On this episode of the Healthy, Wealthy and Smart Podcast, I welcome Dr. Megan Rigby on the show to discuss how she found success with her online nutrition and fitness consulting. Dr. Megan Rigby is a doctorate prepared pediatric GI Nurse Practitioner, IFBB Figure Pro, blogger, macro lover and online coach. She is on a mission to help others become fit, healthy and happy.
In this episode, we discuss:
-How Megan started her side hustle and when she decided it was time to leave her corporate job
-The pro’s and con’s of being an online entrepreneur
-The importance of vulnerability and integrity on social media
-And so much more!
For more information on Megan:
Megan Rigby is a Doctorate-prepared GI Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nutrition Consultant, IFBB Figure Pro, and Owner of MacroMINI. She is passionate about educating others through her coaching, as well as publicly speaking on topics surrounding food, fitness & healthy mindset. Megan has helped hundreds of people experience great physical and overall lifestyle changes. She is on a mission to empower others to become healthier, happier versions of themselves while still enjoying food as one of life’s simple pleasures. In 2018, Megan left a corporate position as a Digestive Nurse Practitioner to open her own coaching business & has made over 400k+ within her first year. Megan has been featured in Oxygen & Strong magazines as a content creator, along with appearances on News Channel 12. She has been recognized as a top industry leader within her community.
Read the full transcript below:
Karen Litzy: 00:01 Hi Doctor Megan Rigby, welcome to the podcast. I am happy to have you on.
Megan Rigby: 00:06 Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to do this with you today.
Karen Litzy: 00:10 Yeah. And so what we're gonna do is we're going to talk about your sort of entrepreneurial journey, your business story, because, as I said in the intro for you, you are a doctorate prepared GI nurse practitioner and a nutritional consultant and a whole bunch of other stuff. But, something that I think the listeners of this podcast can relate to is there's a lot of healthcare workers, things like that who are listening to this podcast who maybe have started their careers in a hospital and clinic, but maybe you want something a little bit more. So I would love for you to kind of share your story of how you made that transition from, I love that you say you were like a corporate girl in a hospital or clinic, but when you're in healthcare, that's kind of the equivalent. So go ahead and tell us your story. How'd you do it?
Megan Rigby: 01:03 I never planned on being an entrepreneur having my own business. That's just not something I ever saw in my future. My Grad program, I had focused on family and childhood obesity. It was my dissertation. I love health and nutrition. I think it's the preventative to a lot of health care. So I always tried to teach all my clients that, but I started to get frustrated a few years in just because working for corporate, you're kind of inside a box. And I think there's a time and place for complimentary medicine and modern medicine and sometimes that can be hard when you're working for a hospital. And so I started having more and more people talking to me on the side about health and nutrition and fitness and people would just start asking, Hey, can you give me an advice? Give me tips and I'll pay you. And so slowly I started doing nutrition plans and education on the side.
Megan Rigby: 02:05 And over time I was able to build it into an online business. I realized that my limitations that I have within the clinic are able to actually be kind of removed online. I get to spend more time with my clients, educate them, and truly provide a service that's unique to them. So with time it took probably, I mean two years I was doing a lot of my own online stuff, while working full time in clinic. And then I gradually dropped down to more of a part time position once I started picking up online. And then within the two years I was actually able to make more than what I was making clinic with the online business and I transitioned over and I left September 2018 and now I run my own company doing health, fitness and nutrition.
Karen Litzy: 02:57 And I would imagine that there are pros and cons to this. So I'm just going to name one pro and one con. Right. So the pro, obviously you can probably help more people with online programs. Con would be, do you miss having that person sitting in front of you?
Megan Rigby: 03:16 I do. I missed that. But the beautiful thing about online is you can still do zoom calls face to face. So there is still that where you can talk to them. So almost like a telehealth. I would say one of my biggest cons is when I used to leave the clinic, it was kind of like my work was done. Like my charts were done, I was done seeing patients. Now, I feel like I'm on a lot more so my day doesn't end nine to five. I work a lot more around the clock. I feel like, and that's something I'm still trying to work on as a new entrepreneur.
Karen Litzy: 03:50 Yes. And that is absolutely true. I think a lot of people when they think I'll just start my own practice, they think you can leave it at the door when you leave, but you cannot. You're always doing something. I mean, there are times like last night it was midnight and I'm working.
Megan Rigby: 04:09 Yes. It never goes away because it's now your business, you're responsible for everyone you're taking care of and you're responsible for bringing more clients in. And so definitely you work, I think a lot more being an entrepreneur, but at the same time you have more freedom, which is nice.
Karen Litzy: 04:26 Yes. You have a little more flexibility, you have a little more freedom. So there's pros and cons to all of this. But let's start, how, if you can get even a little more granular into your kind of transition from hospital to on your own. So my first question is how did you have this conversation with your employer? That's a question I get asked all the time.
Megan Rigby: 04:51 Yeah. So I think you have to just be honest about it. And that was something that they knew that I loved the nutrition aspect of things. I love being able to teach and spend more time. So when I went down to part time, you know, I let them know that I was, you know, on my side I was, you know, just educating and teaching people about nutrition and health. And that was not going to interfere with my job. And I think that's the biggest thing. If you can, you know, let them know, reassure them that you're not letting it interfere with your work and how you come in every day and interact with your patients there that you know, helps them as well, as well as not ever taking any of the businesses patients.
Karen Litzy: 05:37 Of course I think we say that of course, but maybe people do. I don't know.
Megan Rigby: 05:46 Yeah. And that was something where it's kind of drawing, you know, a line in the sand and making sure that both of the jobs stayed away from each other and they never came together. And I think that's something that a lot of people have to remember. Like I would love to have been able to work at work, but you can't do that. I mean, I came home at night and I saw my clients from online at night and there was no crossing that during the day at all when I was clocked in and I was being a nurse practitioner in the clinic.
Karen Litzy: 06:13 Yeah. And I think that's great advice. And it's just dry and clear boundaries for yourself and also being respectful of your employers.
Megan Rigby: 06:21 Yeah. Because in the end, if you decide to go back to clinic, you need recommendations and burning bridges is not something you want to do because who knows? I mean the venture that we have or I have, it may, may die down one day and I do need to go back to the clinic. So I never want to slam that door shut because it provided me so many opportunities.
Karen Litzy: 06:42 Absolutely. And I remember when I left the physical therapy clinic I was working at, it was really hard to do because I really loved working there. But they now refer patients to me and I refer patients to them. Right. So it's like you don't want to burn those bridges because guess what, they can help you and you can help them. And I think you want to really make this a win, win for everyone. So you have this conversation with your employer, they're understanding, you go down to part time for you, what was, if you can describe kind of the hours worked in clinics or are you down to like 20 hours a week or less and obviously we know you're working then on the online part, but what was the breakdown for us?
Megan Rigby: 07:33 They let me go to three and a half days a week, which was nice. And so that was considered more of a part time position there. So I worked Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and then half day Thursday and I was off Fridays. So I would make sure that all my check ins and my main communication with my clients would be on the weekends. That works best for me. So Thursdays I would do all of my prep when I got off work. And then Friday, Saturday, Sunday, those were my days that I was really able to devote to the actual online business and evenings whenever I, you know, was able to after work I would come in home and I would do what I needed to do. But otherwise it was an 8:30 to 4:30 Monday through Thursday, half day.
Karen Litzy: 08:21 And since going completely on your own, do you give yourself a schedule? Because it must be difficult, right?
Megan Rigby: 08:28 I'm still close the computer when there's still work to be done and I always want to make sure that everyone is getting the, you know, service and communication that they deserve. And I think that just comes from being a healthcare professional that you know, you want as much time devoted to each and every client. And so it can be hard to kind of turn that off and feel like you still have unanswered questions or things going on.
Karen Litzy: 08:59 Yeah, there's no question. And again, that's where kind of setting boundaries for yourself comes in handy or making sure that you know, you have scheduled times that you're working even with the online clients and that they know that. Not that they're taking advantage because I don't think they are, but if you allow yourself to be available 24 seven then guess what, people will take you up on that offer.
Megan Rigby: 09:27 Yeah. So it is, it's creating boundaries too. And that's what I have learned. It's been hard, but yeah, working, you know, maybe nine to like four and allowing lunch in there, is something that I'm striving to be more consistent with. But it is nice because if you have appointments, you know, you can schedule those in and that's where the flexibility has been really good. But also drawing the line of when you kind of cut it off at night.
Karen Litzy: 09:52 Yeah, absolutely. And now how do you advertise? How do you market yourself?
Megan Rigby: 09:56 So social media is kind of where it's all at, as exhausting as it can be. I have, you know, my page and that's where a lot of people find me word of mouth has been the biggest thing and I value that the most. I think if people can refer other people to me because they've had great experiences and outcomes, that's where I've actually gotten a lot of my clients. I don't really do a lot of paid advertisement or anything right now. Like I said, it's just word of mouth and then making sure people who do follow me or start following me understand, you know, where I'm coming from and really being open and vulnerable on social media so everyone kind of knows who I am and there's no hiding.
Karen Litzy: 10:44 And what advice do you have for the listeners on how to be vulnerable? Because that's hard.
Megan Rigby: 10:50 It is really hard. I think it's just to be true to you and stand by what you believe in and how you practice. And provide honest, you know, education, advice and share yourself I think with people has been the hardest thing because a lot of people will look up to healthcare professionals, you know, and think that there may be on a pedestal or something. And I think making yourself relatable is the most important thing because we're all humans and so we all have struggles as well. And I think putting those out there so people can relate to you is going to bring more clients in and more, you know, followers as well.
Karen Litzy: 11:30 Okay. So how do you make yourself more relatable? Because isn't social media is supposed to be like, it's your highlight reel. We don’t want to show people that we have any problems. Right.
Megan Rigby: 11:40 With me, it's a pretty easy with the nutrition and the fitness and health because I think, you know, as a female we struggle with appearance. We struggle with, you know, day to day eating healthy, making the right choices, preparing food for our family. So I can relate to a lot of that. You know, I've had my own insecurities and I'm not perfect every day with how I eat. There are days that I want to go to dairy queen and have a blizzard. So I'm able to really relate to people in that spectrum and then talking about, you know, different health issues that so many of us women struggle with and it can affect how we lose weight and really making sure that we stay on top of those. So whenever I talk about something, I try to draw in my past experiences with it and I think that usually helps a lot.
Karen Litzy: 12:28 Yeah. I think that's really good advice. And what would you tell people who maybe have these great stories and we know this is what you should do to kind of get people to get to know you, like you and then eventually right purchase from you. Right. What if you're scared to put yourself out there? Like how do you overcome that fear?
Megan Rigby: 12:53 I think you have to jump in with both feet. Like if you are truly passionate about starting a business, that's vulnerable in itself and then putting yourself out there on social media. Like you just have to realize that people are gonna love you or hate you. And as awful as that sounds, it's the truth. I mean, people are going to be drawn to you. So just jumping in and sharing it, whether it's just the writing at first. I know a lot of people are camera shy, so sometimes they say like blogging at first is really good. Or just sharing it on your Instagram through words, before going into any of the videos or anything like that. Even you know what sharing with your family sometimes too because you can be vulnerable with them and getting feedback sometimes can be a little bit comforting if you're not ready to just jump.
Karen Litzy: 13:40 Yeah, I think that's great advice kind of sharing with friends and family are sharing within a trusted circle.
Megan Rigby: 13:47 Before it's scary. You're going to get judged. That's human nature I feel like so people will judge, but people also will be able to relate to what they hear from you. And those are the people you want following you and interacting with you.
Karen Litzy: 14:05 Yeah. And do you have any sort of memorable comments or notes or things that people have sent to you that have stood out because you've been a little bit more open?
Megan Rigby: 14:17 Yeah. So when I do stories I try to talk about topics that have affected me recently. I usually always try to keep things kind of close to my heart. And so when people message me and say, oh my gosh, I needed this today. It's been such a struggle, like it, it's so nice to know someone else's out there going through it with me or I appreciate the advice. So those things always help to kind of reaffirm like there are people listening and what I am saying is holding others. So, you know, it makes me want to keep doing that more and more.
Karen Litzy: 14:52 Yeah. I love getting those notes. I think it's so cool. And I always think to myself, Gosh, you never know who's watching, sitting, listening. You just don't know.
Megan Rigby: 15:01 Cause you're always impacting someone. There's always someone out there watching and listening. Like she said, you never know. So if it's something you're passionate about, something you love and you want to be heard, then it's worth sharing.
Karen Litzy: 15:15 Absolutely. I agree. 100%. We’ve been talking that you're in that nutrition, fitness realm, very crowded field. Every time you turn, everywhere you look, someone is talking about nutrition, whether that be good or bad evidence based or not. It's out there. So what advice do you have to stand out amongst all this competition? Because I'm sure it can be applied to almost any industry.
Megan Rigby: 15:49 It can. I always say be true to you. So whatever you believe, stay with that. It's so easy to get into the comparison game of you know, what they're doing or you know, this is the new trend, but you have to do your own research. You have to believe in what you believe in and talk about that. I think that's the most important. So many people in the fitness industry just jump from one trend to another. And so it's whatever the hottest topic is. And I think when it comes to, you know, this industry, you have to really stay true to the basics and what is science saying and what you believe in. Because if people hear it consistently and they can expect the same thing from you, which is the honest truth in what you believe in, they will trust you. It's the people who kind of jump all around that, you know, you kind of start to say, Hey, wait, last week you were talking about this. And that was the best thing there was. So that's what I found is people, they expect the consistency from me and they know that I believe in what I'm talking about.
Karen Litzy: 16:52 Yeah. So not jumping on the bandwagon every time something comes out, but rather look at it critically.
Megan Rigby: 17:00 And not comparing yourself. I think that derails a lot of us is when we start to look at what other people are doing in the same field and we feel like we need to mimic that or we need to jump on that. And that can be very distracting too.
Karen Litzy: 17:20 But it's so hard.
Megan Rigby: 17:24 It is so hard. I do my best actually not to follow a lot of people in my industry. I'll follow the people who I think provide me motivation, but if there's anyone who evokes jealousy, or you know, kind of gets under my skin, I figure that's negative, you know, vibes and I don't need that. So I really tried to just stay with the people who motivate me the most. I think social media should be a positive outlet. And it's so easy to make it negative. And I really tried to avoid that.
Karen Litzy: 17:58 Yes. As a matter of fact, I'm part of a Oxford debate in a couple of weeks at a physical therapy conference. And so the debate topic is social media and it is, we believe that social media can be hazardous to the profession of physical therapy. And you know, people will argue in favor of that and against that and that can easily go either way. But in the end it's a tool. It is a tool and it's not the tool, but it's the user.
Megan Rigby: 18:36 It is. It's how we allow ourselves to use social media. No, I agree. I'm curious to hear how that goes. So I hope you will talk about that.
Karen Litzy: 18:48 I will talk about that. I'm curious to see how it goes to, I hope it goes well. I'm a little nervous about it, but I think it's supposed to be this like fun debate, like lively, fun and funny. But you still want to win the debate of course. So we'll see what happens. So is there anything else about kind of your entrepreneurial journey that you really want people to learn from?
Megan Rigby: 19:13 I think starting small, and a lot of people when they tried to start a business feel like they have to dump a ton of money into it. And I've learned that you don't, with starting small and using the skills that you have, you're actually able to start a business that may, you know, not be as profitable as you want in the beginning with time you can reinvest that money you make back into it without taking up such a huge loan in the beginning, especially when it comes to the online type of business. I think there's so much that we can do on our own before we have to really start spending money. And I think that's something that, you know, a lot of new entrepreneurs who are wanting to go the online business, just have to remember that it doesn't take a ton of money to get up and going and get clients. It just takes, you know, the passion and the time and the knowledge.
Karen Litzy: 20:09 Yeah, absolutely. And I have one more question for you. The question that I ask everyone and that is knowing where you are now in your life and in your business, what advice would you give yourself, not to someone else, but what advice would you give to yourself at like the day you graduated and we'll say with your doctorate, why not? Because you’ve got like advanced degrees here. So let's go with the doctorate. What advice would you give to that gal?
Megan Rigby: 20:40 Okay. My advice would be to not change anything, to enjoy the ride and kind of allow it to take you where it's going to take you. Because there are times that I wondered, you know, why was I where I was and what I was doing and it all led me here. So I think the biggest thing is enjoy the ride. So often we keep wishing the years away and if only I was here, if only I was there. But every step and every moment you have is leading you to where you really need to be.
Karen Litzy: 21:09 Very nice. It's like that sounded like from Game of Thrones and that's not a spoiler or anything for anyone listening. If you haven't seen the finale, it's not a spoiler, but that was very Bran like of you, it was great. Now where can people find you if they want to get in touch with you, if they want to work with you, they want to follow you. Where can they go?
Karen Litzy: 21:47 Awesome. And just so in case you know, you don't have a pen and paper and you're not taking notes right now, like I am, you can go to podcast.healthywealthysmart.com. We'll have all the links, one click will take you right to all of Megan's info so that you can get to know her, like her, trust her, and work with her. So Megan, thank you so much for coming on and sharing your journey. I think it will give a lot of people in health care a bit of a boost, maybe a little kick in the butt too, and the confidence to go out and kind of do what you're doing.
Megan Rigby: 22:23 Thank you. I appreciate that. And thank you so much for having me on.
Karen Litzy: 22:26 Yeah, my pleasure. This is a great conversation and everyone who's out there listening, thanks so much. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy, and smart.
Thanks for listening and subscribing to the podcast! Make sure to connect with me on twitter, instagram and facebook to stay updated on all of the latest! Show your support for the show by leaving a rating and review on iTunes!