What we cover:
More About Katie Dodd
Katie is the owner of Katie Dodd Nutrition LLC which comprises of The Geriatric Dietitian and Dietitian Side Hustle brands. She currently works a full time job in home care and has many side hustles including writing, speaking, blogging, podcasting, and volunteer work within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Connect With Katie
- Dietitian Side Hustle
- The Geriatric Dietitian
- Dietitian Side Hustle Facebook Group
- Geriatric Dietitian Facebook Page
- Dietitian Side Hustle Instagram
- The Geriatric Dietitian Instagram
- Dietitian Side Hustle YouTube Channel
- Dietitian Side Hustle Podcast
Katie’s Free Download
- Free “Getting Started” Worksheet at dietitiansidehustle.com
Episode 027 Show Notes
- Check out my FREE Facebook group – The Unconventional RD Community
- My 3 online courses – The Unconventional RD Business Bootcamp
- FREE Start a Website Tutorial
Please note that some of the following links are affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.
- Healthy Aging DPG
- Oregon Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics
- Board Certified Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition
- Nutrition Dimension
- Dietitian Central
- Kodiak Cakes
- Meals on Wheels of America
- RD2RD (affiliate link)
- Smart Passive Income
- RD Entrepreneur Symposium (affiliate link)
- Effect Positivity (affiliate link)
- Amazon Associates
- ShareASale (affiliate link)
- Rachel Hollis
- The start today journal
- Later (affiliate link)
- Google Analytics
- Smart From Scratch Course
- The Blog Millionaire
- Greg Todd’s Smart Success Healthcare
- The Hello Seven Podcast
Read the Transcript
Welcome to The Unconventional RD podcast, where we inspire dietitians to think outside of the traditional employment box and create their own unconventional income stream. We’ll talk all things online business to help you start, grow, and scale your own digital empire.
What to Expect From This Episode
I am so pumped for this week’s interview. Today we have dietitian Katie Dodd on the podcast! And we’ll get into her background a bit more in the interview, but Katie is a full time VA dietitian and has several side hustles going on.
Her first side hustle is a blog called The Geriatric Dietitian where she publishes blog posts and sells eBooks for geriatric caregivers.
We recorded this episode a few months ago, so you’ll hear in the interview how Katie says that her site has about a thousand monthly sessions around eight months in. Well, I just wanted to give you guys a quick update because now, at the time of this episode going live, her website is officially one year old and she hit 20,000 monthly sessions last month!! With just 26 blog posts on her site. So that’s freaking amazing.
Her goal is to get enough traffic to qualify for the ad network Mediavine. That requirement used to be 25,000 monthly sessions. You’ve probably heard me say that many times on this podcast, but as of a week or so ago, they raised that requirement to 50,000 monthly sessions. So she still has a ways to go, but she is on the right track 1000%. Um, and the goal is to get to that ad network so you can make money from display ads and continue to grow your audience and sell your digital goods.
And full disclosure: Katie is a student in all three of my Unconventional RD Business Bootcamp courses. Um, the ones that teach SEO (so how to get found via search engines like Google) how to monetize (like by selling digital goods, for example, or getting on an ad network and optimizing those ads), and then also email marketing (to make sure that you’re consistently selling your stuff and it’s not just like petering out after you launch).
So these are the results that she’s achieved, in part, by implementing my SEO strategies right from the beginning when she first launched her website a year ago. So I’m so, so excited for her!
And her second side hustle is another website and podcast called The Dietitian Side Hustle, where she shares her tips and experiences with “side hustling” and earning additional income while still working a full-time job.
And I know many of you listening are in that same place, where maybe you actually love your job and you’re not really dying to quit, but the idea of a side hustle intrigues you and sounds like something you might really enjoy.
So in today’s episode, Katie is sharing with us how she got into side hustling. She’s also explaining the benefits of side hustling, how to figure out whether it’s the right fit for you, examples of dietitian side hustles that you can get into, what her typical week looks like while working full time and doing a side hustle and how she balances it all, and her best advice for RDs interested in starting a new side hustle today. So let’s dive in!
Introduction to Katie Dodd
Erica: Oh my gosh, Katie, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today! I am kind of like a super fan of all the stuff that you’re working on. I love your podcast, I love your infectious positivity and your insane ability, honestly, to just get stuff done. So I’m really excited to talk with you today and for everyone to hear your story.
Katie: Thank you. I appreciate you having me.
Erica: So to start, could you tell us more, maybe, about your background in dietetics? And since today we’re talking about side hustling, what led you to want to start a side hustle?
Katie: Sure. So I’ve been a dietitian now for 11 years. Um, I work full time with the VA and a home care program and it actually was my first job out of school and I’m still in this job. So I’m, I don’t think I’m that unique, but I’m one of those people who like, I totally love my full-time job. I get to hang out with really cool veterans. I get to drive around beautiful Southern Oregon and just talk to these amazing veterans about food all day.
So I’ve got a really sweet gig. The VA pays me well and I love my full time job. So I am a board-certified specialist in gerontological nutrition. I do a lot of work with that. I volunteer a lot. Like, I volunteer a lot right now. I’m the past chair of the Healthy Aging DPG. I’m the business development director for the Oregon Academy.
I’m on the CSG, which is the board certified specialists in gerontological nutrition, um, exam development team. And I was recently elected to serve as a commissioner for CDR. So, um, I’ve been volunteering with the Academy for the past 10 consecutive years, either one, two, sometimes three positions. So I have a volunteering problem, but I really love our profession.
I love giving back. I love the energy of working with other volunteers and it’s just kind of what I’m into, it’s my hobby. Um, and I think it kind of made me realize I’ve actually been side hustling in unpaid positions for probably the last 10 years. So I later realized that I can take the same skills and energy that I use in volunteering and use that to make money through a side hustle.
So, and even like side hustling for me, because I’m such a big volunteer, when I got into side hustling I was like, gosh, this is stuff I would do for free. And the fact that they paid me, it was just like mind-blowing at the time.
How Katie Got Into Side Hustling
Katie: So what led me to side hustling? So I, I kind of fell into it by accident.
I, I kinda, I, I think it’s kind of a fun story, but I was at an event in Texas and, um, I was coming back from Texas to Medford, Oregon where I live and I happened to sit next to a stranger on a plane. I sat next to her and she looks so familiar. I’m like, where have I seen you before?
And I met her at FNCE on the expo floor and we connected because we were both from Medford, Oregon, and that’s not super common that, you know, two of us, you know, cause Medford’s a small community. So anyway, I started talking to her, her name was Dale and she is an entrepreneurial dietitian. She started a business called Nutrition Dimensions.
It’s an online continuing education company. She started in the 1980s and at the time it was like mail order CPEs. So she’d mail out catalogs to dietitians and, you know, people would like send in what they wanted, they’d mail in their quizzes. And it was, anyways, she was very, um, also very savvy in transitioning to be online as the world’s shifted.
So anyway, I met her and I started talking to her and I had asked her if I could, you know, job shadow, get some experience from her, because I wanted to get better at writing myself. And, um, with her continuing ed it was all writing. So anyways, we exchanged business cards and I emailed her after FNCE and she ended up messaging me back.
She saw that I had the CSG credential and she said, you know what? I had someone who was supposed to update some papers, um, on geriatric nutrition that fell through, would you be interested? And so I ended up starting to do writing with Nutrition Dimensions, which was my first side hustle.
And I remember when they paid me, I was so excited because, again, it’s like, I was learning how to perfect my craft of writing and this was stuff to me that was so fun. I would have done it for free. So the fact that they paid me, I was like, this is amazing. So it kind of fell into my first side hustle by accident.
The biggest reasons Katie loves side hustling
Katie: Um, it’s stuff that I’m passionate about. I love, like I’m a very creative human, and so it kind of helps feed into that creative outlet. And in a lot of ways, nutrition, isn’t just my profession. It’s my hobby. That’s what I like to do.
So again, I fell into it by accident, but I think the other reason that I liked to side hustle is finances. So I could talk a lot about this, but I think that in school we learn how to be a dietitian, but we don’t learn how to make money. We’re often told, you know, um, you know, you get out of school, you take a clinical job, you gotta work a couple years in clinical. And then once you get that experience, then you can move up into a higher paying job.
And we know that of all the allied health care professionals, dietitians are some of the lowest-paid. So I am lucky in my full-time job that I’m pretty well paid, but it is hard to be a young professional to get out of school, into traditional jobs that aren’t paid very well. And you have student loans, you know, if you end up having children, like daycare’s crazy expensive. I had two kids in daycare for a year and it was more than my mortgage. Um, if you have a house, do you have a mortgage? And also unpaid maternity leave!
So I fell into side hustling by accident. I really was grateful for it, especially having two children and unpaid maternity leave, being able to make the extra money on the side. So, um, again, I think being a young professional out of school, you know, with all these debts and all these expenses, a lot of dietitians are looking for a way to make an extra buck.
So for me, it’s again, mostly passion, but then also financial.
Erica: I don’t think I knew that initial story of meeting that woman on the plane! That’s really awesome and like, so serendipitous.
Erica: Yeah. I know I got paid, way back, to do some educational test writing. Like I totally remember getting paid, I don’t even know, probably like 50 bucks or something, but I was like, Oh my gosh, this is fun!
Katie’s Current Side Hustles
Erica: So what are you doing now? Like what are your various side hustles at this moment?
Katie: Yeah, so I do several things.
1. Freelance Writing
Katie: I do freelance writing. Um, that’s primarily through Upwork. That is (for anyone not familiar) that is a website. It’s upwork.com. And it’s just somewhere that people can find writing opportunities. So I do freelance writing.
Katie: I still periodically do editing. That’s what I was doing with Nutrition Dimensions. I don’t do as much work with them anymore.
Katie: I do webinars, um, primarily through a company called Dietitian Central. I have one on Thursday. They’re super fun.
4. Contract Work
Katie: I’ve started doing some work with brands. Not a lot, but I did a little bit of contract work with Kodiak Cakes, which was super fun cause I love Kodiak Cakes. And then I had a really fun contract gig late last year with Meals on Wheels of America, or at least the educational component of Meals on Wheels of America.
So those are kind of the side hustles I do.
Leaning into Entrepreneurship
Katie: But last year I started really dreaming big with my side hustle. I went to a conference. It was actually a year ago this past week. It was the Oregon and Washington Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual conference. It was in Seattle. I went there with my dad and I was so blown away and inspired by three different dietitians that I listened to speak.
And it made me realize that I have side hustles, I guess I didn’t really… I don’t know, it was just stuff I did and got paid for and it made me realize, Oh, wait, I am a side hustler and in a way, I am an entrepreneur. I never really identified as an entrepreneur. And it just really opened my eyes for all the opportunities there are for dietitians.
So I remember I really just started dreaming at that conference, as far as like, what can I do for my side hustle? What can I do for a business? How can I take what I’m doing and make it even bigger and better? And then I ended up finding your group, The Unconventional RD. Another random thing.
I was on Facebook one day and I got this popup and it said, Facebook is moving more towards groups. Here’s some groups you might be interested in. And so one of the groups was, um, The Unconventional RD. And so I just joined the group. I didn’t even really know what that meant, but I remember right when I got access to the group, you had just finished your free webinar for the Make Money Blogging course.
And I was late past it, but I remember I emailed you. I was like, Hey, can I take this webinar? And you emailed me the direct link and I was able to watch it later. And I think from there, that’s where I really just became obsessed with this whole world of opportunity of what you could do online and how we can make money in this world.
And just the ways! I had no idea. So, um, from there, I ended up taking courses through The Unconventional RD and I started my first brand, which was The Geriatric Dietitian. So that is a blog. So I, I’ve got a lot of pieces of the puzzle for it, but I have a blog, I have some online communities, a pretty active Instagram page, a Facebook group or community on Facebook. Um, I have some digital products on RD2RD. I just released an E cookbook. Um, I am going to be working on creating a course soon through The Geriatric Dietitian. So, um, really The Geriatric Dietitian is an online business.
And then last fall I started Dietitian Side Hustle, which is a podcast and a blog. And I started it really on a whim. Actually, I knew I wanted to do a podcast, but I really thought that it was going to be related to The Geriatric Dietitian.
One other random thing about me is that I love precepting dietetic interns. Like I love helping dietitians. I love helping students. Like it’s one of my favorite things to do. And I remember I left my full-time job and I had just talked to a dietitian. I think we were talking about like making more money as a dietitian or something like that. It’s something I love talking about, money, and just how dietetic interns and dietitians, we really can make a lot more money than what’s traditionally taught.
And so anyways, I remember leaving work just like, Oh man, I love sharing these things I’ve learned along the way. I love building people up and just inspiring them. Like you guys can do anything. So, so anyways, I just, I remember leaving feeling really inspired.
And then I listened to a podcast by Pat Flynn, Smart Passive Income. And he was talking about the state of podcasting in 2020. And he pretty much said like, you need to start a podcast now. And here’s why. So I’m like, okay, Pat Flynn! And I think that was like on a Tuesday. On Thursday, I really decided I was going to do it. And by Saturday I had my podcast live and recorded and all these things.
So I ended up going with The Dietitian Side Hustle because I love sharing everything that I learned. I do home care, so when I’m driving from visit to visit with these dietetic interns, I’m telling them the same stories over and over again. And I was like, oh, I could tell these stories into a microphone and share it with other dietitians, other students. And it just made me realize it’s just something I’m passionate about. And when I record The Dietitian Side Hustle podcast episodes it’s like the easiest thing I do. So I really started it just out of this passion that I have.
And then in January, I decided I wanted to shift from everything I’m doing as just a hobby. Cause up until then, that’s what I called it. I was just like, Oh, it’s my hobby. It’s what I do for fun. Um, to become a, like an official business. So in January I became an LLC.
So I have a business now, Katie Dodd Nutrition, LLC. And under the LLC, I have The Geriatric Dietitian, I have Dietitian Side Hustle, and another little side thing that’s going to be coming down hopefully later this year. So, um, so anyway, I, I do a lot of side hustles, but I’m kind of transitioning from doing side hustles and work for other people to building and creating my own business, my own empire, to where, while I’m not bringing in a ton of money right now through Katie Dodd Nutrition specifically, there’s so much more opportunity down the line that I know I’ll be able to make significantly more money.
Erica: Yeah. That’s a really good distinction too. Cause that’s true. There’s different types of side hustling. There’s kind of like more one-off things that you could do for other companies, you know, like maybe someone hires you to give a webinar one time, or freelance writing. That can be more consistent, but yeah, there is so much opportunity in creating your own brand because once you hit that critical mass, I think you really can surpass what you can make doing the more random side gigs, I guess.
So just before we move on, I just like how you took all this expertise that you had from your job and all the certifications that you got and you turned that into a blog and a place to share and like help more people outside of just the people that you come into contact with in your job.
And we’ll probably touch on this, but I know you shared that you get feedback from people, emailing you or leaving a comment or whatever, saying thank you so much. Like this really, really helped me. And I can only imagine that’s just incredibly gratifying, whether it’s making money or not.
Katie: Yeah, absolutely. That’s honestly, my favorite thing is when I get that feedback and those comments. With The Geriatric Dietitian, I had posted this post that there’s some research done for older adults with dementia, a lot of them struggle with poor intake. They don’t eat a lot. So there’ve been some studies that show that just by switching out the plate to a red plate, it adds more contrast to the plate and people with dementia can increase their intake, you know, consume more.
So anyways, I posted this on Instagram and then later I had someone post a picture. It was a red plate and there was some chicken bones and some little sprinklings of corn and they posted it and they tagged me and they said like, this person they were caring for has dementia, that they couldn’t get them to eat. They’ve been really struggling. How do I help them eat more? They did the simple swap, gave them a red plate and they finished their plate, like, for the first time in forever. And anyways, I saw that and it just like warmed my heart. It was like, Oh, that’s why I’m doing it.
The Benefits of Side Hustling Alongside a Full Time Job
Erica: So why are you passionate about spreading the message about side hustling as a dietitian? Even if someone likes their full-time job, why might they consider getting into starting a side hustle?
Katie: Yeah. So I’m passionate about helping other dietitians start a side hustle while they have a full time job.
I think part of it is just who I am. It’s just, like I said, I like sharing. I’m like, I learned these amazing things. I must tell everyone about them. Like, I mean, if you, I think you’ve listened to my podcast. I think every other episode I’m talking about The Unconventional RD. So I just, I get so excited. I want to share with people, all these things I’ve learned because so much of it is like, man, like what I learned through all of your courses, I was like, if I would have learned this like five, 10 years ago, like, Oh my goodness.
Like, I mean, I will get there, but it’s just… anyways. I just, I love to share. I love being a dietitian. I love helping others. And I love supporting my peers and I just get so excited about what I learned and I just want to share it with everyone.
Erica: I relate to that for sure.
So what are the benefits that someone might see from picking up a side hustle? Like, is it something that people start with the intention of it always being a side hustle? Or do you think most people start side hustling as a way to leave their job? Is it always black and white? What do you think?
1. Additional Income
Katie: Yeah. So, um, a couple pieces to that. I think some of the benefits of a side hustle are, obviously, income. You can make more money.
2. Fulfilling a Passion
Katie: Again, for some people, it’s a hobby. Some people, they have a full time job and it’s great. It’s practical. It supports their family, but it’s not what they’re passionate about. So the side hustle can be a way to fulfill their passion, their dreams.
3. A Stepping Stone to Entrepreneurship
Katie: For other people, it can be the stepping stones for what can eventually become a full-time job, but they just aren’t able to dive full into, you know, being their own business.
4. Helping More People
Katie: I think the benefit too is being able to bring your ideas to life and to help people. I think that everyone who is listening on the podcast right now, they all have a skillset. They all have ideas and they all have ways that they can serve people that can literally change this world. And the question is, are they going to keep that idea in their head? Are they going to share that with the world?
Is the Point of a Side Hustle Always to Eventually Quit Your Job?
Katie: So, and then, speaking to the piece about, do you always start with the intention of eventually quitting your full-time job? Or can it remain a side thing?
This is, to me, is a really good question because it was one of the primary reasons that I made The Dietitian Side Hustle. When I dove into the entrepreneurial world last year, I did feel like a little bit of an outcast. Cause I feel like there’s this expectation that the end goal of a side hustle is to work for yourself, to get out of the nine to five. And if that’s not your goal, then maybe you just don’t believe in yourself and you need to believe in yourself more.
But the reality is that there are a lot of people out there that I’ve even encountered who have spoken to me and said, no, I like my full-time job. I want to keep it. I literally just want to do something on the side.
And like I mentioned, I love my job. My job pays me well. I love being a VA dietitian. So I think everyone has their own thing, right? I mean, some people just want to have a side hustle. That’s totally cool. Some people want to have a side hustle to eventually leave the nine to five. And that’s cool too. I think that we all have our dreams and really, it could be whatever you want it to be.
Erica: Yeah. But I think that what you hit on is what brings success.
Like, noticing a part of the community that doesn’t have as strong of a voice or someone representing them and then taking that on. I felt similarly as well when starting all the stuff about making unconventional income online. I felt like a fish out of water because I wasn’t doing private practice.
And then, even once you’re in the side hustle or online realm, then there are still people there who feel like they don’t quite fit. Like you said, cause they’re like, “okay, but I don’t want to do this full-time”. And then you carved out your own sub-niche. That’s what people should be looking for. If they’re listening to this, pay attention to that type of stuff. Cause I bet in whatever niche you’re in, there’s something similar, like some untapped need there that you can serve.
Katie: Yeah. And I will say that’s what really resonated with me with The Unconventional RD, because I always thought if you were an entrepreneur, you’re an entrepreneur and you had to see patients. And I have zero interest in seeing patients on the side, like zero interest.
But I like making things look pretty and easy to understand. And I remember saying wouldn’t it be cool if I could just get paid to make things look pretty and easy to understand? I’m like, Oh wait, I can! I just didn’t know I could. So I think for me, The Unconventional RD, I just really resonated because I’m like, Oh, I want to be unconventional too. Like I want to do these things.
How to Know if a Side Hustle is Right For You
Erica: Well that makes me happy knowing that it’s helping people!
The last question I had on this topic was, is a side hustle even feasible for everyone? Is it okay to NOT do a side hustle right now as well? Like if you just can’t add one more thing to your plate? How do you feel about that?
Katie: Yes. And I do agree a side hustle is not for everyone.
1. It’s not a way to get rich quick
Katie: It’s definitely not for someone who wants to get rich quick. They’ll see like, Oh, this person is successful in making all this money. I want to do that. But the reality is the successful people usually started from a really low place and it took them a long time to get there. So it’s not for people wanting to get rich quick.
2. It’s not for people who are burnt out
Katie: It’s not for someone who’s already burnt out. Cause if you’re already burnt out in your 9-5, it’s like adding one more, thing that could feel overwhelming.
3. Only do it if it sounds fun
Katie: And it’s also not for someone who, because we’re going to talk about, you know, what are some side hustles, later, I’m sure. But you know, if there’s a side hustle opportunity and that doesn’t sound fun to you, that doesn’t sound like something you’re into. I mean, you definitely shouldn’t do it.
The Definition of a Side Hustle
Katie: I want to share the definition of what a side hustle is. Cause I really liked this definition. I just found it on Google, but it says:
“A side hustle is any type of employment undertaken in addition to one’s full-time job. A side hustle is generally freelance or piecework in nature, providing a supplemental income. Side hustles are often a thing a person is passionate about, rather than the typical day to day job that you do in order to make ends meet.”
So thinking of, and a lot of us do have jobs we love, but for most people, the full-time job is like, this is how I make ends. Meaning a side hustle should be something you’re passionate about. And if you’re not, then it’s probably not for you.
In the beginning of March, I actually turned down a $3,000 writing gig because it wasn’t something that I was passionate about. It could have fit within what I do, but it wasn’t quite the area I’m passionate about. It was more related to weight loss, eating less sugar, whereas my jam, what I love, is helping people gain weight and fattening people up. So it was like, you know, it could have fit, but it wasn’t something I was passionate about.
So at the end of the day, it’s like, yes, it would have been nice to have $3,000 extra cash, but the day to day would have been pretty sucky doing something that I wasn’t passionate about. I remember turning it down with a little bit of like, Oh, am I turning down this opportunity? But then I was really glad that I did.
So I side hustle cause it’s fun. It’s a hobby that does allow me to do more, provide more for my family. But I’m actually at a point right now where I don’t need the income, which is a nice place to be. For a season, I really did need the income, having two children and you know, not getting paid on maternity leave. But um, I am really fortunate right now.
A Side Hustle is Not About Burning Yourself Out
Katie: So the other thing I wanted to say is sometimes the term “side hustle” gets a bad rap. I think some people, you know, they hear the word side hustle and it sounds like a bad thing. To me, I hear it and I’m like, Oh, hustle is a good thing.
But um, I think that a side hustle isn’t about burning yourself out and it’s not like pushing yourself further like you gotta keep hustling, keep pushing yourself until you fry. Like that’s not what it is. To me, a side hustle means like, yeah, you work hard, but you work smart and you’re doing things that you love. Like you’re doing it out of joy and passion.
Erica: So, oh my gosh. That was like the best description ever. And I think that really is going to bring a lot of clarity for people listening on whether or not adding something to their plate is what they want to do or not. And I think you gave a lot of direction on how to listen to yourself when figuring out whether you want to add new tasks to your plate.
And thank you for sharing that example of turning down a task too, because that’s a learned skill.
19 Side Hustles for Dietitians
Erica: Okay. So let’s dive into the meat of it. What are the various types of side hustles that dietitians can get into?
Katie: Okay. So it’s pretty much anything, but I’m going to go over to some more common things that we do see dietitians doing.
1. Freelance Writing
Katie: Freelance writing. That could be writing for blogs, that could be writing for magazines, writing for books, doing copywriting (and copywriting, for people who don’t know, I like to think of the example of like, when you go on Amazon and you’re going to buy like maybe some vitamin D, all those words you’re reading is copywriting. Someone wrote those cause they were trying to sell a product to you. Dietitians do that! I’ve done that.)
Katie: Editing. A lot of dietitians serve as editors. Content editors, expert health editors.
Katie: Also doing webinars. You could do live webinars. You could do webinars available on demand. You can do self-hosted where you do them yourself and, you know, sell them yourself as a business. Or you can present webinars for associations, businesses, groups, organizations.
4. Public Speaking
Katie: You can do speaking engagements at conferences. So that could be like a national conference or a state conference, local conference within dietetics. And even, you know, really within any field in healthcare or whatnot. You can speak at schools, even libraries, a lot of local libraries have budgets available to pay speakers to come in.
5. Corporate Wellness
Katie: Different businesses, so thinking of like corporate wellness.
6. One on One Patient Care
Katie: You can do one on one patient care. I think this is the one a lot of people think of, but you could have your own private practice. You can work with a provider or a facility. You can do telehealth, there’s lots of opportunities. Telehealth is really growing right now.
Katie: You have blogging. And really this is your expertise, Erica. So, lots of ways that you can make money through blogging, which honestly, I had zero idea. Like I had zero idea. Um, but you can make money through blogging. For example, through ad revenue, sponsored posts, you can have membership sites. There’s lots of ways.
Katie: You can do teaching either for colleges, universities, online programs.
9. Cooking Classes
Katie: You can do cooking classes at a health fair, at a farmer’s market, at a grocery store.
Katie: You can do podcasts. A lot of podcasts have sponsorships for them where they do make money through podcasts, or they even just use it as a lead magnet so that someone will purchase a service or product that they offer.
Katie: You can be an influencer on YouTube.
Katie: You can be a spokesperson.
13. Social Media Influencer
Katie: You can be an influencer on social media.
Katie: You can do coaching, either nutrition coaching, or even dietitian business coaching.
15. Grocery Store Tours
Katie: You can do grocery store tours, either for grocery stores, for a business, or even just as part of your own practice.
16. Culinary Work
Katie: You can do culinary work. So recipe development, food photography, food blogging.
17. Sell Physical Goods
Katie: You can sell physical goods. So things that you created. So maybe a food product, supplement, books, swag like clothes. Um, there are quite a few dietitians I know who sell clothes. That’s really fun.
18. Sell Digital Goods
Katie: You can sell digital goods that you created. So, um, maybe they’re, um, handouts, courses, toolkits, eBooks.
19. Direct Sales
Katie: You could also do direct sales, where you’re selling products that other people have created. So, you know, maybe selling direct sales fitness and wellness supplements, it could be anything.
But I think for me, the thing about a side hustle is it can be like anything. I’ve heard of some dietitians doing some pretty phenomenal side hustles, like, um, a couple of cool examples:
One doing birthday parties. So they have really fun cooking demos for kids. I just think that’s cool. You do birthday parties as a dietitian??
Another one, I was on the RD Entrepreneur Symposium last fall, and in one of the sessions, the dietitian was sharing how she teaches mermaid swimming classes. And I’m like, that’s a cool side gig. Like she teaches mermaid swimming classes.
And then you have, um, for example, Kristi, she was on your podcast, with Effect Positivity. She sells inspirational swag. So she has like these shirts and mugs and all these cool things with these inspirational positive messages.
So, so really there’s no limit to a side hustle. It’s like, if it’s your passion, if you can imagine it, like you can do it. It’s phenomenal.
Erica: I think some people listening right now are going to be furiously writing down everything you just said and be like, ah, that’s so many ideas! Those were amazing examples. And you’re right. It’s really limitless. Whatever your imagination can dream up. But I think it’s helpful to hear some concrete examples as well to get those creative juices flowing.
How to Choose a Side Hustle
Erica: So with so many options, how do people go about picking which one to even just start with?
Katie: I think I kind of have two pointers for this.
The first thing is asking yourself, what do you like to do? If money wasn’t an issue. So say you have like a million bucks, right? You don’t have to work. What would you choose to do? So do that.
The next thing to consider is what comes easy to you. Like it comes so easy to you and so natural that it feels like my gosh, I can’t believe they’re paying me to do this.
I think sometimes we think in order to get paid for something, we have to work really hard. We have to, you know, hustle in the bad way. We have to just work really hard and if I do something and it was super easy and I get paid a lot of money, it’s like, Oh, is this right? And it’s like, no, that’s what you should be doing! If it comes easy to you, like, that’s your jam! That’s your zone of genius. That’s what you should be doing.
Erica: Yup. I remember the first time I got paid to develop recipes. I think I took for granted that that’s a skill that not everyone has or wants to spend their time doing. But I had been food blogging at that point for probably a couple of years making like $50 in the whole year. So like to get like a couple thousand dollars to make recipes, I was like, um, yes please!
Should you have one or multiple side hustles?
Erica: And what do you think, is it better to dabble in a lot of different side hustles or is it a better use of your time to master one?
Katie: I think there’s a lot of different philosophies on this one. Some people have very strong opinions one way or the other. I think it really depends on who you are. I am uniquely me. I like to do a junk load of things all at the same time. It’s just who I was created to be. And I love it.
Um, some people hate that. But I would recommend that for most people, start with one thing. Like start with one thing and then go from there. You can build onto it.
Um, but I do think that there’s a benefit to diversifying what you do. Having income streams coming in from multiple different places to where if one of your side gigs or one of your opportunities, like if something happens, it’s just done, that you, you know, aren’t just like, Oh shoot, I don’t have any income anymore!
Erica: I know! Speaking of… Today, I mean, this is going to be outdated by the time this podcast actually airs, but today, the day that we’re recording in April, Amazon just sent out an email that they are significantly cutting their Amazon Associates commissions. And I was like, Ohhhh yay….. So a lot of the different commissions that were like 3% or 4% are dropping to like 1%. So yeah… we’ll see how that goes.
I’m not sure what the response is going to be. It kicks in in like a week I think. I’ve already seen people chattering about how they’re going to pivot and maybe look for more like ShareASale affiliate links in any possible scenario where they don’t have to use Amazon. But yeah, we’ll see, I’m not sure. Apparently it’s like a new thing and that’s what it’s going to be from here on out. Like it’s not even temporary.
But that’s exactly the point. Like if that was your entire income stream, that’s probably not great.
Katie: Yeah. And things change all the time. I mean, things you think will never change, change.
Erica: Yeah, exactly.
How Much Can You Earn From a Side Hustle?
Erica: So how much money can someone really expect to make from a side hustle? I mean, obviously it depends on what you’re doing, but can you give us some examples, maybe, of what people could earn for different types of side gigs?
Katie: Sure. So, well, I kind of feel like I’m going to be giving a little broad of an example, but I believe that you can make as little or as much as you can imagine yourself to make. I really believe there’s no limit. I think the only limit, again, is what you allow yourself to believe that you can make.
So, I mean, obviously you may have to learn new skills. You may have to work on your mindset to make the big bucks, but it’s totally possible. It may take time. So this question is difficult to answer because it really depends on what you’re doing, what skills you have, what value you have to offer.
How big are the problems that you’re solving? The bigger the problems you’re solving, the more money you can charge, and the more money you’ll make.
And then also, are you side hustling for a business for someone else, or are you side hustling for yourself as a business owner?
So an example is, for me as a writer, when I first started freelance writing, I was charging the standard. It’s traditionally about 10 cents per word to a dollar per word. So some people make more than a dollar per word, and I think that’s great.
But when I first started, I was making 10 cents, 10 cents per word, and then I bumped it up to 25 cents per word. And then I got up to 75 cents per word.
And for me, I’m at the point now, where when it comes to creating blog posts and content, my question is, do I want to spend the time and write a blog post that I can get paid, you know, $200 or $300 one time payment now, or do I want to spend the time and energy to write a blog post for my own website, knowing that it will cause my own website to continue to grow, bring in more traffic, which will bring in more revenue for the products that I sell on it?
So it’s the question of how do I balance between the money that I’m making right now versus, you know, that longterm gig of knowing the money I can make later as a business owner.
I think again, the side hustles vary so much. You can make a little, or you can make a lot. Obviously if you’re going to be a business owner and an entrepreneur, there’s like no limit, like no limits. So anyways, kind of vague, hard to answer, but at least there’s an answer for freelance writing.
Erica: Yeah. I’m really passionate about that too. Like there really truly is no limit and it’s kind of hard to wrap your brain around. You’re like, no… but really!
Katie: I took an online course, um, a very expensive online course that was worth every penny earlier this year. And I did the math of how much of the course was and how many people enrolled in it. And it was for healthcare professionals and the individual who did this course. I mean, obviously they had money they spent on their end on the back end, but in sales, it was almost a half a million dollars. Like one course!
Erica: I know! I did that one time for B-School. Obviously Marie Forleo is like, she’s been around for quite some time, but her course is like $2,500. Or at least when I took it, I was like $2,500 per person. And I think there’s like 30,000 people in her Facebook group. And that’s not even everyone. That’s just the people who joined the Facebook group.
So that’s millions and millions and millions of dollars. And yes, she has a really strong affiliate program where she pays like 50% out, but still, it’s still millions of dollars. And I’m sure that’s not her only income stream. She has books, a YouTube channel, and all that jazz.
So yeah, you can do that too. Like anyone listening, if you want to, that you can do that. And I hope that some of us here and some of the people on this podcast, 10 years from now, or maybe sooner, we’ll have all kind of gone through this journey together and be like, we did it! You know?
How to Tell If Your Side Hustle Is Worth Your Time
Erica: Are there any scenarios where maybe a side hustle isn’t worth it? Like, how do you tell if, if you’re trying to make something happen and you’re putting the time into it, whether it’s worth the time?
Katie: Well, I think there’s two things to look at. The first one to me, is the most important – are you enjoying it?
Um, and then are you satisfied with the money you’re making? And a lot of the times it’s a matter of is X amount of dollars worth my time, or do I feel resentful over this? So usually if there’s a task, if we’re not paid much money, we will resent it. But if we’re paid a ton of money for it, we might like it a little better.
So it’s kind of this balance between am I liking it and do I feel like I’m being compensated well for it?
And then also looking at the numbers and seeing, am I actually making income? I mean, it may be bigger picture. Again, like a lot of the things I’m doing now, technically I’m not getting paid for the time. I’m doing it within my own business, but I know that there will be profits later.
Erica: Yeah, that’s a good one. Listening to whether you feel resentful. That’s always been a good guiding force for me. Like even when I was freelance writing for other websites, there did come a point where I was also doing content creation for my membership site and that blog and I did start to feel resentful that I had to work for someone else.
I think also, I don’t know if we touched on this yet, but sometimes when the work that you’re getting paid for in your job or whatever, if you’re using the same parts of your brain in that job and then also in your side hustle or your own business, it can be a little bit of a conflict or it’s too much of the same thing. Whereas if they’re different… I think this is something that helped me. I used to tutor and do VA work and recipe development for other people. And then my own business was where I was doing more of the writing and the content creation.
And then as I took on more freelancing and was still doing all the content creation, there was a little bit of a, um, I don’t know, competition for my brain energy, I guess.
Katie: Yeah, yeah. And you gotta listen to that gut feeling because again, a side hustle should be something that you’re passionate about and enjoy. And if you’re not enjoying it, then like why are we doing it?
Erica: And is there anything that you, in particular, keep track of to see what’s working or what’s not working, with all the different things you’re trying?
Katie: Yeah. So I do log my expenses and my income just to see how I’m doing every month. And for certain things I do do the math on how much time am I putting in versus how much money I’m making just to kind of look at the hourly rate because it’s just helpful for me.
Um, but again, I do gauge my feelings too, you know, am I enjoying this? An example is my podcast, Dietitian Side Hustle that I have. I’m not making money on it, but I’m doing it cause I love it. But then there’s other things where I am making money. So, so yeah, I do track my income and again, just how I’m feeling about the gigs I’m doing.
Erica: I bet that you will make money from The Dietitian Side Hustle eventually too. Like you said, not everything is designed to turn a profit immediately, but I feel like if you come from a place of serving and know that your content is so good and so relatable and helpful, that when people build that relationship with you, then when they are ready to like invest in something or buy a tool or a course, like they’re going to remember the recommendations from you and then you can earn affiliate income or ads as your readership grows.
Katie’s Most Successful Side Hustles
Erica: So which avenues do you think have been the most successful for you, personally? Like, not just in terms of profit, but even in enjoyment or fulfillment.
Katie: So I think for me, starting my own LLC and working for myself has just been so much fun. Really, my goals, I have these really big audacious goals that even sometimes I don’t want to verbalize cause it sounds too crazy, but I just have all these big goals for my LLC and the things that I’m doing and how I’m planning to grow. So it’s been successful for me, just in the joy that I’m having from it, the impact that I’m able to make, the feedback I get from people, and I’m not making a ton of money yet, but I am making money. And it’s fun.
I mean, with The Geriatric Dietitian in particular, my goal is by the end of the year to hit enough sessions, which is the number of people coming to my website every month, that I could apply for Mediavine to get ad revenue.
Like that’s my goal. By the end of the year to hit 25,000 sessions. And it’s April now when we are recording. And I think this will be my first month that I hit a thousand. So I have a long way to go, but I’m listening, I’m working, I’m being consistent, I’m putting in the work. And I just, you know, I know I could do it.
And then I’m going to work on selling more digital goods and eventually a course. I want to eventually start doing coaching. I love mentoring. I work with interns so much, and other dietitians, and I want to start doing that more. So, um, I just, I know with my LLC, like I’m the boss. I can do whatever I want. I can write whatever I want. I don’t have to turn it in to someone. I don’t have to have someone critique back, tell me to fix it, do something better. Like it’s, I don’t know. It’s fun. So freeing, you know?
Erica: Yeah, it is.
Katie: Even like in my Facebook group yesterday, I posted a really funny post. It was a, again, it’s April, so we’re in the middle of COVID-19, you know, everything going on. And there’s this really funny post of this elderly woman who held up a sign in her window that says “I’m out of beer”. And so she has a 93-year-old woman holding up this out of beer sign and like people brought her cases and cases of beer. So then she’s holding another sign that says I got the beer! And all these beers. So anyways, I shared that in my group and like, I couldn’t do this for any of the businesses I work for, but this is my gig. I can do whatever I want. And it’s really cute, but anyways, just the freedom of, you know, I can do what I want to do.
Erica: Yeah. It’s a very unique opportunity, I think. And if it’s calling to you, if anyone listening is feeling called to have an avenue to just be themselves, like, you can! We’re all here to support you.
A Peek Into Katie’s Typical Week
Erica: So can you give us a peek into what your typical week looks like, like in terms of how you balance your time with your job versus your side hustles? I bet people are really curious.
Katie: Yeah. So it’s changed over time. Before I started my own LLC and started doing my own side work even, well, I guess before it was an LLC, um, I used to spend four hours a week on average doing side gigs, like mostly writing webinars. Obviously when there were deadlines, I might have a little more work sometimes, but I have shifted over the past, gosh, maybe eight months now. And I’ve, again, I’ve set these really big audacious goals for myself.
So now I am working more than ever. And really my week, it starts with my days, I wake up early every day, I’m a morning person. So some people might like late-night, but I wake up early. I pray, I eat my breakfast. I do some type of professional development every morning. That’s usually taking some type of course or something like that.
I write down things that I’m grateful for. I have, if anyone’s familiar with Rachel Hollis, she has The Start Today Journal. So every day I’m writing down five things I’m grateful for and I’m writing down 10 dreams that I made happen. So I have 10 dreams that I want to reach, but I write them in a way that they’ve already happened.
So it’s not like I hope to achieve this. It’s like I have this. And so I’m writing those things like every day. And, um, and then I exercise. So this is usually during the first hour, hour and a half of my day. So like every day I do these things. So by the time the day starts, I feel good cause I exercise. I, you know, I just feel more connected. I feel grounded. I’m more focused and you know, on the go. So for me, it really does start with, with the day.
Um, at the beginning of the week, I do write down a to do list. This is really my list of things that I need to do by Sunday. I keep it light and realistic and only doing things that I know will move my business forward. I primarily do my side gigs on Friday. I work a compressed tour of my job, meaning I work four tens, so I have Fridays off. So that’s usually the day that I do a lot of my side work.
If I do something on a weeknight, I try to limit to an hour and less, like grinding something out that’s due. Um, I also do batch a lot of my work. I think we were talking about that. I’ll create and schedule all of my Instagram posts for example, in a program called Later. And I’ll pretty much create an entire month’s worth of Instagram posts at one time.
IFor my podcast episodes, I’ll record back-to-back an I just, I try to batch those too. So, so that’s kind of how I do it. I’m probably spending about 10 hours a week, I’d say, give or take, in my business right now.
Erica: And do you ever feel like it’s hard to balance your job and your side hustles and even your personal life and your family time?
Katie: Not so much because I’m in a situation where it’s, I don’t really have to, it’s something I’m choosing to do. And because I love what I’m doing so much with the side hustle, it really brings me joy. And a lot of it is like a hobby. I mean, I cut out a lot of stuff in my life, like TV and things that really, you know, I think a lot of us do, you know, waste time with it. And it’s not always wasting time if you enjoy it. But, you know, instead of like binge-watching Netflix, I’m just, you know, doing all these things that I love.
Erica: I feel like that’s me too! Although I’ll usually have Netflix on in the background, I can’t just sit and watch TV. Like I just can’t. I have to be doing something.
How to Find the Courage to Start
Erica: So do you have any advice for dietitians who feel like they maybe don’t have any unique voice right now or anything special to share or make a side hustle around?
Katie: Yeah, so I think for people who feel like they don’t have a unique voice or anything special to share, um, they do. I guess that’s the short way of saying it. A lot of us do suffer from imposter syndrome and like the fear of being invisible. And we think you know, like, who am I to do this?
Or I’m not good enough. I’m not the expert. I’m not perfect. A lot of dietitians struggle with perfectionism. So my advice for dietitians is just do it anyways. Think of the person that you want to be. What kind of life do you want to have? What do you want that to look like? And just pursue that relentlessly.
Like you don’t have to know everything. And I think that’s the biggest part. I do feel like a lot of people listening need to hear this – You don’t have to be perfect. Like you don’t have to be perfect. You are good enough right now. You have skills, you have value, you just have to start.
And also blocking out the haters.
I think for me, I’m a very sensitive soul. I care very deeply about what other people think about me. And that’s one of my weaknesses because I do know that the bigger my brand gets, there’s going to be haters. Like that’s just the reality. And I think that, you know, getting haters just means that you made it big because not everyone’s gonna understand your dreams.
They’re not going to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. And so we shouldn’t let other people’s opinions dictate how we live our lives. I also know that pursuing your side hustle and your dreams is going to take time. I was doing a Bible study the other day and there were three words in there that really resonated with me.
It was patience, progress, and consistency. It resonated with me so much. I actually made this little image and it’s on my phone now. And it’s like patience, progress, consistency. And it resonates with me a lot, especially with blogging, because sometimes you can get really caught up in Google Analytics and you look at those numbers, you’re like, my sessions are going up and then like, they’re going down. You’re like, Oh, what’s the point.
So for me, just remembering, like be patient. It’s a longterm game. We’re focused on progress, be consistent. Keep showing up. And I think the good thing about sucking when you start, too, is that the only place you have to go is up and a good example of that is my podcast.
So with my podcast, I have committed myself to not editing it. I mean, I literally record the whole thing straight. Sometimes there’s sucky moments in it. I say I mess up, but I just keep moving. So I pretty much, my editing is I have the music in the beginning of my little intro and then we’ll fade out at the end.
But other than that, I don’t edit it at all. And I’m doing that on purpose for me because I know that I’ll only get better with time. I know that I struggle sometimes with perfectionism. I’m getting better, but I can spend hours and hours and hours and hours re-recording until it’s perfect. And it probably will still won’t be perfect.
But, um, so for me, the podcast is also an experiment of just allowing myself to put something into the world that causes friction for me because it’s not perfect. But again, I also know that I’ll be able to look back one day, I’ll listen to episode one and be like, Oh my goodness, that was horrible. But just to see how much I’ve improved.
I mean, it’s not, it’s not horrible. You should listen to my podcast, but just knowing, like, you know, you’ll look back one day at what you’re doing and you’ll see how much you’ve improved. But you’ll never get there if you never start. So that’s the thing. You have to start and then one day you look back and just see how much you’ve grown.
Because I mean, no one starts perfect.
Erica: And let’s flip it around and be grateful that in those moments when we’re just beginning and maybe aren’t at our best, we only have five people listening or watching or rating. And then you’ll get better and your audience will grow. And you know, it’s, it’s all organic. And it does happen!
Like maybe there’s a fear out there that you’ll just go on forever and no one will ever listen. But really, I mean, obviously there are some strategies… like I did find myself blogging for a long time without much of an audience. I actually was getting traffic from other sources. I was doing an okay job getting traffic through like social media or roundup posts and things like that. But what was missing was the SEO piece. I was getting no love from Google. So I’m not trying to ignore the fact that yes, there are some strategies you should probably learn to get better faster, but start anyway and then learn them AS you do it.
It’s just like this crazy roller coaster of entrepreneurship and side hustle. I think we’re all in it together. And I love your message of just show up as you. Just be YOU. You do have value to share in the world. You know?
I know there is that fear of haters, but you’ll have like one hater out of a million people, really. And I know it’s easy to get stuck on that person. But there is so much more love and gratitude and thankful messages that come your way than anything else really.
So, yeah, especially if you’re coming at it from a place of serving and genuinely just trying to provide value in the world, that’s not going to get you like a deluge of hater mail only.
I’m not really good about doing this consistently, but I’ve seen the recommendation to save your love letters, like the nice messages that people send you, so that if you ever have a day when you’re feeling down, you can look back and be like, Oh, I really am helping people. And think back to why you’re doing everything.
I have a little bit saved and I’ve looked at them like once. It’s really nice.
Katie’s Biggest Mistake When Starting a Side Hustle
Erica: So do you have, just to keep along this thread of being open and vulnerable and real in this conversation, do you have any “mistakes” or learning lessons that happened in the process of launching or growing these side hustles?
Katie: Yeah. I think the biggest mistake that I’ve probably made in this process is not investing in myself and being cheap. And I say this mostly related to the first time I took one of your courses. I remember I took that free webinar you did. And I was like, oh, I want to do this course, but it’s so expensive. And it’s not really even that expensive now that I’m in this world. Oh my gosh, cause some courses are thousands of dollars.
So anyways, I remember I was talking to a friend and she said, well, because I was, I was pretty much talking to her like, Oh, should I invest in this course? It was the SEO Made Simple course that I was debating on. And my friend’s like, well, she’s a dietitian and you’re a dietitian. She’s doing what you want to do. You need to take the course. So I’m like, okay, I’ll take the course. And I took the course and of course, it was so phenomenal I bought your other two courses.
So for me, I think that was my biggest mistake. Just being so cheap that I wasn’t investing in myself. And I think that, you know, we should pay for the course, we should pay for the coach, pay for the mastermind. Like, yes, you can do things yourself, but it will take you longer. You’re going to make mistakes that you wouldn’t have made had you had, you know, someone helping you along the way. And then it’s going to take even more time to fix those mistakes.
And when it comes to having a side hustle, you don’t have a ton of time to start with. So for me, learning about investing in myself and by that again, I mean investing in courses, investing in mentors and masterminds and all these things that help us to be better and do better and learn more skills that are going to help you be more successful and make more money.
Um, because I look back and I’m like, gosh, if I would have been doing this stuff, um, you know, years ago, where would I have been? You know?
I mean, there’s just, there’s so much opportunity and for me, it was getting over that mindset of being cheap and just investing in myself. And even having a business, I was always trying to figure out what’s the cheapest way I could do things and I’m like, no, it’s okay. You can spend money. Like I pay for Canva now, which is not that big of a deal, but it feels pretty big for me, you know? And paying for a podcast and website hosting all these things.
Cause I recognize that the value and the dividends that that will bring later. And then also I know that my own businesses, The Dietitian Side Hustle, The Geriatric Dietitian would not even be in existence had I not even taken The Unconventional RD courses, had I not taken on some more of these courses and mentoring groups that I’m a part of now.
Erica: And in case there is someone listening who, cause I used to get frustrated by that advice. Like just being completely honest. When I first started out, I made $12,000 in my first year, total. And that was like when I was doing other side gigs like tutoring and assisting other RDs and stuff. But even like total that year, I probably, I don’t even know. I probably brought in like 30-something thousand dollars. Like it was rough. And I live LA, so it’s not cheap. Rent is very pricey. Um, and my boyfriend at the time, now husband, had also just quit his job to get into real estate.
And we maxed out our credit cards, and I would feel sad when someone said, well, just invest more in yourself! I’d be like, I don’t have anything to give right now! So for anyone listening. It’s okay, too, if you’re in that position. We’re not saying like go into like $10,000 in debt, necessarily. Like spend what you have, in a smart, reasonable way.
But I think the point is to recognize when you do start to have the resources, cause it will happen. And then at that point, you’ll allow yourself to invest. You’ll know, when it’s right for you.
Katie: Yeah. And I think, again, for me, it was just a matter of like how long will it take for you to get to where you want to be?
And even for me, when I took your Make Money Blogging course, it took me four months using those skills to earn back the money I invested in the course. So I think there’s sometimes fear and disconnect over, like, I’m going to invest the money and I’m just wasting it and I’m throwing it away.
But if you spend the money and you actually implement what you’re learning, then you can use that as kind of a way to accelerate, getting to where you want to be, to make more money than had you not.
Erica: Yeah, that’s a good point too. Like investing in things that are actionable. Being smart about what you’re investing in, like a course that’s teaching you a new skill that you can apply, or a coach that’s pushing you and holding you accountable to take action. That’s almost guaranteed to bring you a return on your investment. Versus like maybe the stuff like a social media scheduling tool. Like that might be something that could wait if you were prioritizing.
I think I invested possibly the wrong way. I bought B-school on a credit card when I had no money. And then of course it was great and very full of lots of helpful information, but I think I needed accountability and maybe the handholding from someone in our profession, even. And then at that point, I didn’t have any more to invest.
I think it’s, it’s smart to invest in your business, obviously. But before you spend the money, maybe compare all the different options. I don’t think I really did that. I don’t think I thought about whether there were dietitians out there I could connect with. I was so naive and young and young in the industry.
The only dietitians I knew were the people in my grad school class, you know what I mean? Now I’m like, Oh, there’s a whole new world. Like so many people I could have had guide me as mentors. That’s something that’s come up for me, in hindsight.
Asking for help and accepting the help from people who’ve been where you want to go. There’s just so much more available now. Even five years ago, it was harder, I think, to connect with communities of people doing what you want to do. Not in online business in general, but in certain specific niches, it maybe was hard to find a mentor.
But now, with the internet just growing, growing, growing, and social media, there is someone out there probably doing what you want to do. And you can find them and connect with them, even if you’re not paying them, just following them and watching what they’re doing. You can learn from that.
Katie’s Best Advice for New Side Hustlers
Erica: The last thing, is there anything that you wish someone had told you back when you were thinking of starting a side hustle? Or some wisdom that you’d like to pass on?
Katie: I think for me it was, I wish I knew about the online world and all the opportunity there is for making money online. Like seriously, it’s an amazing world and the limitless list of things that we can do online.
Like you can do anything. You can make a lot of money. An example I like to think of is with influencers, like YouTubers who are influencers. It’s so easy to think like, Oh, they’re just, you know, annoying. But the reality is, there’s a lot of influencers out there. A lot of them in the nutrition space talking about nutrition and they’re making a junk load of money.
And for me, I’m like, I want to have more dietitians learning these skills. Like how can we make the dietitian the influencer? So they’re giving the public the right information and they could be making the junk load of money. So I just, I think the world wide web, the internet has opened up this entire new world of opportunity for dietitians.
And again, I just, I wish I knew back then what I know now about how to make money online. So yeah, so I think my nugget of wisdom for listeners would be to take your Make Money Blogging course. And I’m very serious about that.
Erica: When is this airing again? July. It’ll be available for evergreen purchase.
Katie: I did mine evergreen. It was great. But I mean, I say that in all seriousness, because I really would love to see this world where anytime someone Googles something on the internet, it pulls up a website by a dietitian with correct information for the public.
And again, these people who are bloggers, who are influencers, who are online, they make a lot of money and I want it to be dietitians making all the money!
Erica: I could not agree more. And it’s so trippy to think that the internet is so young still. Like there is a lot of untapped opportunity everywhere. And especially in dietetics. Like you said, I mean, we don’t learn this stuff in school, so it’s kind of the wild wild west in terms of who’s stepping up and making a name for themselves on the internet. And it can and should be us!
So yeah, if you have any interest in creating content, please do! The world is waiting for your voice. And there are ways to go about it strategically so that you’re not wasting your time. Really.
Katie’s Favorite Resources
Erica: What are your favorite resources that you would recommend? I know you love Pat Flynn. He’s one of my favorites too. Obviously your website and podcast I’ll link to in the show notes. But just other places people can go to learn about side hustles or blogging or whatever.
Katie: Yeah. So of course Pat Flynn. I do always have him on my list. He’s with Smart Passive Income, phenomenal blog. He also has a Smart From Scratch course I’m taking right now. He has another course that’s free on branding. Um, he’s really great.
For blogging, actually The Blogging Millionaire. He has a podcast which I adore. It’s really good. Other resources that I have that are my favorite, Greg Todd, he’s a physical therapist with Smart Success Healthcare. This is an online course and mentoring program that I’m a part of. It’s not just for dietitians, it’s really all healthcare professionals, but it’s really phenomenal about ways of empowering healthcare clinicians to really create systems and make more money utilizing the online world. Um, so I’m a really big fan of Smart Success Healthcare.
Um, I do like Rachel Hollis. She has some pretty inspirational books, but then also she has a podcast, a business podcast that does have some really, some golden nuggets in it and some great speakers.
RD2RD marketplace. I really liked their Facebook live videos. You could actually go to their website and view all their past episodes or she also has them on YouTube ,and Megan interviews all these amazing entrepreneurs. So there’s so many nuggets of wisdom. Uh, I remember actually, even before I took The Unconventional RD courses, I would just go on to the RD2RD Facebook page and watch all of these videos of all of these dietitians. And I’m like, Oh my gosh, look at this world. And all these things that dietitians are doing. So I think that that’s a really good, inspirational place to see what entrepreneurial dietitians are doing all over the place, including side hustling.
Erica: Yeah. She’s a really good interviewer. I think I was on her interview series way back. I don’t even know, at least a year ago.
Katie: I watched it.
Erica: And of course I just love everything RD2RD. I’m also a super fan. And then The Blog Millionaire podcast that you mentioned, that one’s like shorter episodes, right? Easy to digest.
Katie: Right. That was really the inspiration actually for my podcast. My podcast is like 15 minute episodes because I love to listen to my podcast at anywhere from 1.5 to double speed. So I can like listen to an entire podcast in like eight minutes. It’s great.
Erica: That’s awesome. I’m going to also throw out, I recently discovered The Hello Seven podcast. Itused to be called, I think. Million Dollar Badass podcast, but I recently discovered it and I’m just obsessed. Their mission is to help all women become millionaires. And I’m like, yes! You know? Like that is a voice that I need to hear probably every day.
I don’t know if I personally really know a woman millionaire, but they make it seem so attainable. Like they’re just chillin and having a normal conversation, but they’re all loaded. So I’m like, yes. I don’t want to be this stuffy CEO. You can be YOU and build the career and the lifestyle that you like. So there’s another one. I recently found them. Just throwing that out there for people.
This was a great conversation. Thank you again.
Katie’s Free Download
Erica: All right. Whoops. We got cut off there at the end. Our internet went out, unfortunately, at the end of the interview, but Katie was just about to tell you about a free Getting Started worksheet that she has available at dietitiansidehustle.com.
So just head over to that website and right there on the home page, you’ll see a place to download this worksheet. It’s basically a one page download with straightforward questions that will help you get clarity on why you might want to pursue a side hustle, which types of side hustles you’re interested in and what you need to do to get started.
And then if you would like to get links to anything that we mentioned in today’s episode, head over to my website at theunconventionalrd.com/episode027. There you can find a transcript of this episode and easy to access links to all the resources we mentioned.
And as always, if you enjoyed this episode, I truly appreciate any and all iTunes reviews and ratings. If you can type a review, that’s even better. It helps spread the word and spread the love and help more people find this great podcast, hopefully great podcast. So, um, thanks so much and I will see you guys next week. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for listening and I hope this was valuable.
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Erica Julson is a registered dietitian turned digital marketing pro. She has over 12 years of experience blogging and building online businesses and has taught over 900 wellness professionals inside her signature program, SEO Made Simple.