The Real Female Entrepreneur

Building a Business as a Dietitian Nutritionist with Monica Salafia

Behind the HomepageLauren FrontieraComment

HI SWEETS! YOU'RE HERE FOR ANOTHER POST IN OUR BEHIND THE HOMEPAGE SERIES!

It's a badass weekly series that's equal parts coffee date (go ahead and refill your mug!) and meeting new friends and all the parts real + inspiring. 

So, cozy up + get to know the badass female entrepreneurs (and businesses) behind the homepage.


MEET MONICA SALAFIA

"I am Monica Salafia. I'm not very organized. And I am the real female entrepreneur."

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Monica is one of those people who knew what she wanted to do since high school. And she had a clear plan to make that happen. And she did it. 

Realizing her passion for fitness and nutrition, she set out to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and built her own business.

But all of that focus and clarity doesn't mean there've been zero doubts or fears.


So, what's it really been like? 


BEFORE WE DIVE RIGHT IN, LET'S START OUT WITH A QUICK ROUND OF THE QUESTION GAME…

 

WHAT'S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE SEASON AND WHY?

Least favorite is winter because I don't like being cold. Yes, you can bundle up but getting into a freezing car in the morning is just not fun and I'm not a functional human when I'm cold!

WHAT'S YOUR GO-TO BREAKFAST?

I always have 6 staple breakfast foods: Oatmeal with fruit + eggs with veggies + water and coffee (lately decaf). 

WHAT'S A NETFLIX SHOW YOU COULD BINGE-WATCH OVER AND OVER AGAIN?

I could watch Grey's Anatomy over and over and over again. Currently on my second "binge" and I just finished the first binge like 2 months ago. Ha! Ha! 


1. TELL US ABOUT YOUR BIZ IN 3 SENTENCES OR LESS.

Mind on Nutrition is a nutrition communication and consulting business. I work individually with clients for nutrition counseling, collaborate with other brands/professionals to communicate nutrition in media (TV, print articles and online publications) and host community nutrition workshops around Denver!


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2. NOW, LET'S START AT THE BEGINNING. WHAT'S YOUR STORY?

 At 15, I took a Food & Nutrition class which I loved, mostly because we cooked food in the morning and ate it. Not a bad way to start your day as a sophomore in high school. After school, I played sports, power-lifted (with my brothers and Dad), or did pilates (with my mom). Food and fitness nurtured the organic growth of my dedication to the field of dietetics. I knew I wanted to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist when I researched for a school assignment what the heck I could do with a Nutrition degree. Every fiber of my being was dedicated to becoming an RD, which is a very arduous but extremely rewarding process from 2011-2016.

I moved to Denver during my dietetic internship because I was looking for more of a communications and sports nutrition experience. I met a great dietitian who became my preceptor and he knew I had a passion for fitness and connected me with FitLo Denver. Every day, especially in the fitness community, I'm reminded of how strong of a need there is for real nutrition science to be communicated. There is a lot of BS out there, which is a bummer because I know everyone's just trying to be healthy! But there are also a ton of false nutrition claims out there that do more harm than good! 


"Have you ever thought about how terrifying it must be for a baby bird to take its first flight? I can just imagine that conversation between mama and baby, and baby bird is looking down from the nest and going, are you fucking serious right now?  I need to just jump and I'm going to fly? ... I think about that a lot ..."


In August of 2016, I finally reached my goal and became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and could now legally practice Medical Nutrition Therapy and give nutrition advice. Social media became a really easy outlet to share nutrition and in April 2017 I actually started taking my Instagram and blog more seriously which led to collaborations with brands and other professionals and seeing clients one-on-one for nutrition counseling. 

That's the short version (Ha! Ha!) and truthfully, I am just getting started!


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3. YOUR LIFE + BIZ JOURNEY IS A BOOK. WHAT'S THE NAME OF THE CHAPTER YOU'RE CURRENTLY IN? 

That's a really good freaking question ... and really I can only think about this thing about baby birds. Have you ever thought about how terrifying it must be for a baby bird to take its first flight? I can just imagine that conversation between mama and baby, and baby bird is looking down from the nest and going, are you fucking serious right now?  I need to just jump and I'm going to fly? ... I think about that a lot, so I guess I would call this chapter: Just Jump.


"I am an extrovert for sure, but living up to certain expectations and doing things that might come off as narcissistic makes me feel so terrible."


4. WHAT'S BEEN THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY SO FAR? 

Getting out of my comfort zone and doing things that call attention to me. I am an extrovert for sure, but living up to certain expectations and doing things that might come off as narcissistic makes me feel so terrible. I know, I know "don't care what other people think". It's not that I care what people think, but more so I just don't want the attention. Which is pretty difficult because getting noticed is how I (and anyone, really) get business!


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5. WE'RE ALL BATTLING DOUBTS EVERY DAY AS ENTREPRENEURS. WHAT'S BEEN ONE OF THE BIGGEST DOUBTS YOU'VE DEALT WITH?

One of the biggest doubts I deal with is that I think maybe this is the wrong business for me. Not the being an RD part because that I know is 100% who I am. I just worry about what to actually do with it. I'm not kidding when I say being an RD opens up endless possibilities (in case anyone considering nutrition as a career is reading this).

Maybe I'm limiting my potential and could /should really just go for a PhD and become this badass nutritionist scientist that doesn't give an f about media and is just making earth-shattering nutrition discoveries through research ... but then I think about how much fun I have with the media stuff and how I didn't really like being inside of a lab in school so, I'm like "Monica, just be patient it will all work out".


"You'll never look back at your life with regret if you stayed true to who you were and enjoyed it. It's not supposed to be easy but it will always be rewarding in some way."


6. SHARING IS CARING. AND THERE'S SO MANY BADASS RESOURCES FOR FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS. WHAT ARE 3 OF YOUR FAVES?

  1. Tricia Olson, founder of FitLo Denver: She is hands down is one of the most badass female entrepreneurs I have and probably will ever meet in my life. She just has so much authenticity and value as a human that she brings to her business. She's fun and hard working. I cannot believe how much she has grown her business and always staying true to who she is and what she is about. She is the best! FitloDenver.com and @fitlodenver are where you can find her. 
  2. McKel Hill of Nutrition Stripped: She was one of my earliest RD influences. She is the founder of Nutrition Stripped and when I was a student her blog was really successful and she is just making waves in the entire health and wellness industry. So, not only is she being a boss and rocking her nutrition company like a champ but she is also indirectly being a huge advocate for Registered Dietitians everywhere, and I just love that!
  3. Maye Musk: As in the mother of Elon Musk, Kimball Musk and Tosca Musk. She is a dietitian with a thriving modeling career, landing a spot as a Covergirl at 69. She's influential because she is a dietitian who found her niche in the arts but never undervalued education in science, considering she has two Masters Degrees! I feel like every woman and girl can look up to her.

7. IF YOU COULD GIVE YOURSELF ONE PIECE OF ADVICE RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 

Even though a lot of people think I'm organized I think I can do better. So Monica, get organized!


8. WHAT'S YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH FOR WHY YOU SHOULD CHASE YOUR DREAMS?

You'll never look back at your life with regret if you stayed true to who you were and enjoyed it. It's not supposed to be easy but it will always be rewarding in some way. 


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Monica Salafia

Monica Salafia, MS RD CPT, practices individual nutrition counseling in Denver to help gym and fitness studio members maintain optimal nutrition for both mind and body. She communicates nutrition in all types of media including TV, print, and online publications, and hosts nutrition workshops in the community. Visit her website or find her sharing healthy eating & lifestyle tips on her Instagram @monicasalafia.rd.


MORE OF MONICA

www.mindonnutrition.com

Monica on Instagram and Facebook


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