Daily Conversation #7 — John Hammons

Day #7

Today, I talked with our family friend, John Hammons for the 7th day of My 30-Day Journey. John works at home, but has been a pharmacist and is now a Medical Science Liaison, which is still technically a pharmacist.

He’s been working at home since 2007. He said this is something he loves because the reason he wakes up every morning is for his daughters, Ava and Kelsey. He said being there for them is something that he doesn’t take for granted and is blessed to be able to do.

I asked him what inspired him to become a pharmacist. He started out as an electrical engineering major at Louisville, but changed tracks because he wasn’t enjoying it. After seeing that he really wanted to work with people and still apply the sciences, he realized he should work in the medical field. He saw that he already had pre-pharmacy classes taken, so he decided on that.

I can relate to this. For quite some time, I thought being a physician was my calling. It felt like destiny, but then back in January when I was studying to retake the MCAT, I took a step back and looked at what I wanted to do with my life. Medicine appealed to me because I wanted to be someone important in the world of CF.

Unfortunately, since medical school plus a residency would consume 7+ years of my life, I had to reconsider. My health isn’t guaranteed and the financials would be cumbersome. Alyssa’s first transplanted lungs were chronic rejection at this time as well.

So, I settled on improving transplant care. I now want to be a biomedical engineer. I’m really excited about that and feel as though it offers a much brighter future for me. This is relevant to my conversation with John because he also believes that it’s important to be pragmatic with aspirations. So biomedical engineering is much more pragmatic for me than medical school.

One of the most valuable lessons John learned growing up was how important it is to tell the truth straight out of the gate. Being honest will almost always save pain down the road (he mentioned this in relation to LochteGate).

This is one of the maxims I’ve always held dear to me as well. I really appreciate honesty and I set out to always be honest every day, so that’s been a guiding principle for me as long as I can remember.

John believes that hard skills are important, but that life is all about soft skills, such as treating people fairly and with respect. It’s important to be good at interacting with people. I really enjoy conversing with people and these are skills I’m seeking to improve on throughout these conversations.

A week in, I’m really happy with where this project is at. I’ve gotten awesome feedback and I feel like the people that have been a part of it have enjoyed it as well. I’m thrilled that I feel like I’m genuinely appreciating the people in my life more and more every day.

John gave me two quotes. The first one was more of a mantra that particularly holds true in business:

The answer to the first question, the answer is always going to be money. The important questions that come after are the most important.

This isn’t the main quote I’m going to write about, but this quote is definitely important. He mentioned it’s important for two reasons: it either de-emphasizes money, or it takes care of the elephant in the room. I think this is extremely relevant to nearly every professional relationship.

Don’t ever take a day for granted. Enjoy it as much as you can.

I don’t have much to write about this quote, other than this: this is something that I don’t excel at and I’m working to get better at it every single day. That’s what this project is about.

Thanks for taking the time to be a part of this, John. I enjoyed our conversation.

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