Meet Shandelle, Doula Canada’s Public Relations Officer, mom and Doula Extraordinaire. Today Shandelle is sharing her strategies for making a big move with your business in a new community.

For those of you who don’t know, I moved my family to Nova Scotia, from Newfoundland, in the Fall of 2017.  This may not seem like a big deal to some, but to my husband and I, this was like jumping out of an airplane at 10 000 ft and hoping our parachutes were working. We were moving on a hope and prayer that Nova Scotia would be better for our children, for our skin (we needed less snow), our marriage, and most of all, my doula career.  

Skip ahead to being here and having three clients booked, and still not knowing anyone in the birth world, AT ALL!  I had to bite the bullet and begin to get my face, and my name out there. I may seem like an outgoing person, but really, it’s all a great acting job most days.  

The doula community in Newfoundland is small. It’s a tight knit group who supported each other. In Nova Scotia, the numbers were much larger.  I had it in my mind that it wouldn’t welcome a new doula, would find me competition, and that I would be going through my journey alone. Boy was I wrong!

I started to make a list of people and places to contact.  

  1. Midwives
  2. Doula Canada Doulas
  3. Other Doulas I would see on Facebook
  4. Baby/Pregnancy geared stores
  5. Other health professionals

Back in my management days I read a great book called Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy.  It talks about tackling the hardest tasks first.  By procrastinating, it only makes the task harder.  So that’s what I did. I started at the top. I will not bore you with all the details, but let’s just say, I am so glad I put myself out there.

One of the things I noticed, is that a lot of people feel just like me and were so happy I reached out.  I have met so many doulas this past year. Experienced doulas who I strive to be like, new doula’s who love that someone is willing to help them, and those who just want to chat and have a coffee or glass of wine.

I also started reaching out to health professionals and asked about sitting on boards at the hospitals.  Many hospital boards have a space for a Patient and Family Advisor. Check that out! They may not be boards that have anything to do with birth, pregnancy or the postpartum care of mom and baby, but it is about getting to know your community and them getting to know you! Referrals and references can be a huge part of your business.

Whether you are a doula, a new mom, a dentist or a barista, put yourself out there!  Go introduce yourself to the person you think could help you be your better self. Make a list (I make lists about everything).  Journal and even make a vision board. Where and who do you want to be in two years from now? Who can help you get there? No matter what profession you are in, getting to know the people in your community and those who are doing the same thing as you, will only benefit you.  And if nothing else, you were able to Eat that Frog and put yourself on the line.

Shandelle is the owner of Blossom and Birth Doula Services in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Shandelle offers labour, birth and postpartum support to families in the Halifax region. She is a mom of 3 and passionate about creating  a sense of calm, stable and dependable support for the families she works with. 

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