The Journey of The Intuitive Dietitian Clinic
15th October, 2019
The journey of starting up my own business, The Intuitive Dietitian (TID), began with a small conversation with a man named Danny Glennon. Someone I’d spent years prior, yelling at, at f45, at 5am in the morning to just “keep going”, “you got this.”
I landed a job in a private practice setting early 2019 working underneath another company earlier on in the year. A company which was, and is, sensational, and that I will always hold dear to my heart. The job provided me with the space to figure out what kind of Dietitian I am (& am not), it gave me experience working with clients, and it gave me the confidence to liaise with GP’s and other Allied Health professionals. Because it was a completely new role, (the introduction of a Dietitian to the company), it also gave me some exposure on marketing and building a new client base.
At the same time of receiving this job, I made a website. I think this was confusing for some because my website was my own branding, The Intuitive Dietitian, but I was an employee of another company. It didn’t make much sense.
By some good karma of a past life, my website link fell into the hands of Danny a short time after I’d made it.
To which he said to me “Mon, we need to catch up for a coffee”.
He knew what I wanted, before I even did.
I spent that first catch up learning about “What’s in it for me?”. ‘Me’ being my clients, readers, viewers. Not ME, Monique. The world didn’t need to know what my hobbies were. They needed to know what I could do for them. How I could help them. I spent a lot of time a blubbering mess in that first catch up, talking about my greatest passions, beliefs, thoughts, opinions, in a way that makes me laugh (or cringe) when I listen back to it now.
What followed, was a coffee ritual date, every Tuesday morning, from 8am-9am, without fail. I wonder what the baristas at The Neighbourhood cafe in Currumbin think we’ve been up to all this time.
5 months has passed since that first catch up on the 21st of May 2019, (now 7!) and I can say that the journey has changed my life in more ways than one.
I have been guided and educated on how to make a business plan, from profit and loss forecasts, to cash flow forecasts, to constructing a 1 page strategic plan (which is my favourite thing – I still remember the way I felt when my eyes landed on that page for the first time).
I’ve reflected on, identified, and created my core purpose, which will last a lifetime, and the core values and the aspirational values of my company, which tell me and my future employers how to act.
I’ve gotten to the nitty gritty of my WHY, and the importance, of ALWAYS, starting with WHY.
I’ve made avatar checklists, but not by conducting market research, but by purely knowing the customer so well and exactly what it is that people are in need of.
When Henry Ford (the creator of Ford cars) was asked if he conducted market research, his response was “No, if I asked people what they wanted, they would tell me they want a faster horse”. This is a quote that has never left me.
I’ve made Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG's). Where I want to be in 30 years from now is clear, and so is what I want my company to look like in 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, 30 years from now. I’ve written articles that I hope, or dare I say here, WILL, see published one day, in maybe a shorter time than 30 years from now.
I’ve made elevator pitches, I’ve reached attempt 10000 of phone scripting, and attended workshops on Instagram and Facebook because my 1 year long break from social media clearly has me behind the times.
I’ve defined success. And I’ve presented to GP’s on what I define success as, as a weight-neutral Dietitian. Something that once provided me with so much anxiety, I'm now able to complete in a comfortable, confident manner which has been so well received by all thus far.
I’ve stood in front of young people and talked about food positivity, and body liberation. I’ve held workshops where all that is spoken about is the experience of eating, and seen and felt the way in which people are so ready to hear something new, different, and finally, helpful.
I’ve built up the strength to let go of “letting other people down” and left a (wonderful) job because working underneath someone else, when my messages are so unique, would just not work long term with what it is I aim to do. “It is only when I am working for myself, not underneath another, that external pressures will fall away and I will be working from my greatest power.”
I’ve written about a million books worth of reflections I think.
And I’ve learnt how to write in paragraphs (or maybe that’s still a work in progress).
I’ve pulled weekly tarot cards out of decks that I’ve never pulled before that are so uncanny and relevant that fate surely is dealing me it’s card.
And the red cars that not only present in my life, but to those around me, (namely Danny) to relay back to me, makes me feel in moments of solitude and deep reflection that there is something far greater going on here.
When I explain the journey of how I got to this point with others in my life, I often refer to Danny as an Angel who fell from the clouds to help me. Our paths were destined to cross, this I am sure of.
The Universe knows I can be a little lazy, overwhelmed by how much passion I hold inside, unsure how to organise it, and subsequently convey it outwardly in a way that makes sense. So much to filter through that up until now, it has been easier to say, “another day”. I needed a kick up the bum, and some guidance, and a kick up the bum, and (a lot of) guidance, I certainly got.
And yet although I feel Danny was sent here to help me, I realise that he actually helps everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re doing, if Danny sees an opening to help, he’ll take it.
And when I tell people about this journey and the help I have received off Danny, sometimes people ask, “What has happened in his life to make him that giving, for nothing in return?” And I don’t know the answer to this question to be honest, because I haven’t asked him. But I can’t help but feel it has something to do with learning from the kind and great man that was his Dad that he so often talks about with pride in his eyes.
After months of thorough research and continual looking, I found a perfect home for my own clinic. A sub lease off some sensational, lovely, and overwhelmingly kind people.
Someone out there in the world, or above the clouds, has certainly been looking out for me for an affordable and perfect space to fall into my life. A space that allowed me to feel safe enough to “jump”.
I’ve learnt about task lists and prioritization, and for a classic lifelong (up until now) chronic OCD task lister, I’ve learnt that “the world isn’t going to end if I don’t get everything on my task list for the day done.”
I’ve learnt about bookkeeping, booking systems, spreadsheets and excel (will I ever just do the damn equation in excel? I’m not sure).
I’ve nearly had breakdowns over Tyro and HiCaps machines, and I’ve made a website which nearly drove me to insanity.
And yet, Danny has taught me so much more than the logistics of how to start and run a business. He’s taught me how to live a wholehearted life.
I’ve read about habits, self-limiting beliefs, how to be an expert, how to be present, how to produce ideas, the six thinking hats, and the most important thing of all – the power of our minds.
The book University of Success by OG Mandino was placed into my hands, along with homework each week detailing my reflections on each paragraph for that week. I think by the time I’ve finished that book, I’ll have written my own entire book of reflections.
This book alone has allowed me to see my defaults, laid out right in front of my eyes, in a way I’ve never seen them before. The deep-rooted mechanisms, “and seeds of self-destruction, (in all of us) that will bear only unhappiness if allowed to grow.” And that’s the catch, these are parts of ALL of us. We all have a mind. Which either drives us to failure, or success.
And really seeing the path taken by so many, and certainly the easier path to take (in the short term), is in alignment with the minds natural Will to Fail.
How many of us turn away from a thought or something we so desire to do, because it seems too hard, or we think we possibly couldn’t? When we turn away, the natural mechanism of our mind wins – it’s Will to Fail.
But we all “possess a force that we either use, or misuse, hundreds of times every day” and “all that we accomplish or fail to accomplish with our lives is the direct result of our thoughts”.
And so, the greatest learning is that “our minds do not have eyes”.
I’d have to use both my hands and feet a hundred times over to count the amount of times I have heard those words escape Danny’s mouth.
But I see why.
Our minds believe what we tell it. Everyday. And it’s really easy to understand that at a theoretical level. But to start implementing it experientially, is hard.
But so important.
We better make sure we’re telling it something helpful.
And I’ve learnt that it never stops being hard. There is no end game. It’s a constant work in progress.
And so the above exposures, learnings and teachings have surely changed my life.
But more than that, I’ve been exposed to a part of myself that I have never known. A part of myself that believes I have something to say, a voice that needs to be heard. A subtle, gentle, belief in myself I have never known before. And a kindness to myself when trying so hard to break through the cycles and my minds negative habitual patterns that have been laid out before me.
Danny saw something in me, months ago, that I hadn’t yet seen in myself. And he believed in me, when belief in myself was something that was so scarce. I will never, ever, ever, stop being so grateful for that.
And there have been so many times where I have felt ridden with anxiety to share with another such vulnerable parts of my thoughts, opinions, life and mind across this entire journey. “That’s too much Mon, just tone it down a little” (my internal dialogue). Yet the response I have always received is one that is welcoming.
And so too, no change is ever possible without vulnerability, but how grateful I am to have had it received by another with safety.
I have learnt it is true that we “deal with matters of the mind, before we deal with matters of business”.
And I would be lying if I said this journey has only been fantastic.
Doubt, disbelief, fear, exhaustion – have all been incredibly present on this journey.
But I end with one of my favourite realisations or reflections on this journey. Which I wrote when it was a pivotal time when I had made the decision to leave my job and start off on my own.
The realisation was influenced by reading about the minds natural Will to Fail in OG Mandino which reads:
‘So, we slip through the world without making our contribution, without discovering all that there was in us to do, without using the most minute fraction of our abilities, either native or acquired.’
The realisation I had being as follows:
“Whether I succeed or fail in the path I am taking – I don’t care. So long as I didn’t run away from it because of fear. So long as it wasn’t a matter of self-destruction. The Will to Fail can only lead us one of two ways, to the safety of what we know, or to the place we want to go. To do nothing, nothing AT ALL, is the Will to Fail succeeding. Regardless of if The Intuitive Dietitian flops, and no one comes, and I have to shut shop, it doesn’t matter. Because as long as I’m doing the damn thing, I’m making the jump, just doing it, rather than running away because of the old patterns of my mind, or because of fear, then I have succeeded, regardless of any outcome.”
This. Right now. Is already success.
Because success is a feeling.
And only you hold the answer to what success feels like to you.
None of the above 2,301 words would have ever been written on this page if it wasn’t for Danny Glennon landing in my life.
Wait, I have to scratch that one. And start over.
None of the above 2,335 words would have ever been written on this page, if it weren’t for me.
Because the greatest thing that Danny has taught me, is that it’s all been me.
And that empowerment, will eventually lead me to a point, a space, a pivotal moment in my life, where I’ll be presented with the opportunity to PAY IT FORWARD.
15th October, 2019