The Austin Doula
We’re new! I’ll share in a year…
Meet our amazing female entrepreneur today, Samantha Parrish from Austin, Texas.
Samantha spent over a decade working in Marketing and Sales and owned her own marketing agency. After reaching a six-figure career, she felt it was time to change direction in her career.
After experiencing her own magical birth and while working on marketing project photographing births and newborns, she found a passion for serving mothers and their families.
That is when Samantha decided to become DONA and HypnoBirthing doula on a mission to help educate and empower mothers to have the gentle birthing experience and enter motherhood with educated confidence. She runs The Austin Doula, a community of over 40 doulas who all help each other and serve mothers as a collective.
Read on to find out more on how Samantha became a birth doula.
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE BUSINESS YOU STARTED.
Hi! I’m Samantha Parrish; a DONA and HypnoBirthing birth doula on a mission to empower women in their intuitive ability to have an empowered and gentle birth experience to enter motherhood with educated confidence.
My business is TheAustinDoula.com. I currently work individually and in a network with other local doulas (CDTA) while my goal is to grow a group practice.
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE AND HOW DO YOU STAY PRODUCTIVE?
When it comes to this kind of work, there’s really no typical day. I’m also simultaneously running my marketing agency while raising a toddler (without consistent childcare due to COVID) so I just take things day by day.
After so many years of working for myself and grinding in the start-up life, I’ve learned it’s better to do a couple of things really well than try to manage too much at once. It is something you can do with some experience and confidence, I suppose. I’m a better mother, friend, partner, and professional when I’m not overly busy. Over the years, I’ve learned my threshold and I feel it is something that takes all of us entrepreneurs a few years to learn.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
PLEASE DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF LAUNCHING YOUR BUSINESS.
Prior to becoming a doula, I worked in some aspect of Marketing or Sales for over a decade, and for the past 5 years, prior to starting my doula practice, I ran a marketing agency – Makai Digital Agency.
After reaching a six-figure career, I intuitively felt it was time to change direction in my career. I was longing to do something more fulfilling and after working on a birth project through my marketing company, I discovered profound love for birth.
It’s only been a couple of months into getting trained and launching my practice but my client base and circle of partners are steadily growing. Because my colleagues and I share such a deep and aligned passion for this work, I’m confident my organization (and those of my colleagues) will reach far beyond what I can currently imagine.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT AND YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR BUSINESS?
It’s hard to quantify my biggest achievement because the opportunity to serve clients in my own business each day feels like the ultimate reward – I honestly feel I’ve had so many wins over the years, all special for different reasons, it’s hard to pinpoint just one. Maybe closing my first 30k contract with a major hotel two years ago was a pretty fun accomplishment.
The biggest challenge for me, especially in the beginning, was having a realistic idea of how much time I should be spending on each task. As I was preparing to build my team, I had to learn the skills I was hiring for/contracting out so I knew what was a reasonable amount of time required for each particular task.
WHAT STRATEGY DID YOU USE TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS? AND HOW?
I really feel that eternal optimism and manifestation are the core reasons for success, but practically, my strategy has mainly been in building referral networks, doing really good work, and being given referrals. I’m proud to say that although I ran a marketing agency, I never spent money on ads (outside of running tests).
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS?
The mission of my business now is to help as many expecting mothers enter birth and motherhood with empowered education. The message I hope to share with the world: birth (and parenting) can be gentle and calm.
RECOMMENDATIONS & FINAL THOUGHTS
ARE THERE ANY RESOURCES OR TOOLS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHERS THAT HAVE HELPED YOU RUN YOUR BUSINESS?
Every person on the planet could benefit from reading “Hypnobirthing, The Mongan Method” because we all know a parent, are a parent, or have stress we could manage more thoughtfully. Essentially, knowing how to control our minds is a gift we could all benefit from.
For mothers or those who have birthing friends, I recommend picking up “The First Forty Days” by Heng Ou to make amazing recipes and find ideas of how to care for your postpartum self or friend.
WHAT OR WHO HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST INFLUENCE IN BUSINESS AND WHY?
There are so many people who have influenced me – from my professional mentors, spiritual coaches, filmmakers, to the ocean (one of my greatest teachers!).
I’ve really had some incredible mentors throughout my career.
Some of my literary mentors, whom we can all learn from, include Donald Miller at Brand Story, the team at the Fizzle Show (podcast), The Life Coach School coaches (podcast), and many of the great (perhaps alternative) philosophers like Alan Watts and Kierkegaard – just to name a few.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO WANT TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
Firstly, I’d offer the advice of taking self-care seriously (i.e. your sleep, vacations, or physical care should be looked at as part of your business). You only have ONE body and without health, you have nothing.
Secondly, find a mentor! If you are so fortunate to have someone in your network or whom you’ve found online who’s already doing what you’re wanting to do with success – learn from them. Of course, do your homework because there is so much inflated information. If it seems overwhelming to find a mentor, start with a therapist who specializes in working with entrepreneurs. You can also find group therapy for entrepreneurs to make things affordable. The idea is to have a space to explore where you can personally improve and grow well.
WHAT BUSINESS IDEA DO YOU HAVE THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO SHARE WITH OTHERS?
Hmm…I would love a really savvy financial projections app. I have yet to see one that’s able to incorporate business goals and financial projections well.
I also think there’s a need for more new-father support groups. I see that as a need in my industry.
Welcome to the Biz Ladies interview series!
If you’re new to these series, I interview women entrepreneurs on how they started their business, what was the idea behind it, how they got where they are, the struggles, the reality and more.
By sharing their stories, we want to inspire other women to get started.
If you are interested to share your own story on the Biz Ladies LET ME KNOW!