Taking the Leap of Faith
Private practice. Never did I think these two words would be associated with me.
“It all happened so fast”…my famous last words. I recently took the leap of faith to branch off as a private practice dietitian. Leading up until this time, I was seeing clients outside of the hospital setting referred to me through church, the gym, and word of mouth. I felt as though I was gaining momentum with opportunities popping up left and right. It was with heavy prayer and family/friend discussions that I made the decision to leave my salaried position with beautiful benefits.
Those 6 days happened to fall over Labor Day weekend, where I was on an adventurous road trip with my sister, her husband, their 2 year old and 7 month old. Needless to say there wasn’t exactly any quiet time to sit and reflect on the biggest career-decision of my life. Thankfully, they are small business owners themselves and had a world of input to help me sort through my thoughts. I am grateful to them for encouraging me to figgin’ go for it (fig pun) and helped to organize my first steps.
Speaking of first steps, they went a little something like this:
1. I researched. A lot.
I watched every webinar on the topic. I read every blog dedicated to emerging nutrition entrepreneurs. I added every helpful site to my bookmarks bar on my laptop so I didn’t forget where to find the good info. The sites I’m currently obsessed with go a little something like this:
· Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG group (NEdpg.org) which is categorized into authors & writers, coaches, corporate wellness, private practice, second career dietitians, speakers & media, and technology & social media
· Yahoo Groups NEdpg electronic mailing list
· Telehealth page on EatRightPro (http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/practice/practice-resources/telehealth)
· Today’s Dietitian archives page to read all the past articles on building a private practice
2. I built a list of necessities:
· Business Plan
· Market Analysis
· Electronic Health Record (EHR)
· New logo
· New website
· Referrals through various websites
· New Business cards
· Customized Newsletters
· Mail Chimp
3. I organized each component by priority and created a timeline. I started with contacting a graphic designer (through my sister and church) for a logo revamp, had a tutorial for the EHR’s I’m interested in (basically all of them), ordered new business cards to pass out in the interim, and got started on my business plan and market analysis.
4. I jumped on board with Dietitian’s Central to give a live webinar (worth 1 CEU!) on the emerging trends in dietetics practice. Specifically, technology and telehealth! Register here for November 1!
Stay tuned for my upcoming blog in one week on the immediate misconceptions of private practice owners!
Do I think it will be easy? KALE no. I know it’s probably going to require ramen noodle dinners and no pedicures for a while. Will it be worth it? Absolutely! If a private practice has been on your mind, follow me on my journey. The journey contains roadblocks while the destination is filled with uncontrollable appreciation for the journey.
Drum roll please….my shiny new logo!
Stay fly, dietitians!