How to become a real practitioner

I sent out a newsletter the other day that gave some details about the clinical work I’ve been doing lately. After a few years out of full-time practice to teach and get my MS, I’m working with clients again. I wanted to let people know that I’m taking clients and what the process looks like.

The newsletter went something like this:

“After explaining her symptoms, my client asked if I could help her. I replied, ‘I don’t know.’ Why? Because that’s the truth. Even though I feel confident in my skills as a functional nutritionist, I simply can’t know what a client’s outcome will be.”

After sending the newsletter I asked a friend if he’d seen it, and he said yes, he had. But he thought I needed to be more self-aggrandizing in order to get clients.

We’re close friends, me and this guy. We go way back and we’re deeply honest with each other. He said, “Victoria, I just don’t see why someone would trust you when you literally say you don’t know if you can help them. You’ve got to talk yourself up. You’re good at what you do.”

It made me think.

And here’s what I came to.

I’m a real practitioner. I’m going to tell you the truth, as I see it, and I’m not going to bullshit you or try to “get” you as a client.

I’m not going to sell you some one-size-fits-all flavor of the week diet plan or supplement. And I’m for sure not going to tell you that I can solve all your problems.

I’m not going to market to you with clickbait, pressure you into anything that doesn’t feel right, or sell you with fear-based, scarcity sales tactics. I’m not going to shake you down for your email address.

I’m going to be myself. I’m a little weird, wildly passionate about this work, and really in love with my clients. I’m going to be frank with you, explain my thought process to you, and ask you what you think and need. I’m going to research my ass off for you and try to find the underlying answers to your health problems.

I’m going to be completely vulnerable and upfront with you because YOU DESERVE IT. You deserve it, the profession of nutrition deserves it, and the world deserves it. We desperately need it. The normalization of vulnerability and rawness helps us all become more honest and real. It gives us the space to improve. As a wonderful mentor once told me, there’s no argument against transparency.

And, if I can’t figure it out? I’m going to tell you that I’m not your girl and help you find someone who hopefully can help.

So, can I help you? In this one way, at least, yes, I can. I can help you by having the confidence to say, “I don’t know.”