The Place Where True Collaboration Can Begin

DTI co-founder Tara Brooke is continuously inspiring our members to think critically about our work as doulas, reimagining the role in ways that make a positive impact on our communities and our businesses. We wanted to hear more from Tara about our 2016 OneDoula retreat and what participants can expect from the workshop she’ll be leading, as well as new ways to think about the concept of collaborative entrepreneurship.

What does Collaborative Entrepreneurship mean to you?
Each DTI doula is a changemaker, but together, we are a force. To me, collaborative entrepreneurship is about the togetherness of one mission and the strength of community to make change.

DTI invites members to continually collaborate and help uncover the unique facets of their individual brand. It’s really interesting to think about the ways that carving out a unique practice can bring doula care to more families in more birth settings, and how that alone begins to shift birth culture, simply by serving more, being present, and focusing on our clients’ needs in a way that others may not be attuned to.

One reason this is happening with our members is because we are not a top-down model that wags its finger at right and wrong; instead, we pause to ask meaningful questions which help us all unfold in ways that create change. This leaves a big impact, helping to shift the culture of birth in ways we may not have imagined before as leaders.

Collaborative entrepreneurship happens when we are able to free our minds of noise. It happens when we can start where we are, by showing up in a space without being judged. It happens when we are open to taking some risks. At the retreat, this happens. We show up for ourselves and each other in a way that is not as easy to do when you are home surrounded by distractions.

It is intentional. It is planned. And the results are beyond what most of us may realize until we experience it—once our feet touch the sand in Tulum.

Your business will look different after this retreat. There is no way to participate without leaving inspired to take your business to the next level. We will all be refreshed, feel connected, and continue to support each other moving forward.

How does self-care have the power to impact our doula practices?
Self-care for the doula really starts with identifying what your needs are. A lot of us think of self-care as getting a massage or a mani/pedi, maybe a night out with friends. And yes, these things are nice and certainly may count as self-care. But most of us can’t build that in every day.

I think self-care first needs to be about building your business around you and your family’s needs. Putting self-care at the top of your list for your business means asking yourself questions about what you need to sustain a business. What does my family need from me that is non-negotiable? What times am I available to work (internal work for my business) and what times am I off? What back-up support do I need in order to meet my own needs and my family’s needs first? Understanding the needs will set the backbone of your business and then we build from that, not the other way around.

What will retreat-goers experience in the Share, Strive and Thrive Business Mastermind you’ll be leading?
A mastermind pushes everyone to a place of questioning what is and is not working in their business. It will build off the momentum of earlier workshops and start to round out ideas that have been surfacing for each person in attendance. We sit together and brainstorm about beginnings of ideas and see them start to grow into something fierce. This is collaboration at its finest.

Why is it so important for doulas to invest in this retreat?
Doulas have the gift to move people. To be a movement. But life can get in the way of that momentum. We forget to give back to ourselves. Sometimes we don’t realize that we deserve this. Last year, a common thread that most of those in attendance expressed was, “I didn’t think I deserved this.” Each and every day we are working as doulas, we are giving and giving and giving. At some point there is nothing left to give. And at that point there is no more creativity and we no longer feel momentum.

It really should be the opposite—especially if we want to continue to see change in shifting the culture of birth, in making our communities stronger, in fulfilling our own dreams, our families’ dreams and our business dreams.

What we must collectively do is meet ourselves where we are and say, “Fill me up so I can meet these dreams. I can only give my fullest when I am also full. I need to surround myself with those who inspire me. I will make a difference today because I’m inspired to do so—and this will ripple out of me for the rest of the year!”

This retreat is designed to fill everyone up. To spark creativity. To invite doulas to collaborate on ideas that propel visions into reality. We all evolve and change at the retreat in ways we can’t even imagine.

Maybe a better question to ask ourselves is “Can I afford not to come?”