A few weeks ago I was speaking to a new birth doula and yoga teacher. She’s been certified to teach yoga for nearly two years, and is just finishing her birth doula certification. She’s ready for her first clients, and has been for a few months now. Yet she was frozen, felt stuck. When I asked her what was holding her back, she admitted to me that she was fearful.
The questions ran the gamut: “Why would someone pick her? What did she have to offer over other doulas? With so many experienced doulas and/or yoga teachers why would any client want her to be their doula or yoga teacher?”
Let me be clear, this isn’t the first time that this has happened with a client of mine. Not the first by miles, but it was the first that really gave me pause. Typically I give a quick reminder of the common experience women share known as the imposter syndrome, or I might remind her that comparing herself to other people is unhealthy, how can we reframe fear, or we might do a meditation to remind them to align their intentions, etc etc.
This time, none of that fit. My toolbox felt empty. So I got all creative up in there, and sometimes that works.
“What’s your favorite Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor?”
I can’t lie. She was taken aback, but she sat on it, and entertained my silliness.
“Phish Food” she said.
Just the mere mention of it made her light up. (For those of you out of the know, phish food is chocolate ice cream, caramel swizzle drizzle awesomeness, marshmellow, and chocolate fish shaped pieces. It was released in 1997)
“And how did you know Phish Food was your favorite?”
“Well, Ben and Jerry’s released it, and I gave it a try.”
“So Ben and Jerry’s tested an ice cream, and released it. You tried it and loved it. Can you say the same about your business? Have you put yourself out there yet? Can anyone try you yet?”
We both knew the answer. She hadn’t. and THAT was the problem. She had only sat on her idea, and her business. Worrying about whether or not she could ever land a client. It wasn’t that someone liked her or not, or that she had been previously rejected. She hadn’t even tried yet.
I paused. “You know what? You’re somebody’s favorite flavor of doula or yoga teacher. They just haven’t tried you on for size yet.”
BINGO! We hit the jackpot.
If she wasn’t out there, she couldn’t find a client. Couldn’t grow her business.
With that in her back pocket, she created a way for clients to find her. And within a few weeks, she had her very first client. It wasn’t magic, it wasn’t alchemy or list building or incredibly difficult hustling. She just made herself available, someone found her, and guess what…Turns out she was their favorite flavor of doula. YOU are someone’s favorite flavor. Someone will choose you as their coach, yoga teacher, doula, spiritual mentor, etc. You just have to create your flavor and put it out there for the masses to find.
Are you looking for more clients? Your First clients? Here is a quick little exercise you can do in 5 minutes.
1. Identify three places you might find clients. Places of business, blogs, etc
2. Figure out how to get in contact with those people or places.
3. Contact them, set up a profile, join a group, reach out to someone like you.
4. Lather, Rinse, Repeat
If you do this 5 minutes a day, you’ll see results. You’ll get more clients, you’ll build the life you want.