Happy Nutrition Month! Today we celebrate National RDN day by hearing from two RDNs and one RD2B entrepreneurs. We sent them nine questions to get to know them, their careers, and of course hear their advice for other RD2Bs! The Texas Student Dietetic Association loves our Texas RDNs and we admire all the hard work and love you put into the field!
1.What got you interested in the field of dietetics?
Dietetics was really the only field of study that made sense. I grew up an athlete – competitive gymnastics, varsity track, competitive and school cheer – and athletics is how I became interested in nutrition. Exercise and doing my best to navigate “healthy eating” (which fortunately evolved as I learned more, hah!) was what I grew to love from my formative years. It’s evolved over time. Now I love it because I love helping people. I love when they start to feel good about themselves and the life their living. Giving quality of life is the breath of the practice.
2.What/Who inspired you to venture out as a nutrition entrepreneur?
A few people inspired me to become an entrepreneur. First, Neva Cochran was one of my preceptors as an intern. She really opened my eyes to nutrition communications and the opportunities beyond clinical, management and food service. Second, my husband. He has really believed in me and helped to be the business brain behind my brand.Third, Angela Lemond of Lemond Nutrition and Adrien Paczosa of iLiveWell Nutrition Therapy both gave me confidence that I had both the experience and the motivation to branch out on my own.
3.How did you get your idea/concept for your brand?
My brand has really evolved over the last year, and what’s guided it is just trying to identify what my passion is among the enormous sea of opportunities. It started with wanting to build a private practice, which I did (Elevate Nutrition Consulting). That grew to wanting a way to disseminate credible nutrition information to the masses and have a stream of passive income, so I launched a side market concept (What the Kale). Since then I’ve learned that I really want to focus on my personal brand as Stacey Mattinson for more media opportunities and to launch information products that have a broader reach. I’m really excited for my new, updated website launching at the end of this week http://www.staceymattinson.com. What’s great about building my personal brand is that I can bring it with me if I have to move, it can continue to flourish as my family grows, and most importantly – I’ve finally found what I feel like my voice and niche are. My other ventures will still continue on for now, but with less time devoted to them.
4.What services do you offer as an entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur I wear many hats! I work with private clients and corporate clients (cooking demos, weight management programs, other health initiatives). I have an eCourse rolling out soon along with other free product offerings to help build habits for healthy eating. I develop content for my own site and for other organizations. I give group presentations. It’s busy and requires being a jack of all trades, hah! Always say yes, and figure out the details later.
5.Are you part of any DPGs?
I am part of the Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG and Weight Management DPG. I was previously part of the Behavioral Health Nutrition DPG but am not this year.
6.How do you advertise your business and why did you choose these platforms?
I’ve previously marketed my private practice (Elevate Nutrition Consulting) to local physicians. I’m spending less time doing that at this point. Now to focus on my personal brand I do more networking to market myself. I connecting with other professionals in the food and nutrition field and in journalism at events and via social media platforms. I participate in Twitter Chats specific to my interests. I am in a business coaching group and active in a number of relevant private dietitian Facebook groups. I attend major networking events like FNCE or the Everything Food Conference, where other influencers to connect. Your network is your net worth.
7.What do you attribute to your success?
I attribute my success to a lot of prayers, faith, support from my husband, and late nights. I’ve invested a lot of time and money into developing my practice and my brand. I’m really happy with the direction I’m moving. It’s been a winding road, but entrepreneurship is no straight line. When things aren’t working or you aren’t happy with your direction, pivot.
8.How would you describe your responsibilities as a business owner?
My responsibilities are… everything. I do all of the: marketing, business development, one-on-one consultations, chart notes, coordination of care with physicians, recipe development, food photography, social media, insurance claims, billing, blog content, group presentations, group presentation content development, development of nutrition education handouts and brochures, website development and upkeep, cash-flow management. The only thing I don’t do for myself is the accounting; I let my husband who’s a CPA keep up with my books! 🙂
9.Any advice for nutrition entrepreneur wanna-be’s?
My best advice is to follow your passion. If you feel like you’re dragging yourself to work or not providing as much value as you know you can, it’s time for a change. Recognize, too, it takes time to home in on what you want. What you learn you actually want might be different than what you thought you wanted when you first set out. That’s okay. Be patient with yourself just like you want your patients to be patient with their own changes.
Thank you Stacey Mattinson, MS, RDN, LD!