Meet Margie Geiser, MBA, RD! Margie is the proud founder of MEG-Enterprises. This awesome dietitian went from educating dietetic clients nutrition to helping her fellow RDs run their businesses! Margie is the author of the book Just Jump – “The No-Fear Business Start-up Guide for Health and Fitness Professionals.” We at Healthie were so lucky to get the chance to chat with her for an interview. Hear from Margie about her own career experiences and what advice she has to share!
Can you tell us about your career to date?
Margie graduated in 1990 from her CUP program, and while she had this vision of one day owning her own business, she wasn’t sure where her aspirations would lead her yet. She worked as a clinical dietitian until 1996. In 1995, she became a CNSD and worked extensively with neurological patients. While Margie enjoyed working with these patients, she said, “I spent my day battling surgery residents.” There came a point where she thought, “This isn’t fun anymore.”
Her motto is that “everything in life should be fun” and when she wasn’t living by it, she knew she needed to make a change. With that, Margie quit the hospital and emerged with a new plan. She was going to start her own business. That dream blossomed into MEG Fitness, her own sports nutrition and personal training practice. With this practice, Margie explained, “I’d initially been targeting women and amateur athletes.” In 2003, Margie began coach training and hired a business coach to help grow her practice. With the tools she learned, Margie started getting approached by other RDs who were interested in learning about how to run a business.
Margie was always happy to help her fellow RDs and only then realized how much she loved spending time helping other dietitians. She went back to school again, this time, for her MBA. She received her degree with emphasis on Entrepreneurship, ready for the next chapter in her career. Margie opened MEG Enterprises with a clear goal. She was going to educate dietitians on how to run a business! In 2010, Margie moved to Arizona and let go of her fitness practice so that she could train RDs full time.
Recently, Margie has authored a book on her business training, Just Jump. This book is a guide to help dietitians and other nutrition professionals grow their business while pursuing their passions.
What led you to start MEG Enterprises?
“I realized that dietitians are who I love to work with,” Margie said. “And dietitians don’t know business.” Margie shared that when she first met with a business coach while she was running MEG Fitness, she was perplexed at how anyone could love something like a marketing plan! She fought marketing. Margie asked herself, “Why do I hate this?”
“It’s because I didn’t understand it,” Margie said. “Having to understand marketing plans led me to business school, and now I love to teach dietitians marketing.” Business is such an important thing for dietitians to learn. Margie strives to help dietitians make more money. “They charge way too little,” she said. “I want to get those fees up!”
What career milestones would you say you’re most proud of?
“First,” Margie said, “when I hit six figures. Then, when I was able to cut down my days to only three days a week. And last, this past June, I celebrated 20 years of being in business.” These are no small accomplishments, but Margie said that she’s “no different from anyone listening or reading this.”
What advice do you have for dietetic students just completing their internships or anyone looking to get into private practice?
- “Get a very clear vision.” Margie said, “Ask yourself, what is your vision?” This way when you meet difficult situations when you’re unsure what to do, you don’t have to just jump into the situation and get confused. “You can ask yourself how does this help me to achieve my vision?”
- “Do what you love to do,” Margie advises. This goes back to Margie’s motto, “Everything in life should be fun.” Margie encourages dietetic students to pursue their passions, just as she has.
- “Have a clear focus.” Margie explained, that she has seen many people try at something for a long time, but eventually give up. Focusing in on what you want may help you get past this. Margie said, “every person who wants to start a business can do it.”
If you like Margie’s advice, be sure to check out her book Just Jump where Margie talks business as it applies to dietitians. There is no other book quite like it that specifically addresses the business needs of nutrition professionals. In this book, she speaks directly to you. She avoids the nuts and bolts and gets to the heart of what you need to know about growing the business end of your private practice.