Dietetic Career Spotlight on Megan Ware, Nutrition Awareness
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on MARCH 14, 2016
Megan Ware, RDN, LD, is a fabulous example of a hard-working, innovative entrepreneur who has made her own successful career path. Megan has used her perseverance, determination, and strong work ethic to establish a fruitful nutrition business which communicates well with both clients and other nutrition professionals. Read on to learn her inspiring story. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
When I was playing sports in high school, I noticed in my after school practices that some days I was at the head of the pack and other days I was severely lagging. I brought it up to my conditioning coach and he told me to start paying attention to what I was eating for lunch. Before that, I had made no connection between what I ate and how I felt or performed. I noticed the burger and fry or nachos and chocolate chip cookie days were the days I felt tired and sluggish. I started using my lunch money to grocery shop for the week and packing my own lunch and of course, I felt better and performed better.
It’s still amazing to me how long it takes athletes to make that association between fuel and performance or even for the adult with a desk job to realize that what they are eating is why they feel so low on energy. I love that it’s my job to help them make that connection.
Your Job Title?
Entrepreneur, Registered Dietitian
Company you are with now?
My private practice, Nutrition Awareness
Other Social Media links you would like to include:
– Twitter: @meganwarerd
– Instagram: @nutritionawareness
– Facebook: facebook.com/meganwarerd
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I’m in my office seeing clients. I don’t keep a regular schedule—I could have an appointment as early as 7am or as late as 7pm. I rent office space in a building with other health professionals—mental health counselors, a sex therapist, and a life and career coach. It’s great because although we all own our own businesses, we’ve got a team to bounce ideas off of, refer to, etc. Tuesdays and Thursdays are spent writing—either for Medical News Today or working on my book, preparing for presentations or interviews or working on the “boring” side of the business: financials and marketing. I typically end up working 10 or 12-hour days with breaks for exercise and cooking mixed in. Some days (like yesterday) I recognize that I need a mental break and went to volunteer at my local animal shelter for a few hours. I work hard during the week so my weekends are mine. I try to not even check email!
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
I created it! I got my first job out of my internship at a large hospital and worked as a clinical dietitian for about 2 years and started my business on the side at the same time. In 2012, I quit my job, moved across the country with my boyfriend and started Nutrition Awareness full-time.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I don’t know if I would call it a skill, but I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t think differently. I don’t follow rules or do the “conventional” thing. I don’t think you need 10 years experience before you start your own practice. I don’t let what others do or have done define what I’m going to do. I thrive on change and constant learning and I think that has helped me in the entrepreneur world. I’ve learned along the way that I can’t be everything to everyone and I am not the best person for every job. I’ve also learned that things that I thought I would love in theory (like teaching cooking classes and grocery store tours) are much more stressful and uncomfortable for me than they’re worth.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Don’t be afraid to carve your own path. If you are just following what everyone else is doing, you are always going to be behind the curve. Be true to yourself, your goals, your needs and your wants. Don’t use an idealistic version of happiness to dictate what you want. Define what happiness looks like for you, then make it happen.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
That’s easy—vacations and high-end grocery store gift cards so I don’t have to budget.