How to improve your pharmacy through being different

Dare to be different

When I first started Peak Strategies (PS), I had a problem with truly connecting to what I was doing. This was because I felt no different to other accounting firms. I was delivering the same things as everybody else. I didn’t like that, I wasn’t proud. Furthermore, l wanted to feel unique and special.

Then I had a significant turning point in my career. This moment had such a fundamental impact on my business. It happened when I was in the process of choosing the PS colour and logos. The graphic designer gave me a range of colours and choice of design. She however, asked what colour I disliked the most and couldn’t image using. I said fluorescent orange and she responded with “well that’s what you’re going with”. You can imagine the panic and emotional turmoil I felt towards that response. HOWEVER at this point, I hadn’t realised that I was beginning to differentiate myself from the others (others being accounting firms).

Later on, I had a conversation with a close friend about purpose and being different. She said to me “why don’t you just do pharmacy? You have such a unique opportunity, you love it and you are good at it.” It became the turning point for me.  I loved the thought of being different and being known for my specialisation. People told me it is too risky, but it never seemed that way to me. It just made sense! It was exciting and most importantly, I could see where I could make a difference to peoples lives.

So why am I telling you this?  Well sometimes I see pharmacy in some aspects as being a “sea of sameness”. The only difference sometimes is the name, colours and location. Most pharmacies are the same and doing the exact same things. There are some obvious exceptions, e.g. Chemist Warehouse, Priceline, HBF Friendlies and the odd independent are some examples.

If you are going to make a difference, to stand out, compete not only within your own catchment pool, but beyond sometimes you have to dare to be different. It is a bold move, risky, and may not work. But amongst the talent in pharmacy land there are some exceptional thinkers who are going to break the mould. There are some I am really excited about seeing how they develop. There are some we are working in their beginning stages, who hopefully through our mentoring and support they can fulfil their lofty goals.

Pharmacy is challenging at the moment. Some financially are going backwards. Mentally this can be a challenging time, but through these struggles and pressures some people have brilliant ideas. That with a bit of guidance and perseverance can create change, dare to be different and challenge the current model.

In spite of these pressures, I am excited by what ideas owner comes up with. Opportunities are around for those who dare to seek them out.