The shift that changed my trajectory.
Early in 2017, I decided to take a step back to see where I was at in my career. I had been a practicing pharmacist for a few years and was with my third retail pharmacy company. I quickly realized, things aren’t going well. And when I say “well,” I mean its going normal. I have a stable job that I could probably keep into retirement. But, that’s not how I envisioned my career. I’ve always felt I wasn’t going to have a normal career. But, I sure was going down that path of just being a regular pharmacist. Which, don’t get it twisted, people can live amazing lives with a career as a community pharmacist. But for me, I wouldn’t have been happy. During my time of reflection I realized, my actions were not mapping to my ambitions. I wasn’t acting like I was someone who wasn’t going to have a normal career. Around this same time, I was fortunate enough to come across the book “Crush It” by Gary Vaynerchuk, and it has since changed the trajectory of my career. In addition to consuming his podcasts, that one piece of work really put me into a new mindset. And that’s where #10to2 came from, so let me explain.
The basis of “Crush It” was that in today’s landscape people can make a decent living by building a brand about anything that they’re passionate about. ANYTHING. Whether that passion is cooking, traveling, Disney, straws, or even pharmacy, you could create a brand/business around it and make it a career. So, ok got it. Find passion and then build a brand. My passion = Pharmacy. Build Brand = no time for this. Okay, Gary Vee, build my brand. Cool. But when? I already work 40–50 hours a week at my pharmacy, try to go to the gym, enjoy watching sports and Netflix, hang out with friends, go to the movies, chill on the couch, go out to dinner. When the hell would I have time to build this brand? This was the million dollar question.
Well, I found the answer. I’ve always been a night owl. And when I got home every night from the pharmacy at 9:30 pm (yes I was tired) I didn’t end up going to sleep until 12 pm–1 am. So I thought, why not instead of sitting on the couch watching New Girl, why don’t I just get to work on this whole “brand” thing. With enough time to shower and have dinner I was usually able to get to my computer by about 10 pm to get started. With a solid jam session I was about to be in bed by 2 am to get a 6 hour night sleep and do it all over again. Boom. An extra 16 hours every week, given I only did this on days I worked (worked 4 days a week for those that don’t do math well). This became the time I was focused on building my brand. Every night. Yes fine I may miss a night or two every month I’m not Jesus. But, seriously, go search the hashtag #10to2 on Twitter and you’ll see how it’s been going. Every night, writing articles, connecting with people on social media, learning how to podcast, learning how to edit videos, learning media production and distribution, learning about my industry. I was well on my way.
My When is not Your When.
Now, the title of this article refers to #10to2 as a mindset. And that title is extremely important because I could have used the title “#10to2: The Schedule or “#10to2: Hours you must work.” And that’s because the hours of 10 pm to 2 am are what worked for me. But frankly, that’s not going to work for everyone. Not everyone is a night owl like myself. Not everyone wants to put in 4 hours all in one sitting. Heck, some people don’t have nearly as much ambition as I do. And that’s completely fine. Maybe the things you want only require an extra 5 hours a week, or maybe that’s just all you have extra. Again, completely okay, but the mindset…
If you know that you want to do more, if you can feel it, you have to find the time to do it, and do it consistently. Or even if you are just realizing you chose the wrong career or just ready to get out of your 9–5, you’ll need this same mindset. So, whether that’s four hours every Saturday, two hours in the morning Monday through Wednesday, or from 10 to 2 every night…find the time. Put in the work.
What worked for me, didn’t come cheap. I did have to give up a lot. Because I felt that’s what would best map to my ambitions was to do 10 to 2 every day, I sure did have to make some sacrifices. I also went in on the days I had off from the pharmacy. But I’d really want to say this a third time to be crystal clear, this is because it’s what worked for me and what is mapping to my ambitions. It has proved to be a significant change in lifestyle. And I don’t think it’s one that is sustainable for everyone. I would actually even advise against it because there really is no work life “balance.” But, this is just something I’m ok with in my current situation.
Since that reflection early in 2017, I have published over 50 articles here on Medium, published my first book (currently working on a second), created a digital media company (RxRadio), and became the President of an innovative company that has the largest library of medication education videos. I say preliminary because this really is still the beginning.
The two messages I want to leave you with is 1) you can make a living off of whatever it is that you’re passionate about and if you want to learn more on how, please go read Crush It, then the follow up book, Crushing It. And 2) after realizing the truth of number one, you’ll need to do some major self reflection and realize you’re going to have to sacrifice some things and put in the work.
Thanks for reading.
Richard Waithe, PharmD | Richard@vucahealth.com
P.S. What’s the alternative?
Visit vucahealth.com to see how we’re improving health literacy through increased access to reliable and understandable medication information.
Here’s my new book for pharmacy students and new pharmacists: First Time Pharmacist
Check out a recent episode of the Rx Radio Podcast on building your brand: