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Women Entrepreneurs - Business Planning for 2015 0

We all lead busy lives.  Sometimes we are so caught up in the day to day grind that we don't have time to look forward to the next year. As doulas we are often scheduling clients many months out, but are we scheduling work towards or business goals?

It doesn't take an advanced degree to know that we need to take time to set goals for our business.  Without goals our biggest dreams for our businesses and lives won't be realized...or not in a timely manner for sure.  Taking time to set goals and follow-up on them is no easy task! 

Back in 2013, I stumbled upon Leonie Dawson's business planning workbooks.  They immediately appealed to my creative spirit and really spoke to me.  I decided to give them a try!  I made the purchase, downloaded the file and uploaded it to Fedex where I had the workbook printed and bound.  I remember how excited I was when I picked it up.  I couldn't wait to have a moment alone to read it and start filling out the pages.  With four kids at home, a business to run and a million other things that were taking my attention this took awhile.  When I finally had time to dive into this workbook I WAS HOOKED!

 

Leonie's workbook is female focused and designed for the entrepreneur that has a business with a clear purpose. The pages lead you through the planning process with questions that are necessary to answer in order to make progress in your business.  Filling out the workbook takes time and energy.  It took me several sessions or quiet time and many cups of coffee.  It was SO worth it!  In 2013, I was able to lead a more organized effort to grow my business and this workbook was key to this success.

Here we are at the cusp of 2015 and I just purchased the new version of the workbook!  I was actually bubbling with excitement when I got an email alerting me that it was out!  I purchased the ebook because I am trying to be more paperless, but I'm leaning to printing it out again.  There is just a wonderful satisfaction to scribbling, doodling and crossing things off.  

Workbook for Women Enrepreneurs

 I believe that this workbook is ideal for women entrepreneurs.  If you are looking for a planning resource I highly recommend that you take a look at this workbook.  Leonie also has other cool programs related to goal setting, blogging and getting the most out of your life.  In full disclosure, I am part of Leonie's referral network (meaning I make $ for all sales I refer).  I love the product and wouldn't suggest it if I didn't use it myself and believe that it will be helpful to my customers and blog readers. 

If you decide to plan your year using this workbook, please let me know!  I am putting together a group so that we can all keep each other on track and make the most out of 2015!

Leave a comment below and let me know what tools you recommend for business planning or if you also use Leonie's workbook.

 

Peanut Ball Survey Results 2

The Peanut Ball is the hottest tool for labor. At the recent Lamaze DONA Conference I think I heard that phrase uttered thousands of times.  At YourDoulaBag, we have been offering the ball for purchase for almost one full year and we were curious about how life with the peanut is going.  We created a quick survey and have some interesting results to share.

Peanut Ball Survey Results - Do You Like your ball

 

Have you used your Peanut Ball yet?

Peanut Ball Survey - Have you used your peanut ball yet?

It's pretty clear that survey respondents are actually using their peanut balls.

 

If you have used your peanut ball, how do you like it?

 

Results here are a little mixed, but the majority (63%) either love it or like it.  Our comments on the question were interesting.  Emily Nolan not only selected "I love it", but went on to comment that it is "A lifesaver for moms who have epidurals or who have otherwise limited mobility."  Another respondent said "Even though the hospital had one too, neither the nurses or I knew how to use it properly. Harder than it looks!"

Are you pleased with the size of your Peanut Ball?

Peanut Ball Survey Results

While the majority of respondents were pleased with the sized, we did have some conflicting comments.  One respondent said "I feel like I might enjoy also a bigger one" and another respondent said "I had to deflate it a bit to get a better fit".  I think the conclusion here is that moms aren't one size and the peanut ball (just like the birth ball) won't fit perfectly for all women.  

Are you pleased with the Quality of your Peanut Ball?

 

As the retailer, we are so pleased with the answer to this question.  As a result we will continue to offer the Gymnic Brand balls

Do you use a cover on your Peanut Ball?

Covers on the Peanut seem to be popular and desired.  One respondent said "LOVE the cover" and Lou Ann Damsma answered "I use the cover to carry the ball and then sheets or hospital gowns to cover it in labor."   Our ball covers will fit the 65cm round balls and the 40cm peanut balls that we sell. 

Why do you like having a Peanut Ball? 

We received lots of answers to this question and have chosen a few to share.

1) Sarah Wingrove said "Keeps moms' pelvises open when lying in bed with an epidural"

2) Daine Zacharin said "More options to offer"

3) Janis Spinak said "Allow ladies to use during class with position changes to see how pelvis opens"

4) Emily Nolan said "Additionally, as a doula, there's often a feeling of frustration when an epidural is placed- in that it becomes much more difficult to help labor progress when mom is confined to the bed. I don't feel so helpless when I have the peanut ball, because I've seen it work its magic in aiding labor progress in more than a few women whose care providers suspected 'failure to progress'"

Conclusions...Now what?

Our goal is to provide the best tools that will make a difference in the lives of our customers.  It seems like our customers in the whole are pleased with their purchase of the peanut ball and are actually getting some good use out of it.  We have put together a blog with references to more information about the peanut, but the next step for us is to put together even more resources so that our customers will get the most out of this product.  

 

Here is where we would like to hear from you!  Please comment below with any questions that you have about the peanut ball.  We want to know what you are still wondering about this product.  

 

 

Custom Logo Rice Socks - Story from Doula Business 2

Custom Logo Rice Socks for DoulasAlice asked me to write a blog post about how I use rice socks in my practice after my third order of custom logo rice socks in a few months. She must be wondering what I could possibly be doing with all of those rice socks in such a short amount of time!  I had found relief through using heat packs for my own aches and pains from time to time and was pleased to incorporate them into my doula practice. The rice socks from Your Doula Bag are fantastic and I give them to all of my clients at our last visit before their birth. I must say this gift might be a bit selfish because, almost always, my very excited client calls me between 10pm and 3am, saying that she has started having contractions. After talking for a few minutes and evaluating her state, I usually I remind her and her partner that the best thing to do right now is sleep. I ask her partner to heat up the rice sock, to both climb in bed and for her partner to press the sock against her low back while they rest together as much as possible. It usually buys me a couple hours of shut-eye, myself. Well worth the cost of a rice sock!  
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Additionally, I have had the fortunate problem lately where I've had too many of my yoga students wanting to enlist my service as their doula. My solution was to create a workshop where I can bolster the confidence of my students' partners by giving away many of my secrets and allowing them to leave with a literal "bag of tricks." Of course, this bag always includes a rice sock, among other things.

My clients are always so grateful for the comfort this little sock provides and they often tell me that they have continued to use them long after their baby's birth. And then two years later when she's pregnant again and her pregnancy brain says, "What was the name of our doula's company again? ...Right, Zen Mommas." And there's your return client. 


 Aimee lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband 2 year old son. She has been working with pregnant Real stories from YourDoulaBag customersfamilies as a prenatal yoga teacher and doula for the past 6 years. She feels so grateful for the opportunity to support women and their families during this precious time. www.zenmommas.com

 

 

 

The Story of Doula World 0

We are so excited about our new Doula World project!  Find out more about our current charity and purchase your own Doula World item

Birth Balls and Labor - How To Use Infographic 2

We've seen them in the gym and called them exercise balls for years.  We have even considered switching out our desk chairs for one.  Once you become pregnant they are suddenly BIRTH BALLS!  These large round items are awesome before, during and after labor.  Check out our user guide below for details!  We think they are a must for birthing mamas, doulas and childbirth educators.  Pack your hospital bag or doula bag and grab one of these and you'll be ready.  Use a ball cover to make the ball clean, soft and easy to carry.

Yes, we sell birth balls for labor!

Download this Free Birth Ball Guide

 

Looking for a super cute ball cover?

Highlights of the Lamaze DONA Conference 14

 Lamaze DONA Doula Childbirth Educator Conference

The Lamaze DONA Conference in Kansas city was amazing.  The speakers and sessions were fabulous.  The exhibitors were excellent.  Best of all, the time between the sessions were filled with wonderful networking with birth professionals.  I have put together a video with my highlights from this awesome event below.

 Take a peek at our video and find out more about my experience as a speaker, meeting my customers in real life and what it is like to bump into birth celebrites like Penny Simkin, Debra Pascali-Bonaro and Gail Tully.

 

 

 More pics for you include:

Doula Collective of Tulsa

Alice with 3 of the doulas from the Doula Collective of Tulsa.

 

Doula Sarah Goebel honored us by wearing the tshirt she purchased from us. LOVE THAT!

 

Don't forget to check out my Pinterest presentation blog and infographic

 

Hold on to your seats! This isn't my only blog about the conference.  Stay tuned for more to come including highlights from the speakers and sessions. 

Did you attend the conference?  Did you decide to skip it?  Share your story in our comments below.