New year, NEW ME! This is the first time I have ever gone solo on the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast. It was scary, but I did it! I felt the need to practice what I preach. In order to grow, we must step outside of our comfort zone.
On this episode of the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast, I outlined a typical day the life of a sleep consultant. I hope you enjoy!
On this podcast, I’ll be discussing the business side of sleep consulting. You’ll have an insider’s view on launching, growing, and even scaling a sleep consulting business. This is not a podcast about sleep training. This is a podcast about business building and entrepreneurship.
Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast. This is Jayne Havens, coming live for the very first time, completely alone with no podcast guest to interview. If I’m being honest, I am nervous. This is just, I think, part of being a business owner who is committed to growth and trying new things even when it feels hard and scary. I feel like I should be practicing what I preach. I am constantly encouraging my Center for Pediatric Sleep Management students and grads to get out there and do the hard things, and to not let fear get in the way of doing things that they want to do to grow in their businesses. So, here I am doing exactly that.
I thought I would come on and tell you all what it looks like to have a day in the life as a sleep consultant. Before I came on to record, I quickly jotted down my schedule for today. I didn’t want to forget anything. So, I’m going to give you a really accurate picture of what my day looks like. I should tell you that the beautiful thing about this work that we do as sleep consultants is that every single day looks completely different.
Today is actually a really good example of what my day looks like. Sometimes, my days are really busy. Sometimes, I really have not much going on. And so, it’s never the same. Here’s just one example. When I’m recording this, it is a Tuesday. My kids are back in school for the first time since winter break. So, they’ve been home for about 10 days. I’m really excited to have them back in school, so that I can get back to work.
This morning, starting at about seven o’clock in the morning, my kids are up and getting ready for school. While they are getting dressed, I am quickly sending text messages to all of my clients who I’m working with. I actually — I should have counted this before — have seven families that I’m working with currently. I sent out seven text messages just reaching out. “Good morning. How was the night? Give me an update.” They will all message me back at some point in the morning. Most of them already have just a little back and forth while my kids are getting ready for school.
By 7:45, we are out the door for an 8 AM drop off. Because this is the first day that my kids are back in school, I made a grocery store run. So, that was a quick little errand before I had to race home to record a training for my Snooze Fest clients. After that, I had a little bit of a break. I ate some breakfast.
By 10:30 I had my first discovery call. I spoke with a mom who has a seven-month-old baby who was previously sleep trained. He has since regressed. I think this mom jumped the gun trying to switch his schedule from three naps to two probably before he was ready. She changed his schedule. Now he’s taking short naps, and he’s waking up in the middle of the night. She’s feeling really overwhelmed and not really sure how to manage getting him back on track. She reached out for my help. I’m pretty sure that she is going to sign on to work with me. So, that’s exciting.
Then at 11:30 AM, I have a networking Zoom. I’m going to be speaking with an occupational therapist who I connected with by way of a previous client. I worked with a family not too long ago, a couple of weeks ago, who has a little 14-month-old who has some developmental delays. She actually has a genetic condition. She has a lot of stuff going on. She sees an occupational therapist, a PT. She has a feeding and speech therapist. This mom was so blown away by all of the progress that we made with regard to the baby’s sleep, but then how that impacted her development.
This little baby, once she started sleeping through the night, she said her first word. She started meeting physical milestones. She actually sat up in her crib for the first time ever once she started sleeping through the night. All of her therapists were sort of blown away by the progress that she made. In the same timeframe, it all just started to click once this little baby got sleep. Mom was so blown away, and all of her therapists were so blown away that my client connected me with her therapist. I’m speaking to one of them today by Zoom.
I’m really excited because this is how I get a lot of my leads for future clients. Most of my clients for my sleep consulting business come to me by way of referrals either from past clients or other professionals that work in the parenting space — occupational therapists, physical therapists, preschool directors, preschool teachers, family photographers, daycare owners. So, this is just going to be a really great networking opportunity, and I’m so excited to see what comes of that.
Then at 12:30, I have an Ask Me Anything call. For those of you that don’t know what an Ask Me Anything call is, I have these 30-minute calls that are just like a one-off call. The phone call does not come with follow-up support. It’s just 30 minutes of my time where families can hop onto my calendar and ask me anything and everything they want about their little one’s sleep.
This Ask Me Anything call — I’m trying to think what we are talking about. Let me look on my calendar really quick, so I can tell you. Okay. This is a former client of mine. I’ve actually worked with her twice. Both times, her two different children, her little boys, tend to struggle when they get moved from a crib to a bed. That seems to be what happens in her home. I have helped her twice to navigate the crib-to-bed transition.
Now she is reaching out for a third time. I’m not really sure exactly what we’re going to be discussing. But if I had to guess, it’s the same thing. Maybe one of her boys is having trouble falling asleep at bedtime and staying asleep without the help of a parent in the middle of the night. I think what’s going on is they struggle with maintaining that boundary around sleep. When kids get upset and they throw a tantrum, sometimes it’s just easier to get them back to sleep however you can rather than putting in the work to really establish their confidence around sleep so that it resolves long-term.
I don’t want to guess, but I bet that that’s what’s going on in their home. But I’m really excited to speak with her because I’ve already worked with her twice, and we have a really nice relationship. We have a good rapport. It always makes me smile when I see families come back onto my calendar for additional help.
Of course, I would love for them to be able to navigate these situations on their own without me. But I also think that it’s really nice to consider the fact that we shouldn’t have to do it alone. Some parents, when they struggle in various areas of parenting, they’re really quick to reach out for support. I think that that’s a really wonderful thing. I don’t think that we should have to go through parenting alone. I don’t think we should have to navigate stressful situations on our own. I think it’s really wonderful that there are all different types of support for parents who are doing their best to raise happy and healthy kids. So, that’s 12:30.
At 1:00, I have another networking Zoom. My 1PM Zoom is with a therapist who supports moms who are struggling with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. She is sitting in an office all day with moms who are struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety. A lot of them, their anxiety stems from the lack of sleep. So, we have a really good working relationship. Whenever she has a client that’s struggling in her home with an infant or toddler’s sleep, she’s very quick to send them my way. Of course, I take the best care of them. Of course, I refer business back to her whenever possible.
We have a really nice working relationship. We really see eye to eye on the way that we support families and our whole philosophy on the importance of establishing healthy and independent sleep hygiene, not just for the child but for the entire family unit. So, I’m really excited to chat with her. We have been referring business back and forth for a couple of years now. We have formed a friendship, and it’s just always really nice to catch up. So, I’m excited to do that.
From 2 to 3 PM, I am free. So, I am probably going to hop onto social media and see what types of connections I can make. One of the questions that I get asked all the time when I get onto calls with people who are interested in becoming a sleep consultant is if you have to use social media to be successful in this line of business. My answer to that is no. I actually have several people inside of our program who don’t really use social media at all to grow their businesses. I actually have a podcast episode on this exact topic. If you scroll back, you can listen to my interview with Kerri Nachlas. We’ve talked all about growing a business without really using social media.
With that being said, social media is a really wonderful place to connect with your ideal client if you are a sleep consultant. The way that I use social media to grow my business is not really the way that I think a lot of people think of how you would use social media. When I use social media to grow my sleep consulting business, I’m not posting every day on Instagram. I’m not coming up with some really beautiful graphic and some really thoughtful content or copy that would go under the graphic. I don’t really use social media that way. I find that to be incredibly draining. I do think it’s valuable if you can keep up with it and do it every single day. I just personally don’t have the energy for it, so I don’t do it.
I use social media as a platform. I always say you should use social media the way that it was intended to be used, which is to make social connections. If you use social media to make connections, then it’s an amazing way to expand your reach beyond just the people that you know in your real life.
What I will do from 2 to 3 PM is, I’ll probably go hang out in some of my favorite Facebook groups and see what sort of chatter is going on about sleep. I just love to comment and engage on threads about infant and toddler sleep. Let me give you an example. If I hop into a Facebook group, and I see there’s a mom that’s seeking advice because her eight-month-old is waking up every single hour, and she’s at her wit’s end and doesn’t know what’s going on, and there are a bunch of moms chiming in with their opinions on why this eight-month-old is up all night, I might chime in on that thread and just introduce myself as a certified sleep consultant, and then share why I think that that’s happening and the solution for how to resolve it.
The reason I do this is because, first of all, this mom is struggling. She’s coming into a Facebook group for free advice. If I’m going to contribute, I think I should give her what she’s looking for. So, I give her the free advice that she’s looking for. I’m not expecting her to reach out to me to work with me. Because honestly, she was coming into this Facebook group for free advice. If she was looking for a sleep consultant, she probably would ask a friend, or she’d post in the group asking for recommendations for a sleep consultant. But she didn’t do that. She asked for a free advice. So, I’m going to give her the free advice. I’m going to give her the best advice I can possibly give her.
Then the beautiful thing about that is that she may not be looking for sleep consultant, but there are 25,000 other moms in that Facebook group that might read my response and think, “Wow. That was incredibly helpful. That sounded really smart and spot on. I’m going to reach out to her.” That happens to me all the time. I just share really good advice. I’m as helpful as possible. The original poster is unlikely to hire me because that’s not why they were reaching out. But other people read those threads, and they end up reaching out. They check out my website, or they slide into my DMs. We start a conversation, and sometimes that leads to a paying client. Not always, but sometimes.
I also think it’s just a little bit of goodwill. Ever since I became a sleep consultant, it’s something that I just enjoy doing. I hop into groups and just answer people’s questions and try to provide help and support in any way that I can. It also just helps me to get better at talking about what I do. The more that you talk about what you do, the more people know about what you do, the more people see you as an authority in the space. It’s just really good practice, and it feels really good to help other people out. That’s probably what I’m going to do from about 2 to 3.
Then at 3:30, I’d go get my kids from school. I am going to be shuttling them around to after-school activities, feeding them dinner, getting homework done, showers, and eventually ready for bed. Once they’re ready for bed, assuming that that mom who I spoke to at 10:30 in the morning, if she signs on to work with me, then tonight after the kids go to bed, I’m going to write her sleep plan. It usually takes me about 30 minutes to write a plan. It used to take me a lot longer, but I have it down pat. I know exactly what to do. I have a formula at this point, so it doesn’t take me super long to write a plan. I’m going to write her plan, assuming she signs on. I’d send it off to her, and then I’m going to be done working for the day. That’s going to be it for me.
That is my day in the life of a sleep consultant today. Tomorrow may be completely different. I’m actually going to take a quick look at my schedule for tomorrow. I don’t know. Actually, tomorrow looks pretty similar. But the beautiful thing about working as a sleep consultant is that it can be anything that you want it to be.
I just spent the past week — my kids were off school. We took two trips, small little overnight trips. For those days and nights, I completely blocked off my calendar. I didn’t have any calls. I worked a little bit. I had clients that I was supporting, so I was responding to text messages throughout the day. That’s something that I didn’t even mention.
In addition to everything that I outlined, because I have seven clients right now, they will send me text messages throughout the day letting me know how naps are going or asking me questions to get ready for bedtime tonight. Out of the seven families that I’m currently supporting, three of them have infants that are on nap schedules. The other four are older children — three and four-year-olds. The infant clients, I am hearing from them throughout the day. All of them are actually on either three or four naps. So, I hear from them pretty often. They’ll text me when they’re putting their babies down for a nap. They’ll text me if they woke up from a nap early. Some text messaging going back and forth throughout the day, but it’s a pretty light text load.
I find that if I’m really thoughtful and really strategic about how I set them up on the front end — that includes a really well laid out written sleep plan and a really good phone call to make sure all of their questions are answered — if I do those two things, I find that they don’t need a ton of support from me via text message throughout the day. So, it’s really just a few check ins here and there.
Every once in a while, I will have a family that is more anxious about the process or a little bit more needy with communication. That just sort of comes with the territory. That’s okay. For every family that you have that’s a little bit more needy or needing to be more hands on, you have five that you never hear from all day. So, it balances out.
I love supporting them. That’s honestly why I got into this line of work: because I love the process of actually supporting families and watching the transformation. It’s really beautiful. Because I do a two-week consultation with families for the first maybe five to seven days, sometimes it can feel really intense. You’re in touch a lot. Then for the second half of our time working together, it’s like they don’t even need me anymore because they know what I’m going to say. I’ve already answered a lot of their most pressing questions. They’re less stressed because sleep has already improved, and they’re getting into the groove. They know what to expect. The last five to seven days is always just like usually pretty easy, breezy and fun. I love that.
Anyway, that is a rundown of what my day looks like, a typical day in the life of a sleep consultant. I hope you enjoyed this solo podcast episode. We’ll see. I’m not sure if I’m going to be doing more of these or not. I would love to hear your feedback. If you did enjoy this episode, listening to just me talk for who knows how long, hop in to our Facebook group. It’s called Becoming a Sleep Consultant. Let me know how it went. Shoot me a DM, or you can always email me email@example.com. Thanks for listening!
Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, it would mean so much to me if you would rate, review, and subscribe. When you rate, review, and subscribe, this helps the podcast reach a greater audience. I am so grateful for your support.
If you would like to learn more about how you can become a certified sleep consultant, head over to my Facebook Group, Becoming a Sleep Consultant or to my website thecpsm.com. Thanks so much, and I hope you will tune in for the next episode.