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By Ivory Schwaberow

I officially launched my business at the beginning of the year, and what a year 2018 has been!

Sharing my business with the world took longer than I expected because I was scared to make it official. My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t find any clients, so I gave myself 1 year to get my business off the ground and then I would reevaluate. 11 months later I consider my business off the ground and thriving. I’m really a postpartum doula! I’ve worked with over 12 families this year. I’ve worked with babies aged 3 days old to 10 months. I’ve helped establish breastfeeding, attended an infant swallow study, helped moms through mastitis, attended doctors appointments and breastfeeding groups, cooked meals, fed moms while they breastfeed in the middle of the night, created sleep schedules, supported mom and baby through a trip to the emergency room, and snuggled countless babies.

As cheesy as it sounds, every day I wake up surprised that I had the nerve to follow my passion. While I never loved being an engineer, giving up an established career to try something new was really scary. How did I do it?

  1. I researched the steps to become a postpartum doula and made a list of what I needed to accomplish in order for it to happen.
  2. I set a timeline for when to accomplish each of these steps (I also had a life coach who kept me accountable and helped me meet these goals and I was vocal about deadlines so that others could keep me accountable too). I really wanted to have a website and business accounts set up so that I could start out in the most professional way possible.
  3. I started crossing things off the list. Admittedly I started with the easiest, but also made sure that I was watching the dates of classes so that I could do things as they came up.
  4. talked to other doulas and constantly researched what I could be doing to make my business successful.
  5. freak out a lot and constantly question my decision to start my own business. Change my mind a million times and become indecisive about the smallest decisions.
  6. Take a giant leap and hope I’m not making the biggest mistake of my life.
  7. take a giant breath and do a little dance when I finally release my “baby” out into the world!

What would you do if you could do anything?