You don’t have to (and probably shouldn’t try to) do all these things this week. Start with the first one and pick one or two you can do soon.
First, take stock of where you are
Take a few minutes and some paper. Write down a summary of where you are in your doula career, and remember what you originally wanted. Do you still want that? Are you there? Write down at least three things you’ve accomplished and are proud of. Then think about where you want to be in a year. Are you track? Are there things you are doing that are not getting you there? Write them down and see if you can eliminate then, delegate them, or outsource them. What things could you do with more regularity? Write those down. Then look at the rest of this list and pick something(s) to do.
Reevaluate your pricing
One of the best determinants of success is knowing and believing in your worth. Take a look at your pricing and your expenses. Make sure you’re covering your expenses and bringing home money to your family. It’s okay to make a profit! Even if you’re new to doula work, remember that no one can tell you what to charge, and all doulas (including you!) deserve a living wage!
Review and update your web site
Is your web site working for you? Take some time to read over every single page. Update things that need updating. Blog a time or two. Swap out old pictures for new ones, change your colors, or otherwise spruce it up a bit. If you use WordPress, and want to try adding new functionality to your web site, check out My Favorite WordPress Plugins Want to start a WordPress site, check out Which WordPress for my Doula Site?
Make new connections in your community
Is there someone you have always wanted to connect with? Another doula, a midwife, lactation consultant? Take the chance and reach out and get to know them.
Plan for some continuing education
Search for local conferences or workshops that might expand your skills and connections, or budget and start saving to attend a larger national or international conference.
Identify and work around obstacles
What is your biggest obstacle? What are other things that trip you up? I identify them, name them. Write them down and create a plan to work around them.
Add a service
If you’re feeling confident and the whole doula thing is going well for you, then maybe it’s time to think about adding something new to your services. Maybe that’s childbirth classes. Maybe lactation consulting. Or belly casting. Meal delivery services. Photography. Whatever you have interest and ability to add.
Take an online class
Obviously I suggest my doula business classes, but there are other options out there as well. If you’re looking to improve your marketing, build a WordPress web site, or build a new doula business, I’ve got a class for you!
Take time for self care
It’s not all about work! (It’s also not all bubble baths and massage, either!) Take time to care for yourself as well, and invest in time with your family and friends. I’ve written more about what self care for doulas is here.
Join an accountability group
Get 3-4 people together and start an accountability group for your businesses or careers. They don’t have to be doulas, and in fact, sometimes the perspective of someone outside the field is nice. Share your goals with each other, and check in with each other regularly – I recommend at least weekly. This could be in a group text message, a Facebook group, or a weekly lunch. Or any combination. My favorite experience with an accountability group was one where we emailed at least weekly and met up for lunch once a month. Having other people aware of your goals and cheering you on cam make a huge difference!