Taking the Leap of Faith: From Salaried Registered Dietitian to Starting A Private Nutritional Practice
Are you thinking about a move from your "comfy" salaried job to a more exciting, yet risky entrepreneurial venture? Whether you're in the nutrition space or not, Meal Garden Professional and RD Mosadi Brown has some heartfelt and valuable insights to help guide your path...
After 10 years as a Registered Dietitian that had worked in a salaried government job with a benefits package – I was itching for a change in my field and took a leap of faith into private practice.
It can be scary to start a business and for me it was. The element of the unknown – concerns regarding ways to get clients, where to start with launching my business, am I going to make enough money, anxiety and pressure on myself, and my brand to do the best that I can – always.
The way that I did it was by 1) Having a clear vision for what I want to do; 2) Do what I am passionate about; and 3) Have supportive people around you.
- Have a clear vision for what I want to do, then establish a set of goals and tasks that align with that vision. A clear vision for what I wanted helped to give me clarity and focus. I frequently refer back to my vision and vision statement which is to provide high quality registered dietitian services for my clients to enable my clients to improve their health status, clinical outcomes, and quality of life. I also don’t want to limit myself and have established multiple income streams in addition to my main brick and mortar clinic location such as a mobile clinic, skype clinic, group education, workplace wellness, and consultant for businesses – all activities that I enjoy! As for writing things down for clarity - I put pen to paper and captured my vision statement in a business plan. Initially writing my business plan was for submission for funding to cover start-up expenses. Since that time, I have found that my business plan continuously keeps me on track as I review my mission and vision statement as well as the goals, tasks, and marketing strategies that align with my overarching vision and mission.
- I do what I am passionate about first and foremost. When I do what I am passionate about – my clients get the best possible care from me because I am doing what I love and they can sense that. Doing what I am passionate about has also been that I create values-based services because I am putting enthusiasm, optimism, and attention to detail that is necessary to enable my clients to reach their nutrition and wellness goals, as well as for my clients to be happy with the services I provide to them. Passion is infectious and permeates as well as adds positivity and value to everything I do.
- It is important to have supportive people around me. People that want to see me succeed and that are in harmony with my vision. When I launched my practice – I created a site assessment and checklist tool for the clinics that I operate out of to help me decide where I was going to set up my practice permanently. Some of the items I had include: Do I have a regular referral source?; What is the clinic culture (are they friendly? Fulfilling my business needs? Fair and equitable? Do they support my career advancement?) as well as also looking at marketing and networking exposure. I apply the same approach to my business colleagues, to ensure that I am creating an uplifting experience to build my nutrition practice within – such as for networking, marketing, partnering, and referral opportunities.
The most important part of the process of starting my nutrition consulting business was to get past the wall of fear.
Do not be afraid to fail – if you do – then you won’t get very far.
To me, failure is not an option. Not that fear does not exist for me – at times it does. Rather it is about having the courage to pursue my dream job (which is running my own nutrition consulting business) in the face of fear instead of running from it. In this way I can stay focused on what I want to create, remain grounded, and live in an attitude of gratitude.
I have a general practice. I also have areas of focus that I am most passionate about that are:
- Metabolic disorders (weight management, diabetes, cardiovascular health) – certified diabetes educator ready to meet your needs in the areas of type 1 or 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, diabetes prevention, metabolic syndrome, dyslipidemia (cholesterol), high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease.
- Digestive Disorders – a healthy you starts with a healthy gut. Gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, inflammation.
- Functional Nutrition – food as medicine! I can help you piece together the nutrition puzzle to get you eating and feeling great, as well as to work with your body’s natural ability to heal itself. Food coupled with supplementation (herbal, neutraceutical, homeopathic) to address your health concerns.
- Emotional Eating – I work with you to modify your behaviour, motivate you, and to tackle the challenge of changing one’s relationship with food.
- Meal Planning – create an individualized action plan for menus, meals, recipes, and snacks.
The last area of focus brings me to my connection with Meal Garden! I love to cook as well as to create recipes, collate recipes, try out and modify existing recipes. I enjoy doing all of these things on Meal Garden as it is a medium that allows me to keep meals, snacks, and recipes all in one place. I can also overlap meal plans as well as copy and paste plans week to week for a seamless experience. Many of the meal plans are themed making for easy access to select them by health issue or type of diet. Additionally, I write a regular blog and can post my articles on there as another way to engage the public.
For my clients - meal planning can be time consuming when done manually.
Meal Garden is a great online platform that allows me to put together meal plans as well as to access meal plans much more quickly.
The nutrition information and shopping list are also a great compliment to the meal plan itself as it gives my clients sound nutrition information and also saves them time because the grocery list is done for them. Apart from what I recommend – clients can choose recipes and meal plans that suit their needs.