Hello and welcome. I am so happy to be here today with Chelsea Dishong. She is a registered dietitian who has been practicing since 2013 in various hospitals and clinical settings in Orange County, California. More recently, she has started her own private practice, where one of her biggest passions is helping women struggling with infertility from missing their period.
She has her own personal journey with infertility and loss, but has since recovered and now is a mom. Through her own story with her professional nutrition expertise, her goal is to guide women in recovering their period, restoring their fertility, and ultimately giving them hope that becoming a mom is not impossible.
You can find Chelsea on Instagram at fertility. period. recovery and on her website at nutritioninrhythm. com. Welcome to today's podcast episode, Chelsea. Thank you so much for having me, Libby. Super excited to have you. And is there anything missing from that lovely bio that you'd like the listeners to know about?
I think that's pretty good. That covers it. Yeah. And I love that you are from Orange County. That's where I was born. So that's a fun fact. Far from there now over in the East Coast, but it's such a beautiful area. So I don't know if you feel more inspired to do business when it's sunny out and happy for you.
So let's, let's get a little bit into your story. Would you like to, to share with the listeners? I know in your bio, you mentioned that you've been a dietitian since 2013. So that's got, that's a decade. What made you now choose that you want to go into the private practice? Like what kind of directed that?
Was there a moment that made you decide you wanted to take this route? Yeah. So it really. Began like, you know, I have been working in the clinical setting in the hospital setting for I was doing that for about eight years. I still work in the hospital, but also do some clinic work too. But it was really when I had my son about 2 years ago, I made the decision that I really wanted to stay home more with him.
And even though I am still working more. Part time now, but I really just wanted to be able to build something for myself and really just have something where I can have the flexibility that I want in the future to be able to, you know, make sure that I don't ever miss anything with kids, like school functions, games, things like that.
And I really wanted to be able to still have my career, but also do it in a way that was kind of on. My schedule, but also something that would give me fulfillment too. So that's kind of why I wanted to start this. Yeah, that's thank you for sharing that. And that relates with me and that resonates with our mission and vision and why so many dietitians want to start a business, right?
It's not one thing. It's ultimately a bundle of things, but it's because you want that flexibility. Considering that you do still work clinical, I believe you do like a per diem. Is that correct? Yeah, it's really nice, right? Because you have the opportunity to work a little bit, but it's not like full time.
So that gives you some flexibility between your family and your business life. Is that flexible enough or what about that is missing as to why you decided to start your own business? Does it not pay enough? Is it that you still want more control? Like, what was the impetus from that point? Yeah, I, you know, I still love my job doing per diem and now I'm doing more you know, I got my certification as a diabetes educator and I love the fact that I get to really feel like I'm helping people more than I did.
So. You know, doing more clinical stuff where you only get like 5 minutes or so to really talk to somebody. But what it really came down to was, you know, I don't know, you know, in the future, I guess my question for myself was, is this job going to be something that will give me the flexibility that I still want?
Even if I'm only working 1 or 2 days a week, like It is nice to be able to have something where I know for sure that I can have a certain day off or know for sure, like, I'm going to be available at this time for my kids, you know, so I still love what I do in that in that aspect of that job, but this was something that I kind of also wanted for myself to.
That's beautiful. And thank you for sharing that because the ultimate flexibility is building something of your own. Do you think that those 10 years behind your belt did that make you more confident? Or what do you think that added to your unique ability to provide service to your clients? Yeah, you know, with.
Having my experience with 10 years now, I mean, I can't even believe it's been that long. It's so crazy. But in some ways, I feel like it does give me confidence because it has given me a lot of years of experience. You know, even though. My experience wasn't in my niche that I'm working in now. It has given me a lot of confidence to be able to have conversations with people to really have empathy for people.
And to also just you know, want that, like, I, I, I see in myself the desire to want to help people. So I really knew that this was still something that I wanted to do in the future, like, for a long time, you know, so. Yeah, and do you feel that do you regret not starting earlier? Or do you feel like this time worked out well for you and your journey?
I know we're going to get into your personal journey in a minute, but do you think do you look back and say, gosh, I wish I would have started earlier? Or do you think that this this was a sweet spot for you? And this was good. Oh, definitely. I. Think that so many times. I'm like, why didn't I just start earlier?
Like, I didn't know for a long time that this was even an option, you know, 10 years ago, like, when we had our nutrition classes, we were never really going deep into doing entrepreneurship. Like, I never took a class on that. Like, I knew it was like an option. Because I had known another dietitian who went into that, but that was always something scary because I always thought I needed, like, enough money to pay for, like, a brick and mortar building and that was so intimidating to me.
But the fact now that I think with a lot has changed to where people are really doing a lot more. Online stuff that's really opened up a huge world for us as dietitians to be able to Not only just help people who are in our city, but also around the world too, which is really cool It is it's an amazing opportunity and it's a great opportunity to get that buy in from our peers and also from consumers, right?
Folks who want to get help with various nutrition outcomes, because the more of us that are representing, showing our face online and being of service and being a value, the more that we can spread the word about dietitians as a whole. And then of course our own individual services. So yes, to that, I totally agree.
Well, that's a whole other episode to talk about the last 10 years, because I've been a dietitian a little less than that, but I will say that it was like cricket. In ghost town, when it came to any conversation about entrepreneurship or private practice that what I was told mostly is that you need two years of clinical.
Like, I didn't even didn't even consider the brick and mortar business because I thought I had to chain myself to a clinical job forever until I basically died because I would never have enough experience. I appreciate you sharing that you were intimidated by the brick and mortar and then how cove it has lifted that barrier a bit.
And for me, it's more about the imposter syndrome and the feeling that, you know, we need as, as clinicians, more certifications and more experience, et cetera. So with that, thank you for sharing your story. I'd like to get a little bit into who you serve because I know that as a CDE certified diabetes educator, congratulations, by the way, that's amazing that you have that cert and all of the experience.
That's a little bit different, although I love that niche, love the diabetes niche. That's a different space than what you went into now. Can you talk a little bit about. Your process. Of helping women. I know that you have a personal connection, but I'd love to have you walk the listeners through that story and kind of what some of the setbacks were to give the details, the gory details.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, totally. So yeah, it's kind of funny because when I first went into this private practice, I originally thought, you know, I really think that I'm going to do diabetes because. You know, that's what I've worked so hard for. That's what I do all the time now. And I'm so familiar with it. And then once I started on my own, I was kind of like, you know, I was kind of seeing a lot of dietitians in this fertility space and working a lot with, you know, period recovery.
And I was like, Oh my gosh, that. That's like my story. Like, how are these dietitians, like, how did they know that they could go into this? I didn't even know that I could do that, you know? And so a little bit about my story is that about, oh my goodness, how long has it been now? I want to say six or seven years ago was when Me and my husband really started our journey with wanting to start a family and at the time I had a lot of issues like digestively and was missing my period.
And, you know, when I went to the doctors, they would tell me like, well. Like, we don't know why your period is missing, but if you want to get pregnant, then we're going to do some fertility treatment with you. So I went down that road doing fertility treatments and nothing was working. So they're like, well, IVF is the next step.
So me and my husband went down that road of IVF. And unfortunately, like we did get pregnant, but we, we miscarried three of our baby boys, which was one of the most devastating, devastating experiences of our lives. So. But crazy story is that after I went through all the fertility treatment, I actually took a break from it for a while because it was just, it was really traumatic and stressful and I didn't want to do it anymore.
So I was like, you know, let's just take a break. And during that time, I, some of this stuff was unintentional, but, you know. Like, I really believe it was a miracle that there were these changes that I had made and I ended up getting my period back and getting pregnant that next month with our son who is healthy and he's about to turn two years old next month.
So it's really it's really been a blessing. So, what ended up happening is that I had learned that I actually had something called hypothalamic amenorrhea. And what was crazy was that, like, I had never even been told that I had had this. I was actually just misdiagnosed with PCOS because a lot of my symptoms look that way.
And now that I know so much more about. Hypothalamic amenorrhea. That's also known as H. A. It's really cool to be learning that a lot of dietitians help in this space. And it was something that was like, really on my heart. Like, if I can use my story of what I've been through to help other women not have to possibly go through IVF or have the heartache that I went through or anything like that.
If I could just help some women even just, you know, get through. Find some kind of food freedom, exercise freedom that would make it like all worth it, you know, so part of my journey is not just, you know, wanting to help with nutrition, which is like a priority for sure. But it's also just kind of like giving women the hope that a lot of them don't have with fertility.
So. I think that that's something that with dietitian boss and starting my private practice, it's given me courage to kind of like step out and kind of face that niche because I definitely like you kind of said a little while ago, I had that imposter syndrome where even though I lived it, like I wasn't ever really like specialized in and I was specialized in diabetes.
So it made me a little bit afraid of like, is this something that I really want to step into? I I remember talking with you, like, I did like the discovery call with you or one of our first sessions together, like, and you were like, why do you have imposter syndrome? Like, you already have. Gone so far.
You've done 10 years of working as a dietitian. You got your C. D. E. You're a hard worker that shows that so you definitely can do this. And you always told me to like, you know, more than your ideal client. So don't be afraid. And I loved that, and it really has helped my mindset to kind of get over that fear and to really push me to really, like, keep going with this.
So thank you. Well, thank you for the feedback and it's just been so amazing to see you take action. And thank you for sharing your story from the tragedy and your honesty and vulnerability is absolutely honored. So thank you for that. And I'm sure that's touched a lot of the listeners. And I also want to say for those of you who aren't following Chelsea, who are listening Chelsea, you do share this on social media.
Yeah, I love that you do that because so many of and I know you see it. So many of your peers, fellow dietitian bosses really struggle to tell the hard parts of their story. Vulnerability is tough, especially something that's so close to your heart, as you mentioned before. So I really appreciate that you're going all in.
And you're taking your story, even though you had the clinical background in diabetes, you were able to take your story and, you know, I identify some setbacks and work through them and have that courage to really resonate with women and see that there is a space. Yes, there are other dietitians and dietitian bosses in the HA niche and the HA niche, and there's also space for you too.
And especially through telling your story and relating with other women and helping transform their lives. So it's been really amazing to see you progress and to see you show up right to see you show your face and be consistent. So, can you talk a little bit about whether it's how your message has evolved or a little bit about your marketing?
What has that look like from before you decided to focus on to now and maybe some of the hardest moments or if not hardest, harder moments that you can remember. Yeah, so, oh, gosh, I guess from before when I was doing more like diabetes. Yeah. Yeah. My messaging was, you know, like, it's so different than period recovery.
It's a whole different idea of how nutrition works with diabetes, you know, and to now with doing more period recovery stuff, it was kind of a In some ways it was kind of therapeutic for me because this was something that I have had to work through myself. Whereas I love, I love helping patients with diabetes, don't get me wrong.
But something about doing period recovery has been kind of special for me because I get to kind of like, I don't know, it's just really close to my heart. It's definitely something that I struggled with for a long time with certain aspects of, you know, being afraid of foods. A lot of times with HA women have lost their period because they've.
Had some kind of food restrictions whether or not they really meant it as. You know, a lot of times we don't mean it to be like an eating disorder or disordered eating. It really starts with wanting to become healthy. But that was something that I had to work through for myself is, you know, realizing that not all food is bad and getting out of that mindset of being afraid of certain foods and I had a digestive like disorder for years and that really did You know, lead to me starting to have like disordered eating because I was afraid of different foods.
And then what's kind of amazing is that those two things, the digestive disorder and my missing period were kind of connected in that way. And I didn't know that for years. So now with my social media, it's kind of like trying to help women overcome things that I've overcome, you know, and sometimes I feel like I'm still working on it though.
You know, I'm not perfect. Oh, we're, we're all still working on it. We're all a work in progress. So it's completely normal. Appreciate you sharing that. And it's also makes you relatable to people who aren't as far along as you on their journey, right. Or who maybe haven't had the courage yet to press go on their journey.
When it comes to you, let's talk about specifically like posting content on social media because you've done such a good job at that. Was it because when we first connected, you weren't doing that consistently in a business way. I think you might have had a personal picture. I think maybe you showed something about I know you like to sing.
So you definitely were sharing a little bit. I believe of your personality, but I wasn't. I don't remember it being super specific or intentional about the problems and pains of your ideal client. Is that correct? Or did I. Did I maybe miss, I don't think you didn't do what you're doing now for diabetes is what I'm trying to say.
You weren't making reels. So what were there, if you could go back and just tell a story or share a little bit of a tidbit about what you do and how you post reels and content on Instagram, for example, or, or social media. Has there been challenges or did it just come naturally to you? Did you just wake up and say because of my journey and because of my story and now that you decided to press go, you're good?
Or was there a little bit of start and stop with that? No, there's definitely been some hurdles for sure I've had to get over and before really going into this HA space. I felt like I was kind of like lost in my direction, like I was constantly questioning, like, do I do diabetes or do I do just nutrition in general?
And now that I've really come to that conclusion of this is really the target market that I'm wanting to work with, like, it's really given me. More clear direction of my messaging and so with having more of a clear direction of what my goal is with my clients. It's really helps me with content and I mean, I still feel like there's times where I'm like, okay, what am I going to post this week?
Like, but it definitely comes a little bit easier and it. Comes a little bit faster than it used to. But yeah, I think it had to do more with like the direction of where I wanted my business to go and having that clear goal and mindset in that way has helped me have direction with content too. Yeah, thank you for sharing that.
And that is a logical way of explaining it. And it's kind of hard to think about if you haven't gotten started. Was there a particular resource that was helpful for that? For example, like a lot of our clients share that filling out the ideal client framework or market research tracker is helpful. Was there something like that that helped you kind of put it to pen and paper?
Yeah, I think one of the biggest things for me was just you guys really encourage us to have conversations with people. So really starting to talk to my ideal client really helped me understand better of what their. Pain points were to really understand, like, okay, I mean, even though I lived through it, like, it doesn't mean that I know what everybody's struggle is.
And so really talking to people helped give me clarity of, like, what they want. And also, sometimes in my stories, I'll put like, today, I did, like, an ask me anything and it gives me, like, a really good, like, data of, like, what do people actually want to know? And so that really helped me too. That's, and that's great that you're doing that you're engaging and really focusing on learning what people want.
That's a step that many dietitian bosses skip. Now, when it comes to finding people in your target market, did you do that through Instagram or were you able to do that in person? When you say talking to people, I know you mean, again, it might not be exactly your story, but they might be within the target market of the crowd.
So how did you find these people? Yeah, so, you know, I haven't... Had much like in person connection, even though I've talked with different doctors who have mentioned that they would like, give me some referrals, which is awesome. But my main the main place that I really find these people is Instagram right now.
So. I love it. Thank you for that. So many, so many dietitians say, I just don't know where to find people. And if you can, first of all, people are everywhere. So you can start broad and just start asking folks about nutrition if you don't know your niche, but in your case, since you do now, did you go through hashtags or can you give like one, I know I share quite a few tactics inside the membership, but do you, can you share one or two ways that you were able to get folks before you were able to build up, you know, the audience and whatnot that you have now?
Yeah, so one of the ways was definitely like I would search different hashtags in my niche and then I would see like, okay Who's following these hashtags and who's commenting on them because then I would see like, okay, Like if somebody is commenting on something and they're Sharing a little bit about themselves.
That's that gives me kind of a clue of like, okay Well, this is something that they're dealing with so they may or may not be going through ha may or may not have the diagnosis for it, but maybe I'll just reach out and tell them a little bit about my story so I can maybe connect with them and see if they have if they want to talk with me, if, if it's okay for me to ask them questions, you know, and in the case, I love that.
And it's such a practical tip. We can all do that. That's how I started dietitian box. By the way, I just talked on Instagram and had very nice conversations and got to know them now. Not everybody wanted to have a conversation and that's okay. But a lot of. Did and it was really fun and that's really got started.
So I love that you did that. Now, 1 question or kind of 2nd question off of that, because this I know what the listeners are thinking. What about rejection? Was there anybody who didn't want to talk to you? Or how did you? Did you kind of feel like you had to stop doing that? Because not everybody went along with.
With your dialogue on on Instagram. Oh, for sure. I feel like there's definitely times where I reach out to people and I either hear nothing or they're like, oh, like, you know, I've had 1 person who was like, oh, I don't really have the time to talk to. And I'm like, that's totally fine. Honestly, like. I know that people's time is very precious and if they choose to talk to me, then that's great.
And I really appreciate them. I thank them for that. Because I, I totally understand how people can be busy, but I think that I really had to like. I mean, yeah, there was definitely times where I was insecure too. And I kind of had to get over that, you know, I'm like, you know what, I know my purpose is to help people.
I'm not like, of course, like, of course, making sales is part of the business. Right. But in the long run, it's like, ultimately I want to help people. So whether they buy a program or not, as long as I'm helping somebody, that's kind of like my mindset now is like, you know, it's not always about making a sale.
It's, it's more about making those connections and really being there to help somebody. I love that mindset. And if you can come from a place of service, the selling happens naturally, right? It's not possible for us to, to sell to every person we talked to that wouldn't be practical. Of course. Yeah. But what helped you develop that mindset?
Are you like that with everything? Or is it just, I mean, most dietitians take years to come to that mindset. So I'm impressed that you're able to be resilient when you get a rejection. Cause it can feel hard, especially if you're not used to that. Right. Oh, for sure. Yeah, it's, it's definitely hard. I think probably part of it comes from, I just, I don't like being salesy.
So I naturally am just not a person who wants to come off as like trying to make a sale. So in that regards, it came natural, but also like, I think too, it just comes with practice of learning that it's okay to be rejected, like, I'm not good with rejection. Like, I'm more of like a people pleaser who wants everybody to, I don't know, approve of me in some way, right?
But just almost like this has given me more resilience in the way of like, you know, it's okay, not This isn't for everybody and that's okay. Like I'm here to help people and if they want help, then great. And if not, then that's totally fine too. So, and I love your attitude and thank you for mentioning the word resilience.
Cause I, it doesn't get mentioned enough on this podcast, but that is ultimately what this is all about because there's going to be roadblocks in business. And I'm so impressed. That you're able to talk to people, develop a message and resonate with people and make sales from using Instagram and not even yet really tapping into the in person marketing, which a lot of our clients do, but there's more than one way to get clients.
But I really appreciate you giving that tactical example of the platform Instagram, because I think that's helpful for other dietitians listening. So a couple more questions before we wrap up here in terms of packaging your services. Can you, are you willing to share, like whether it's if you've landed a client or two or what you've overcome with that or maybe you want to share what you're selling, you're selling, you're selling coaching, or course, can you just talk a little bit about what it is people are buying and how that's going before we wrap up.
Yeah, totally. So right now, I actually recently started a group coaching program, and that's been awesome. I love it. And before I was only doing one on ones, and it was mostly because I didn't know how to do group classes, like. I didn't know, like, I, I've done them before with, like, in a clinic. I used to work at how to conduct group classes in person, but to do it online and like, you know, the whole all the logistics of it is just so different.
And I didn't understand. So when I was going through the modules on, like, the group program, I was like, this is so helpful and I definitely want to be able to, you know, leverage my time where I can help more people at 1 time. And it really. Helps with, you know, being a mom too, because I want to be able to, you know, help more people, but also in a way that, like, I can still be a mom and enjoy being a mom.
And that's definitely what's been. Awesome about starting the group program. Yes, I love that. And I am a huge fan of groups. I love them so, so much. And what made you decide to switch from the one on one to the groups? Like, what was the catalyst to get you to do that? I'm glad you did. Yeah, well, one of the main things was actually, my childcare situation. So I have been able to have I've been super blessed. I have both my parents and my husband's parents helping out watching my son right now. But it's kind of sad, but his family is actually all moving out of state. And so. Unfortunately, that meant that I'd either have to get child care or just figure it out.
And so me and my husband were just like, you know, child care is so expensive and it doesn't make sense right now in the beginning of my business to like spend that much money. So. It made more sense to be able to kind of leverage my time to be able to do groups. It's a way more flexible way to like, you know, have this time set aside for the groups.
And if somebody can't make it to that specific time is recorded and so they can rewatch it later. And if I. You know, need to, or if I, if I'm helping somebody throughout the week, it's more like on a chat basis or like working with their journals and stuff like that. So it definitely was better for my, my time doing groups for sure.
So, and that we're going full circle because. The reason you started doing this started your business and really wanted to become your own boss so that you could have flexibility and balance. And it's great to work virtually, but now working virtually and in a group setting is leveraging your time, meaning that you're.
serving many people in one time versus stacking one on ones, which is something that we feel very strongly about here at Dietitian Boss. It doesn't mean everybody has to run only groups, but having groups in your package offer suite is very nice for mothers, expecting mothers like you, and just for dietitians that want to have more flexibility.
And it's accessible because typically your price point is going to be lower than if you were to do one on one. And you can help more folks and people like community. So when you have you, AJ, people love meeting other people with AJ the same way I hope. And I see that dietitians like connecting with their peers because it's lonely, right?
To go through something situation by yourself. So thank you for sharing that. And then the net, the last question I want to ask is what's next. And I kind of. Excuse me for sharing your news, but I know you already announced on Instagram that you're pregnant again. Congratulations. Thank you so much.
What is we both are. So that's fine. I know we're pretty close to. Yeah, that's really fun. We're going to have to swap some photos for sure. I know. Totally. So what what's next for you in terms of just life? It doesn't have to be business, but what can we, the listeners expect to see? Yeah. So, I mean, first of all, you already said it, but I'm expecting a little girl in February.
Yeah. My due date is Valentine's Day, which is actually my mom's birthday too. So she might be a little Valentine's baby. So we'll see. But that's the first thing. So as far as life and business, it's really just, you know, getting to a place where I can grow more in my business and really Yeah.
That's my mom. And You know, have it be that really good option for family life, you know, and, and also to like, I really think that, you know, being a mom starting a business, it's making me like stronger as a person to and something that I hope to, you know, just like, Confidence and strength and just a lot of the things I've been learning with HA recovery and helping women, like being able to pass on stuff like that to our kids, you know, like, I think that's going to be really important too.
So it's huge, right. It's not just helping your clients, but passing that down to your family. Yeah, totally. Being a business owner is just so cool. This is being a dietitian boss. Well, thank you so much for today. If you have any other final words, let us know. Otherwise, it's been an absolute pleasure having you as a guest.
Thank you for trusting us and being a member inside of our membership. And we love working with you, Chelsea. Yeah, thanks so much, Libby. I really appreciate you guys. Our pleasure.