At present I am the Managing Director/Owner/Dietitian/Sports Dietitian for a series of award-winning dietitian businesses nationwide. Lately I have had many people asking me “what do you do each day?”, “how do you get through it all?”, “do you sleep?”, “how do you keep on top of everything?”. So, this post will be an attempt to answer those questions.
Ultimately the answer to those questions are “a lot”, “as quickly as possible”, “yes”, “my brain seems to cope with it”. Making use of my time is at the forefront, taking charge of things that need to be taking charge of, and delegating other tasks. Empowering others in the organisation to take responsibility for aspects, but at the end of the day I am still the pivot point, so it is important I know 90% of just about everything there is to know about all businesses.
I live quite a simple life really, but making the most of the time available to me is what I do.
1:30am bed time
8am woke up, turned alarm off and started checking emails. Cleared all junk from personal email, then check the other 5 accounts and reply to the any new ones that came in overnight. Let the dog (Crash) inside.
8:25am – Shower
8:30am – Ate Oats in front of the computer, reading more long form emails.
8:40am – 11:45am – Email replying and started on to-do list. Drank a 250ml Redbull Zero. Looking over contracts for clinics. Liaising with possible new staff members for interviews. Discussed with National Manager (Peta) strategy re. certain interstate locations and staffing. Booked flights to Melbourne in July. Edited the schedule of a new employment agreement, checked the award wage for the staff member, made sure everything was sweet and sent off the offer. Talked on phone re. social media strategy and plan with possible new staff member.
11:45am – Made and ate burrito (25% meat, 75% legumes) + salad/avo/cheese wrap as I got my stuff into the car and locked up the house. Took a Pepsi Max Vanilla can with me.
12:15pm – 1:10 pm – Was at a business meeting in Mooloolaba. Phone call with Brisbane Manager (Cath) re. Correct Nutrition clinics in Brisbane and staffing on drive to Mdore.
1:20pm – Got to our admin hub in Mdore at Sunshine Coast Dietetics. Answered any questions staff had.
1:30pm – Met with a new staff member at Sunshine Coast Dietetics re. Sports Dietetics Marketing plan. Discussed strategy their skills. What we need to do to reach their goals. And also discussed company culture, what is important to us, and being self-aware of their approach.
2:30pm – Talked to admin about any questions they had. Emailed on phone re. contracts.
2:50pm – Drove up to Mooloolaba for another meeting. Called Telstra as a I left re. being shortlisted for the Telstra Business Awards. When I got to the location, while on hold (good old Telstra) I wrote emails (e.g. Adelaide Fuel Your Life new sites starting, Melbourne new client allocations), did some snaps for Dietitian Life Snapchat.
3:15pm – Met with a student dietitian who is keen for work experience. Discussed their goals, their journey, and how we can assist them in achieving what they want to.
4:30pm – Call with Peta re. her day with Fuel Your Life in Hervey Bay shadowing practitioners. Also discussed a few emails scattered throughout the day. Sent off Social Media Strategy plan for all businesses (Dietitian Life, Correct Nutrition, Sunshine Coast Dietetics, Fuel Your Life)
5pm – Phone business meeting re. result from 12:15pm meeting while I threw a rope for my dog in the backyard.
6pm – Phone call to Gold Coast Fuel Your Life manager (Bonnie). Emails that I wasn’t able to do throughout the day (e.g. discussed pay for services completed/to be completed, replied to social media dietitian applicants). Looked over contracts from agreements we have been looking to form with organisations and clinics over the last few weeks. I was also drinking a beer at this point.
6:15pm – Played 30min of PUBG (Xbox) as three of my friends were online. Pssst – we got a “chicken dinner” (the gamers in the audience will know)
6:45pm – Made chicken and avo salad wrap, while flicking through emails. Sent email off to website developers re. new functions on website.
7:15pm-7:45pm – In front of computer, smashed the wrap. Reading over contract, making sure nothing weird sticks out. The contract was obviously taken off the internet and had American things in there, so I let the organisation know re. same, edited it, added what we will charge etc. Sent it off. Maybe another beer.
7:45pm-9:45pm – Emails – e.g. did a quote for a grant, advice re. marketing to a aged care company with a practitioner in Perth, discussed marketing Fuel Your Life on Facebook with someone in Wagga, sent off expense claims for May.
9:45pm – Did a huge bunch of snaps on Dietitian Life re. contracts, knowing what you are signing as a dietitian coming out, being aware of restrictions and how to make sure you are the better person.
10pm – Looked at financials of the company, figured out movements, how we are tracking, budgeting, what we are spending our money on, whether we need to slow up or if there is room to move.
10:15pm – 1am – Emailed some special guests for upcoming Dietitian Life and Dear Dietitian episodes, looked over the practice notes of practitioners that I manage across the country to ensure everything is kosher. Complete a fresh to do-list to get my mind right for the rest of the week/early next.
1:15am – In bed, refreshing emails. Looked at business development with organisations I found via strategies we implement. Flicked through LinkedIn. Read a HBR article on managing staff (wasn’t relevant or useful unfortunately), and a quick 1min video on something to do with business (no idea what, mustn’t have been that valuable if I don’t remember).
1:30am – Tried to fall asleep.
That is my typical day.
Now what is on my to-do list on a weekly basis? (At this point in time)
- Development/communication of marketing strategy and with marketing team.
- Posting on socials
- Snapchat/Insta stories
- Business development meetings/calls
- Messaging/calling staff I am personally managing, as well as communicating with other managers and admin
- Developing and delegating tasks amongst the team
- Looking at extra arms to the business we can add
- Searching for collaborations with like-minded people/organisations
- Applying for business awards
- Setting up meetings
- Planning weeks, months
- Updates and feedback from/to practitioners
- Putting out all fires (website/email/tech/business issues, staff issues, client complaints etc)
- Dealing with legal and financial issues
- Writing up documents for business, legal, clients, staff, financials etc
- Updating/reviewing/editing/signing contracts
- Negotiating contracts/deals with prospective contractors or organisations
- Helping all staff who hit me up for assistance
- Professional development of staff, managers
- Supporting admin and others where I can
- Seeing some clients at different times
- Bookkeeping, assessing invoices, financials of the company etc
More about my life.
It is actually quite hard to give a sufficient overview of my days, especially with the amount of travel I do. Those days are mostly filled with time in the car driving to see practitioners and shadowing. As well as that, the days get longer or shorter pending what is happening in the business. If there is a crisis or we are experiencing high growth, then work hours get much longer. If we are just consolidating and things are going smoothly, I can allow more time for growth of the business or for leisure – as per the PUBG Xbox gaming working its way in of late. Maybe I should start a Twitch account and make that a business as well?
But ultimately most days are filled with 10 hours of email/computer work. Usually averaging about 80 emails I receive and reply to every day. The rest is travelling locally and interstate, shadowing practitioners, taking calls, or having meetings. The leisure and eating time is often moulded into convenient times around work commitments. But honestly a lot of the time I can be “working” and it not feel like work. It is just my life. I love what I do, so isn’t really a drain most of the time.
Mentally I go through peaks and troughs (just like any human) and that can sometimes have an effect on my output and how much additional time I allow for leisure – such as going for a beer and dinner with mates, playing Xbox or watching a movie/tv show (although phone usually gets a workout when I am doing those). Every Friday night during the football (soccer) season you will find me kicking butt on the field, but you will also find me back in front of the computer post-that. When the surf is good, I will certainly be taking as much time as I want off to go for a surf if there is nothing pressing, most of the time it is just getting up at 6/6:30am and going then. Sometimes the desire to get work stuff done or to attend an important meeting, will obviously take precedent over the short-term loss of a surf/Xbox/leisure etc. But I can certainly carve out the time if I really want to. As I can easily just make it up that night when everyone else goes to sleep.
I am not delivering this so that other people follow suit, but people of late seem to be interested in what I do on a daily basis. So here it is. It is certainly not a glamourous life, or one that people would be like “hell yeah, I want to do that”. But I have always been quite simple, and as long as the work is challenging and important then I know that what I am doing is worthwhile and valued. Even if some people I just sit on my arse all day and do nothing (only half that is true haha).
I don’t need to live lavishly or “spoil myself” on the regular – both with things or spare time. My only real cruxes are surf, football, quality craft beer and quality burgers with mates. I also don’t agree with people that say that I need to take more breaks or holidays etc. I know exactly when I need a break and ultimately, I could very easily sit back and do very little every day. I can put the structures in place. But then I would be bored AF, and our business would not grow at the rate it is and I have no interest in resting on my laurels.
I have a healthy relationship with work and life. I know the above example will not interest most of you. But ultimately that is exactly what my life is like, almost every day. Now you know.
Tell me what you think. Was it like you imagined? Do you want to do what I do?