Ana Reisdorf RD | I quit my Dietitian practice!

[REAL ENTREPRENEURS] My Patients Were Draining Me…So I Quit My Dietitian Practice!

Welcome to post #7 of the REAL ENTREPRENEURS blog series.

I’ve been featuring Health & Wellness entrepreneurs who are at various stages of their entrepreneurial journey.

They’re sharing where they’re at right now! It will be real, raw, and unfiltered – just as life should be, when you’re grabbing it by the lemons, that is 😉

All of the posts in this series can be searched under the CASE STUDY category.

A Dietitian’s Story: My Patients Were Draining Me… So I Quit My Practice!

Hi! I’m Ana and I am a writer – but once upon a time, I had a thriving practice as a Registered Dietitian.

I have been wanting to say that for years, but it always seemed like a dream that would happen “someday”. One day I would write the next “Eat, Pray, Love” and hit it big.

Back in the day, I didn’t realize being a writer could be MUCH more than just writing a novel.

But, life happened, I became interested in health and nutrition, so I ended up going to school to become a Registered Dietitian. I have been an RD for 11 years now.

Ana Reisdorf, MD RD | A Dietitian's Story: My Patients Were Draining Me, So I Quit My Practice

I started out so excited to be an outpatient counselor helping people lose weight. I was so passionate about that job, at the beginning I said I would have gladly done it for free. How naïve I was!

After about two years, I was emotionally drained from outpatient counseling. I didn’t realize that I would be dealing with psychological problems, not nutrition problems.

Although I loved my patients, I wanted to help them TOO much. When they didn’t change or do what I said, it was devastating for me.

My job also had a lot of politics and in-fighting between the staff. It was exhausting for me, I kept dreaming of having my own business so I could get away from it all, but didn’t really know how or what.

Shortly thereafter, a position opened up in clinical nutrition within the same company, so I jumped to that, thinking I could get away from the drama.  It was a nice challenge at first, but after another two years, I was over it again.

I hated having to “clock hours” just for the sake of meeting a certain hourly requirement. Computer charting made the job repetitive, I felt like I was a monkey pushing keys all day.

(Not to mention once again the constant fighting among coworkers and general workplace drama I just couldn’t stand!)

I needed to get out, but I was just too scared.

I didn’t know how to make it work. Friends and coworkers encouraged me to step outside the box with my career, but I had no idea how to even begin.

In 2012, for several personal and career-related reasons, I took a three-month leave of absence…to Brazil! While I was there I did yoga on the beach, took long walks, and figured things out.

During that time, I was communicating with another RD I had met online who told me she was traveling all over the world, working remotely, and supporting herself with freelance writing.

I knew this was my way out. With her guidance, I was able to land a few paying jobs as a nutrition writer and I loved it!

Finally, reality set in and I had to return from my self-discovery tour in Brazil. Over the next few years, I wrote on and off while doing many other things in my career. I still had a dream of making writing a full-time job, but I needed health benefits and a stable income.

Ana Reisdorf, MS RD Quote | Making Lemonade

When my first son was born at the end of 2015, I finally had my “excuse” to quit my job.

It was the perfect time because some of the financial pressures had been removed, I had my husband’s income to pay for the basics of daily living. I was determined to make what my husband called a “hobby” into a real job.

In my first month back at “full time” writing, I made $120. That’s it.

In January 2017, I was struggling. I applied for every job I saw. But, I kept at it.

I worked on my social media presence.

I networked with people on LinkedIn and Facebook.

I was determined to make writing work or else I would have to go back to a traditional RD job at some point, which I really didn’t want to do.

But by January 2018, I had built my business enough (while being pregnant most of 2017 and having a toddler) that I replaced my full-time RD income.

It took a year of hard work to get to where I could finally say it was no longer a hobby. I proved to my husband (and myself) that I could make real money writing. And now I can call myself a writer because I am.

Since then my income has grown every month. Now, I have a team of other writers that work for me. My business is continuing to expand. I don’t have to deal with in-fighting between coworkers or be bored doing the same thing every day.

My schedule is my own. I can take time off when I want and prioritize what is important to me.

In July 2018, I wanted to share what I have learned so far to help others get out of the 9-5 rut. I created a guide for other RDs and nutrition professionals to help them get started with freelance writing as a source of income.

(psst… grab it with the link below!!)

Yes, I work hard. Yes, it can be stressful sometimes to juggle it all. I am not always sure where the next job will come from. As a freelancer, I have to always be looking for work.

But, I wouldn’t go back to the security and boredom of a full-time job.

The entrepreneur life is the life for me. I became an RD because I wanted flexibility and the RD credential gave me the opportunity to create a career that was my own.

Ana Reisdorf, MS RD bioAna Reisdorf is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and runs a successful writing company. She enjoys sharing her knowledge of all things nutrition as an author, writing for a variety of online publications.

When she’s not at her laptop, she can usually be found trying to wrangle her unruly boys and loving life in Nashville, TN.

Connect with Ana on socials!