Why do you own your pharmacy?

Do you know why you are in business?

Sometimes you get asked a simple question that really stumps you, where you really struggle for a genuine answer.

For me that happened early in the Peak life. Someone asked me “Why are you in business? What is your purpose?”. Such a simple question, yet deceptively difficult. No one had asked me that before, and to be honest, I didn’t have an answer.

If I reflect on the majority of young pharmacists I talk to, looking for their first ownership opportunity, one question I always ask them (one of many) is “why do you want to do this?”. Most cannot answer this question with any meaning. They mostly answer with “to make more money” or “to have more flexible working hours”.

Sometimes the decision to buy a pharmacy is nothing more than the next step up the corporate ladder. In other words, most people don’t know why they are in business, or why they are going into business.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a simple question to answer. For some people it takes years to properly understand this. But why is it so important? When there is no purpose, there is nothing. Nothing to drive you, no emotional connection, no extra something to drive you to push harder or no extra something that provides that higher level of enjoyment. No extra something that makes you want to get up in the morning and start the day on a happy note or nothing to look forward to. It leads to the mundane routines, day after day doing the same things.

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………Aiming at nothing and achieving nothing.

To live a fulfilling, meaningful, happy life, one of the greatest things we can have is to know why you are doing what you are doing.

What is your purpose?

That is a very personal individual thing. But very powerful once we know this. Knowing “why”, helps provide purpose into your day to day business life. It helps to keep you level when times get tough. Furthermore, it is what you draw on to provide the extra level of courage to get through a difficult moment in your life. It is also what your team connect to. They don’t necessarily have a “why” in their life, and by you communicating and sharing your “why” helps them to connect with something. It helps them understand what problem you are trying to solve in the world and helps keep them aligned to your business. This also extends to your customers as well. Communicating consistently and through many channels your purpose and your “why” helps your customers connect to your business as well. It extends to so many facets of your business.

It is an essential component but always overlooked.

So, for those readers thinking about pharmacy ownership ask yourself “why do you want to do this?”. What is your purpose? What problem in the world, in your community are you trying to solve? If you are a business owner, ask yourself, “What is your purpose?”. Spend some time by yourself and answer this question. That deeper emotional link is quite often missing is some owners. In leads to a routine of doing the same things over and over, no change, no innovation, no creativity. It leads to your good team members being easily coaxed into leaving to another pharmacy where the grass appears to be greener. Furthermore, it leads to your customers viewing you as just another pharmacy, when the decision point then can only come down to price. It leads to apathy. It also leads to a business plan of “wait and hope”.

Determining your purpose is part of what we cover in our “Perfect Pharmacy” workshops which are happening at the start of March. Attending this seminar will give you the head start you need.

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