Speaker 0 00:00:01 Probably just about everyone has had that fantasy of quitting their job and turning their side hustle or their hobby into their full-time gig. There's great stories of this happening, but there's probably even more stories that are just, I don't know, kind of sad because that's not an easy thing to do, but what if your side hustle or your hobby can rekindle your passion for your job?
Speaker 2 00:00:25 Once I launched my podcast and I began reaching out to these influential exceptional black women, I was like, what game changer? Because now, you know, not only are you on my podcast, but some of them, I still can. I have the ability to text them and ask them questions and say, Hey, I, this is what I'm experiencing. Or, you know, I have a question about this, or have you ever seen this
Speaker 0 00:00:51 Next, you'll hear the story about someone who was pretty much over their job. They took a podcasting, hoping it would be their next career. Instead, their podcasting journey led them to fall back in love with their profession. And it creates passive income, which has helped them tip to scales back towards that ever elusive work life balance thing. We're all trying to figure out. I wanna let you know about a way to create a private subscription based podcast with Casto. You can easily create a private podcast for your membership site, online course, or community. The best part you can integrate it with the tools you already use through our direct integrations, learn [email protected]
or click on the link in the show notes. Okay. So imagine you spend years going to school training, doing apprenticeships, all that and pursuit of your dream job only to find out that cause of your race and gender, you feel undervalued and treated differently. Hija Akha. Doesn't have to imagine that it was her reality. After going through the rigorous process of finishing pharmacy school at the pharmacy college of Philadelphia and a residency at the Johns Hopkins hospital, she moved on to New York city where she became the lead pharmacist at a major hospital,
Speaker 0 00:02:10 Even still as a black woman in a primarily white male environment, she was facing microaggressions and just blatant racism at work.
Speaker 2 00:02:18 I think it was just a tone deaf response from one of my colleagues who said like, well, we don't wanna just, you know, have anybody on as residents. We wanna make sure like, they are good. We, we basically saying like, if you go to an H B, C U the people that you take from H B C U won't be like as great as candidates, like great candidates. And I just found that to be so offensive and just so Tod deaf to like what we were doing, because she was actually the one leading. So I was like, who put this girl in, in charge, like who did this?
Speaker 0 00:02:54 She shared her experience and out of her peers on GoodRx as a way of shedding light on a problem, not just in her line of work, but everywhere, basically it's worth reading, combine the stress of that dynamic with a demanding job and the wear and tear of everyday work slash life and a drama was just over it. So she started a podcast called brown skin stories with the idea that she could transition into doing that full time. Now in the interest of full disclosure, I'll tell you that she hired me to be her editor I've since moved on from that project, but we left on good terms. Anyway, the premise of the podcast was simple enough. She interviewed black people from all walks of life who overcame challenges to still be successful. Things are going pretty well, but all the while a drama was taken a podcasting course from Nala Matthews who encouraged her to find even more of a niche that letter to where she is now with a podcast called black women pharmacists
Speaker 2 00:03:52 During a podcasting coaching call with Mikayla, she said, you know, EJA, you are on the brink of something, but you're not quite there yet. There's something inside of you that you want to tell your four year old self, but you know, it's just not niche enough. And so you have, and, and she, I remember this conversation, cuz she actually told me to go back and listen to the recording. She said, you have a man that has overcome this like poverty and has become successful. Then you have a woman that's overcome some sort of, you know, sexual abuse. And then she's like, your audience wants to come to you to listen to one thing, the same person that wants to hear about a man that's over, you know, that's overcome and now is financially independent is not the same audience member that wants to hear about a woman who has gone through, you know, her own tragedies in life and has overcome them.
Speaker 2 00:04:46 You need to figure out what your kind of, she calls it, your like who your one listener is. And so I said, okay, well that's you're right. So I went back and listened to the recording and I thought to myself like what, why did I even start this podcasting journey in the first place? And I'm like, well, I started it because of some crap that went down at my job, my nine to five as a pharmacist that I just wasn't, wasn't sitting well with me. And so I said, well, what would I wanna tell? Not even just my four year old self, but like myself back in college. And what would I wanna tell other students or pharmacy students who might find themselves where I am right now. And so then I said, well, you know, now that I think about it, I wanna learn about other black women in pharmacy that are super successful that have, you know, experienced what I've experienced in my pharmacy career.
Speaker 2 00:05:40 And I'm just gonna be dead honest with you racism, right? And still are thriving in their careers and are doing something and are most importantly enjoying what they do. Cause at the time I just wasn't enjoying what I did. You know, I, I really was looking at podcasting as a way to pivot from pharmacy altogether low and behold. It actually brought me closer. So that's when I came up with the idea of brown skin stories, representing women, pharmacists. And then, you know, it took some time in rebranding because then she said to me like, you know, that's a good, at least, you know, your, your people know who you are now, but I also just wanted it to be more direct, like representing women, pharmacists. I think I was afraid to pivot from the brown skin stories. Cause I had a logo and I didn't wanna really change much. I just wanted to like change the actual, like what, what the name was of the, uh, the podcast, but took me some time rebranded it, you know, I work with chair and the website manager. And so we just, I said, this is the date we're going for black women, pharmacists. It's simple. It's direct. I changed my Instagram handle and we just went from there.
Speaker 2 00:06:53 Hey guys, you're listening to black woman pharmacist. The only podcast that will give you a firsthand experience into the life of a black woman pharmacist. I'm your host fellow pharmacist at EJA. And I want you to tune in, to learn about the various career paths available to you after graduating from a school of pharmacy and learn all the steps you need to take to land a pharmacy job. That's right for you. Let's get started.
Speaker 3 00:07:17 I'm fascinated with this idea that, you know, it, it brought you closer to pharmacy. Would you say you feel less alone now in that world than you did before you started?
Speaker 2 00:07:26 Oh my gosh. It's like a world of a difference because I will tell you when I first started my career, I started at a really large academic institution. I mean, I'm, I'm very open about this on my podcast. I started at Johns Hopkins and I loved it. Like it was you grow there, they pushed the boundaries. They, I just, I'm so thankful that that is where I got my start in my pharmacy career because I got to see a lot of things. And I got to meet a lot of awesome people, both pharmacists and providers and nurses alike that I still keep in touch with to this day when I moved to the big apple, people are different. And I, you know, the, the experience was different. There was still some positive things that I took from it, especially because obviously I have a podcast now because of it, but it was just, it, it was a change of pace.
Speaker 2 00:08:14 It was a different environment altogether. And I just didn't feel as supported once I launched my podcast and I began reaching out to these influential exceptional black women. I was like, what game changer? Because now, you know, not only are you on my podcast, but some of them, I still can. I have the ability to text them and ask them questions and say, Hey, I, this is what I'm experiencing. Or, you know, I have a question about this or have you ever seen this? And now that I'm transitioning into a new role, a lot of those women were very supportive as I transitioned to my new career. Um, it's quite different than what I've been doing before. I've been working in a hospital, you know, setting. And, but now I'm now pivoting to producing content for providers, which is right up my alley. I love content production. And now I get to use my pharmacy degree. So I say it's like the best of both worlds for me. But the reality is I have a number of women that I can call on who know who I am, know my story and can gimme advice. Can, you know, it's just, it's just a world of a difference because now I have this support network that I didn't even know that I would be creating in a sense.
Speaker 3 00:09:33 So what you've described there is what I think is the most realistic trajectory for someone to be successful in podcast. If you break it down, like you're probably not gonna be able to go out and just get like advertisers using any type of algorithm or anything like that. And, and, and really see any like return worth doing that. Now what you did describe, however, the fact that you've actually pivoted within pharmacy now to be able to create content for providers, you, you made a job for yourself, you made a job for yourself through your podcast. First of all, it's just unique. Second of all, I think it's, it's a good example of how you can find value without getting ad revenue. Would, would you agree with, with that?
Speaker 2 00:10:13 I absolutely agree with that because it's funny because when I did interview for this company, a lot of the questions were about my podcast. Like, how have you have you done this? Have you directed people in this way? How did you get your editor? And you know, the website manager do do all this yourself, do delegate it. And so I was just like, this is great. Like I've been doing this for years. <laugh> like, I'm like, no, I don't, I don't edit it. I do have a, you know, my editor has transitioned. Thank you, Stewart. Um, and I got a new one, but you know, it's great to have an employer be excited about what I'm excited about and what I'm passionate about and what I'm already doing and use that as kind of the gateway to give me an, a new opportunity that really works for my life.
Speaker 2 00:11:00 So I'm just thankful. I'm thankful for my journey. I'm thankful that, you know, I I'm able to do this because it's not lost on me that in order to produce content like this, or in order to be a, a podcaster and a successful one, you do have to have some sort of financial backing to make it successful. Cause I did not do this on my own. There was no way I could have done it on my own. I tried to do things on my own. Initially, I tried to edit, you know, episodes on my own. I quickly found that this is not gonna work. And thank God that I learned that quickly. I tried to do my website on my own and after hours and hours of creating something that looked subpar, I said, this ain't don't work either. <laugh> so I'm just thankful that I had the opportunity to do this.
Speaker 0 00:11:43 So the transition to podcasting full time didn't quite happen. But what Aja got was actually even better, her podcast created an opportunity to move on to a better job in an industry she'd spent years investing her time and energy in plus black women, pharmacists, ostensibly created opportunities for passive income, which as it turns out can be useful. Especially when life happens.
Speaker 2 00:12:10 I became pregnant in December of 2020. And like by February, 2021, I was like, what two months pregnant? And so into my pregnancy, I was like, I really need to create something that is, that will generate a passive income stream for myself. Like I really need to focus on this. I had some add some ad spon like some ad sponsorship from, um, podcasting, but it wasn't consistent. Right? It's like here and there, if this company reaches out and I certainly could have created more opportunities for myself, I think if I was actually like really seeking other companies out, but I just, I didn't have time for that. And I didn't make time for that. So I just said, I need something that will generate a passive income stream for myself. And so I got into publishing and my one goal when I started publishing was just publish a book before your son's birth.
Speaker 2 00:13:02 My son was born in September. I published the book in August and that was my one goal. Once that happened, sky was the limit because then I started actually making profit from the book, I believe in my second month after publishing. So August actually my first month after publishing. So August, I didn't really make any money from it. September was the first month that I saw my profit, my, my net profits from a book increase like, and it was just steady from there. So it was like September, October, November, December, so much so that I was able to take maternity, like an extended maternity leave that I really didn't affect my family much because who wants to go back to work after three months and who wants to put, you know, your three? And I, I say this and I disclaimer, like I know a lot of women do this.
Speaker 2 00:13:56 My sister do this as well, but like certainly I just wanted to be at home with my baby longer, especially in the height of the pandemic. December was like a Myran and I just really, I didn't want to go into work <laugh> I wanted to stay home and, and feed and take care of my baby. So after I published my book, I was like, this is great. Like why don't more pharmacists do this? Like why? Like people could be, you know, working part-time for their jobs and focus more on the things that they love, their family, their, you know, their, their kids, you know, reading whatever they want to do outside of work. So what I did next was I just asked a couple of women in a pharmacy group. I said, and, and also in my pharmacy group. And I said, listen, if I could share with you kind of my blueprint to how I am now generating over really it's over a thousand dollars a month of a passive income stream through publishing.
Speaker 2 00:14:56 Would you want to learn that? Is this something you'd be interested in Stewart? I swear to you, I got like 20, 30 women. Like, yes, I wanna learn. Here's my number. Please help me. I, I need this, I need this just cuz I know sometimes that pharmacy can be challenging, especially if you're working in a community setting and, and especially during the pandemic. Right. And so then I knew that what my assignment was at the time, I said, okay, well, gimme a second. Let me put something together for you and I'll get back to you. So now I'm working on, I started actually creating a course to teach pharmacy professionals how to publish and make a passive income stream from that. I have a couple of beta testers going through the course now and I plan to officially fingers crossed, go live by the end of April. That might be ambitious, but I'm going to go ahead and, and say that out loud. So the universe hears me. <laugh>
Speaker 3 00:15:53 You? First of all, I think more pharmacists should work. Part-time that's, that's a, that's a line of work. I want treated like pilots, right? Pilots can't exceed a certain amount of hours every week. I don't as someone who has to go to the pharmacy now. And again, I don't want you guys working more than, than you need to because I don't want, I don't want the wrong me. I don't want to go wrong home with the wrong medication.
Speaker 2 00:16:12 Preach. Say it. You are you kidding? Thank you for saying that actually, because I'm going to use that analogy for my pharmacist and pharma brothers, because they need to know like that's the truth. Like what we do is so important to the overall outcome for patients, it needs to, something needs to be enforced.
Speaker 3 00:16:32 It's a very complicated line of work as it is. Now you add the complicated layer of being a black woman in a line of work that's dominated by white men. I mean, I can't relate to it, but I, but I have to imagine that was probably a pretty lonely feeling. It had to be, it had to be draining, right?
Speaker 2 00:16:49 Yeah. And I think sometimes it can still be draining. And I think that's the whole reason why my podcast exists. I think it's draining, just showing up in a world that you're already kind of discriminated against or told like you're at a disadvantage because of something beyond your control. And so I really want to change that narrative. Like I want us to come into the world knowing that, listen, we're not, I'm not a second class citizen. Like, and I will not be treated as such. So here's what I'm gonna do. If you do the wrong thing, I have no problem being vocal about it. And I think more people need to speak up, you know, about that. And so there, there is a different layer there that, you know, some people didn't don't understand. And I think that's kind of what I I'm getting at with my podcast.
Speaker 2 00:17:34 And I'm thankful that even, and shout out to PCP, Philadelphia college of pharmacy now merging with St. John's university, but shout out to them. They are my Amma mater. They actually have had me come in and speak to their and speak to their Roka society just to highlight the, like what I'm doing with my, like with my podcast. And there are other schools too that have made my podcast part of their curriculum, which is so awesome because I never would've thought that like I never would've imagined like that would be something like a school is telling their students, like, by the way, your assignment is to listen to one episode of this podcast. It's amazing. So absolutely there's a different layer there. And I want people to, while you might not be able to, you're not gonna experience it firsthand. If you're not a black woman, at the very least, you can have an understanding of what it is that we are discussing and are going through and come to the table and, and be an ally and be an advocate and be, be a sponsor for a black woman. You know, that is my goal at the end of the day, because I that's what I felt like I was lacking and had I had that experience go differently. Maybe I wouldn't have had the podcast today because I just wouldn't have seen a need to have to share my story. So I say, yeah, like take some time, listen to the podcast and really understand the other side of the story.
Speaker 3 00:19:06 How, how would you say, you know, you've gleaned value from your podcasting experience?
Speaker 2 00:19:11 Oh wow. In so many different ways, not only have I been able to create kind of a support network for myself, I've been able to do that for other pharmacists and pharmacy students alike from my podcast, I actually started one of the initiatives I started and since it has have ended, but it was called reaching residency. It was a program to increase the percentage of black residents within institutions of pharmacy. So pharmacists, you have the option to pursue a pharmacy residency. When you get out of school or start working in different settings residents, once you graduate from residency, you are, I don't wanna say a shoe in, but you gain valuable leadership skills that will help you kind of expedite your professional career to the next level quickly or expedite. Um, and so I noted that really in my organization, there wasn't many black pharmacy residents.
Speaker 2 00:20:19 And I know at the time during, you know, one of the meetings within the organization I was working for, I had, I was in a meeting and there was a young lady who, you know, we were trying to see how do we get more black applicants for our residency program and something as simple as well. Have we reached out to the HBCUs? Like how many, like, what is the percentage? This is like my question basically. Like what percentage of HBCUs, like are we looking at, are we like going to, are we taking residencies from like residents from, and I think it was just very a, to like a tone deaf response at the time from one of my colleagues who said like, well, we don't wanna just, you know, have anybody on as residents. We wanna make sure like, they are, they're like good. We, we basically saying like, if you go to an H B, C U the, the people that you take from H B C U won't be like as great as candidates, like great candidates.
Speaker 2 00:21:24 And I just found that to be so offensive and just so tone deaf to like what we were doing, because she was actually the one leading. So I was like, who put this girl in, in charge, like who did this? So what I did was, and then one of the, the biggest oversights they had was we had one black pharmacy resident at the time and she wasn't even a part of these meetings. And so I was like, what is going on here? Like, am I missing something? So I reached out to the black pharmacy resident. I said, Hey, can, do you have a minute to talk? Like, this is going on? Like, were you, did you hear about it? Like what I would love your input. And so I said, have you heard about these series? Like what's going on? And she said, you know, I heard about it, but they really just talked about, talked about it to me in passing.
Speaker 2 00:22:07 So we took a walk that day and I just asked her, like, what did you need? What was helpful from a residency standpoint when you were doing your applications? And like, when you were learning about residency, when you wanted to pursue a residency, what was helpful to you? What did you need? What did you feel like you were missing? And she told me, and I said, all right, well, she basically said, wait, I, I needed hand holding. I said, all right, well, why don't we do that? Like, why don't we create a program? And we take students and we hold their hands through the residency application process, and we call this reaching residency and I asked her, would you be involved? And she said, of course I said done deal. So at that time, I kind of like took myself away from what my organization was doing.
Speaker 2 00:22:48 And then I created a program called reaching residency with two other pharmacists, shout out to Kevin Scott, um, and Iman. But basically we were able to, I think we took over like a hundred students. We had over a 80 like preceptors. And basically we paired these students up with the preceptors and had these preceptors work one on one with these students to help them through the application process for residency in particular. And I've gotten so many emails from so many students that was like, I think, thank you so much for this program because of your program. I finally matched to a residency. This is great. And I have students that still reach out to me today that are just like thanking me. I'm like, really? You did it yourself. I just provided like a preceptor. I didn't even really, I wasn't even a preceptor myself. I literally just connected people. So I think that's one of the most, I, I think one of the values is really just helping the next generation of pharmacy leaders really find themselves and really create something for themselves in pharmacy practice. And then of course, just, you know, just helping others that are not black or are not brown, understand what really goes into being a black person in the professional pharmacy. Right. Understand what that means and how to show up and be really support systems and allies for us as we navigate the profession,
Speaker 0 00:24:18 Aja is a great example of what an independent creator can do. She took time to learn from others, make hard creative decisions, like changing the name and scope of a podcast and even changing her own expectations. I think the results speak for themselves, a community of dedicated followers, her own courses that create passive income and a new job as the associate medical director at answers in CME, which she began in April of 2022, best of all, she's helping other people. And I think that counts for a lot.
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