So, in starting an online nutrition biz (now health writing biz), I’ve heard many biz coaches advise to be authentically “you”, do what you love, declare your unique viewpoint and this will attract your crowd/tribe/ideal clients.
I’ve also heard many biz coaches say to choose a side, be controversial, get your work/story/stuff out there, and choose your allies. Join an “us” so as to define “them” who you will happily feud with.
But, what if I can only do the first one (be “myself”); and in doing so, I have a unique viewpoint that doesn’t “jive” with either of the two big health positions/philosophies/groups (“conventional” vs “holistic”)?
What if there aren’t many people out there who I can try to team up with to guest post on, or JV with?
What if my Master of Science in Biomedical Toxicology and Nutritional Science, with work experience in “big food”, plus over a decade in “big pharma” drug safety, mixed with a lot of life experience and certification as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist makes me pretty damn unique?
What if, after becoming completely embedded in both medical science and holistic health makes me see both the great strengths and great weaknesses in both positions?
Then what am I supposed to do?
Who do I join forces with?
Who should I pick fights with? And what if I really am not fond of fighting? (I’m not!)
I can surely be real, be me, and get my opinions out there. I can do my part to add more science into the holistic field; and at the same time try to show the scientists and medics that they can demonstrate more respect and kindness, and try to actually connect with people (not just facts).
Disclaimer – I used to be one of those fact-ridden science types who carried intellect on a pedestal and thought that emotions were nuisances to be rationalized out of (since emotions are, clearly, far inferior to intellect…Right?). It took many tough life experiences for me to even consider emotions as something of value.
So, here’s what I’m doing:
First – Eliminating These
I “unliked” some FB pages and unsubscribed from some emails that I find to be too extreme in either direction.
I mean, I’m all for reading and understanding diversity of opinions, really learning about the fears that many beliefs are based on, and I LOVE to speculate as to how much of the perspective is based in the head (IQ) vs the heart (EQ).
BUT, there are some holistic groups/pages that are just too damn “out there” for me. Some spew amazingly sensationalized “clickbait” headlines, propagate ridiculous conspiracy theories, or provide their readers the most irresponsible health recommendations. I refuse to subject my brain to or spend any time with these extremist views that are potentially harmful to health.
On the other hand, there are some science pages that are too freaking condescendingly disrespectful for me. Some of them seem to bask in their (illusion of) perfect intellect (they always have the answer, the right answer, and the only answer – dare to challenge their position and they will smash you with a high rate of scientific studies and snark, and then tag their friends to help tear your position to shreds). One description of one of these science pages was no less than “venomous”… and I’d agree, some really are.
I’m going to call both of these extreme sides (that are terribly unpalatable to me) “narcissistic” and not something that I take any interest in.
Let them have their thousands, or tens of thousands of readers/followers.
They’re NOT for me.
Second – Incorporating these
I want to incorporate my personal values into my nutrition business.
I believe that:
– Everyone is different,
– Attachments cause pain, and
– One can always be kind.
I’m also taking Brene Brown’s research and applying it to myself.
I can totally see how being vulnerable is an act of courage (and how perfectionism is an act of fear). Also how shame is a likely cause of narcissism. So, I consciously remind myself to “dare greatly”.
For some extra inspiration, I follow bloggers and coaches in both health and business areas who I find to be “real” people. (Hey, I always believed in “real” food!). Who demonstrate how they speak their truth. Who aren’t spewing BS to get people to click their links, and who don’t cling to the fantasy that they’re always right and anyone who disagrees is clearly “irrational”.
I am also very happy when I find the odd gem of a FB page/group. One where people are treated with respect and can disagree without being “trolled”. Groups who have moderators and members who seem to truly be more interested in WHAT is right, and not so much on WHO is right.
I guess I really like people who are:
– Freaking brilliant,
– Open-minded, and
(Do you know anyone like that? Are you? – Let’s connect!)
Third – Doing these
I’m putting myself out there (“daring greatly”).
I’m involved in many FB groups in both medical science and holistic health, and I comment when I have something to say (even if it makes me nervous).
I also regularly share to my FB pages links that may be “conventional” or “holistic” that I agree with, and that I hope my ideal client would find useful. I try to “tag” the original author in my “shares” so they know of me and that I found this particular piece of content worthy of sharing.
I’m also creating my own content to build my blog. I’m taking some things mentioned by holistic-minded people and I’m doing some scientific research into the topic. I love looking into things like efficacy of supplements vs foods, and what are the real risks of x-rays or medications, not to mention finding awesome “real food” recipes too!
Declaring my ideal world
– Brilliant scientists doing brilliant science – reviewing and commenting on each others’ work to move the knowledge forward and continuously prove and disprove until we’re pretty damn confident in something. Then move on to new areas of research without belabouring things that cannot be replicated after many tries.
– Science communicators who understand how they can help to not only educate, but who can garner interest in and inspire the public to see the true value of science. People who can help the public to understand the real risks and benefits of new scientific knowledge and technologies.
– Physicians and other licensed health care professionals using their scientific knowledge to help people by accurately evaluating risks and benefits of medications and procedures. People who can understand their patients’ fears and help to alleviate them while still being science-based and realistic. Ones who acknowledge and deal with people’s concerns and adverse reactions, and who don’t treat everyone as though they’re just a walking ball of biochemistry. Professionals who are educated in areas such as nutrition, and if not, readily refer to those professionals who can help the patient.
– More sparing and wise use of scientifically proven diagnostics and treatments (meds, surgery, etc.). Let’s not over-prescribe medications or medical tests. Let’s also strategically work with nutrition, fitness and other more “holistic” providers of proven modalities where it can be of use to the patient’s health (physical and mental).
– Kind nutrition/fitness/health coaches for patients who want such support. Holistic professionals that can work with the conventional medical professionals and help patients to implement treatment plans, including diet and exercise. People who can help to motivate and educate on the day-to-day lifestyle changes, including stress-reduction, that have been shown to improve many diagnoses and prognoses.
Where I fit in
I’m not just a health writer and content strategist for busy wellness professionals.
- I’m a science-based holistic nutritionist (MSc, R.H.N.).
- I know (and value) the holistic approach to health, and I’m pretty awesome at digging into the scientific research to see what’s what (and sometimes even I’m surprised with what I find).
- Not to mention the fact that I freaking LOVE doing it!