PharmD, University of Toledo
CEO, Box Labs
What excites you about being an entrepreneur?
The best part about being an entrepreneur is having the opportunity to take an idea and make it a reality with the help of others. I personally also love the challenges and the opportunities those challenges present for being creative. I look at it like solving a puzzle.
How has your entrepreneurial career evolved since your graduation?
After graduation from pharmacy school, I worked in the U.S. for a large chain before coming back here and opening a few of my own locations. Practising in the U.S and Canada and seeing both chain and independent workflows have helped shape how I think about technology and how best to leverage it. I started Box Labs after owning and practising for about 10 years and I hope to continue to develop the solutions that I was looking for as an independent pharmacy owner.
What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
A large part of what I currently do, I’d probably do for free. The opportunity to get paid for what I’d do for free seemed like a no-brainer. I also didn’t want to look back and always wonder if my ideas would have succeeded. I was lucky in finding the right partners at the right time and decided if not now, then when?
How do you define success?
Success for me is having great problems. Life is full of problems, there are good ones and bad ones. I feel the most successful when I know that my problems are good ones to have.
As a successful entrepreneur, what continues to drive you?
I don’t define myself as a successful entrepreneur just yet and I think that is part of what drives me. I like to think of success as something that is really never fully achieved but always something you are striving for. This helps give me motivation and purpose.
What are the biggest challenges to being an entrepreneur?
The biggest challenge for me is developing the resilience to deal with the inevitable failures that come before achieving my goal. You only fail when you stop trying.
How do you manage work/life balance?
I try to make a point of turning off my phone at 7 p.m. to focus on my family. I have three young kids and I’m often reminded of how fast they grow. My wife and I also schedule short weekend getaways to help us reconnect. This helps me recharge and stay focused.
What books/resources do you recommend for every entrepreneur to check out?
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
Start with Why by Simon Sinek
Of those three my favourite would be Obstacle is the Way
What advice would you give to colleagues who want to become entrepreneurs?
Just. Do. It! You’ll never feel ready, take the first step.