I'm very interested to discuss community involvement with my fellow birth professionals!
1. what type of community involvement (birth/baby/parenting related) do oyu participate in?
2. How do you differentiate between yourself as a social person, and yourself as a professional?
3. How does this involvement support your business/yourself?
I'll be back later with my own info to share :)
1. what type of community involvement (birth/baby/parenting related) do oyu participate in? I run a nonprofit group that benefits women from pregnancy to their baby's first birthday. I also regularly give free talks to various groups within the community that provide services for teen and low income mothers - educating them about birth professionals, pregnancy, postpartum - really whatever the group needs.
2. How do you differentiate between yourself as a social person, and yourself as a professional? Not really sure what you mean by this? I think anytime you are out in the public you need to be conscious of what you are doing and what is going on around you because you never know who you might run into. For example, about 2 weeks ago I was at Walmart with my oldest daughter and we were checking out and sort of goofing around a little (nothing that would cause my reputation to be bad - just giggling and chatting) when someone came up to me and re-introduced herself to me. Turns out she was in my childbirth class and she shared her baby with me.
Personally I am very careful with what I do when in public because like I said you never know who you might run into. Have run into clients, past and present in restaurants (I never drink especially in public), don't swear in public, etc - you get the idea.
As far as things like Facebook go - I have a business site that I share with clients and do NOT allow current clients to become my friends on my regular page. There are a few who have found me way after they have had their babies and I do approve them then, but again I don't say anything on that there I would ever be embarrassed about and also wouldn't allow anyone else to post something like that on my page. If they did they would be deleted. (Is that what you were looking for?)
3. How does this involvement support your business/yourself? The involvement that I mentioned above does not support my personal business at all. In fact it really doesn't support my nonprofit business other then letting these moms know our group is there. Honestly I do them because I believe in giving back to the community. I had a very eye opening experience about 17 months ago. When my son was born he was a preemie - I was stuck in the hospital with him and no one - no friends or family came to see us - it was depressing and upsetting. I was just heartbroken and felt beaten down at that point and out of no where the people from a new church I had just joined started attending two months earlier came out of nowhere and became my rock. Two of the pastors came to the hospital and explained to the NICU nurses who they were and they got to come in and pray with us (at the time the swine flu was big and so guests were severely limited), and then a group of birth professionals (who are friends, but not the people I hung around with kind of friends) came to my aid as well - and then when I came home more church people came to help. Anyhow, that experience taught me a lot. It taught me the true meaning of giving selflessly and I realized that before that time everything I had done I did in hopes of getting something back. If I planned an event at my office (don't have my office anymore) I did it with the hopes of getting clients. If I taught a class it was with the hopes of getting something. That experience taught me that I shouldn't always expect something out of it and giving with no expectations of anything else was so rewarding and when I gave with my heart I got back way more in the long run (not necessarily business - hard to explain - maybe gratification, happiness - something like that).