

Friends, I really don’t care what profession you’re in, but considering women in this country make most of the purchasing decisions in the household, and that women usually end up managing a family’s healthcare, these numbers just aren’t adding up. We all should care about healthcare.  If you’re a parent, this is going to be pretty hard to explain to your daughters, if not downright embarrassing.  This is an epic problem.  And until we get it fixed, I fear that healthcare will continue to be the hot mess that it is…  Let’s fix this by:

Until we fix this huge problem, the aliens will remain confused…and so will I.

Shout Out to the Inventors

Proofreading STEMP2 last night, I had to look up and fix “poly-para-phenylene terephthalamide” – I forgot the “terephthalamide” part.  It was actually invented by a woman.  I’ll let you figure out what it is and who invented it.  But it made me think about all the unsung heroes out there, the inventors.

We often hear from a handful of inventing rock stars (like at the big money companies, like Apple, Facebook, Google, etc.), but rarely hear about them all, and almost never hear about inventing women.  And while I’m not completely sure who invented what below, to those who did – thank you.

Here are some of my favorite inventions!

Some of My Fave Inventions:

I really need to do my homework and investigate who invented all of these things…in the meantime, to those who did – THANKS!!!!

Building a Professional Posse of Healthcare Writing Rockstars

Ah…I’m back from vacation.  Thanks for the reprieve, universe!

Second, as I shipped off edits for the first galley of STEMPrincess2 back to the publisher (shout out to Mascot Books), I wanted to take a little time out and just reflect on the very awesome culture of healthcare writing rockstars we’ve worked really, really hard to get up and running this year, and for the past several years at Butler U.

First, BU Well – we are still accepting outside articles, but tonight, the students working on the editorial board and the journal will be submitting their draft outlines for their own articles for publication consideration in volume 1 next May.  I’m really excited to see what they’ve been cranking on, since we had our topic selection night in September.  There’s also a great story of 2 of our students participating over at the BU Well Facebook site–which you should definitely check out (we are BU Well Journal over at the faceplace).

Second, P4 senior projects – our pharmacy majors are required to produce original projects of their own their own while they are in their final year of pharmacy school.  This year, I’m precepting 3 different team projects.  The students also have to present their preliminary work this week at Butler U’s poster day – which is always a fun affair.

The first project is 2 students from last year’s BU Well team who wanted to explore what OTHER pharmacy schools are offering in terms of writing and medical/technical writing in schools.  They’re also asking students if they’d want more class and opportunities on medical writing (if you’re going to Midyear in December, look for the poster session – hopefully there’s more on this project there).

Second and third, we’re doing it again – 2 interprofessional children’s book projects on public health topics.  Also involved are College of Ed students and College of Business students.  (And faculty preceptors in the other respective colleges – I’m NOT doing these alone as a faculty member):

Andi, Chase and the Mysterious Case - is about, of all things, antibiotic stewardship – which if you are outside of healthcare, is a HUGE problem.  (Just read their website on What’s the big deal?)

Ralphie the Giraffe and the Insulin Pump Adventure – is about, a giraffe with type I diabetes…and a dream.  They are running a Kickstarter program right now to presell, and their Weebly site is here.

It would be fantastic if you could help them out.  But even if you can’t, just spreading the word is great.  Kids and big kids need more fresh ideas on paper to read and think about.  While readers are leaders, the writers have an even bigger opportunity to lead, by influencing and sharing new ideas via the written word–even better if it is in an “edutaining” way.  And honestly, as a professor, I really can’t think of a better way to teach.  Creativity is at the highest peak of Bloom’s Taxonomy (if you want go all pedagogical), but I don’t think we even need to go there.  It’s just teaching and learning around sharing ideas–clearly and passionately.  That’s what teaching writing is all about.

It’s been fun to be part of building this culture of writing rockstars at Butler University.  And maybe, just maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll get to help out and write even more about these projects in the future…here’s hoping the students let me!

Don’t Go Away Mad…Just Go On Vacation

I’m going on vacation. Where? Well, you can follow me on Periscope (@ErinLAlbert) and find out later next week when I scope from there.

In the meantime, I didn’t want to leave my blog behind mad.  But I’m still pretty mad, as someone else other than Linda died of breast cancer this week.  For the record, I hate pink ribbons, I hate breast cancer, and any cancer for that matter that is metastatic and kills people.  We need cures, now.

Madness aside, I am happy to report that before I depart for my vacation, STEM Princess 2 is officially at the publisher’s desk…and off of mine.  I can leave with a clear conscience, and nothing but woodgrain on the desktop.  (BTW, the #STEMPrincess2X campaign still runs through 10/15–pre-order your copies at a discount, because once the book is available, the price is going up.)

Also had the Career Game Changers article published this week over at Pharmacy Times.  It was fun to write.  And, spoke at the law school on pharmacy law.  (The lawyers ask tough questions.)

I remarked on instagram tonight that if my life had a flavor right now, it would taste like hard ginger beer.  If you’ve not had it, I would imagine that Pledge would be a similar taste.  (Please don’t actually try to compare the two.  That would be dangerous.)

Suffice it to say that the flavor of my life right now is: weird.

To bed for a very early round of plane rides…keep it all fabulous out there for me while I’m gone, fab 13…!


I’ve been avoiding my blog this past week and weekend, because I don’t like to go negative.  But, I don’t need to sugar coat it with you, my fab 13–I feel like we can keep it real here.  So, rather than avoid writing here for another couple of weeks in order to cool off, I’ll just go ahead and share:

I had a sh*tty weekend.

But my cousin Linda had it far sh*ttier than me.

This weekend, I attended her funeral.  She was my first cousin who I had the honor of growing up with…and she died of cancer at age 46.

I’m still in shock that she’s gone, frankly, because her time from diagnosis to her death was lightening fast.  Scary fast. Less than a year fast. Blink of an eye fast.  She’s also the first of my generation in my family near my age to die.

On one hand, I’m devastated for her family, and I’m depressed she’s gone.  Her two boys will now grow up without a mom.  Which leads me to my second feeling…being pissed off.  I’m pissed off at cancer, for robbing her of the privilege of growing old.  I’m pissed at cancer for taking her away from her family.  And candidly, I’m pissed at healthcare, to some extent, for not yet having a cure and saving her and all the other people out there who have suffered and/or died from cancer.  There’s nothing pretty or pink about cancer.  It just sucks, period.

People ask me why I’m hellbent on a STEM book series for girls.  This, unfortunately is just another example as to why.  We need cures for cancer, so kids can grow up with their moms.  We need someone to figure out how to keep the ocean clean and invent methods for potable water in dry climates, so people have safe drinking water.  We need women to walk on Mars and discover other planets we could inhabit, so we have options as a planet and explore our final frontier. But, we’re never going to get there unless we inspire the next generations of women and men to learn and love STEM enough to fight currently incurable illnesses and solve seemingly unsolvable problems.

I joked that I wrote the STEM Princess series so some girl could invent a teleporter in the future.  But I’m not laughing anymore.  Now, I’m just pissed off and would prefer to channel that energy into helping a girl in STEM find the cure to cancer.  I know it can’t bring Linda back, but let’s prevent more Lindas of the future having to die of this horrible condition way way way WAY before their time…shall we?

Rant. Over.

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword…Especially for Girls

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 9.40.05 AMWhenever the conversation comes around to STEM and the STEMPrincess project, the first question people usually ask me is,

“Do you have kids?”

I reply that I don’t, and my guess why they ask me is related to unearthing the motivation for starting and developing a children’s book series on STEM in the first place.  But even if I did have kids, that really wouldn’t be the reason why I edit, invest my time, money and energy to produce a children’s book series on STEM for girls.

The reason why I do it is nailed in this New York Times Op Ed piece entitled, “What’s So Scary About Smart Girls?”  The biggest threat to ISIS or Al Qaeda isn’t really our drones or military.  It instead is educated girls.  That’s why in countries like Yemen where Al Qaeda hides out, the radical militants attack schools.

The benefits of educating girls in particular, in this article, include:

So, instead of investing in high tech bombs and drones, maybe instead we should be investing in education and libraries for girls and boys in countries that pretty much detest the United States.

Education to a girl or a boy is freedom.  It’s helping to make the world a better place through more peace.  It’s also empowering children to grow up and become financially independent.  Independence, too, leads to even more freedom.

Let freedom ring!

This is why I’m doing what I’m doing, and will continue onward.

*Planned Parenthood provides a lot of preventative and primary care to women in the US…so I’m not going to get in the fight about the controversy surrounding them of late, other than to state I think they should keep their doors open.  Besides, abortion was already settled as a right for women in a case called Roe v. Wade….


Black Ops

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 8.15.09 PMIn my usual Sunday morning perusal of magazines and the news, I stumbled on this article from Entrepreneur, of which I wanted to comment on one of the points…particularly, #1.

It is this: I believe we have a finite amount of decision-making ability each day.  It’s like a glass that starts full at the beginning of the day, then through decision after decision, we deplete our decision-making abilities.  By the end of the day, we’re drained.  The glass is empty.  What’s troubling is, the glass drains even faster for those of us creating and making new stuff – trying on new ideas, creating new ways of doing stuff and starting.

So, of late, when I’ve been making a ton of decisions (between the day jobs and/or with #STEMPrincess2X, and better yet, my NEXT book(s), which I haven’t really and officially decided on just yet), I’m wearing a lot of…black.  I just put it on in the morning, and forget about it.  It’s the costume for the creative.  The LAST thing I want to drain my decision-making glass on each morning (especially not being a morning person) is what I’m going to wear to work.  In the past, I’ve stood in my closet and contemplated for minutes what to wear.  Now, I don’t even think about it.

I’m not the only one who believes in the theory of having a finite amount of decision-making ability each day.  Said Barack Obama to Vanity Fair, the following quote, which is also cited here:

While I don’t agree with President Obama on much, this point we do share in agreement.  There is a finite amount of decision-making ability each of us possesses – it’s like a superpower.  But, we have a finite amount of it.  So, we must pay attention and focus our finite abilities on making decisions that matter, rather than wasting them on things that really don’t.

The next time you see me, and I’m in all black: I’m probably writing something important, or making a huge transition in my life.  Or both.  It’s my black ops suit.  I’d challenge you to think about yours, and better yet, how you can focus your decision-making abilities on what really matters…to you.

PIA Pamela

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 1.12.43 AMI just finished Brene Brown’s* new book, Rising Strong.  It was good, and important for those of us who are doing big scary things in the middle of the arena, with blood, sweat and dirt on our faces. Totally get it and agree with it (even though, I’m not as nice or forgiving as Dr. Brown is…I’m working on it; I’m definitely not there.)

But, I want to discuss the cheap seats in the back of the arena. You know, the seats where the critics and haters sit. The seats where the Pamelas of the world sit.

If you haven’t yet read the book, I don’t want to ruin all of it for you, but I do want to discuss Pamela. She’s a PIA that appears in one of Brene’s stories and shoves her way up to her at an event to right hook her without any jabs (that’s a @Garyvee-ism) with an ask on something, super obnoxious-style, when Brene’s trying to be in her zone for speaking, and like me, is hyper-introverted to begin with–a combo that is hard on one’s stomach.

Anyway, Pamela writes Brene a follow up note and corrects her pronunciation of another person Brene spoke of at the event. Brene was pissed. I don’t blame her. I would be too. And, I probably would have done exactly what Dr. B did in the book as well, with the exception of perhaps sending reply all…(I’ll admit it, I’m not as highly evolved as Brene is, especially when it comes to criticism from the cheap seats in the back.) In fact, I probably would have asked Pamela how many keynotes she’s given and books she’s written in reply too.

My point: We all have Pamelas in our lives. The haters, the annoying, the always-corrective-perfect people who hand over their opinions freely without being asked for it are always going to be there if you’re doing anything remotely new/creative/different or interesting. I’m not going to sugar coat this either – it’s flat out annoying. The petty person in me always wants to invite the critic sitting in the cheap seats in the back to come up on stage and show the rest of us how it is done. But then, before I go and do that, I pause and remember–it’s always easier to criticize than create. Always. And, the more success you have, the more Pamelas you get.  It’s like the universe wants you to be awesome–but not TOO awesome. So, the universe’s method for checking you is handing you more Pamelas. It’s a test of your awesomeness–and ONLY a test.

What do I do with Pamelas? Welp, as I’ve shared here before, I nod my head and listen while they are critiquing my original work (again, unsolicited), then, I let it go out the other ear. Doing NOTHING with their unsolicited criticism is the BEST thing to do. And, as Dr. Brown says, make sure you stop it from leaving your other ear canal if the critic matters to you–if they are an important part of your life–if you value their opinions. The close people to me in my life that matter I can count on one hand, and I don’t even need all my fingers to do it.

After all, ultimately, Pamela’s criticism of you is not about you. It’s about Pamela. And even though she may be clean in the arena, and her face isn’t in the dirt–she will never rise strong while she’s keeping you down. Pamelas never get to Act III or even Act II; they are too busy in Act I shredding everyone else to get dirty by daring to create, and willing to get their own dupas kicked.


*I can’t get the accent to appear above the last e in Brene’s name in wordpress. Sorry, Dr. Brown, if you’re reading this!


Last night, I watched the debate.  I geek out on that kind of stuff.  (Not to mention, it’s kind of our obligation as decent citizens to get informed on who we should vote for as the best candidate as leader of the free world.)

Anyway, Carly really wiped the floor with most of the male candidates last night–and she stunningly did it with eloquence.  Good for her.  But, as I was tweeting my own commentary on the evening, I was noticing that other women were commenting that Carly should be “smiling” more.  Furthermore, I never saw one tweet saying that any of the men on stage needed to smile more.

Can you say “double standard”?

Look friends, with $19T in debt in the country, an epic, broken immigration system, ISIS beheading innocent people, healthcare eating nearly 20% of our GDP and Social Security dwindling by the second, does Carly (or do any of the candidates, for that matter) really have anything to smile about?  I want the next leader of the free world to care less about her or his fake smile and care more about solving these defcon-1 level problems our country is facing. Pronto.

So, my message here is to all of us – to make sure to check our double standards.  Women in politics have always been double-scruitinized (and yes, I know this to be a fact after training at Women’s Campaign School at Yale, and candidly one of the many reasons why I have not yet stepped up to run myself…yet).  Let’s be extra careful not to put a lower bar on the male candidates and a nit-picky super-sacchrine high bar on the ladies. This goes for Hillary too.  (Although smiling vs. potentially breaking laws are completely different items…which I won’t go into here.)

Face Plant, In the Arena…

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 9.36.35 PMFor some reason, the universe keeps giving me the following message.  Most recently, tonight on this post about never, ever reading blog post comments as a writer.  (Hence, why I shut off comments to this blog. That, and spam killing the site.)  Earlier today, by listening to a new podcast to me, Entrepreneur on Fire, where the guest basically said you, as a speaker, can either be a critic or a creator, but not both.

Third, last night in a conversation with students about failure…something students and professionals in healthcare DETEST discussing.  But, I’m trying to get them open to it, because it’s important for innovation and progress–two things healthcare in this country desperately needs! Last, by continuing to read Brene Brown’s new book, Rising Strong.  In it, she quotes Theodore Roosevelt from the 1910 “Man in the Arena” speech:

Later on in the book, she says to carefully pay attention to criticism by the RIGHT people.  Best line ever regarding this by Brown:

“For me, if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”


I’m leaving this post, because 4 times is a charm.  But I’m also leaving this post as a reminder to all of us (OK MYSELF) of the following:

1. We need to be in the arena. Faceplanting.  That’s the only way we get brave and do really creative, interesting stuff.
2. We need to not sit in the cheap seats in the back, criticizing those in the middle of the arena getting their asses kicked.  Instead, we should be supporting them.  Cheering them on, and getting them to get back up and try again.

THAT’s the stuff that real character is made of…not being the little person who picks apart everything else new and interesting that others are trying to attempt. The better and bigger person is the one who has been there, done that, and can cheer others on.

Sounds kind of preachy.  But, even my instagram feed this morning said that the bad news was that not everyone is going to fit in, but the good news is that no one awesome ever did.  And, if the universe is sending me a message through different channels, I usually need to make note of it, so I’m doing just that in this post…

…no need for comments.


The Why Behind My Books, and Study Great Careers – for Free

Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 10.18.47 AMI frequently get asked about my career moves.  While I’m flattered, I’ve already explored a lot of them through my books.  I’ll lay down which aspect of my career in my books I explored below, so others can check out which particular aspect they’re interested in, and I can forward this post to those who ask in general.

The Medical Science Liaison: An A to Z Guide – still the first book out there on the Medical Science Liaison, which MDs, PhDs, and PharmDs can go for – it’s still one of the best jobs I ever had.  If you like drug information and autonomy, but a little business thrown in there too, this is a fantastic job.

The Life Science Lawyer – For all those MDs, PhDs and PharmD science geeks who think they want to go to law school, this is a good one for you.  Law School: A Few Short and Plain Statements walks you through what law school does to one’s brain, through a series of blog posts into an ebook.

Indianapolis: A Young Professional’s Guide, first and second editions – this is for the young professionals moving into Indy post college.  And, it will help with all the ancillary stuff in a good life – like philanthropy training, leadership training, and connecting to our fair city in meaningful ways.

Single. Women. Entrepreneurs. – I’m a single woman entrepreneur, and being a single woman is the only category of marital status where women start more businesses than men.  Why?  That’s what I wanted to unearth in this book.

Plan C: The Full-Time Employee and Part-Time Entrepreneur – this is for those of us who want to start a business, but also realize that we went to school for a looooong time, and also want to work within a profession.  It doesn’t have to be all one way or the other. It can be both.  This book explores the spectrum.

The New Pharmacist: 46 Doses of Advice – helps to kick off a pharmacy career the right way – the guide I wish I had when I first started out in pharmacy a few…eh hem…decades ago.  It also discusses grad school.

Multipationals – whether or not we think it is a good thing or not, many of us have multiple jobs and gigs these days. This book explores why those of us with multiple jobs juggle this, and better yet – what the benefits are of having multiple gigs.

STEM Princess 1 & 2 (presale) - Just want to give girls a handshake to STEM careers at an early age.  I can’t teach them everything they need to know about bioinformatics, neuroscience or computer programming, but I can get them introduced.

And with the 5+ books that students have written at Butler University, along with the BU Well project:

(2 in 2016)
The Gifts of Indiana – bicentennial
Max Greene and the Vaccine Team
He Huffed and He Puffed But…A Tale of a Wolf With Asthma
Pharmacy and Me
Prescription to My Younger Self: What I Learned After Pharmacy School

All I want to do is give students a shot at learning how to lead through writing.  That’s it.

That’s the “why” behind all of my writing projects, or mentoring of writing projects.

Now, instead of spending your hard earned money on reading all this stuff after purchasing it – do me and yourself a favor. REQUEST THESE BOOKS TO BE PURCHASED FROM YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY! Seriously, I do it all the time myself with books I want to read–I hit the bookstore, take my smartphone, take photos of the new books I want to read, then request the library buy them.  Figure out how you can request your library to purchase books, and get them to foot the payment instead of you.  That way, the ideas are available to a wider audience, and your wallet doesn’t take the hit!

Hope this helps.

55 Cool Jobs for Pharmacists

MPI don’t know why I didn’t write this post earlier, but better late than never.  After seeing this post today over at Pharmacy Times, I thought it was time.

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is about “What can I do in pharmacy?” as a prof.  As someone who has had a lot of different gigs in pharmacy (or, should I say with a couple of pharmacy degrees), there’s a LOT more out there than community practice (retail) and hospital pharmacy. (NOT that there’s anything wrong with either!)  Below, I’m going to lay out jobs that I personally know pharmacists have done or are doing.


1. Wellness program director – employer
2. Wellness program writer
3. MTM counselor/consultant
4. LTC consultant pharmacist
5. Closed door pharmacy pharmacist
6. New drug namer
7. Run a pharmacy association – state or disease-specific
8. Run a pharmacy association – national or international
9. Run a state board of pharmacy
10. Health outcomes pharmacist
11. Drug information pharmacist – at a drug info portal (like Medispan or FDB)
12. Drug info internal at drug company
13. Field based MSL
14. DEA toxicologist
15. Regulatory affairs
16. Health outcomes liaison
17. Clinical Research Operations
18. Pharmacovigilance
19. Clinical Trial manager/designer
20. Publication planning at pharma co/biotech/device co
21. Manage clinical trial operational budgets and/or contracts
22. Clinical Trial Materials Manager
23. FDA – review new drugs
24. FDA – review generics
25. Pharma brand management
26. Government affairs for healthcare or pharmacy
27. Serve in public office
28. Academic pharmacy – teach
29. Academic pharmacy – administration
30. Consultant at big consulting firm
31. Auditing – PBMs
32. Inspecting – pharmacists – at Boards of pharmacy
33. Managing a drug formulary
34. Heading Medicaid or health and human services for a state
35. Working at CMS
36. Publishing drug information
37. Medical writer
38. Book publisher
39. Recon/info for hedge funds or Wall Street firms
40. Academia – administration at a University (not the same thing as a college of pharmacy)
41. M&M candy coater – quality assurance
42. Compounding pharmacist
43. Teacher of techs
44. Test question writer
45. Compliance manager (regulatory – drug companies)
46. Inventor (Dr. Pepper, flavors for liquid drugs, etc.)
47. Drug pricing specialist
48. Veterinarian Pharmacy
49. Wellness coach
50. Editor
51. Working at NIH
52. HIT pharmacist
53. Bioinformatics
54. Epidemiologist/public health
55. Transitions of care/home health pharmacist

There. I probably could come up with 50+ more, but what would be the fun of that?  Every pharmacist must find her own path. After all, that’s part of the fun!



BU Well at Butler University: An Update

Once upon a time, when I went to law school (back in the dark ages, 5 years ago), I participated in Indiana Health Law Review.

It was fun!

So fun, in fact, that after the experience, I was haunted.

“Why doesn’t this opportunity exist for students in healthcare?” I asked myself.

Four years, a Butler University Innovation Grant, over 30 students, a website, hundreds of hours of work and meetings, and 1.1 class semesters later, here’s where we are with BU Well at Butler University.

Go dawgs!  (Video by Jeff S., BU Well member.)

To the Bold and Daring…

Dear Network,

Lately I’ve noticed a lot of you (yes, you, the really cool, interesting people of my network, always doing fabulous things), are making some pretty radical changes in your life.  You are selling your houses.  You are quitting your jobs.  And, you’ve either decided to travel the world for a period of time until you settle again, ‘retiring’ early, or chucking the U.S. and moving to a remote tropical island, or a foreign country, or all of the above.

To you I say, awesome.  Really – good for you!  I admire that quality in you, as I’m not really in a place in the tenure of life right now to do that myself.  But, I will eagerly await your updates, and watch how it goes for you…maybe even live a little vicariously through you right now, if you don’t mind.

To the bold and daring…I salute you!


3 Updates for Pharmacy, Healthcare, Life Science and STEM Folk

Despite another stream of technical difficulties today, here are three updated documents for the healthcare, STEM, Life Science and Pharmacy-kind—in order to share them with you, and to make me feel like I’ve accomplished something today!

1. Girls, Women and STEM – an update.  More data on STEM – are we getting better when it comes to women?  In some cases, yes, albeit very very slow.  In other cases, we’re actually moving backward:

Girls Women and STEM: An Update – September 2015 from Erin L. Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD
2. Pharmacy meetings in 2015/16 – I added a few per others’ suggestions.  It’s really helpful to have all the meetings in one place so I can figure out which to attend.
3. Pharmacist/Healthcare Professional Certifications – again, added some other certifications from others and/or randomly found. (And added Princess Piper, the pharmacist/physician STEM Princess – spreadsheets should be a little more fun!)

Countdown to the End of the #STEMPrincess2X Campaign!

Every solid campaign needs to begin with the end in mind. Here’s ours on the #STEMPrincess2X Campaign:

What’s the #STEMPrincess2X Campaign?

Once again, here’s the deal:

If we manage to pre-sell at least 500 copies of #STEMPrincess2 on or before 10/15/15, everyone who purchased books at pre-sale will get DOUBLE what they ordered.  That means, if you order a book between now and October 15, 2015 and we make our goal of 500 books or more pre sold, you’d get 2 copies.*

That’s it. It’s as simple as that.  I’m not messing with any crowd funding platforms, middle men (other than the payment processor, Square) or other stuff.  No gimmicks.  Just me trying to get STEM concepts via a book into the hands of girls, so they can get and stay ahead in life, and in turn make this country great again (OK – I stole that from Donald, but I do agree with him–we’ve lost our way as a country.)

Let’s fight to get it back!

*Only on US postage rates. 

Successful Women are Not Liked. How Do We Fix This?

OK, I want (need) to go back to something I shared in Milwaukee, because I was struck by it yet again. It is the following:

     The more successful a man is, the more he is liked.  
     The more successful a woman is, the less she is liked.

I really cringe in discussing this.  On the other hand, if we don’t call something out that is wrong or unjust, it will just keep going on…ad nauseum – and this needs to stop.  Immediately if not sooner.

So, after saying this, twice, to the ladies in Milwaukee and given (a lot of) examples in my own life where this has occurred–I mentioned that I sacrificed my time the evening before (to watch Project Runway) in order to get up early to meet my flights.  What did I do when I returned home late Friday night?  Of course! I watched the latest episode of PR that I missed.

Unfortunately and ironically, buried within it was yet another case of the above situation this week.

Ashley is the lavender-haired designer who specializes in plus-sized fashion on this season’s cycle. She’s got a really cool sense of style. She also won two challenges thus far this season, which means she’s in the lead–at least on the women’s side of the designers.  On this week’s challenge, the team of remaining designers had to split into two teams.  One team was all girls.  The teams had to pick teammates.

Guess who got picked last?

Yup, Ashley.

That was a huge mistake, because Ashley also had the hidden talent of being a paint ball master, which was part of the task this week.  So, she pretty much shredded the guys with her paint ball gun, but she was clearly hurt and pissed off that she was chosen last.

But wait, that’s not all.

Later on in the challenge, one of the other gals in her group mentioned to her off side that the other girls were plotting to throw Ashley under the bus at the end, because they wanted the most successful girl to go.  She’s a “threat.”  This again hurt Ashley, and on the runway when the girls’ team lost, this became true to form – the majority of girls tried to throw Ashley under the bus, even though her fashion wasn’t the worst in the group – by far.

This is yet another example of the adage above.  When I shared it with the Milwaukee ladies, and then watched it unfold yet again on one of my favorite TV shows, the only remedy I can think of is to work twice as hard, and expect half the credit that someone with a penis will get.  That may sound crass, difficult, and a tad nihilistic, but it is the best I can do when it comes to this challenge we successful women face.  Also, we women need to support other successful women. When other women win, we ALL win.  Otherwise, we’ll just keep living in a man’s world, and frankly, I think we can do better.

If you have a better remedy, by all means, email me with it.  And guys – you can help this out by supporting successful women instead of standing back and watching the fireworks.  If you stand by and do nothing–say nothing–you’re just as guilty as the mean women committing the bus undertow.

This is all I have to say on this matter for now, and again, I say it to recognize that it is happening, each and every day.  We have to say something if we see something bad – and friends, this is horrible.

Stuff Smart, Learning Ladies Like

Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 8.08.47 AMYesterday, I burned a few frequent flyer miles and took a circuitous route to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to talk to a group of awesome women at the Wisconsin Club.  Even though I was up at 3:40 am and home at 8 pm for the trip to: (IND -> ATL -> MKE there and MKE -> MSP -> IND back), I was more than happy to do it, because of who asked me to speak.

It was none other than my former b school professor and subsequently dean of the business school at CUW, Dean David Borst.  He subsequently retired, and we were chatting about all the awesome stuff he’s up to in his “retirement” (I use that term loosely, because as a fellow Renaissance soul, it does not sound at all like he’s retired).

One of my favorite things he did was set up a Women’s Mentoring Board, where he brings together a group of women to chat with them about their career development and bringing in guest speakers and getting lunch once a month at The Wisconsin Club. (Which, by the way, is a fantastically preserved historic club building in downtown Milwaukee.)

I had the pleasure of speaking to his Mentoring Board yesterday.  I prattled off a bunch of stuff, so I wanted to gather some of the resources I mentioned and put it here, below:

Strengthsfinder – LOVE THIS BOOK SERIES when it comes to discovering yourself.  Here’s an abbreviated free strengths test online.  I like Entrepreneurial Strengthsfinder the book too. As well, here’s a list of other tests on learning what makes you tick. Take them all so you can become the anthropologist of you!

Social mediaPeriscope and Meerkat – 2 really powerful, cool live streaming video tools to share your story with the universe.  The only things I really do on Facebook any more that are relevant here are the Single. Women. Entrepreneurs. page, Plan C book page, and The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM page.  Ladies, I’m happy to connect with you on LinkedIn–and remember my best advice here!

EtsyEtsy-preneurship, Etsypreneurship the book, and ironically on my plane ride home, Delta magazine even had an Etsy article on Rockford, IL teaming up with Etsy for the maker economy.

Podcasts – big fan of Stitcher, and the following are some of the shows on my favorites playlist I mentioned: The Ask Gary Vee Show, and The Tim Ferriss Show.

Women on Boards – Check out the training that Boardology by BoardRoom Bound offers.

How to manage time – I’m constantly trying to learn more about how to do this better.  I use my Moleskine Notebook, of course for my lists (of course the list will never be completely finished and that’s OK) and goals, but this video from Marie Forleo is also good too – plan stuff for tomorrow at least 5 minutes before you go to bed the previous day.  The tip that I shared was working 2 weeks out 1 hour each Sunday was a trick I learned at ACE this summer.  I’m still working on it, as time really is the one thing we never get back.

Empowering moments – Someone asked about my first empowering moment as a kid – that was drama and being a thespian, yes.  But here’s a list of some powerful moments in my career too.

Mentoring – My best work on mentors is in my 46 Doses book.  But, I have a few posts on them as well, here here and here. Ladies – if you’re reading this – you’re already light years ahead, because you have Dr. Borst already mentoring you. LUCKY DUCKS!!  I hope you continue on with him, as he can be a great resource to you.

Find things that need fixing, and own them – I mentioned the story of how Social Media Dames Unconference came to fruition.  And frankly, that was either a situation of a. keep on b*tching about it, or b. shut up and do something about it, you usually want to pick path b if you have the tools and resources you need to fix a problem.

Gender, success and likability – As I shared yesterday, the more successful a man is, the more he is liked.  The more successful a woman is, the less she is liked.  My only remedy to this is 2 fold:

1. To work twice as hard as the men, and expect half as much when it comes to the universe loving your work when you’re successful.  One of my mentors said to me a long time ago, “It’s lonely at the top!”  She is correct.
2. To ensure that women who have been mentored give back and mentor the NEXT generation of men and women against this bias.  Make sure if you were mentored that you give back and share your knowledge with others.

Of all the things we discussed, I really dislike this point the most, and I’ve personally suffered from this, but I’m not willing to water down my awesomeness, EVER, just so others can feel comfortable, and neither should you.  Hopefully if we all keep talking about it, the problem will be replaced with more equality in the workplace.  Until that day…

And my last pitch – to pre-sell #500 copies of STEM Princess 2 before Oct 15, the #STEMPrincess2X campaign.  I thank Dr. B for being kind enough to put in a large pre-order!

Last but not least – to the gents out there reading this, particularly my other male mentors – I challenge each of you to do the same thing that Dr. Borst did – get a group of women together, buy them lunch and see if you can help them.  As Dr. Borst mentioned as I thanked him for doing this for those of us with XX chromosomes, he stated, “If not me, then who?”


The Anti-Mentor

unicornMentoring. Do you hear harps and chirping birds when someone says that word? Do you see rainbows and unicorns?  Does it make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?  If it does, good for you.

Don’t get me wrong, a good mentor can do great things for your professional development, and in some cases, even your career.  And, I’ve been very lucky to have several awesome, positive mentors in my life.  However, I think there’s another type of mentor out there who has probably taught me even more about how to act and conduct my professional life/behavior, who is even more valuable than the solid “good” mentor.

No, I’m not talking about the sponsor.  (Those are peeps who are high up at your company, who also advocate for you when you’re not in the room, particularly for succession planning purposes.)  Nope, I’m not talking about Jack Welch’s reverse mentor either–or philosophy where he believed everyone had something to offer and learn from.

Nor will I be discussing inverse mentors--those who reverse the mentoring from the older, wiser person being the mentor, and the younger person being the mentee.  (Reverse mentoring is where the younger person becomes the mentor.)

I’m going to talk about one of the most important types of mentors not yet on this list: the anti-mentor.  I’m talking about the people in your life who show you through terrible examples how NOT to act professionally.  They are the people that provide you a 180 degree angle on proper career and personal development.  They show you the dark side…and sometimes, the ugly side of corporate America.

Businessweek has an article about the wonders of having an anti-mentor here.  And, I hate to say it, but the anti-mentors are probably in bigger abundance than the actual warm-and-fuzzy positive mentor types.  They also can co-exist with people in your life who have good qualities too.  We as humans are all mixed bags–just like the Force.

I’ve been thinking about this in preparation for a fireside chat I’ll be having in Milwaukee soon, thanks to one of my good mentors and former professor when I was a student.  But, the more I think about mentoring overall, the more I think the anti-mentors taught me more about how to conduct myself professionally.  I’ve personally learned a lot of things from my anti-mentors (AKA – the guilty who shall remain nameless), like:

  1. Utilize your integrity as the compass for your moral conduct – You already know what you need to do in a situation. Your gut tells you. The anti-mentors might test you at times. Don’t let the dark side take over your integrity. I’ve watched shady anti-mentoring characters get away with their moral relativism time after time.  Ugh.  Two words: Karmic. Retribution.
  2. Play in the sandbox nicely – I’ve worked in some pretty competitive workplaces, and watched quite a few petty, snarky interactions in my day.  Due to watching epic behaviors in the anti-category, I’ve personally tried to play in the sandbox across the companies I worked for intentionally, rather than playing into the silo mentality.  That “us vs. them” mentality is 4th grade behavior. We’ve moved on.
  3. Sea of wood grain at the end of the day – some of the biggest anti-mentor behavior I’ve witnessed is in the form of messy, downright embarrassing offices and cubicles.  As in – call Hoarders the TV show and have an intervention.  This bad behavior forces me have an absolutely clean desk at the end of my day.  If I can’t see wood grain, something is not done, and I won’t be a happy camper until it is done.
  4. Never force someone to do something they don’t want to do – I’ve been guilty of this one in the past, because I like to get stuff done.  But, I’ve learned by watching the rude, yelling bosses that you can’t really ever force anyone to do something they don’t want to do.  The best thing you can do is try and help people get to a place where they WANT to do the work out of intrinsic motivation rather than brute force.
  5. Don’t pick favorites – We all have preferences in people we hang out with and work with on optional projects.  But sometimes, we have to put our favoritism aside and just get the work done.  We also shouldn’t choose favorites when others are equally if not more qualified to work on the team.  Nothing drives me more insane than cronyism and nepotism.  They are 2 -isms that should have no place in corporate America, in my opinion.  I work hard, and I expect others to work hard too–and slacking just because you’re related to, married to, or sleeping with the head/owner/boss is not a valid excuse for a shortcut on one’s job. Ever.
  6. Walk the talk – The anti-mentor likes to set a double standard: his and yours. He gets to do one thing, and you have to do something else.  He sets his hours, but you have to be in the office every day from 7-4. He tells you to scrub the floor, but he’s never scrubbed anything in his life.  This type of anti-mentoring always ensures that when I ask someone to do something, I’m prepared to do it myself.  Four degrees later, I’m still making my own copies.  I’ve scrubbed floors, waitressed, and cleaned basements with raw sewage floods in them.  When I ask for something, I’m willing to do it myself, period.  This consideration will never run across the anti-mentor’s mind.

There are 6 deadly sins I’ve learned how to avoid by watching the parade of anti-mentors throughout the 20+ years of my career thus far.  The next time you encounter an absolute tool at work – give them a shout out.  Thank them.  Really.  Because they’re giving you a warm and fuzzy view of exactly what NOT to do in your own life and work.

Technical Difficulties

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 5.21.48 AMYesterday…was not one of my best days.  Pretty much any piece of technology I touched refused to work, and I could not get people to understand what my constraints and challenges are and were with my work–on several fronts.  Bleh.

Maybe it was a full moon?  I don’t know.

Then, the cherry on top was reading this article in HBR about how companies manage to shut down any ambitions of women who aspire to higher ranks in just…2 years. TWO YEARS!  That’s insane!  I don’t even have girls of my own and THIS ARTICLE BUMMED ME OUT!

Fab 13, the only way we are going to turn this ship around is by empowering our next generation of women leaders…that’s the girls of today.  That means educating them to be independent souls, who DO aspire to greater levels in organizations.

I’m trying like h*ll to help this happen with the #STEMPrincess2X campaign.  But I’m not going to lie – I need your help.  Contrary to popular belief, I don’t own a multi-bajillion dollar tech company that I’m selling to Facebook tomorrow and a lot of cash lying around to spend on producing books.  I don’t have a sugar daddy (not that I’d even want one…), but you get my point.  Talk is cheap, and action is awesome – but it isn’t free.  Action costs money.  This project is a labor of love for my fellow younger sisters, but I need your help to make it happen.

If we don’t start telling and empowering our girls that they can work hard and achieve anything they want to do and be, just like we do with boys, we’re just going to keep on having bad days, riddled with crappy, depressing and completely unacceptable articles and situations like the one above.

Let’s not keep moving that mentality forward…!

“I don’t like pretty.”

I watched Iris this weekend.

If you haven’t, and you love style (and who doesn’t?) you too should watch Iris.

It’s a documentary on Iris Apfel and her husband, Carl.  Unfortunately, Carl just passed away August 1 at the age of 100. But Iris has always been a fashion icon, with her huge rimmed black glasses and her eclectic mix of jewelry and accessories.  She’s been modeling in her 90s. Awesome.

I get the sense, after watching this film, that she doesn’t really care what the rest of the world thinks, she just rocks her own style.  At the end of the film, she says the following:

“I never felt pretty. I don’t feel pretty now. I’m not a pretty person….I don’t happen to like pretty. Most of the world is not with me, but I don’t care.”

Don’t value pretty.  Value style.

Don’t value fitting in.  Value standing out.

These are the messages I received from Iris.  I think we’d all be in a little better place if we followed her advice.

The #STEMPrincess2X Campaign

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 1.26.00 PMSo, getting near the end of writing #STEMPrincess2.  But, I’m racking my brain on trying to figure out how to get it to a broader audience–especially this afternoon as I was powerwashing the driveway. (Don’t ask…)

While I was washing, I was thinking about…biology…and chromosomes. Then I thought, girl.

XX. 2X.

Here we go. I’m announcing the #STEMPrincess2X Campaign, right here. Right now.  Here’s the countdown clock!

Currently in the coffers, we only have budget for #500 copies of #STEMPrincess2 from the publisher.  However, I really would prefer to order #1000 copies instead, for several reasons.  First, anyone who has ever published knows that it is cheaper per book the more you print. Second, this puppy is coming out around the holidaze, and thus, demand will be high for it.  Also last but certainly not least, I WANT MORE GIRLS TO ENGAGE IN STEM, and more copies of this book in the ether = higher likelihood of more girls engaging in STEM careers.

Furthermore, I’m skipping the crowdfunding mess.  If you attended the panel discussion we had up in Fishers earlier this year, you already know why.  Suffice it to say, ain’t nobody got time for that. I’d rather spend time on THE BOOK and selling STEM, rather than making the founders of Kickstarter and Amazon more money. (No offense to either company, but this isn’t about them, it’s about the girls.)

Thus, the campaign of #STEMPrincess2X, which is this:

If I get pre-orders between NOW and October 15, 2015 at or above #500 copies, I will print 1000 copies.  And, everyone who pre-bought books will get 2X on their orders.  That is, if you pre-order 1 copy before October 15, and I reach my goal of 500 copies pre sold by 10/15/15, you will get 2 copies.*

However, if I don’t have pre-orders for #500 copies by October 15, no go.

Some people already pre-ordered. (Thank you, btw!)  This will also apply to those who already pre-ordered #STEMP2 from me….you’re safe!

So, chop chop, peeps.  I’m going to back to writing now. BUT – if you can help me get #500 books presold, it’s going to be a 2X holiday season for all of us.  Here’s the link to pre-order.

You now have the awesome ability to help girls (and boys) engage in STEM, right here, right now.

Will you accept the challenge?


Digital Detox & Declutter

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?


A Tale of 3 Classes

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

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.


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.


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

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

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

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.

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

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

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