#215: Blair Thielemier: Helping Pharmacists Become Entrepreneurial Consultants


OVERVIEW:

Jason A. Duprat, Entrepreneur, Healthcare Practitioner, and Host of the Healthcare Entrepreneur Academy podcast talks with Blair Thielemier, PharmD, and founder of Pharmapreneur Academy and the Elevate Pharmacy Virtual Summit. Blair talks about the ups and downs of her transition from employee to entrepreneur, highlighting the importance of working with a mentor. She also discusses the challenges of starting a consulting business and a virtual summit, offering advice for people who want to venture into these startup areas. 

 

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Blair knew early on she wanted to work in healthcare, and it was her love for biochemistry and physiology that led her to become a pharmacist.   
  • After pharmacy school, she worked for a small independently-owned community pharmacy. Eventually, she wanted to do something more challenging so she switched to a clinical hospital role.
  • When she lost her job in 2014, Blair found support from a network of independent community pharmacies. She was six months pregnant and picked up PRN shifts. As a result, this is the community she now serves and helps through her online academy and virtual summit.  
  • Medication Therapy Management (MTM) is an umbrella term for the variety of services pharmacists offer. Pharmacists conduct a comprehensive review and suggest interventions for patients. Ultimately, MTM is what reignited Blair’s passion. 
  • She’s an advocate for pharmacists because, at the federal level, they’re not recognized as healthcare providers. 
  • After giving up a director position to launch her pharmacy consulting business, Blair dove into business podcasts and worked with a mentor to put her in the right mindset.
  • Healthcare professionals tend to fall back on certifications and more education, but entrepreneurship is a challenge because there’s no curriculum or rule book to follow. 
  • Blair grew her email list to 100 people and decided to launch the Pharmapreneur Academy in 2015. She had eight people sign up as her beta group. The course was $297 and offered six lessons.  
  • She then doubled the enrollment and added a seventh course on chronic care management based on requests from the beta group. And after this session, she switched to a membership model for the online academy. 
  • After finding inspiration from a podcast and learning from other experts at virtual summits, Blair launched the Elevate Pharmacy Virtual Summit in 2017 and it’s been held every year since then.  
  • The benefits of going virtual include being able to launch events during the pandemic and scaling your message as a healthcare professional.
  • Find a mentor/coach who’s doing what you want to do and don’t be afraid to pay them for their expertise. If you feel uncomfortable, that’s a sign you’re on the right path.

 

3 KEY POINTS:

  1. A full-time job is not a guarantee you’ll have a stable career. Have a backup plan in case life decides to throw you a curveball. Consider starting your own business and taking ownership of your time and freedom.
  2. Pharmapreneur Academy provides pharmacists with a framework to leverage their skills as consultants. It started with one-on-one coaching programs and courses before shifting to a membership site.
  3. The Elevate Pharmacy Virtual Summit gives pharmacists a voice and adequate representation, averaging 1500-2000 attendees each year. 

 

TWEETABLE QUOTES:

“Maybe my purpose in entrepreneurship is to have an impact on patients throughout the country.” – Blair Thielemier

[Leverage your knowledge in a new way.” – Blair Thielemier

“Pharmacists—at the core of what we do—are very entrepreneurial, very innovative, and very community-centered.” – Blair Thielemier

 

RESOURCES:

Pharmapreneur Academy: https://pharmapreneuracademy.com/

Elevate Pharmacy Virtual Summit: https://pharmapreneuracademy.com/blog/2021-elevate-pharmacy-live/

The BizChix Podcast: https://bizchix.com/category/podcast/bizchix/

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