My RD Journey

From Undergrad -> Internship -> RD -> Private Practice!


Why I Made the Jump to Private Practice

It has been an exciting few weeks for me since I decided to make the jump into full-time private practice! In 3-weeks, I will be leaving the comfort of my full-time job and jumping head first into my ultimate long-term goal of being my own boss. This decision has been years in the making; however, some new work moments really got me thinking into what I REALLY want. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my full-time job; however, I was starting to feel stagnant. I am definitely one to constantly be challenging myself and trying to move upwards. Unfortunately, there was no good opportunity for me to do so anymore.

About 2 years ago I started PorrazzaNutrition; however, I didn’t “officially” start until I began accepting insurance last year. I felt like that was when I really started to get some more clientele. I hit sort of a wrench in the road with being in a car accident, so I didn’t go out and advertise or facilitate partnerships until a few months ago. I slowly started building up a client basis after my medical issues were out of the way (and I finished grad school) and landing some long-term contract work. Funny though, because once I finished school in August I thought I would have all of this time to read and relax. Instead, I just filled that time with more contract work and clients. Ten to 12 hour days, minimal time to do much for myself, and feeling overwhelmed majority of the time, sounds about right. I started to reach a point mentally and physically where I just couldn’t continue to do both jobs and with some work issues going on, I realized that what I really wanted was to work for myself. I couldn’t wait for the days where I could return phone calls that day instead of 2 days out. Or NOT writing things on my to-do list 4x since I just couldn’t get to it! Thinking about going full-time private practice and actually doing it were two totally different ball games though. Sure I had clients, billed insurance, tracked expenses, etc, etc, etc; however, I didn’t actually know how it felt to be on my own with no one saying what I needed to do. I only had myself to blame if I failed. Cue the panic! All I kept thinking to myself,  “What are you doing?! Are you sure you should do this?!” My answer, “YES.”

To make the transition easier, I thought I would go for a part-time job to have a steady source of income. I ended up getting offered a position that said they would be flexible with my schedule. So, sounds like a no-brainer, right? Well, in reality I would be adding on about an hour of travel each day. Twenty-four hours a week just became 30 hours a week. So, I am leaving a full-time job for 10-hours extra to work on my business and grow? The more I thought about it, the more I said, “Just DO IT. JUMP.” Okay, I’ll be honest, I took a lot of input from my boyfriend and dad (and reading from other RDs. In the end, I decided that I can slowly rip off the bandaid and do what seems comfortable by getting a part-time gig OR I could just rip that bad boy off and jump in with no life jacket. Good thing I know how to swim. HAHA. I am all about cheesy jokes and analogies today 🙂

The reality is, I have been planning for this moment. I have saved practically everything I made to be able to have a cushion to rely on if I flounder for a bit before getting my footing once I am on my own. I also made a plan of attack for the things I want to accomplish once I actually have some more time. I followed up with contacts of mine who I am working with already to let them know I will have more availability. The awesome part about that is I actually had a new opportunity arise from one of my contacts because I was able to do more things! I knew I was at the point where I was ready to continue to grow my business and I couldn’t do so working a full-time job. It feels especially weird for me since a lot of my friends are trying to find full-time jobs for a steady income and benefits and here I am leaving that  willingly.

Anyways, while I am sitting here working on my list of things to do for tomorrow, I thought to myself that I need to write this blog because maybe there is another dietitian out there thinking about jumping in to private practice and needs the extra push. While some people may not understand my position or goals, that doesn’t matter to me. What I know is that this is exactly what I want. It is going to be hard and stressful; however, so was billing insurance companies for the first time and guess what, now I can bill in less than 2 minutes without having to hire someone to do it for me. With anything, there is always going to be a learning curve, stress, moments where you want to give up, and times where you think you made the wrong choice. I feel like the key to my success in any “failure” or time of of thinking “What did I get myself into” is to just pick myself up, LEARN, continue to grow, and remember WHY I chose to do this.