I had an interesting realization yesterday, one that has been so liberating. Of course, I also had a nasty stomach virus when it came about, so I may have been halucinating
I've been working as a doula for going on two years. I took a training class, bought my certification packet, jumped right into taking clients.........and then spent a year and a half dragging my feet on the paperwork aspects of the certification. I always had an excuse about how I would sit down and write the required papers "next week" or "after so-and-so gives birth". I collected most of the requirements, just never did the writing. I had plenty of clients, was busier than most doulas I know,and no one really asked about certification. If they did, I told them mine was pending (it was) and that I had far exceeded the requirements, and was simply bad with paperwork. It never seemed to bother my clients a bit.
Well, last month, I decided to finish the process, mostly because it seemed silly to have done all the work and not have the letters behind my name. I started building up all that the certification would do for me. I was low on business cards, so I ordered new ones with my certification letters behind my name. It came down to waiting for one woman to return an email or phone call (with no response after two weeks, I was starting to start my day visualizing the phone ringing with my answer, checking my email and having it be from her, etc). No answer.
At the same time, my business dried up. No phone calls. The occasional email asking about my services, but no response once I answered their questions. I decided I had manifested a break (since our tax return came in February, financially we had been doing great, and dh is rolling in overtime, so we didn't need the money from my clients). I started working on manifesting new clients..........all the while obsessing about the phone call from the woman so I could finish my certification.
So, in my fevered state over the last few days, I realized that my thoughts about the certification had been blocking my desire for new clients. Up until I started actively working on the certification, I never saw it as necessary for my work. I'm a great doula, the certification requirements have nothing to do with my skills. People like me, clients love me. Yet I had decided that I wasn't going to get hired without that piece of paper, and it was happening! Yes, my perfect clients were already out there, but I wasn't letting them in because I thought I needed to finish my certification first.
It was like a light bulb turned on and I saw exactly what had happend. I said out loud "Certification is not important, clients will hire me anyway". I layed in bed and thought about it all day yesterday. While that was happening I recieved two emails.........
One from the woman who needed to answer my question (and the answer was EASY).
One from another doula, asking if I would tag team with her for a homebirth! The clients want professional photos AND someone to help with a sibling, so it was decided two doulas was the way to go. S will do the pictures (and get pictures to use on my new website!), I will help the sibling, and we will both do the doula work. I couldn't imagine a better situation.
I'm just flat out amazed at how quickly the universe works when you get out of your own way.