Heading back to work after maternity leave can be challenging enough, but for Tara Roscioli, it was devastating. Shortly after she returned from having her son, she lost her job.

Since then, she has built her own wellness brand, Highway 2 Well, based in Millburn, New Jersey, replete with a fitness studio and a healthy meal-delivery service. Here, she shares how she overcame her career setback and found the inspiration to create a thriving business.

A TURNING POINT

About nine years ago, I was working at a law firm as a legal recruiting and marketing director. I had been in that position for a number of years. Two days after I came back from maternity leave, I learned that the firm had eliminated my position.

When I lost my job, I felt betrayed and scared. I had just become a mother, and now I was going from having a six-figure salary to no salary at all. Plus, my son had been born 10 weeks early, and my husband and I had concerns about our baby’s health.

At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I felt like the universe was trying to tell me something.

The truth is, I always knew I was not meant to be an attorney. I started to realize that the stress of my job and the dynamic at that firm was probably one of the reasons I had my son 10 weeks early. I wasn’t healthy, either physically or emotionally.

THE SPARK OF A NEW DREAM

Fortunately, my husband was supportive. He suggested that I pursue something I was more interested in. I started out by getting certified as a Pilates instructor. Over the course of about four years, I went from teaching Pilates to becoming a certified health coach and nutrition counselor to co-founding a fitness studio, Align Wellness.

At Align, I would sometimes offer to cook my customers’ food for them, which led to a whole new business for me. It’s called Meals 2 GLO, an organic and plant-based meal delivery service. We now serve clients across the New York and New Jersey area.

Today, I do things that set my soul on fire. In addition to launching Meals 2 GLO, I’ve enrolled at a local university to earn my master’s in nutrition science. And I co-authored a book, Clean Cocktails: Righteous Recipes for the Modern Mixologist, which was published in December. The basic idea is, drinking alcohol isn’t necessarily healthy. But if you’re going to drink, you can do it in a smart fashion — using fresh fruit juices and vegetable purees, and leaving behind the artificial colors and refined sugars.

Contrary to what we’re often taught, I’ve come to realize that there is absolutely no glory in being stuck in a business or profession that you are not happy with. You have to find something that you’re passionate about, or else you’ll be miserable — and everyone around you will be, too.

And when you find that something you feel passionately about? You can parlay that into anything you want.

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