Krista Ko is a Business Dietitian with an MBA and a super successful membership site for RDs called the Dietitian Success Center. Tune in to hear how her journey started with freelancing and ended up pivoting to something else entirely!
Season 2 Episode 19: RDs Who Quit Their Jobs To Pursue Freelancing Ft. Krista Ko, RD, MPH, MBA
More Information About Krista:
- She used to run a dog accessory business which sold adorable collars and bandanas
- She is a super athlete and completed her first iron man last year
- She hosts a podcast named after her business The Dietitian Success Podcast
- She currently lives in Calgary
Why Did She Become A Business Dietitian?
During school and even after becoming a dietitian Krista felt unsure about which area of nutrition she wanted to work in. She couldn’t see herself working in clinical dietetics and she didn’t want to work in long-term care.
After completing her master’s in public health she secured a role as a retail dietitian. The client care component of her job was not lighting her up and she knew she had to make a change. She moved to the corporate setting and loved being exposed to a business environment.
During her commutes to work, she would listen to podcasts about entrepreneurship and marketing and she knew one day she wanted to give it a shot.
What Was Her First Business?
You have to try a few things before you land on something you love. Krista loved creative pursuits and didn’t shy away from trying to run:
- A few different food blogs
- A pet accessory business on Etsy
- Food photography and videography projects
Krista comes from a family of entrepreneurs. She states in the podcast she felt very lucky to have support from her parents for all her different business ventures.
How Did She Stumble Onto Freelancing?
Krista found Ana Reisdorf’s freelancing website and bought her e-book. She couldn’t believe how much money people were making online, especially Dietitians.
Krista started to freelance on Upwork and did several projects:
- Recipe writing
- Recipe development
- Ebook writing
- Blogging for health and wellness sites
- Medical reviewer
- Content creation for a health app.
She loved project-based work and enjoyed the variety of assignments. After six months she was matching her full-time salary and started to seriously consider quitting her full-time job.
Where Did She Find Freelance Opportunities?
Here are some places Krista successfully found freelancing opportunities:
- Upwork (I have a podcast episode all about Upwork!)
- Word of mouth
- Networking with potential clients from her corporate role
- Making connections on LinkedIn
Making sure people know you are available for work is a big deal. Advertise your services on your social media and tell everyone you know you are ready to take on freelance projects.
What Did It Feel Like To Submit A Resignation?
Once Krista was able to cover her financial needs every month she knew it was time to quit her job. It took her three months to hit this milestone.
She remembers waking up the day she was going to give in her notice and telling her fiance today was the day she was going to quit her full-time job. “I remember sitting down with my manager and immediately bawling. I couldn’t even say anything right away.
It was very hard to leave a position she adored but it was time to move on and pursue her entrepreneurial dreams.
Why Did You Stop Freelancing?
Krista felt called to business and entrepreneurship. She wanted to educate others on this topic and she started to offer business coaching for dietitians.
She loved working with RDs and saw there was potential to earn more money than she could as a freelancer. “Freelancing is a very hard business to scale. You can reach a point where you feel like you want to still have room to grow”.
Krista continued to freelance until her coaching business took off. The next year she opened the dietitian success center and she is so happy with the business she has built.
Are Freelancing Skills Transferable?
Yes, they are. Krista still relies heavily on skills she developed during her freelance days:
- Writing long-form content
- Losing the fear of rejection
- Developing thick skin and resiliency
- Understanding how contracts work and basic business skills
Krista believes every professional experience makes you better. There are always takeaway messages that can help you in your business journey.
Ready to listen to the episode? Hit the play button below to start the interview!
Did you miss an episode? Don’t sweat it. Here is last week’s interview: RDs Who Quit Their Jobs To Pursue Freelancing Ft. Gaby McPherson MS, RDN, LDN