Sunday, September 26, 2010

Making the time for you, in order to achieve success

You've read this from me, before, all about the importance of incorporating balance into your life. But are you practicing it, yet? Are you making the time to relax and regenerate? Let's talk about why it's important and what it can cost you to NOT walk away and make the time to relax.

Why it's important to take time off
This is an area I'm always helping my clients work through, but I have to also work through it, myself, on an ongoing basis. It doesn't come naturally. However, because I've SEEN the results, I believe in it as much as the value of exercise and healthy eating!

Here are three reasons why it's important to make the time to relax and walk away from working:
1 - Removing yourself from work helps you renew and regenerate, so you are more energized and excited and passionate about what you're doing.
2 - Walking away and taking time off helps you revamp your creative side.
3 - When you allow yourself to make time to relax, you then are more focused when you return.

What it costs you to NOT make the time:
1 - You get lost in the 'doing' and lose the 'creating' of business. This costs you the ability to focus on what's most important in your business.
2 - When you get stuck in the doing and doing and doing of every day, you lose that energy that people can see and feel in you. You soon get passive and bored.
3 - It costs you MONEY to not take time off, because of the focus and creativity you have lost.

How can YOU start practicing making time to take off? I challenge you to try it just ONE day this week and let us know what happens and what you learn from the experience!

Marjorie Geiser, MBA, RD, NSCA-CPT
MEG Enterprises

Monday, September 13, 2010

Creating a contract to protect yourself and your relationships

Many nutrition professionals consider contracts as something scary and a detail that they don’t need to concern themselves with. They don’t want to offend the other party, or want the other party to assume they mistrust them, yet the problem is not one of honesty, but one of protecting the relationship.

Why should you create a contract?
The obvious reason is to protect yourself. If you were to see clients in an MD office or sports clinic, you want all aspects of the agreement spelled out. If you are contracting with a corporation, you want to be very clear what you are doing, for what length of time and in exchange for what compensation.

A huge issue develops when friends decide to go into business or collaborate on a project together. Nothing will end a friendship faster than a misunderstanding around business! An oral agreement can include items/issues that each party may remember differently with the passage of time, yet if it is in writing, and the friends came to a mutual agreement on each item, the friends can refer back to that agreement.

Studies have shown that people tend to be unrealistically optimistic about the future of their personal relationships. It’s this optimism that leads to the importance in drawing up a contract when doing business with someone you have any type of relationship with.

What makes up a contract?
A contract can actually be a very simple document. In order for any contract to be legally binding, there are four basic requirements they all must have, written or oral:

1. Offer and acceptance:
a. An offer is a statement by a person that indicates a willingness to enter into a bargain on the terms stated.
b. An acceptance occurs when the person to whom the offer was addressed indicates a willingness to accept the proposed bargain.

For a dietitian, an example would include an offer to pay a certain price or percentage of business in exchange for space to see clients and acceptance of that offer from the person with the space.

2. Consideration:
a. This is anything of value that is exchanged between the parties. It can be money, property, a promise to do something or a promise to not do something. It literally means ‘a bargained-for exchange’. The requirement is met when one party gives up something of value in exchange for the other party’s giving up something of value.

An example would be the exchange that one person would provide space and the other person would pay a certain amount for the privilege of using that space. An important key is that both parties must provide something of value.

3. Both parties must have the capacity to enter into a contract:
a. This just means both parties must be mentally competent and not a minor

4. The contract must have a legal purpose:
a. This would be what the purpose of the contract is all about.

Using the above examples, the legal purpose of the contract is that the offeree is offering to pay the offeror a certain sum in exchange for the use of space.

A final section of all contracts should also include an ‘integration’ or ‘merger clause’. This is a statement at the end that states, “this agreement constitutes the entire agreement of the parties and supersedes all prior and contemporaneous agreements, representations, and understandings of the parties.”

Consider a contract as a sign of potential growth for your business and a tool to enhance all of your professional agreements and collaborations. You are in business to succeed, and I strongly believe that contracts with all parties is one sure way to continue that success.

Marjorie Geiser, MBA, RD, NSCA-CPT
MEG Enterprises

Monday, September 6, 2010

Taking a Stand as the Nutrition Expert – Overcoming the Fraud Factor

Eleanor Roosevelt said that you must do the thing you think you cannot do in order to achieve the success you desire.

When most people start their business, they tend to feel like an impostor. A question I hear quite often is, “Why would people contact me instead of someone else?” They always site the fact that others know so much more than they do.

This is absolutely normal!

And, quite often, because of your specialty and education, many people do NOT know what you know!

You decide to step out of your comfort zone and take part in a networking event. This event consists of people in the local business community and you have just started your practice. It’s time to get out and mix, you decided. But, as you walk into the building, you’re wondering, ‘What WAS I thinking?’ After all your hard work to get the doors open to your dream practice, and although you are very clear about what makes you shine above the others, suddenly you doubt you can even have an intelligent conversation with these people who MUST be more experienced and sophisticated than you are!

Or are they? Do you realize that most of the people in that room feel the same way you do?

But what is this all about? For women in particular, they feel that, regardless of the accomplishments and education they have attained, they really have fooled others into thinking they are knowledgeable and deserving. One day they will be found out, they think! However, they continue to volunteer for high positions, get that next degree, and accept organizational honors, only to feel they just have everyone very well hoodwinked. If they continue to grow, maybe no one will really ever find them out. We can definitely see that in sports dietetics, we have a wealth of extremely educated professionals.

What is this all about? It’s all about self-confidence and being ok with not knowing it all. It’s taking little steps at a time out on that high wire, and realizing that we won’t fall. And if we DO fall, that we’re only a foot from the ground. Then, once you have done what you believed you could not do, and you start to see the success that’s possible, you are ready for the next step!

And, thus success is born.

Marjorie Geiser, MBA, RD, NSCA-CPT
MEG Enterprises