Balanced Bites Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe

Podcast Episode #275: Growing a Business Without Losing Your Mind

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1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [4:25]
2. Shout out: Chris Masterjohn [11:42]
3. Growing or starting a business: where to begin [15:48]
4. Transitioning from blog to business [27:02]
5. Beginner challenges and time management [31:49]
6. Determining your product [40:28]
7. Building your client base [47:30]
8. Finding your niche [52:20]
9. Balancing a full time job with a side business [1:00:45]
10. Suffering from imposter syndrome [1:03:46]
11. What I'm digging: holiday edition: [1:08:15]

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You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 275.


Diane Sanfilippo: Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Diane; a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo and The 21-Day Sugar Detox. I live in San Francisco with my husband and fur kids. I love talking shop so much that a 10-minute chat with a fellow entrepreneur friend this morning turned into a full blown 90-minute conversation.

Liz Wolfe: I’m Liz; a nutritional therapy practitioner, and author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller Eat the Yolks; The Purely Primal Skincare Guide; and the online program Baby Making and Beyond. I live on a farm in the mystical land of the Midwest, outside of Kansas City, and I was not that friend.

We are the co-creators of the Balanced Bites Master Class, and we’ve been bringing you this award winning podcast for 5 years and counting. We’re here to share our take on modern paleo living, answer your questions, and chat with leading health and wellness experts. Enjoy this week’s episode, and submit your questions at

Before we get started, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants (including me; I’m an NTP), emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared nutrient dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal. Nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants learn a wide range of tools and techniques to assess and correct nutritional imbalances. To learn lots more about the nutritional therapy program, go to There are workshop venues in the US, Canada, and Australia, so chances are you’ll be able to find a venue that works for you.

Liz Wolfe: Hey everyone. It’s me, Liz, here with Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh hey.

Liz Wolfe: Hi friend! Why was I not included in this 90-minute conversation today? Probably because I can’t do anything for 90 minutes anymore.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} It was with our awesome friend, Sarah Servold. We were texting, and I said; “Oh, do you have 10 minutes to chat?” And then I sat down and I looked at my phone, and I said; I need to go record a podcast now {laughs}. Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: I wouldn’t have even been mad if you’d been like; “I’m talking to Sarah, can you figure out a way to do this on your trips to the bathroom, whenever you have 5 minutes we’ll patch it together.” The one person in the entire world that I’d be like; yes, absolutely.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know.

Liz Wolfe: That would be Sarah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love her so much. Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Best. #Best.

Diane Sanfilippo: So it was really nice to catch up; personally and professionally and just talk shop. I love it, which was so pertinent to today’s show. But anyway, I digress. {laughs} Did you like…

Liz Wolfe: So what are your updates for today?

Diane Sanfilippo: I was just going to say, did you like the timing of me saying, “hey” in response to your “Hey” because I feel like each week you think I’m on delay.

Liz Wolfe: No.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m just waiting.

Liz Wolfe: I still think it takes you too long.

Diane Sanfilippo: Do you want me to try and say hey over you, or with you?

Liz Wolfe: No let’s do a test, real quick. As fast as you possibly can; it’s going to be like Marco Polo.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Liz Wolfe: Not, “Marco…. Polo.”

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: It’s going to be like Marco Polo. Ready?

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Liz Wolfe: Ready; Hey.

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey.

Liz Wolfe: No! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: What? I think you're just hearing it on delay!

Liz Wolfe: It’s so delayed!

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s not delayed.

Liz Wolfe: Let’s make it like whack a mole for interpersonal greetings.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh my gosh.

Liz Wolfe: Like, when my greeting pops up, you’ve got to hit it, like immediately. Ok ready? Hey.

Diane Sanfilippo: HEY! {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: I give up. {laughs} It’s not the length of time it takes you to say it; it’s the length of time before you say it. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m just trying to be patient and let you say what you’re going to say, and then say what I’m going to say.

Liz Wolfe: Alight, fair enough.

Diane Sanfilippo: Whatever.

Liz Wolfe: If this is my lot, I suppose I can carry this burden.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Maybe I’ll just get into some updates without you asking, because if I allow you to ask me, I might wait too long before I go into them. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Go.

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [4:25]

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, so I’m going to start with a personal update since I feel like the past several weeks, months-ish have been super business-y, and I’m going to talk about something more personal. It’s not really that personal, but anyway. People have been asking, and I’ve been talking a little bit over on Snapchat and different social media places about a new training program that I’ve been doing. I have not been working out with my personal trainer for the last couple of months; basically since the tour. I just kind of wanted a change of pace, and I haven’t been crossfitting for a long time. You and I have talked about that a bunch on the show; just because, I don’t know, a lot of reasons. I don’t’ feel like going to classes, and I just kind of do my own thing these days.

But I have a new program I’ve been following, and I’m really loving it, and I’m hoping to see some results. My next DEXA scan; which I think I talked about this on either the last or one of the previous episodes, just to see some positive change so I can confidently recommend the program, because I think the fact that I’m enjoying it is fine, but I want to see if there’s some positive change in terms of either gaining some muscle mass or losing some body fat. I’m not looking for any major changes, but just something. And to me, actually, if I don’t see a change I’m not going to discount it as not be effective, because for me I feel really good and I’m enjoying it, and that is effective. And it’s only been about 4 to 5 weeks. So we’ll see how it’s going, and then I’ll let folks know what it is after I see some results. So there’s that. But it’s all lifting; there’s no cardio involved, which is basically my favorite thing ever, not doing cardio. So that’s it on the personal front for the moment.

Master Class enrollment; this episode is airing on Thursday, December 22nd, the first day that it airs. So on Monday following this episode, and also the day after Christmas, enrollment officially opens. AHHH! I cannot believe it {laughs}. I feel like this has been a baby you and I have collectively been pregnant with together for, what; two years? More?

Liz Wolfe: Like that Danny Devito/Arnold Schwarzenegger movie? Are they both pregnant in that movie or am I ….

Diane Sanfilippo: Danny Devito, I love your work! What? {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I love your work.

Diane Sanfilippo: Twins? No, it’s not that movie. I don’t know what movie it is, but anyway. Enrollment is officially going to open. We’ve got a Facebook interest group for anyone who has more questions beyond what’s being answered on the info page. The info page is That’s where you can read all about it. FAQs are on there; pricing, all kinds of details. It’s all there, but I’m sure people will have more questions or something nuanced that we haven’t answered. Or if you’re just trying to figure out if it’s right for you definitely, in Facebook, just search for Balanced Bites Master Class interest group; or if you search Balanced Bites Master Class it should pop up. It says interest group right in the title of it, so if you request to join that we’ll add you to it and answer questions right there. So I think that will be a great way for people to figure things out.

And then as a reminder, we do have gifting options. So again, by the time this airs, it might be a little bit late in terms of Christmas kind of being past, but if you want to see those options, or maybe you’ve got a birthday early in the year, or someone just wants to give you a gift. is where someone can get the information on gift certificates and things like that. But it’s all linked through the main site, anyway. So there’s that.

Super quick reminder about Facebook live. I’m shifting those to Wednesdays at 4 p.m. it’s the same time, just a new day, so if you’ve been joining me for Facebook live, I’m just shifting it one day up in the week. And we talked about goal setting and resolutions last week on the podcast. The PDF that my team and I have been working on is now available, as of the day that this episode airs. So you guys can check that out. You can check it out in the episode link and there may be a separate blog post for it, as well, but that will tie in nicely with episode 274 on resolutions and a little bit about what we’re talking about today in terms of some business stuff.

And then the very last update that I have is of the spice blends. If they are not already available for purchase, within the next probably week or two, you guys will probably be over to buy them over at, and I’ll make sure that they’re linked all up through my website; and you’ll hear about it everywhere. So there’s that. My list of updates was really long this week. {laughs} so I’m curious what your updates are. I always feel like I have a monopoly on update time. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. I wish people could see this document that we share.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: Because it’s like, all your bullet points and then I just have one empty bullet point. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s because somebody else writes them for me.

Liz Wolfe: Ugh.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s why. Don’t forget; I have help. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Well.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t think I would have any updates on there if it weren’t for that.

Liz Wolfe: Well I should just maybe keep a running list during the week. I don’t know; I got to take a little step out and have acupuncture today; Japanese acupuncture, which I have no idea if it did anything for me or not, but I enjoy. It’s just one of those moments where I’m forced to be quiet, put my phone down, sit in a dark room with heater on my feet and just try and unwind some things a little bit. So I did that. Got a nice little chiropractic adjustment; literally don’t think I need either one of those things, but it certainly gives me a moment to see people I like and relax for a second.

And then went and grabbed my microphone, and my computer, and came back home, and jumped on the podcast. I am currently wrapping up; I’ve just been stinking at live lately. I literally thought it was a week; I thought, the world is a week ahead of me. Date-wise, scheduling-wise; I just, for the last two weeks I’ve thought that it was December 2nd, and it’s just; I mean, you can’t lose a week like this, and I feel like I basically lost a week. So I’m wrapping up a group that I did with Kristine Rudolph that I did on Facebook; like a temporary group helping folks out with skin stuff and getting some recommendations out to people. Wrapping up some stuff with Baby Making and Beyond; not the program, just some work on one small component of the program. And looking at some interesting research around pregnancy nausea and potential remedies; like, actual, scientific reviews that Meg has sent my way; Meg the midwife. So, there’s just a lot of tension in my life. A lot of things are just kind of vibrating around my head, and none of them are really worth updating about.

Diane Sanfilippo: Fair enough.

Liz Wolfe: That’s my updates. I don’t think that would have fit into one bullet point.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} That’s fair. That’s a good update.

2. Shout out: Chris Masterjohn [11:42]

Liz Wolfe: Cool. Yeah, yeah. So I think we’ve got a pretty cool shout out today.

Diane Sanfilippo: We do. Chris Masterjohn, who we talk about a lot on this show, because we love the work he does and are always grateful for the work that he does so we can then share with you guys, and sometimes translate further. But I actually had a chat with Chris several months ago regarding some business and marketing concepts; which is totally pertinent, again, for today’s episode. But I remember talking with him about how he seems to have a very wide audience base, where he’s got folks who are like us, Liz; who, you know, we can understand a good amount of the science that he shares. Then there are folks who understand even more of the science that he shares. And then there are folks who may not understand as much as we would understand, kind of folks who are just dabbling in this stuff and curious about the practical application, maybe not curious as much about some of the deeper science.

Anyway, so there are maybe three different audiences that he’s really speaking to. I remember saying to him, I think either focusing on who you think you can best serve, or finding a way to communicate to each of them, a little bit separately around the content that you’re sharing. So, recently Chris released a really huge resource on vitamin K2; which you and I have talked about a bunch on the show before. It’s a fat soluble vitamin that is critical to so many functions in the body, and something that’s super important in the way that calcium is used and just something that’s totally misunderstood, and he’s demystifying it. He’s talking about who you're probably not getting enough, and it’s not getting the attention it deserves as a vitamin. So he created a resource that teaches everything you need to know about it, including the benefits, how much you need, how to get it from food, lots of sharable infographics to make it fun and easy to understand. It provides reviews of supplementation and a database of vitamin K2 containing foods.

And if you’re a beginning, you can read the article straight through or pick the parts that are most interesting or useful to you; and if you’re an advanced user and you already know a lot about it or have a strong science background, you can click on these buttons he has that say, “Click here for a more details explanation” and it will expand upon things. So it’s really interesting, and I’m excited for him on the side of, as a researcher who is getting the information out; but I’m also excited for him on the side of, marketing which a lot of people don’t understand. They think that marketing is just sales or pushing people to do things or convincing people or what have you. But what marketing really is is communicating. It’s effectively communicating a solution or an answer to a person who has a problem or a question. So that’s what he’s doing with this resource. So I’m excited about it as a practitioner, and as somebody who is interested in learning about it; but I’m also excited about it as somebody who was talking to him and coaching him a little bit. Not exclusively; he’s got other stuff that he’s learning from in terms of all of that as well, so I’m not taking all the credit there. But I think it’s great for him to create a resource that way, so that it does answer the questions for a very broad audience and differently within it. So there’s that. So you guys can check that out; we’ll link to it from the show notes.; and it’s his Ultimate Vitamin K2 Resource.

Liz Wolfe: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Vital Choice Seafood and Organics, where a healthy diet is a vital choice. Purveyors of wild fish, shellfish, grass-fed beef and bison; Vital Choice offers premium quality, sustainably sourced foods that are wildly delicious and delivered to your door. With minimal prep from freezer to table, it’s easy to get delicious protein like wild Alaskan salmon (my favorite) and Wagyu beef into your paleo menu rotation. Vital Choice also has a wide array of ready to eat canned seafood along with satisfying snacks like organic dark chocolates, super antioxidant trail mix, and bison jerky. Celebrate the holidays, and your health, with premium seafood and organics from

3. Growing or starting a business: where to begin [15:48]

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, so today we’re going to be talking about growing or starting a business without losing your mind in the process. Maybe that’s a broad stroke. But I posted on Instagram recently, and received a ton of great… I posted on Instagram recently, and received a ton of great questions, so we’ll spend some time right now going over these and sharing from our own personal experiences over the years.

Liz Wolfe: You know what I just realized, before I ask you a question to open up this discussion? When you were talking about what marketing is, and kind of summing it up to effective communication; I think that was a light bulb moment for me. Because, as we will probably talk about a little bit in the course of this episode, I have no business having the platform that I have at this point from an organizational standpoint or from a resources standpoint, or anything like that. But I think my strength is certainly in my ability to communicate as a writer first. So, that was actually a really cool realization that if you are able to effectively communicate, that being maybe the primary focus, you can then find ways to disseminate your message. Right?

Diane Sanfilippo: Correct.

Liz Wolfe: Cool!

Diane Sanfilippo: I feel like a parent who has just watched you figure out {laughs} something. I’m like; yes, I realize that this is why you’re good at what you do and why something you might share with people might inspire them to purchase something. But a lot of people don’t realize how that works. And people don’t realize that every single day when your friend might ask you; “What’s that you’re wearing?” When you answer them, that’s marketing.

Liz Wolfe: Wow.

Diane Sanfilippo: Literally; they have a problem, they have a question, and you’re answering it. And that’s all we’re doing every single day with our work.

Liz Wolfe: So my liberal arts degree was not a waste of time!

Diane Sanfilippo: Absolutely not.

Liz Wolfe: Amazing. Thank you for that. Alright, so I guess the primary question is; where do you start? Brooke from Instagram said, “It sometimes feels overwhelming to think of being on top of doing blogs, and Facebook, and Instagram, on top of working with clients, but it seems like those things are necessary to grow your business.”

Diane Sanfilippo: Ooh. So, before we get into answering each of these, I just want to remind all of you that if you haven’t tuned into Build a Badass Business, I’ve got about 54, I think, episodes all taking about business and marketing and starting a business and growing a business and a couple of interviews and all that stuff. So the same way you listen to this show, you can listen to Build a Badass Business. It’s totally free. We’ll link to a handful of relevant episodes for each of these questions, because I’ve talked about this stuff a lot. But we’re going to get into it on this episode, as well.

So, where do you start? Here’s the thing that I’ve been saying now for probably at least 2 years, and I’m going to keep saying it {laughs} and I’m going to keep saying it and keep saying it until people finally get that I mean it and that it’s true. You start not on the internet. You start working with people in real life. You start by connecting in your community, and having real people who know you pay you for the work that you’re trying to do.

So, she’s talking about blogging, and Facebook, and Instagram; all of that on top of working with clients, and it feels like that’s necessary to grow your business. So here’s what really necessary; to start out, you do need some kind of basic website. That’s part of the digital age. I don’t think that anybody; unless you're working with exclusively an older population who perhaps isn’t finding you on the internet; which, even still, most of them are or somebody who might be finding someone to help them is looking on the internet. Even if you’re working with children, their parents are looking on the internet. They might meet you in person, but people do want to use a website as sort of your pamphlet, brochure, business card, proving ground, etc.

Your website doesn’t need to be bells and whistles and crazy and a million photos and all of that. And it doesn’t even need to be a blog to start out. Your website needs to be what I would call online brochure-ware. It needs to have a home page, an about you page with maybe your story and your credentials. It needs to have a bit about your services, your education, maybe testimonials if you have worked with people before, and a way to contact you. And that’s it. It doesn’t need to be more than that. And I think everybody kinds of gets themselves stuck in this paralyzed state of, “I have to do everything all the time.”

And the truth is; Liz and I, when we first started our businesses, when we first started our blogs, Facebook was barely a thing. We would post something on Facebook, and in some ways we were lucky because there was a time when everybody who followed your page; all 200 of those people would see what you posted, and now it’s not like that. But the way that I see social media, is as an extension of what you’re doing. And in the long-term, perhaps you’ll be able to get clients via the internet, and that’s fine. And having a presence on Facebook and Instagram; having a presence there isn’t the same as thinking of it as a place and a way to build and grow a business.

I will say this until I’m blue in the face; everyone that I know who kind of has, I don’t know, a big name or a big following online, or bestselling books, and a deep connection with their followers; everyone or almost everyone. Maybe 90% of those folks that I follow; I follow Robb Wolf on whatever, Facebook or wherever; Chalene Johnson; different avenues of business, too, not just health and fitness and all of that. But those people have had live events, and have been in a room with thousands of people. Maybe not thousands at a time, but over the course of time, thousands of people. Liz, you and I; we taught seminars together for a couple of years. I have been live and in person with people for more than 5 years, and have toured every single year that I’ve had books out. Because even if I’m not teaching a seminar or doing something that’s a little bit more in depth; to me, getting face to face with people and having that connection is the most meaningful part of all of this.

So, the internet is just an extension of that. For us, the podcast has been a little bit more of an intimate connection with people when we can’t be in person, because you guys are listening to us every week. Same thing happens with me listening to podcasts; I feel like these people are with me every week. But I want you guys; because I know. I am picturing the hundreds or thousands new nutrition practitioners who are kind of pushed out into the world each year, birthed by these different nutrition programs, and I know you guys are like baby birds standing there, thinking, “now what?” Like, how do I fly? And I think if you look at the entire internet as the ground for you to try and grow on, I just think that that’s overwhelming for unnecessary reasons, and you need to just kind of bring it back home, and remember you’ve got people literally all around you who need your help, and that’s where you start, and that’s where you will build a ton of confidence, as well.

I know, Liz, you used to teach seminars in your gym; and that just creates a different feeling, doesn’t it? Can you imagine if we started out just thinking, “well I’m just here, sending this message into the chasm, and hoping that somebody hears it,” versus getting into that room with people, and having the conversations face to face. It’s like, a totally different experience.

Liz Wolfe: You said chasm.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I did.

Liz Wolfe: That’s what it feels like.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s what I think the internet is. It’s like; it’s literally like standing at the ends of the Grand Canyon, and be like, “Alright, I’m going to write a blog post. I’m going to throw it right out into there. Hopefully there’s someone in there, listening, or reading.”

Liz Wolfe: So sometimes I feel like the internet; so, folks feel like they’re reaching people via the internet; that that is how they accumulate an audience. But I think you really do, like you have been saying, need to turn that on its head and understand that perhaps your internet presence is there to reach the people that you have already reached; they’re going to start reading your stuff, and then through them, through I guess word of mouth, that’s where you start to build an audience. And that kind of seems maybe a little bit counterintuitive, but it’s exactly how I built my audience. I started out writing for the people that were already asking me questions; at my gym, and in my community. And then they started sharing my stuff. And I was like; oh, ok, well maybe it’s time to create a Facebook page. And then that started accumulating people that were asking questions. So, over and over again you, personally, Diane impression upon people that it’s so important to have that one-on-one in person interaction. And sometimes I really forget that. But that is really where it starts. And at that point, you can start putting your stuff out into the chasm and hoping somebody new picks it up, but for the most part, the people that are actually going to drive your business are the ones that you have either met in real life or have, one, two, three degrees of separation from.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes, absolutely. And it’s also something that for people who do have a bit more of a following right now. Let’s say you have at least 1000 people following you on Instagram, for example, and you don’t know them; this is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately because, yeah, I have close to maybe 90,000 people following me on Instagram; 150-something on Facebook, tens of thousands in an emailing list, and tens of thousands who listen to this show every week. And you know, even at this point, I can look at people who have larger “followings” or larger numbers on any of those platforms and think, “Ugh! I’ll never catch up!”

You know I can have the same feeling, just in a different way or at a different place, and in the last few months very specifically, I’ve been able to kind of sit back and think; you know what, what I really want to do, what makes me feel good, what makes me content and happy is not the comparison of the numbers. It’s serving those of you who are already here, so that exactly what you said, Liz; when I do something, or say something, or share something; or when we talk about something on this show that sparks you, or you find interesting, or it really helps you; then you share it. And that’s what we need to do. We need to just focus on; whether it’s 5 people, or 50, or 500, or 50 or 500,000. Whoever it is that’s already there, serve those people. Serve the people in your community and then it will grow. And yeah, you’ve totally hit the hail on the head, too, saying that’s just how it does start and grow, is from that conversation from friend to friend.

4. Transitioning from blog to business [27:02]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, so this conversation I think is a good segue into this next portion, which is about transitioning from a blog to a business. Beth Feats of Real Eats asks, “How do I make the transition from blog to business? I’ve started making an online presence with a blog and Instagram, and I’m currently enrolled in the NTP program, graduating in June. For me, the big question is, how do I start transitioning to trying to actually make a business out of it? In other words, how do I switch over from just being a food and information blogger, to maybe having paying clients or something that might count as income. You both are so amazing and inspiring.” That’s nice.

Diane Sanfilippo: That is nice. So this is kind of a cool one because it’s a little bit of a flip-flop. At this point, Beth is already doing some of the work that once she decides; ok, I’m going to connect with people in my community, and I’m going to reach out and let people know that I have this service to offer, whatever the service may be that she wants to create; they can then go back to her website and see; yeah, you’ve been doing this. You have some foundation and credibility there.

Now, you don’t have to have that to be able to start helping people, to Brooke’s question; but I think if you do have that, and I think, Liz, you’ve been advocating the people start a blog, for years you’ve been saying, just get it started. So cool, now she’s in a position, Beth, where she’s going to finish this program in June, and when she decides what services she wants to offer. So at this point, that’s what you’ll need to decide. If you’re a food and information blogger and now you’re an NTP; do you want to work one on one with people? Do you want to create meal plans for people? Do you want to… what do you want to do with what you know and what you love doing, in order to earn money. Now you have this website that is a great place for people to kind of come back to and see that.

So that’s part of that, kind of, good for you that you have that; but in order to switch to being someone who gets paid for what you do, you just need to decide what it is you’re going to offer, start small, and if you’re not sure how much to charge for it, don’t’ go to crazy. I think most people don’t tend to overprice what they’re offering; most people tend to under price it. But you’ll set a price for it, decide what you’re going to offer and from there; I think there was another question about this, actually it might be the next question. But you have to see also; once you create an offering, and put the time into it that you’re going to put in with that client, see how much time you actually spend.

So let’s just say you sell a package of 3 hours of consulting, and you realize that you actually spent; not only the 3 hours on the phone with the person, or Skype, but you spent 2 hours ahead of time preparing for it, you spent 30 minutes on a follow-up email. Adding together all that extra time that it takes you, and of course, over time the amount of research and time that it takes you to do follow-up may lessen a bit. But overall, you’re still always going to spend more than that 3 hours, right, that you’re on the phone. You're going to spend time collecting information, researching, etc.

So, you need to figure out what it does actually cost you in time, so that you can continue to hone how you price it, and hone what you're offering is. Because you’ll find that perhaps you offer a package of 3 one-hour consultations, but after the first one-hour consultation, you really only need 20 to 30 minutes to follow-up with somebody, and so on. So you’ll kind of figure that out as things go on.

But the actual, “how do you switch,” You have to basically hang a shingle. You have to tell people, “This is what I have to offer.” I would keep it small, and keep the offering of services that you have to something you feel comfortable talking about. And so, perhaps in the NTP program, you will learn about hypothyroidism. But if you don’t feel comfortable working with people with hypothyroidism, then tell people what you’re offering is a trip to the grocery store where you can help them find foods that are gluten free, or you can help them find organic options, or foods that don’t have certain ingredients in them. Start with something you feel really, really comfortable doing, and like you’re an expert on. And don’t ever underestimate how important that little bit of information honestly; even teaching someone how to read a label and find ingredients in a food; and every single one of you guys listening, especially if you’re a practitioner; you know how to do that. That is something that somebody will pay you to help them with, where you just take them to the grocery store, and if that’s where you start that’s where you start. You’ll gain some confidence, you’ll see that you’ve got something to teach people, and you’ll be able to grow it from there.

5. Beginner challenges and time management [31:49]

Liz Wolfe: I like it. Alright, so let’s talk a little bit about the one on one nutrition coaching. So this question is from Blaire; “For one-on-one nutritional coaching, especially beginner practitioners, what are challenges you will face, and how do you overcome them? Such as time, time spent in appointment, time spent in research, and making that time worth your time and money. And what about for groups?” This is a really good question.

Diane Sanfilippo: It is a good question, and I’m just going to say, hey Blaire! Because I know her. {laughs} She came to one of my seminars in the Northern California, Sacramento area years ago, before you and I were teaching together, and has since also come to at least one book signing, and is still connected with me online, asking questions here on the podcast. So if there’s testimony at all to getting out there in person; there you go, because here she is. We’re still here, and now she’s going to teach this stuff. So how cool is that?

But I was kind of talking about that before in terms of, you just have to do something. You have to offer something, put a price on it, and then see how you feel about it. And you know, 9 times out of 10, you're going to realize, “Oh shoot, I spent way more time on that than I should have, and I should have charged more for it.” Right? I mean, that’s kind of what happens every time. And that’s normal; and I think you should do that at first. I think you should really over deliver; and you have to kind of just sort through that, because what happens is you’ll become either frustrated with not earning enough from the time that you spent, and then you realize that you have to raise the price; or, at a certain point, the demand might get too high, if you’ve got too many people who are trying to book appointments and you don’t have the time, then you’ll need to raise the price at that point.

But it will be a challenge. For me it was a really big challenge to just {laughs} schedule, and find a way to make sure I was reminded of the appointment times. I mean, honestly I got to a point where I was juggling so many clients; just so many for me, that’s all relative. But I wasn’t great at kind of keeping the schedule, and there were a couple of calls that I either didn’t make the call when I was supposed to or didn’t pick it up because I forgot it was happening, and frankly for me that was a sign that, number one, I’m not good with a lot of scheduling. That was part of me learning myself. I’m not good for one-on-one because I’m not good with scheduling, but also that it just might not be the right approach, that I might be better off teaching a larger group. Because the one-on-one stuff; if I really loved it and it was super important to me to be accountable to those times, then I would probably be doing it. I very much will show up in a big way for things that I feel really good about doing.

So that’s just kind of a part of the process of learning it. When are dealing with all of those challenge; dealing with the challenge I was talking about just before about just feeling like you don’t know what to do to help people, but in terms of the time you’re going to spend; at first you’re going to spend more time than you should. It’s just going to take you a while to kind of sort that out, and eventually if you need to run it by a group; let’s just say you’re in the Master Class and you become a practitioner; we will have a group of your peers who you can say; what do you think about this pricing? What are you guys charging? And I think that’s a really good way also to figure out how to price things, see what other people are charging and trying to figure it out also in terms of cost of living in your area.

Did you have something else to throw in about that? She also asks a little bit about groups, too.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, I think we’re going to talk about; there’s a question about groups after this.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Liz Wolfe: That I think we’ll dovetail. I did want to add something kind of administrative to this question.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: And you may or may not agree with me; which are kind of your two options anyway.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I found, when I was doing mostly one-on-ones, and I’ll talk more about groups in a minute, when I was doing mostly one-on-ones, what I found what I needed to do was not even reach out to somebody; well, ok I should back up.

What I found was it’s important that people paid ahead of time. That people decided they wanted my services, and they got the paperwork they needed to fill out after they submitted their payment. Because what I found at the beginning was somebody would make an appointment with me, they would submit all of their paperwork, they would take my online evaluation, and then they wouldn’t show up to their appointment. Or they would waffle about it. Or they would cancel the appointment. And this happened several times; and then you’re out all of your work, and you also have not really given that person anything to motivate them to show up. Because people want a fix. They get momentarily motivated to book an appointment, they fill out their stuff; you start doing your work, and then if they don’t show up for that kind of final thing where you’re giving them your recommendations and having that sit down with them, then you’re out all of that money. So I found it personally effective for people to book appointments by paying.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes.

Liz Wolfe: Through the payment portal.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes. 100%. I say 100% yes to that. And on top of that; if somebody; so that might seem intimidating to a new nutritionist, to ask somebody for a couple hundred bucks, or a few hundred, or several hundred dollars up front. So if you’re not sure about that, one thing that I did for a while, I would say, or most of the time, was allow about a 15-minute phone call, consultation, just introductory, let’s chat and see if this is a good fit. Like, if what I have to offer is really the right fit for you. And also if you’re the right fit for me.

And I’ll tell you that to the same point about the folks who filled out the papers and then didn’t show up for that first appointment; I would, maybe not 50% of the time, but a good percentage of the time, I’d have a conversation with someone, and I specifically remember one woman. We were on the phone talking about the stuff that she was struggling with; and look, this could totally just have been a personality thing, but I think I read it pretty well. There were certain things that she would say and then she was laughing about it, and you know, I’m a pretty good judge of character and of intention behind the words that people say and the way that they say them. I had to say to her, look, I get it, this is something you’re struggling with right now, but I don’t think you’re ready. Because I don’t think you would be laughing if you were really ready, and if you were in enough pain that this was something you were going to be motivated to do. And I’m not about to take a client who is, I feel right away, is not going to be successful. Because that’s not uplifting for either of us. You know; I don’t want to work with someone who is not ready, and I don’t want you to spend the money because you’re not ready.

So, that’s something that isn’t probably going to be in your wheelhouse the first few months of starting your practice, but I will say that within a few months, you’re going to realize that you’ve taken on some clients who were not ready, and there were probably signs of it in the first conversation that you had. And I think that the people skills required to make a good practitioner are very specific, and I think that’s part of it. I think that you guys will learn that as you move along, and that’s something that I would definitely recommend paying attention to, because it’s just as draining for you. You want that person to come out being successful; you want them to have a wonderful glowing testimonial for the work you guys did together. And you know, frankly; just because you got the money from them, you're not going to feel good about the work you’ve done if it wasn’t successful. You know; you really want your clients to be successful. Because then you’re like; great! You hang up after that third or fifth or seventh or however many consults, and you’re like, “That was awesome.” You just feel it because you feel their success for them. So there you go.

I think with groups it’s a little bit different. The type of work that you’re doing doesn’t get necessarily as deep and personal, and you tend to charge less per person, but you can obviously have a lot more people there, and it’s a totally different dynamic so we can talk about that, I think, a little bit. I don’t know if that’s the next; I think that might be the next question? Or a little bit after this.

6. Determining your product [40:28]

Liz Wolfe: Ok, so I’ll just read this question from Carolyn, “I’m in the process of trying to start an online wellness coaching business, and I’m really struggling with determining what my actual product is and how much to charge. Should I do packages, per session, by the hour? Should I charge differently for clients that want written meal plans or workout plans versus just counseling. I know these answers are highly individual, but I’m hoping you can give me some guidance on where to start. Thank you and love you two!” Love you too! Or as my kid would say, “Too!”

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Do you want to jump in on this one or do you want me to get started?

Liz Wolfe: Well, I just want to say that I loved groups. I feel like the most enjoyable experiences, and probably the most profitable experiences I had were with group coaching. I could kind of set the curriculum, and for some reason I think when people are coming together in a group, you end up with people that do great as part of a community, they can offer each other support, which is one of those things that’s nice with the one-on-one, but just as human animals we gravitate towards the support and dynamic of groups.

Even introverts, I think do pretty well with generalized group support. So people could ask; one person would ask a question that would end up also being 7 other people’s question, so you only have to answer that once. There’s that built in support, that built in motivation where you don’t want to let each other down, and I think that’s also a characteristic of introverts, is that you don’t want to let anybody down so it’s just as effective, I think, for folks that are introverted as for people that are extroverted. That’s just another human instinct, is to not let somebody down.

And you can also charge up front, and you get a pretty nice chunk of money to get your through that group program. It’s nice to not have to work; like, scrape together pennies a day. It’s a lot nicer to get all your pennies at once.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: So you can, you know, do what you need to do with your life and turn your attention to the group and all that. So I think building group programs is really fun.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. So, one thing I was going to say about the previous question and it kind of slipped my mind and now it’s back; so before I lose it, if you are somebody who loves and is good at one-on-one coaching; by all means, please keep doing it. I want you to find something else to add to the mix. But if you find that you thrive in a one-on-one setting, don’t jump ship from that. Because a lot of us jump ship because we realized that’s not where we thrive, and a lot of people still need and want that one-on-one coaching so I just want to put that out there, that if you’re like, “I’m just seeing people doing eBooks and programs and all that stuff, but I really love working with people one-on-one.” Don’t abandon that. You know, keep it. I still will encourage you to not be in a situation where every penny that you earn is in exchange of your time for dollars, and these are all things that I literally have gone deep on all of these topics on the business podcast, so I’m sure all of you who are listening are pausing; going to go find it; then come back. But you’ll love that.

So anyway, what I wanted to say about determining what you're actual product would be; kind of what I was saying to Blaire before is that you’re just going to have to start and create something, and then you’ll realize what about it isn’t working. So I do tend to have people; when I was coaching; I was coaching other nutritionists one-on-one for a while, and I would absolutely recommend packages. If you want to create something where it’s a one hour, just help me get my food in check, not a big commitment in terms of, you’re my client, this is emotional, it’s months on end. I did really well offering some one-off; like, it’s a one-hour consult, somebody pays for it, sends me some information; maybe it’s a 3-day food journal and a couple of other forms ahead of time, and they get a one-hour consult and then they're on their merry way. Some people do great with it. It kind of depends on the client.

It also depends on you. If you feel like you need a longer relationship in order to help that person, and also, again, it does depend on the person and their personality. If they’re really good at just taking what you have to say and running with it, and maybe they’re just doing some small tweaks, then a single session for an hour is probably fine. But if somebody just needs a lot more support, then selling a package; I would say a minimum of two to three sessions, but generally not more than five or six sessions. More than that, and you kind of need to let the person be out of the nest and flying on their own for a while, and then come back to you at another point in time. I think those are really effective approaches.

Also, one thing, on top of what Liz mentioned before about having a payment up front, is setting a time limit for when those sessions can be used. For example, if the person buys a package of 3 sessions, they can use them within a maximum of 90 days. Like, beyond 90 days; and you really do have to stay on top of things. You have your first session; 30 days later, 60 days later, and then however many days later you’re going to have the sessions, and you get them scheduled, with enough time so that if they need to reschedule that last appointment, you’re not like, “well it’s day 90.” But if the person kind of flakes out and disappears, and it’s two months later, that package is expired now. You need to hold them accountable to showing up with you in the time frame that makes sense for your coaching. And that’s just something that you’ll also learn. You don’t want to have an hour-long session kind of hanging on in your books of; “I need to get this scheduled and I haven’t talked to this person in 6 months.”

It’s just not effective for anyone, so that’s another thing that I would highly recommend, and I think a lot of you listening are having a light bulb turn on right now {laughs} where you’re like; “Oh my gosh, that’s happened to me.” So that’s something I would do too. I would make sure you have a reasonable amount of time for it, but that there is a limit, and that the date of when this package expires is on your initial contract that you guys sign together.

So, should you charge differently? You are welcome to charge different rates for different services. Because you can easily let a client know; certain services, it just takes more time. If you want to have an hourly rate, and you tell people; “This is the hourly rate, and this is how many hours it’s going to take.” Or if you just want to say, “this is how much a plan costs, it’s X amount of dollars.” That’s totally up to you. And I think again once you get started with something, you’ll either feel really good about what you’ve done, and you’re like, “Great, I got paid for that, that person got great value for it,” or you’re going to feel kind of icky about it and down on yourself. That’s kind of when you know you probably didn’t charge enough, because you don’t feel valued by what they paid for that service.

<>7. Building your client base [47:30]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, let’s jump into Brittany’s question. This is from Healing Ginger, Brittany at Healing Ginger, “I work within a nutrition group, and I’m happy there right now. But how would you go about branching out on your own, knowing that you’re current clients stay in the group and can’t come with you because of contract agreement? So I guess it’s more about, what are some of the best ways you’ve found to build your client base on your own?” Mine is just one at a time.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I mean; you worked with a doctor at first, or was it just within the office that you were…

Liz Wolfe: No, just shared the office in a sports chiropractic type of office. They did some other stuff besides chiropractic, but it worked for us because we could kind of refer back and forth.

Diane Sanfilippo: I really relied on connections that I had in the city with a lot of personal trainers. I didn’t ever work in any kind of group; I didn’t ever have any kind of office or a set place of referrals or any of that. But within my gym there were folks who were looking for help, and just friends and colleagues that I had. And like you said; it was really one at a time. When I very first started, I was working in an office, and one of my office mates was like, “I could really use some help.” And the only vegetables he was eating were like romaine lettuce and a tomato if it snuck into his sandwich. {laughs} So, there are people everywhere who need some help. But I think part of it is just putting yourself out there, and putting it out.

This is where having even your own personal Facebook page or having your public Facebook or public Instagram. If you need to get started building something separately and maybe you’ve been getting paid for it, but you need to just get the ball rolling. You may need to take on a client who isn’t paying; where you say, “Hey, I’m going to start this new business and if you want to join me,” either you can offer it to them for free or have an introductory price or something like that. I don’t generally recommend that anybody does work for free, but at the same time, sometimes you need to kind of get your food maybe out the door in this case, and that’s what we would do.

I know when we were school; and I’m not sure if you guys did this with NTP, but in Bauman, when we were not yet finished with our program, we would help people one-on-one for free. It was like, do you want to be my sample client? And I still have contact. My very first sample client was just at a book signing like 3 months ago {laughs}. So these people are with you for life. We are still in touch. I’m sure some of the people you worked with years ago are still reading your blog and are commenting on things; they’re still around. So that’s kind of what I would say. I think you’re going to find people no matter what, but it’s going to take a little more effort, and hustle, and grind. Because if you were in a practice where they were kind of coming to you a little bit more easily, then just remember that you need to get out there and meet people.

I don’t like networking for the sake of networking; you could never pay me enough to join a networking group that meets every week and is like a hairdresser and a trainer and all that. Like, cool if you do that, because it’s an amazing way to get clients. I know so many people that love it and do great with it, but it sounds like torture to me. {laughs} It just does. I know people think I’m an extrovert, but that sounds like torture to me, so maybe I’m not extroverted. I just like to talk, so whatever. But I do think that having real friends in a community that makes sense for what you want to do; I mean, I had a ton of personal trainer friends, and not even just friends. We didn’t even all hang out or anything, it was just; I knew then, and as soon as they knew that I had something to offer; they knew me and my character. They knew that they could trust that what I was going to say was going to help their client, so they would send people to me. So I think that’s something too; you just need to kind of get the word out and make sure that you’re creating relationships in those communities.

Liz Wolfe: I like it. Ok, {laughs} I was just thinking in my head. “I’m not an extrovert, I’m just a blabbermouth!” {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} If I were on the Real Housewives; what?

Liz Wolfe: I just like to talk into the chasm.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} If I were on Real Housewives, I think that would be my tagline.

Liz Wolfe: Oh that’s funny.

Diane Sanfilippo: “I’m not an extrovert, I’m just a blabbermouth.” {laughs}

8. Finding your niche [52:20]

Liz Wolfe: That is funny. Yeah. Alright, so let’s talk about then finding your edge and standing out. This one is from Ashley, “How did you find your edge? I know this is a very personalized question, so it seems almost silly, but I’m overwhelmed by all the brilliantness out there in the health and wellness world, and feel like I’ll never compare or be able to catch up. How did you ensure you could stand out from the rest? I guess I’m wondering a million things; ha! But how did you find your niche and make it work for you so you could work passionately and have fun doing it?” This is a really good question.

Diane Sanfilippo: I was like; she’s implying I’ve found it. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Oh my gosh, I just noticed your note here, and that is exactly what I was thinking while I was reading the question. Like; fundamentally, your note.

Diane Sanfilippo: What’s my note?

Liz Wolfe: You want to say it? You can say it.

Diane Sanfilippo: What did I write?

Liz Wolfe: It’s, “why not you?”

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, those are episodes of the Build a Badass Business podcast where I’ve already answered these things. I forgot to mention them all along.

Liz Wolfe: Well, there you go. So despite the fact that you and I are very different; like, Diane you and I are very different the way we have approached our businesses even though I’ve been riding your coattails. But finding your edge I think is not so much about; I mean, yeah, you have to find what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing. But it’s also, remember; whoever this person, whoever Ashley is looking at and thinking is so brilliant, that’s her perception of that person.

Diane Sanfilippo: Totally.

Liz Wolfe: And maybe that’s what makes that person brilliant. And there’s no reason why, why not you. So think of yourself as brilliant; and if you have something to share, get out there and do it. That’s the edge, I think.

Diane Sanfilippo: Side note; I do not view Liz as riding any kind of coat tails, FYI. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Feel free to say whatever you want; it doesn’t mean I have to agree with you.

Liz Wolfe: Alright, well I’ve been riding the cattle prod. You’ve been cattle prodding me for like 5 years.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m a pusher.

Liz Wolfe: Like, “Let’s do this.” “Ok.”

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m a pusher; I push people.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: But you know; whatever. And if you are not a pusher type and you do well; so this is where it goes back to the personality stuff. We can talk about that, maybe, in another episode. But Liz, you were saying something about being an introvert but doing well in a group, and I think that’s because you’re an Obliger type, where you do well not letting people down. There are for sure I would say 80% of the time, I don’t want to let people down, but there’s a good amount of tie that I just don’t care. Like, I don’t care what your expectation was. You feel really badly if you have to reschedule; and I’m just like; ok, well I’ll just do it tomorrow. {laughs} I’m like, whatever. I’m not let down. I mean, it can be annoying or whatever; but I’m like, whatever. Maybe part of it is just the people that you’re interacting with. Whatever, anyway. I digress.

So, how did you find your edge? I don’t even really know how to answer that because I think; there’s no way to know that you will stand out. You just have to do what you want to do, and at some points put blinders on and just do it in your own way. I did talk about this recently in an Instagram post. I don’t know that it was a why-not you, but it was like, you have something unique to say, perhaps. And I was talking about how before this podcast started, Robb Wolf had his podcast for probably a couple of years, and there was latest in paleo, and I can’t remember; there were literally like 2 or 3 paleo podcasts out there, and someone asked if it was the paleo podcast critical mass. Which, like 5 years later, there’s probably 10 others.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: And so, had we not just gone ahead, knowing that; I think the ones that were out there, I don’t think any of them had a female voice to them. So you and I were, I think, the first female voices of podcasting in this arena, in this little paleo corner of podcasting. But I just felt like; I don’t know. Look I’m somebody with strong opinions all the time; so I’m going to have something to say, it’s going to be my opinion, and my way of handling things, and every single one of us has our own way of looking at the world through a lens that is sort of focused by what our life experience has been, what our education is, what our own life struggles have been, and our perception of things. So you always have something different to offer. What if we had decided not to start the podcast because two others were out there? Or what if I had never written Practical Paleo because Robb Wolf’s book was already out, Mark Sisson’s book was already out, Lauren Cordain’s book was already out. What if I hadn’t written my book just because their books were already out?

That is; you guys need to know that before I wrote that book, I was still working really hard, and that was a pivotal point in my career that, all of a sudden this book is on the New York Times’ list week after week, and it’s selling so many copies, and so many people have it. But most of those people don’t even know who I am. They have the book; and they’re like, oh yeah, I have that book. But it’s not like they’re listening to this podcast every week. Exponentially more people have the book than listen to this. But you know, it’s kind of like; it is what it is. You just have to do the stuff that you love to do, and your people will find it. You can’t ensure that you’ll stand out from the rest and you can’t ensure that you’ll have your niche and find it in any sort of time. You just have to follow along with the stuff that you really like talking about, and you can’t do it for other people.

You do have to serve the people who you’re serving. We’re not going to talk about something on this show exclusively because Liz and I feel like talking about it; we’re talking about topics that we want to talk about that you guys are asking about, as well. And we’re going to find the middle ground and the happy place between that so that we still love to do the show, because we’ve been doing this for more than 5 years, but also that you guys are interested and inspired and excited about what we’re talking about. So you have to do that continually. Because if you don’t, people will sense it. They’ll smell a rat a mile away.

You know there are people out there who are literally; back to our point about marketing, Liz, when you were talking about just being an effective communicator. And I think also being passionate about the stuff that you just talk about; there are people out there who are even in our space, or any other space, who everything they do is kind of sales-y. You never really feel like you’re sure if what they’re talking about is honest, because so much of it seems to be like they’re always selling you something. We’re just always trying to talk about the things that we find interesting and inspiring, and that we think will help you. And if along the way there are certain things that have a price tag on it, then so be it, and that’s part of it. Because not everything in this world is going to be free. And that’s how you have a business; you talk about and you work on and you create things that you’re passionate about, and at some point, somebody has to pay you for it, or it’s not a business, it’s just a hobby.

But I think that if you constantly stand there and look at everyone out there in the world, you’ll never do anything. You’ll just stand there paralyzed. So that comes back to our very first Q&A on this episode; stop looking at the internet. Because if you just look in your own community, I’ll bet you can throw a stone and hit 10 people who need your help. And instead of feeling paralyzed by the hundreds of thousands or millions of people on the internet who are already talking about this stuff; just take it back to your own community and you’ll be able to help people, build your confidence, and realize that you have something to say and something to offer. And everything will change when you do that. But trying to go into it thinking, “how do I have my edge, or how do I stand out, or how do I find my niche?” I think that’s just getting ahead of yourself. I think you just have to start digging in and do the work, and you will find answers to all of those questions, and I guarantee the reason you still have these questions is because you haven’t started and you haven’t dug into doing the work yet.

9. Balancing a full time job with a side business [1:00:45]

Liz Wolfe: Ok. Next question. Balancing a full time job with a side business. This is from Lilia. “I work pretty much full time, but my goal for 2017 is to slowly but surely start my own meal prep business. I’ve already started working on it. Any tips on how to juggle both for hopefully the short time frame that I may have to due to obvious reasons; not scared to work very hard, I just know my limits.”

Diane Sanfilippo: So, I did this for a while, and eventually I did leave my job to be able to have a meal business. So I did kind of this exact thing back in 2007, so almost 10 years ago. Whoa.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s crazy. {laughs} Wait, what? I originally started Balanced Bites as a meal business. It was 2007 where I was doing it on the side. So two things I’m going to say about this; one, at some point you just have to make the leap and know that the amount of money you have coming in is not going to be the same as what you have at your full time job. So in the time until that day, save as much money as you can. Stop buying your coffee at Starbucks, stop going out to dinner, stop doing all the frivolous dumb stuff you’re doing that costs a lot of money; getting manicures every week or two. All the things that you think are just no big deal, but they add up to a lot of money every single week or every month; stop doing that stuff, and put money away so that you have a cushion. And this is the real practical side of being willing to be an entrepreneur, means having to sacrifice a lot of things; and some of those are not that big of a deal, if you really get into it, you know. Just brewing a pot of coffee at home; not a big deal, but you have to be willing to do that stuff and give up on little things for a while until the money comes back because you’re working hard to earn it. But that’s the one thing.

The second thing is; I’m just going to caution her that a meal business is extremely hard to make money in. so if you’re not deterred by that, I think you need to run the numbers. I think you need to exactly what it’s going to cost you, exactly how many clients you're going to need; how many you’re going to need every week; add in for costs that you don’t even know you have yet, and do a lot of estimates before you really make that leap. Because you need to know exactly what it’s going to take every single week in terms of clients in order to make money from it. Because it’s not easy to do without a pretty big scale. Because making money preparing food for people; it’s just not easy. That’s why there’s kind of this, there are a lot of companies like Pete’s Paleo, does it at a much larger scale. They have amazing high quality food, but the reason they can really run it as a business is the scale that they’re running it at. And then you’ve got private chefs, and there’s not a lot of middle ground there. And the reason is, it’s hard to make a profit doing this stuff unless you’re at scale or at an extremely high premium in terms of what the service is going to cost. So just keep that in mind; run the numbers, but that’s my advice for you there.

10. Suffering from imposter syndrome [1:03:46]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, final question. This is about imposter syndrome. This is from Sarah; “Is it kosher to have paying clients without any certification at all? I have studied nutrition on my own for over 4 years, and have been in the very long process of going back to school to become an RD. Part of me feels like a fraud if I try to market myself to anyone other than gym friends. I’m sure this is a self confidence thing, but I’m even afraid to talk about having clients with my RD mentor, lest I be shunned from the field forever. Any insight on this would be great; thanks for all your hard work.”

Diane Sanfilippo: So, I was the one that kind of told her this is called imposter syndrome. I wanted her to Google it; I wasn’t trying to be dismissive, but just saying, everyone feels this way, how can I help someone else. To the specific point of being an RD; there are limits to what we can do in terms of recommending things nutritionally in a therapeutic way state by state. So you’ll need to figure out what it is for your state. You obviously cannot make recommendations as an RD until you’re an RD, and there are certain things that you also can’t do legally in your state, just in terms of recommending therapeutic nutrition.

Now, I’m going to go back to my example that I said earlier about literally just walking people through a grocery store, or showing them recipes they can make, or talking about ways to change what they’re eating but being careful not to step into language that becomes therapeutic, where you’re talking about health condition and a food that you’re kind of assigning with it. So again, you need to know what the laws are in your state.

But aside from that, it is a self confidence thing. And it’s honestly just about telling other people that you can help them, and kind of staying within the scope of what somebody who isn’t an RD or isn’t a certified nutrition consultant, or whatever it is, within your schooling or your state. There’s always something we can do to help people. Aside from that, you may need to just know accounting wise; do you need to start a business if you’re going to start taking money from people, or how do you need to claim that if you’re just doing it as a sole proprietor. Those are some business questions aside from the legality of it. All of that is relevant.

But in terms of feeling like a fraud if you try to market yourself; that specific part of the question is this whole idea of imposter syndrome. It’s the, “Who am I to (blank).” Marianne Williamson has a lot about this, if you kind of look up some of her work. And I think that one thing that people don’t realize is honestly getting in the way when you’re kind of sitting there thinking, “well I know some things that could help some people, but it’s not enough,” or, I’m not an expert enough, or what have you. But interestingly enough what that is is just our ego getting in the way, where we think that unless we’re perfect or the most well-rounded expert on everything about some topic that we’re not going to be able to help people. And I think just the minute you step outside that and get started, everything changes. I feel like I get a lot of these questions from people, and it’s because you haven’t started yet. And as soon as you start, you’ll realize, there is something that you can help people with and your confidence will build from that; you won’t be as afraid about it. But I do think that; Sarah, if you get the questions answered for yourself about, “what can I talk about with people confidently, how can I help people until I have that RD,” then you can draw some lines and some boundaries around what you can and cannot do, and I think that will help illuminate the path forward. Until you have your RD squared away.

Diane Sanfilippo: Pete’s Paleo has opened a new location on the East Coast. Since they’re still operating out of San Diego, as well; this means local produce and meat coming from both coasts. And drastically reduced shipping prices. Check out their new and improved website, to take advantage of low shipping rates; and be sure to use coupon code 1FREEBACON. That’s the number 1; free bacon, and receive a free half pound of bacon with the purchase of a meal plan. Go to


Liz Wolfe: Let’s talk about what we’re digging right now. Holiday edition; what are your favorite holiday treats right now.

Diane Sanfilippo: Considering the fact that I’ve pretty much consumed all of my carbs in the last week in the form of gingerbread cookies; gluten free gingerbread cookies that I made, I’m pretty much digging gingerbread cookies. {laughs} I also posted …

Liz Wolfe: I was just thinking today about needing some sugar cookies. Are they kind of the texture of sugar cookies, or are they different?

Diane Sanfilippo: No, I think sugar cookies are softer. The gingerbread cookies are a little crispier. And I had a whole gingerbread cookie decorating contest that I posted; we did this at our holiday brunch party and I posted our gingerbread men on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, and the Elvis; it kind of was like an Elvis/Donald Trump, and we’re not even going to dive into politics here. But nobody can deny the hilarity of Donald Trump’s hair; which was what was really represented on this Elvis/Donald Trump gingerbread man. {laughs} It was really funny if you guys didn’t see it, you have to see it on my Instagram page. But yeah, I’m digging gingerbread cookies. What about you?

Liz Wolfe: I’m really into apple cider right now. Not having it, but thinking about it. I had one cup the other day and now it’s all I can think about. Maybe some sugar cookies, and cookie dough, honestly. I love cookie dough so much. Oatmeal cookie dough.

Diane Sanfilippo: I feel like our friends over at Capello’s may have a sugar cookie now. I’m not sure though. I saw they came out with a few more cookies; but they’re almond flour based I think, so I haven’t been able to try them. But I feel like they came out with some new ones.

Liz Wolfe: I feel like it’s just not the same.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know.

Liz Wolfe: I want some of that cookie dough from when I was a kid. I accept no substitutes; it’s kind of like, I mean, I’ll do healthy nachos, but for me, healthy cookie dough just doesn’t work the same.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Liz Wolfe: I think it would ruin that memory of eating oatmeal cookie dough; like, legit oatmeal cookie dough for me.

Diane Sanfilippo: I have nothing to say to that. I’m enjoying my gingerbread cookies either way. Well, I was talking about this with friends. I don’t have memories of baked goods growing up; like really strong ones, just a couple because my parents weren’t really bakers. So I realized recently, people are always like, “Oh, but how do you turn down your mom’s apple pie?” I’m like, my mom never made apple pie {laughs}. So there you go. Yeah. There’s that.

Liz Wolfe: I think that’s a good place to close it out.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: Alright, well thanks for all the wisdom, friend, and that will do it for this week. You can find me, Liz, at and you can find Diane at Join our email lists for free goodies and updates that you don’t find anywhere else on our website or on the podcast. While you’re on the internet, please leave us an iTunes review. See you next week.

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