Tip of the Month

Welcome to the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Tip of the Month

Go Ahead-Make Mistakes!

You have heard all of the clichés about making mistakes. "If you don't make mistakes you aren't trying hard enough." "Mistakes are opportunities (or lessons, or whatever)." But let's face it. No one wants to make a mistake. You feel embarrassed, humiliated, and even stupid. Of course, the last thing you want to do when you are growing your business is to make a bad impression on the people you are trying to impress. Yet, there is truth in the wisdom about making mistakes. If you are not making mistakes every now and then, you probably are NOT taking enough risk.

I have learned some great lessons from my mistakes. About ten years ago I was playing flute for a wedding, and at one point the organist mixed up the order of music. I was mortified when I realized we were playing two entirely different songs. Although we eventually figured it out, for the rest of the service I was thinking about how I could apologize to the happy couple. It turns out, no apology was necessary. After the wedding, the family thanked us, thrilled with how everything turned out.

Lessons for me?

  1. Always triple check everything. Even if I am sure I am right, someone else (literally) may not be on the same page.
  2. When you make a mistake, most people don't even notice.
  3. And lightning won't strike just because I make a mistake.

Now certainly, I would rather that situation hadn't happened, but to be honest, I know I have applied for and received more speaking engagements because I was braver after that event! In fact, remembering that situation helps me maintain perspective when I get nervous before my talks. I still triple check details and make sure everything is in order. I scope out the room and facilities I am using to become comfortable with my surroundings. I make sure I can see a clock so I start and end on time. But, I also know that if I make a mistake, the audience will probably not notice, and even if they do, it isn't the end of the world.

What are you resisting doing because you are afraid of making a mistake? Are you dreaming of becoming an author? Do you want to give presentations to the public or health professionals? Are you curious about starting a blog? Can you envision going back to school for another degree? Do you aspire to open a private practice? Trust me, if you have a dream or desire, you can begin today! And don't worry about not being perfect. Mistakes are just as important to the journey as the triumphs! You CAN do it!

Tip of the Month: July 2013

Julie Beyer, MA, RDN, is the Editor for Ventures, the newsletter of the Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG. She is a registered dietitian nutritionist with an MA in Health and Risk Communications from Michigan State University. Julie is passionate about helping dietitians sharpen their communication skills. She has written three books about interstitial cystitis and diet, and her fourth book, You CAN Write a Book: The No-Nonsense Guide to Self-Publishing, guides the reader through the process of self-publishing. You can reach Julie on one of her websites: Interstitial Cystitis and You Can Write a Book

Show Me Value & Show Me Results

Do you know that your clients and customer's don't really care about your credentials, what you know and where you trained? What they really care about is WIFM- the real deal: the "What's in it for me" factor! Ultimately what your customers care about is what value you provide THEM and the benefits or results you bring to THEM.

This can be tough to digest-especially after the myriad of gut wrenching science courses, rigorous training and competitive internships we go through to obtain that R.D.N status. You mean we didn't need all that elite training? Actually we do. To be an elite dietitian we need to have elite training and even cross training into other disciplines- how else can we dig narrow and deep into our niches and get really good at what we do. Our training provides value to the client and makes us competitive. But credentials are not enough. At the same time, we need to be cognizant of our clients and their needs. Clients are at your doorstep because they want two things: 1. Value and 2. "show me the" results or the benefits you can offer.

Our mindset has to change from, "I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist therefore I am credentialed to help you." To "I am going to help you solve your problem by providing you with great value and I am going to provide you with the results and benefits you are asking for. That's just the hard reality of today when the paradigm has shifted from the health care provider being the keeper and dispenser of health information to now patient's having health information and advice at their fingertips. Our services are patient centered and now often patient driven. Your client is in the drivers seat and though I would suggest never to take the back seat, we certainly have to come to grips with sharing the wheel.

To be able to better steer our services into the fast lane, I suggest you think of yourself as "A Problem Solver." By doing so you are adding value to your services. Think about what problems you solve for your clients and what the benefits or results are to them (WIFM!). This will allow you to better sell the benefits and measure the results.

Here's a test: Finish the following sentence for your niche. Even do this a few times with different answers.

"I help people _____________________so they can_______________________ (Solve Problem Result/Benefit)"

Here are a list of the top 9 benefits most businesses offer... you may think of a few more.

  1. Save time
  2. Save Money
  3. Make Money
  4. Avoid Effort
  5. Find Success
  6. Be Pain Free
  7. Be safe & Secure
  8. Live & Love
  9. Increase happiness.

Notice that these benefits are measurable and if they are measurable you will be able to provide measurements of improvement. All about measurable results, no?

So my tip this month comes down to—Provide your clients with value and give them the results.

Tip of the Month: June 2013

Emma Fogt, MBA, MS, RDN, LDN
"light the fire within"
"empowered, energized, effective"
Past NE Chair 2013-14