Tip of the Month
Welcome to the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Tip of the Month
Yes – you read it right, by taking mini breaks throughout the day you can actually increase your productivity. Research and studies have suggested taking 10 minute breaks every one to two hours can refresh your brain and allow you to think more clearly, focus on the task at hand, and optimize your efficiency.
Tim Ferris, author of The Four Hour Work Week, also suggests taking breaks to minimize the wasted time spent on distractions. Our minds are only good for so long before they start to wander to other activities or we get side-tracked easily. Taking a break can recharge you and help you maintain focus. Here are some tips on how to give yourself permission to take a break:
1. Schedule tasks in one to two hour intervals.
2. Set a timer in your clock after one or two hours in order to stretch, go to the bathroom, fill up your water bottle, or momentarily detach yourself from the task at hand.
3. Turn off known distractions such as social media or email notifications.
4. Constant emails can be distracting. Set aside specific times to respond to emails so you do them in chunks versus as soon as they pop up.
5. Set aside specific times to respond to social media so you spend about 10 minutes in the AM and 10 minutes in the PM. This will save you loads of time during the day.
A break only needs to be five to ten minutes. Just that mini moment will create a new world of possibilities and release more creativity and productivity.
Gotta go. Time for my stretch!
Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN
Chair of Nutrition Entrepreneurs 2016-2017
"First comes thought; then organization of that thought into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination."
Napoleon Hill—Author of Think and Grow Rich
NE Authors and Writers Specialty Group Chair
You went to school for nutrition and if your education was anything like mine, it lacked constructive information about how to prepare the great foods we, as dietitians, are always recommending. A disservice? Absolutely! Because how are you supposed to effectively communicate to your patients and clients the proper way to cook these foods if you aren’t comfortable preparing them yourself? Is all hope lost? Of course not! That’s why I’m here, to challenge you to find your inner chef!
Yes, it’s inside you! Are you the next Bobby Flay or Julia Child? Perhaps not, but that’s ok, because it’s not about how many sauces or terrines you know how to make, it’s about the basic skills you need to know. Most chefs start at the bottom of the kitchen hierarchy, and they’ve learned a lot from being there. They learned the most important skills - how to use a knife properly, how to be organized, and how to honor food by cooking and seasoning it just right.
And for those of us who want more training in this area, these three skills are great ones to focus on first:
Chef Skill Worth Mastering: Using a Knife (the big one, aka Chef’s knife)
Intimidated by that big knife? It’s ok to be scared, but once you learn how to use a Chef’s knife, it will be your best friend in the kitchen. Google “how to use a chef’s knife” and you’ll find millions of videos on the best way to hold and use the knife. I like this one from The Kitchn. Then - practice, practice, practice.
Chef Skill Worth Mastering: Organization
If you aren’t organized in your kitchen, your recipes will fail. Preparation and “mis en place,” the fancy French phrase for “everything in its place,” will help you successfully execute recipes, without anxiety or anguish. My recommendation for organization is to always read recipes thoroughly before starting and prep as many ingredients ahead of time as possible.
Chef Skill Worth Mastering: How to Cook & Season Food
This is a big one and one that many people fear. The kitchen has become foreign territory, filled with appliances and devices that no one seems to know how to use. My advice? Start watching cooking videos and reading food publications. Then just get in the kitchen. What’s the worst that can happen? Your food doesn’t taste good? Well, so what. That’s what life is all about, learning and then applying what you’ve learned. The more you try, the better you’ll become!
Now, what are you waiting for? Get in your kitchen and find your inner chef!
Sara Haas RDN, LDN, Incoming Director of Awards and Networking
Powerful statement isn’t it?
When you think about it, the networks we form as entrepreneurs really shape our career success. The power to network successfully is certainly something every entrepreneur has inside of them because let’s face it, we rely on our own bread and butter to pay the bills.
Though I’m no pro, I will say the networks I’ve formed thus far in my career really helped to make the transition into full time self-employment that much easier.
Here are three key points I’ve picked up from past mentors coupled with lots of practice to really network like a pro!
- Know your audience (as much as you can).
- Do your research on an upcoming conference, trade show, etc. to see which potential clients or colleagues will be there you’d like to get to have the opportunity to get to know.
- Allow yourself the time to make a meaningful connection with at least 2 of the 5 names you came up with.
- Always say hello with a firm handshake.
- Set the tone by introducing yourself to strangers in the room with a firm handshake. No one wants their arm taken off, but showing you’re not timid is a great way to break the ice!
- Be genuine, be yourself.
- Be confident in who you are and what you’ve built in your business. Don’t under (or over) sell yourself, but rather develop a natural conversation with the other person.
- Try to pick up 1-2 non-business facts about the other person. Use this as a means to interact on a personal level when you send that follow up email saying how wonderful it was to meet them.
Sure, at the end of the day it’s our talent, passion and knowledge that will land us that client, but sometimes we all need that helping hand to get our foot in the door!
Elizabeth Ann Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, Incoming Mentor Program Coordinator
As a second career dietitian whose first career was in public relations, you’d think I’d find self-promotion easy. It’s not. It’s one thing to be an unbiased third party, it’s another thing when the business is YOU and you’re emotionally tied to it.
That said, once you’re used to it, self-promotion can actually be fun. Keep these following tips in mind:
1. Know your audience. Where does your audience seek services such as yours? What do they read? What is their collective personality or sense of humor? I recommend using humor sparingly unless you really know your audience (and they know you).
2. Don’t apologize. It bothers me when I see (often women) post things like, “Sorry for the self-promotion, but here’s a link to an article that quotes me about XYZ.” That’s the written equivalent of a child shuffling her shoes and not looking up to show pride in her perfect report card. Better to say, “I was so excited to be interviewed for this article on XYZ! Read what I have to say about it here: [link to article].”
3. Enlist a friend or former clients. As the saying goes, “advertising is what you say about yourself; PR is what your mom says about you.” If you have something exciting to share, such as appearing on a television program, see if your colleagues will send it out to their networks. Client testimonials and LinkedIn recommendations also work wonders.
The most important tip is to be genuine and true to yourself and your business. Be proud of the work that you do, and don’t be afraid to show and share it! Indeed, your excitement and energy will carry through even written communications. If you’re not inspired by your business, then who will be?
Elana Natker, MS, RD, Director of Awards and Networking