Thanks for joining us for episode 100 of The Ancestral RDs podcast. If you want to keep up with our podcasts, subscribe in iTunes and never miss an episode! Remember, please send us your question if you’d like us to answer it on the show.
It’s the 100th episode of the Ancestral RDs podcast! Today we have a special show in honor of our 100th. We’re very happy to celebrate with you by sharing stories of how our podcast and businesses have evolved since the first episode.
Join us for a laid back show where you can get to know more about us and our experiences. As we recount the trials and triumphs during the last 100 episodes, you’ll hear what we’ve learned and how it has impacted us professionally and personally.
We’re thrilled to have you with us as we journey to the 200th!
Here’s what Laura and Kelsey will be discussing in this episode:
How Laura and Kelsey’s perception of criticism and how they react to it has changed
The importance of the practitioner/client relationship in the experience and outcome for both
Experiences that helped to inform which client population Laura and Kelsey choose to serve
How learning to set boundaries in business has carried over into personal life
How running a business has been the best lesson in personal development
The pressure in the health field to live up to images of perfection
Balancing the professional and personal side of the blogs
Experience with sharing personal stories and struggles
Laura: Hi everyone! Welcome to episode 100 of The Ancestral RDs podcast. I’m Laura Schoenfeld and with me as always is my cohost Kelsey Kinney.
Kelsey: Hey everyone!
Laura: If you don’t know us, we’re Registered Dietitians with a passion for ancestral health, real food nutrition, and sharing evidence-based guidance that combines science with common sense. You can find me, Laura, at www.LauraSchoenfeldRD.com and Kelsey at www.KelseyKinney.com.
This is a special episode in honor of our 100th show. We’ll be sharing how our nutrition philosophy, businesses, and even our podcast have changed since we first started in 2013. We are so thrilled that you have been enjoying our show for 100 episodes and we can’t wait to share many, many more with you!
Kelsey: If you’re enjoying the show, subscribe on iTunes so that you never miss an episode. While you’re there, leave us a positive review so that others can discover the show as well! And remember, we want to answer your question, so head over to TheAncestralRDs.com to submit a health-related question that we can answer on an upcoming show.
Laura: Before we get into our interview, here’s a quick word from our sponsor:
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Laura:We’re back everybody and this is going to be a show that if you’re listening to get nutrition information, you should probably turn it off because we’re not going to be doing any sort of nutrition Q&As or anything today. This is really going to be more of a where are we now kind of episode. We’ve been podcasting together since, I think we discovered it was October of 2013 when we started.
Kelsey:Yeah, October 22, 2013 to be exact.
Laura:That was when we started our original podcast called Ask The RD, which ironically I wasn’t even an RD when we started that. It was ask the singular RD and not the double RD.
Kelsey:And a graduate student.
Laura:I think I was a couple of months away from becoming an RD so it wasn’t crazy really.
Kelsey:I was just reading the transcript of it and you say that you will have your RD by the end of 2013. It was at the end of October. So yeah, you were a couple months away.
Laura:Yeah, technically I got it in February 2014. But, shhh! Don’t tell anybody.
We’ve been changing the format of the podcast a little bit in the last couple weeks as am I’m sure a lot of you have noticed. We’re trying to figure out a strategy that works for everyone. Of course that’s not possible, but we’re trying to get as many happy listeners as possible.
I know a lot of you listening right now are probably of the mindset that you’re listening to our show partially for nutrition information, partially for information about what’s going on in me and Kelsey’s lives which lately has been a little bit one track minded. But we’re thinking about moving our updates to the end of episodes if we are actually going to be doing that since I know a lot of the last couple of episodes we didn’t do any updates because we had really good interviews.
But we want to hear back from you guys before we talk a little bit about how our business and podcast have changed. That’s one way that’s it’s changed in the last month or two. We’d love to hear your feedback. If you’re one of our loyal listeners that’s been listening for a long time, maybe even since 2013, then we want to know what you guys think about putting the updates at the end. At the end of the day, we really want to make you guys happy. We’re trying to make as many people happy as possible, but we always like to make sure our loyal listeners are the ones getting what they want.
Feel free to contact us in the contact tab on TheAncestralRDs.com to let us know what you guys like and if you’re okay with us putting the updates at the end, or if you really want them in the beginning. It’s good for us to get some feedback.
Speaking of updates, Kelsey, what are you up to lately?
Kelsey:We’re recording this earlier than when this will publish, so I guess this might be a little out of order depending when you listen to this. Last week, or the beginning of this week I guess, I launched the beta of my gut health program which is super exciting!
I originally was going to offer 30 spots for it. There was enough demand that I decided to up that to 50 spots. I’ve got 50 students in the Build Your Biome beta program. They have just gone through their first week now. It started on Monday and they’re loving it so far. I did the first Q&A session yesterday which was really fun.
I’m still working on content for the end of the program as they’re going through the beginning of the program. At first I was like, hmm, I wonder if I should really just finish everything before I launch it at all. But it’s an 8 week program so it’s pretty long and I had so many people emailing me like I want to get started, I’m so excited! I just decided since I had at least half of the program completely ready and then the rest of the program was at least mostly written that I was just going to launch it and have people go through it as I was still working on the last half.
Actually I think it’s worked out really well so far. Granted we’re only a week into it, but I feel like I’m able to get some feedback and hear people’s questions so that that can guide how I’m shaping the content for the last half of that program.
But it’s so awesome to have finally gotten this out into the world because I’ve been working on it, I mean I’ve had the idea for it for a really long time and I just never got around to it because, Laura, as I’m sure you know, creating an online program is a huge project that sucks up all your time. We made Paleo Rehab together and of course that was nice because we were splitting the work there. But doing it all on your own, let me tell you, feels like a whole other ballgame. It took me a while to really feel like I could sit down and do that. But once I started, it all kind of just came pouring out of me, which was great.
Kelsey:I’m super excited that that’s actually out there now. Honestly, it was really scary for me because when we were doing Paleo Rehab together, at least you feel like you’re in it together. If it fails, you fail together. If it succeeds, you succeed together.
Laura:If it fails, you just blame the other person.
Kelsey:Exactly! Right. Doing it on your own, I felt like I would be the one to blame. It’s my fault if it doesn’t do well. But I’ve been really, really happy with the turnout for the beta and it gives me hope that this program will be really help a lot of other people too once I offer it to the world at large, I guess.
Laura:That’s really exciting. I’m impressed that you got 50 people for your beta because I think not having any testimonials makes it hard to sell a program.
Laura:I’m sure that’s part of the benefit of getting that many people to go through it. You can build some testimonials and make sure that it is actually doing what you set out to.
I think from a business perspective, it is actually a good idea to not finish the whole program unless you have the opportunity to rewrite parts of it before people have done it. It’s actually kind of a good business strategy to not finish the whole thing before people started. Because then like you said, you can make changes and make sure that you’re covering topics that people are asking about that maybe you didn’t realize were going to be such big questions or maybe not as clear from the original work that you did.
Laura:It kind of puts a little extra pressure on you that you have this due date that if the content is not ready by then, you can’t just put it off. You really have to do it. In some ways that makes it nice because it’s like an accountability thing, but it does make it a little bit more of high pressure to get it done.
Laura:That’s really cool! I’ll be really excited to hear how that goes. Maybe I’ll even be able to send some people through that because I get a lot of people who they’re interested in working with me, but then either the budget is not there or I just don’t really feel like working one on one with someone is necessarily what they need. It’ll be cool to have that kind of program to send people to.
Kelsey:Cool! I hope it’s helpful for some of your potential clients that maybe can’t afford or don’t need that one on one help necessarily.
Laura:Even if they do, I feel like a lot of the stuff that you’re going to teach probably helps people get the basics down. Even if they wanted one on one help later, you’re not starting from scratch, so that’s kind of nice.
Kelsey:That’s basically why I decided to make this program. I found that talking to so many of my clients I was literally saying the same thing over and over again. I was like, okay, this is telling me that there is a market for this and people have generally the same questions and the same process that they go through. I felt like even if I am working with people one on one, I actually want them to go through this program as well either while we’re working together, or like you said, prior to working together.
Laura:That’ll be really cool and then you’ll have to tell me how it goes or make an announcement about it when the full program is available to the public.
Kelsey:Will do! What about you? What’s going on with you these days?
Laura:Other than wedding planning for the rest of my life?
Laura:It’s funny, when I say wedding planning, I think people probably assume it’s just the actual planning of the wedding itself. Even though that is a challenge, I’m sure a lot of people are like why is that so hard? It doesn’t make any sense.
The thing with what’s going on in my personal life is that it’s not just the wedding that’s going to change. My fiancé lives in Ohio and he’s going to be moving down here basically, I want to say three days, four days before the wedding.
Laura:We’ve never lived in the same area so we’re basically going from seeing each other once every two to four weeks to seeing each other 24/7. Which I’m excited about, but it’s obviously going to be a massive change.
There’s that and then there’s the actual event of the wedding itself which the planning piece is enough stress, but then there’s also the financial side of things. Then when that’s going on I’m actually working my butt off in my business to make sure I can afford all the stuff that I’ve stupidly agreed to. Thank you, Pinterest. It’s like you plan all this stuff and you’re like this is going to be awesome! And then all the budget goes to together and you’re like, oh my gosh, why am I doing this?
Kelsey:Right, of course.
Laura:I think for me it’s partially the actual planning of the event which is stressful in itself because we have all these family and friends and trying to organize everything and make sure everyone is as happy as possible while still wanting it to be what you want and not making anyone feel like you’re stepping on their toes. There’s that and then there’s the actual paying for everything.
And then like I said, just anticipating the amount that my fiancé and my relationship will change in June. It’s just like part of me is really excited and the other part of me is a little scared like, oh my gosh! This is going to be so crazy, this change! I have no idea what to expect. I think it’s overall going to be positive, but obviously that’s just a very 180 degree change from basically like the first day of June until mid-June.
Kelsey:Yeah, no kidding.
Laura:The word stress, I hate it because it’s making it sound like I’m not excited or something. I’m super excited, I’m very happy with my relationship and I can’t wait to be married. It’s just I really think the long distance thing is kind of adding to the stress never of the whole wedding planning experience. Based on our Christian faith, we just wouldn’t move in together before our wedding.
Laura:We were like, well there’s no point in your moving down here and then us waiting a couple months and you’re renting a place. Might as well do it as soon as you’re ready to move down. It’s all happening very fast.
But then I decided that that wasn’t enough stress, so I also signed up for business coaching with Jordan and Steve from SCD Lifestyle. They had approached me last year about it and I had considered it, but my business last year wasn’t quite as strong. And I had just met my fiancé, and we were just dating then, and I knew that there was going to be a lot of time I wanted to spend getting to know him, and visiting, and traveling, and seeing each other.
I decided not to do it last year because it just didn’t feel right. I tend to be very intuition heavy when it comes to making decisions. If I feel like something’s a bad idea, I usually choose not to do it. If I ever go against that intuition, I’m like that was right, I shouldn’t have done that.
This year when Jordan re-approached me I had talked to a couple people that did it last year. Then this year on one hand was a little freaked out because I was like let’s add another massive bill to my next six months or whatever. But the other way that I was thinking about it was I have all these things I want to get done with my business and without having any accountability or a plan, it makes it really hard and I feel like I just start to tread water essentially.
I’m happy to do clients on a weekly basis and just kind of have that rolling and I have somewhere between one to two waiting list right now, which isn’t crazy, but it never feels like I’m running out of clients, which is great. As a business owner, I don’t feel like I have to be really working super hard to get clients other than what we do with the podcast, and blogging, and all that stuff.
Kelsey:Oh yeah, just those little things that we work on all the time!
Laura:I know. But it’s funny because I think people when they see that I only take clients on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they’re like, well that’s nice, you only work two days a week? I’m like no, all the stuff I don’t get paid for is happening on the other days.
Laura:Anyway, it’s kind of got to the point where I kind of feel like I was ready to “level up.” I was like okay, I need to start doing stuff that’s more branching out and not just relying on client income, and maybe doing a program.
We’ve been working on getting our Paleo Rehab program to be available year round, so that’s coming soon hopefully. But that’s been a big thing that we’ve been focusing on.
I have an e-book that’s TBD with a pretty well-known person, so I’m excited about that if we ever really get any work done on that. It’s been a little hard to do that plus all of the other stuff I’m doing.
Kelsey:I’m curious with that actually, when you say e-book, I never know how long that means. Is that full book size, or would you say it’s going to be shorter that what you’d pick up in the store?
Laura:I think it would be shorter than your typical physical book, but I think it’s hard to say because we want to be really comprehensive in covering the topic. I’m not ready to share details about it yet, but we want to cover the science and the practicality. It’s hard to say how long it’ll be because on one hand the practicality shouldn’t take that much time to explain, but we need to have the science behind it too, so that could end up taking a lot of space.
I honestly have no idea. I think we want to create information that’s enough information so that people understand why we’re telling them to do what we’re doing, but then not so much that they’re just overwhelmed, or information overload, or anything like that. It’s kind of up in the air.
Writing is interesting. I feel like writing is sometimes harder than either podcasting or creating presentations.
Kelsey:I agree, yeah.
Laura:Just because I feel like it has to be so much more detailed and it has to be more grabby, if that makes sense. It has to get people’s attention better. That’s been a little challenging, but I am hoping that once some of these other projects get finished that that’ll get worked towards. Again, I kind of have some ideas about my own group program that I want to do, but that’s probably not going to happen until the second half of the year.
The coaching with Jordan and Steve has been great because it’s been giving me a lot of really good to-do’s and very action oriented recommendations. Part of it I think is also to make sure that the second half of the year I don’t just get totally distracted by being married and having my fiancé/husband around all the time. Part of why I signed up for that is because I was like, alright, I’m going to need something keeping me focused. That was part of the reason. That’s definitely been another thing keeping me pretty busy is trying to move all those pieces forward. That’s kind of what I’ve been up to.
Kelsey:Just a million different things.
Laura:I know. This podcast is publishing I want to say April 13th. I might be wrong. Sometimes we get a little off schedule. But it should be publishing April 13th. If that is the case, tomorrow or April 14, I’m turning 30.
Laura:It’s funny, I was talking to my trainer today about that and I don’t know if he said like uh-oh or something like that. I was like, no, I’m actually really stoked to be 30! My feeling is the 20s were very tumultuous. I think early first half of my 20s I was very unsure of myself. I really got serious about Christianity I think in 2012, so I would have been 25. The first half of the 20s I was just doing kind of my normal thing, not really thinking about that piece. That’s been a really big change in the second half of my 20s.
And then just being in grad school, and I was traveling in Australia. I was just very all over the place. Part of me likes being a little adventurous, and doing things that are fun, and taking risks, and that kind of thing. But I feel like I really appreciate stability to balance that. The first half of my 20s there was not much stability which wasn’t my ideal.
But I feel like my 30s, I just feel like I’m really getting clear about what I want my life to look like, what relationships are important to me, what type of hobbies I really enjoy, what my lifestyle habits should be. I have my community in Raleigh that has been really great that I’ve been developing and making close relationships.
There’s something about being 30 that I feel like as a woman, assuming you don’t put all your stock in your appearance because I definitely think it was a little easier to look good when I was 22 than now that I’m 29. But otherwise, I feel like everything else is just better, and I’m more confident, and just more sure of what’s important to me, and I’m able to say no and set boundaries better. My work just seems to flow a lot easier because I know what kind of clients I like to take.
It’s funny, I feel like a lot of women, they think about turning 30 and they’re like, oh no, I’m turning 30, I’m getting old! I’m kind of seeing my 30s as being this is when I know what I want and I’m going to do the things that make me happy and focus on the things that are important. I’m excited about it! I think it’s going to be great. Luckily since my birthday falls on Easter weekend, my fiancé is going to be able to come down and visit.
Laura:It’ll be a nice birthday weekend. I feel like everything is happening this year. It’s like I’m turning 30 and my life is literally turning upside down, but in a good way.
Kelsey:Right. In a way that you know you want. I think what you were saying about stability, and knowing exactly the kind of clients you want to work with, the kind of lifestyle habits that work well for you, the hobbies that you enjoy, getting into your Christianity, you spent your 20s it sounds like learning what works for you and what you want out of life. I think that’s a great way to think about going into a new decade. You know exactly what you want that to look like, and that’s awesome!
Laura:I’m sure there will be things that are challenging and marriage I’m sure isn’t exactly the easiest thing, but I think that’s all going to be a big improvement from my current situation with not being able to see my significant other more than once or twice a month. I’m excited about it.
Maybe this is TMI but it’s like I feel like, and I know you just got married a couple of months ago, but I feel like right now I’m so focused on June being like what’s going to happen? And I have to have everything ready for it, and even thinking, okay, I’m going on my honeymoon to Mexico, I better make sure I have bathing suits that fit me because I haven’t gone bathing suit shopping in two years. It’s just like literally my whole day is either work or thinking about June basically.
I’m just really excited to get to the point where I’m like, okay, we can just hang out and chill, and get some takeout, and watch a movie, and not have to cram all this amazingness into a 48 hour period, and just relax. I’m super excited to just calm down in the second half of the year and kind of just reassess what my life is going to look like. It’s all exciting, it’s just kind of like I’m impatient and patience is not my strong suit. But everything is going well.
I think you and I have been getting a lot more organized with the podcast and that’s been nice because I feel like for a while we were very off the cuff. Now that we’ve gotten a lot more regimented about how we record, it kind of takes a little of the stress out of that.
Laura:I think we actually end up doing a better job with our podcast when we’re more prepared.
Kelsey:We’d like to think.
Laura:This one we didn’t prepare for hardly at all. If you think you’re like, why are you guys rambling on? It’s because we had no preparation.
Kelsey:We figured that this is the kind of podcast, like Laura was saying earlier, that if you want to know more about us, and our personalities, and how we think and everything, you’re the person that is going to listen to this episode. You don’t need that strict organization I guess that we’ve tried to bring into some of our other episodes lately. This is more get to know more about Laura and Kelsey.
Laura:It’s funny because I feel like when we started, and honestly I almost want to say even the first year or two that we were doing this, I don’t think either of us felt super confident about what we were doing. It’s not that we didn’t trust our knowledge, it’s that podcasting when you first start is almost like public speaking. It’s not quite as intense, but it’s pretty nerve wracking. I think that came out in the way that we talked and in our voices. This hasn’t happened in a while and maybe that’s because we’re better at it, but we used to get a lot of complaints from people. I shouldn’t say a lot, it was a peppering of complaints here and there.
Kelsey:But you take them to heart when you first start.
Laura:I know, you get kind of traumatized by it. But people would say that we sounded dumb because we spoke, like we finished our sentences with up-talk.
Kelsey:I think it was valley girl is how they described it.
Laura:Or some people complained that we had something called vocal fry, which if you think about the way the Kardashian’s talk, that’s very hardcore vocal fry. Honestly, I have no idea, maybe we still have it. I haven’t really paid attention, but nobody’s complained about it for a while.
Kelsey:I was just thinking about it because I think after somebody had complained about it, I saw some article, and I can’t remember if we had talked about it at any point about how for women you’re more likely to have vocal fry and it’s not something that you can necessarily do anything about. I guess you could really train yourself out of it and talk in a different register than is natural for you I suppose. But I feel like l saw something about that and I was like that makes me feel so much better!
Laura:I wonder if part of it is that we have a much more professional mic setup now than we used to.
Laura:That could help because we’re not talking into a cheap…well we didn’t have cheap mics, but they weren’t as good as the one’s we have now. I think some of that might have affected our sound. I also think when both of us, well I know that when I get nervous I start to get squeaky.
Kelsey:I start to yell.
Laura:I think that might have changed, like our confidence in talking and just our ability to be relaxed on these kind of shows has changed. Maybe I’m just getting old turning 30 and I don’t talk like a valley girl anymore. But I might, I don’t know. It probably depends on the situation.
Kelsey:Also I think we’re at the point that we’re just like, who cares? To a certain degree of course we want to hear everybody’s feedback on what we’re doing and we always want to be improving. But at the same time, if you want the information that we’re providing and we’re doing a decent enough job and we’re trying super hard over here, I think at a certain point you just have to say, okay, I’m doing my best right now and of course I’m going to try to improve things overtime, but I’m also not going to beat myself up about it.
Kelsey:I think we’ve finally gotten to that point where we don’t take those comments to heart and really get hurt by them as much as we did when we first started.
Laura:Yeah, I think it’s been interesting because it’s not like the criticism ever stops.
Laura:There’s always people that don’t like what you’re doing. But I think as time has gone on and we’ve just gotten exposed to that stuff more regularly, it’s almost like you get to the point where you’re like, eh, whatever. Honestly because it’s like I feel pretty good about most of the feedback we get and also just working one on one with people I think we probably get a lot of happy clients that are glad that they worked with us.
Having that one on one connection is nice, but I think in general I’ve also been hearing a lot of positive things from people via social media and via our contact tab on the website that they’re just like thank you so much, that information really helped change my life! We’ve had people that said that because of us that they have basically eliminated certain health problems, which is awesome because this is free information. Being able to make that big of an impact on someone’s life without them having to pay for anything or sacrifice anything to be able to make that change other than the actual diet and lifestyle recommendations, I think that’s really cool.
For every person that we get that’s annoyed that we don’t sound like professional voiceover people, we get another couple of really happy people that tell us that the information really made a huge difference in their health. I think as time has gone on, we have gotten to the point where the criticism is just kind of rolling off a little easier. It’s not always going to roll off. I think sometimes you work really hard and you want to make a positive impact. I know I’m a people pleaser by nature and it’s something I’ve worked on.
Kelsey:Yeah, same here.
Laura:If somebody is upset with me, I get really hurt even if I don’t even know the person. That can be really tough when you’re the face of your business, which both of us are, because you’re just getting all the negative feedback that people feel like throwing at you if they’re that kind of person. But I just feel like overtime I guess I’ve lost interest in stranger’s opinions of me.
Laura:It’s a little easier to ignore that stuff. For me, having my fiancé, I guess the day that this publishes it’ll be right around our one year anniversary of dating, which is a little confusing because we didn’t really meet in person until May but we started talking in April. I’m like I don’t know what our technical one year anniversary is. I’ll have to figure that out. But I think that was a huge shift for me.
I’m not advocating dating someone to feel better about yourself, but what I’m saying is that having that totally unconditional support and love on a daily basis, I’ve kind of gotten to the point where I’m like I don’t really care about what other people think because I have someone in my life that loves me in spite of anything that I do that’s annoying, which is all the time. It kind of makes it easier.
I feel like you and your husband have been together for so long, I don’t know if you can remember a time that you two were like not in that situation.
Kelsey:I know, it’s hard. I think it makes a huge difference because you know at the end of the day there’s somebody there waiting for you with unconditional love that can not only kind of just almost tell you that the people that are criticizing you are not worth listening to, but can also just be there to comfort you and get you through that.
I remember when I first started my business, and even now if I’m being perfectly honest, those kind of comments are hurtful. They roll off my back a lot easier now, but when I first started, they were really hurtful and I would get very freaked out any time I got an email like that from somebody. It’s so nice to be able to just go someone and have them comfort you, talk to you through it and say why do you care about this random person? Or even if it was a client or something and some weird thing happened where they were upset about something, it just helps to have that person to go to and talk through it.
Laura:I think the other way that I’ve tried to look at criticism lately which has been helpful is how can I use that information to improve my business or my approach? For example, our podcast, I think even though we don’t care if people don’t like it because we’re doing this for free, so it’s like if somebody really hates it, I’m not super upset about it. But if we get some criticism, we were getting a lot of…I shouldn’t say a lot. I always say a lot, but it’s like maybe five to ten over the course of a year or something of people saying that they didn’t care for the “banter” in the beginning, with is little tough because we actually had probably just as many people saying that they enjoy it.
But we could have been offended by that, but instead we were like well maybe we should try changing it a little so that the people that don’t care for that that they get the information faster. And then people that like it can still hear it, but maybe they just wait until the end of the show to hear it.
It sometimes can be annoying because on one hand you’re like, alright, well if you don’t like what I’m doing, you don’t have to expose yourself to it. But you can also kind of take the perspective of is there any truth to what this person is saying even if they’re not saying it in a very kind or constructive way, and is that something that I’m interested in changing about my business?
For me, sometimes if I have an uncomfortable experience with a client either on my end or on their end, that might actually affect who I decide to work with in the future. It’s not that I’m changing who I am or changing how I work with my clients, but I might be a little bit more cautious about taking on certain conditions or taking on certain personality types because my experience will tell me that didn’t turnout so great last time.
Laura:It’s helping inform my business approach so that I don’t get as much negative experiences and that other people don’t get as much negative experiences. Because if it’s not a good fit to work with someone one on one, I don’t want them to pay me. I don’t want to take their money and then them not have a good experience.
That doesn’t happen that often, but I think it’s happening a lot less than it ever used to be in the last couple months because I’ve been so much more strict about who I choose to work with. I’ve made the process of signing up to work with me so much more, I don’t want to say challenging, but people have to put a little effort into it.
I think the ones that end up getting to the point that we’re about to book a session, they’re super bought in and they really want to work with me. Usually they’re actually a really good fit. It’s just taken a lot of stress off of me trying to make everybody happy and work with people that probably actually not a good fit for me and I’m not a good fit for them.
Kelsey:I love that. I think I’ve gone through the same process as well. Especially with one on one clients, you realize pretty quickly once you start which kind of clients are going to be good fits and which ones aren’t. But I think it takes a long time to actually put that into practice and have it inform who you end up taking. When you’re first starting, you have to pay your bills too.
Kelsey:You end up taking probably some clients that, and maybe you just don’t have a process like we do now where they’re going through a process where they’re putting their information in, we’re reading the information, potentially talking to them via email or phone, and then they’re booking. Before the way I did it, I would just have a little book button on my website and somebody could just book a call with me. I have no idea going into it who they are, what kind of personality they have, what health conditions they have. I’ve learned quickly that that wasn’t necessarily the best approach, but I think it took me a lot longer to actually have a different kind of process in place.
Laura:I’m laughing because I feel like both of us are at the stage where anytime that happens accidently, we’re like wait, how did this person get booked with me? I still work with the person unless if I go through their information and I think it’s a terrible fit, I’ll give them a refund and just be like I don’t think I’m the right person for you. Whenever that happens, I’m just like, dang it! Where are people finding this?
I think I’ve fully fixed everything so that everyone has to go through the process to book through the application as opposed to just clicking and then just paying for it. For a while there it was like somehow there was people slipping through the cracks. It’s not like all of them are bad situations. Most of them were just fine. It’s just when get into the habit of having a very specific system for taking on clients and you get to meet them before you work together, when you don’t get that opportunity it makes me very nervous.
It’s hard to imagine that that’s what I was doing all the time before because now I really, really like to me people before we work together because it just makes me feel so much more prepared, if that makes sense. Even though I spend the same about of time going over everybody’s information before the call, I just feel like there’s something about having that thirty minute free consult with them before we talk that I can get to know what they’re overall situation is that just makes me feel a lot more prepared even before I start reading their information.
Kelsey:Interesting. I don’t do the thirty minute calls, but I do have them fill out an application and then I will email back and forth with them a little bit before they book. Maybe I will change that because I do think here is something to be said for that. You can’t really tell what kind of person someone is without speaking to them. Email gives you a sense, but it’s certainly as good as talking one on one. Maybe that’ll change, but right now I at least talk with them a little bit. I think even that is so helpful.
I at least give them a little form to fill out with what kind of health issues they are having, and what their goals are, and why they want to work with me specifically. I find that that last question, which is why are you coming to me to help you? I find that really eye opening and that’s helped me to better choose the type of clients that I want to work with.
It’s funny that I’m talking about this on the podcast because my favorite clients always end up being the ones that are like, I love your podcast! I’m so excited to work with you! That’s how I found you or that’s how I really feel like I know you! I think the podcast is great in that regard because they do get to know me by listening to us every week. I think that helps for them to know exactly what to expect when they’re going to talk to me. There can be personality clashes that even if you could help somebody from a health standpoint, just the fact that your personalities don’t mesh very well can really impede that process.
Laura:Yeah. It’s not like there’s a wrong personality or something, it’s more just how they line up.
Laura:I know for me…I feel like I’m professional, but I’m not super serious, if that makes sense. People who want someone who’s very, very serious and professional, they probably wouldn’t really enjoy working with me. I can kind of get that vibe when I’m talking to someone in a free consult that they’re very intense and they want all the testing, and the labs, and all this stuff. I’m just like I like to work with people who, yeah, they want the information and I think that’s one of the reasons that we’re good at what we do is we actually know what we’re doing with that kind of stuff. But when you have a long-term relationship with a client, I want to make sure that they enjoy the sessions, that they enjoy talking with me and that they trust me more than just because I have some letters after my name or because I’ve written evidence based articles about such and such topics. I want them to actually enjoy the conversation because they maybe would be friends with me in real life or something like that.
Laura:I would say that’s a personal preference because if I have a day that all my clients are that kind of person that I’m happy to talk to and excited about, my day goes so much easier than if there’s people that I feel like we are not connecting. It’s hard when you’re on the computer, or on Skype, or whatever, it’s very emotionally draining to be counseling and supporting people on the phone for like eight hours a day. If I have people who are not connecting very well, and I’m trying so hard to help them, and for whatever reason it’s just not happening or whatever, it just stresses me out.
I think that’s a big reason why I do the free calls not only to help answer questions and stuff, but also to kind of gauge the connection with the person. Because if we have that connection, it just makes everything so much easier and I feel like I can do my job without being anxious about whether or not the person is happy.
Kelsey:Absolutely. I agree. It makes such a big difference.
Laura: Everyone is getting all the backdoor information about our nutrition practices.
Kelsey: I think it’s helpful because I think we have a lot of listeners who are RDs or other health professionals that are in the midst of either starting their business, or they’re new business owners, or even ones that have been doing this for a long time. But I think it’s really interesting from my own perspective to hear how other people deal with their business or set up their business. I think that is just very eye opening. If you are a nutrition professional, hopefully that was helpful to you or at least intriguing.
Laura:I think anyone who runs their own business has to get really clear about who they want to serve and that’s a huge piece. We both did Marie Forleo’s B-School a couple of years ago. It feels like it was forever ago.
Laura:But one of the big first steps there is to figure out who your ideal client is. That doesn’t necessarily you’re only serving that type of person. But if you don’t even know who you want to serve, then you end up really not making anybody super happy because you’re not really meeting the needs of any specific type of person.
With nutrition, I don’t know if you had this experience, but I think what went maybe not so great for me when I first started was having been working with Chris Kresser for so long, I just had this mindset of I have to help everybody with every health condition.
Laura:I think when you’re in an RD program because you basically learn how to help everybody with every health condition, it’s very hard to really specialize. Some people do better than others, but I think I was kind of just like I’m going to help everyone! It was a good learning experience because I learned a lot about what kind of health conditions can be solved using the kind of approaches that I like to use, and then which ones maybe can’t, or which ones I enjoy working with. There’s some kind of health conditions that I just don’t really like to work with. That doesn’t mean that the person doesn’t need help, it’s just maybe not my forte for whatever reason.
Overtime I think I had to give myself permission to only take on certain health conditions when it came to clients as well. I’ve had some people that we did the free consults with and I heard what they would be saying and they were super nice people, I would have gotten along with them, we would have been fine as far as our personalities were concerned. But once I heard how complicated their health issues were, I was like I don’t really think I should the one that’s helping this person because it’s so complicated.
Even though I know of certain strategies to help with that kind of stuff, I really like to focus on the diet, and lifestyle, and maybe some supplements, but I don’t like to do tons of testing. I don’t call myself a functional medicine practitioner because I don’t feel comfortable using the term medicine. I’ll say I’m a functional medical nutrition therapist. That’s a little different. I’ll talk to somebody and their health condition will be super crazy, just so many different things going on and I’m just like, I’m really sorry, I just don’t think I’m the right person for you. It’s so hard to turn people down.
Laura:I’ve been doing it more lately because my business coaches are telling me that I have to say no more often, but it’s so terrible. I feel so bad especially when the person is so nice and I’m like I really want to help you but I can’t, I’m sorry.
Kelsey:It feels worse too when I’ve had people where I don’t think I could help them very well, but I also don’t have a great recommendation to refer them to. I think that feels way worse. If I can’t even tell you where to look, but I can’t help you or don’t feel like I’m the best fit for you, then I feel like I can hear their disappointment in the email.
Laura:I know. It’s always the worst when someone starts begging you to help.I guess there aren’t that many people available doing this kind of stuff. Not that I’m doing anything super advanced like mold toxicity or something like that, but like you said, sometimes you just don’t know who could help the person.
Laura:But you’re aware that you can’t or that you don’t want to try. Because for me, I’m like if I’m charging someone a bunch of money to work with me and then I can’t even help them, I don’t feel good about that obviously. I try to make sure that people are getting really good value for what they’re paying me. I don’t even want to risk that potential that they would be wasting their money on me.
Laura:It’s really tough. I used to be very incapable of turning people down, more so about just financially not feeling secure when I first started. Eventually it turned into more of a people pleasing thing. Now I’m at the point where I’m like, alright, It’s not like I’m lacking in clients, so it’s not like I have to do something that I feel comfortable with. It’s kind of like just teaching myself to be okay with turning people down and realizing that I’m actually doing them the best that I can.
Laura:Turning them down might mean that they’re going to work with someone that’s a better fit, or they’re going to actually be able to put that money towards something that’s going to help them, or they just won’t waste their time and money working with someone who’s not going to really make an impact on their health. It’s hard to do it, but I definitely have tried to take the mindset that my best for that person is actually saying no, which is really hard.
Kelsey:So hard. It’s one of the hardest lessons I’ve learned in business I think. Learning to say no, so difficult.
Laura:I think life in general. It’s funny because Steve of the SCD Lifestyle duo, he’s helping me work on my practice to make that a little bit more time efficient and maybe get help in some way like a virtual assistant. But it was funny because the last conversation we had was all about boundaries and how if you can’t set boundaries in your business, you probably aren’t doing a good job of setting boundaries in your life. I was like, Steve, why are you digging into my soul here?
It’s so funny I feel like it’s come to such a head with the wedding planning because so many different people have their opinions about how it should go. Part of me wants to be like this is my wedding. I’m allowed to do whatever I want and you guys just have to suck it up.
Laura:But then the other part of me is like but I want everyone to be happy and have a good time. This isn’t all about me, even though it kind of is. It’s just so funny because I feel like boundaries in general have been really challenging for me and they’re all sort of coming to a head in the last few months.
I was kind of joking with my fiancé that he’s the only person I feel totally comfortable setting boundaries with because I know that he respects them 100% and his opinion of me doesn’t change based on those so I’m comfortable with it. It’s really hard and boundaries are one of those things that once you get some good solid ones and you get really dedicated to sustaining them and not letting people trample on them, it actually makes a huge difference in your life in general.
I love Brenè Brown’s work on all that stuff. It’s so funny because she talks about boundaries, but then she also talks about vulnerability which it seems like those would be two things that don’t really work together, but they’re actually really important for relationships, for your health, your mental health, your emotional health, physical health, that kind of thing. It’s just been interesting learning how to set those in my business then kind of pushes me to set it in my life. It’s a little easier for the business though.
Kelsey:I agree, first of all. I feel like running a business in general is the best lesson in personal development that you can ever get.
Kelsey:I feel like I learned so much about myself by my first instinct in business. Then when you kind of dig into those thoughts and beliefs that form those kind of thoughts and beliefs about business, you then realize, wow, there’s a lot of underlying layers here that are affecting the way not only that I run my business, but how I run my life. When you start to change the way that you run your business, it’s hard for that not to seep over into your life. Almost always it’s a good thing, whatever you’re implementing in your business is probably also something that can be implemented in your life.
That’s one thing that I have really, really loved about entrepreneurship is just the fact that it doesn’t just feel like I’m working on my business, it feels like I’m working on myself.
Laura:It’s funny because I think sometimes that can make other people uncomfortable.
Laura:When I say other people, I mostly mean people who are in your personal life. I don’t think most people, and maybe I’m wrong, maybe people listening to this episode and like why are you guys telling us all this stuff? But I feel like in general the kind of people that I like to attract to my business actually enjoy hearing what’s going on in our lives, and what we’re struggling with, or what we were struggling with but we overcame, that kind of thing.
I know the people that I like follow, I’ll do that. I really like people like Neghar Fonooni, and Molly Galbraith, and just people who they share their struggles, and they really humanize themselves, and they make it okay to have challenges, and they don’t act like they have it all together.
I personally appreciate that in a business owner and I think that’s how I want to be. I want to be very open and honest about things and as vulnerable as is…
Laura:Not even socially acceptable. I don’t want to be spilling my guts to the world like a dear diary kind of blog. It’s more sharing the things that I struggle with and then maybe things that are successful for dealing with it.
That’s something that Neghar Fonooni always talks about with her business where it’s like she doesn’t ever want to share something that she hasn’t really resolved yet because that’s not helpful. It’s more just, I forget the term that she uses. But it’s basically just leaving all this negativity with her followers and not really giving them any sort of game plan or advice or anything. She’ll always wait until she’s worked through something to share it and talk about what she was dealing with and then how she overcame it. I try to take that approach too. I think she used the term “self-indulgent” or something if she shares that without having any sort of message or lesson that she can share as well.
Laura:As a business owner you don’t want to be just like I said doing a dear diary kind of blog where you’re like, today I had this happen, and it was terrible, and I was so upset about it. Then it was like, okay, that’s it, that’s all you’re sharing. When you’re doing a professional business type blog, but you’re also trying to infuse that with personal experience, you have to be careful that you’re not just like I said being self-indulgent and sharing stuff for no reason.
But there are things that I share that some people in my personal life are kind of like, why are you putting that on the internet? That’s really inappropriate, or you shouldn’t be sharing that kind of stuff. It’s sometimes hard because it’s like I have a lot of people who will message me about things and they’ll be like, I’m so glad you shared that, I really needed that, and that was so helpful! It’s just funny because I get those responses from my listeners or readers. And it’s funny because again, my fiancé, I’ll ask him like is okay that I shared this? He’s like yeah, that’s fine. He doesn’t care at all. But some people in my personal life will not be happy about it.
It’s a very interesting experience to try to feel comfortable putting that stuff out there to be vulnerable and to be relatable to your audience, and then have people being like that’s too much information, that’s on the internet. It’s weird. Maybe it’ll come back to bite me. Maybe I’ll regret it in the future, but I don’t think so. If I’m sharing a struggle that I’m having in my life, I’m not sure how that would necessarily come back to hurt me at some point. I just think it’s helpful for people and I know I really like when other people share that kind of stuff. Like I said, hopefully people find it helpful and not just self-indulgent.
Some of the stuff I share just being very honest is because of my faith. I feel like it’s important to be very clear about things. One of the things that I got a little flack about recently was the fact that I was talking about the fact that my fiancé and I are waiting until marriage to have sex. I wrote very briefly, I don’t even know if I used the term sex. I think I just said like we’re not using this yet. It was very subtle. But I remember one of my family members was complaining about it because they thought it was being really inappropriate.
Laura:I’m like I’m pretty sure that’s not that big of a deal. The main reason why I shared it is because I want to normalize that for people that feel like that they don’t feel like it’s okay to do that. That’s an example of something where it’s like yeah, maybe I didn’t have to share it and it didn’t necessarily make a difference in the overall theme of blog post that I wrote. But I think being very clear about values and things that I think are important, it can help somebody. Maybe there’s one person out there that will read that blog post that’s debating about whether they want to do the whole waiting until marriage thing. Maybe if they see it they’ll say, oh she’s doing it, that’s cool, maybe I’ll try it too.
Laura:Maybe I’m an over-sharer, and I think this podcast is probably teetering on the edge of oversharing, but I feel like there’s enough pressure in the world to be fake and to pretend like everything’s perfect. Especially in our field, nutrition and health, there is so much pressure on us to not ever do anything wrong, or to have the perfect bodies, or perfect skin, or always feel energetic, never get sick, blah, blah, blah. I really actually feel like that kind of philosophy is really damaging on people to be exposed to that all the time.
I’m kind of like I’m going to be the opposite and make sure everyone knows that I am a totally normal person, I get sick, I don’t have the exact body fat percentage that maybe would be “optimal” from a fitness perspective, or whatever it is. I thin, for me, if someone is turned off by that, then they’re probably not going to enjoy working with me, especially for how frequently I talk about poop and stuff when I’m working with somebody.
It’s just funny, it’s like on one hand there’s a little fear about being vulnerable in that way in a public setting. But I honestly feel like the more I do that, the more I get positive feedback that people really benefitted from it. I think I’m going to continue pushing the boundaries.
Kelsey:Yeah, I think that too.
Laura:What about you?
Kelsey:I guess the first big thing that I would say that I’ve shared that I was really nervous about was that I was struggling with pretty major health issues for a while. For a long time I felt like I couldn’t share anything about it because I don’t have it all figured out. But what I realized through thinking about that was that there are certain aspects of it that I in a sense at least have figured out, or at the time when I shared this I had figured out.
I knew that stress was a big part of it and I shared an article about how I think about stress and how I use stress management to help manage a chronic health condition. I guess that’s the thing with chronic health conditions is that they may not completely go away ever and that’s something that I think it’s hard to not feel a little bit indulgent when you share that kind of stuff because I don’t have it all figured out and I may never have it all figured out. That’s not necessarily my fault, but at the same time it can make you feel like should I even be sharing this?
That’s something I personally struggle with a lot is being open and vulnerable in a public setting. I’m a really private person in general unless I know someone pretty well, in which case I’m completely open. If I don’t know you really well, then there’s a lot of things that I’m going to keep to myself. That’s really hard to combine with a very outward facing, public facing kind of business where it is useful even from a business perspective to be open and vulnerable with your audience because people do dig that. That makes somebody get to know you. Even though you don’t know them, they get to know you and they want to follow your journey and they potentially maybe want to work with you or join a program that you’re running.
It’s very useful from a business perspective, but that’s something I struggle with personally just on my own level is getting comfortable with sharing things that with an acquaintance I wouldn’t share. That’s something I’ve been working on and it’s something I’m sure I’ll continue to work on. I have kind of the opposite problem. I don’t have to think about controlling what I want to share. I have to push myself to share things that I wouldn’t necessarily share with an acquaintance.
Laura:There’s probably a balance to be struck between what I do and what you do. I think when you talk about being nervous about sharing about a chronic illness that you’re not sure will ever go away, honestly my impression of that is that that’s reality.
Laura:I actually think one of the really problematic things about the Paleo and alternative health sphere is that the only stories that get shared are the total success stories. You don’t often hear about people who are relapsing or maybe they only got 80% of the way back to normal and they still have issues. There are some people that do that. Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots people out there that share their struggles and are open about the chronic issues that they have not solved yet and may never solve. Just being realistic, some things can’t get better.
Laura:That may sound negative, but I think in some ways it’s almost liberating for people because it’s like they don’t think they’re not trying hard enough if they haven’t got it 100% figured out. I really feel like that kind of story is important because otherwise people with chronic issues that maybe they’ve gotten a significant improvement from, but they haven’t totally finished getting back to 100% normal and they may never get there, I feel like they need to know that it’s okay and they need to know that that’s normal and it’s not that they’re a failure at fixing themselves or something.
Laura:Because I really feel like the majority of the stories that are out there, which are great and I think a great example is Russ Crandall who we’ve interviewed and I think that one is coming out after this episode so you guys will hear his story. But he had a really severe autoimmune issue that for all intents and purposes he looks totally normal now. That’s an amazing miraculous story, but it’s not always the experience that everyone has.
Laura:They might have an 80% improvement, but they still can’t really exercise very much because they have a health problem. I feel like being honest about that, and I am not pressuring you into doing anything. I’m doing it very publicly, so you’re probably cringing right now. But I really feel like sharing that kind of stuff maybe it doesn’t feel as inspirational as, oh I fixed all my problems and now I’m super healthy! But it’s also I think really helpful for people who are dealing with relapses or are still dealing with the symptoms that maybe they feel somewhat better, but they don’t feel totally better.
I’ve had a lot of people come to me that are crying on the phone because they feel like they’re failing. It’s like you’re not failing, you’re doing a great job and you’ve made so much progress. You have to enjoy your life. You can’t necessarily be stuck in this mindset that you have to be so focused on your health because you’re like 20% away from perfect health. I’m not saying give up, but I’m also saying take a break. Take a little pressure off yourself.
I think sharing that actually in my personal opinion would be a good thing. Like you said, it might just be something you have to practice being a little bit more open and vulnerable in public. I’m not saying you have to, but it might be a way to stretch yourself a little bit and you don’t have to necessarily talk about your sex life on a podcast like me, but maybe talking about your struggles wouldn’t be so scary if you do it a couple times.
Kelsey:Yeah. I think writing that article I really saw that because whenever we send that out to people that are interested in our adrenal fatigue program, I’ll always get a good amount of replies being like, oh this is so helpful, and I’m really happy to hear this, and it really makes me feel better about moving forward with the healing process and knowing I don’t have to be perfect. I could certainly do a better job of sharing more of that, but it’s going to take some pushing I think.
Laura:I’m just going to have to push you because I’m a pusher. Just ask my fiancé, I push him all the time. I’m just kidding. Well, I might.
Laura:He’s very tolerant. He’s the most tolerant person I’ve ever met which is why I’m marrying him because I don’t think I could convince any else to be around me 24/7.
Well, hopefully people are still here. We might have two people listening at this point but we’re hoping that makes up for all the non update episodes that you guys are about to get the next couple weeks.
Kelsey:Yeah, this was like an hour long update I feel like.
Laura:Yeah, definitely. But I feel like episode 100 is kind of a celebration of the trials that we’ve gone through and the triumphs of the last 100 episodes. We have no plans on stopping this anytime soon. Maybe next time we do an update like this it will be episode 200!
Laura:Which will be two years from now.
Kelsey:This has been such a fun journey. It’s actually funny because it almost feels like wait, this is only episode 100? We’ve been doing this since 2013. But we did start doing it every other week.
Kelsey:Yeah. We’re only now reaching episode 100. But it’s been a long journey and it’s been a super fun journey to be on with you, Laura!
Laura:You too, Kelsey! Gosh, we’ve been working together since 2012.
Laura:Almost I guess five years at this point.
Laura:More than five years.
Kelsey: Yeah, it’s insane.
Laura:Time is flying. You’ll be 30 soon next time we have a celebration episode.
Laura:Cool. Well, we are so glad that you guys have been with us for the last 100 episodes and maybe you’ll be with us for the next 100 too!
But if you want to hear any specific topics or interviews that you’d us to cover, go to TheAncestralRDs.com and click the contact tab. There’s a form that you can fill out to suggest an interview guest or if you have a specific question that you want us to answer. That’s basically where we get all our podcast topics from. If you want your topic covered, then that’s the way to do it.
We’re so glad that you’ve been with us and we hope that we will see you here next week!