The Business of Pharmacy Podcast™
May 16, 2022

Post-traumatic Growth | Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist, Leadership Speaker & Coach

Post-traumatic Growth | Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist, Leadership Speaker & Coach

Brad Hurdle, pharmacist, discusses how to manage tensions vs. solving problems, and growing from past trauma.


Speech to text:

Mike Koelzer, Host: [00:00:25] Brad for those that haven't come across you online, introduce yourself and tell our listeners what we're going to talk about 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: today. Well, my name is Brad Hurdle and I'm an independent pharmacy, uh, owner and manager, but I also have done other things outside of pharmacy. I've done a fair amount of public speaking and training over the years.

And more recently in recent years, I've become a coach speaking to and coaching pharmacists as an independent pharmacy owner. Everyone knows that it's been a struggle, but what I want to talk about today was that kind of tension. What do you do when you're in that as an owner, and you also have other things that you do outside of that, that you enjoy doing, but then you have to go back into that and kind of deal with that.

And I think that tension can be difficult to manage. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: I think as pharmacists, you know, you hear about the Sunday night blues, you know, when people don't want to go into work Monday, sometimes I feel like we're whole. damn Profession is like a continual Sunday night. It's like every morning is a Monday morning sometime.

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Right. It feels like that it does because you really, really don't know what you're walking into. And one of the hardest parts, you know, back when we started, you know, years ago, you know, every job has things in it from a day-to-day basis that are not that you don't like, you don't love. I mean, it's just part of being an entrepreneur.

It's part of working, you know, part of being a leader, but, you know, things have gotten tougher. It's not all about making money, but before, you know, you had that kind of comfort level that you knew that we were generating a profit, you know, and now it's become so hard to do that at, that puts a strain on you as a pharmacist to, to kind of be your authentic self, a lot of times, to be your, to, to really, really reach out and continue to help people and go that extra mile because you have so many other concerns when it comes to profitability and financial, you know, funny.

Mike Koelzer, Host: For me, and this is not a great spot to be in. I can't say I'm proud of it, but a lot of times I'll be looking at Mrs. Smith, a little old lady I'm trying to help. And all I'm seeing is that behemoth of the PBM between us just like laughing at me, just like mocking me for still caring about Mrs. Smith when it's hard sometimes to find the energy to still help.

I mean, at some point you might not be able to, you got a business and you just can't help, but if you're still in business for someone to almost make a mockery of, of what we're doing, and I know I shouldn't see it that way as a therapist would say that it's one of those, uh, false thoughts or something, but it sure feels that 


Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Yeah, absolutely. It feels that way. And, and, and I think, you know, w when you deal with it on a daily basis, continually over and over again, you know, I remember back in the day, With my partners and we used to joke, and you've probably said this before, too, you know, gosh, I feel like it's getting to a point where we're going to make more off of selling a candy bar or a pack of gum than we're offered prescription, but it was a joke.

It wasn't reality. Now it is absolutely reality. You know, when you walk as sad, when you walk out and you say, Ms. Smith, um, I'm going to give you, this is your nor Basque. Um, your copays are 54 cents. Would you mind buying a pack of gum so I can pay for that label? You know, you don't say that, but that's what you feel like you have to say almost 

Mike Koelzer, Host: right.

Well, and Brad, the reason why I thought it'd be cool to have you on is because I know that you are a coach and you do some motivational inspirational teaching. And one of the things that was curious to me is. Is it difficult? Do you use where you're coming from or do you have to somehow almost like, pretend it's not there.

Here's why I ask when I'll come home from work and my wife will say, how was work? And my standard line is, well, they don't call it work for nothing. You know, it's called work. But when you've got this Sunday night blues, how do I respond to that? Then you, I'm thinking you're up on stage and you're showing people how to be motivated and so on.

And I'm wondering if you're in the good spot because you have something to relate to, or if you almost feel like creepy sometimes inside because you know how you really feel with how things 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: are going. Yeah. That's a great point, Mike. And I think, I think to be completely honest, Sometimes it's both.

There are times when I do have this really internal conflict with, with kind of fighting this uphill battle, you know, with independent pharmacy on a day-to-day basis, it gets tough and it really will kind of beat you down. On the other hand, you know, what has helped me is that I've been able to employ these kinds of, um, you know, things in my life to, to debris, to that, to kind of make it better to build resilience.

You know, I do a lot of speaking about, you know, the concept of work-life balance, which I don't like. Um, I think that's so time-related, you know, as opposed to volume and other things, but I think that that has helped me because it gives me an opportunity, you know, when, when I'm thinking, when I'm in a growth mindset, which is so important, [00:05:25] right.

You know, because many of us independent pharmacists live in that fixed mindset. And I understand it, you know, I do understand it. It's when you try to really implement a growth mindset, you begin to try to, it's an opportunity to bring some of those things too, that, you know, to make it better, to, to, to view how you see it.

You know, I think there's a, there's a quote that, um, I actually shared with a coaching client earlier today, and it's a quote by Andy Stanley, but he was a pastor, but this is not a spiritual quote. It's more of a leadership quote. And he said in leadership or in life, you could say, um, there will be problems and there are attentions.

If you try to solve a tension, you just create another problem. And that quote has always really spoken, spoken to me because so often whether it's pharmacy or whether it's life, we, or I have tried to. View this thing as just a problem that had to be solved. And when I could not solve that problem, it just created more and more stress in my life.

But when I began to view it as more of a tension to be managed, then I was able to employ certain things in it. Whether it's a growth mindset or thinking, you know, changing your mindset is, has a lot to do with it. So that has helped, you know, I mean, not solve the problem, you know, but, but help manage the tension.

Mike Koelzer, Host: When I think of tension, I'm thinking of whether a piano keyboard or a guitar work tension can be good or bad. It's just a tension, but you haven't yet labeled it or see, there I go on, I want to label it a problem, but you haven't labeled it a problem. Is that what you're saying? Tension doesn't really have a good or a bad, it's just a situation that needs attention.

No. I 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: don't think you go out and say that it's not, there's not a problem involved in, it's obviously there's some, some friction there. Right. You know what I mean? But I think if you look at, you look at your pharmacy life or you look at your career, you look at you'll relay some of the relationships you have in your life.

You know, the things that really are even closer to us in our career, um, there's going to be problems to solve and they're going to be tensions to manage, you know, and especially in leadership, you know, I mean, when you think about leadership, you think about leading other people, um, there are problems to be solved, but they're definitely going to be ongoing tensions to be managed, you know?

And I think viewing those a little separately has helped me, you know, because then, you know, I realize that some of these, some of these tensions are just going to be things I need to get. When managing , there will be ups and downs. It doesn't mean they're not, you know, kind of problems, but they're still, they're more tensions, you know, that aren't going to just go away.

Mike Koelzer, Host: It doesn't go away and you don't think of it as a problem. 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Right. Right. And especially when you think about leadership, Mike, when we think about leadership, we think more outside in, instead of inside out, I mean, outside, you know, being as the leader, I have to, I have to lead or manage these people, which is very true, but all leadership starts with self leadership.

So, you know, I can't pour from an empty cup. So if I walk in the pharmacy every day and I don't have a growth mindset and I don't play these certain things that can kind of motivate or inspire myself, I'm going to be pouring from an empty cup every single day. You know? And, and, and that's been one of the challenges in independent pharmacy, especially the past two years, if I'm completely honest, because it was, you know, two years ago, things changed a lot, you know, and the leadership has gotten a lot tougher.

Mike Koelzer, Host: Brad, the reason I don't bring many pharmacists on is because if I would talk to pharmacists, I would just sit and bitch all the time. Right. For me, it's almost like maybe not even so much money. Okay. I'm lying. It is. But here's the point I'm trying to make. It's almost like respect, you know, there's been a total lack of respect from the other stakeholders, insurances and so on.

It's hard to pull from, well, when there seems to be nothing there still. 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: I think sometimes we get stuck in these situations where we just assume there's nowhere for us to go. There's nothing for us to do. And I get that. I do. I mean, I mean, there've been many times over the past X amount of years where I have, uh, mentioned the term golden handcuff.

You know, I mean, you know, cause you feel like you're kind of caught in it and it's so frustrating to get caught into that. So what do you do, do you just sit there? Do we just sit there or do, or, or do we look at our life more holistically, you know, and look at the different areas of our life and look at the, because you know, you know, when you talk about wealth, obviously money is a, is a factor in that, but there's so much more to life than just than just that.

And that's where I think you can kind of switch your mindset and change your focus somewhat and kind of bring different, different things to it. And then, [00:10:25] you know, again, to, to, to train yourself, to think about, you know, what can I learn from this situation? How can this affect other parts of my life?

Mike Koelzer, Host: Brett devil's advocate though. I mentioned to you that pharmacy can suck sometimes. And you said to me, all right, Mike, but there's a wellspring outside of the pharmacy. It's like, that just proved my damn point. It's like, is there anything left in the pharmacy? We can't even go back to the wellness thing. Yeah. But it's cool because you have these goals and you have this and you have that.

And it's sad to me that in your response, Maybe there's nothing left in pharmacy that we have to look outside at the bigger picture of work-life balance. And that's the last I'm going to complain about this here, Brad, cause we're going to move on from this, but it can be really bad. 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Yeah, absolutely.

Absolutely. And we don't, I don't deny that at all. You know, you know, independent pharmacy, as we have known it is is, is, uh, almost about to cease to exist, you know, in a lot of ways, you know, as we've known it, maybe that's a key as we knew and you know, what I've had the opportunity to do over the past several years is actually meet people who have done different things outside of what we do, you know, who have started other businesses or in conjunction with, you know, more of the clinical route or more have done other things, which I think is wonderful and awesome.

And I do think that pharmacy is changing in order to prosper. They're going to have to change and they're doing that. So that's, that's pretty encouraging to me to see that 

Mike Koelzer, Host: my view as we've talked so far is. Pretty small. Anybody can sit and complain about change. I mean, wouldn't Steve jobs have liked to keep his original brick size iPod and say, Hey, it's got a thousand songs on it.

It's the size of a brick. And I'm going to complain if I have to change that. What you heard from me since we've been talking has been somebody with too small of a vision, because anybody can sit and look at the smallness of cliche, buggy, whips, and trombone oil and all kinds of stuff. You can always look at that.

I think that the definition of independent pharmacy has to include more and it's not like, well, it should be that, but okay. I guess we'll do this. It's like, no, it's going to be what it has to be. It has to move on with the time. So some old fart like me is complaining about what's happening right now in the pharmacy.

Well, you should be complaining. You got to go and do something else. Now in the pharmacy, that's up to you. You can't sit there and expect to make money on the buggy whip or the iPod with a thousand songs, the size of a brick. 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: It's a wild Mick because obviously we kind of get older sometimes without realizing we're getting older.

Right. You know, I remember working in the pharmacies for years and leading people and I was the youngest one. And all of a sudden, you snap your fingers. You look up. Man. I'm the oldest guy in here, you know, so thanks have changed. And then, you know, especially just take the last two years, I mean, good gracious.

How much has the check changed in the last few years? I mean, a decade's worth or more of growth or change in the last two years. So yeah, you cannot remain as an independent pharmacist, what you were, you know, and where I came to personally. Um, and this has been a huge self exploration process for me is that I knew in the back of my mind that I knew that that was true.

You do have to kind of look at different things, but what I've come to, you know, is looking at well, what is it that I'm, what is it that I'm good at? You know, what are my strengths? Where do I feel called to do it? How can I help the most? You know, so that's where the speaking and coaching has come in, much more of a factor for me, because that's just what I love to do.

You know? Um, whereas other people it's like, I'm going to start up a clinical services business, and I know people that are doing great with things like 

Mike Koelzer, Host: that. That's why I did the podcast. I haven't monetized this yet, but I know I just couldn't stand there and bitch about stuff all the time. You got to move, you got to do something.

And I think you and I, if we have some financial security and this is maybe the time to still have energy and branch off into something kind of fun, kind of cool. I think you and I both might be dabbling quite a bit more in clinical cognitive stuff. If we were 10 years younger, I mean, we'd, we'd see that in front of us and we'd have the time to invest in that effort to build that kind of practice.

I think the reason you and I are sitting here talking about this to each other and not having done it is probably because of our age, I think 10 or 15 years ago, if we were 15 years younger. And if it was 2022 and we were 15 years younger, I think we might have a different path that you and I were talking about right now.

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Quite possibly. I mean, I think age is definitely a factor. Maybe 

Mike Koelzer, Host: not age, maybe longevity. Are we going to start something and then maybe not be there two or three years from now? But is it worth the 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: effort, right, right. Yeah. Yeah. That is all, there are multiple factors in [00:15:25] this and that's where, you know, really about 10, maybe a little long, 10 years ago.

Like I mentioned before, I did some self exploration and I really got into personal development and, um, and that really helped me make decisions to not do things. If that makes sense. You know, there were opportunities like for me to get more involved in ownership of independent pharmacies. Um, and I remember there was a big opportunity to be involved more in multiple pharmacies.

And I chose not to do that, uh, which 10 years before that I would have never done that. But I chose not to do that at that point, because I recognized at that point in my life that the absolute, only reason I wanted, I wouldn't want to do that was to make more. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with making more money.

I mean, make him, but I didn't want to deal with the issues I didn't want to, I didn't want to work in the stores. I didn't want to deal with any of the stuff I just wanted to, you know, and I was like this, not a good reason, you know, because you know, and that's where I came to. And that's where it kind of began to kind of switch in me.

So some bread, you know, as you move into the second half of life, what do you call to do? What do you want to do 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Brad? So you're saying if someone came with that opportunity for you and it was maybe another 10 years earlier, you would have said, well, I probably should for the money, I'm young, I just got to do this.

It might not even sound great then, but you would have maybe put your nose to the grindstone, just doing it. And, but when you go out a little bit, it's like the joy wasn't there, there 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: wasn't worth it. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, back to what you said, you know, I think you're where you are in your life.

It makes an enormous difference. And to discount that is, you know, I mean, you can't discount that. I mean, it just is very, very true where you are in your life with your family and your career, how long you've done something, you know, all of that factors in, but now, you know, one of the things I love to do is encourage younger people who were those 10, 15, 20 years younger than me that are on that point as pharmacists, where they're like this retail pharmacy sucks.

I don't want to do it anymore. And I get to be a kind of coach and encourage them to try to discover their passions, you know, which way they want to gain. And for many of them, it may be a clinical route. It may be, you know, it may be, in fact, I talked to a client today and she was discussing those things and it was fascinating to me to hear her talk about that and totally switching careers.

But, you know, they have the same issues that we do, you know, they're at a point of stuck point, right? You're at a stuck point where you're like, okay, what do I do now? I don't see. The future and what I'm doing. And even if there is a future, I don't think I want to do it. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: If you're counseling somebody younger at a younger age, if you've got commitments, sometimes you just might have to bite the bullet.

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And that man that pertains to all of us. I mean, even where I am now, you know what I mean? You know, we're, we're, you know, we, you and I have worked in pharmacy for X amount of years and we've been accustomed to living out of live an extravagant lifestyle, but a really good solid lifestyle where we would, I didn't have to be concerned with money on a regular basis, you know?

But so yeah, those are always factors for so many. And now, plus, you know, you talk to someone who's, you know, 28 years old, for example, and they still have a lot of student debt because they paid for this pharmacy school. So, you know, and it's, it's crazy, man. You know, you've got people making six figures and then.

I don't have any extra 

Mike Koelzer, Host: income. They've kind of sold their soul to the profession, at least for maybe 10 or 15 or 20 years until they get in the position where maybe they have other options. 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Yeah. Right. Exactly. And I think that mentality is beginning to, you know, shift a little in our society. I think, you know, to, to, you know, the, the student debt is, is, um, astronomical.

I think it's greater than credit card debt in our country. Right. Student debt. So, I mean, it's unbelievable the burden that some of these, um, very professional people are carrying financially. You know, whether it's a physician, whether it's a pharmacist, whether it's a, you know, so that's, uh, that's always a factor.

Absolutely. But I think the point being that we're at a point in pharmacy where in a lot of areas of pharmacy, things just have to change, you know, they're, they're gonna change regardless, you know, and they, and they just have to, and I think we need, we have to decide depending on where you are, You know, whether you're a 55 year old person or whether you're 35 and, and still paying college debt or young family or whatever, you have to decide what route we're going to take.

And I think that's going to often be different for different people, but I think I I'm, I'm fascinated with that whole journey and helping people walk through that journey, that transition, you know, I think it's really fast, even though I mightily struggle with it too. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: If you put yourself into a hundred different industries, somewhere in the industry, someone's probably feeling like we are.

And so it's more of a universal calling to maybe wake up and make some needed [00:20:25] changes in your life, respond to your age, respond to your responsibilities, but then choose where to go. It's not unique to pharmacy. Our problems might be unique individuals, but the overall problem of looking out at life and maybe.

Liking exactly where you are and looking out that's 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: universal. Oh, absolutely. And this ramp it, you know what I mean? And when you look at our society, now, it's just so many people are struggling. I mean, look at the Gregory resignation, Mike, I mean, you look at, I mean, there, you know, we could talk about that for the next hour, the reasons for that, but there is no doubt that a lot of these reasons you just talked about plays a huge part in that, you know, people, you know, one thing that COVID did was that it kind of stopped everything briefly and then all these changes happened and nobody knew how to kind of interpret all this stuff.

And people started really thinking, you know, okay, well, what about one 

Mike Koelzer, Host: line. With COVID, there's so many things that people have changed, you know, their hairdresser, they didn't have the guts to tell Sally they didn't like how she was cutting their hair anymore. And now you get those broken churches. You're maybe backing up from the fire and brimstone you're heard every week.

And now it's kind of just an echo because it's been further away. It gives you a little bit more room to think you're switching well, pharmacies, careers. I mean, that distance was a huge thing, but it's interesting. You said people didn't know how to react to it 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: though. Yeah, yeah, absolutely not. I mean, and I think what you just described there is, you know, really, really affects leadership because leadership has, has in a lot of ways changed so much in a short amount of time, you know?

I mean, you know what, you know, what, what, what do we need in leadership now? You, well, you know, you need more empathetic leaders and that's hard. That's hard when you have people. You know, when you're working in a small business and you're like, oh my gosh, great recommendations happen. And I might walk in and like, not have anybody working tomorrow.

You know what I mean? I mean, they might, you know, because it is scary as a leader, but I think it does change what some of our focus needs to be. And because you look at our society, it, it, it, like you said, it's rampant across our society. And I think in a positive way, people are looking more now to, you know, Hey, I'm not going to be here forever.

What do I want to do with this one, this career I have, this life I have, you know, what do I want to pursue? What do I want? You know, that's that question. You always hear that most people spend their whole lives and they never answer, you know, what do I genuinely want in these different areas of my life?

And that's a hard question to answer. Sometimes it sounds easy because we give those flipping answers where, you know, you know, the old, oh, well, I just want more money, but have more money. We know that's not true. There's 

Mike Koelzer, Host: a huge domino effect on this. Uh COVID you know, because I was starting to get kind of anxiety like every Wednesday, cause I'll make the schedule out like a week and a half out, you know?

So like Wednesday, I want it for the following week and it was starting to get pretty tough to schedule some of the times, let's say Saturday, for example. Right. And you can say, well, in the old days, you know, when we were kids, you know, people would just say, you're working and you're going to like it, you know, that kind of thing.

And now it's like, if you don't have enough empathy and enough flexibility, those people are going to be gone, then you're really in trouble. You know? So we, I felt part of the slim flash. And I guess just this last week I peeled off my pharmacy Saturday hours. It's like, I'm looking at it and saying, Hey, I've done this for.

42 years. I've been there on Saturdays. So now I'm going to be in this. What do they call it? The great resignation. I'm going to resignation on 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Saturday. So now you're on and thinking, well, I've got my Saturday, so what are you going to do with those Saturdays? You know, you can enjoy life more on their Saturdays.

You can get other stuff done, you know, and you've earned that, right. You know, to do that, you have 

Mike Koelzer, Host: to have, the boundaries are supposed. If you go in life about what other people want from you. If I did what everybody wanted all the time, the pharmacy would be 24 7 open. And if not 24, 7, people might want you to open 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM or something like that.

So you gotta put your boundaries up, I suppose. 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Yeah. And there's a balance there so that, you know, in leadership, when we talk about, we need empathetic leaders, which I tend to lean that way. I think it's one of my strengths, but there's a flip side. Right that, that kind of a darker side that you can go to, you know what I mean?

I mean, you, you have to have boundaries for people that work for you too. They have their they're in charge of coming to where it motivated. You know what I mean? They have to have things that they do. So there's that balance there now that I think we're struggling with in leadership, especially the past two years, people 

Mike Koelzer, Host: talking like at Google and Twitter is like, we don't want to come back to work anymore.

And at our age we're thinking, what, what do you mean? You're not going to come back? That's your damn job? What are you, are you talking about? But what is supply and demand and the workers have that voice. It's an interesting time to be a manager. 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: It is, it is. I mean, and, and, you know, with the way technology's changed and with media, social media, There's so much influence there on all of us, you [00:25:25] know, that we're affected by even if we don't like to admit it we're affected by it.

You know? So you look at, you know, I mean, look at how many in the past two years, I mean, my wife, for example, she's, she's, she's a banker and she's now works from home and she has for the past two years, and it's not going to change in the foreseeable future. Um, and so a lot of people see that and they go, well, man, you know, there's positives and negatives about that for sure.

But I mean, that's, that's a real option now for people, you know, that did not exist. What, I don't know if I, if five years ago, I mean, I mean, it did not really exist for most people. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: And then the greener, the grass gets for the competition, you know, your competition, other people that can employ your employees, it's tougher to manage those.

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Right. Absolutely. No doubt. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: What books do you like to read? 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: My go-to books are always some type of personal rebel and are leadership books, usually personal development. But that would be my first go-to. Um, I also am reading some type of spiritual book, maybe not the main book I'm reading, but I'm usually reading something, you know, like, so those are the two things my go-to is as far as reading goes.

So I'm trying to adopt a reading habit every day. And that's something that I kind of monitor because I really believe in reading, even though, you know, we all get suckered into the Netflix and stuff at night, but 

Mike Koelzer, Host: I'm going to say though, that everything you read is more therapeutic than knowledge because how many more ways can they package something?

How many more ways can they package even spiritual stuff? My thought is that your reading is almost therapeutic. It's almost a way to calm yourself in the storm of what's been going on here. You're not really learning anything. Right. Prove me wrong. I 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: totally get what you're saying. I think the problem with that, there's no, there's absolutely no doubt.

And I've been guilty of this before . You know, you can sit down and read the latest, greatest self-help book and come away inspired and motivated, and it really ultimately does not have an impact in your life. So to me, it goes back to that old quote. You've probably heard that personal development it's common knowledge.

But not always common practice. So the key for me, what I've tried to do most recently, cause you know, if you listen to podcasts, which I do a lot, you hear people can even say, oh yeah. I mean, I read a, I read a hundred books last year, you know, and you know, and it's like we read 75 books last year and blah, blah, blah.

And I tried to kind of, I never did that, but I tried to kind of do that. But then I was like, you know, I'm not retaining this. So now what I do is really take my time and read things that I enjoy when it comes to personal belt and then try to put things into practice. You know, even if it's just a simple thing, you know, something simple, just like when I listened to a podcast, now I try to walk away from that podcast and thing.

You know, what's a, what's a nugget, what's one nugget that Mike mentioned in his podcast or one of his guests mentioned that I can take and that might make an impact in my life. And to me that's much more. Um, constructive than just saying, Hey man, I read, you know, 50 books and then in six months or whatever, you know, 

Mike Koelzer, Host: I dunno, I think in maybe, maybe psychology is changing a little bit and I know God's not changing what maybe our walk with God is changing, but it's my thought that, that book, here's the thing I used to read a lot until I was 40.

And then I said, no more reading all the business books and everything was just kind of repeating itself. So, and I'm thinking, all right, I soaked up the world for 40 years and now the world's got to hear me blabber for 40 years. Whether they like it or not, they can just turn me off. And I'm not saying that's bad.

I'm saying that we might hear something today that a year ago, if we heard it would bounce right off of us, you know, it wouldn't mean a thing. I think the timing is right. Do you think there's anything new under the sun though? Truly in. The kind of stuff you're reading or do you think it's just packaged differently and there's nothing wrong with just being packaged differently?

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Yeah, I mean, I definitely think you could make the argument that there's really nothing new under the sun when it comes to, for example, personal development, obviously, but I think it goes back to the, you know, the old principles remain and you just, you just said something that resonated with me because there are different points in my life when I've read something that I had read probably 20 times before.

But for whatever reason at that point in my life, Mike, that's what I needed to hear. That's when it resonated with me. And I think that's the magic in it. I feel like that's, that's when you know the right moment. Um, and you know, we all, you know, you hear the same reader, uh, leaders are readers, and I believe that, and I wouldn't call myself an avid reader, you know, but I do try to employ it, but I think it's just so much more constructive.

And [00:30:25] I think about reading. It does something to our minds that helps us become, you know, see things differently and imagine a little bit more. And, and it's, it's not just that book that, yeah, maybe repackage the same old stuff that was said 30 years ago. It's what it does to us. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: My dad called a plumber one time and the plumber came out and the tub was loaded up with water.

And my dad had called this plumber for some reason. And the plumber came on and flipped the switch. My dad was in the midst of looking at his problem so closely, for some reason he never flipped the drain. The plumber came in, flipped it at the time for 25 bucks, probably a couple hundred bucks now, but it goes to show that the right person at the right time can sometimes flip that switch.

Okay. So Brett, here's the setup: someone's coming to you and saying, Brad, I know that. Other professions have it bad too, but I'm a pharmacist. And I know that there's been age old wisdom, that's repackaged and so on, but you're reading it right now. You have a pharmacist who has the Sunday night blues every day of the weekend, Sunday night, blues.

It's not just depression, it's a little bit of depression, maybe mixed with anxiety. There's a few different things that's mixed. So you got a pharmacist mixed with the ongoing Sunday night blues, but with your information that you have, so Brad gives us the magic answers. 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Well, I mean, I think, you know, I think your story a while ago, uh, just a minute ago, Mike worked your dad with the plumber.

So you said that, you know, you hired the plumber and he came over there and say, ah, you didn't flip the switch, you know, so you could go away and you could walk away from that and say, gosh, that was such a waste of money for me to have to do that. But here's the thing. And I think this happens to many of us.

Too often, we are just so close to the problem. You know, I described this earlier today. It's like, if you take a bottle with a nice, I don't know, take a nice IPA beer or something has a fancy label on it. We're living inside the bottle, right? We're inside ourselves. We're inside our head where we're in these, you know, complaining sessions with our fellow independent pharmacists, blah, blah, blah.

We're inside the bottle. And we don't see the outside of the bottle. And often what we need in life is to someone to come along and to help us see the outside of the bottle. You know? So for that person who says, I'm just totally stuck. I don't have anywhere to go. I get it. I have been there, you know, that depression and anxiety, I have lived that it's it's, it's, uh, it's almost like a low grade.

You know, it isn't, it's not a high enough fever that you don't get up and not go to work, but you know, you have a fever. Right. You know what I mean? It's that kind of thing that you feel, and I've lived with that. I know 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Personally, sometimes I get a little depressed just because I know I'm going to wake up with the same gnawing anxiety sometimes, and you just get depressed about that.

I know they're probably related more than that, but that's what it feels like. It feels depressing. You're going to feel the anxiety again. So you've been there. 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: I have been there and, you know, and what it, what it can lead to is burnout, you know, which is a, you know, something we've heard a lot about the past two years.

And I think we have a lot of people in healthcare and pharmacy and in healthcare in general that are on the burnout train. You know, I mean, they're, they're on that train and it's a scary thing. And I think that that's become a huge issue, you know, in our profession, in the last X amount of years. And that's what can happen because we continually, you know, metaphorically go to work with that low grade depression, that anxiety.

One causes the other to do the other colors we don't really know. And then you, you look up in your life one day and you realize I've been on this burnout train for a year, you know, and you start looking around the other parts of your life and you go, man. You know, my marriage is not as good as it was. My relationship with my kids has been affected.

You know, when's the last time I went and played golf with my friends. You know, I mean, all those things, and I think those are symptoms, um, that can lead to burnout. And I feel like burnout is a spectrum. You know what I mean? Some people hit that wall, man, you know, and, and, and it's, it's burnt out, but I think there's a spectrum of burnout that a lot of people are on that spectrum.

And they're obviously pharmacists, for example, they're smart people, but this is not an intellectual thing. You know, this is much more of a, you know, I do a lot of teaching on EEQ or emotional intelligence, which is a fascinating topic to me. And so often, um, we do not recognize our emotional state.

And I would say that it's men and women, but as a man, I know that a lot of men, a lot of men are on that burnout train, Mike, and they don't even recognize. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: I like to play piano and there's a little screw on the piano that I needed to hold the top-down, you know, a little screw and it was a [00:35:25] three millimeter something.

I went to the hardware store and I bought a longer one by a millimeter or something like that. Put the screw on and I realized the other screw might've worked. I'm like, oh shoot. I didn't really need to buy that. This package of screws was a dollar 99 and I'm not a real frugal person. I'm not typically concerned much with finances.

You know, I'm fairly loose with. I really gave that thought, like, dammit, this dollar 99 I spent, I didn't need to. And it was kind of like knowing it, knowing it me. And let's say a pharmacist, you get paid a dollar a minute. Let's say something like that. I know if I thought about something for more than two minutes, I already wasted my $2 thinking about something I'm smart enough to know.

I had nothing to do with the $2 it had to do with this other tension in your, your mind is able to focus on something as silly as a little screw. You don't even know what to 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: focus on. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that's a great example because that's a very small thing, but so often we don't recognize that in ourselves, you know?

I mean, you look at, you look at working in a retail pharmacy, day-to-day it so often feels like it's just the tyranny of the urgent, right? I mean, you know, you, you need to get these things done, but yeah. Phone call and a problem and dah, dah, dah you're pecked at all day long. And you know, that wears on everybody, you know?

Um, and then you add to that. The struggles that we have. I mean, should I really be doing this prescription? Can I afford to do this prescription? I don't really even freaking know. Yeah, exactly. I mean, so, you know, that leads to burnout and I think there's been a low grade burnout going on in our society for a long time with a lot of people.

And, um, but I think it's much more prevalent and I think COVID has kind of exposed that to a point. I mean, I've often said that, you know, and I don't have the, the, the, the research to back this up, but this is just an example. So like, you know, as a society, pre COVID, if we were, if we were, if you put everybody in the same pot and we were all, you know, everybody has stress in their life, right.

It's part of it, part of life. If we were all running generally at a four, you know, a stress level for while COVID came along, everybody's collective stress level went probably from a four to a seven before it was six or seven. Then, then Mike, you add onto that. The stress of your job distress of, of, of your profession.

And then you add onto that the normal stresses of life, something happens to someone in your family or our kid pro problem with your kid. And mean, we have a society full of people that are running at eight, nine and 10 stress levels. And 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Sometimes you're running at that level. And if the next day comes along and there's not much going on, it's kind of an easy day or you have a day off or something like that, you're sorta am used to being up at seven, eight or nine on the tension scale that you find something to keep yourself up there.

I mean, no sense dipping down just for a day, the little 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: box of screws, right? Yeah. The next day you go by the screws and it's, 

Mike Koelzer, Host: If I've got to turn it on the next day, I'm going to find something to get worried or upset or anxious about because why? Good anxiety when Cincinnati. Well, 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: and even, even with my, when you go back to just brain science, you know, you look at, you know, you look at brain science, you know, there are things going on in our brain with, with high stress levels, this leading to burnout that are not good increase in our inflammatory response, which leads to all kinds of disease states, you know, things like that that are happening.

And we're as pharmacists, you know, we're smart enough to know, you know, we know this stuff is true. How your, how your nervous system reacts to stress, you know, that can be, uh, I think there are a lot of people that are running almost in a trauma response. Now you're on a more continual basis and that is not helping.

Mike Koelzer, Host: Zebras in Africa or something like that. I mean, they get this high stress, you know, once a day when the lions are chasing them, but then they just forget about it. But our problem is we're smart enough as humans to think about the past and then think about the future. And you're like, I maybe could use some of this stress, you know, cause something's coming in, you never come down.

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Yeah. That's a great point. Mike I've often said, you know, as human beings, we're such amazing creations, you know? I mean, when you think about it, we have the ability to, you know, visualize the future, you know, to, to think about what we want in the future, where we want to go. And we have the ability to, to, to re, try to reconcile the past and we have the ability to try to live in the present, but we show that therein lies the struggle right there.

That's where the tension is for all of us. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: You hear about people talking about being present? I think some of the reason why it's easy to not be present is because we look around in the present, then you say, good enough. You know, you say good enough and your mind then takes off to the future. If you were in a sword fight or something, you'd stay in the present or on a board to crash into the [00:40:25] rocks, you'd stay in the present.

But I think we're multitaskers and we say, good enough. You know, my child is here with me and they think I'm listening to them, but really I'm thinking about their future, maybe in my future. And so it just feels good enough. The problem is it's not good enough. People need more 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: of you. Right? Exactly. And I think it's one thing to have this amazing ability to think about the future.

But it's another thing when that ability turns into constant worry. There you go. That's what often happens with us. You know, we, it turns into this thing. We just ruminate about it. You know, what's, what's going to happen to my pharmacy. What's going to happen to my thing, you know, what's going to, or, or for many people, which, you know, something happened in the past that they've never been able to kind of work through.

So it's, that's where they live. You know, they, they really live in the past and then you hear this stuff. Well, I live in the moment and it sounds just like, oh, I don't know how to do that. But it's, it's, it's really powerful. It really is. You know, and there's something that we're always, I think it's human beings struggling with for sure.

And I think that's where the, that's where the intentionality comes in for us. You know, that's where, you know, some people think this stuff is kind of stupid, you know, to kind of, oh, I'm trying to employ positive, you know, abundant thinking or growth mindset. And they say, oh, but I mean, it's, it's real. If you learn how to practice it, it can really make a difference in your life.


Mike Koelzer, Host: When I'm triggered by some stress, I think it's something currently that's making me feel this. Instead of just being safe, take a break. I start crying to explain why I'm feeling that way with the current story. And that current story is not true. Your mind's making up a current story to match how you're feeling, but the feeling is not from the current , it's from the past long story. Short being present is kind of important because it stops your mind from spiraling through all these crazy stories.

And it's like, that's not now it's the 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: past. Exactly. Sometimes it's almost like we think we're smarter than we are. You know, we are intelligent, but we're not. We have this conscious mind and we have this unconscious mind and often where that's coming from is some pain from your unconscious that kind of comes up now, but unless we're able and have tools and the ability to kind of recognize that, I mean, think about what we'll do with our lives.

You know, I mean, think about, you know, being hurt in the past. And I, I mean, I, I, I, I can share a story with you about that. Um, my, um, when I graduated from college, um, I met a girl at the end of my freshman year at university of North Carolina. And, um, we started dating and ended up dating the rest of my time there in college.

And, uh, I went on to pharmacy school. She went on and got a master's degree in education. And, uh, right after college, we got married and six months after we got married, um, one night we're on the way home. And we get broadsided by a drunk driver going 70 miles an hour that hit us on her side. And she died beside me in the car.

So as I walked through that, as I went ahead, and that was a long time ago, but as I walked, that was, I was 24 years old at that time. So what brought this up when you said that was me, was that I had a really good friend of mine that kind of walked through me with that. And, um, one of the things that he brought up to me, which is a, it's a deep subject, but he brought up to me, um, after that he said, he said, Brad, you have to walk through this process of forgiveness.

Hmm. He said, because if you don't forgive, what's going to happen to you. He said, you're 24 years old. He said, "What's going to happen to you?" Is that when you're 35 or 45 years old, one day you're going to be remarried or you're going to be in a relationship and all this anger is going to come out. And you're going to assume that that anger is from that present moment.

Right? You're going to assume that whatever's happening now is just, you know, making you angry or stressed you out. He said, and it's all going to go back from that anger that you repressed all those years ago. So when you said that, Mike, it made me think about that. You know, it's like, cause it's so true and that's a heavy, you know, that's a tragedy, so that's really heavy, but that made such an impact in my life.

I mean, in fact, I would venture to even say now that you know, my marriage right now is solid and I have incredible relationships with my kids. That point, right. There is a lot to do. That's because there's no telling, you know, I would have become, I don't know, you know, I wasn't a bad guy, you know, but I would have become an angry person.

There was no doubt about that, you know? So that made me think about that when you said that, you know, so true. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Well, my condolences to you, Brad, at this late date, I'm very sorry for that loss. You went 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: through the, thank you. Thank you. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: [00:45:25] I feel everything is in minor comparison after things like that, but I'll continue talking about that.

It's like, yeah, if you don't, well, you know it firsthand, you know about that boy about 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: forgiveness. Yeah. And it's a really difficult process and difficult and you know, we could talk for an hour about that, you know, that subject only, but it's so important. I mean, and I know when you hear a story like that, that's, uh, what, you know, you call a big T capital T trauma.

Right. But, but many of us go through that, but many of us go through those small T traumas all the time. You know what I mean, these things are happening, our careers and different things are happening in our, in our, in our life. And, um, it's just, just so important, you know, to kind of do that. So those are the things that matter.

Mike Koelzer, Host: There's a term I learned a couple of weeks ago. I wrote it down here because I thought it was kind of a cool term, but it's called the region beta paradox. And it's talking about how, and I guess this would be your case, Brad, where, and forgive me for even commenting on this. I feel small, you know, commenting on something so, so big.


Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: no, no, go ahead. You're fine. I'm open, man. He's 

Mike Koelzer, Host: good. Good. This region, beta paradox. It was saying that sometimes in life, the big things like your wife dying, the big things are big and you know, those need attention and you know, it needs forgiveness and how you even do that is another thing. But it makes sense to do that.

But this region, the beta paradox, was saying that sometimes the smaller things are the things that can even be. Rough too, because you don't give them your own credit. You're like, oh, that's just all that was just Sally. That looked at me funny, you know, this wasn't a big thing, like breaking my leg or a bad accident and it doesn't really need forgiveness.

It was just a minor thing that you don't put enough effort behind it, realizing that those things are maybe also building up this tension, you know, because it doesn't have the pizazz of something bigger than that. And all sins can get to you too, I suppose. Oh, 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: absolutely. If you think about a puzzle, you know, you know, a proposal's missing one big piece, that's missing a big glaring missing biggie, but all those little pieces add up to a big piece.

Right. And so often if we don't have good self care in our life, you know, we don't, you know, that's not important to us. I think those things really, really happen and build up. So in some way, what you mentioned is right. It could be even more confusing for us because then all of a sudden you hear a story like mine and you go, and I've had this happen so many times in my life where people go, it's like, it's such a huge story.

That pit shuts people down because they're like, I mean, I can't tell you, for example, I've had X amount of my friends who have gone through divorce. Okay. So I would meet them and they would have problems. And, um, I would talk to them and then, you know, like, or maybe somebody had just met and the, and they would say, you know, I'm having this trouble and going about to go through a divorce.

And I would kind of share a little bit of my story and immediately shut them down because it'd be like, oh, well I don't have any, I don't have anything to say now because you went through that. And I was like, no, no, no, no. I said, man, I've walked through my friends, Mike, who went through divorce, who I would make a good argument that what they went through was every bit as bad as what I went through, because you know, you're looking at the death of a relationship.

Either way. And that's just an example, but, and that's still a big thing in people's lives. But I do think that a lot of people have some big T traumas in their life, but all of us have the little things that happen, you know, on a daily basis. And it adds up how 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Do you make that decision where you start saying, I need to just handle stress better to know when it's time to make a change.

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: That's a great question. That's autumn, the ultimate coaching question, right? I mean, you know, but because of that transition and that's where a lot of people are right now, I've lived that more often than not. We do not recognize the possibilities that are out there. Um, back to that whole term, the golden handcuffs, when I say golden handcuffs, you know, that can mean someone who.

A ton of money or it can mean someone who just makes us all living. It's not, it's not anything magic about the gold. It's just something that's keeping you there. And I think there's a huge barrier there or fear, you know, what else am I going to do? Do I have the ability to do something else? Am I capable of doing something else?

All these things like that. And that's where a lot of people are. And I think a lot of people are kind of in transition and thinking, considering that. And I think it's real when I, and I, you know, I mean, I've struggled with myself, but I've also had the privilege to help other people kind of walk through that and help them just see it from a different perspective, you know?

And I think so often in life as humans back to what we talked about about human beings, it's like, we just assume that we are in these potholes and that we can't get [00:50:25] out more often than not. We can not in the, will it take some sacrifice and may, you know, will it take a change that may, will it be easy?

It may probably not, but we have the ability. You know, to go different directions. And I think we give up that agency too often, too quickly. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: When you talk about negotiating, but talk about your bat, nudge your best alternative to a negotiated agreement. So if you're going to buy a car, you're only going to pay this much because your alternative to that agreement is to buy the car somewhere else.

You know? So you always have that backup. I think that in life, especially as you start to face burnout and the smallness of, of that pressure, you've got alternatives, you can walk away from a bad car deal or something, but they don't have the backup for a bad job. And I ain't no genius on this, but it almost seems like one of the answers is always have your backup plan ready.

It might just be a resume. It might just be growing your connections and so on, but it seems like. Maybe one of the answers is not being stuck, because at least you have an option that is maybe 70 to 80% satisfying where you're stuck when someone comes to you and they're stuck. What is your advice to them?

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Well, I mean, obviously you have to look at the person's situation, right? I mean, I mean, like for example, for you and I it's it, you know, if you're an owner, you know, there are some things, you know, that's not, that's not a matter of waking up the next day and saying, yeah, I don't think I want to do this anymore.

You know, there are a lot of tentacles to that, you know, but it doesn't mean that that stuff, you know, keeps you stuck forever or it may mean that, you know, I've, I've worked with people who have, you know, totally switched, totally switched and went a totally different direction. There are other people who, when they bring a different perspective and mindset to things, begin to see where they are a little different.

And that can change things too. You know what I mean? So just to look at someone and say, I feel stuck that doesn't a hundred percent mean, well, you know, in two months you have to have a different career or job doesn't mean that necessarily, but it can mean that you begin to see it differently and you begin like, you know, that goes back to coaching.

And what are your values? What are your strengths, where are the areas of your job? That you've always things like that, that you kind of probably never explored. You've just allowed that tyranny of the urgent to just that the Sunday night blues had just ho envelop you it's individual, but there are some certain themes that you definitely see with all of us.

Mike Koelzer, Host: What are some warning signs of a point of no return in a situation? Let's say it is burnout, Brad. Like if you say Mike, if you stop at the ammo shot, Um, the way to your job, that's a sign. Don't go on that day. That's 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: definitely a sign. I threw 

Mike Koelzer, Host: a softball on that one. Now it's gotta be a little tougher than that.

So what's a sign that you probably will no longer be in that 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: job. Well, I mean, I think the sign on a personal level, the first thing to maybe look at is look at your relationships. Oh yeah. We all talk so much about our careers, which are obviously so important, you know, but the signs that we miss or like, What's the relationship like with my wife or my husband with my kids, because your 

Mike Koelzer, Host: career, you might have so many golden handcuffs and you're so worried about keeping it, that still might look okay, but it's the stuff by the 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: wayside.

Yeah. And we're not just people who work, you know, and we, and you know, we like to compartmentalize, right. And then sometimes that's that, that can be a good thing. But you can compartmentalize to the point in your life where you are totally unaware that it is bleeding over into every part of your life. I mean, it's just, like you said earlier, you take a person who dealt with a really heavy trauma, you know, back in their life that they never really walked through.

Never got help and never dealt with it. And 20 years later, You know, they don't connect that, but as a human being, it is totally happening, you know, it's totally happening in their life and it's affecting it, you know, and that's a big stretch for us to go, you know, to, to jump back to, and you're probably 

Mike Koelzer, Host: not faking it as well as you think you are.


Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: no. And you know, and that's where, and I, and I've been guilty of this before, but that's where, you know, our, our, our pride often comes in because you know, we, in leadership, we talk a lot about the importance of, of giving feedback in an inappropriate way and getting feedback. But let's be honest. Most of us, if we're truthful, we really don't enjoy getting feedback that we don't want to hear.

Right. You know what I mean? No. But if we get that and we're able to weed through [00:55:25] that and pull out, you know what I mean? That's an area where we can recognize. Man, maybe I'm, you know, I'm not acting like, I think I'm acting you're right. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Just this morning I was saying I was at work and I'm like, for some reason I had to deal with someone that was defensive.

You know what I'm like, why they're defensive. I'm like, I'm smart enough to know that's me. And I'm smart enough to know I'm seeing something I don't like in somebody that's me. I'm defensive. So I'm like, all right, what am I defensive about? Why am I so defensive? The thing I don't like in someone else typically is what I don't like in myself.

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: And we know that that's true. Right? I mean, psychology tells us that's definitely true in all of us, you know, but, but the ability to be self-aware like you're doing now, you recognize that that is so key. Right. You know? Um, and then also, you know, like working our thing when reading, when someone's defensive is that even though you don't feel this, is that reminding yourself that more often than not, people are shortened away from us, that has nothing to do with us.

Right. I mean, especially look at, look at our profession, Mike, you know, you got people like that. Come in with these huge burdens and they're defensive, and they're not saying it doesn't affect you or me. It does, but 99% of the time, it really has nothing to do with Mike, my pharmacist. All 

Mike Koelzer, Host: right. So that can be a sign.

Relationships are certain to struggle. Anything else we should be looking for a pharmacist listening to now saying, yeah, I feel burned out. I'm hearing what they're saying. Yeah. Maybe I have been a little bit short with this or that. Anything else they could be looking for? That would be a sign like there might be a change.

Maybe it's just more than looking at it. Maybe it's something a little bit deeper. Was there anything else that we should be watching for besides just relationships? 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Well, I mean, obviously you look at your help, right? I mean, you know, I mean this ultimately burnout will affect your health and we often want to deny that too.

I mean, who are the, who are the people that often deny that the most healthcare providers who are treating other people, you know, I mean, you know, so, I mean, look at your hair, look at your, look at your sleeping patterns. Yeah, that's it. I mean, I have actually started out, I've never been a great sleeper and I have actually started monitoring every day.

My daily planner, a monitor, must leap if I write down how many hours I got and I tried to look at it just because I just want to constantly remind myself, Brad, you need X amount of sleep to function as your best self. Right. And, and, and, and, you know, we, we often, I mean, you know, you, you just take personal development, you know, it's not like that now.

We're old enough Mike to know maybe 25 years ago, man, what everybody says perfectly, oh, I'll sleep. When I die. You know, I got to build this business and sleep was almost like a weakness. Now that's changing because we're beginning to recognize that as human beings, man, you got to sleep or you're not gonna, you're not going to be successful.

Mike Koelzer, Host: You know what else is glad that's changed is being like in fifth and sixth grade football and not getting any water. And then when it was water break, he had like 45 kids going over to the drinking fountain and the fountain was warm water that came up like three quarters of an inch out of the spout.

You had like 45 kids sucking on that thing. And by the time you got to like the 30th kid, the coach blew the whistle. You had to go back. Not only did you not get water, you ran a half mile down to the park to get it. And there was nothing there. 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Oh yeah, 

Mike Koelzer, Host: absolutely. That's in the same vein as what the hell we were even talking about.

The sides 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: of burnout, but I mean right there. Okay. Okay. Let's take that one right there. This is so simple, Mike, and we know this, but we don't always live it. The importance of hydration. I mean, good gracious. I mean, you know, you want to, you want to be a bad farmer or in your pharmacy, don't hydrate for a few days and see how you feel.

You know? I mean, it's amazing how we don't do those simple things that we need to do for ourselves sometimes. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: We can start to think scarce as owners and as pharmacists when we think scarce. And so we think, how can we get by? How can we take as much burnout and as much smacking and still move forward? I think that the message that you're bringing is it doesn't have to be at the end.

You can be doing this now. Life can be a lot better. It just doesn't have to avoid the 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: bad. Absolutely. Mike and I think that's, that's, that's the key message, you know, that we have to be more intentional about our life, which means we're paying attention to the different areas of our life. And we're not, we're not silo and everything.

We're not compartmentalizing our life. We understand that we're a whole person. We understand that, you know, I don't have to work 65 hours a week to have value. You know what I mean? I mean, it, you know, you know, we know we're old enough to know that life is short, right? I mean, you know, you only live once and you know, we all, we all have that kind of desire to [01:00:25] achieve because we're high achievers, but you know, you can achieve, there are a lot of areas in your life that you can focus on achievement, you know, and a lot of that.

And I think it's a contentment thing that, you know, we don't do the important things in life to find that peace and contentment, because they look, nobody ever promised us that this life would be without adversity. You know, we're not going to match the, what was it that staples, commercial solving.

It had a big, easy button, and a big grid. We all have this desire to match the easy button. Right. But it's not going to happen. Life is gonna be tough, you know, but it doesn't mean it's not great still, you know, in fact I'm a big believer and I, I speak about this a lot when I speak. And that is, you know, Finding learning how to find the, the, you know, the purpose and the pain, you know, and I know that's not a subject, a lot of people like to talk about, but is so vitally important, our lives that most people just push that pain in the corner, their whole life, and they don't want to deal with it.

And then they wonder why they're not happy, why they don't have to enjoy it doesn't mean that pain was easy. It's very difficult. But if you can find, I mean, there's a term that I've researched a lot called post-traumatic growth and, um, kind of, uh, the opposite of post post-traumatic stress disorder, you know, which we've had a lot, you know, a lot of people deal with, but post-traumatic growth.

Actually, when we go through things in our life, they can be the big things, like my story or the small things. But if we kind of are able to kind of pull wisdom out of that and grow from it, you know, that's ultimately how we fulfill our purpose. This 

Mike Koelzer, Host: life forces you to make choices sometimes. And it's like, if you don't find the growth out of it, the pain.

Not too far behind. It's not like you get to sit on the fence in this life. It seems like you have to make choices pro or con you sit in the middle, you're 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: going to get eaten up. You pegged it, man. One of the greatest gifts, arguably the greatest gift that we've been given, and that is the ability to choose.

And you know, that sounds great when the choices are good, but when you're in the middle of a trauma or a painful event, to think that you still have the ability to choose which way to go, it's kind of scary. It's kind of scary. Take a person right now, Mike who's, you know, who's, who's in that job that they hate and, and they think I don't have a choice.

I don't have any choices here. Ah, when you give up that. Agency, we give up one of our greatest gifts and it doesn't mean it's easy. I mean, it's hard, you know, 

Mike Koelzer, Host: But arguably what makes us human is that an animal doesn't have a choice. They follow their instincts. They don't decide if they're going to do this for that.

They just do it. Choice is a big gift we've been given and you've got to keep enacting it, I suppose. 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Yeah. Yeah. I joke about that all the time, man. I've got a hundred pound German shepherd and, um, his name's Max and, you know, Max is not sitting around wondering what his future is going to be like. He's like, dude, are you gonna feed me or not?

You know, I mean, that's, that's it. And we're so different in that. Obviously, you know, we, we, we get to, you know, and that's, it can be the positive or the negative, you know, and that's where we, we can end up spending. Most of our times kind of ruminate over things that we assume we can't change.

We can change. It might be hard, but we can change. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: So Brad cool website, Brad It talks about your speaking and people can reach out to you that way. 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Oh, absolutely. Through my website or my email address is I really appreciate you. I'm doing this podcast, man. It's really cool.

I'll be honest with you, man. I don't listen to a lot of pharmacy podcasts, but I like yours and because it's just more, it's real. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: There's a lot of reasons why I keep it real. It keeps me interested in a real conversation. It's almost like some of the shows are trying to paint a picture of, so I don't know how to explain it exactly, but I don't, I don't want to pick on any shows either, but it's kind of like they're painting a picture of maybe someone's trying to sell something, you know?

So they're trying to, they're trying to go from here to where they kind of wish it was, you know, and it's like, that's fine. It's just that it's not interesting enough to me to pump that. I don't mean that to sound negative at all. No, 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: I know what you mean. And I think you'll find your audience by being, being, you, being your, you know, immediate, and that's not going to be for everybody, you know what I mean?

But you don't want it to be because then it's just kind of a generic kind of whatever. Right. You know, so yeah. I mean, especially being an independent pharmacist, I mean, because I don't, you know, I don't know that very many, if any independent pharmacists really have any podcasts, do they? I mean, there may be some out there.

I don't 

Mike Koelzer, Host: I think so. I don't think so. I can't think of another one independent. Yeah. 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Yeah. I can't either. I've never [01:05:25] seen one. So yeah, I like that. I mean, the perspective, the real perspective you bring, I mean, I think it is cool, man, because there's a lot of independent pharmacists out there that are stuck in that same mindset, like we talked about and you know, they really could use some help.

Mike Koelzer, Host: Um, kind of where you are bred. I haven't monetized this. I think of my monetization as being, I think in my store, I've got maybe five years left, something like that. I still have seven kids at home, so I got clear. 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: So seven really? 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Whoa, I got 10 altogether, but seven are still at home. You've 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: got 10 kids.

That's unbelievable. Wow. So 

Mike Koelzer, Host: I still have a bunch of home, but I'll probably have five more years. But the way that I think of this is, I don't think the podcast will be a moneymaker, but I'm monetizing in the sense that in two years from now, if something goes south at the store or I'd want to break free, by that time, I'll have 300 people like yourself that I've spoken to, you know, and those connections.

So this has given me some security of the future besides getting a kick out of it and things that's kind of my. Value, I suppose for me 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: In five years, are you just kind of retiring or are you thinking about going a different direction with this and doing something? 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Um, 55 and in seven years, my youngest child will graduate high school.

So then at that point we have a cottage. I'd probably sell my house, sell the store. If I have a couple of years there, pull some of that money. And then my retirement is in pretty good shape when the time comes in two to five to eight to 10 years, I think when I'm able to I'll just get out and get done.

How do you 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: feel about selling? I mean, I know you're a ways away from it, but how do you feel about the value of your store now? As far as going forward and stuff? A couple 

Mike Koelzer, Host: years ago, we made a pretty big change. I was losing loads of money. I mean, I was losing like a thousand bucks a day, practically, you know, what the DIR is and things.

I mean, it was terrible. Michigan's I know places are type of Michigan's as tight as any of them are. So about a year and a half ago, I got rid of brand names. So I'm not carrying any brand names anymore. Really. I was spending 10,000 bucks a night and then. A month later, I'd get 9,000. I was dishing out a thousand dollars a day to the PBMs.

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Oh, I totally get that. Yeah. Yeah. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: I went in generic only, and I'm surprised we're still in business, but it's been nice. It's been nice. It was a good move. And it wasn't like a decision between making some smart move. My move was basically locking the doors or doing that. And so that's what I did.

So it's been okay. Wow. 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Now how did that go down? Did you just have a mass exit? And so customers, 

Mike Koelzer, Host: I think it helped that the chain satisfaction was going down right around COVID there too. It happened to line up right with COVID, but we held on to a remarkable amount of people, you know, years ago. You wouldn't think of losing a pharmacy customer to someone you'd fight with all your might to not ever let them even think there was another pharmacy somewhere.

Right now. I think people are more used to it with internet pharmacies and they have to go to specialized pharmacies and they have to go here for this. And you know, our, our hours are shortened. And so they're doing this anyway. So it's no longer that thing where you have to get all of it. And I think customers are happy when they can come to us and they get their brand ulcer when they have.

I mean, it's worked so far 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Now, have you, are you still taking the insurance or are you doing more of a cash based business now? We're still doing all the insurance. So you're still still indoor bass for 54 cents and stuff like 

Mike Koelzer, Host: that. Yeah. We're still doing all that as we stopped the negative brands.

And so the pharmacy is kinda like buying me a job until my kids get done. As far as the value of the store goes, it's somewhat valuable, but my records are probably worth as much as the store kind of. Yeah, I get that. Totally. It's basically buying me a job. Yeah. 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: We're 

Mike Koelzer, Host: not far from that. If it wasn't for COVID, I'd be, because through that, I got the PPP loans and I got an Eid L loan.

I mean, if it wasn't for COVID, I'd have been, I'd have been gone a while ago, so COVID just sort of saved me, you know? So who knows, you gotta be careful what you wish for and don't wish for, we don't know. We don't know. What's good for us, Brad, you know, as humans, you know, we don't try to make choices, but you don't 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: now.

Yeah. Yeah. And you make the best choice you can at the moment and you, you, you kind of have to roll with it and yeah. So that goes back to what we talked about a little bit. It's trying to bring a different mindset to it and perspective and just kind of say, you know, God, I don't know. You know, maybe this is part of your plan for me.

And there's something you don't. I mean, you just, you don't know, you don't 

Mike Koelzer, Host: know, you play along play along. Like we have something to do with that. That's right. That's right. 

Brad Hurdle, Pharmacist: Humor ourselves. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Right. Bread. Great meeting you. I look forward to keeping in touch. All right, buddy. Take care. Yeah. Thank you. Bye-bye.