Interested in becoming a sleep consultant? 

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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Starting an Agency with Jodi Congdon

Starting an Agency with Jodi Congdon

Jodi Congdon is the owner of Hip to Heart, a birth and postpartum doula agency in the Boston area. She is also a postpartum doula and lactation educator trainer for CAPPA and the creator of the Birth Boss series of business courses for birth and postpartum professionals. starting an agency

On this episode of the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast, we discuss: starting an agency

  • How to know if you are ready to start an agency
  • The value of having the proper systems in place before you add to your team
  • What it looks like to work for an agency as a sleep consultant

Links: starting an agency

Website: Hip to Heart
Instagram: @hiptoheart
Facebook Group: Business for Birth + Postpartum Professionals

If you would like to learn more about the Becoming a Sleep Consultant, please join our free Facebook Group or check out our CPSM Website.


Transcript: getting certified  

Intro: Welcome to Becoming a Sleep Consultant! I’m your host Jayne Havens, a certified sleep consultant and founder of both Snooze Fest by Jayne Havens and Center for Pediatric Sleep Management.

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.

Jodi Congdon is the owner of Hip to Heart, a birth and postpartum doula agency in the Boston area. She is also a postpartum doula and lactation educator trainer for CAPPA and the creator of the Birth Boss series of business courses for birth and postpartum professionals. That was a mouthful.

Jayne Havens: Jodi, welcome back to the Becoming a Sleep Consultant podcast. I am so pumped to be chatting with you today.

Jodi Congdon: I’m always pumped to be chatting with you. I love this.

Jayne Havens: I know. I wanted to bring you on because I think some people in our universe are interested in starting an agency. We have a handful of CPSM grads who have already done this. They built their businesses to the point where they—

Jodi Congdon: I’ve spoken to a couple of them, yeah.

Jayne Havens: I know. I love that. They’re sort of bursting at the seams. Some of them have already taken on other CPSM grads to work under them. Some of them are just exploring this. I know you’re sort of the guru in this category, because you already have an agency of your own. So, I wanted to bring you on to chat all about it. What would you say is sort of like — do you have a number one best piece of advice that you can share to set people up for success as they start on this journey?

Jodi Congdon: I have a couple. I think the first one is probably the hardest to start with. But before you get to a point where you are scrambling, saying no to clients, stressed out because you’re so busy, you have to think about — I’m always a goal setter. Think about what you want your business to look like, even six months from now. And if it’s anything, like having contractors working for you, and if you’re looking to scale like that, set the wheels in motion before you don’t have time to set the wheels in motion.

A lot of people come to me when they’re like, “I say no to six people every single day. I’m working 20 hours a day, so much for this time freedom, whatever. I’m not having any time freedom.” If you can assess your business every couple of months and think about what the future looks like, try to start that process. Most of us don’t do that. That is the norm. And that’s fine. I didn’t do it that way. I waited till I was literally losing my mind before I was like, “Oh, this seems like a good idea.”

But when you’re scaling your business and when you’re growing your business, it doesn’t automatically mean that you’re going to be putting so much more time and so much more money into it. I think a lot of people are afraid to succeed, basically. We always say, you’re afraid to fail. No, you’re afraid to have success. Because failure, you pick up the pieces. You try again. But success, you’re there. There is no stopping you. That, I think, is easier said than done.

Jayne Havens: To sum it all up, the first thing is, start before you’re ready, right? That’s really number one.

Jodi Congdon: Yes.

Jayne Havens: Anything else? Are there sort of crucial things that need to be in place before you set up an agency?

Jodi Congdon: No.

Jayne Havens: Systems?

Jodi Congdon: Systems? Yes, systems. I feel like, in any business, you need to have good systems. Because growth is inevitable even if you don’t transition into an agency. But I feel like we’re always talking about this. We’re always talking about systems and organization. You want to set those up, of course, when you have 2, 3, 4 clients so you can work out all the kinks and figure it out.

I love automations. I use Dubsado. I think it’s a wonderful program for client correspondence. But those things that you set up for 2, or 3, or 4 clients should work the same for 20 clients, 30 clients, 40 clients. It’s hard to think big like that. But once you start with the agency and get things rolling, you will ultimately have 20 clients, 30 clients, 40 clients at the same time.

Especially, when you’re doing sleep, you take what? 15, 20 clients a month, right? I mean, if that’s your sweet spot as one person, if you had two or three contractors, that could be 45, 50, 60 clients at a time — that ultimately as the owner, you’re not doing all the sleep plans and you’re not doing all the management. But you are possibly talking to other families first and getting a good feel for them before you match them. So, you want to have systems in place, especially for all of that correspondence, like getting an inquiry, having it go to — it goes right into my Dubsado, so I can see all the information. The clients schedule themselves. So, I’ve already taken out all of that back and forth, that takes a ton of time.

So, setting those up, yes, 100%. You hit it on the head. Setting those up early in your business sets the tone for being able to grow and scale easily, and not be responding to emails, forgetting things. It’s very easy because we check on our computer, on our phone, on our watch. I do it sometimes at a red light. I know you’re not supposed to do that, but I do.

Jayne Havens: We all do.

Jodi Congdon: You do it on carline, pickup line. I do, too. So, things definitely get forgotten. But if you have those systems in place, there’s no room for error. Little room for error.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, I think a challenging piece of all of this would be to onboard somebody else to do things the way that you do them. I know that that just takes time, and it takes work. You just have to be willing to do it.

Jodi Congdon: It’s hard.

Jayne Havens: It’s hard because so much of the stuff that I do in my business every single day is just in my head. The idea, the thought of having to explain it all to somebody else is really overwhelming and daunting.

Jodi Congdon: That’s why you have good systems. You show them once, and the system takes care of it. But I feel the same way, especially when you get to a point where you’re so busy. You can’t stop your business from running to help someone learn how to run it for you.

But I think one of the things you said in the very beginning, which was so smart — if you are a graduate of CPSM, you probably would want to bring on contractors that graduated from the same program. You know what they’ve learned. You know the methods. Ultimately, you know the quality of care that they could provide. You know the scope of practice. So, it’s much easier. Because as a contractor, you can’t tell them what to do. You can’t make them do anything, but you can set expectations and manage those expectations. So, always much easier.

I’m a postpartum doula trainer. I only bring on people that I’ve trained. It’s obviously through the same organization that I’m trained with. So, I know exactly what they’re capable of, exactly what they are doing, what they know. They’re not supposed to do all of those things. So, it’s much easier to have someone reflect my quality of care.

And same for you. It is hard to bring on people. Because it’s your name, your reputation. And they’re never going to be exactly like you. That’s okay. But if they have that quality of care, that scope of practice, it comes down to personality. And you want multiple, different personalities as the face of your business because your clients are not all the same. They need different things. Some people need a sweet sleep consultant. Some people need someone who’s more — I don’t want to say boot campy. But, you know.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, straight shooter. I’m the straight shooter.

Jodi Congdon: I’m not. Funny enough, though. When I chose a doula for my birth, I needed a super straight shooter. I’m very warm and snuggly, and kind of touchy feely. The thought of having that person to help me was horrifying. My doula, who’s one of my best friends, is a drill sergeant.

Jayne Havens: Well, I think that’s why you and I get along. Because opposite attracts, right?

Jodi Congdon: Opposite attracts, mm-hmm.

Jayne Havens: I know you touched on this a little bit. We touched on when you’re ready. But how do you know that you’re ready? Are there signs? Beyond the obvious of you’re just really, really busy, how do you know if your business is ready to take on independent contractors to scale?

Jodi Congdon: I mean, like you said, saying no consistently to people every single day. You’re getting inquiries, and you’re giving them out, which is nice to help the sleep consultants around you. But you’re leaving money on the table all day, every day. That’s not a great feeling. The other thing is saying no and not having that person get the help that they need. That’s not a great feeling either. I think I enjoy the management piece. I enjoy the accounting piece. I enjoy the client connection. I just knew for me that I was ready to manage something a little bit bigger.

The other thing is, when you realize that there’s an apparent cap on the amount of money that you’re making and the amount of clients that you’re taking, because there’s only a certain number of hours in the day, and you realize that, okay, if I keep doing what I’m doing —15 clients a month is a lot right. I know you do other things. You do business to business stuff like I do. That’s not a great feeling either that you’re putting a limit on yourself and your business potential. That, I think, for me was the breaking point. When I crunched the numbers, I’m like, I don’t love this. I don’t love that this is my earning potential. I know that I am capable of much more. I’m capable of reaching more people.

I also love the fact that the more full-paying clients I have — which obviously is 50 times the amount that I would have by myself — you can reallocate much more money to charitable causes and volunteer work. That feels great too. I was maybe able to volunteer once every couple of months, working as a solo business. And now there’s ample opportunity for the people who work with me to volunteer and give. I love that too.

It positions you as a leader in the community, not just for sleep consultants, not just to other sleep consultants, but also to just the general public, like clientele. But you’re also doing much more educating even if you don’t realize it. By taking on more clients, they’re talking to more people. They’re talking to providers. Sleep consultants just have a much — I don’t want to say bigger presence.

Jayne Havens: A greater reach, a further reach, right?

Jodi Congdon: A greater reach. But they’re held to a different standard now. Five years ago, people were like, “Ugh, sleep consultants.” Five years ago, people were like, “Oh, I heard of a birth doula, but I never heard of a postpartum doula.” Now everyone’s like, “Yes, sleep consultants. I know this person who used one. My sister-in-law used one, and this person has a great sleep.” It’s in our vocabulary more, and it’s the normal. I love that too. Because you’re not plastering it on a billboard. But just by having more people out in the field and taking care of more families, you’re educating the public just by being out there.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, I also think that it affords you to live the life that you want to be living a little bit more. When you’re not handling all of the work on your own, it gives you the freedom to take some time off, in a way that maybe you wouldn’t otherwise. It positions you to travel and feel like you don’t have to turn away business.

Jodi Congdon: Right. Your business keeps running even when you’re not actively working in it. I love seeing pictures of you at the pool, on the beach. You got one toe in the sand. I know you’re working. And it’s okay too. That’s the thing. You’re not working on vacation. I feel like people who go on vacation and work have a bad rep. But you’re casually taking care of clients. You have revenue coming in. Your clients aren’t like, “Ugh, my sleep consultant is away for a week. Who am I going to ask questions?” You can shoot a text. It’s okay. You’re by the pool. You’re with your family. You’re taking care of all the other important things but also running your business with your thumb.

Jayne Havens: For me, I think I’ve never taken on sleep consultants to work under me. People ask me all the time if that’s something that I am doing or if I will do down the road. The answer for me—

Jodi Congdon: It’s a hard no for you.

Jayne Havens: It’s a hard no for me for a lot of reasons. Just I don’t know. I’m a little bit of a control freak. I like to do things the way that I like to do them. I don’t really trust people to do things exactly the way that I do them. Because so much of it is in my head, and I really have a hard time like getting it out into — I do my best, but it’s really, really hard. All the little nuances of things. I just have never felt comfortable.

Jodi Congdon: I think we all feel that way, too. Yep, it takes a long time to feel very comfortable saying “we” in your business when it’s always been an “I,” or saying “us” or “our team.” It’s funny, with birth and postpartum, and sleep and all that stuff. After I started my agency, 10 months went by before people were asking for me. I used to have to say like, “Well, I’m not available. But I have very intentionally chose this team, blah, blah, blah…” But in one cycle of pregnancy, nobody was asking for me anymore because I’d already been out of the loop for that 10 months. So, anyone who wasn’t pregnant in that time was getting a referral from a friend or a co-worker. But they had already used someone else. They didn’t have me as their doula.

Jayne Havens: Somebody else.

Jodi Congdon: Yes, so, that happened very quick. Really, it’s very empowering when you are intentionally choosing people to represent you, and they do an incredible job. And if they don’t, then you don’t use them anymore. That’s okay. That happens. But don’t not pursue the agency route or grow your business because you are afraid that nobody can represent you like you do.

Jayne Havens: I’m really glad to hear you say that. I’m still not going to do it. But that is my number one biggest fear. It’s that people ask for me. They don’t want somebody else. I try all the time to refer business out for various reasons. I have stopped supporting families on the West Coast because I don’t like to stay up late. So, I refer out to my West Coast CPSM grads. I stopped supporting really, really itty-bitty babies.

Sometimes parents will reach out to me with a six-week old. I don’t do that anymore just because I don’t have the capacity. They require so much more constant communication. They want to be texting all day long. Because, literally, six-week-olds are literally always eating or always trying to sleep. I need to be working with families that at least have a nap schedule, like three or four months, where you start to see a pattern form.

I just don’t have the capacity anymore. So, I try to refer out these cases. I referred out a little six-week-old to a CPSM grad who’s amazing, by the way, and far better at handling newborns than I am. Because she started off as doing in-home support. This mom said to me, like, “I’ll just wait until the baby is—” It’s like, I can’t even refer out. People don’t want me to refer out. So, that’s always been a big fear of mine. It’s taking on somebody to work under me, and then they only want me. But I love that you say one cycle, which makes perfect sense, like one cycle of a generation of babies. Then by the time that the next baby is born in that same family—

Jodi Congdon: Nobody’s heard of you. They’ve only heard of Snooze Fest. They don’t know Jayne. They know Snooze Fest. People, in the last five years, who are calling me are calling Hip to Heart. They’re not calling for me personally. But it does feel great to know that people are loving the people that I chose. I do. I mean, I choose people that I’ve trained. I trained hundreds of people. I have a team of about 40. Birth doulas, too. But I very intentionally chose the shining stars. It is not easy, and I’m not saying this like I’m something special. But it’s not easy to get on our team. I’m very, very, very picky.

Because, again, it’s representing me. It comes right back to me. Not everyone is going to be happy all the time. That’s just like life. But, for the most part, I feel wonderful when someone loves the doula that I picked.

It’s nice too. Because, over time, you get to know strengths and weaknesses. You can match perfectly. From all the inquiries you get, as you’re listening to these families talk about their sleep struggles and possibly even their postpartum time and postpartum mental health right now is very terrible. So, you’re listening to all of this stuff, because postpartum people tend to talk a lot. In your head, you’re already like, “Okay. I know who I think is going to be the sensitive person to work with them. I know that this family needs someone to tell them to take a step back and to just get in there.”

You get to know parents, and you know they’re going to go in 50 times before they’re supposed to. So, you need someone who’s a little stricter, or someone who’s well-versed in overnight breastfeeding, or co-sleeping, or whatever. So, you get to know the people. It feels good to say to the client, like, “I have the perfect match for you.” Because it’s like dating. I mean, it is like dating. It is.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, I think you bring up some really good points. When I think of the handful of ladies inside of my program who have grown their businesses, to the point where they’re taking on independent contractors to support them in their businesses—

Jodi Congdon: Yeah, you have some super successful grads. I’ve met some of them. You have some phenomenal people. I bet you saw that, too. You can spot a shining star.

Jayne Havens: I can spot a star. I can spot a shining star a mile away.

Jodi Congdon: 100%.

Jayne Havens: It’s clear as day. There’s no gray area. You know when you see them.

Jodi Congdon: You know you know.

Jayne Havens: Some of them, when you see these ladies who have grown their businesses to the point where they’re taking on others to work under them, they have all of the pieces of puzzle in place. They were putting systems in place before they even had other people working under them. They were doing that for their own businesses, so that when they were ready to take on independent contractors, they were ready to onboard them. They already had their whole lineup and their whole system going.

They did it before they even were bursting at the seams. A lot of them took on independent contractors before they were exploding, so that they weren’t too busy to onboard them properly, which I think is really smart. Then when I look at the personalities of those who are working within these companies, they’re also different. That, to me, is so smart. They have different personalities. They have different styles. They have different strengths. And yet, they’re all operating—

Jodi Congdon: Clients need that.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, it’s so smart. It’s so smart. I feel like I wouldn’t have my head on straight to do it. But when I see other people doing it, I’m like, that is so impressive. They are just getting started. Some of them, the ladies I’m thinking of, they’re all in business for less than three years. One of them has only been in business about a year or a year and a half. So, it’s really impressive that they’ve been able to figure this out so quickly. You’re right. It can just keep growing. This is just the beginning for them.

Jodi Congdon: Right. And you know when you have a good product. I have a coach because I’m the worst delegator. If there’s someone, if you Google it, like worst delegator on Earth, my picture will come up. The worst. I don’t know why. I trust people. I don’t know why. I’m just bad. Maybe I’m not organized. But the example she gave is, if you’re going to buy a Tesla, are you chatting with Elon Musk? No, he has trusted and taught and mentored people who then mentored people. Then you see the person at the dealer who is great and sells you the car. You don’t need to have that specific person. But, as the owner, you have to do your job right, and you have to really train and mentor.

Jayne Havens: You have a strong brand. You have a strong identity. You have a look. You got your logo, your colors. You have a style. You have a an image that you’re putting out there. And then people recognize that. You have a reputation, and people know it to be tried and true. They trust you and those that work under you.

Jodi Congdon: And you have to remember — I’m not trying to like psych anyone out here. Think about when you go to a restaurant. You have an awesome meal. You maybe tell one person. But if you have a terrible meal, you tell 32 people. I have a degree in hospitality. I learned this early on. You have a good team, and people have good experiences. Yes, word of mouth is so important. But when it’s something goes south, as the owner, as the person, it’s the face of your company, there is some damage control that you have to do. You have to be the kind of person who is not afraid to hop right in here and don’t wait for things to blow over.

As the owner, you’re not just in the back all the time doing the payroll and talking to clients. I’m the first one to talk to clients. We’re on Zoom, so they see my face first. They get to know me. They get to know my personality. Yes, I talk about the logistics. But it’s very personal. Sleep, having someone get an inside view into your home and how you run your family and all those things, and probably take a good look at your weaknesses, definitely, it’s a very personal service.

You have to be, even as the owner, on the front sometimes even when you don’t want to be, even if you’re picking up some pieces. So, you have to be very confident and comfortable knowing that, that even though you’re not doing the actual work, it’s very important that you are still the face of your brand and literally, not just figuratively, somewhere in the back.

A lot of people too, I will say, one of their reasons for not wanting to start an agency is, they don’t want to manage people. Then don’t do it. You’re managing clients. On behalf of other people, you’re managing doulas. You’re managing your time. You’re managing other people’s money. You’re managing a lot of things. If that’s not your style, but you’re still like, “I want to grow. I want to scale. I want to make more money,” agency route is probably not for you. Because I could sit 20 hours a day and still work on my business. I don’t. But there’s always something to manage.

Jayne Havens: What about for those who are listening to this, and they’re like, “I am not the type to ever start an agency, but maybe I’ll work for one,” what does it look like to work underneath of somebody? What are the advantages of that? Disadvantages?

Jodi Congdon: Lots of advantages, especially when you’re just getting started. Basically, you don’t have to do the marketing, the networking, and the contracts. You don’t have to do any invoicing. You really just match up with a family. You do the work, and you write the plans, and all that stuff. You create relationships, of course. And you get paid. So, you’re getting paid to do something that you love, and you’re getting lots of experience with little to no effort put in other than working with that client.

One of the drawbacks is, you’re going to make less money than you would if you were doing it privately. But, again, you’re not doing the marketing, the networking. None of those things. So, you have to expect to make, probably, I would say 75% of what you would make if it was your private client. But you’re doing 25% less of the work, so it ends up being okay. I know a lot of people are not wanting to make less money, but I think that you’re doing less work. So, it all evens out for sure.

Then once you get very comfortable in the work and you’ve been doing it now for a while, you could start to reach out, start to network a little bit. Not go crazy. Maybe get one private client. Stay with the agency, take two private clients. Back away from the agency a little bit. Then eventually, you’re on your own. But it’s a really great starting point. So, I think there are so many more pros than there are cons for working for an agency.

Jayne Havens: Okay. I think sometimes this probably varies from sleep consulting to doula work. It might look a little bit different. But I feel like at least with the sleep consultants that I know that are working for other sleep consultants, they do, I think, have an agreement in place that they’re not supporting families outside of the brand. Like all of the business, I think. I could be wrong about that.

Jodi Congdon: You can’t really do that.

Jayne Havens: Am I making that up?

Jodi Congdon: No, you’re not making it up. Because a lot of agencies I know — I will chat with doulas, and they’re like, “Oh, I can’t because I’m already contracted to this agency.” As an independent business, you’re just doing contract work. So, the person that you’re contracted to cannot tell you not to work for other people. They can try, and they can have it in their contract. You can sign it. So, you’ve signed it, whatever. But there’s a legal piece to it that makes that not the right way to operate. That’s operating more like an employee. They’re not employees. So, it’s a no, no.

I encourage people. It makes you a more well-rounded sleep consultant or doula or whatever if you’re doing multiple things, if you’re working on your own. You’re working for an agency. You’re growing as a person. You’re getting out there more and more exposure. I don’t mind it at all. I just asked my contractors that if they do pick up another contract, let me know that you’re not available so I don’t have to ask you 50 times.

I know a lot of agencies that discourage it. They discourage it to a point maybe they don’t make you sign a contract. But they verbally say like, “We discourage it. And if we do find out that you’re doing that, then we will just not give you any more work.” I don’t like that. I’m very, very honest open. If my doulas ask me any questions about the contract, happy to share. Happy to share what I charge, what they are. There’s no reason to hide anything. I mean, I have people in my area taking my agency course. I know they’re going to open their own agencies. They’re going to be my direct competition, but that’s life. That only makes me do better. I love all the competition. Bring it on.

Jayne Havens: I feel the same way. I mean, I train people to be sleep consultants, and I am still a sleep consultant. I actually think it’s good for the industry.

Jodi Congdon: Absolutely.

Jayne Havens: I know you feel the same, because we’ve talked about this. The way that I feel about more sleep consultants entering the field is that, the more people that are doing this work, the more parents that know about it, the more normalized the service becomes. Then there’s more work for all of us. I know that that’s the same with postpartum doula work. I know for a fact that six years ago when my daughter was born, I didn’t know that postpartum doulas existed. I did not.

Jodi Congdon: My oldest one is 15. I didn’t know either, then. After I had her, I was like, there should be something. Let me do some Googling. But you said before, and this is the beauty of all this, there’s going to be clients that are just not good fit for you. So, instead of just giving it a hard no, saying, “I’m sorry, I can’t help you,” you can say, “I’m sorry, I can’t help you. But I have trained this person. I think they would be a spectacular fit.”

If there weren’t the people that you were training, you would have no one to give to. There’s enough business out there. Plus, for everyone. There are more inquiries now than I have doulas. I have a fairly big team. But yeah, you want variety. You want diversity in anything. If you can be responsible for creating more, I think it’s fantastic. I never want to be the person who works for someone that covers all the things they’re doing because they’re afraid that I’m going to step in and take their job.

We want to be the boss that says, “Hey, look at all the stuff I’m doing. Because if I go on vacation, I need you to do it for me. Or if I get a promotion, you’re going to step into this role.” So, it’s be mutually beneficial to be the person that shares and to be the person that wants to know more. I love when my doulas ask 1,000 questions about my contracts and their business questions. I know that they’re asking these questions because they’re interested in growing their own businesses, which means, ultimately, they’re going to step away from my business. But I love it.

Jayne Havens: You know what? I think having that mindset is so important to having a successful business. If you’re so worried that someone’s going to come along and take what you have, it’s such a scarcity mindset that just doesn’t belong anywhere in entrepreneurship, if you ask me.

Jodi Congdon: But I think it also brings on anxiety that nobody needs if you’re always paranoid that someone’s chatting with you to get something out of you. It changes you. It makes you not a person that people are going to want to hang around. Because it’s obvious. When a conversation is not natural, it’s just bad vibes.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, totally. I love sharing everything that I know with all of my CPSM students and grads. I want them to be just as successful as me. I want them to take just as good care of their clients as I take care of mine. It’s a positive reflection on me and my program. The more people that are out there doing a good job and supporting families at a high level, that’s the goal, right?

Jodi Congdon: Right. Also, to talk about or share the ridiculous things you did. There are times where I’ll share with my agency students, I’ll be like, “I messed up so big today. This is what I thought I was doing. This is what I actually did. The client was mad.” I’m always sharing the mistakes too, because it’s almost sometimes more important to learn the what not to do than the what to do. Because you can figure out how to do it. But having like, okay, this is what you don’t do, it’s sometimes very helpful. Just being totally transparent, I think, is so important as an educator, a mentor, a role model. You’re a huge role model in the sleep realm of the world.

Jayne Havens: Oh, thanks, Jodi.

Jodi Congdon: Well, it’s funny. Because this is like a side note. But I love for people to hear this because they’re not always part of the same groups that you and I are parts of. There will always be someone asking, like, “Oh, what about a sleep course?” Things revolve on Facebook. I’ll jump to the comment. But I’ll make sure I look through all the comments if I commented already. Do you know what I’m saying? Because sometimes it’ll bring up things from last week that I already commented on. I mean, your name comes up so much that I need to thumb through and make sure I didn’t give a comment if I already have. Because I don’t want to look foolish. To be known as the expert in the field that you’re in is a great thing. That’s not easy to come by, for sure.

Jayne Havens: For anybody listening to this interview that wants to learn more about starting their own agency, I know that you have a program to teach people how to do this. What does that look like? What does it look like to go through your program, and how can people find out more about it?

Jodi Congdon: Yeah, it’s eight weeks of live education, plus a huge library of resources — everything from contracts to intake forms, to correspondence, social media. Literally, everything that I use that I’ve created is in this course. How it came about was four or five years of me just trying to figure out how the heck to do it, wasting a ton of time, a ton of money. Then realizing that I eventually, at some point, five years later, have a pretty well-oiled machine. My business is super organized and streamlined. I’ve packaged that up and created it for someone to then take their solo business into an agency model.

It’s eight weeks live. Tons of resources. Office hours is every week. Really, just a lifetime of mentorship. I have people who went through the program three years ago that still hop on office hours, still sends me a message on Voxer with questions that have come up for the first time, three years into their agency. Definitely, it’s a lot of tailored material.

You can hit me up on Instagram. I’m @hiptoheart. My website is hiptoheart.com. Feel free to ask questions. It’s an application process. I definitely am very intentional about who goes through the program. Because there are definitely people who are like, “I’m ready.” Then on paper and as we chat, I’m like, you’re not even close to ready to do this. Because it’s a very accelerated program. It doesn’t take a lot of actual time, but it takes a lot of brainpower and a lot of organization.

You obviously need to be in a place where you’re financially stable and ready to take on that responsibility. But yeah, it’s a pretty much a done-for-you program, so you don’t have to waste your time and money trying to figure it out on your own. You probably make back — I would say, probably like 85% or 90% of the people who go through it, if they follow the steps and follow what I’m telling them to do, make back their investment on the program within the first two to three months, which is a really fast return on investment.

Jayne Havens: I say the same thing about CPSM. For people who hit the ground running and really get to work and do what they need to do—

Jodi Congdon: What is it like? Five clients?

Jayne Havens: Yes. I mean, depending on how you set your pricing. Yeah, five-ish paying clients, and you have a complete return on investment on the program. I think that in the grand scheme of things, all of these trainings — whether it’s to become a sleep consultant, or to level up to start an agency, or anything else — it’s all what you put into it. If you decide that you’re committed, and you’re ready to go, and you’re ready to make this happen for yourself, then you’re the only one that’s ever going to get in your own way. Nobody’s stopping except you.

Jodi Congdon: The agency program has the potential to be a complete transformation for your business. For most people, it is. You’re taking your business from just you to a much bigger platform. Even with your program, you’re allowing people, the time and financial freedom, to grow their family, to do other things they love, to travel, to spend more time at home, or whatever they want to do and still make a wonderful salary, make a big impact on the community, take care of themselves.

How many of us can say we are excellent at self care, because we have the time to do it? Up until I had my agency, I absolutely did not have the time to do it. I didn’t realize how important it was. You don’t realize how burnt out you are, until you stop for a second and reflect. But if you’re so busy, you don’t have time to do that. So, you just continue to chug along on empty. But yeah, it’s definitely a different way to run a business. But it’s a no brainer.

I wish everyone had the opportunity to really have all the things they want — to have a successful business, time, freedom, financial freedom, all the other freedoms that you want for yourself. It’s different. It’s different for everyone. Some people, they want the freedom to travel. They don’t want to stay in the same place. Some people have one kid. They ultimately want to have five. So, what does that look like for the next seven years of your life? That’s going to be maternity leave.

One of the things too, as I air quote that, when you run your own business, those are the things that you give up. My kids are young. I was running my own business when I had them. You have to have one hand in all the time. You don’t have to actively work, but you got to keep an eye on things. You have all this other freedom, but you still — even from Aruba or wherever you have your toes in the sand — have your finger on the pulse of your business.

Whereas if you work for someone else and you’re on vacation, you’re not obligated to do anything. But you want to. I don’t ever feel obligated to do anything. I want to. I love it, and I never want to not have one eye on things. Not because I think someone else can’t run it. Because I’m genuinely interested and invested in it.

Jayne Havens: Well, look. Anybody who grows their business, their sleep consulting business, to the level where they’re ready to take on independent contractors under them, obviously loves what they do, right?

Jodi Congdon: Yes.

Jayne Havens: And same thing with doula work. If you’re going to grow your business to take on others, obviously, you have a level of drive and a level of passion that you can’t get there without that. That’s number one, right?

Jodi Congdon: Right. 100%.

Jayne Havens: I guess, for people who are listening to this, and they’re like, “That’s me. That’s me,” I hope that they will reach out to you, and you can show them the way.

Jodi Congdon: I am excited to do that. I can’t wait. It is like the best feeling in the world — you know how it is — to open someone’s eyes to something that maybe they didn’t know they necessarily wanted or needed. But when they find out it’s there and it’s theirs for the taking, it’s the greatest thing ever. And to watch someone succeed. I’ve trained people two or three or four years ago as a postpartum doula, and now they’ve come full circle in my agency training. I’ve started their career with them. And now it’s evolving into something spectacular. So, I hope that doesn’t give away how old I am feeling now that I just said that.

Jayne Havens: That’s okay. Well, let’s wrap up there. Thank you always. We’ll do this again soon.

Jodi Congdon: 100%.

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.

Send a message to Jayne Havens, founder of CPSM.

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