People ask me all the time how I made this transition, I suspect because they assume I had access to resources and help they don’t have access to.
Many people are surprised to find that my story initially started the same way theirs did and that the key for me was action.
I graduated from Ferris State University in 2012 with a PharmD degree, and I earned an ambulatory care/community/academic residency.
During that residency, I discovered that my plan to go straight into academia was flawed: I needed to have real work experience if I wanted to be able to teach the next generation of pharmacists.
In 2013, I got an ambulatory care pharmacy job, and the entrepreneurial bug bit me. I launched a side project so I could try new things on my way to discovering my passions.
I launched the Leadership Dojo, which I envisioned as a training ground for people who wanted to lead lives of purpose.
As I interviewed New York Times best-selling authors and TEDx speakers and other leaders across the globe, I discovered a love for speaking and teaching and leading others.
I ultimately ended the Leadership Dojo but continued my work with the VA.
Rather than waiting to get an academic job, I created the Pharmacy School HQ as a meaningful outlet for myself and a way to begin teaching the next generation of pharmacists. I decided to help pre-pharmacy students get into pharmacy school, and I launched my own kind of university.
In 2015, I launched a media company that creates content for other websites. Some of the content was pharmacy related and some of it wasn’t, but it was my first successful side-hustle business.
Up to this point, I had also helped a variety of people launch and grow businesses, and I had more than a few success stories. I coached dentists, chiropractors, music studio owners, and engineers.
I got serious about coaching in 2016, and I worked to grow my own company at the same time.
My wife and I had a lot of extra money coming in, so we paid off our house 27 years early, and we worked to grow other assets. At the same time, we also joined a franchise that wasn’t a good fit.
In 2017, I was meeting weekly with a mastermind group of entrepreneurs that shared our struggles and the things we had learned, and we helped each other overcome problems that were plaguing our businesses.
I ultimately shared with the group that I wasn’t where I hoped I would be. I realized that I was spread so thin across numerous businesses that I wasn’t making enough money to survive in any of my businesses.
The answer, I discovered, was to stick to one thing.
Narrowing my focus
I launched The Happy PharmD in January of 2017, and I decided to get serious about helping pharmacists find fulfilling work. Whether that meant finding a new job, starting a new business, or creating a side hustle, I was going to help as many pharmacists as I possibly could.
Later that year, I quit my franchise, and I made another tough decision: we pretended to live off of my business earnings.
For 12 months, we stockpiled my regular pay and lived entirely off of my side business.
In August of that year, I launched Career Jumpstart and started helping pharmacists transition into new and better jobs.
In January of 2018, we hired our first official coach, Jackie Boyle, and I paid off my student loans. My wife and I were officially debt free.
In August of 2018, I quit my job.
Embarking on a journey
I feel incredibly humbled and blessed to be where I am today, and I hope that you’re ready to begin your own journey.
If you are a pharmacist who is seeking something more than what you currently have, join our email list. Connect with me on LinkedIn.
We’re all trying to figure out how we can do more of the work we love doing. Whether you start a business, find a new job, or undertake something completely different, we’re here to support you.
We’re here to share with you what we’ve learned, and to help you create your own unique journey. As your journey progresses, you can continue to share what you’ve learned with The Happy PharmD community.
We’re all in this together.
Alex is the Founder of The Happy PharmD. He loves anime, his family, and video games, but not in that order.