"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
I read this quote not long ago in a blog that had nothing to do with birth or doulas. At the time I pondered my reaction to the quote. I like to go fast and I like to get stuff done, so the first part of this phrase really resonated with me. Then a few a weeks later I saw this quote again, also someplace unrelated to my work life. However, I had recently been in a conversation about the benefits of doulas choosing certification (rather than just attending a weekend workshop and not completing the other requirements). This time, my reaction was very different because I immediately made a connection to sustainability and doula work.
If you know anything about BEST Doula Training, it is that the S in BEST stands for sustainability and we really do consider it to be one of the most important things that a doula can learn in training. If a doula does not learn how to create a sustainable practice she will not doula long and she and her community will have lost something as she leaves the profession. Sustainability is built in so many ways, but one of the big ones is NOT GOING IT ALONE.
Doulas Standing Together
What does that mean? We are not talking about sisterhood, but we want you to have an organization of doulas who stand with you, who always have your back and who are walking with you as you go places in your doula life. I see so many doulas shunning certification because of various reason. Maybe the $75 recert fee feels onerous to them, or maybe they don't like certain organizations philosophies, but mostly I think they just don't see the point. And I get that because I felt the same way for a long time.
I become a certified doula from the start of my career over a decade ago. However, I can't even recall the name of my trainer and we certainly never once had a personal conversation about my career goals. I am not complaining about what I did receive, but I did always want MORE. I wanted to love my organization like I love my college alma mater (Furman University anyone? FU all the time!) I wanted to wear the T-shirt and put the sticker on my car. because I am that kind of loyal to my people. However that didn't happen. There was no MORE. Me and my cert org - we weren't going to be going together to places. I would be on my own.
But over time, have found that when you work with other doulas, something magical happens. Some of the weight of doing it all gets lifted off your shoulders. Your doula certification should commit to joining you in a shared vision, a sustainable practice and yes, help you carry the load of so many of the things that you may have been doing yourself. And you should go places together - places where doulas change the world and make it better.
Unfortunately, so many new doulas are surrounded by people who doubt and even criticize. They say, "you charge too much", "you are serving the wrong people and using the wrong words", "you are out of scope" and "You should really try the the Miles Circuit." And yes, sometimes these voices have wisdom but without knowing each other there is no accountability in their words nor can they see your path. But what if your doula trainer was a trusted mentor who could say "you know, I don't think that pricing is quite right for your market or for where you want to be in a year" based on what she knows about you and your goals? What if your doula trainerswere your biggest fans?
Best Doula Training
When Amanda and I created BEST Doula Training, we did not want doulas to have to do it all on their own. We wanted every doula that we trained to have access to us. We made sure that our program provides things like business paperwork, on going mentorship, stock photography and lots of other tools that promote our doulas. Our social media accounts are always available for our doulas to have their events, promotions and awards published. Our biggest job is to work for our BEST doulas and, as Amanda and I train every person that comes through the doula program, we know the doulas and no one is a nameless face in a crowd.
When someone helps you carry the load, you can go further for longer. I hope that you have the opportunity to experience this support and sense of belonging as you grow your doula business.Whatever your goals, we’re here to help you achieve them and BEST would love to go places with you!