Gopika Barai is an experienced pharmacist in the state of New Jersey. Her professional background includes pharmacy practice for local stores, national chains, and long-term care facilities. Currently, Barai participates in a number of national pharmacy associations, including the American Pharmacist Association and the Indian Pharmacist Association. This is an effort to advance her career and ensure she is always providing the best patient care and experience possible.
Barai served as a frontline worker during the COVID-19 pandemic, where she was able to provide much-needed treatment to patients across the local community. She remains dedicated to helping others and improving people’s quality of life when and wherever possible.
Gopika Barai has served the same employer as pharmacist for more than six years. Throughout that time, she has periodically worked with a local acute care facility.
A graduate of the University of Sciences of Philadelphia Pharmacy School, Barai began her career at a local CVS pharmacy. In this role, Barai obtained firsthand experience in the many aspects of a corporate chain pharmacy environment, including managing pharmacy inventory, juggling individual orders, supervising technicians and providing such essential patient services as vaccinations. She followed up her tenure at CVS with work at two other pharmacies in the local area, roles that eventually led to her current position in the field of long-term care pharmacy.
Outside of her career, Barai is focused and devoted to her growing family, siblings and parents in the local community. She also volunteers her time with a number of nonprofit organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Salvation Army, and Women’s Rising, a local provider serving victims of domestic violence.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I would love to start a consulting company to help pharmacists achieve their professional goals. As a pharmacist, it can be very difficult to find your niche, given how diverse and different our roles can be and I believe assisting a pharmacist on that journey would definitely make a difference.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Right now my typical day consists of being a long-term pharmacist which I very much enjoy. I have been a long-term care pharmacist for the past 6 years and I do find it fulfilling. In my downtime, I enjoy networking with other pharmacists and working on my goal of eventually consulting other pharmacists while working full time.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I often get ideas when I least expect it and sometimes even when I’m in the middle of something. In order to make sure I don’t lose the thought I often send myself emails and texts so that I can go back to my idea later. There’s nothing more disheartening than having a great idea and not being able to come back to it. Before committing to an idea, I always do my research and due diligence.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that currently excites me is pharmacists branching out and creating their own roles. They are no longer settling for a job they no longer enjoy in the field of pharmacy. They are creating their own niches. Something that still involves their education but also fits their lifestyle and values.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
A habit that I think will make me more productive as an entrepreneur is making a schedule and setting aside specific times within the week to work on my goals.
What advice would you give your younger self?
One piece of advice I would give my younger self is to worry less. As hard as that is to do, I really wish I would have done that at the beginning of my career. If you work hard and stay true to yourself things will work out.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Perception is reality. If you have a mental impression of something, it will define how you see that something, regardless of the truth.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
One thing I tell myself to do over and over again is to not sweat the small stuff as much. It is much easier said than done but absolutely necessary in order to grow and develop. Of course, when starting something new you are bound to run into many different problems. Focusing on every single problem that will occur will just cause more stress in the long run. Always look at the bigger picture and focus on the end goal.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I think one strategy that will help me grow my business is having a growth mindset and being open to criticism. I think with a consulting business you have to realize that one size doesn’t fit all. You must be flexible, keep an open mind and be willing to work with your clients as much as you can. Of course, stay true to yourself, but flexibility is always key.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Since I am still in the process of building my business I am not there just yet, but I do think the best way to overcome failures in a business is to make sure you have a strong support network, not dwell on it and always make sure to disassociate the failure from yourself as a person. Don’t be afraid to fail! It’s not the failure that defines you but how you overcome it.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
This is a tough one. Though I do have several promising business ideas at the moment, I think I need to keep those close and not reveal them just yet.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best 100 dollars I spent recently was for a massage at a local spa. Being in front of a computer all day has really taken a toll on my back and going to the spa provided just much-needed relief.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
A software that I think will be helpful in the future is Consulting CRM software. I think it will be a great tool for managing interactions with potential clients. It streamlines communication with clients and speeds up response times as well.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Start With Why by Simon Sinek. This is a great book for future entrepreneurs as it really focuses on the importance of thinking inside out. It definitely forces you to rethink your messaging as a business owner. He believes having a successful business starts with your beliefs, core values, and your purpose. It definitely challenges the traditional way of thinking.
What is your favorite quote?
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
- Have a growth mindset and be flexible. Always be willing to learn and adapt to new things. Things are always changing and a growth mindset and willingness to be flexible are key to being successful.
- Do not be afraid to fail! Anyone who has ever failed at something has learned and grown from the experience.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Stay focused on the bigger picture despite any obstacles you might face.
- Stay true to yourself.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.