Creating a clinical nutrition practice is so exciting. It’s thrilling to study a subject you love and then share that information with people who need your help.
But sometimes, the reality of balancing nutrition with business becomes overwhelming.
Have you found yourself in this situation?
Have you felt like owning a clinical nutrition practice is not what you thought it would be?
I get it. I’ve felt that way, too.
I started my practice when my almost 11-year-old son was a baby. From the beginning of my practice, I was concerned about work-life balance as well as earning a living. And I loved my job—I routinely saw individuals and families in all stages of their family-building journey.
But I quickly realized that I wouldn’t be able to sustain my clinical nutrition practice without a solid support system.
So, I created what I needed.
I continued to research conception, fertility, and postpartum nutrition. But I also sought out resources to help me hone my business skills, like time management and finances. And I put an incredible amount of energy into building a strong community network.
And you know what? Those efforts paid off.
After just a short time of focusing on a healthy split between nutrition and business, I got the hang of it. And my practice became fulfilling and enjoyable to work in versus a major source of stress.
Keep reading to learn my top five tips for building a sustainable and fulfilling clinical nutrition practice.
1. Trust Yourself
Trusting in your power and knowledge is different from believing in yourself. Believing in yourself is lovely. Trusting in your capability and what you know is concrete.
You have studied and worked incredibly hard to get where you are. You are learning as much as you can to run a health practice. And these efforts deserve some weight to be placed on them. This process isn’t easy, and you’re doing it!
So trust in what you’ve done and what you know. Yes, you will keep learning along the way. But, for now, rest in what you’ve accomplished so far.
A practical way to build this trust is by taking time each Friday to reflect on your week. What have you accomplished? What have you achieved? Take careful note.
2. Split Your Time Wisely
When creating a clinical nutrition practice, you will have to manage your time between nutrition and business.
So split your time wisely.
I recommend creating two calendars, one for nutrition-focused tasks and one for business-focused tasks.
How do you organize your time during the week or month? Ideally, about half your time will be spent on nutrition and half on business.
Without this even split, one or the other part of your clinical nutrition practice will probably suffer.
3. Pay Attention to Your Money
The last thing most of us want to do is balance our checkbook. But intimate knowledge of your finances is just as important as intricate knowledge of probiotic strain specificity in colic…that is, really important.
So pay attention to your money: how much is coming in? How much is going out?
This simple equation is the foundation of all bookkeeping, and it can indeed be this simple in the beginning. If you are averse to learning a software program such as Quickbooks or Wave, then simply track your income (the money coming in) and expenses (the money going out). Formally, this is called a profit and loss statement.
4. Build Connections
The backbone of my practice’s success is the connections I’ve built with other practitioners and professionals. And I believe network building to be a critical component of any clinical nutrition practice.
The key here is connection. We now have many wonderful ways to connect—social media, blog sharing, and virtual meetings. But don’t forget opportunities such as getting coffee with a colleague, attending conferences, and teaching in-person classes. And yes, we can even meet our Instagram friends in real life!
Why do social connections help you forge a strong, lasting clinical nutrition practice? Because humans still have the evolutionary urge to work together. It’s in our DNA. We want to help each other survive and thrive.
Think about how good it feels to promote a class you love created by a nutritionist you respect. It feels great, right?
So work on forming bonds and creating a community. It will support your clinical knowledge, your business, and your heart.
5. Spread the Word
Finally, you have to tell people about what you’re doing. You love this work, you know your stuff, and now it’s time to let your audience know.
Marketing is touchy—it might bring up insecurities, fear, and imposter syndrome.
Communicating something vulnerable, like a clinical nutrition practice that you’ve poured all your time and energy into, can feel overwhelming.
But I urge you to remember your “why.”
Why did you study so hard? Why have you devoted yourself to this field?
My guess is that you have a passion for helping others heal and live extraordinary, joyful lives. The more you market your services, the more you get to accomplish that goal.
How I help my clients create sustainable (and fulfilling!) clinical nutrition practices
I have such a deep belief in these foundations that I’ve modeled my business and my offerings on them.
Starting on May 1st, 2022, my three family-building courses, Feed Your Fertile Body!™, Feed Your Pregnant Body!™, and Feed Your Growing Family!™, are only available in conjunction with built-in business and clinical support.
I’ve incorporated these courses into membership programs—the Build Membership, Nurture Membership, and Restore Membership—that offer varying levels of business mentoring, a twice-monthly case-study community, and even quarterly one-to-one calls.
Because after seeing the difference between colleagues who receive mentoring and business support and those who don’t, I genuinely believe that our success and happiness as nutritionists depend on a balance of business and clinical skills, a reciprocal community, and becoming accomplished as nutritionists and business owners. This equilibrium is mandatory for the health of ourselves, our families, and our field.
Please visit my homepage if you’d like to learn more about my memberships. I’d love to share my vision with you, so feel free to leave a comment below with any questions!