Never considered yourself a business person?
Many of us find we’ve become “accidental entrepreneurs”. We follow our passion and then realise that in order to actually have clients and make an income doing the work we love, we need to learn the business side too.
But business can feel yucky, confusing, overwhelming or just downright scary.
So, I spoke with Rebecca Wright, a doula, healer, child-birth mentor and trainer. She has a background in academia and is now working in a field which practitioners invariably enter for love, not money, so I wanted to know how she has been able to embrace the business side.
Here’s her inspirational story.
“A doula doesn’t run a business”
Rebecca sees her business as her way of fulfilling her calling: to support women in birth, and support those wounded around birth. But it didn’t always feel comfortable.
I remember when I was at grad school, someone said scornfully, “You wouldn’t go into business, would you?” There was this thing that business was yucky. I realised I had these underlying beliefs: An intellectual doesn’t run a business. A doula doesn’t run a business.
I now understand that I have to embrace business, and that earning money is actually necessary for being of service.
“We’re missing a big piece”
Does business feel like a mystery to you? Rebecca can identify with that, saying:
For a lot of us, we love what we do but hold the business side at arm’s length. We think: “I’ve decided what I want to do, I’ve put a website up… that should be it! People will come.” And then we’re sitting there wondering why people aren’t coming.
I didn’t understand the process. Business was alien to me, opaque. I was missing the structure. I didn’t even know there was something to learn or that someone could teach me.
There are lots of courses out there and lots of people who can teach business, but I needed something that fit with the fact that my work is a personal calling and it’s about service. Not every course would have been a good match for that.
I got to know Rebecca because she was a beloved member of the Turn Your Passion to Profit group course. I asked what difference the course made for her.
Without Passion to Profit, I think I would still be afraid of the business side. I’d recommend P2P to anyone like me: if you love the work you’re doing, feel really called to that work, but don’t have the business skills. You don’t have the understanding of business, or you fear business, or hate the idea of putting yourself out there.
I asked Rebecca who she felt the Passion to Profit course was not a good fit for.
It’s not for you if you want a quick fix. If you’re not really committed to running your business and learning and putting things into action, it won’t be a match. Business takes work! The fact of signing up for a course doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. You’ve got to take the steps. It’s easy to say, “Yes, I understand”. It’s harder to actually go and do it.
Helping more people
What difference does it make to be supported along this journey? I asked Rebecca about the power of like-minded allies.
Being in that group pushed me to do things I wouldn’t have dared to do otherwise: a public in-person event, two public calls. People aren’t used to this in the birth scene – it’s hard being the person doing something new so it’s good to have group support.
Of course I still have blocks and things to work with around money and business, but now, my business has become part of me. I feel strongly that business is a way of fulfilling my calling. I now see it’s not egotistical to be promoting your business; in fact, it’s an act of service.
I’m running my Heart Healing for Mothers programme again and I feel super proud and happy. The women in it are awesome, a perfect group has come together, and the evolution of my own work makes this round a whole new beautiful adventure.
Corrina – thank you again so much. There’s still a long way to go – I consider myself a work in progress! – but without the support, I would never have had the confidence to go this far.
Rebecca’s a wonderful example of bravely taking a stand within an industry where people do great work but often don’t have the marketing know-how to reach more of the clients they long to help. In fact, she’s gone on to create the Deepening Into Birth Work programme, to support other doulas along their business path.
And she’s recently been nominated for a Butterfly Award – congratulations, Rebecca, and all the best!
Over to you
What beliefs are there in your industry about business? Does marketing feel alien to you? Have you been able to overcome your colleagues’ disapproval of you earning a healthy income doing helping/healing work? Leave a comment below, let us know.
Time to embrace business?
If you’re ready to help more people, then it’s time to learn the How To of great marketing, plus the most powerful mindset for enrolling a steady stream of clients. Click here for full details of the Turn Your Passion to Profit programme.
P.S. PASS IT ON.
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© Corrina Gordon-Barnes 2013