Thursday, December 23, 2010

11 for '11

Eleven features of the SCAN website worth checking out in 2011. Some are accessible to all, but others are members only benefits and SCAN members must be logged into the website to access them. Enjoy!

1. Member Marketplace
Looking for products and services by SCAN members?
MEMBERS ONLY: Do you have a product to list? After signing in, click on MyProfile and then Marketplace to submit your listing.

2. PubMed feeds
SCAN volunteer Susan Dopart posts articles of interest specific to sports nutrition, cardiovascular health, wellness and weight management, and disordered eating and eating disorders with links to PubMed.

3. Nutrition Info for Consumers page
Newly designed page with information for consumers.

4. Point-of-Purchase Food Labeling Systems table
SCAN Volunteer Cheryl Toner created this table, which can be printed and used as a handout.

5.Comparison of the 2005 and 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Fats
This table can also be printed and used as a handout.

6. SCAN's E-library is growing! It contains pre-recorded webinars, workshop and symposium videos and other media. A few are free; most have a nominal charge.

7. Check out the pages dedicated to Careers and Students

8. Sports Nutrition Fact Sheets. This is one of SCAN's most popular pages.

9. MEMBERS ONLY: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
Don't miss this incredible SCAN benefit.

10. MEMBERS ONLY: PULSE Newsletters
Members can access all PULSE newsletters back to 2004 as well as the articles that are currently available for CPEU.

11. 27th Annual SCAN Symposium, March 11-13, 2011 in Chicago, IL
Register now! Price will increase after February 2, 2011. SCAN members receive discounted prices.

Here's to a healthy and prosperous 2011. Best, Marie

Marie Dunford, PhD, RD
SCAN's volunteer Web Editor

Monday, November 29, 2010

It’s About Me….and you….and us!

SCAN members—we need your help with the Find a SCAN RD feature. One of the most important features of the SCAN website is Find a SCAN RD. It is front and center on the homepage because it is critical that consumers and potential employers can easily find SCAN members. But they can’t find you unless you go to My Profile and update your information. The more information you enter the more attractive your Find a SCAN RD listing will be. To update My Profile, you must be signed in as a member.

Once you are signed in, click on My Profile, which is at the top of the page next to your name. There are three green EDIT buttons on this page.

The first section is called General Information and includes your name, credentials, contact information, etc. If you want your contact information to show on the Find a SCAN RD page then be sure to click the box that says Is Public. Under membership details, check the appropriate boxes under expertise and subunits. When you are done editing be sure to click on the green box that says SAVE.

The second section is Member Profile, which allows you to describe yourself and your services. This information will be under the heading About Me when someone looks at your Find a SCAN RD listing. It also has a SAVE button, so be sure and click it when you are done editing.

Don’t overlook the third section on the right hand side of the page, User Picture, which allows you to upload an image by clicking on Change. You may choose to upload a picture of yourself, but you don’t have to. For example, you may prefer to upload the logo of your company. Images naturally draw the eye and encourage people to view your information.

The fourth section is for your social networking information, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, or your personal Facebook page. Do you have a blog? Enter the URL and it will show on your Find a SCAN RD listing. Remember to SAVE your information after you edit it.

Tip: Once you make changes to MyProfile, go to Find a SCAN RD, enter your zip code, and take a look at your listing.

Updating your My Profile is About Me…and you…and us! It’s About Me, because that is the best ways to describe who you are and what you do. But it’s not just about you. When you update your profile it makes for a more complete Find a SCAN RD feature and that helps every SCAN member. If you have questions, please add a comment to this blog or email me privately at Best, Marie

Marie Dunford, PhD, RD

SCAN’s volunteer Web Editor

Friday, November 12, 2010

Getting love bac

So often in the media we hear general terms that describe a more complex entity. Many food and supplement companies have been using the term "probiotic" to market the health benefits of products such as yogurt, keifer, wellness drinks and now childrens snacks. Great but what is a probiotic?

It is this halo effect that I find confusing as I try to understand how to harness the power of bacteria to benefit my own health. I try to narrow down the ingredient to a single thing to look for on a food label but find that it is not a single thing. Probiotics are a classification of living, viable microorganisms that impact the gut flora and as a result provide health benefits. This makes me wonder what type I need and how much I should have, how much are in different products and what else can we eat that will provide the beneficial affect to our bodies?

Well to answer my questions I visited for answers to my clinical questions and much more. Another thing you can do is look for the National Yogurt Associations seal. The NYA Seal is available to qualified producers of live and active culture refrigerated and frozen yogurt for use on product labels and in advertising and promotional materials.

I would encourage all those who work in nutrition or any area of medicine for that matter to become engaged in this conversation. A preventative approach to health is an underlying theme of nutrition and this topic certainly lends itself to that catagory.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hearing the voice of Science

During the last session I attended, "The Peaks and Valleys in Product Innovation" it became very apparent that the role of a dietitian is becoming more complex as buisness and science take on the challange of helping people eat better.

I have to say that I am one who looks as innovation in a positive light and feel like it is my job as a dietitian to go forward with an open mind. SDA oil, probiotics and carotenoid rich veggies are food for thought and I hope that there is more to learn about them in the future.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A warm welcome at the Boston Convention Center

It may be a cold November day in Boston but inside the convention center I am welcomed by warm smiles and friendly people. This is my 8th trip to FNCE but I still get butterflies walking up to the registration table and getting my badge. Once I have my bag and book I peer down onto the Expo floor to see the maze of booths. Some names I recognize and look forward to visiting because I know there will be new ideas, hands to shake and friend to make.

Being in the midst of a large crowd can be somewhat intimidating, that is why I am so glad that I can connect on a smaller level with my SCAN friends at their events. I am especially excited to attend the reception tonight and shake the hands of those executive members who work so hard to connect with their fellow members and bring value to their time at FNCE.

Right now I am headed to my first session and then a stroll down on the Expo floor. Looks like it is going to be a full day!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Playing a bigger game in business

What do you want to accomplish in 2011 for yourself and your business? Do you have your plan together for how you're going to do this? Here are three tips to help you make that happen.

1. Invest. You've heard the idea that in order to really succeed, you need to spend some money. I know RDs are VERY fearful of doing such a thing. However, when you fear investing in yourself, and keep thinking small, you get small. So, invest in what's necessary to take you to the level you feel you need to go. This can be consultants or coaches. Imagine if you were to invest in such a way that it took your breath away. If you were to invest THAT grandly, do you think you'd step up to play that higher game? Oh, you bet you would!

2. Push. We often create our own stories in our head. You've heard them, "I can't do THAT!" and "THAT" could be anything, from calling former clients to offer them a new program you have available, standing your ground during negotiations for what you KNOW you're worth, or even (heavens!) asking a potential client who just called you to hire you! Granted, you need to know HOW to do these things. See #1.

3. Believe. You have to believe that you can accomplish anything you can imagine doing. That really is the base for being able to do #1 or #2. If you believe you have the talent and expertise and can change people's lives, then it's just a matter of putting the systems in place to make it happen AND enjoy being paid for your worth.

What will your 2011 look like? Mine is shaping up to be INCREDIBLE!I have just challenged MYself to step up and play a VERY big game. And I am in the process of re-vamping all of my services in order to help my clients do the same.

We're all about changing lives, right? How many lives would YOU like to change in the upcoming year? You can't do that if you're sitting in your home office afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

It's been my pleasure to guest blog on SCAN's site. I thank all of you for your readership and comments. I invite you to come visit my site and blog and even let me see if I can help YOU play a bigger game!

And, if you're coming to FNCE, make sure to hunt me down and say hi!

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

Monday, October 18, 2010

The power of Networking

Networking is one of those topics I keep saying that one day I'm going to do a workshop on. It certainly is one of those areas of 'love/hate' that many of us feel.

I've written about networking before, but with FNCE (ADA's Food and Nutrition Conference and Exhibition) just around the corner, I thought today would be a good one to get your head in line with networking.

If you are going to FNCE, or any networking event, for that matter, what can you do to take the fear out of networking and make it fun? Here are a couple tips:

1. Do NOT make it about you! We so often anguish about how to tell people what we do. However, effective networking isn't about US, but about the people we meet! It really does help your anxiety when you take it away from being about you - just be curious about the people you meet and ask them a lot of questions. Trust me; we all are experts about ourselves and can talk on that subject quite easily.

2. Always have more business cards than you think you need. Hand them out like candy at Halloween, too! You never know who might pass your card onto someone who would be interested in your services. In some pieces on networking, they say be stingy with your cards, but I don't agree with this. What good are those cards sitting in your pocket??

3. When you receive a card from someone who interests you, make a note on their card with something that will remind you about them. Then, when you get home, always follow up with the people you met. Ideally, within that first week. Naturally, there may be people you don't care to follow up with (I've met TONS of insurance agents at networking events!), so don't feel you have to follow up with them all. But, I imagine there will be at least one to three people you'd like to at least say hi to, to create some type of relationship with. You may not stay in close touch, but you never know when you might want to contact them or they you.

4. Set one goal to achieve at the event. An example might be to meet one particular person. Or meet one NEW person who you might have something in common with. Maybe to meet someone who would be nice to get to know better, either as a friend or someone to collaborate with. Another example could something as simple as speaking to three people you don't know!

And, as you start to plan your trip to FNCE, I encourage you to plan what YOU would like to achieve at the various networking events!

Naturally, you'll want to attend all the SCAN events.

But, as Chair of NE (Nutrition Entrepreneurs) DPG, I also would like to invite you to our Pay it Forward Networking reception on Saturday night! Only a few tickets are available, so you should sign up, now. But, would you like to meet someone like Nancy Clark? Or perhaps you would like to win her book? This event isn't JUST a time to come and browse around with others; it will be an event where you learn HOW to network!

Make FNCE, or any event, count for you! By taking control of what you would like to GET out of these events, you take control of the power networking can play in growing your business OR your career.

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

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The cost of perfection - Success

I hear it all the time: "I can't start seeing clients until....." and the list of all the things they need to do FIRST is rather endless. Does that sound like you?

What's REALLY going on?

Dietitians are great perfectionists. And they are great at planning... and planning.... and planning.... It wasn't by ACCIDENT that my book is called "Just Jump"!

When a person spends all their time trying to make things 'perfect' and keep planning, and don't actually get out there and DO IT, this often means one big thing: They don't feel confident inside!

So, yea, you can spend all your days (forever) planning and making things just right, but while you're doing that, time is passing and people who might be calling you are calling other people!

So, your planning for making things perfect is costing you! It's costing you money; it's costing you business; it's costing you success! It's costing you your dream!

OK, we've painted the picture of what can hold you back. Now, how do you step out of that pit of perfection and turn it around into creating success?

1 - JUST DO IT. You've heard that saying, I know! You're never going to really know what works and doesn't until you get into the 'trenches', so to speak. Take a client! Tell people you're ready. Yes, inside you may not be, but trust me; you know much more than you give yourself credit for. And I PROMISE you know more than your clients know! And where you may feel you're flying by the seat of your pants, they may walk out of that first session saying, "Wow, that was better than I thought!"

2 - SAY YES. Honestly, there is no other way to start creating success on the inside than to 'just do it'! Now, what may happen after that first session is that you didn't like how that first session went. NOW you have something to work on, though! But, when that second call comes, TAKE IT! With every yes (with exceptions - see #3, below), your self-confidence grows.

3 - FOCUS. This means stop going in 1,600 directions. For every opportunity that comes your way (or every new educational option), ask yourself, "Does this help me achieve my goals right now?" Grin; all my clients know this question. If you do NOT answer "Yes", then say "no" and let it go. The first few times you do this, you'll feel nervous, but soon your confidence will start to grow, because the yeses are more focused and enhance what you want to do, and what you do well. Embrace this tip and take it seriously. This is a HUGE key to success at every level.

I could go on, because once I get going, I LOVE this topic. But I'll stop there. Let me know what works for you AND let me know you've actually stopped planning and have JUMPED!

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

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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Raising your income level by knowing your value

What is your value?

When you contact a company with the proposal that they use your nutrition services, what are you selling them? If you think you are selling them a service, it's time to reconsider!

Organizations don't buy consulting services, they buy access to your ideas, your knowledge, your expertise. They sign up to secure access to you and your company so that they can perform better, whether it's the athletes or employees or executives.

As a result of this, as a consultant, you do not want to minimize your services by giving the company a quote for the number of hours worked. You want to give them a quote for the value you are bringing to the company.

Do you know what that value is?

Think about something special that YOU spent money on in the last six months. Why did you purchase that product or service? Really think about it. Chances are, it's because it met some type of need. And the way it was presented was in such a way that you could visualize what it would cost to NOT meet that need.

Think about this:
** You ask the company these questions: What is it they want to accomplish; how will they know they have accomplished it; what will it cost them to NOT accomplish this goal; and how will it look when they've accomplished this goal? Most corporations looking at bringing in a corporate wellness consultant are doing so in order to cut costs.

Here is an example of some of what you'll say:
So, they will be able to save X% of its healthcare costs as a result of working with you. Will this interest them? Most likely.

* Previous companies who have contracted with you have been able to decrease healthcare costs by at least X%. Will this interest them more? Yea!

* You have several programs the company can choose from, so instead of choosing between contracting with you or NOT contracting with you, you can ask, "Which program would fit your needs better?" This gives the company choices that do NOT include "Yes" or "No" to working with you. Do you have a new contract, now? Probably!

How will you 'sell' your value?

Often we look at the features we are selling, not the results. As indicated above, focus on results and be clear about what your value is.

Then sign on the bottom line and smile on the way out the door.

Now your value is MORE than the dollar amount to that contract. Now you have increased confidence and are ready for the NEXT company! And the income level is rising...

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

Monday, August 23, 2010

Time + Perception = Challenge

I’ve been asking people, “What is your biggest current challenge” and have noticed a trend. We see it on here, too; when I write about time management, people take notice.

We’re all looking for how to manage the time we have better. What people told me in reply to my question above was this:
• Having time for myself
• Balance
• Balance
• Finding time
• Learning how to say no

Do you hear yourself in any of these? Do you see a trend??

I’ve written about time management in this blog before, so I’m not going to repeat myself. If you haven’t read them, check old SCAN blogs and read them, now. What I am going to discuss, though, is our PERCEPTION of time.

What do I mean by “perception of time”, you ask?

We all have the same amount of time in a day. Often we observe very successful people and wonder “How DO they fit it all in?” Yet they have the same number of hours in a day you do!

Sure, they might have better organizational skills. And I totally believe in the value of help (we can build a small business on our own, but to take it to the next level, you do need other people). But, above it all, they all have two things in common:
- They have a clear vision and a plan for achieving that vision
- They PERCEIVE that they have the time to achieve that vision (each day, week, month, etc)

So, great, I’ve now shared with you what the most accomplished people have in common, and have basically told you that you need to change your PERCEPTION! But you’re probably now asking, “Now what?”

This is where coaching comes in! What is your belief around your time (or lack of)? Do you moan that you just have way too much to do, with school and your business and children, etc? Do you believe you can’t do something yet, because you ‘don’t have time’? What would you like your time/days to look and feel like? How would you feel if your reality was your ideal vision?

This the first place to start in looking at your perception of your time issue. And I was tempted to walk you through a great exercise that is called “The Work”, but instead decided to give you the link to the specific exercise. If this is truly an issue for you, take your belief around time into that exercise and share with us what comes up for you! (And, as an aside, if you are not familiar with Byron Katie and The Work, I also suggest you check out her videos of her DOING ‘The Work’.)

There is a way to be in control of your day, your business, your life, your time. We all strive for that control. When you have it, things couldn’t be better! And it IS possible!

It’s all in your perception.

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

Monday, August 16, 2010

Build your Platform so they come

Generally when we discuss a “Platform” we are discussing book publishing. However, it dawned on me that it can have just as much value for “just” a business as for a book! So, let’s look at what it means to develop your platform and why you would want to do it.

Although my book, Just Jump, has been out for a couple of years, I am always looking at new ways to promote it. It really has helped change lives, which I’m extremely proud of, so I want to continue to spread the word, and expand into new audiences.

And, I DO plan to write the sequel (for ‘service professionals’) one day.
I share this because I’ve been listening to a lot of audio programs all around book writing and promoting, etc, and a constant term that keeps popping up is building a platform for the book. And, just as a side-note, apparently the key to getting an agent is to already HAVE a platform!

So why not start now??

Build the platform and they will come
Many times professionals think that if they build a website or blog or rent an office and run an ad, that people will start swamping to them. I don’t need to tell YOU that this just isn’t the case! However, once you’ve built that PLATFORM, they DO come!

But what the heck is a platform!? Is it like the stage an act will perform on? Is it for loading/unloading goods?

You can consider your platform your stage and where you will unload your goods/services from, actually. It’s the whole package of who you are to the world.

It’s the combination of attending networking events, offering workshops, presentations, creating your website and blog, it’s showing up on all the social networking sites. It’s writing articles for both online and local venues.

It’s showing up EVERYWHERE!

I like to say that the big sign that you’ve made it is when someone you have never met and you didn’t think knew you says, “Oh yea, I know who you are”. Or, I love the one where someone local says, “You are EVERYWHERE!” YES!

That’s your platform.

One of the speakers I listened to last week talked about being short on the New York best sellers list by ONE POINT! She said she had done EVERYTHING. Except one thing: She was not posting on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Would it have made the difference? Probably.

Now, what is YOUR platform?
What are you NOT doing right now that you’ve been thinking you really should? What can you do to change that?

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

Monday, August 9, 2010

Marketing Success: Tapping into the Feelings

I know that as soon as I mention ‘Marketing’, dietitians do two things: They shudder with dread, and their ears perk up, because they want to know more.

First, marketing is just speaking to the goals or aspirations that your clients want. And this is why so many RDs struggle with it! Many will put the word out there about what THEY do, and they skip the part that addresses that chronic question potential clients have, which is “What’s in it for me?”

But how do you gain success with marketing? You have to tap into their feelings! THAT will tell them what’s in it for them: What problems you’ll solve, how they’ll resolve the struggles they deal with.

Think about it: What do you see in a car commercial? For family cars, you may hear all about their safety features. For the more sporty cars, though, you don’t see any mention of car seats or TVs! No, it’s fancy ladies and handsome men, looking sexy and attractive, and flying around rural curves. They are saying, “This can be you.”

They are tapping into the feelings.

Now, because I’m a coach, I use a lot of coaching techniques, but imagine this: You are targeting active women who want to become more fit and start training for events such as marathons or tri’s. If you promote yourself that you are an RD who is an athlete and went to this school and have these degrees, etc, and can provide them with meal plans, blaw, blaw, blaw… it will get their attention.

HOWEVER, talk about the benefits they will get through working with you, such as dropping that stubborn body fat, increasing their time, feeling more energized and looking GREAT, and now you will also get their call.

One more example: A woman who wishes to lose weight but just can’t seem to find anyone who really can help her. She hates what she sees in the mirror, and feels sluggish and unsexy all the time. She avoids thinking much about what she eats because she has never been successful with each ‘diet’ she has gone on. Why bother, she thinks.

YOUR message? It’s that mirror image to her problems!
* You can help her look fantastic, and love what she sees in the mirror.

* You can help her get to where she LOVES to go clothes shopping. Afterall, after working with YOU, she’ll have to go clothes shopping!

* Not only will she feel sexy again, but she’ll be more energized.

* She’ll become more active and enjoy it, and understand the role that food plays in her health.

* She’ll learn, through working with you, that food is fuel and something to look forward to and not fear.

* She will eliminate the diet mentality and learn how to eat to live, rather than live to eat.

YOU are the solution to her problems!

What else comes to mind for you? What are your clients’ struggles? Write them down and then literally write down the mirror image of those struggles, just as I did above. See what comes up for you, and then see what develops in your business as a result.

You know what your clients' struggles are. Now you just need to tap into the feelings and focus on your marketing SPEAKING to those feelings in order to achieve marketing success.

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

Monday, August 2, 2010

When the "easy button" doesn't work

There are periods of time when everything runs smoothly; the phone is ringing and clients are booking appointments with you, reporters are calling to quote your greatness in their papers, new teams are interested in what you can do for their players, and you are totally on a roll of success.

You have your support team of experts and advisers who have helped you accomplish more, and things couldn’t get much better!

That’s the peak of the hill.

But soon comes the valley….

In those valleys, suddenly you find yourself working harder to generate more buzz about your business. And along the way, you start hitting this wall or that, related to either a troublesome or unhappy client, or technology, or a family event requires more of your time than you feel you have at the moment, or a contract falls through.

I just collaborated with a partner on a new project, and I was just so proud of myself that in a very short period of time, with the help of my website designer and my VA, we set up the entire program and infrastructure in just a matter of about a week. I even joked that I had hit the ‘easy button’!


Suddenly, with everything, this glitch and that glitch developed. And that stinking easy button wasn’t working!

What do you do?

  • First, when you hit upon glitches with your clients, it’s time to pull out “Raving Fans” and re-read it. This will calm you down and give you a new perspective on what’s important and perhaps how best to handle the situation.
  • I have to remind myself of this definition: “insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” When you start spending too much time on an issue/project and you’re getting nowhere, contact your help. Think of the wasted time as money.
  • But what if you don’t HAVE help? If you are hitting your head against a wall, that’s a screaming message that it’s time to just stop and walk away. Take a break! Our creativity and productivity requires breaks. Without them, we lose both. It’s like when a person is trying to diet and avoid a certain food. What usually happens? They eat all these other foods to avoid that particular food and THEN still eats that food, thus making the situation worse.
  • So, if you walk away and take the rest of the day off when you’re working on something that’s not turning out well, all of life will not end as you know it. Yes, you do have two choices: You can keep hitting that wall (which could get quite bloody), and not get anywhere and find yourself working on it the next day. Or you could take the day off, enjoy yourself, and come back to it the next day, anyway, but renewed and refreshed.

The peak will come again. As an entrepreneur who will never give up, you know it always does. (Trust me.) When you offer a great service that you KNOW people want, and you know you’re good at what you do, it’s inevitable. What ends most businesses, though, is how they handle the valleys.

I'm stubborn, myself, and will never give up. And my business is still going well, so I don't plan on closing my doors any time soon. So, I have to take my own advice and learn how to move forward when the easy button doesn't work.

And, to be honest, I haven’t gone out and BOUGHT my easy button, yet, anyway!


Marjorie Geiser, MBA, RD, NSCA-CPT

MEG Enterprises

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Myth of Multi-Tasking

Multi-tasking. Oh, we all do it.
I know *I* sure do! And I KNOW it’s ineffective!

Here’s a perfect example of my morning, today: I have to write this blog for SCAN, I have to write one for my own Just Jump blog, I have to send our NE Executive Assistant my notes, etc, for our EC meeting next week, I have to send my bookkeeper the list of who to invoice for August, I need to spend my allotted 5 minutes/day on each social networking site, and…. Oh, and see clients and run errands and make it to an eye doc appointment. And complete ALL of that today.

So, here I am, at 9am on a Monday morning, and I’m about to tear my hair out, because I have fallen into that trap of MULTITASKING!

Research has shown that multitasking is NOT effective; that we actually can accomplish much more by SINGLE-TASKING. So, although I’ve written about some of this before, I feel it’s never enough to reinforce how best to take advantage of SINGLE-TASKING, by providing some tips.

Ah yea, that chronic time zapper. I love Dave Allen’s approach. Do you know why you will zero out your phone answering machines, but not your email inbox? Read Dave Allen’s book “Getting things done” to learn how to change this.

But, for right now, here are three tips: 1. determine the allotted time for reading emails and stick to that. Then shut DOWN your email reader. Set a timer, if necessary; 2. When you first open your email, do a quick initial scan and delete what you do NOT have to read, or file those for ‘later’ in their respective folders; and 3. Make sure to set up folders and filters. I could not LIVE without them!

Without my list, I tend to forget the most important things and complete tasks that could have waited.

In order to be your most productive, write down what you want to accomplish in the day. Experts say to put the most important first, which I do, but I still find it works if I then prioritize the rest.

HOWEVER, if you have more than ~5 items on your day’s list, stop. If you have too many items on your DAILY list, you will be less accomplished and will feel like a failure at the end of the day. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking EVERYTHING is ‘urgent’.

Read Steven Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Successful People” to learn more about this.

Have you ever been in the middle of writing something or creating a new program/project, and are on a great, creative roll, and then the phone rings? What do you do?

If you answer the phone, you have just COST yourself money! If it’s a potential client who just called you, if they are serious, they will leave a message. If you are too worried about this, and business is picking up, maybe it’s time for a phone service! But DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE!

I think I shared this before: My Social Media VA once told me to spend no more than 5 minutes a day on these sites. Pick which ones to spend the most days on, and then stick to that schedule. You know what? IT WORKS!

These are just a few simple tips that can help you move from multi-tasking to single tasking. Give it a try for a day or two and let us know how it works for you! You’ll be amazed.

I now have my list, I have gone through my email, and one of my tasks is now complete. Time for #2 on my list...

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

Monday, July 19, 2010

Physical Self and Business Self- Are they different?

Most of you can relate to working your body for an event or physical challenge. Yet, when it comes to business, you see that as a totally different animal! Are they really?

Let’s compare building your physical capabilities with your business capabilities and see how closely they really parallel each other.

Starting out:
When you start a particular sport, you find coaches and mentors who support, challenge and educate you. You depend on the wisdom of these people to help you learn the ropes of your sport, or even what it takes to achieve success in any physical endeavor. You hang out with people who are doing the things you are doing.

When you start your business, though, do you realize it’s exactly the same thing? But what often happens, perhaps, is you’ve never been exposed to other business professionals, so you feel like a fish out of water!

A good first start is by searching out nutrition colleagues who are also in business. Dietitians often feel intimidated to go out of their field at first, because they haven’t flexed their business muscle, yet! They don’t understand the language or concepts. I know; I was once there, myself! When I’d go to ‘business’ events, I felt extremely unworthy… I knew nutrition and fitness, NOT business, I’d say!

This leads to a good second step: Start reading business magazines. A couple good examples would be Entrepreneur, or Fast Company or Fortune Small Business. Like any new language, it’s going to take awhile to learn. But you are no dummy, so you’ll pick it up. And you’ll learn some new concepts or ideas for your business along the way! Yes, there is a whole other world out there…

But now you have to step OUT of the world of sports and dietetics and into the world of business! This means go to some of the local chamber of commerce meetings to expose yourself to this other world. Also see if there is a local business/entrepreneur organization. Many towns have a local chapter of the Small Business Association, which offer extremely affordable classes AND even free mentoring or support! When I started business school, I became aware of our local Women’s Business Center, which was an extremely invaluable resource for me while taking my business to the next level.

Growing pains:
As time went on, perhaps you found that the training and your events either weren’t as challenging or as fun as they used to be. Something was missing. Perhaps it was time for a new physical challenge! Maybe instead of tri’s, you’re ready to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro, or you’re ready for a century bike ride.

This is the same with your company. Now you are an established business, but the thrill is gone. Or the success you had hoped for hasn’t come. But where it seemed very logical with your physical changes, you’re stumped when it comes to what to do with the business!

For many businesses, if they are to evolve and continue to grow, SOMETHING has to change. Think of every big company who has lasted: Every single one makes changes. Even Google! Who would have thought they’d be offering phones five years, or even TWO years ago? Remember when Apple was struggling: BEFORE the iPhone??? We all wonder what’s next for them. Why are you any different?

This may mean going back to the drawing board and sitting down as if you are starting from scratch. What is your vision today? Maybe it’s different than it was when you first started your business. Who do you imagine working with? Again, this could be totally different than years earlier and your passion has changed! And that’s ok! It’s ok to re-invent yourself, just as it’s ok to change your physical focus from running ultra marathons to hiking or kayaking!

What can you take away from this message? My hope is you can see the parallels between your physical self and your business self.

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

Monday, July 12, 2010

Connections that grow your future

Have you ever sat back and thought of the people in your life who have helped you get to where you are, today?

No one grows and progresses in a bubble. Yea, we’ve heard that one, before. But what does it really mean?

What brought this up for me was the recent conversation I had with my website designer. I’ve known her for over five years, now. And it all started with one of my first classes in the Women’s Business Center when I started business school. I didn’t even KNOW that this center existed when I first started my business back in 1996! Too bad! But in that class, which was a marketing class, our instructor asked if any of us had business cards.

I was quite proud of my cards: I had created them myself and printed them up as I needed. And I was still using MEG Fitness, because I didn’t know what to do with my business coaching, yet.
Well, Olga looked at my card and, figuratively, tore it apart! Why did I have these figures, what do these colors mean, why do I have this line here? Heck, I don’t know; because it all looked good?!
First lesson in marketing – have a purpose and plan.

Oh, and why was my business called MEG Fitness when I was offering business coaching?? Oh yea; good question.

But, I loved it and valued her mentor-ship a great deal. We may not stay in close touch, but we will always stay in touch, and I know she loves to tell that story as much as I do.

But what else came out of that relationship was her introduction to Suzan from Creative Raven, who first started out as my graphic designer. Olga kindly said to me, “You need to contact this lady so she can design a new business card for you.” Got it! But, I knew she was right and thus began a relationship with a wonderful business professional who has helped me grow and refine my image through the years.

Think about every connection you have. Yea, this can be hard. So think of the most recent connections. Where did these people come from? What developed as a result? I bet if you think about it, you’ll be able to think of at least ONE story like what I shared above. Who did you meet at a meeting, who then gave your name to someone else for an opportunity?

Never skip the chance to meet someone or have a conversation with someone. You never know what might develop. I literally could tell dozens of such stories as above.

I’m going to share one last story with you: In a presentation I gave in April, I spoke about my experience with Toastmasters. I believe that ANYONE who speaks, or wants to speak, publicly, should join Toastmasters. Last weekend, as Treasurer of my club, I attended the Toastmasters Leadership Training. In our first break-out session, we each stood up to introduce ourselves. After my table, someone in the next table stood up and shared that because of ME, she had joined Toastmasters! WOW! When she and I spoke later, I realized the impact that my talk had on her AND the impact that this decision will have in her career (which is exactly my mission!).

But, as I gave her and her fellow club officer my cards to invite them to an upcoming book signing event, she shared that she was glad she ran into me again, because she wanted me to come speak at her company.


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

Monday, July 5, 2010

Incorporate coaching for greater client and professional success

Are you familiar with coaching, yet?
Do you realize that coaching is one of the fastest-growing professions in the WORLD? And who better to incorporate coaching tools into their practice than RDs.

But what is it, what’s necessary to call yourself a coach, and how can you learn more?

What is coaching?
Coaching literally is the process of asking questions to guide the client to where he/she wants to go. According to the International Coach Federation, coaching is “Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” It is based on the concept that the client is the expert, which is different than what we’re taught in school, where WE are the experts and we will impart our knowledge and wisdom upon the learners and they will be better for it.

Has that worked real well for you each time?
Probably not…

Coaching empowers the client and they start taking action! Oh sure, some of your serious athletes will do anything you tell them (up to a point), but what about the others? How do you reach them?

Coaching is different from therapy because you are helping your client move FORWARD, not look at where they’ve been. Coaching is different than mentoring, because how YOU do things is irrelevant. And it’s taking motivational interviewing another step towards the client, again.

What do you need to call yourself a coach?


It’s like ‘nutritionists’. I once asked a lady what qualified her to call herself a nutritionist. She said (and I kid you not), “I’ve been reading nutrition books all my life!” Oh… well, of course…

However, if you want to stand above the rest of the pack jumping on the coaching bandwagon, get some training! Again, it’s not required, but will give you the SKILLS to coach with competence.

How can you learn more?
The best first place to start is with the ICF. I like to say that the ICF is to professional coaches what ADA is to dietitians. Spend time on their site; check out the schools listed, and what the ICF is all about. ICF does not offer education. They do offer certification, though.

Two credible schools that offer wellness coaching are Wellcoaches and Intrinsic Coaching. I have yet to learn of any others that specialize in wellness that I would recommend, although there ARE other wellness coaching schools, because this is a HOT area of growth potential. (Important point: This does NOT mean there are not other quality general coaching schools, but this is not the place to discuss them.)

Why not investigate if adding coaching to your set of tools would help grow your business or career? It’s a great fit for RDs, and you can’t lose by learning how best to empower your clients!

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