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Jayne Havens is a certified sleep consultant and the founder of Snooze Fest by Jayne Havens and Center for Pediatric Sleep Management. As a leader in the industry, Jayne advocates for healthy sleep hygiene for children of all ages. Jayne launched her comprehensive sleep consultant certification course so she could train and mentor others to work in this emerging industry.

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Growing a Sleep Consulting Business During a Pandemic with Steffi Edwin

Growing a Sleep Consulting Business During a Pandemic with Steffi Edwin

Steffi Edwin is a Center for Pediatric Sleep Management graduate who took the Sleep Consultant Certification Course, and the owner and founder of Jolie Sleep. In this episode Steffi shares her experience leaving her full time job at the start of the pandemic. Pivoting from full time Nanny to Certified Sleep Consultant felt like a leap, but she went for it and IT PAID OFF! You’ll hear her share what a typical day looked like as she juggled Zoom school for her kids, growing her small business and trying to stay healthy and sane at the same time. I asked Steffi how she turned the idea of becoming a Sleep Consultant into a successful business, and she spoke the truth. A combination of mindset work, determination and her willingness to seek out support when she was struggling is what allowed her to achieve such great success in her business!

Links:

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Transcript

Jayne Havens: Hello, I am here today with Steffi Edwin. Steffi is a Certified Sleep Consultant and graduate of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Management. She’s the owner and founder of Julie Sleep Consulting. She’s a mom of two and lives in New York. Welcome, Steffi, thank you so much for coming on and chatting with me today.

Steffi Edwin: Thank you so much for having me, Jane, it’s such an honor to be here. In doing this interview in your podcast, I’m so excited.

Jayne Havens: Well, Thank you. So I wanted to bring you on today to talk about growing your business in the pandemic. When I think about who I should speak to on this topic, there’s nobody better than you for this topic. So, we’re coming up on two years on this pandemic, I think when the world shut down in March, we thought we were going to be home for a couple of weeks, and then life would get back to normal. Obviously, that’s not how it went down. So can you share a little bit about what you were doing professionally, before the pandemic? And yes, let’s start there.

Steffi Edwin: Yes, of course. Before the pandemic, I worked full time as a nanny in Manhattan caring for two precious little ones, Edie and Benny, whom I loved so much. And just before the pandemic really hit, we were talking so so much about what COVID was going to look like how we would navigate it if we needed to stay home for just a few days, they would go to The Hamptons, I would stay home for a little bit, or I could move to the Hamptons with them. And, they were just hoping this thing would be like only two to three weeks, two to three weeks. But obviously, it wasn’t.

Jayne Havens: Right. And how long were you home for when the world shut down? And I remember at the beginning that everybody and nobody went to work whether you were a nanny, whether you worked in a restaurant, like everything shut down. How long were you home for before? Have you decided that you didn’t want to go back or didn’t feel comfortable going back? What was that timeframe?

Steffi Edwin: It was about three weeks to a month right around April 15. Because everything shut down right around March 15. And my husband had newly transitioned to working full time at home, my kids were doing virtual learning. And my husband has a very demanding job. There’s no way that he would be able to navigate online learning and work at the same time. We just looked at each other. And we’re like, oh, yes, like you really cannot go back to work in person, it’s really not going to work out. The family that I worked for, they were like, either you move to the Hamptons with us for a little bit and only go home on the weekend, or every other weekend. And that was not an option for me. I have two younger kids of my own and my husband and my family to care for us. So when I was presented with that option, and knowing that I needed to take care of my home and my children do virtual learning, the decision was easy for me to just stay home and figure something else out.

Jayne Havens: Right. And what did it look like? I’m trying to remember. Did you sign up to take my course right around then I think it was April, right. So you decided to get certified to become a sleep consultant. Remind me I know, we talked about this. But now I just cannot remember there’s a connection here. Right? Was it your family that you worked for? knew me somehow? Was that what it was?

Steffi Edwin: Yes, it was. So when I discussed with the family that I worked for, before, that I would not be coming back. We were just talking about what the future was going to look like for me and my employer. She was like, why don’t you just become a sleep consultant? No, it’s like a sleep consultant. Like yes, well, you’ve helped Ben and you think she was just naming people after people that I help them, you know, with naps, especially. And I was like, Ok, I’ll give it a go. And just like I saw a Facebook post from this lady that I know, Jayne. It was the Upper East side’s mom group, about a sleep certification program. How about you reach out and just ask questions, they just find out a little more about it, learn a little more about it. And they did and the call that we had was it for me.

Jayne Havens: I remember I knew that you were really excited about it. And I think the timing, we’ll get to this later in our interview. But I think there are silver linings in everything. And the timing was really I think perfect for you. Because you needed a shift, working as a nanny in the pandemic was not going to work for you.

Steffi Edwin: Not at all. 

Jayne Havens: So how did you get your mind to a place where you could juggle, just like the mental gymnastics that are like being home during a pandemic with two kids right? In the beginning, we were all scared, like, no one wanted to go to a grocery store no one wanted, right? It was really bad in the beginning. So dealing with that, then dealing with your kids being home doing I’m sure zoom school or Google meet school it was right? then trying to navigate starting a new business, how did you get your mind to a place where you could handle all of that?

Steffi Edwin: It took a lot of self-control and self-will to be able to navigate all of it. I think like initially, when I decided to become certified, I just thought that this would be a side gig and just, like a way to make some additional income, because my husband was able to hold it down with his job. So it really was not looking to replace my nanny income, but just have something to do while my kids were doing virtual learning. And my husband was working. So it just, I guess it was just a lot of self-will and wanting to have something for me. While all of this was going on.

Jayne Havens: Yes, I really felt myself during the beginning of the pandemic, that I needed something for me because I was doing everything to keep my kids happy and healthy, and thriving in a situation that felt really hard to thrive in. And personally feeling really defeated or depleted is probably a better word not to beat it. And my business actually really started to take off during the pandemic. That was sort of my saving grace because I needed something like an outlet, right? And I would imagine that was similar for you as well.

Steffi Edwin: Yes.

Jayne Havens: So talk to me about what your actual day looked like. I think that you know, I wanted to have this conversation because I think people often want to do something awesome like this, right? They want to get certified to be a sleep consultant, they want to start a side hustle or change careers, and they have these big grand plans. But then life gets in the way, right? They don’t have time. They don’t and they’re too busy, their plate is already full. That was the case for you, too. So walk us through if you even remember, I feel like I’ve blocked out a lot of what it looked like in those early days. But if you remember, can you walk us through what your day looked like, while supporting your kids through zoom school, getting your business off the ground and what did that look like from morning to evening,

Steffi Edwin: It was very important for me to have some form of a routine to keep some structure in my home. So we would wake up in the morning, every day would do breakfast together, and the kids would get ready for school, I had structured some little room in the house where they would do their virtual learning and my husband was in his section because when the pandemic hit, we were all we were still living in the Bronx, in a small two-bedroom apartment, we had no room. We were just trying to make everything work. And once everybody was settled in for the day, I would spend time going through the course. And every two hours, I would peek at them, and make sure they were doing their assignments following what the teachers were instructing. And by the end of the day, after school, I would spend my time with my children and communicating with my husband. And then after bedtime, I would be back at it. I would sit down at my computer and go through the entire course. And my husband would sometimes have to ask me, hey, are you gonna come to bed and I’m like, oh, this is too important. I can’t right now. But I’ll be there soon. But that’s how my days were initially. But now they’re even more structured. So now I structure my days based on when I want. I have days that I want to take discovery calls, the days that I offer consultations, and how I go about supporting my clients throughout the day. I would only look at my phone to support clients between eight to eight but not the whole day. So I would communicate first thing in the morning at eight and then again at one and then six until bedtime and that’s it, so that I’m able to do other things for me and work on other aspects of my business.

Jayne Havens: I think that’s really important once you really get going in this business to establish some boundaries around when you’re not going to work and when you’re going to be staring at your phone. I think it’s hard, especially in the beginning, because we’re all just trying to grow as quickly as possible. But, I think once you have some security, some job security, right, it starts to feel easier to put some limits on the work and really compartmentalize and you know, you’re working when you’re working, you’re with your family. It’s the gold standard, right? It’s something that we’re all working towards. I know I’m not perfect at it, but I definitely try.

Steffi Edwin: I know there are times that you really like to get out of your boundaries or your limits to accommodate certain clients who really need your help. But it’s important to have those boundaries.

Jayne Havens: or sure. I often think about when someone is trying to start a business, whether it’s sleep consulting, or anything else, but especially in our field. A lot of people get this idea, like, I want to be a sleep consultant, right? It’s almost like shiny object syndrome. They just have this excitement about the idea of doing this. How do you turn an idea? Or something that you’re excited about or enthusiastic about into a really successful business? You’ve done that? What did that look like for you? I’m sure it was a journey, right? Like you didn’t have 10 clients a month, your first month is business-like and it takes time to get there. So what does that look like to get from like the idea to the place where you actually feel like, yes, I really did this, or I’m doing it.

Steffi Edwin: I think it’s a mindset shift, and really putting in the work because nothing good comes easy. Business is built on hard work, putting yourself out there becoming vulnerable, and not being afraid to fail, really not being afraid to fail. So you go out there, you give it your best. You just hope that you know, like your best was enough. And usually, that’s the case it is enough, but really, don’t be afraid to take that leap of faith. Because you never know that small leap that you took will be the leap that gets you like above and beyond just gets things going for you. Because initially when I started, it was hard for me. I didn’t like you mentioned I did not have 10 clients a month, I even struggled so much with social media that I had to hire a social media business coach who helped me tremendously with building my confidence there. Now, this is where I get most of my clients from social media. So really, working hard outsourcing. And getting people to help with the things that I’m not strong at has really helped me to be more successful.

Jayne Havens: Yes, I agree with you completely. I think the two sorts of keys to success and you nailed both of them. Is believing in yourself having that right mindset that you’re capable, and seeking support when you need it, right? Because there are certain areas that we have our strengths and our weaknesses. This is true for everybody. For me, I really struggle with the tech stuff. Computers scare me. I say that to my business strategist who I worked with months ago. I always say, wouldn’t it be incredible how well I could do if I just knew how to use a computer. If only I understood how to use my own computer that I really could really get going. You know, we all have something that’s holding us back, that’s making it feel hard. And when you seek out support, whether it’s just coaching or mindset work, emotional support, or actual tech support, it doesn’t matter. But, you know, we all have those hurdles that feel really high to jump over. And when you get help for the things that feel hard, it keeps you from being stuck, right?

Steffi Edwin: Yes, definitely. It does.

Jayne Havens: One of the questions I get asked most frequently is if it’s possible to earn a full-time income doing this work. I am earning a full-time income doing this work. I’m so excited that you are earning a full-time income doing this work. What did that look like? How does that feel, first of all, and how long did it take you to get to the point where you really had this steady stream of income and it wasn’t just a side hustle anymore, but like this is a real job for you.

Steffi Edwin: Yes, I’m super excited myself like I could pinch myself, like every single time because I cannot believe how successful I’ve been able to grow this business in less than two years. Initially when I started it was not that way, it took a lot of me working my behind off to get to where I am today. But right around the eight-month mark is where I started to have a steady stream of clients after working with my social media coach, and since then it’s just taken off. I’ve been able to build relationships with different brands, and also provide coaching for their companies as well, which has really been amazing. 

Jayne Havens: This is so frustrating right now that this is a podcast and nobody’s going to see our faces, but the two of us are both just sort of blushing and shining from ear to ear. I know you’re so proud of yourself. And I seriously could not be more proud of you. When you first signed up to take my course you were shy, you were timid, you were more soft-spoken, and you were nervous. And you’ve totally come out of your shell, you’re confident, and you do your thing on social media. I should mention to everybody listening, that the social media coach is actually a Center for Pediatric Sleep Management contributor, Steffi introduced her to me. Her name is Allison Henderson, she’s actually going to be on this podcast as well. She’s incredible. So I’m so glad that she gave you the support and the guidance that you were looking for. I’m a firm believer that we’re never done seeking out additional education, support, learning, all of it. So you know, getting certified to become a sleep consultant is the first step. And then there’s always more places to grow, whether that’s our social media presence, whether that’s our mindset, whether that’s our sales skills, it doesn’t matter, there’s always room to grow. I love that you didn’t get stuck, and you didn’t just give up, you sought out the help that you were looking for. And look at you now. So it took you about eight months to feel like you had a steady stream of income and clients.

Steffi Edwin: Yes. So by eight months, I was matching what I made as a nanny, and I got paid really well as a nanny in the city. So I was matching that. And now I have, like, surpassed that.

Jayne Havens: That is so incredible. It makes me so happy. Because, you know, people ask me all the time, you know, can I replace my full-time income doing this work. And now, the proof is in the pudding-like you did it. We have others that have done it too. It takes hard work. It’s not the snap of the finger. It’s going and not giving up. But that’s exactly what you did. So I’m so happy for you. So let’s talk about what’s coming up in 2022. Do you have any big goals set for this year? Anything that you’re working on that you want to share with everyone? 

Steffi Edwin: I’m super excited about building a team for my business because my workload is becoming way too heavy for me. So I’m working on adding two other sleep consultants to my business to help provide more support to more clients. That way, I’m able to help more families and not have to increase my prices to a ridiculous number.

Jayne Havens: That’s really great. This is my first time hearing of this. I’m so excited about this for you, I can’t wait to hear who you hire, maybe we’re going to have to talk offline about that. But I’m really excited for you. That’s an awesome way to grow. I personally have always been scared to do that. I’m a little bit of a control freak. So people ask me all the time, you know, are you going to hire people to work under you? I have never had the guts to do it. But I think it’s a great way to grow your business. It’s incredible that in two years, you’ve gotten to the place where you’re ready to take on, you know, whether it’s independent contractors or employees. That’s awesome.

Steffi Edwin: Yes, it feels really good. I’m also working on launching my first course, hopefully by the summer of 2022. So I’m really excited about that.

Jayne Havens: That’s fabulous. All good things. Before we wrap up. I thought it would be fun to just ask you a few quickfire questions. Are you up for it? Yes, what is this? Facebook or Instagram for your business? What about text or Voxer for communicating with clients?

Steffi Edwin: Instagram. Voxer makes it so much easier.

Jayne Havens: I’m still on text because I just can’t get myself to agree with you that Voxer is better and easier, but I just can’t make the shift. It feels like you know because if I have, let’s say I have eight clients at any given time if like four of them are on Voxer and four of them are on text, like the whole process of just making the shift feels overwhelming. But I agree with you that Voxer is better and I aspire to be on Voxer for communicating with clients. So good for you. I’m working on it. Do you prefer coaching parents of infants or toddlers? 

Jayne Havens: Yes, I hear you. I think infants are maybe easier. But I like the toddlers because it’s such a win. You know, like, when I help a parent that has a three-year-old that hasn’t slept through the night and a year and a half. And I get that three-year-old sleeping like there’s nothing better than that. Do you have a favorite mantra that you are saying that you share with your clients to help them through the tough stuff?

Steffi Edwin: Yes, well, actually, I share this analogy with all of my clients about going to daycare or starting daycare with the baby. I talk with them, I point out what the first day is like at a daycare and how the baby’s fussing cry. It’s hard for them. But then by day three or four. They’re like waving at you at the door like bye, I’ll see you later. Because they build that confidence and they feel secure in their surroundings. And it’s the same for sleep training.

Jayne Havens: Yes, love that. Totally agree. Great analogy. Before we wrap up, where can everybody find you? Do you want to share your website, your Instagram, whatever, whatever you want to share?

Steffi Edwin: So I’m most active on Instagram. So you can follow me there at Jolie Sleep. Send me a message if you want to learn more about the services that I offer. Or you can visit my website, joliesleep.com. and do my packages there and the breakdown of my services. And you’re also able to reach out and book a discovery call with me right there too.

Jayne Havens: Perfect. Thank you so much for chatting with me today. And I’m just absolutely glowing, shining, smiling from ear to ear. So happy that you’ve had all this success and thank you for taking the time to share it with my audience today. 

Steffi Edwin: Thank you for having me. Bye-bye

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