The new year is right around the corner. Most of us do our best to find some time in these holiday weeks to take a little time out from life and enjoy a break from our regular responsibilities, but right now, when there is still a bit of time left, is the time when we should be taking a little time to focus on setting goals for the coming year and making plans for how to achieve them (don’t worry, there is time for fun and relaxation AND for planning).
Some people are used to making their own goals and itineraries to manage everything they need to get done. But some of us are more used to following directions from others—we are good at accomplishing tasks and solving problems, but we are used to someone else being the boss. Here’s the thing, though: if you want to run your doula practice as a business, that means you have to be the boss now. And your business is far more likely to grow and do well if you have a plan for how to make that happen.
If you have never run a business before, tackling everything involved may seem overwhelming, so the first thing to do is take a deep breath and remind yourself that you can do it. The world is already full of people running businesses, large and small. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be one of them!
Running a business can get pretty complicated, but at the end of the day you can boil the whole process down to two elements: setting goals and making plans. Then, of course, you have to do the work to make them happen—that’s the hard part. But if your goals are clear and well-defined, and your plans are detailed and realistic, they can take you where you want to be.
There are lots of great resources to help you set goals and make plans if you aren’t even sure where to begin. The Business 101 course at IDLM is a great place to start because it focuses specifically on running a doula business with all its unique aspects, and Anna, Pam, and other instructors and members of the IDLM community are always happy to share their expertise and help you find answers to whatever specific questions you might have.
You can find lots of helpful information by looking through the Events tab on The Movement App. Through the Movement, IDLM offers free mentoring to all IDLM students and graduates, as well as monthly training sessions like the recent CE (Continuing Education) Night presentation by Heather Harmon, which was all about business planning, how to set goals and form effective strategies for meeting them. Reviewing past CE Night recordings can also be a good way to get new ideas or brush up if you feel like you need to review some concepts.
It may not be easy and it may not end up being exactly like you thought it would be, but if you want it and you put in the work and the time, you can absolutely have a financially successful doula practice. Spend some time in the next few weeks thinking about where you would like to take your business in the coming year, and figuring out ways to get it there. And remember—baby steps! You don’t have to do everything, you just have to do the next thing. And you have your whole IDLM family right here, ready to support you.