My name is Niki Strealy and I’m a marathon runner. I love the way marathons mirror the challenges of life, particularly for those of us in private practice.
Nine Marathon Training Tips for Private Practice Dietitians
1. Pace yourself. I constantly remind my clients life is a marathon, not a sprint. Be careful not to go out too fast or you will burn out quickly.
2. Take fuel breaks. I jokingly tell my family it’s time to “feed the dietitian”. We need to eat too! As we tell our clients, plan what you are going to eat, so you can make better choices.
3. Set tangible goals. My racing goal was to qualify for the Boston Marathon. (I missed it by 1.6 seconds!) Where do you want to be in three months? Twelve months? Five years?
4. Create a plan, but be flexible. During my last marathon, my only fuel fell out of my pocket in the first mile. I had to change my fueling plan in the middle of the race. Start with a business plan, then roll with it!
5. Be confident and positive. During a race, another runner asked how I was feeling. I told her I was tired and hurting. She said, “No, you feel awesome!” Now I always tell myself I feel “awesome” no matter how I’m really feeling. Your own confidence and positivity will make a powerful impact on your clients.
6. Get the right gear. When running, proper shoes and clothing are important. In business, you need a good computer, software, phone, fax, and charting system.
7. Use your support squad. Enlist the support of family, friends, and other NE members (join the EML today!). Find a mentor, mastermind group, attorney, bookkeeper, and accountant. Surround yourself with people who will cheer you on.
8. No pain no gain. If running were easy, everyone would do it. Same with private practice. The effort you put in now will pay off in the long run.
9. Savor the victory. Having your own business is a lot of work, but the rewards are worth it! Share your success with those who have supported you.
Tip of the Month: September 2014
Niki Strealy, RDN, LD