Each month, I will introduce you to a public health consultant or entrepreneur and they will share their path to self-employment and outline key pieces of advice for aspiring business owners.
Today we welcome Megan Faletra from Woodstock, VT!
1. Please share your educational background and business title/name.
Master of Science (MS), Master of Public Health (MPH), Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
Founder, Public Health Dietitian and Sustainability Advocate for The Well Co.
2. Tell us how you entered the field of public health and what your education and work experience was prior to consulting.
For as long as I can remember I have always been interested in our global food system and environment, which is what propelled me to pursue a MS in International Food Policy and a MPH in Global Health from Tufts University. During that time I also studied and trained to become a Registered Dietitian and while those five years were incredibly hard work, they provided me with a unique perspective on how our global health and environmental issues are connected today, and how global citizens everywhere can be leading voices in changing how our public health and environmental health is impacted.
Before founding my own company and heading off on my entrepreneurial path I worked in food security research in Central America, and on water security program development in the Middle East. I also helped implement a Young Women’s Empowerment Program in Malawi and through all my non-profit programmatic work and research I learned just how powerful community advocates are for creating significant change in their local communities. Through my international experience I developed a deep passion for improving awareness and action for equity in our global food system and the role that strategic and empowered communications can have in influencing individual action to create immense change.
3. When did you start consulting and what were your motivations for pursuing self-employment?
After working internationally on a variety of non-profit and research based roles, I personally knew that if I was going to make the impact I hoped to make then I would need to start my own company that would be capable of bridging the gap between public health and sustainability research, and the general public’s willingness and ability to take action towards positive change.
I also always felt drawn to entrepreneurship, there are many entrepreneurs in my family and as someone who feels very strongly about creating a successful business that can support more family and make the impact I wish to leave on this world, I knew that I would need flexibility to be creative and adapt to life’s changes as they arise. While entrepreneurship in many ways is much harder than I ever imagined, the freedom to create the life and impact you desire is endless, and that I will never take for granted.
4. Who is your ideal client? What services do you offer?
My ideal clients are advocacy networks, and for-profit social enterprises with a strong social impact mission aimed at changing the way consumers view the world and their impact on it.
I also reach direct to consumer through my sustainability and health education website The Well Essentials, which reaches over 1.5 million people monthly through my combined web and social channels. My consumer clients are some of my most exciting as they work through my online courses or simply implement the free sustainability and public health education I often provide on my website and social media channels. Through my consumer clients I am able to see just how powerful engaged citizens can be in creating significant change on their own health, and the health of their local communities, and that is where I see my role as a public health consultant and educator being most influential and rewarding.
5. What is your favorite type of project to work on and why?
I love working on social impact consumer education campaigns that usually fall within the realm of sustainable food system or environmental public health education. I personally believe that public health professionals can make a huge impact consumer action through strategic communications that reach consumers where they are at and enable them to feel empowered in their actions and choices.
6. Many of our readers are considering a career as a self-employed public health consultant or entrepreneur. What is your best piece of advice for those considering or just starting out?
Know that where you think you want to go with your company and business when you first set out will most likely be quite different from where you end up 5 years down the line. So much of entrepreneurship is about learning how to lean in to what is thrown your way and constantly be willing to adapt to changes in your business that allow for sustainability in the long run. Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur, but if you believe that you are, then you have to believe in yourself more than anyone else, and trust that with time you will be able to create a business and a lifetime you can feel incredibly proud of.
7. How can readers connect with you? Please share links to relevant websites and social media accounts:
The best way for readers to connect with me is over on instagram where I spend the most time educating and engaging with my readers and audience.