My Story of Creating the Dietitian Boss Method
my relationship with money:
Money isn't a bad thing. It’s hugely important. From a very early age, I was motivated to work. Raised in a single parent home, my mom stressed the importance of independence. My upbringing taught me how working hard can help anyone make money. My mother challenged gender norms and told me that if I wanted something (like going to college), I could in fact get it, but I had to work for it - meaning I had to foot the bill.
Making money can help you pay for things that matter -- like education. One of my most memorable lessons about work ethic and money happened when I was 17 years old. I funded my expensive out of state college tuition in full via scholarships that I applied for.
However, you can still work hard and make NO money. It seems unfair that you can’t get what you want when you make an effort and this issue runs deep. I’m talking about gender norms, women and access to money.
I completed my academic studies (undergrad, grad and internship) like a “good” girl. I followed the traditional route in dietetics and searched for a clinical job like 60% of my colleagues (1). My first clinical job (based in Brooklyn, NY) paid me $45k a year. I was living in Manhattan at the time and felt awfully confused. I remember taking the 1.5 hour bus ride home to my apartment and thinking, “How did such a highly educated and hard working dietitian get into such a bad place where my self esteem flew out the bus window?” I felt worthless, angry and quite honestly depressed. After I wiped the tears from my eyes, I thought of my upbringing and challenged myself to do something. I decided to apply for (and was offered) a higher paying job ($55k annual) and started my private practice on the side. I realized social media was an untapped opportunity to reach more people and make money, so I showed up and showed my face. I created the draft of the Dietitian Boss Method™.
A 9-5 clinical dietitian job didn't cut it: I had to do so much more to pay the bills.
When I served my clinical death sentence, I had to pay off grad school loans - but pay for dietitians is disgraceful. When I started my second clinical job at $55k, I knew this wasn't enough to pay the bills living in Manhattan. I immediately picked up a Saturday and evening shift, which added 3 extra full days per week to my 40 hour work week. In clinical, I was denied a raise, I had barely any energy left to put into my private practice, but I found a way to show my face on social media (Instagram to be specific) and make it work. Where I got a slight bump in pay, I didn't feel like I was making a difference.
One day when I was working my extra shift, I met a dentist who asked me to teach a class. I met with her boss, pitched a curriculum and negotiated teaching classes for $9500 a year. I felt like there was no way I could ever make more money than this! As a woman, this was the most I had negotiated for any type of pay and I felt mixed from feeling proud and afraid that if I ever left this opportunity, I would never find anything better. I stayed working multiple roles and shifts for one year until my private practice grew enough for me to go full time as a Dietitian Boss. In retrospect, I could have left clinical sooner, but I was so scared I wasn't good enough and that my private practice “might not make it.” After all, if I was denied a raise and lucky enough to get an opportunity for extra pay, what would happen if I believed in myself 100%? I was scared.
I didn't just decide to make money myself. I understand there's a broader issue where women aren't making money. Specifically, in my industry for dietitians.
I created my business to break the cycle of what amount of money women should make (i.e. $45k annual vs. $10k per month as a dietitian), and how dietitians should be perceived in society (i.e. food police vs. food therapist). This pivot point between making $45k annual and $45k a month is a departure from what the norm tells you. I saw this when I paid for college, and again when I became a clinical dietitian and served my 5 year death sentence.
My business model's purpose serves to interrupt the cycle that tells women that it’s okay to work hard and not get what they want. Continuing this cycle perpetuates stereotypical gender norms (i.e. women don’t work, work part time, or don’t think they have anything of value to offer).
Women are oppressed in American culture, and this is true around the world, as indicated by statistics showing the wage gap.
The gender norm cycle says “its okay to stop working, or work and make 82 cents to every dollar a man makes.” For Latinas 54 cents to the dollar, African Americans 62 cents to the dollar and Asian 90 cents to the dollar (2). Minority women suffer the most; licensing restriction further amplifies racial and gender disparities and increases the wage gap.
Where the gender norm perpetuates women accepting low or no work for pay, the clinical dietitian cycle promotes inequality by dismissing raises and increasing salaries. Even more alarming, the 2024 master’s degree mandate amplifies elitism and creates a higher barrier of entry for dietitians, which further increases the diversity gap in our field. The solution I suggest is starting your private practice and creating your own rules and terms vs perpetuating the unfair and politically charged clinical death sentence, which holds you back from creating meaning in your life.
My business model interrupts the cycle to tell women that it's NOT okay to work your butt off (i.e. becoming a Registered Dietitian) and not get what you want (i.e. reasonable wages). In fact, I recommend you work hard and make the money you deserve. What I'm doing is political because I'm saying the system is broken. Dietitians shouldn't work in a system where you pay $175k for school loans, but you only make ~$61k annually (3). The gap is absurd and we have to demand higher pay. The first step is skipping or dropping out of clinical and starting your own private practice.
You have a choice. You can follow the traditional path like 60% of dietitians and serve your 2 year clinical death sentence, or you can follow the Dietitian Boss Method™ and interrupt the pattern of women holding themselves back.
When you stay on the path of, “it’s okay that it’s unfair to stay in clinical,” you perpetuate gender norms that set a bad example for the future generation of women, and more specifically, the future generation of dietitians.
I envision a direction for change that starts with us dietitians. First, we have to accept the facts. Dietitians are overeducated and underpaid. We allow this to happen by not asking for a raise, lacking negotiation skills and not helping ourselves. It’s time to challenge gender norms and break free from clinical. Even better: Skip clinical altogether. The direction for change is led by the Dietitian Boss Method™, which has served 1000’s of female dietitians from all around the world. The proven method has helped dietitians skip clinical, break free and live their life with purpose, intention and maximum profit.
Staying poor and codependent on a partner isn't the way. I refuse to live this life and I lead by example. Only 17 months ago, I made $55k a year in my miserable clinical job. I now make over $100k a month in my private practice, but that's not enough for me. The greatest legacy I can leave isn't the money I’m able to make, it's the money I’m able to help you make, as a woman, to break gender norms. Follow the Dietitian Boss Method™ by applying for my coaching program. Join my community of like-minded women and #showyourface -- you can start your private practice now.
You are not alone in wanting more. We can break gender norms together.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Salary Compensation Guide
- National Partnership for Women & Families. https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/economic-justice/fair-pay/quantifying-americas-gender-wage-gap.pdf. 9/4/2020.