You are inspired to serve. Let’s see what it’s all about.

Get out your favorite notebook or 3 ring binder to capture your exploration using your Service Creation Pathway. This Pathway is a dynamic process that you will add to over time as you continue to learn and grow in how you want to serve.

  1. Do You know you are good at accompanying the dying or feel you would be? What are your strengths? Your weaknesses?
  2. Do you want to learn more about the art of the practice of accompanying others through dying? Why? What is your end goal? What is it YOU want from this experience?
  3. What is your service idea as you begin this pathway? Write it all out in detail. See how it shifts as you work through the Pathway.
  4. Know this. Do not develop this alone. Have a guide/mentor. A person more experienced ahead of you in private practice serving others. Be in presence of people smarter than you and more experienced than you. In exactly what you want to do is best. Next best is an experienced home care provider if that is what you want. Or experienced clinician in the office setting offering palliative or end of life services in this alternative space. Or Holistic Practitioner who understands the sensitivities of our end of lifetime period, who serves themselves in nontraditional ways.
  5. Know this: Develop Group/Support/Honest Feedback. You must have this for yourself. This is addition to your mentor.
  6. Action: Assess deep desire. What unique thing do you want the world to know? That will add to the collective wisdom, that you want to be a part of awakening in others. Envision yourself giving a TED talk. What would you say in your 15 min. Huge clue what your biggest desire is.
  7. Action: Assess your skills now: all of them: general and specific. About education, work, special gifts, natural abilities, life experiences. Pick your top 3 unique to you aspects you love the most. It does not have to be most desirable to the public, what you think people would want, etc. It is what YOU value most.
  8. Action: Ask several friends to give you their 3 top favorite qualities they love. If you have access to someone who you have worked with as someone they loved died, that would be better. List them all and count how many or the same. Rank them. Know that people see you this way.
  9. Action: decide what your main area of service is at this point. Just choose 1. You can add to your service later. Just focus on one area of service for now. (ex: legacy, vigil, advance directives, living wakes, funeral planning, family meetings, etc)
  10. Action: Take your answer to #9 and choose 1 main service that you will focus on building. Do not spend time on creating several, you will not get anywhere doing that. You will not gain momentum. Think of a pie. You split it in half and you have split have your energy. This is absolutely true with this. Don’t think, “l can serve everyone, anytime, doing 100 modalities. It may be true but that speaks to no one. If you cannot let go and just choose one service, consider no more than 1 – 3 services based on #9. Really try for 1 main service.
  11. Action: Once you have #10, if doesn’t “feel” solid yet, spend some time with it. Let it gel. Meditate on it. Journal about it. Go within. Then give yourself some time to NOT think about. See where you are at after a couple of weeks and make sure you are 100% behind committing to this. If not, go back to #9.
  12. Action: Study the needs of people in advanced illness and dying. After serving 1000s of people since 2000, I can tell you what most people say (that are not wealthy) is they need respite and money. Know that everyone needs respite from care giving. Even the professional caregivers need a break! Everyone needs practical support. Also, is there a particular subgroup that you want to serve? Certain spiritual community? Certain cultural community? Certain demographic? Claim that. Know that most of us serve whomever comes to us. The point I’m trying to make here is you must speak very specifically, clearly and simply for people to understand how to use you.
  13. Action: Set up your business aspects:
    a. Set up your business in your county/state
    b. Set up your business bank account and your payment processor, i.e. Square, PayPal, Venmo
    c. Set up phone number if different than your present cell (recommended), i.e. google voice
    d. Set up family contract/agreement
    e. Set up how you will protect yourself professionally, i.e. disclaimers, insurance, etc.
    f. Set up your admin processes for your practice. How will you organize what you are doing?
    g. Trust that you will learn the next business skill as you go.
  14. Action: Decide the structure of your sessions. How many hours are in each session? What are the limits of each session? What are the boundaries in service, in geographic area? What will you be doing in this session? Can it be weekly? Monthly? Must it be daily? Can it be hourly? Must it be at least 2 hours? 3 hours? Will you be doing another modality during this time (ex: massage, aromatherapy, etc.). Get this part straight.
  15. Action: Decide the value of your service.
    a. Step 1. Calculate the best you can the total value of what you bring to the table. Not what you think people will pay, not what you think people can afford, not based on who else is doing what. What is the actual value of your service to the consumer?
    b. Step 2. Research what other home services are charging in your community from the plumber to the caregiver to the massage therapist. What are going home bound rates for services? Especially check out personal companion companies and non-medical sitting services and respite services.
    c. Step 3. Have an hourly rate that you will base your package rate from. Decide if you will charge hourly or by the day or by the week. Figure out your terms. When will payment be due? Do you want a retainer?
  16. Action: Decide how you will get the word out and support this. My personal favorites are education sessions, conversation sessions and networking meetings. There are so many ways; those 3 are the best in my personal experience and that of the doulas I work with.
  17. Action: Volunteer Your Services in the beginning. See how it feels to serve without money expectations.
  18. Action: Radical Self-care. Nurture the sacred CEO (you).
  19. Action: Lifelong learning. If you think you know everything, please stop serving asap.
  20. Enjoy! It will all integrate. It really will if you devote time to invest in this exploration. Make a date with yourself 1-3 times per week dedicated to your end of life service creation. You will be surprised how much clarity you will gain.

Want More Help?

If you are seriously interested in creating your own unique end-of-life service,
you may be interested in our brand new program option, Business QuickStart for the End-of-Life Professional

Our unique Business QuickStart for the End-of-Life Professional is full of powerful business tools to jumpstart your practice creation. I’ve distilled the best professional lessons from my full mentoring program, “Certified CareDoula.” It will help you create the structure of your practice, pricing and packaging and promotions strategy. If all you need is business guidance and a plan to get out there, this is it!

Click here if you are inspired.