We’re spilling allll the tea this week y’all. We’ve been in the biz for 12 years and have seen and done a lot, so we’re bringing you through our RD journey to where we are now as RD influencers. Our goal here is transparency- we’re even telling you how much we make and where our money comes from. Listen to this episode to hear the side of being an influencer that most people don’t share and how we’re getting closer to figuring out our next phase of Food Heaven.
What we cover:
- What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?
- Why we became dietitians
- How we got our start as dietitians
- What are the pro’s and con’s of being a dietitian?
- Why so many dietitians have side hustles
- How much money you can expect to make as a dietitian
- How much money we make as dietitians in social media
- How we make money as dietitians
- What expenses for our business are like
- Tax benefits of being a business owner
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Our podcast is released every Wednesday and each week we take a deep dive into topics like health at every size, food & culture, intuitive eating, mental health, and body acceptance. If you’re looking for a sustainable and inclusive path to wellness, come hang out with us to learn how to take care of yourself from the inside out.
Wendy Lopez: [00:00:00] I'll kick it off. Welcome back everyone. We are so excited to be joining you today for another episode. For those of you who missed it, we have a new series. It's called The Pivot. If you're not sure what we're talking about, Jess, please shed some light.
Jessica Jones: So the pivot is our five part series that we're doing, and it's going to be at least five parts.
And we're talking about the fact that we've been doing our brand for 12 years now. So this. Summer, I think marks 12 years of food heaven, and we are ready for a change and we're putting that out there that we've kind of just been doing the same thing ish, like for the past. I would say at least since 2019, like things have been pretty stable and it's time to pivot if we want to keep any of this going because we [00:01:00] need to challenge ourselves personally, professionally, and also just.
Reinvent our whole business model. Um, if you're curious about our business model, we talk a little bit more about that. Um, in the episode that aired last week. So definitely scroll up and listen. We also talk why we are over it in a way, especially the online space, some of the challenges for our business, some highs and low.
So listen to, um, the episode last week and today. Wendy, you, do you wanna say
Wendy Lopez: what we'll be discussing? Yeah. So we're gonna get into our profession, you know, just like. What a dietician is. Typically where a dietician works, our journey into becoming dieticians, we're also gonna get into the money, our financials, and we're gonna get specific, how we make our money, how much [00:02:00] money we've been making.
And this is something we were debating, just actually talked with her husband about it cuz he, he works in finance and, and he was like, y'all shouldn't be sharing. Numbers, babe. Were sharing the numbers. Right. And I was like, oh, well, you know, I, I think it's okay because there's not enough transparency.
Yeah. When it comes to finances, um, especially in the online space, cuz this is stuff that can be helpful for dieticians, but also for people just working in the online space, partnering with different companies or brands. It's good to know, like, You know what perhaps, uh, different earning potentials look like.
Mm-hmm. Maybe you're underpricing. Maybe you're overpricing, who knows? But we're gonna be transparent about what we've been doing and what our numbers have been. And we have our QuickBooks, which QuickBooks is like an online accountant. We pulled that up. We're gonna share with y'all. Uh, we're gonna talk about some of the pros and cons of being a dietician.
Being a dietician in the [00:03:00] online space. We are just, Going to share it all. And I wanna be clear, like we could continue doing what we're doing. We've, I mean, from a financial perspective, we're doing pretty all right. Mm-hmm. We're not like a sinking ship or anything, but like Jess said, professionally, even creatively, I think that's the biggest thing.
Creatively, we're not feeling very stimulated with the way that things have been going. Um, and. You know, Jess and I, yeah. I feel like that's something that's very important for us, like just feeling challenged, you know, feeling enriched and yeah, being in the online space because of the way that things have.
Been, you know, especially with social media and how it's set up and how it's changed, it's a big challenge. Um, especially when you've been doing it for as long as we've been doing it. Yeah. So, [00:04:00] you know, we're gonna get into all the things, but you know, of course. Before we do that, we're gonna highlight a listener review.
And this is from, let me see, Bible, A pre I think it is. And they say longtime listener. Hey Justin, Wendy, I feel like y'all are my daughters. Oh my God, sweet. I'm in my late fifties and I really enjoy your podcast. I first found y'all back when you were on YouTube cooking. I wasn't vegan at the time. I am now, and I enjoyed your knowledge and personalities.
Keep growing and doing a wonderful job. Oh my God, thank you. Thank you so much. Bible prayer. Sweet. Thanks for tuning in. That is super sweet.
Jessica Jones: And with that, let's jump into the episode. So for people who aren't sure, I wanna talk about what an RD actually is. Um, what are the different careers in this field?
If y'all have been following us, you kind of know [00:05:00] that we've done a lot of stuff in the online space, but there's so much more that you can do as a dietician. Um, we've done a couple articles on that. We're gonna link them in the show notes. So if you're curious, we have an article about. Um, just dietician careers.
What is a dietician? How to become one. So we'll just give you a very abbreviated version here in this podcast. So for folks who are not sure, cuz many people ask us, well, what is the difference between a dietician and a nutritionist? And there's a big difference. So dieticians. Also known as RDS or rdns, registered dietician, nutritionist.
Um, our skill, our skilled healthcare professionals who are experts in food and nutrition. And we help people develop, develop practical solutions to make positive lifestyle changes to improve their diet and health help.
Wendy Lopez: Okay, I'll take over that. Sorry, Josh. You can edit that out. Edit any awkward silences out.
Yeah, [00:06:00] and to become a dietician. Jess and I, we both did a master's in nutrition science. You can, I believe, still do a bachelor's cuz I, there was conversation about things changing where you had to have a master's in nutrition to become a dietician. But I think it's there. It's still where you can have your bachelor's and then go into the dietetic internship and essentially like once you do your academic training, The internship is.
I mean, the way I see it, it's like a year of unpaid labor where you have to work for free at, you know, different like clinics, community, uh, centers, you know, a range of different areas so that you can get experience. Um, And emphasis on unpaid because it's very hard, especially for someone who doesn't come from money to be working for free for one full year.
It that is like one of the biggest [00:07:00] challenges to entry. Um, For, you know, becoming a dietician, I think especially for people of color who are struggling financially, cuz that's a big ask. Um, you also have to do continuing education. A lot of professions have have this as well. Um, you have to have a certain amount of hours that you do every five years, and you have to submit that to maintain your credential.
And one question that we get asked all the time is, what is the difference between a dietician. And a nutritionist so we can help clarify that a bit. So with a dietician, like all of the training and everything that I just mentioned, it's all very standardized in the United States and you kind, you just have to go through that process.
If you're gonna have that title, it's very regulated. Whereas to become a nutritionist, that term is not regulated at all, like literally. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. There, um, are no legal issues with that. Like if [00:08:00] anyone were to be like, oh yeah, I'm a registered dietician, and they didn't actually go through everything that I mentioned, then that becomes a legal issue because you're misrepresenting yourself.
Um, kind of like someone being like, oh yeah, I'm a ob gyn, and like they didn't go through the actual training. It, it's. It's kind of a big problem. Um, so you know, your favorite influencers or bloggers who didn't go to school for nutrition, they could call themselves nutritionist and it's really, there's no issue there cuz anyone can be that.
So that's like the biggest difference. Dieticians are nutritionist, nutritionists are not dieticians.
Jessica Jones: Yes. And why did we wanna become dieticians? You might ask. Well, for me, I was a journalist before I was a dietician. If you follow us, you probably already know that. We even talked about that I think a little bit last week.
But I wanted to do something where it felt like I was more directly. Helping people. Not to say journalism isn't amazing and can't help people, [00:09:00] but just what I felt like I was having more of a personal impact on improving, improving the quality of people's lives through food and through nutrition. I also was interested, I found out in learning about science and that became really exciting for me because I think I am.
A strong right brain and left brain person or right brain and left brain thinker. So while I do have all the creative side to me, I also have the science and analytical and strategy and business side as well. And I felt like with dieticians it's, it was possible to bring both of those sides together and then, First and foremost, I am an entrepreneur and I knew that being a dietician I could work for myself, which was really important for me to find a career path that would sustain me financially.
Not to say you'll get rich as a dietician, but it is something where you are probably going to [00:10:00] be either guaranteed work or you could work for yourself. And then of course, diabetes runs in my family, so that was another thing. As well where it's like, okay, how can I kinda learn some of this information, um, to help myself, to help my family to help, you know, just learn how to manage different, uh, diseases like diabetes.
So that was kind of my motivation. What about you?
Wendy Lopez: Yeah, and I wanna say like, you likely won't become rich as a dietician. Yeah. We'll talk about why, but it's not a very well paid career. Um, but yeah, I became a dietician. Because I, I just thought it was so fascinating that you could make a profession out of food and health, and I too had all types of, you know, health conditions in.
My family and my community. I've always been very community driven. Um, and I really love the work that Justin and I were doing at farmer's markets, [00:11:00] just like talking to people about foods from their cultures, and it's just like, it's, it's always a very like, fun and interesting conversation. I learn a lot, you know, talking about what other people enjoy cooking and like what their traditions are around food.
So I was like, oh my God. It's, it's very cool that I can actually do this. Professionally. Um, so. Yeah, that was, that was my motivation. I really wanted to work with, you know, community members and help them make more informed decisions about food. Um, and when I first became a dietician, I actually started working at the hospital where I interned at, um, metropolitan Hospital in Harlem.
And I was doing outpatient nutrition, which means that instead of being bedside, like when, when people are hospitalized, that's inpatient and you. Just have to make sure that, you know, basically they're, they're fed and they don't die while they're in your care at the hospital. [00:12:00] Whereas outpatient, I enjoy it a little bit more because it's, it's kind of like nutrition counseling.
They come into your office and they talk to you about nutrition and then, you know, they, they come back for a follow up and it's more of that setting. Um, and so I did that at Metropolitan and then I moved to a community clinic. Um, In Westchester that serve primarily like. Central American immigrants, um, and the needs of that population were like very unique.
Most of them were undocumented. They worked like very odd hours. And so it was just, you know, some of them, uh, didn't have like functional kitchens and so it was. You know, I learned a lot through like that experience and just like really assessing the needs of, you know, this patient population and, you know, seeing things that I, I wouldn't typically see like in the hospital that I [00:13:00] used to work at.
So, um, yeah, I mean at, and, and then I. Like, throughout the years I've gained so much more experience, like working more in like the culinary field with like recipe development and, and things like that. Um, but there's so much that you can do, like whether you do clinical, which is what I think most dietician get into, especially after they graduate.
Or you can do private practice, you can do consulting, which Jess and I have done throughout the years. Um, you can do wic. Which is women, infant and children, like they have offices all over the country. What are some other things, Jess?
Jessica Jones: Yeah, you could do food service. Yeah. Working in hospital schools, nursing homes, marketing, communications.
There are so many, uh, PR folks we work with who were rds that, well, they still are rds, but maybe they were clinical and now they're working more on the marketing side. Also private practice. I had a private practice up until February, um, where we were [00:14:00] focusing on disordered eating, eating disorders, and chronic disease management using a weight inclusive approach, um, for people of color primarily.
And yeah, just like Wendy, I've had all, not all the same experience, but very similar. Um, I would say my, the highlight of. Well, I have a couple highlights of my career. I mean, aside from Food Heaven, cuz people know us for that. But like we said, we've had a whole career alongside of this. So for me it was working at, um, it's called Alameda Health System, where I was an outpatient dietician and I would see clients and I ran a.
Pre-diabetes class in English and Spanish. Um, I think it was like every other week. And also I believe a diabetes class as well. And I just thought that was so much fun and I was able to get fluent in Spanish. I've forgotten everything almost now, but, um, because I was [00:15:00] counseling my patients, um, Every day in Spanish and leading these classes, and that was amazing.
I also really enjoyed working at U C S F as a clinical dietician, and that's where I started getting more involved in the eating disorder space because I, you know, by default was working in this university setting and you would see a lot of eating disorders. Um, so it wasn't even something that I set out to do.
I was very much. You know, within general kind of nutrition, wellness, chronic disease management. And then this was just something, again, like Wendy was saying, that was challenging to me that I wanted to learn more about, that I also saw a need to fill. So that's kind of where that came from. And of course, like Wendy said, you can do food photography.
There's some dieticians who work as journalists. Researchers, um, really [00:16:00] everything, which is why it is a cool profession. Um, because if you get bored of one thing or you're over one thing, there's something else that you can do. So that's kind of what a dietician is and where we work. And then now we're gonna talk about some of the pros and the cons of being a dietician.
Um, So the pro is really, like we said, endless career possibilities. Um, another big pro for me is the ability to accept insurance. So whereas a nutritionist cannot accept insurance, a dietician can't accept insurance and get paid, um, or you can do super bills and people can get reimbursed, especially if you are practicing what we call medical nutrition therapy.
So for things like diabetes or. Um, let's say Crohn's disease or an eating disorder, people can come to you and their insurance will pay for it. So that's amazing. And that was another reason why I wanted to become an r and d. And then of course, for [00:17:00] me, the biggest pro is being able to work for yourself hands down and have a business and impact people, um, and the opportunity to really live life and have your career on your own
Wendy Lopez: terms.
Yeah, absolutely. And also another big pro for me is that within the field, the dietetics, they're specialties. And so that's pretty cool because if there's anything that you're interested in, you know, when it comes to like the specialties that are offered, you can do trainings and then get a certification in that.
So for example, Justin and I are both diabetes. Educators, and that's a field, I mean, the science of nutrition is ever evolving, but especially with like diabetes, that's a field that is always changing. There's always new research coming out. There's more and more people being diagnosed with diabetes and we've always been like super passionate about diabetes care.
Just mentioned like she has family with diabetes. I, I feel like at this point everyone knows someone who has diabetes. [00:18:00] Or they might have diabetes themselves. And so we've had that certification and with that, we're able to provide specialized care. We're able to command more money when it comes to billing.
When it comes to, like, if you were to take on, um, a salaried position, you're able to command a bit more. Some other specialties include, uh, lactation. You can also do like lactation specialty. What are some of the other ones? Just yeah, women's health, women's health. There's a bunch of pt
Jessica Jones: o s I mean, literally every single health I'm seeing dieticians who, who focus on A D H D helping people with A D H D, I mean everyone we've had on the podcast, your hair care, um, nutritionist who is a dietician.
There's literally so much. And if you have a passion and interest in something, there is likely a community who needs that and needs evidence-based information because there's so much. Non-evidence based, bad information out there that we need more of [00:19:00] us to, yeah,
Wendy Lopez: just
Jessica Jones: take control of the narrative. Which brings me to the cons.
Number one con for me, just jump right into that is I feel like dieticians have lost control of the narrative. Um, and what I mean by that is, When we first started, there weren't that many dieticians online because there wasn't social media as we know it today. And it was kind of crazy to put yourself out there in that way online.
Um, and I didn't see many dieticians with blogs. I didn't see really many dieticians on Instagram. I wanna also, before I continue on, I wanna say that there were dieticians, just cuz I didn't see them, we're not the first, and I know some of y'all were out there like, Hey, Marissa Moore and Constance Brown rigs.
There were people out there, but, um,
Wendy Lopez: I.
Jessica Jones: Did not see many. And in school this was not a track. This was something that [00:20:00] we kind of just made up as we were going along. The reason I say that is because dieticians were not, um, eager to get out there in the online space and on Instagram. Other people kind of got there first and they.
Controlled the narrative on what nutrition is. They were the ones who are coming up with, you know, catchy, um, titles for themselves or coming up with gimmicks within the, in the nutrition space. And I feel like we were so focused on policing ourselves and getting everything perfectly that we kind of missed the boat and like, Didn't realize that the field of nutrition was getting taken over by a bunch of influencers, and some of them are [00:21:00] quacks, honestly.
So that I would say is a big con.
Wendy Lopez: Yeah. Yeah. And I think there's always been, you know, like. Before the internet, there's always been like wellness influencers that don't have credentials cuz within the Latino community, like there's so many mm-hmm. Where like they're, you know, like, they're like the YouTube videos and like the wonky articles that you see with social media, like, it just became insane.
Like the amount of like people who. We're able to, you know, put this information out there and make it more accessible information that isn't necessarily like evidence-based or isn't accurate, it isn't even really safe. Uh, and so, yeah, I think it just, you know, it created a lot more confusion for people.
Uh, and it created some challenges too, to being a dietician in this space because, A lot of times it [00:22:00] feels like there's so many different camps of dieticians in the online space that we're just all going against each other. And the primary message of like being helpful to people and providing information that's accurate has gotten completely lost.
Yeah. With all of this noise and you know, that's been like really frustrating. Um, Now, sorry, we can edit this. Josh, are we doing the, we're doing the cons right, right now? Yeah. We're still on the cons. Okay. For di, in terms of cons, another big one for dieticians like period, whether you're online or offline, especially offline, is that this is not a well paid career.
I hinted to this earlier, but like, It's just ridiculous. Like it's such an important part of healthcare. Um, and it's just not compensated well. I think partly because it is a profession that's [00:23:00] dominated by women. I think that's part of the reason why it's not paid well. Um, but just to give you an example, like I live in New York, one of the most expensive cities, period.
And. Some of these like job listing things that I see because now in New York, they made it so that you have to publicize, you have to publish the salary for jobs. So now I'm actually like seeing, you know, all the, all of the salaries for these like new dietician positions. And when I tell you it's like 60,000.
50,000. Oh wow. Like it's. Very low. And this is for someone who has like a master's degree in nutrition. I just, I told y'all earlier, all the things you have to go through to become a dietician and like, what, like 50, $60,000 to go through all of that. It just, it doesn't make any kind of sense. Um, and then even being in the online space, I think that it's, Especially [00:24:00] as a dietician, it's so important to become an entrepreneur or just to have different hustles going because how the hell are you gonna survive with that kind of salary?
Especially if you have a family and you're living in a city like New York. Mind you, if you're living in other places, it might be even lower. Um, so you have to start really getting creative with how you're bringing in money. Um, and what else was I gonna say about that? Um, How you bring money? Uh, damn, I lost my train of thought.
Um, all right. Whatever. We can add that, Josh. And also, like, it's a very demanding career, so like you're not getting paid well, but you're also working really long hours if you're working in clinical settings like. You're, you're already in a stressful environment cuz you're in a hospital, you're with patients who are going through a lot and so [00:25:00] quickly it leads to burnout.
Um, and, and that's like, that can just. You know that that's not good because you put in all that time, all that money to, you know, have this career and then, you know, within a few years, like you're not gonna compensate it. Well, you're putting in all this time. It's a recipe for disaster.
Jessica Jones: Yeah. And speaking of, uh, pay, my first job is.
A dietician, like official dietician, I was making $25 an hour and that was like 12 years ago. So the fact that you're still seeing jobs for that same Yes. Girl rate is, it's crazy. It's scary. It's given inflation. I mean, I had no benefits and I was contract and all the things, but even when I was working for the Department of Health while I was in school, I was making the same, I was still making.
Well, first $12 an hour and then $25 an hour. Anyways, neither here nor there. Yeah. Um, another problem with [00:26:00] nutrition is I feel like not only have dieticians lost the narrative or lost control of the narrative, but I don't think we're selling the narrative in a sexy way. And part of that is because moderation is boring or just like general balance or MyPlate, like those things are all boring.
In the attention economy where people wanna see salacious things or headlines or people wanna be fighting or say, saying outrageous things. Get you more views. Um, so I feel like with dieticians, because we are responsible, right? Because we don't want to say anything that could potentially be misinterpreted as inaccurate or not factual or there's not a million studies supporting it.
There's other people who are going to take. This information and they don't have the same ethics, so they can kind of maybe twist the story and sell it in a better way. [00:27:00] Um, I'll use, should I pause? Should I use Glucose Goddess as an example or No?
Wendy Lopez: I don't think you have to like say it. I'll say it. Okay.
Jessica Jones: I'll use a popular person who is now probably one of the most popular influencers surrounding blood sugar. I won't say any names, but um, this person.
Started three years ago, uh, with their account and now has over 2 million followers. And some of the stuff that they're saying, I don't know that the research fully supports it, but a lot of it, the research does support and it's things that dieticians have been saying for years, but yet we haven't really been saying it in as sexy of a way, or maybe we're not.
Fear mongering around these ideas. So it just doesn't sell as much. So that's why, why a dietician who maybe focuses on diabetes doesn't skyrocket in the same way that somebody who focus on, who focuses on diabetes but [00:28:00] isn't a dietician, is able to skyrocket. Cuz it's just, I don't know, there's more room to be creative with the data if you're not a
Wendy Lopez: dietician.
Yeah, and even though like being a dietician in an online space, it does open you up for more earning potential, more opportunity. It's also pretty unstable, like mm-hmm. If you're going that route, or even like us, like there's been times where we. You know, have other jobs and, uh, we are doing online work at the same time.
I feel like it's been a, you know, on and off journey. Like even myself right now I'm doing, I feel like we've, we're always doing like other work and then we're also doing like food heaven work online, but. You know, part of that is that you don't know when you're gonna make money. I mean, for us, things have been somewhat consistent for the past three to four years.
But being in this space, it's like you go through slow periods. During Covid, things were so up in the [00:29:00] air, it was like companies at one moment were like, oh, we're not spending any money because you know, we don't wanna be like promoting food products. People are dying and it just seems inappropriate. And then, Black Lives Matter happened and it was like all this money just suddenly, uh, you know, came in and they wanted to promote their, their product and work with like black influencers.
It's like bizarre how it works. So it's very unpredictable. Like you might go through months of not making any money. And then there might be months where you're just, you, you have a financial boom. And you know, for someone who appreciates stability like myself, that can be very anxiety. Interesting. It could be stressful.
You, you know, you can't just be like, oh yeah, I, I'm gonna ride this out for like the next two years, cuz you don't know what that's gonna look like. You kind of have to be very actively involved in the development of your business to make sure that. You know, you're gonna [00:30:00] keep making that money. It's not passive like a job where like, you know, you're working at a job, but you know that you're gonna be getting a paycheck, you know, every week or whatever, every month.
It's not like that with this. Yeah.
Jessica Jones: And now we're gonna get into our buy man,
Wendy Lopez: the juicy part, Josh Q Music.
Jessica Jones: So the interesting part, the part you're all been waiting for. How much money do you make? Okay, here it is. Are you ready
Wendy Lopez: for it? Then we're getting so
Jessica Jones: nervous. So, last week I misspoke when I said we made a couple hundred thousand dollars, um, because we actually made a few hundred thousand dollars and I had to go back and look the, through the financials.
So our total income in 2022 was $414,000. And our net income from that was [00:31:00] $82,000. And that is, um, after all expenses, keep in mind that our salary goes under an expense.
Wendy Lopez: Yeah, and I mean, keep in mind we expense everything. Expense everything. Yeah. We like try to max out our retirement account. Oh yeah, that too.
We. Right. Anything off that we can write off. And so, um, our overhead is not really that crazy because, um, it's just us and I that are, that are salaried and then we have some contractors. Um, but you know, we do write like our salary gets written off retirement. Um, some of the travel that we do, um, et cetera, et cetera.
Jessica Jones: And then to break that income down, and you can see from this why we are a little concerned, um,
Wendy Lopez: is,
Jessica Jones: oh, and by the way, this is also, it's probably was more than this, right? Because [00:32:00] I. For most of last year, we, well, at least half, we had an agency that we've worked for. So this is a, this is what's actually on our tax return. Mm-hmm. Um, because they subtracted the money that they take. So it's actually 15 to 30% more than this cuz also our podcast and stuff.
So these are the numbers that we got, if that makes any sense. Mm-hmm. Now we're managing ourselves. Um, but. From brands and speaking and campaigns, we made $312,000. Last year and that included, um, yeah, like our campaign with Aisha Tyler, our, all the social media posts that you see. Um, there's different ways dieticians make money.
We don't wanna bore you with the details, but, um, yeah, it's not always social media based. Like sometimes we'll do media tours or TV segments and things like that. Our podcast made a hundred thousand dollars, um, that we took home last [00:33:00] year and. Um, that's with all the podcast ads primarily. And we also sell a course on our website, our meal planning challenge, which made a whopping $2,000 last year.
So our income is mostly from brand partners and second from podcast. Um,
Wendy Lopez: and that's it. Yeah, we don't make money from our website. Nope. Um, we know a lot of, like a lot of our creator friends do, and they have the ads on the website and everything else. Uh, but that just hasn't really been our focus for a very long time.
We've been operating mostly like online, specifically on Instagram, and that's where we've been making most of our money. Mm-hmm. All right, so now we're gonna go through some of our expenses, just so you get an idea. Um, hold on. Let me just see.[00:34:00]
Okay. Where are our expenses?
Stop it. I'm sorry, Joshua. One second.
Um, Sorry, I'm not seeing our expenses.
Jessica Jones: Are they here? Oh, hold on.
Yeah, there it is.
Wendy Lopez: It's this, right? Yeah.
Jessica Jones: Like travel.
Wendy Lopez: Yeah. Okay. So in terms of our expenses, the main thing which we mention are like our salaries and our retirement accounts. Then we have contractors that we pay. Shout out to our amazing assistant, Chelsea. She's been working with us. And so like Chelsea, we have contractors who help us with different things.
Also travel. Justin and I travel quite a bit, and we might have to like shoot something or work [00:35:00] on a project. And so all of that, you know, gets factored into our expenses. You know, if we have to stay in a hotel, if we have to rent a car, et cetera, et cetera. Meals, um, equipment that we might need, like. You know, every few years we have to upgrade our phones to make sure that like the videos that we're doing look sharp.
You know, they look good. So that's like another expense. So things like that, they would all count as expenses.
Jessica Jones: Yeah. The other thing to keep in mind is that there are two of us, because I can see how. You might be like, oh, you made like 300 K in brown partnerships, or blah, blah blah. Yeah. Or even the podcast.
It sounds like a lot, maybe if you are not in the online space. I think we're people in the online space. Some of our friends, it's probably not even that much, but um, there's two of us, so everything has to get split. Yeah. And that's why we've always kind of had [00:36:00] to have another job as well. Um, So that we're able to cover our bills in these expensive cities.
Like I said, I just closed my private practice a couple months ago. Um, and we've enjoyed having other jobs too. Like I've enjoyed doing the counseling up until more recently when I realized I needed to shift a little bit and I was feeling burnt out. But yeah, it's not. As much as it sounds when you consider there are two of us, and like Wendy said, we have to put money away towards retirement.
We just started doing that, what, like a couple years ago? Mm-hmm. Like trying to put as much into retirement as we can. Yeah. So it really doesn't end up being that much in the scheme of things. However, I will say, you know, if you're, if you're someone who is making a lot less than that or you're living in a different state, Um, and expenses are lower or you have kids or all the things.
Um, yeah, I will just say that. Hold on, let me start that [00:37:00] over, but I don't wanna make it seem like it's no money at all cuz we are grateful and I. It is a good amount of money and I do feel like as dieticians, um, it's great to be able to make a living by doing stuff online and having, you know, a flexible schedule.
Still probably working more than a regular job, but it's nice that it can be kind of on our own terms, so that's amazing.
Wendy Lopez: Exactly. Yeah, it's, I mean, it's good. It's a good salary. You know, it's like I, I think our salary right now is 75,000 each that we pay ourselves. And then of course there's like all of the benefit because there's a lot of benefits that come, a lot of tax benefits that come with having your own business.
And so it's amazing that we can write things off like retirement accounts cuz it's like a lot of money that we're putting in that account and. We don't have to pay taxes on. So that is like a huge benefit, uh, among like many, many other things. There's a lot of tax loopholes, a lot [00:38:00] of incentives that you get when you have a business.
So we're able to, um, you know, really take advantage of all of that, which is really amazing. Um, right now we're at a place we've, we've done food heaven on and off. Full-time where we're like only working on food heaven not doing anything else. And then, you know, I feel like Justin and I are both like really ambitious and we're like, okay, well we wanna do this and we have these goals and that goals and we wanna buy a house or, you know, wanna do that.
And then we take on more work, uh, to be able to meet those goals. We probably could survive off, off of the food heaven salary, but it would be a little tight, you know. Um, so where we're at now is. How can we keep doing this in a way that feels sustainable and how can we scale it? Because, um, the great thing about doing your own thing is that you get to decide what you wanna do, right?
And how you wanna grow your [00:39:00] business. And we're at that point where we're just like, there has to be more than what we're currently doing. Now, and we really have to think outside of the box. And we have, we have a lot of ideas. We're never out of ideas, I'll tell you that. No, we're always like, oh, we can do this, we can do that.
We can do this. So now it's like, okay, we're, we have to like really hone in on what idea we're gonna go with and, and figure out how to take it to the next level and also figure out a way to, you know, to have that live on for. It's the foreseeable future because we've been doing this for 12 years. It's definitely time for, uh, you know, a big shift.
Yeah. Um, but yeah, like we're, Jess is. Gonna be 40. I'm in my late thirties. I feel like, you know, this next shift is pretty much gonna drive us right into retirement
pretty much better. [00:40:00] So we really gotta play our cars right and figure out what the hell we're doing. Um, You know, because this whole like, you know, just kind of like doing these like little changes here and there and like not really, uh, seeing it pay off in a big way is, you know. Yeah. It's not really the move that's not not doubling down.
Jessica Jones: Yeah. And I honestly feel too, it's like you start to reach a ceiling as well. Um, yeah, for sure. With the brand partnerships. Cause I feel like. It's not like you can, lemme start that over. It's not like you can continue to double and double and double and double with the brand partners. Like you reach kind of a ceiling.
I feel we're maybe close to that ceiling. I like 500 K to me feels
Wendy Lopez: like. I think so. Yeah. That's the
Jessica Jones: ceiling. Um, and, and also too, like Wendy said, it's not taking home that whole amount cuz we pay for so many different things, but. Yeah, I think [00:41:00] what we're gonna do next time is brainstorm some ideas that we've had, things that we are excited to work on, the different directions that we could go in.
Continue to please send us
Wendy Lopez: ideas cuz you guys have them. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. You've been sending us love, really great ideas and actually shout out to Eden who I went to college with. She sent us an idea and. We kind of took it around with it and now we're coming up with the whole plan around that. Um, so thank you all for sending us your business ideas.
Keep doing that cuz we're just like always open or we'll just kind of like incorporate it into like a bigger plan that we have or something like that. Yeah. So yeah, email us or dms or email us food npr gmail.com.
Jessica Jones: Yeah. The problem too is sometimes you're so close to the thing that there's obvious answers that you're not seeing.
Right? Right. And we're leaning on you for those obvious [00:42:00] answers because we're too close to the thing. Um, and we really wanna get back to why we decided to become dieticians in the first place. Like right. How can we still help the people who we wanna help? Improve their health, live better lives, maybe in a more direct way.
Not private practice though, um, or not like with us seeing the client's one-on-one anymore, cuz we kind of wanna do more of this strategy. How can we do that? So please, if you have an idea, d m s emails best like Wendy said. And yeah, we'll catch you next time where we're going to talk about
Wendy Lopez: the brainstorm.