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My wife works as a doula, it’s an ancient Greek work meaning “female caregiver.” The role of a doula is to coach, consult and help women having babies or who have just had babies (her website is

During the economic upswing of the late 1990’s and the first eight years of the last decade business was booming. She was as busy as she wanted to be and, because of her experience and skill level, was able to charge more than the vast majority of other doulas. When the Great Recession started in 2008 this totally changed.

You see, her services are often considered a luxury and a discretionary item. She ran into weak demand, price competition that meant lower rates and one of the banes of too many businesses, insufficient marketing (especially when times were good).

Lately she’s been busy, has a lot of referrals and her fees are back where they were. To me, this means there is a lot more confidence in the economy and where it’s heading. You can look at all the major economic indicators, charts and graphs and sometimes it’s the little things we are closest to that tell us which direction (people think) the economy is going.

“Hope is tomorrow’s veneer over today’s disappointment.” Evan Esar

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