QUESTION 1: WHAT LEAD YOU DOWN THE PATH OF PURSUING PRIVATE PRACTICE?
Without realising, I think it was a natural progression for me. I guess I was comfortable working one on one with others from early on. I had experience working at Jenny Craig as a weight loss coach during my final 2 years of uni which played a large part in building that confidence and also had the opportunity of volunteering (& working part-time afterwards) in an admin role at a Dietitian private practice in Sydney, which was a great eye opener into the world of private practice for me.
I was also extremely lucky that I had supportive family members & a great mentor who encouraged & believed in me in the early phase!
QUESTION 2: DESCRIBE WHAT YOUR JOURNEY HAS BEEN LIKE GETTING TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW
I started off with volunteering which allowed me to get a feel of different roles.
At around the same time I also started shadowing other dietitians in private practice. I reached out to as many as I could even though it was difficult– I had to get over my fear of rejection!
I did plenty of research & preparation for setting up in P.P in terms of insurance, Medicare, HICAPs, practice software, medico-legal requirements & rental agreements etc;
I did ALOT of hustling! I started off by visiting GPs & endocrinologists in my area and focused on the Greek community (I can speak and write Greek fluently). I originally offered home visits as a mobile- dietitian. This allowed me to get myself known and assisted with building my practices up.
I said YES to every opportunity! I worked as a consultant at a Greek aged care facility (and continue to), and also worked as a community dietitian at Royal Rehab for 2 years. I also took on opportunities such as creating a menu for a disability home, conducted community talks alongside an Exercise Physiologist, Angelique Houridis from ABC Exercise Physiology.
I have always worn alot of different hats: as a dietitian, receptionist, marketer, accountant, cook, recipe developer etc!
Last year I decided I wanted to consolidate my work and create a ‘proper’ business & with the help of TAD, I was able to make that happen. They helped me work out what I was truly passionate about, develop my business plan & niche and also developed branding etc.
QUESTION 3: WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND YOUR BUSINESS NAME?
I wanted to capture what my business stood for (and I stood for) in a few meaningful words. It is a fad-free, holistic & evidence based approach that encompasses my love and experience with the Mediterranean diet, cooking & lifestyle.
QUESTION 4: WHAT 3 BUSINESS TOOLS OR RESOURCES COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT?
• Google calendar (because every day is different and it allows me to stay organised!)
• Google Drive (having a cloud based system works really well so that I can access my resources wherever I am)
• Health Kit (free practice management software and the templates are great time-savers for GP letters) and
• My Ipad (for doing work on the run!) – had to add that one in
QUESTION 5: IF THERE WAS ONE THING YOU COULD OUTSOURCE IN YOUR BUSINESS, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD THAT MEAN TO YOU?
I would outsource the admin at a few of the clinics that I work at! While I am lucky to have billings & bookings completed for me at 2 of the locations that I work at, I still have to do my own billings and bookings for 2 practices as well. I have gotten used to it but it would give me some extra time up my sleeve! I also have a love- hate relationship with social media. I find it difficult putting myself out there! I must say it has gotten easier though. So maybe I would outsource my social media marketing too!
QUESTION 6: WHO IS IN YOUR CHEER SQUAD CURRENTLY?
My husband, parents, sister, extended family & also my friends are super supportive & encouraging. And of course The Ambitious Dietitian- who have assisted me since last year in bringing Eat Live Mediterranean to life and helping me with business management, marketing & have been amazing mentors when I have been stuck or unsure of what to do.
QUESTION 7: DO YOU HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN? IF SO, HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT CREATING IT AND HOW DID YOU FIND THE PROCESS? IF NOT, WHAT’S STOPPING YOU FROM PLANNING OUT THE DIRECTION YOU WANT YOUR BUSINESS TO GO IN?
No, I didn’t have one and I would say that was why I was overwhelmed & confused about where my business was heading! Luckily Dan and Brianna helped me to address this from the get go and it was the first thing I tackled with their help.
QUESTION 8: DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS ON HOW TO ACHIEVE THE WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
Take everyday as it comes, break down larger projects into smaller tasks and make sure to always look after yourself so that you do have the energy for your clients and your business!