When I first started in private practice, I felt very alone and scared. Can anyone else relate? My nutrition education really didn’t prepare me to be a business owner, and not only that, but I didn’t even know running a virtual private practice, freelance writing and blogging was a possibility as a dietitian!
I didn’t personally know anyone else who was doing the same thing I was trying to do, so for me, the early days of starting my business looked like doing lots of different random things, and seeing what stuck. As you can imagine, I learned a lot through failure! Which is a good way to learn, but really scary as a new business owner desperately trying to make a living!
When I joined a mastermind group, that’s when I stopped feeling so alone. If you haven’t heard of a mastermind group, it’s a kind of peer-to-peer mentoring group, where people get together to share, brainstorm, and get support. Mine is a group of fellow dietitians who get together to discuss challenging client and business situations.
Here’s some tips for mastering the mastermind group:
1. Reach out to dietitians you get along with personally. It makes it so much more fun if you can instill a little laughter into group, and makes it easier to open up. But make sure the group isn’t all chit chat. Leave time in the beginning or end to catch up on life before moving on to business.
2. Look for dietitians who are in a similar place in their practice. If you’re a new business owner, it doesn’t make sense to reach out to someone whose in been in practice for 15 years because that would be more like unpaid mentoring for them!
3. Come prepared with questions. I like to jot down questions in my planner on the week of our mastermind call so I remember what I’d like to discuss.
4. Keep each other accountable! Set aside time in your call to check in on goals, and see how your fellow masterminds are doing. Or, set up check-ins between calls if that’s needed to stay on track.
Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE, CLT