Sindy Warren is the founder of Blue Tree Coaching. She is a life and business coach, a Stanford Law School grad, a human resources consultant, and a published author. She is also the host of the Side Gig School Podcast.
Sindy helps coaches and consultants grow their businesses so they can experience the personal and professional freedom that comes from being their own boss. not working
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.
Sindy Warren is the founder of Blue Tree Coaching. She is a life and business coach, a Stanford Law School grad, a human resources consultant, and a published author. She is also the host of the Side Gig School Podcast. Sindy helps coaches and consultants grow their businesses so they can experience the personal and professional freedom that comes from being their own boss.
For those that are new listeners of the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast, you may have missed Sindy’s first interview on the show. So, scroll back to Episode 25 to hear our conversation about discomfort tolerance. That was a good one.
Jayne Havens: Sindy, welcome back to the show. I’m so thrilled you are up for another conversation with me.
Sindy Warren: Always, Jayne. I am so happy to be here.
Jayne Havens: I was listening to your podcast a few weeks ago, and the topic completely drew me in. You were discussing the idea that growing a business takes time, and not to rush it. While this idea isn’t exactly revolutionary, I think it’s one that deserves some airtime. So many entrepreneurs experience this strong urge to race to the finish line before they even really get started, right? What do you think about that?
Sindy Warren: Yeah, I see that a lot in my world. I work not exclusively, but a lot with newer entrepreneurs. Thus the name of my podcast, Side Gig School. And I do see people falling into a trap of thinking it’s not working when, really, like you said, they’re just getting started. So, there’s almost a mismatch of expectations and what’s happening and what should happen. I agree with you. I think it’s really important that we normalize for people that it takes time, and that’s not a problem.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, I think when people are starting side hustles — this is like your zone of genius, right? This is what you do, is you help women and men both to launch and grow their own side hustles. When you think about it, you have a side hustle. It is a side hustle. It’s not your main hustle, right?
A lot of these people, they have other jobs. They’re balancing and juggling. There’s a lot on their plate. So, the idea that your side hustle is going to just launch and propel into amazingdom immediately is a little bit of a — that’s just not reality, usually.
Sindy Warren: Yeah, and I think that’s also true for people who have full-time aspirations. I work with a lot of those people too. That might be the personality that gets even a little more tripped up on. “It’s taking too long. It’s not working. Oh, my goodness. Something’s gone terribly wrong here.” Again, not the case.
Jayne Havens: Because the end goal for these people is to ditch their nine to five, and one day have their side hustle be their main hustle. I see this a lot. Women enroll in Center for Pediatric Sleep Management, and they have a nine to five. Their pipe dream is to leave their nine to five and to do sleep consulting full time. They’re so focused on that end goal that they have trouble seeing the tiny, little micro goals that they should be setting along the way to achieve that ultimate dream that comes — it might take a year. It might take five years to make that happen.
Sindy Warren: I love how you said micro goal, because I think we really do need to break it down. It’s like we’re standing at base camp looking up at the mountain peak. If we’re just focused on the peak, we’re going to miss everything we need to do to get there. And not only that, but the beauty along the way, and the learning, and the journey.
Jayne Havens: On your podcast — the episode that I was listening to — you brought up the idea of patience. I think to some degree, we’re all a little bit impatient sometimes. That can be good, right? That fuels the fire when you’re a little bit impatient. But also, I think you need to be patient in order to be successful. Would you agree? How do you balance? How do you balance all of it?
Sindy Warren: Yeah, that’s such a great question. I will just tell you straight up, I run towards the impatient side. That is for sure my hardwiring.
Jayne Havens: Me too.
Sindy Warren: That doesn’t surprise me, Jayne. I just have learned over time, like you said, impatience or excitement can be fuel. It can be motivation. It can be discipline and commitment. I think, especially for those of us that tend toward the more impatient, we must sort of couple that with realistic expectations of, yeah, it is consistency. It is doing all the things. But over time. That’s the key to success. It’s time. So, many of us can really underestimate how long it takes.
Jayne Havens: Again, going back to the micro goals. If you set smaller goals, you’ll always feel more successful. Sometimes it’s just literally — people will say to me, they’ll say like, “How quickly can I expect to x,” whether it’s like get a return on my investment after purchasing the course, land my first client, have my first $5,000 month, whatever the benchmark is.
I’ll say to them, “Hey, let’s just set the first goal of you finishing the course,” or, “Let’s just be reasonable here, and let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s set a goal that you can achieve soon. Then once you achieve that goal, then let’s set another one — that, again, is really, really reasonable so that you can feel like, okay, I’m doing this — whereas if you set your big end goal and you’re only focused on that, you have this feeling of failure that is really not accurate. It’s just a feeling.”
Sindy Warren: Totally. You put yourself in this place of lack when, really, if you’re setting small metrics along the way for yourself and you’re nailing them — finish the course, tell people, “Oh, I have a new side hustle, or a new business,” or however you want to call it. In my world, I call that, “Okay, we’re going to launch the side gig.” That’s such a big moment — it’s just a real thing. I’ve gotten an LLC, and I told some people about it. That’s a moment to celebrate.
Yeah, of course, I think it’s really helpful to have a bigger vision and to keep your eye on it, like you know where the peak of the mountain is. But celebrating the successes along the way is so key to keeping going. Because achievement and a feeling of accomplishment just fuels more of the same. Breaking it down, I think, is key.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, I hear all the time from my Center for Pediatric Sleep Management grads and other really green entrepreneurs that they’re sort of doing all of the things, and then “it’s not working.” I put that in air quotes. Do you hear this from the people that you coach? How do you respond to the “it’s not working” comment?
Sindy Warren: In a number of ways, the most obvious rejoinder to “it’s not working” is “it’s not working yet.” We haven’t given it enough time. I also think people can look for evidence that it’s not working and ignore all the evidence that actually it is. You’re growing a social media following. You’re growing your expertise. You’re setting up your business foundations. You’re really clear on how you help. You’re coming at it from a place of service.
There are so many things that can be working. If we tell ourselves it’s not working, that’s, again, going to put us in lack. It isn’t going to serve our forward movement.
Jayne Havens: One thing that really helped me when I was just getting started was keeping myself in the mindset that every single thing was a learning experience. So, when I got on that first discovery call with somebody who was interested in hiring a sleep consultant and they didn’t hire me, instead of feeling like, “Nobody’s hiring me. I don’t have any clients. I can’t figure this out,” in my mind, I was like, “How did that call go? Did I feel good about that call? Did I feel like we were aligned? Did I feel like I properly articulated my value?”
I was asking myself all of these questions. Was I stumbling over my words? Was I not clear on what the process was, what the transformation was. In the beginning, I wasn’t clear on all of those things. Nobody taught me how to get onto a discovery call and talk to a tired mom about helping her through a really stressful change. Nobody taught me how to do that. I had to figure that out on my own. Each time I got onto a call, I got better at it.
Now I make it a point to try and teach my students inside of my program how to get onto these calls, and how to have these conversations. But nobody taught me that. So, I had to figure that out on my own. It wasn’t me failing. It was me learning. It was a process to get to the end goal, which was me being more confident about talking to families about how I could serve them and how I could support them.
Sindy Warren: That’s such an important thought reframe. “It wasn’t me failing. It was me learning.” Really, everyone should write that down. Because when you are starting something new, by definition, you’re learning. You must be learning. You don’t know how to do the things yet. It’s so funny. I also teach my students how to do clarity calls or whatever we call them.
I had a great coach who taught me how to do them. Even then, I suck at it first, frankly, because it’s a new skill. We have to flex our muscles whenever we’re doing something new. In the doing of it — I think you said something else that’s really important — not only do we increase our skill level, but our confidence grows the more we keep putting one foot in front of the other and not saying, “It’s not working. I give up.”
Jayne Havens: It’s sort of like muscle memory. When you’re learning how to do anything new at first, it feels like a lot of effort. You’re paying attention to every single word that you say. Let’s make an analogy. If you’re learning a choreographed dance, at first, you can’t remember the moves. You can’t remember the steps. Then you do that dance 100 times or 1,000 times. Then all of a sudden, you could do it in your sleep while having a conversation with somebody else. It wouldn’t matter. Your body just moves that way.
I think that that’s what eventually happens to those who give themselves the opportunity to practice and learn along the way, rather than just beating themselves up for “failing” when they don’t land the client or have the instant result that they’re looking for.
I mean, I think about my own business. I still do all of these things that don’t necessarily work. I do things all the time that don’t work. I’ve hired virtual assistants that haven’t been a great fit. I’ve hired bloggers that didn’t nail the blog posts. That’s not a failure. That’s a lesson. Then I know what to look for the next time, right?
Sindy Warren: Absolutely. Entrepreneurship is a mindset shift. I think it’s important to — as we’re doing — just normalize. You must have almost a testing mentality in entrepreneurship. “I’m going to try this and see if it works. If it doesn’t, I’m going to learn from it. I’m going to introspect. I’m going to evaluate. Then I’m going to go try something else.” Versus, “I tried the first thing, and it didn’t work. Obviously, I’m terrible at business. This will never work.” I think that’s really important. You have to almost approach it like a scientist, with a sense of curiosity.
Jayne Havens: You touched on this. I want to bring it up again. I think another really important point to articulate here when we’re thinking about if something’s not working is to have really reasonable expectations. As you said, these things take time. If something’s not working, it’s not working yet. To keep your mind in a place where you’re managing your own expectations around what success looks like in the short term, in the medium term, in the long term, I think, is really, really helpful. Because all of this is a process, right?
When you take it for what it is — which is a process — then you’re not failing. You’re just somewhere along the spectrum or the trajectory. You’re on the way. You’re on the way. We’re almost on the way unless we quit. We’re always on the road. Maybe we’re taking slower steps, or we’re taking smaller steps than what we had envisioned for ourselves. But we’re still, we’re on the way.
Sindy Warren: I have two thoughts that came to mind as you were saying that, because I can obviously completely agree with you. One is, people give up too soon. I see it all the time. It absolutely makes me so sad. Because I really believe that consistency, over time, yields results. I see that again and again and again. I’ve seen it with myself. That’s obviously true for you and a lot of our clients who have hit whatever their markers of success were.
I also think, Jayne, that this “it’s not working” can be fueled by what we see on social media sometimes. I’ll just pick Instagram as an example. You often see people in the coaching industry — I’ll just speak of my industry — who look like overnight successes, who are crushing it with making millions and millions and millions of dollars out of nowhere. And so, if you’re comparing yourself against that standard, normal to feel like, “It’s not working,” or “I’m a failure,” or, “This isn’t for me.”
I just want to caution people that there’s a lot of BS out there on social media. That’s not the room you want to be in if you’re trying to set reasonable expectations. Instead, you should be in a room like yours, Jayne, like, “Let’s get through the course first,” or working with a coach who’s just going to help you keep your eye on the ball. Slow and steady wins the race. So, I think that’s just also important for us to be wary of.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, absolutely. This came up on — I was in a DM conversation the other day with somebody who was interested in becoming a sleep consultant. She asked me the question. I forget how she phrased it. Basically, what she was asking is like, “How many people that take your course are successful,” or something. That’s basically what she was asking. Those were the words. But what she was really asking is like, “What are my chances?”
She was asking about other people. But really, what she was really asking is like, “Do I have a shot at this?” I said to her, I was like, “I’m going to answer your question honestly, because I’m happy to be transparent. But also, what does anybody else have to do with you? What does anybody else have to do with you?” People go to law school and never graduate or pass the bar. That’s not law school’s fault. There are people out there that just don’t get it done. That is life. That’s actually most people. Most people don’t get it done.
You get to decide. “I’m going to get it done.” It may take longer than what you envision. That’s okay. It probably is going to take longer than whatever you’re imagining. That’s okay. The way that you get to be successful is by putting one foot in front of the other, and continuing to put effort forth, and showing up at whatever fullest capacity you have to give, and not quitting. Because when you quit, you fail. I know you know that.
Sindy Warren: Right. Absolutely. I want to just highlight, pull out. This is a really powerful statement you made: you get to decide. I want to add to that. I think you actually have to decide. It’s not up to you or me whether our clients are successful.
Obviously, we want to provide the best container possible and educate them to the best of our ability, et cetera, give them all the tools and resources. But they’re the ones that have to decide and then do the things, and then stick with the things and then not give up on themselves, and then keep going even when it’s hard, and so on and so forth.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, I wanted to bring up something that, again, you said on your podcast. I’ve heard this before from other coaches. I wanted you to explain it and unpack it to our listeners. It’s the idea that our thoughts create our feelings, and our feelings cause our actions. I’ve heard other coaches say this. Can you unpack that for us?
Sindy Warren: Yeah, this is literally how our brains work, Jayne. This is cognitive behavioral science. Coaches didn’t make this up. Many of us have seized on this reality. When you think a thought, it provokes an emotion. Everything we do and don’t do is actually driven by how we’re feeling and how we think something is going to make us feel. Then of course, whatever we do or don’t do is literally what creates our results in our lives, entrepreneurially and otherwise.
For example, if someone were to have the thought “it’s not working.” I’m trying to be a successful sleep consultant and the thought is, “It’s not working,” they’re going to feel something like defeated, for example. From defeated, what do they do? They probably don’t go out there with a lot of fire and passion and a sense of service talk about what they’re doing and how they can help people.
They probably aren’t posting and creating content that’s really supportive. Like you said, the new mom who’s like at her wit’s end because she can’t get her baby to go to sleep. They’re probably not doing the things that will help them be successful. Then the result they create, of course, is just more evidence that it’s not working. There’s always a through line between the thoughts and the results. So, if you think it’s not working, you are going to go create evidence that it’s not working.
Jayne Havens: Can you also give us an example of why? Can you give us a more positive example where we can — walk us through the positive mindset that creates the positive action?
Sindy Warren: Yes, 100%. I do this with my clients in what we call — these are intentional thoughts. What at intentional thought might be, something like, “I am just getting started.” The circumstance is like, “Well, I just launched my sleep consultancy business. Maybe no one reached out to hire me.” Again yet. But if you think, “I’m just getting started,” I’ll just tell you that thought for me is like I’m kind of excited. I feel a positive sense of energy and commitment. “I’m not giving up. I’m just getting started.”
Then from that place, what the person would do is go talk about it, keep going, keep creating content, keep thinking about how much what they just learned how to do can change people’s lives. Then from that place, those actions are going to create results of you actually making true that you were just getting started. This is just the beginning.
Jayne Havens: I love that. It’s such a difference when you just change the way that you think about something. Then all of a sudden, the result can be entirely different. I love that. I love how powerful it is.
Sindy Warren: Yeah, and I want to say it’s not — I think of this like this is thought work. This is mindset work. This is not just plugging in “a happy thought or a positive affirmation.” It really goes back to you just deciding what can be true for you now. Then even more than that is practicing. For example, this morning, I just sent an email to a client I met with late yesterday.
“Okay. Eleanor, these are the intentional thoughts we came up with for a bullet point list. Remember to actually read this every day until we meet again next week.” It is a practice for our brains to embrace a more positive, empowering, impactful mindset.
Jayne Havens: I think it really, truly does take work to stay there. It’s like going to the gym every day. You got to make a decision to go to the gym. You have to make a decision. Like, “I am going to show up with the proper mindset in my business today. Not in a way that’s fake.” As you said, I’m not just going to say this thing, but I have to feel it. I have to actually feel it in my core, so that my brain can be in the right place to show up in a way that’s productive.
Sindy Warren: One thing that always helps me — I know this is true for you, too — is to come back to how is my work even helpful or important to someone else’s life. It’s really a sense of service and contribution and adding value to clients, or even people that are just out there reading what you’re putting on social media or whatever. I think that’s also a really helpful way to reframe your mindset.
Jayne Havens: I think that’s exactly right. I actually was very recently coaching a CPSM grad who was struggling with mindset in her business. She was frustrated that her business wasn’t where she wanted it to be yet. Her entire energy from that feeling was showing up in a way that felt desperate almost, like she had to get this next client. It was almost like she was chasing the score of the client or chasing the dollars.
I reminded her to get back to a place where she really decided why she wanted to do this. It’s interesting because she is so passionate about supporting moms, especially in the postpartum period. She literally lives for helping moms thrive. I just encouraged her to get back to that space, and not even worry about finding the next client. I just wanted to get her into a better headspace and to enjoy her business again, and to find joy in the process and in the work.
She did. We kept talking about like, “I don’t even want to hear about landing a client. I don’t even want to hear it. Just let’s get to a place where you’re enjoying these conversations with moms again, and enjoying these conversations with other professionals that are also supporting moms so that you can talk about how to collaborate with them.” Literally, two days later, she had a client.
Sindy Warren: That does not surprise me. I love it.
Jayne Havens: Two days later, she messaged me and she’s like, “I have a discovery call coming up tonight. This is happening.” It was like her energy shifted. She’s probably listening to this. I hope that she continues with that energy. I hope that she doesn’t forget that because it was such a shift for her just to enjoy the process.
I think when you stop enjoying the process and you lose track of why you got into the work in the first place, it’s no fun anymore. Your side gig or your full-time gig, it should be as fun as possible. This should be actually enjoyable. We should choose to enjoy the work that we’re doing.
Sindy Warren: Yeah, because we get to decide on this work. No one is forcing your hand to become a sleep consultant or any other kind of side hustle. That’s a beautiful story. It doesn’t surprise me at all. What I want to say to this person, if she is listening, is your brain might go back into that kind of desperate, “Oh my gosh, I got to land the client” phase, just remind yourself like nothing’s gone wrong. We can just gently come back to our why.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, another thing I had written down that I wanted to talk to you about is the idea that comparison is the thief of joy. We touched on this a little bit. But one thing that I know a lot of us struggle with in entrepreneurship is looking around and seeing what others are doing and wondering why our business doesn’t look that way.
You touched on it that some of it might not even be real. Some people are just putting stuff out into the internet that’s not even accurate. And so, maybe we shouldn’t even believe everything that we see on the internet. But also, there are people out there. There’s always going to be people that are more successful than us, right?
Sindy Warren: Totally.
Jayne Havens: Right. That has to be okay, too. How do you handle that from a mindset perspective?
Sindy Warren: That is a great point. I do think in some industries — coaching, unfortunately, is one of them — there’s a lot of exaggeration and even falsehood out there. But of course, it also is true that there are many people far, far ahead of you, or me, or anyone listening in business. Obviously, that’s true. So, what do we do about it? I think it’s really important to understand that we’re all here having our own journey. I think a really helpful thought is, “It’s working the way it’s supposed to.”
A coach of mine, who is probably the most brilliant coach walking on the face of the earth, said, “I choose to believe the universe is conspiring for me. I can’t always see how; I just choose to believe that.” If you actually believe that, just what is that fuel in terms of an emotion? What does that drive in terms of action? I think, again, it comes back to maybe a more attainable version of that thought. Nothing has gone wrong here. It’s just taking time for me, and that’s okay.
I also think it’s really important that we all separate out our worth from our financial markers or entrepreneurial success. Worth is just inherent. It just is. No one can make you more or less worthy. Not a client. Not a dollar amount. It just is. Then when we can separate that from the business journey, I think it can just be like, okay, it’s numbers. It’s time. It’s consistency. It’s trial and error. It takes a little bit of taking it so personally and making it mean something terrible about yourself if it’s not happening as quickly as it is for someone else.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, absolutely. As I’m listening to you talk, I’m thinking about who listens to this podcast. I have no idea. But I bet half of the audience is made up of sleep consultants, people who are already in the field. I hope that this podcast is a bit of a continuing education for them. Then the other half of the audience, if I had to guess, are people who are interested in becoming sleep consultants.
Perhaps they’re listening to this and they’re thinking, “Oh, my gosh. This is so scary. What if I can’t do it? What if I can’t figure this out? What if I can’t grow my business as quick? Here, Sindy and Jayne are talking about how it’s going to go slower than I think it’s going to go, and that scares me.”
What do you have to say to that? What do you have to say to somebody that’s intimidated or overwhelmed by the idea that it might not happen as quickly as whatever they might dream up in their mind? Then they don’t even get started.
Sindy Warren: Yes, I was just about to go there. Getting started is the next right move. It is. If it’s a series of moves to get to the dream, getting started is the first step. Then not giving up is steps 2 to 550.
Jayne Havens: Through 1000.
Sindy Warren: Yeah, exactly. Don’t be scared off by it. Just be like, “Okay, this might take some time.” Look, are there stories of people who start businesses, and before they know what they’re making six figures? Yeah, of course, that does happen. Not for most of us. But I really love the thought, “Nothing is going wrong here. It’s all working. It’s just going to take some time.”
Jayne Havens: I like the thought that if we’re less focused on the big end goal, it takes the pressure off. For somebody who is thinking about wanting to become a sleep consultant, and the idea that they have to reach X income in a year or have X amount of clients in a year, well, that feels really scary. I would love for everybody listening to this to get that out of their head and really think about, “Okay. I can do this because the very first step that I need to take is to get my certification or just literally enroll in a course is first. Not even worry about passing it yet, but just enroll in the course.”
Then it’s like passing the course. Then it’s thinking about your next step 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and taking it moment by moment is very, in my opinion, doable and digestible. I hope that that brings some people who are listening some sense of calm and confidence around all of this. Because it doesn’t need to be 0 to 100. It doesn’t need to be that you conquer the universe in six months, right?
Sindy Warren: Totally. I would also say come back to fun. If it excites you to think about taking a course, then that’s great. When I first took my first coaching certification, I was like, “This is going to be so fun. I’m going to learn so much.” Who knows what’s after that? I literally had no idea. I didn’t really even think that far ahead. I just wanted the learning.
Jayne Havens: I love that. Let’s end there. That’s really beautiful. Before we wrap up, where can everybody learn more from you? I’d love for you to share your website — I know you’re on Instagram — your podcast. Let us know where everybody can learn more from you.
Sindy Warren: Okay. Thank you so much. My business is Blue Tree Coaching. bluetreecoaching.net is my website. On Instagram, I’m @BlueTreeCoaching and my podcast is called Side Gig School with Sindy Warren.
Jayne Havens: I love Sindy’s podcast. I highly recommend. I binge weekly, and I encourage all of you to do the same. Thank you so much for coming onto my show to have this conversation with me today.
Sindy Warren: Thanks, Jayne.
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.