How Failure Can Be a Key to Your Pharmacy’s Success

How Failure Can Be a Key to Your Pharmacy’s Success by Elements magazine |

What do Oprah, Walt Disney and Albert Einstein have in common?

They all failed.

A lot.

One of the perks of being an independent community pharmacy is that you get to be like Oprah.

Meaning, you get to fail.

Free from corporate limitations, as an independent, you can try new ideas, new services and new products to improve your business and help patients.

Those ideas might fail.

But if you don’t fail, you probably won’t succeed.

Here’s how failure can be a key to your pharmacy’s success.

Failure directs you to success

Sir Edmund Hillary trekked several routes that failed to reach the peak of Mount Everest two years in a row. But he viewed the failed attempts as discoveries that led to the right path. On his third attempt, he became the first person to ever scale the highest mountain on earth.

Failures reveal the path to success. Sometimes, the only way up is through the winding wrong roads.

Your failures enable you to re-evaluate your business strategies to discover what isn’t working and to develop successful solutions. They expose weaknesses so you can turn them into strengths.

Consider what your failures are telling you about where you shouldn’t be going and where you need to go.

Failure means you’re innovating

In the dog-eat-dog world of pharmacy business, if you stand still, the national chain pharmacies and big box stores will devour you. Or, even your neighboring community pharmacy.

Innovation and adaptation are essential to survival, which means failure is essential too.

Innovation experiments without knowing the results. It requires a trial-and-error approach.

Which is dangerous and risky.

But it promotes creative strategies and offerings that make your pharmacy more competitive.

So, if you’re not failing, you’re not innovating and you’re not adapting.

Failure prevents a failed business

Failing in smalls ways keeps you from failing in big ways.

Take speed bumps, for example. They’re annoying, they damage your vehicle, and they make you curse out loud.

But without them, you’re more likely to barrel into a shiny Mercedes and cost yourself a fortune.

Failures can reveal mistakes you’re making before they get out of control and wreck your whole business.

If you see failures as crash course corrections, you’ll be glad for them, and you’ll learn from them.

Failure conquers fear

Failure itself is many people’s greatest fear.

But often all it takes to conquer the fear of failure is to fail.

Like the Wizard of Oz, failure seems powerful and terrifying.

But once you open the curtain, once you fail, you see failure isn’t as devastating as you imagined.

After you conquer fear of failure, you’ll have the freedom to try new strategies, to take risks to improve your pharmacy and to meet the ever-changing needs of your patients.

You’ll be the next Oprah. Well, maybe not quite.


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Elements is written and produced by PBA Health, a buy-side solutions company.

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