Dietetic Career Spotlight on Lesli Bitel, Business Coach & Mentor for Private Practice RDNs
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on MAY 13, 2019
Meet Lesli Bitel, MBA, RDN, LDN, who helps fellow dietitian and nutrition professionals reach their business goals. Being a business coach and mentor is a unique niche in the dietetic industry and Lesli helps people achieve success in their careers. Read on to learn more.
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
Seeing that my favorite Christmas gift as a child was a microscope, I always knew I wanted to pursue a science-based career. I was also a dancer (classical ballet) and very interested in maximizing my athletic performance through nutrition. When I went to college, I ended up deciding to major in Health Fitness Promotion in Hospital & Corporate Settings with a minor in nutrition. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I loved my minor perhaps more than my major, so I decided to go for an extra year to finish both a B.A.A. in Exercise Physiology and a B.S. in Dietetics and do a clinical internship to become an RDN. Becoming a dietitian was a natural fit for me and was a really good decision for my career.
Your Job Title?
Business Coach & Mentor for Private Practice RDNs
Company you are with now?
Lesli Bitel Coaching
– Facebook: Lesli Bitel Coaching
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/IFNutrition/
– Instagram: LesliBitel
– LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leslibitel/
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
My most productive days start with a (Lagree) workout. Then, before I start my client sessions, I spend a time working through some business building and marketing tasks such as:
- Processing emails (including answering my private clients’ questions and reviewing their copywriting)
- Strategic Planning (launch sequences, etc.)
- Creating content for my blogs, newsletters, social media, group coaching programs, and courses
- Copywriting (emails and sales pages for new products)
- Meeting with my team members, prospective clients, and developing strategic alliances
- Prepping for client sessions and courses
- Meeting with prospective clients
Depending on the day and what else I have going on, I generally schedule between 5-7 private client sessions each day. Because I also offer group coaching programs and a variety of business building courses for RDNs, these activities also need to be scheduled into my weekly calendar – generally on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for 90 minutes a class/session. So, you can see that it gets very busy so being able to plan and prioritize how my time is spent is important.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
Getting to my current role as the owner of a full-time business coaching practice for RDNs was a journey, for sure. I started my career in dietetics doing clinical work at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and gained experience in a variety of areas including oncology, eating disorders, spinal cord injury, and surgery. Then, I worked for 13 years as a sales and marketing executive in the medical and pharmaceutical industry, which greatly contributed to my business acumen. After having my first child, I decided it was time to follow my own entrepreneurial calling so I decided to back to school for my MBA and start my nutrition practice in 2007. Eventually this lead me to the realization that I could potentially impact many more lives by helping other RDNs in their quest to be successful business owners. So, I have been doing business coaching and consulting full time with RDNs since 2014 and have found it to be the most gratifying work I’ve ever done.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I was born with a deep sense of curiosity about most everything, which contributes to my love of learning and also makes me very conversational with other people. I was born into a long line of entrepreneurs so being my own boss and running a business is in my blood. I’m also someone who has a knack for seeing both the “forest and the trees” and am very good at being able to distill very complex concepts into bite-sized nuggets.
I’ve learned many skills along the way. While I think I’m naturally empathic, I learned how to really listen and hear other people without feeling like I have to be responsible for solving things for them and that this approach is appreciated. I’ve also learned to not take myself too seriously, laugh often and to trust my instincts when faced with important decisions.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
In my work as a coach, I see many RDNs who struggle with lack of confidence. So my advice is to believe in yourself and embrace your ability to help others with your life-changing work. Go after what you love and be open-minded about the possibilities.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
Travel with my family – both here in the U.S., and abroad.