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A Day in the Life

In the blog survey I shared a couple weeks ago, a bunch of you guys said you’d love more day in the life/business update type posts. My pleasure! I’ll do these more often if you like it. :) Let me know! Here’s what I did yesterday. This was an unusual day in that I didn’t have any client sessions scheduled, but typical in the sense that I had a lot of calls/computer time/varied stuff going on.

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A Day in the Life

5:30 a.m. – alarm goes off, drag self out of bed, throw on running clothes

5:50 a.m. – pound a piece of toast with PB&J on my way out the door

6 – 7 a.m. – track workout!!! Feel like a bada$$.

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7 – 8 a.m. – head home, stretch/foam roll, shower

8 a.m. – sit down to breakfast at my computer (lame, I know) and get to work! First order of business is to check in on emails. I had my Perfect Microwave Banana Oatmeal with an egg added, topped with walnuts, cottage cheese, and berries. Plus a little shot of espresso with milk. Sidenote – how cute is this Starbucks Paris espresso cup I bought this summer? Love it!

healthy quick breakfast

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. – upload/edit photos + write/publish blog post of the day. Close email so I can actually focus! Trying to get better about closing my email when I need to get other things done – I feel kind of like working on my email inbox is like running in quicksand. Anyone else?!

9:30 – 10 a.m. – business accounting and upkeep (mailed off my quarterly self-employed taxes… it’s amazing how much we pay in taxes – you realize it way more when you pay it in a big lump sum! yikes!). Yep, still using up our leftover wedding stamps. :)

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10 – 10:45 a.m. – mastermind Skype call with fellow RDs. Do any of you guys who work for yourselves/from home have a mastermind group? It’s basically a little group of people doing similar work that get together every once in awhile to talk business – share what’s new, bounce ideas off each other, get advice/inspiration, etc. It’s been really helpful and fun! I’ve been doing one for about a year now with Kerri-Ann Jennings and Rachel Meltzer Warren, who I met through the Nutrition Entrepreneurs group listserv that I’m a part of through the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. We meet every 3 weeks. They are both dietitians with solo private practices and freelance nutrition writers. Rachel also just recently came out with a book – The Smart Girl’s Guide to Going Vegetarian – check it out! :)

The main thing I bring up during this call is that I’m trying to decide whether I want to bring on another dietitian for my AnneTheRD nutrition counseling private practice. As of now, the client volume/demand is getting to be more than I can handle by myself (which is obviously amazing, but still kind of a problem). Debating what to do! Bringing on someone else would mean a lot of intense upfront work – rebranding, interviewing, getting someone up to speed, changing paperwork, business cards, etc etc. Makes me overwhelmed just to think about, to be honest, but could be smart in the long term. There’s also the question of office space – would I have the new person work virtual and meet people either via skype/phone or in coffee shops, like I do? Or would I want to have them come here? Or to rent an office space? Gah! I might hold off for now and see how things go this fall – any advice from my fellow RDs/entrepreneurs that have brought on extra people?

11 – 11:15 a.m. – Blog-related call about a potential partnership

11:15 – 11:45 a.m. – Play with Zara, have a snack (an orange + hummus and crackers), make myself a latte. :)

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11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – More emails!

12:15 – 2:15 p.m. – Errands + lunch out with my friend Ashley. We met up at Haandi in Falls Church – really good Indian food! I don’t often go out to lunch during the week so this was a fun treat. :)

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2:15 – 3:30 p.m. – Check in on emails – respond to AnneTheRD client questions, get back to readers/fellow RDs that have emailed with questions, etc.

3:30 – 4:45 p.m. – Siesta! Knew I would be working late so gave myself some time to relax/rest.

4:45 p.m. – snack! Greek yogurt + a handful of pistachios and a few handfuls of granola

5 – 5:30 p.m. – Call with a future RD with questions about owning a private practice. I used to ask others a lot of questions when I was on my back to school journey/starting my practice, so I always pay it forward! To get in some movement, I head out for a walk during the call. Love doing this for calls I don’t need my computer/paper for!

5:30 p.m. – Back to my computer! Determined to get my inbox under control. Respond to a couple nutrition-related interview requests for magazine/online articles, reply to blog partnership offer emails (mostly no thanks – I probably only accept about 15% of offers), etc. Eat snack #2 around 6 p.m. while I’m at it – leftover roasted sweet potato fries & brussels sprouts.

7:15 – 8:30 p.m. – Matt is home! Have dinner, hang out.

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We had leftovers from Monday night atop 90 second brown rice with an arugula/avocado/green pepper side salad.

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Plus some of this fun wild blueberry wine that we were given up on the trip I did in Maine with them. It was good – tasted like a normal red wine!

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8:30 p.m. – Back to the computer! More emails + prep for a Twitter chat I’m hosting.

9 – 10 p.m. – Co-host Twitter chat

10 p.m. – Shut down computer, relax, read in bed

10:45 p.m. – Lights out!

Comments

  1. 1

    I would look into daily rental space to start with.

  2. 2

    i also had your microwave banana oatmeal for breakfast this morning :)

  3. 4

    Wow, your days seem like they all must be pretty full! I don’t feel like I could be disciplined enough to work from home without deciding to do a thousand other “fun” things instead. What was the process like adjusting to that kind of environment?

    Also, email, ugh yes! I read an article not too long ago that you’re actually more productive if you only check email at a few pre-established times and keep it closed otherwise. I tried it and had people standing at my office 10 minutes later if I didn’t answer. Guess I should forward the article to them…

    • 5

      I know, totally agree re: email. I feel like if I did that then I’d just have a million “just following up to make sure you saw my email…” type things.

      I didn’t have too much trouble adjusting to working from home because I got into the habit of being really disciplined while in grad school! The hardest thing is being distracted by all the home stuff I should do – cleaning up, etc.

  4. 6

    Interesting to know you only accept just 15% of offers – you must get a lot!

    Just curious – where do you see your “RD clients”? Do you have an office or do it virtually?

  5. 8
    Rachel Martin says:

    Anne,

    I have been eating microwave banana oatmeal (hybrid of your’s and Kath’s) for about 2 years now and I love it. LOVE IT. And it makes me happy because I live in Richmond and I think it’s cool you two are so close. I tried to put two eggs (mistake #1) in mine yesterday and it turned out to be super disgusting. No banana either (mistake #2). Then, I didn’t mix any nut butter or the usual suspects into it and just topped it with walnuts and strawberries. Almost indelible.

    How do you mix in egg and still microwave it? Kath has post about stove top but… I’m super busy and don’t have time for that.

    PS, I’m totally going to start getting your 90 second rice. I never make brown rice because it takes too darn long and then I end up making too much when I do actually make it.

    Really liked this post!

    • 9

      Yes, I still microwaved it! I just use the mashed banana + 1/3 C oats + a little less than 1/3 C milk and then whisk in 1 egg. Microwave on high about 2 or 3 minutes. Yum! So glad you’re enjoying the oatmeal! :)

      • 10
        Rachel Martin says:

        Thanks for the quick reply! I will try that tomorrow morning. Love being able to add extra protein to my breakfast. Half marathon training and trying to build more muscle… You’re the first person who I’ve ever seen add cottage cheese to their oatmeal but it’s so yummy too. The things you ladies do to oatmeal – genius.

        • 11

          I just want to ditto both of Rachel’s comments above, since I feel exactly the same. Rachel: in response to your question, lately I too have been adding egg to my oatmeal and do it pretty much the same way as Anne. I just add 1/8 – 1/4 cup of egg whites with the normal ingredients, then microwave as usual.
          and NEVER omit the banana! hahaha

    • 13

      does it taste eggy ever?

    • 15

      I believe Uncle Bens makes brown rice in a pouch you can microwave for just 90 seconds.

  6. 16

    As someone else who works from home, it’s very interesting to see your schedule!

  7. 17

    It’s always fun to see what others’ “day in the life” posts consist of. Looks like you have a perfect balance of work and you time. Love it :)

  8. 18

    I too love seeing what your days look like:). Eggs in oatmeal, hmmmm, interesting…I eat oatmeal every morning with sunbutter, LOVE that stuff!

  9. 19

    It is nice to see the day in the life posts from the blogs I follow. Thank you for sharing. You have a really nice balance of fun and work even if it was not your average day.

    What program do you use to have your photos line up side by side (the oatmeal and coffee mug picture)? So cute.

  10. 21

    “Like running in quicksand”–couldn’t have described getting through my email inbox any better! I swear that thing is a black hole haha

  11. 22

    My husband and I LOVE Haandi!! I don’t know what dish I like the most! It’s one of the best Indian restaurants I’ve been to in the DC area so far.

  12. 23

    Thank you so much for speaking with me yesterday, Anne! I went to class feeling even more enthusiastic than usual about going after my dream to become an RD. Your blog will continue to inspire me!:)

  13. 25

    Anne – loved this post, as it was so interesting to see how another DIY dietitian spends her time (my days are remarkably similar)! And yes – quicksand is the perfect description for email. Some days it feels that keeping up with the inbox is a 9-5 job in itself. Keep up the beautiful blogging!

  14. 26

    Ahh, so you get about 6.5 hrs of sleep a night? me too! I try to make it more , but my day is usually slammed..and obviously a workout is a priority!

    • 27

      I aim for 7 to 8 but that doesn’t always happen. I try to listen to my body – if I’m really seriously wiped I’ll sleep in and do an evening workout or just bag it entirely! That happened Monday (bagging it).

  15. 28

    love this post! although it makes me feel so unproductive haha. day in my (work) life = 7:30am-3:30pm — sat in my cubicle staring at a computer

  16. 29

    One busy ass day with a mighty early start! Love leftover days…such a great time saver!

  17. 30
    Road Runner says:

    Quite a day; very efficiently, impressively done!

    Sure seems like bringing on an additional nutritionist would be a wise move if you could find the right one…

  18. 31

    Ha! I have wedding stamps to last another year at least!

  19. 32

    I’m definitely going to pick your brain this weekend about your private practice :)

  20. 34

    Wow! Your day is BUSY. But it seems as though you were pretty productive, which I know can be hard when you work independently and from home. I have typical 9-5 but I have always wanted to work for myself and have my own company (although the quarterly tax payment doesn’t sound like fun). Good luck with your upcoming endeavors!

  21. 35

    I LOVE day in the life posts :)

    And you should feel like a bad ass after that track work out!

  22. 36

    I definitely requested more “day in the life” posts, partly for selfish reasons- I’m in your old MPH/RD program at UNC and love seeing what my daily life could look like some day! It’s so cool to see the different directions you can take your credential. I admire your entrepreneurial spirit- I’m very intimidated at the thought of starting my own business. It’s cool to see the different things you’re doing.

  23. 38

    I really enjoy your posts on your day and seeing what you are up to. I like that you share what is going on and what you are eating through out the day. You work long hours but it is for yourself so it must be rewarding. i would love to work for myself.

  24. 39

    Sounds like a busy but productive day! I’ve been thinking about starting a private practice and it’s good to know that you work out of coffee shops or online because starting out I wouldn’t want to rent a space. That being said, it sounds like your business is booming and I know that you can usually rent an office by the hour in building with other health practices (therapists, chiropractors, etc). Good luck with growing your business!

  25. 40

    Great post! You sound like you have a lot going on, but that is normal for entrepreneurs ;) My husband and I own our own business and I used to have my own direct sales business, so although some things sound overwhelming, I think the best way to look at it is “what is going to benefit you and your business long-term?” We are also growing and realizing we will need to make changes….it’s hard, but a great feeling as well. Good luck!

  26. 42

    Lots to think of and what a good “problem” to have! If you can find an office space with other health professionals, I highly recommend it. I love working in a space with therapist, a yoga therapist, chiropractors, and massage therapist – we refer to each other + work together all the time. Plus, it’s wonderful to have people to talk to on those days I’m there (rather than working at home!).

    • 43

      How often do you work out of that space vs. at home? Definitely considering doing something like that. Was the space already established or did you help form it?

      • 44

        It was already set up, and I’m an independent contractor with them. Right now, I schedule clients there 2 days a week, and they helped me get set up with insurance coverage. Our contract is set up to also include their billing manager services, who deals with all the payment/insurance calls there. Other days, I see virtual clients at home, write notes for clients, and do blog work. When I was starting out, it worked out wonderfully to provide a steady client base from the beginning, but lots to consider around contracting vs renting space, insurance, etc. Happy to chat more via email if you want.

  27. 46

    Love this post! Remind me to talk to you on Wednesday about getting another RD for your practice…I have some thoughts!! :)

  28. 48

    If you are wanting to get an office or workspace check out UberOffices! There are locations in Rosslyn, Tysons, Bethesda, and Dupont. Rates start at $300/month and are very flexible /no long term committment needed.

  29. 50

    I don’t want to come across as mean or agressive but I don’t see why you would need to hire someone for your RD business. From the looks of your day you had a leisurely morning snack, a 2 hour lunch break, AND you took a nap! I’m lucky if I get to do one of those things per day. I guess I’m just jealous. Maybe if you reevaluate your time you will be able to fit in more clients rather than hire another person. Food for thought.

    • 51

      Hi Megan! Thank you for reading and for sharing your input – I always welcome feedback and other viewpoints. That said, I have worked and continue to work extremely hard to get my own business off the ground, and I am not embarrassed that I give myself the mental health breaks I need throughout the day to keep from getting super burned out, especially since this was a day where I worked from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. Obviously if I worked 14 hours a day without any breaks I could get more done and see more clients, but I know that I wouldn’t be able to do that and give my clients the energy and focus that they deserve. Also, it’s worth noting that my “2 hour lunch break” was actually 1 hour of eating + 1 hour of driving to from and doing business-related errands (going to the bank, etc.). Most weeks I eat lunch at home every day, but that was a special treat to see a friend who is leaving town.

  30. 52

    My husband owns his own business with a partner and they teamed up after they each had been doing the same thing for about a decade each and their client base expanded to the point where they needed help. Before they teamed together they each worked out of their houses/visited clients at their place. When they got together they got an office space and started with a part-time secretary and then have expanded to a bigger office space and 2 part-time employees in 3 years together. The way they do things is split it 50/50. But that is more of a partnership and not adding someone under them. There were startup costs but the benefits of them teaming together and the marketing/new business they were able to do because of it has been amazing!

    • 53

      That’s very smart to do a partnership – nice to have someone in it with you! Thank you for sharing – and congratulations to your husband and his partner on what sounds like well-earned success!

  31. 54

    That’s awesome your business is doing so well! Being totally nosey here, how many clients do you counsel in a week? And do you watch TV while working? When I work from home I enjoy having the Today show on in the background, it’s my guilty pleasure :)

    • 55

      The number of clients varies a lot, but usually between 10 and 15 — not too crazy many since the nutrition counseling private practice is only half of my job (this blog is the other)! :)

    • 56

      Oh and I can’t watch TV while I’m working or else I’d be super distracted (I need quiet or general background noise) – also, we don’t have cable! But my guilty pleasure is sometimes watching Netflix during my lunch break while I eat. Right now I’m making my way through Friday Night Lights!

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