Two years ago, one of my friends turned me onto The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris, and it rocked my world. It hit me at a great time; I was in the process of making a major business transition and I used the concepts in Tim's book to basically build an entirely new business from the ground up. I wanted to shift from the one-to-one model to the one-to-many model so that I could impact far more people and fulfill my mission
of inspiring the world to be proactive about their health. Here are some of the most signif cant things I have learned and implemented this past year.

Hire a virtual assistant (VA) to leverage your time. My rule is, if someone can do it better, faster or cheaper than me, they are hired! The natural place to start is with a bookkeeper and/or an administration person.

Pick a niche. This may feel like it is limiting you, but in reality it will explode your business as it differentiates you and allows you to target your marketing.

Create leverage through the use of audio, video and transcriptions. Anything I say repeatedly gets recorded and packaged for use with clients, in ebooks or as free giveaways for marketing.

Keep the relationship going. Send out a weekly e-zine to your clients and potential clients. Keep it short, simple and fun, and be sure you give great content.

Monetize your speaking engagements. One of the best ways I have found to build my business is through public speaking. I now make sure that each time I speak, I make an irresistible offer to the audience
so that they will want to get started on my program on the spot.

Master your return on investment (ROI). This was a bit painful at first, but I now know where every dime is made and spent in my business. I know who are my highest-return clients and market to more of them, and activities that are sucking up my time get DELETED or outsourced to a VA.

Hire a coach. Your business can never become bigger than you are. In order to grow your business, you need to invest in it and treat it like the big business you want it to become. This past year, I joined a mastermind group with Ali Brown and also coached with Lisa Sasevich, and they helped me reach the high six figures in my first year of business.

JJ Virgin, PhD, CNS, ACSM-HFI, is a celebrity nutrition and fitness expert. Her new book, Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy, published by Simon and Schuster,just hit the stands on May 11. She is the co-star of TLC's new reality show Freaky Eaters and the president of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. She can be reached at


How much of your time would you estimate you spend growing your business?