When You Don’t Want To, But You Have To

Motivation can be a tricky thing. It’s not always easy to overcome inertia. To leave comfort zones behind and take a step in a new direction. Especially in a day to day that’s already full to bursting, can’t it just be enough sometimes to get through the day?

Unfortunately, when we can’t find professional motivation, it often leads us to be reactive instead of proactive. And as soon as you’re simply reacting to a change instead of anticipating it, you’re already falling behind.

But just because you know you need something, doesn’t mean it’s easy to get.  (Just try and find the right shoes to go with a specific outfit on the day of any event.)

Luckily, the motivation mystery can be solved with a little information and perhaps some inward reflection.

There are many types of motivation. All stemming from 2 main categories. Intrinsic and Extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation is basically what you do for you. Likely something you don’t have to think about every day.

Extrinsic motivation comes from an external force. Rewards based motivation that can be driven by anything from monetary benefits to avoidance, or fear of a negative result or event.

Of-course intrinsic motivation is the easy one. And it might be nice to think that we could be motivated without any external factors all time.  I’ve seen first-hand the passion and dedication that drives our pharmacy customers. But, it’s not always that cut and dry is it?

You might choose to run every morning because you like to. But aren’t there some mornings where you run because you’re thinking about the repercussions you face if you don’t? (cue the judgment from my smart watch when I don’t meet my calorie burn goal for the day!) It’s the same in our businesses, and that’s not a bad thing. Hopefully most days your internal motivation charges you. But sometimes, we do things because there’s a reason to.

Okay, have I muddied the waters enough?

Bottom line, sometimes you need a little push to move in the right direction. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. So now onto a few tips that you might find helpful when the status quo isn’t a viable option but you aren’t quite intrinsically motivated to pave a new path.

Re-center on your why

This might be a mission or vision statement. Or it could just be the thing you say to yourself in the mirror every morning. Why do you work in pharmacy? Why is this specific thing your passion? At RMS, our mission is to make our customers the most profitable and customer-centric in the industry. This is our “Why”. It’s the foundation of who we are as a company, and everything we do. When we need direction, this is where we look.

Understand the need for change.

 If you’re being pushed, or about to be pushed by external forces, understand what those are. This could be an upcoming regulatory change, a new competitor in your community, or most commonly for our pharmacy customers right now, a complete shift in business practices due to something like a pandemic or a natural disaster. Certainly no one was motivated on their own to shut pharmacy doors and start curbside or delivery programs, but many businesses found motivation to do so in the needs of their communities and employees.

Seek out like minded peers.

It helps to have community. Simple and true. Look for groups where you can share ideas and find inspiration in the successes of others.

Find extrinsic motivation from some intrinsically motivated people.

Okay, there I go, muddying the waters again. Let me clarify. Some organizations are built upon their motivation to help solve other organizations problems. Their internal drive and motivation can be your external motivation as you learn how changes might benefit your pharmacy business.

Get motivated to attend CLIMB!


We’re just a week away from the first episode of our monthly CLIMB summit. Joining our amazing lineup is Becky Templeton of RJ Hedges and Associates. In addition to sharing some of the latest pharmacy compliance updates Becky will be helping us tackle the concept of contingency planning. These are definitely two topics that a dose of motivation can help you take on. The seats are filling up but there’s still a bit of space left and I hope that if you haven’t registered yet, you’ll consider joining us. As always, our amazing blog readers can register for FREE with code RMSBLOG. Register today at www.pharmacyclimb.com.


P.S. Once you register, you can join our CLIMB group on Linked in. I bet you might find some like minded pharmacies to inspire and motivate you!