I have always wanted to start my own business, but I never had the courage to take the big leap mainly because I was afraid of giving up an extremely well paid job that I enjoyed for the big unknown and high probability of failure.
(Side note – Did you know 25% of new businesses fail in the first year in Australia; and only 50% survive after three years, ABS 2013)
In 2011, I was fortunate to take a few weeks holiday and ticked off one of my bucket list items – an Alaskan cruise and Rocky Mountaineer train trip across the most beautiful parts of Canada. I have travelled to many amazing places in the world, but I don’t think I had ever seen such exquisite untouched pristine natural beauty. The trip rated as one of the best I have ever done and it also gave me much needed time out from the busy everyday world to reflect and ponder what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. The other big driver in this quest to determine my future destiny (trust me I don’t spend every day thinking about my future!) was the big 4-0 was approaching quickly the next year in 2012.
Lake Louise, Canada (stunning!)
My trip culminated in attending the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics conference in San Diego, perfectly timed to coincide with the last Alaskan cruise of the season! I love to attend the American dietetics conference every year as I find the keynote speakers so motivational and inspirational. The Academy is able to secure the best of the best in professional speakers – previous speakers have included financial guru Suze Orman and CBS News anchor Betty Nguyen. This year’s speaker was Jack Canfield, best-selling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and the Success Principles – How to get from where you are to where you want to be. I have recommended Success Principles as a must read previously. Can I say his presentation changed my life. I decided there and then that I was going to start my own business. I didn’t want to come to the end of my life regretting the fact that I never had the courage to realise a dream.
So the next question was what kind of business should I start? I still needed the income of my day job, so I decided I needed to start a business that could be done out of business hours and did not require a huge cash investment to get the business up and running. So I decided an internet-based business model was the ideal solution. I also wanted to bring together my unique skills and experience in clinical dietetics, research, management and business. The vision of the new business was to “be the essential link for nutrition leaders”. The mission is to provide a central hub of information for busy professionals to assist them to be successful nutrition leaders.
I spent the Christmas break of 2011 designing the website, brainstorming a business name, developing a logo, registering the business and wondering what the hell I was doing – I had no clue about how to start and run a business! The next six months were spent liaising with the web developers until the big day on July 11 when www.dietitianconnection.com went live! Just in time for the official launch of Dietitian Connection at the International Congress of Dietetics, coinciding with my 40th birthday, in Sydney. Let’s just say it was a big week of celebrations!
And that was how Dietitian Connection began….
Maree Ferguson, Director Dietitian Connection