International Doula Month - Book Club : Patty Brennan, The Doula Business Guide

I bought this book because I couldn't work out how you can make money doing a self employed caring profession. I knew people did it, but I couldn't work out how you sell your services with integrity and sincerity, whilst not becoming a cheesy shopping channel presenter; "do you have a baby ready to come out of your vagina? Well, I've got the doula for you!". Or something.  

I was a little sceptical; was there really specific information about starting a doula business that I couldn't find in other resources on business in general? But I was curious, and felt ill-equipped, so I bought it.

It's great. If you're American it would be even better, I imagine. Brennan has been so generous with specific advice on lots of topics; legal, paperwork, networking, marketing, insurance, taxes. All the fun stuff.

I have read a couple of books that dressed a bit like this book, in my former life in a private company. They each had a lot of filler with obvious and irrelevant content. E.g. "do you want to know how to give your customers what they want? I'm going to tell you in 10 steps, 7 of which you're already doing because they're obvious and 3 of which are not applicable to you".

However, Brennan gets to the point and gives useful, and not always obvious guidance. She clearly knows what she's talking about and is a good teacher. 

As a non-American, there are a fair few chunks I skimmed and skipped through; bits about US law, registering a company there, being a registered doula. It may be a good idea to look up differences between UK and US doulas if you are new to this. 

I enjoyed Penny Simpkin's introduction too; seemed genuine and gave the book more credibility, as intended.


Alongside all the dotted 'i's and crossed 't's, there is also a lot of heart in this book - obviously Brennan knows how to make money doing this. But this is not a get-rich-quick book, it is about making a living doing a sincerely caring role in the community.