Opening a small business has been the most difficult thing I've ever done. By far. But it's been about a year, and I've been reflecting on how far the agency has come.
I initially started my business by accident. I was just going to start attending births for money. It was really that simple at first. Then I created my contract, realized I needed a website, etc. Suddenly, I became a small business owner. Being unprepared for that role made me resent it quickly. I didn't have the money to start a business, and I had no idea what I was doing. I was overwhelmed.
So I decided to look into other options. I started working as an independent contractor for another local doula agency. It was a wonderful agency, run by an inspiring owner. After only a few months, though, I realized that I did have a vision for what I wanted my birth doula work to look like: activism.
So I came back to it, and I built a team of people that I kne
w had the same vision. That absolutely changed everything. Kate, Mara, and Ashley are individuals that are motivated to make change by supporting and advocating for families. They push and inspire me to keep making the business flourish. I'm so lucky to have them.
That all being said, here are the highlights from the past month
1. Kate and I went to two prenatal appointments for the first clients we secured together, and I got to attend the birth! It was so beautiful! The first-time parents rocked it, and were able to have the birth story they were hoping for :)
2. Kate and I secured our second client and attended the first prenatal appointment. Another set of first-time parents ready to welcome a baby girl!
3. The team met bi-weekly to discuss client needs, marketing, community outreach, and our activist goals.
4. We had a meeting with Affirmations in Ferndale, and we'll be hosting two events in their space to share that we're an affirming agency, excited to work with LGBTQIAP families!
5. We met with a volunteer clinic escort to talk about abortion doula needs. We'll be helping her test the waters of abortion doula services. We're SUPER excited about this!
6. We started planning a community action group that will be dedicated to the fight for reproductive justice. Ashley has a background of leading a similar feminist organization, and we really want to get like-minded individuals involved in the movement. This is really starting to make my vision come to life - as much as I want to be a reputable business, I want to promote lasting change.
So, I'm doing doula related stuff at least two nights per week (not including random things I'm consistently doing outside of in-person stuff) while working my full-time job. But I'm full. There are times when I'm very aware that I need a break, and I don't always take care of myself in the ways I know I should. However, we live in a society where we groan when we think about our busy lives, but I don't find myself doing that. This business has been a wonderful reminder that if you're doing what you love, busy won't feel so bad.