As an entrepreneur, volunteering is something that many view as non-productive time. When you have your own business, I know how crucial it is that you are productive and bringing in a profit so you can support your life outside of work. I think it is easy to be so focused on making money that you don’t take the time to give back. But when you look at the big picture, volunteering can often lead to money-making opportunities in the future.
Looking back on my career, almost every opportunity that presented itself stemmed from my involvement in professional organizations. As soon as I became an RD, I got involved in Academy leadership, which helped to expand my network and get my name out there. It allowed me opportunities to attend FNCE and work on committees with some of the most brilliant dietitians in the country. Getting involved takes time, but it is also so rewarding. You never know who you might meet that could become a potential client or lead to a new business venture. As entrepreneurs, volunteering should be an essential part of your business plan. If you are not already involved, step out and try something. I promise it will be worth it.