Starting your own business is quite amazing and I respect people who are persistent and hard working to keep that business running. Here is an interview with Leena who has just published a book and works with a very import theme, gut health! And what could be a next step after publishing a book? Another one of course! Admirable indeed!
What is your business?
I work as a registered dietitian (MSc), some prefer the term authorized nutritionist. Titles are but titles, so it’s probably better, if I elaborate my tasks a bit more. I see clients who have nutritional issues at my private practice (located at a few private health care centers) and now also online. I also do a lot of nutrition communication aka write blogs and and columns. My first book Superhyvää suolistolle! was published late last year. It means Super good for the gut. I’m specialized in gut health and especially the low FODMAP diet.
Where do you work?
Finland, Helsinki. Via online anywhere.
How did you get in to the line of work?
I graduated and worked in a hospital, but I was asked to do extra for a private health care practice, mostly for occupational health care. So for a while I did both and a third job as a research nutritionist too. Then I went to study for my second Master’s and kept working about 1,5 days a week. In between I did some hospital work and worked for an organization that was implementing dietary guidelines. My work mostly composed of lectures and the production of literary material. However, I missed working with patients, so I returned to my own business.
Did you feel lucky getting in to the line of business?
It’s more like I have a passion that drives me. But yes, I am lucky to like my work. That is absolutely not guaranteed these days.
What qualifications are needed?
My background is in nutrition and dietetics. I have a Master’s Degree in nutrition and trying to finish my other Master’s on International Health this year.
Are you striven by the work you do or your paycheck?
Definitely not the pay check, since it’s nothing special at the moment at least. My aim is to get by and pay my bills in time. Travel to see my friends and eat well. So it has to be the work itself. However, I am trying to be more ambitious about getting paid enough for the work I do.
Does the work match your expectations?
I don’t think I had expectations of being an entrepreneur, so I didn’t really have any expectations either! However, if I think back just a few years, then I say this exceeds my expectations.
Describe a basic day at work. Does it vary day by day?
It definitely varies day by day. Patient days are regular of course, but I do those only 4-6 days a month at the moment, because I’m trying to have enough time to work on my second book I’m writing with a friend. I also have training and lectures that I need to allocate time to. I work at home or in cafes. Luckily I’m getting a shared office soon. I’m getting a little tired of working at home. I don’t calculate hours. I better not.
What is the most exciting thing about your work and why?
Constant learning and interacting with people! Everyday can be a possibility learn and also to develop as a person.
What do you get asked about your job by friends and family?
Mostly just about on-going projects, but rarely about specific nutrition questions, although, I have nothing against talking about those topics either.
What is the best part of your job?
I get to manage my own schedules and what assignments I do.
Do you have bad days or moments? Why?
Of course, everyone does. Getting enough work and money is sometimes stressful. There’s so much woo related to diet and nutrition these days that I sometimes feel overwhelmed.
Do you have any advice for people considering your line of work?
This is a great choice for people wanting to control their own work hours and who are absolutely passionate about their work. For others I think it could be a bit stressful and that then will be reflected in the quality of you work, which is not a good thing. Be prepared, hire a bookkeeper and build good networks.
Thank you Leena!
To learn more, check out Leena’s website here.
To see more about Leena’s new book and to see where to buy, click here.