169: Business Chats [13 Business Lessons Learned in 3 Years of DSC]

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DSC turns 3 years old on April 8th 2024!  In this episode of The Dietitian Success Podcast, Krista chats about 13 of the biggest lessons learned in the last 3 years of business.  Links:  Episode Transcript: Welcome to the Dietitian...

DSC turns 3 years old on April 8th 2024! 

In this episode of The Dietitian Success Podcast, Krista chats about 13 of the biggest lessons learned in the last 3 years of business. 


Episode Transcript:

Welcome to the Dietitian Success Podcast. Here at Dietitian Success Center, we’re all about making it easier for you to build your confidence and expertise. So, whether you’re a dietitian or a dietetic student, we’ve got something for you. I’m Krista, your host and the founder of DSC. Now, are you ready to ditch the imposter syndrome and join our incredible, vibrant community?

If so, let’s jump in.

  Hey there and welcome to a new episode of the dietitian success podcast. Just as a reminder, you can now watch these new episodes on YouTube as YouTube videos. If you would prefer that format. Just pop on over to our YouTube channel. The link for that is in the description of this podcast episode. So we are about to celebrate three years of dietitian success center on April 8th, 2024. Really exciting.

I’ve been a business owner and entrepreneur in different formats. For different businesses longer than that. But I started DSC three years ago. And so that is the business anniversary that I celebrate. So I thought today it’d be fun to record an episode. With 13 business lessons that I’ve learned over the last three years. 13 only because there was a three in that number.

And as I was brainstorming for this episode, I wrote out a list. And it was just like a brain dump of all of those things, those lessons that are really top of mind, it was not hard. It took me probably. 30 seconds to generate this list because I feel like the lessons are always, so top of mind,

and so I generated this list happened to come up with 13 and we’re celebrating three years.

So I thought that this would be a great topic to talk about today. And another thing I want to mention too. Is something kind of fun that we’re trying out for the three-year anniversary is. We are going to be selling three.

Lifetime memberships. And they’re going to be on a first come first serve basis. Three nutrition members ships in three nutrition plus business membership. So I guess six in total. And so if you are on our email list, you’ll receive an email on Sunday. So April 8th is Monday or receive an email on Sunday with. With just some directions. But on Monday, basically Maria is going to send out an email.

Well, it’s already, prescheduled an email will go out at 9:00 AM Eastern and basically the first six people that respond back to her, we’ll get a checkout link for the lifetime membership.

So the way that the lifetime membership works is basically when you pay the one-time lifetime membership fee. So that fee is equivalent to two years of dietitian success center. Once you pay that one lifetime membership fee, you will get access to DSE for as long as DSE exists. So if you feel like you are going to be a DFC member for the next two years, at least then. It makes sense to get this membership because basically after those two years, DSE will be free for as long as DSE exists. And just so you know, if something happens over the next two years and we decide to close our doors. You would be. Refunded the prorated amount that is left on your membership.

So don’t worry. We are not planning on closing our doors in the next two years, but. Regardless. If you feel like you are going to be a DSC member for at least two years, then you definitely want to snag this membership. And again, it is first come first serve the first six people to respond back to Maria’s email at 9:00 AM.

Eastern time on Monday, April 8th. We’ll get the checkout link for the lifetime access membership. And so part of why we’re doing this as well is to try out what it looks like to offer a lifetime membership. I know a couple of other membership sites that offer this. And I’ve always been curious about it, whether it’s something that people are interested in or whether it just makes absolutely no sense.

And so. As I always say businesses, the science experiment. So this is one of those ways to kind of test this out on a smaller scale and not have it be such a like big. Thing have to offer it to everyone and just see what happens. That feels a little bit scary. So. Just offering on a small scale, we’re going to gauge interest, see how many people are interested and then, Hey, maybe we’ll. Make it a permanent offer.

You never know. You never know. So, not as what’s happening this next week, but let’s get into this episode. Before I get into this list of 13. I just want to say. An enormous, thank you to all of you who have participated in this journey in some way, whether you have. Being a DSC member, whether you are a DSC member, whether you take the time to listen to our content, whether that be these videos or the podcast or our Instagram content or whatever.

Thank you to those of you that have told your friends and your colleagues about DSC. And have shared about us in some way. Truly. We wouldn’t be here without. You

One of the things that’s become so clear to me over the last three years is how important dieticians are and how important. The work that we do is, and the role that we play in people’s lives and. We just do not get enough credit for that. I really believe that. And so. Your support in the work that we do, I think is helping us all amplify the profession.

And that’s really our objective here is we’re trying to amplify the profession, make it bigger and better. We’re such an incredible group of people of practitioners. I’ve always had this idea of if you want to get amazing work done, hire a dietitian because. Titian’s are smart, are hardworking.

Have an incredible attention to detail. And. I just think there’s just so much untapped potential in the profession. And so anyways, that’s what I want. I just want to say. Thank you for your support. Thank you for contributing to this bigger mission. Of wanting to grow the profession, amplify the profession. Just make us. Bigger better, louder prouder, because we all deserve that.

And Hey, the health of our world deserves that too. And so. Anyways, let’s get into this episode. So number one. Is that growing a business? Cannot be done in isolation. It cannot be done alone.

I know that there is zero chance I would have gotten to this point. without working with incredible dieticians. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart, employing dieticians. And contributing to the livelihoods of dieticians is something that I prioritize in this business. That is something that gives me. An enormous amount of joy. And fulfillment and I have been so lucky to have been connected with some incredible people that make up the dietitian success center team. And so the dietitian success center team is composed of the core team is myself.

Olivia, who is our content manager and Maria, who is our operations manager. And then we work with a number of dieticians in more of a contract project based capacity. But I just need to speak about these two amazing women for a second, because the business would not be what it is today without them period.

Full stop. Olivia is. Are brilliant content manager. She manages our nutrition. content on the site. And the way that she is able to interpret studies and translate that into materials that we can actually use as practitioners.

Like she is a superstar. If you look at our client handouts and you think, wow, these are amazing. They are so visual. There are plain language. They’re, user-friendly, they’re beautiful. That is Olivia I will try and make something in Canva and I’m pretty good in Canva. I have a decent \ eye for design. But

oftentimes I will try and do something in Canva and then I’ll be like, you know what? I just need to hand this over to Olivia because it will look 10 times better. So she is an absolute magician, the speed in which she is able to create incredible work I am. Just so in awe of her I’m so in awe of both her and Maria. So Maria, our operations manager. Maria has an eye for detail.

Like nobody else I have ever experienced. She is one of those people that will find a solution to every problem. Like Maria is one of those people that everyone wants on their team, because she is a problem solver through and through. And I always have so much confidence and reassurance in both of these women, knowing that like balls are not being dropped and like they are there and they are supportive.

And I think that’s the other thing too, from just a personal perspective is for me having taken time off from my business after my baby was born, the only way that I could have done that was through was with them and with their support. So that just wouldn’t have been possible. And so I am eternally grateful to them and I just want to recognize them because this business would not be what it is right now without them.

And so. Anyways, thank you to them. And thank you to also the incredible interns that have contributed to our business over the last three years as well. We love working with interns. We love working with students. That’s, a big part of what we do is mentorship and wanting to contribute to the profession in that way.

And so. We’ve had some incredible interns join our team as well. So thank you for that. But. To link this back to a lesson that I think applies to all entrepreneurs. Obviously you might be sitting there thinking, well, I’m not in a position to be able to hire people in my business. And, I think that the lesson here is actually that you are probably ready to hire somebody a lot sooner than you think. If you are sitting there in your business and you’re thinking, oh my gosh, I’m spinning my wheels.

I’m doing so much work. I am so burnt out. There’s so much work that needs to be done. Consider, what would it look like to bring somebody in for even just one hour, a week to help you with some of those administrative tasks so that you are able to spend that hour? Putting energy towards maybe. A new strategy, something that is a revenue generating activity.

I talked about this a little bit in last week’s podcast episode, so I’m not going to get into it in too much detail, but. I think that this idea of hiring in a step wise manner is something that has been a really key to our success over the last few years. So with both Maria and Olivia, their roles have started out small and they’ve grown as the business has grown.

And so that can be the approach that you take as well. Bringing someone into your business doesn’t have to mean hiring them immediately for part-time work or full-time work. It can be. An hour or two a week, whatever you feel comfortable with. And it doesn’t have to be permanent either. It can be something that you test out for a few months.

See how it goes. So that’s lesson number one is doing it alone is really hard. You can probably hire earlier than you think and hiring in a stepwise manner. Number two is set up a system to analyze what’s working so that you don’t waste your time. I have spent a lot of time on activities that have never generated any results for our business. And reason being, I thought that they were working and they weren’t actually working for us.

And so what the lesson is here is when you are. Adding new marketing strategies or marketing tactics to your business. Think about how am I going to measure the result of this. And this could be as simple as. Putting a question on your checkout form or on your booking page that asks people, Hey, how did you find out about me? To see how did people find out about you?

That can be one of the best ways, easy ways to assess whether your marketing is working. And if you’re putting 80% of your time into Instagram and 0% of your customers or your clients or your members, or whatever are finding you through Instagram, that’s a pretty good sign. That is maybe not working. But if 50% of people are saying, Hey, I found out about you through. This specific practitioner.

Hey, that could be an amazing signal to dial in on your practitioner connections, referral network. Really nurture that relationship for that person who is sending people to you, reach out to them, say, thank you so much. And so setting up a system, when you’re thinking about marketing, it’s also about exploring the marketing idea, but setting up a system to see what’s working so that you don’t waste your time in the longterm.

Number three is that you are impacting people, even if you don’t think that you are. Even if you think that you are speaking to no one, there are people out there that are being impacted or influenced by the work that you’re doing. I feel this all the time, even still. In the work that I do is like putting stuff out there into the world, whether it be a podcast or a video or Instagram content, whatever.

And having that feeling of hello is anyone there is anyone listing. But you know, I’m often reminded when somebody will reach out to me. So for example, when somebody will reach out to me and they’ll say, Hey, this was something that really resonated with me from this podcast episode that you posted or. When we have a member that joins DSC who, said, Hey, I first found out about you through this speaking engagement that you did for free for our class three years ago.

And it’s oh, wow. Okay. That thing that I thought had no impact over time. We can start to see the results of just getting out there and getting visible in front of people. So just a reminder, you are impacting people, even if you don’t feel like you are. So keep putting yourself out there. Keep getting visible, keep getting in front of people. Number four is most people still don’t know about you.

And I think, this is one of those things that is like both a humbling and also an inspiring lesson because. DSE is basically my world and I’m in it every single day. It makes me, it gives me this false perception that it’s like that way for other people. And that’s not the case.

I’m constantly reminded how many people have no idea. DSC exists. So that is on the one hand humbling. But then on the other hand, it’s also really inspiring because it helps to prevent me from getting stuck in this mindset of oh, are there really enough people out there to grow this business in the way that I wanted to grow? And it’s yeah, there are, there are still tens of thousands of dieticians out there that have no idea who we are.

If I can just access a small percentage of those people, I will be very happy. So anyways, Just a reminder that most people still don’t know about. You keep going back to the basics of who you are. Keep getting out there, keep getting visible. The more people that know about you, the more people that will know about you, it is just a ripple effect.

And so keep getting out there. Okay. Number five. I don’t know who needs to hear this, but a rebrand isn’t going to solve your problems. Ooh.

Ooh. Shots fired. I’m only saying this because I have had this belief myself in the past that, if a business idea isn’t working. That like a rebrand is going to solve whatever problem I’m having. And that just isn’t the case. It isn’t the case. Yes, a rebrand feels really good.

It feels awesome to have a new logo, a new website, new brand colors. That’s a really fun process. And I totally support going through that process. But I think we have to go through it with the right intention and the right. Idea about what the result will be and what the result will bring. And actually we are going through a rebrand right now.

We’re having a design company come up with a new logo for us, new design elements, et cetera. And, I am aware that is not going to necessarily impact the business from a more members’ perspective. Like we’re not going to be getting more members because we’ve rebranded. I Think our branding was great before, but it’s just a way to make sure that we’re staying current, we’re staying fresh or staying relevant.

And so that is the intent. That is the result of a rebrand. Number six is you don’t have to be on Instagram. I’m just going to leave that right there for a second.

Like I said a bazillion times in past episodes. There is no one right way to grow a business. There’s no one right way to market a business. And this kind of links back to what I was saying before, in terms of paying attention to what works. Instagram works really well for some businesses. It doesn’t work so well for other businesses and that’s okay.

Part of the journey is experimenting with it and seeing how it works for you. And by the way, if it doesn’t work in terms of actually bringing you patients or clients, but you still enjoy the process of creating content and, building out your online brand. That’s cool too. I think we just have to be really clear on what Instagram is doing for us and what it’s not doing for us, but. Also, if you don’t want to be on Instagram, you do not have to.

There are a bazillion and one other ways. To market your business. And so it’s just about exploring some of those other options, but I just want to put that out there for those people who don’t feel necessarily aligned with Instagram. Number seven. SEO takes time, but it’s not a waste of time.

And if you’ve been listening for a little while, you know that SEO, I would say right now, SEO that’s search engine optimization. So what that means is are you found when somebody searches for topics related to the work that you do in Google and SEO is a strategy that we’ve been working on a lot over the last couple of years in the business. We have really dialed in our keyword strategy if you’re not sure about SEO and this is all sounding a little bit too woe for you. We do have a training on search engine optimization, in the DSE nutrition plus business membership.

And it breaks it down really easy for you. But anyways, SEO is our number one referral right now. And that means it’s the number one way that we are bringing people into our business. It’s just them finding us organically on Google. It is free. So we’ve put $0 towards this, other than the labor involved in writing blog posts and optimizing our website for SEO, but it is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

It is a long-term marketing strategy, but once your SEO starts to work, it will continue to work for you and will continue to grow. It is like the best. Passive. Marketing. Tactic. Ever. So it is worth your time to invest time into SEO. Again, if you don’t know anything about this topic, we do have training on it in dietitian success center.

Number eight, your email list is one of the most important assets that you have. I am a firm believer in having an email list. growing your email list and sending emails regularly to your email list. So that’s important component.

Two is it’s not enough to just have an email list. We also have two. Send out emails. We also have to not ghost people. And trust me, I’ve been there before, back in my food blogging days. I used to go weeks, months without sending an email to my email list and then suddenly it would be like, oh, and you’d have to send out that awkward, hey, sorry, it’s been a while.

Email. Which doesn’t feel so good. And so one of the ways that we have. Figured out how to consistently email our email list is we have this template that we use. It’s the same template every single week. And it is a what’s new this week. Email. And in that what’s new this week email, we send out. Anything new the new podcast episode, any blog posts, new content that’s come out on the site.

We share discussion posts from the community forum. And by having that template, it means that we do not have to reinvent the wheel every single week. And we can send out an email to our email list every single week. And so for you at this doesn’t mean that you have to create new content every week to include in the email.

This could be just like, Hey, here’s a Roundup of all the interesting information that I’ve come across related to whatever your topic is each week. So, here’s a podcast I listened to, which was really great. It doesn’t have to be yours. You can just share somebody. Else’s just make sure that you’re giving credit to them. Here’s a recipe that I tried, which was fantastic.

Link back to the original recipe. Here is a, here’s an article I wrote here is a podcast episode that I was a guest on. So you don’t have to send out a big extensive newsletter every single week. It can just be something as simple as, Hey, here is my Roundup for the week. Number nine tech is overwhelming, but pick a platform and move on. The only way to know if something is right for you is to test it out. You are going to waste money, figuring out what works for you. And perfect example of this for me is. I have been on the quest for the right project management platform for us and our team for a while, we started on a sauna. We switched to monday.com.

We switched to click up. Now we are on air table and it’s really been a story of just trying to figure out, test out things, see what works, see what doesn’t work and not as a okay. As much as we can spend time analyzing different tech platforms. Without paying for them at some point, you’re just going to have to pay the price for the month of membership and see if it works for you.

Or if it doesn’t. Perfect example of this. I’m a part of a membership where within the community, there’s a lot of conversation around tech. And it’s really interesting to see the people who are continuing to post. Questions about which website platform that they should be using. And they’ve been doing that for the last six months.

And it’s like, when six months ago they could’ve just chosen one and they would be six months further ahead in their process, in their journey. And so just, I know it’s overwhelming, but at some point you just got to pick something for whatever tech platform you’ve been analyzing. Just pick something, move forward to experiment with it. You can always change in the future. Number 10 businesses, a science experiment.

There is no one size fits all. I think that’s pretty self-explanatory and I think I’ve talked about that quite a bit. As much as we all want that, like step-by-step approach. There’s a lot of nuance that comes with business and there are a bazillion different ways to run a successful business.

Each business is different. Each niche is different.

Each target audience is different. Each business owner is different. So we really have to come up with a personalized strategy. And that’s why testing and learning is so important. Number 11 is not everything needs to happen right now, be in it for the long game. I know that there’s often a pressure when it comes to, especially in those first year or two, a business, there’s that pressure of ah, I need to do everything right now or. Oh, I see, that person has started their email list or that person’s on SEO and they’re getting results.

Or that person has such a big Instagram following. I should be doing that. There’s so many of those should That this should feel really toxic and hard. And so, just remember that. You are in this for the long game. Not everything needs to happen right now. Yes, of course. We want to continue to experiment and strategize and try out new tactics and new strategies, but it doesn’t all need to happen right now, but definitely put a plan in place to make sure that you start to visit some of these things in the near future,

and sometimes that feels better to like actually have a calendar and say, okay, in April, That is going to be the month. When I launched my email list, you can set a goal around that, but it doesn’t all need to be done right now.

Number 12 is make business friends and don’t hold back with sharing. So for me, I would say one of my business lifelines over the last year or so has been the relationship that I’ve built with my friends, Stephanie and Kelsey. I have recorded we’ve recorded podcast episodes with them in the past. And we do a business retreat, an annual business retreat, where we talk about business.

We plan, we just talk about life. And we also use this app called Marco polo, where it is like a video chatting app and we chat back and forth together. Throughout the week and We don’t, there’s rarely a week goes by where we don’t connect and chat. And it’s such a safe space. And I think the lesson here is to find that safe space of other entrepreneurs who you feel like you can share with. Be vulnerable with talk about some of those challenges with, it’s just, we don’t need to do this alone.

It’s a lot harder when you’re, when you feel alone and you, especially as solo preneurs or people who work from home. Creating that community for yourself is really important. last but not least. Number 13 is stop following people that give you the comparison itis. Comparison itis, meaning that sick, heavy feeling that you get from seeing somebody else that is doing work, that you would love to be doing and thinking, oh, I’m just not as good as them, or I wish I was them or my business is not going to be what their business is.

We can be supportive of one another and we can, continue to have other practitioners in our life, in our world. Without comparing ourselves to them or without feeling that, that heaviness. So I know for me, if that comes up, then I will just protect my peace by. Muting that account still want to support, still want to follow. And I can still pop in every once in a while and support them and support their content.

But. Sometimes there’s seasons of life, where we just need to gently mute. And that’s okay. That’s okay. And I think the more time goes on, the easier it is to not compare yourself to other people. That’s been my own experience. I found at the beginning, because there’s such a big learning curve to go from like zero to one in your business. There’s a lot of ah, but look at this person, he, they’re doing amazing things.

I’ll never be there. And that’s really hard. And so particularly at the beginning, I think the longer you go in the business, the easier it is to just stay in your own lane. And not listen to that and not succumb to that. Comparisonitis okay. That is my 13 business lessons learned in three years of DSE.

I just want to finish off by. Again saying a huge thank you to you. And please reach out to me. I love to hear from you. Send me a DM on Instagram at Krista co dot. RD or at dietitian success center. I just want to chat. I want to see, I want to hear what you’re doing. I want to hear about the work that you’re doing.

I want to hear about how DSC has played a role, maybe in your work in your life. That means the world to me. And so thank you for your support. And here is two, 300 more years of dietitian success center. Have an awesome week and I will see you next Thursday.

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