Solo Episode With Your Host!

This past summer I made big revenue goals for myself…now I tell you guys how it went! Hit the play button below to get started.

S3 Episode 39: Solo Episode With Your Host, Ft Julia Zakrzewski, RD

In this episode I also share updates about the future of the Freelance Dietitian Brand. It’s been a really confusing 6 months for me, but I feel happy with my decision moving forwards. I hope you will all continue to tune in and support the show.  

Did you miss last weeks episode? Don’t sweat it, you can tune in here: Media Dietitian & Freelance Opportunities

Full Transcript of Today’s Episode:

Julia: 0:38

Hi, everyone. Welcome to the show. Today I’m gonna be doing a solo episode. I think it’s a great chance for me to sit down, answer some questions. And I still owe you guys the conclusion of my summer revenue goals. So I’m gonna dive into that right now.

A little bit of context for new listeners. This past summer was my very first one as a full-time entrepreneur. It was the best summer of my adult life. And I did make an episode about that, It was called the summer bonus episode, and I had decided that I wanted to make $8,000 while working less than 40 hours for the month.

I know that’s crazy, but I’ve been very lucky to surround myself with other business people who share the same mentality, which is to work as few hours as possible, hit your income goals, and then unplug. People make triple that amount of money in less than 40 hours by the way. It’s not impossible. The only person telling you it’s impossible is probably yourself. I am speaking from very personal experience that it was my own limiting beliefs that was holding me back from shooting for those big revenue goals. And they felt big for me.

I think the thing that helped me push past that the most was actually an exercise I picked up from Keith. He’s a social worker and my old coworker, and he is a guest on season one. And he says, whenever you have these emotional responses, like fears or doubts about yourself, the only way to really mute them is to counter them with an evidence or analytical based fact.

So, what I did is I literally had a piece of paper. I put my goal at the top, which was to make 8K in less than 40 hours a month, which sounded crazy. And then underneath I wrote down what was gonna stop me from doing that. And a hundred percent of them were emotionally based.

So I had things like I’m scared. I’m not qualified enough. I’m scared that there’s not enough clients out there who can afford. Rate. I’m worried I’m not talented enough. And then directly across from that in a second column, I would counter all of that. And I would say, well, I am talented enough because I’ve been hired to do over 250 writing assignments in the past X months. There are clients out there who can afford me because I’ve already been working with clients who are paying me at a pretty good rate, so they’re obviously out there.

When I looked at the page and I saw how much of my, you know, cons had been canceled out, it was a real breakthrough moment for me. And I realized there was no tangible elements in my life that was stopping me from shooting for that big goal. So I just went for it. And at the end of August, I got very close, but I didn’t get there.

I ended up working for 36 hours and I made $7,500, 88, 75, 88. Yeah. And that’s incredible. I am so thrilled with that number. There’s no frowning over here. I’m overjoyed. It’s still a Testament to how much you can succeed even if you don’t hit your big goal. Look how close I got. Look how close you guys could get. If that was a goal you were interested in. So I keep moving forward and I’m still aiming for 8K and less than 40 hours a month.

When I share that information with you guys, though, there’s some really key facts that I also need you to know, so that you’re completely informed about everything I’m doing.

I’m not a new freelancer. I have been doing this now for over a year and a half and I know my business very intimately. For example, I know how long different parts of my writing assignments will take me, I know how long it’s gonna take me to do research, to type out paragraphs, to edit. I have it literally nailed down to a T.

When I first started, it would take me eight to 12 hours to finish one article that’s normal. You will not find shortcuts in freelancing if you’re still expecting to make good rates, that’s just not how it works. Hard work is rewarded with a higher rate. So that’s important for you to guys to know I’m not a newbie. Uh, also when I say that I work 36 hours for the month I friggen work.

I do so much in that hour becuase I do not have social media up, I don’t have my cell phone in the same room, and I don’t have tabs open that should not be open. I am in my zone. And I’m sure many of you can relate. You’ve probably had moments where you did an hour of work and you walked away being like, holy crap. I just did four hours in one hour, because I was so focused and in the zone, and that is a skill and you need to develop that.

It’s something I’ve been working on for the past year and a half. For me, it’s not super intuitive. I really need to make a habit and do the same thing every single time. And then I just get in my zone faster, but it’s hard. It’s really hard. And so within that hour that I dedicate, or maybe it’s a three hour block that I’m dedicating to work. I am doing so many tasks because I’m just like, this is it. I’m here to do my job. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. There’s no question about it.

Like there’s no shortcuts. I cannot stress it enough. It’s not something that’s happening overnight. To help get these jobs I am also pitching like crazy. I put out so many feelers because as a freelancer, it’s very rare within the first five years of your work, that opportunities are gonna land in your lap. You need to build some street cred, you need to do some networking and then the ball will start rolling and people will start reaching out to you, but you need to be on that outreach game and you need to be showing up every day, even when you don’t feel like it.

I can’t even tell you how much rejection I faced. It’s never personal, it’s business and that’s part of freelancing. So yes, I’m flashing really sexy numbers at you guys, and my business is doing well, which I’m very thrilled about, but it’s not easy.

When I first started there’s no way I would hit these numbers in the amount of time that I was dedicating to my business. So I just wanna be super crystal clear about that.

Right now I’m also trying to branch out my services a little bit more. I’ve done a food photography class recently, and I’m gonna be offering that as a content creation package for my clients moving forward, as well as writing and that I’m also gonna be offering some kind of videography options for marketing packages as well, because video is king. Video is already taken over our marketing content and it’s not gonna go away. I personally resisted for so long, I don’t know why, maybe I was stubborn. Maybe I just felt overwhelmed by everything I was learning in freelancing and I had no brain space to learn one more new thing, but it’s time.

My focus for the rest of the year is to further develop my skill sets and just add more services so I can help clients and do different types of work. I hope that makes sense. I always find the solo episodes the hardest, because I don’t have someone directly looking at me to look nod at me and be like, yeah, we’re with you. Or like, no, that did not land So you guys let me know if you have more questions about that.

I wanted to address a question that I got from a listener, which I thought was great and she said. “What is one thing that you wish you knew before you started as a freelancer, Now that you’ve been doing it for a while” and that was tough. I’ve been thinking about this for a couple days. Like what’s one thing I wish I knew there’s and I kind of landed on two.

The first one is I wish I had received more education about what it meant to contribute to a marketing team or to a business team. Because blog writing is marketing. It’s the communication of a business. It’s a long term strategy plan. It draws people to their page and it organically builds up traffic, hopefully converting readers into clients.

I was very lucky that when I signed up with my freelance coach, maybe it’s not luck, I did actually research her quite a bit. But when I signed up for my freelance coach, she had gone to school for marketing and for English. She worked in a marketing department for a couple different businesses until she decided to freelance.

And she’s not a dietician. And I think there’s a lot of value in working with RDS and learning from them, but also going to work with other people who are specialized in their fields. So like I said, writing is marketing. It makes sense that I would pursue a freelance writing coach who worked in marketing and it totally paid off. She gave me so much insight into what it’s actually like behind an advertising team. I wish I knew this information sooner because it would’ve made me feel more confident pitching myself.

For example I would’ve known the terminology better and better understood the objective. My objective, when I was writing a piece was to relay impactful, high quality nutrition content that was easy to read. A marketing team objective is that, but it’s also a few other things that I wish I had learned about.

That’s one thing I wish I spent more time on. I think it would’ve helped me reach my goals faster in my business. The second one is I guess, a little bit more personal, but it would be just to just not doubt myself. Just be more confident in my skills. I think that’s probably generalized to all business areas, not just freelance.

I do think you need to have pretty thick skin to put yourself out there to not take stuff personally, whether you’re pitching yourself or maybe you have an editor that’s tearing your piece apart, you have to not take it personally and still show up and still be professional and do a good job. And most days that’s easy because we’re all super educated folk and we all want the project to succeed. But yeah, there’s moments where it just feels like. What am I even doing? Why am I even here? And I wish, but I wish when I first started, I would’ve known like, oh, it’s gonna be way harder than you think it’s gonna be, but you can do it. So I hope that helps. T

hose are my 2 cents. I might think of more and add them to the next episode. It was such a great question. So thank you to the person that submitted that.

I did wanna share with you guys one thing that’s been weighing on my chest really heavily. With the freelance dietician brand, I’ve been feeling so lost. There’s so many other RDS who are teaching nutrition writing stuff, food photography stuff, freelancing stuff. At this time, I’ve decided to take a step back. I’m not gonna be opening up the beginner’s course for Upwork again in the near future. I’ve changed my website and I’ve actually removed the one-on-one coaching opportunities for now.

I find that people mostly wanna come the podcast. And that’s totally fair. I created this podcast because I love storytelling and because I have kind of an obsession with seeing how far RDS can push the limit and use their credentials. It’s just great way to share content instead of just on Instagram or scrolling through a picture, it’s way more intimate. And I love developing relationships with the audience. So. That’s where I’m at. I, I don’t know if it will change in the future or if I will ever open up a course again, I just want to create content for the freelance dietician podcast.

I think it’s a lot to do with seeing what other businesses have done. You have something that’s going really well, then a business mindset would be to monetize it, maybe by doing a course. And that’s exactly what I did. I did believe in it and I knew it could help but my goal for this podcast is not to make money. I just want to share stories, inspire others, and just show RDS what else is out there. And so for that reason, I think I just need to stop treating the freelance dietician brand as a business and just more of like a hobby account and a super awesome podcast.

If you’re disappointed by that, Hey, maybe in the future, I’ll make my own course, but for now I do think there’s plenty of resources. I don’t feel like there’s a shortage. Um, but yeah, that was hard to share. I don’t know why. I hope there’s no backlash from that. Maybe you guys won’t even care and even more proof to just keep doing the podcast.

This season has been super fun. I feel like we’re climbing up the mountain and getting a lot of momentum. And there’s so many more questions being asked about the guests coming on and people are really engaged. So that’s been super rewarding. And I do love it.

I think it’s a good time to end there. Let this info sink in for a little bit. And if you have questions, you can always reach me on Instagram. Next week. I am bringing on Stacy Dunn Emke. She has been a dietician for over 30 years and she created Nutrition Jobs.

I was really excited to have Stacy on because we had a very different conversation than what she normally does. Talking about the past opportunities that have existed for RDS and what she thinks the future holds for RDS, because if anybody has their finger on the pulse, it’s Stacy, her whole livelihood is about jobs in the nutrition space for dieticians. So she’ll be here next week. And she’s gonna share that with you guys, and I’m excited for you to tune in. Thank you so much. I hope you have a great week. I’ll see you next Tuesday. Bye.

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