Emily and Randi are both moms and former teachers of 10+ years. After the birth of their children, Emily’s daughter and Randi’s twin boys in early 2022, they both knew that the classroom was no longer a good fit for them. They were ready to make the jump out of public education, but still wanted to do something fulfilling. They wanted something they were passionate about that would utilize all of their teaching skills, and something where they could still feel like they were making a difference in people’s lives.
Emily enrolled in Center for Pediatric Sleep Management in October of 2022, and soon after Randi quickly jumped on board. Together they’ve created Teaching Sweet Sleep, where they get to support families be fully present with their own families, and get to do work that they truly love. From Teaching to Sleep Consulting
Book a free discovery call to learn how you can become a Certified Sleep Consultant here.
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.
Emily and Randi are both moms and former teachers of 10+ years. After the birth of their children, Emily’s daughter and Randi’s twin boys in early 2022, they both knew that the classroom was no longer a good fit for them. They were ready to make the jump out of public education but still wanted to do something that fulfilled them like teaching once had. They wanted something they were passionate about and that would utilize all of their teaching skills, and something where they could feel like they were making a difference in people’s lives.
Emily enrolled in CPSM in October of 2022 and, soon after, Randi quickly jumped on board. Together they’ve created Teaching Sweet Sleep, where they get to support families be fully present with their own families, and get to do work that they truly love.
Jayne Havens: Ladies, welcome to the podcast! I am so excited to be chatting with both of you today.
Emily Vogel: Thanks for having us.
Randi Robinson: Happy to be here!
Jayne Havens: This is the first time I’ve ever interviewed two people at the same time on the podcast, so this will be a learning experience for me.
Do each of you want to take a few minutes to share a bit about your former careers as teachers, why you decided to get out of teaching, and how you landed in the field of sleep consulting? Emily, do you want us to get started and then Randi can share next?
Emily Vogel: Sure. So I was a teacher for 10 years. I taught middle school for four and then elementary school for five. After the birth of my daughter in April 2022, childcare in Charlotte, North Carolina — I don’t know about the rest of the world — is insane the way it was to get into a daycare, like three plus years. If it gives you any context, she’s 18 months, and we still haven’t gotten anywhere.
After she was born, my husband and I had to sit down and decide what we’re going to do for childcare. It really didn’t make sense for me to go back to teaching. Because of nanny, it would kind of be my entire salary. And so I decided to become a nanny. That’s when I connected with Randi. I worked for her for a year while she went back to teaching. I had her twin boys and my daughter, which is great because they got to play together and interact and hang out. They are still friends to this day, which is awesome.
While I was doing that, I was like, actually, I want to do something different. And so I sleep trained my daughter. It went super well. I was like, I think I can probably help other moms do this. This is probably a big need. And so I researched a bunch of courses. I found yours. I started, and I kind of hit the ground running. It was a good way to combine my passion for helping people and working with families. It also gave me the flexibility to stay at home.
Randi saw me working at her house when I was working while the kids are napping and everything. She jumped on board shortly after. We kind of took off on it together.
Jayne Havens: Love that. Randi, do you want to give us a little bit of background of why you were also maybe in a place in your life where you felt like you were ready to take a similar path?
Randi Robinson: Yeah, my story is pretty similar to Emily’s. I taught for 11 years. I taught first, second, and third grade. Then I had my twin boys in February of 2022. I took off the rest of the year in the summer. Similar to Emily, I hadn’t gotten to any daycare. But I was in a place where I wanted to go back to work. I wanted to go back to teaching that year, so I connected with Emily. We were so grateful for her. I went back to teaching that year.
But pretty quickly, I realized that teaching full-time with my 7-month-old twin boys at home was a lot. I felt like I had to be a good teacher or be a good mom. I was really struggling to do both.
During this time, I was becoming friends with Emily and talking to her. She was talking about this sleep consulting thing she was doing and asked me if I wanted to join her and do it with her. So I finished out the year teaching. I did your course in the evenings on the weekends. Then I started doing this full-time once school got out for the summer. It’s been great so far.
Jayne Havens: I love it. Randi, do you have any thoughts on how your experience as a teacher has benefited you in your work as a sleep consultant? I’m wondering what skills from your teaching career have carried over into your work, coaching families through sleep training?
Randi Robinson: I think one of the things that I always tried to keep at the center when I was teaching and working with families was that all these parents of the kids in my class, they just wanted what was best for their children. It’s the same with sleep consulting. It’s a whole different set of skills, but it’s all just working with families who want what’s best for their children and doing whatever I can to help them get what they need.
Jayne Havens: I think that’s exactly right. I always say that. I say there’s so much heated debate about sleep training on whether it’s good, or whether it’s bad, or whether you should do it, or whether you shouldn’t do it.
In these conversations, I’m always saying to either friends, or colleagues, or the families that I’m speaking with about whether or not we should work together, the one thing that I always say to them is that every single family is just doing what they think is best for their child.
Whether you decide to sleep train, whether you decide to bed share, whether you decide to nurse or formula feed, or feed your kids all organic food or goldfish off the dining room floor, every parent is literally doing their best. I think that that’s an important mindset to keep front of mind when you’re coaching families. Because every family likes to take it at their own pace and maybe do it in their own way.
However, they decide to do it, we’re there to support them and do it in a way that works for them. I think you’re 100% right. That when you keep the mindset that we’re just there to help families be the best parents that they can be and to support them at a really high level, that’s when they get results.
Emily Vogel: What really resonated with me, Jayne, is you always say meet the families where they are. You’ve always said that. That was in the course a bunch of times.
That, I feel like, was always the motto while teaching — meet the kid where they are for their specific learning needs or the level that they’re at at the current time. I feel like that is the same thing for sleep consulting. Like you said, if they’re bed sharing and they’re wanting to sleep train, we have to meet them where they are. Because it’s probably going to take a little bit longer. They’re going to need more support and whatever. So it’s the same process in creating that plan as it would be for a learning plan for a child.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, I think that’s exactly right. Another thing that comes to mind for me is that when we’re working as sleep consultants, I think one of the core most important pieces of the puzzle is to build a certain level of trust and rapport with the families that we’re serving. I would imagine that that’s very similar as your work in the classroom. These parents need to trust the teacher who’s spending all day with their child, and they need to trust that the teacher has their best interests at heart and their child’s best interest at heart.
Do you find that that was sort of another similarity, something that you saw on your teaching career that carried over to sleep consulting?
Randi Robinson: Absolutely. We always said as teachers that the parents are your biggest ally. If you’re having any sort of concerns and issues with the child, you have to reach out to the parents. And if you’re on the same team, then it’s so much easier to address these problems.
It’s the same as sleep consulting. The parents have to know that you care about their child the same way they care about their child. You want what’s best for them. And if you’re on the same team, it makes everything so much more streamlined, so much easier.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, I bet.
Emily, as someone who worked in education for a really long time, can you speak to some of the differences and benefits that you experienced once you went into business for yourself versus working for a school system for a number of years?
Emily Vogel: How much time do you have?
Jayne Havens: All the time in the world.
Emily Vogel: There are so many. I feel like what Randi said. Teaching — people don’t really think of it, but it is really an all-encompassing job. You get there in the morning, probably half an hour, 45 minutes early to set up for the day. You’re with these kids all day long worrying about their educational needs, their emotional needs, their physical needs, everything, for seven, eight hours at a time.
Then most of the time, that work comes home with you. You’re grading papers at night. You are prepping for lessons. You’re trying to figure out different ways to get engaged. You’re communicating with families. 24/7 you are on. And so what I found really hard is to be able to go back into that and be the teacher that I once was but also show up and be a really good mom for my daughter. I found that to be almost impossible.
Randi and I were just talking about this the other day. The balance is a little bit harder because you’re working for yourself. So you have to time everything yourself. It’s like okay, I have her in preschool this many hours a week. Okay. She naps these many hours a week. Okay. Bedtime is at this time, so I can get a little bit work in here.
But the freedom that I have now to be able to show up and be a good mom but also still do something that I’m passionate about is the number one benefit for me. Being able to be home and watch my daughter grow, I mean, I’m going to blink and she’s going to be in kindergarten. So if I can cherish these years now, I’m going to do it. To still be able to financially support my family and do something that I’m passionate about and I love is the best combination and something that I feel was lacking when I was in the classroom.
Jayne Havens: Randi, would you agree? Do you have sort of similar sentiments?
Randi Robinson: Oh, absolutely. I think that the balance of everything was really the biggest issue I had last year. I was thinking. Just this morning, one of my sons has an ear infection. I called the pediatrician. I made an appointment for this afternoon. No big deal. We had things like that come up all the time last year. I was like, “Oh, well, can I leave early? They can be upset with me. I have to make the sub plans.”
Getting rid of the stress of that has made the world of difference. Like what Emily said, it is hard sometimes when I’m home with them. They’re awake, and I have to finish my to-do list. I’m going to do it in the evening. But the stress is so much different when it’s things that I’m planning and I have control over.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, I think we can all relate to that, those of us who are in it full force.
For me, we’re in the season of the Jewish holidays. My kids go to a Jewish day school where every single holiday is observed at a higher level than I observed them in my own home personally. There are holidays that I don’t necessarily observe in my own home. But school is off, and so I have to spend days — I shouldn’t say I have to. I get to. I get to spend days with my children in a way that is not super stressful.
This Friday, actually, my kids are off from school. It’s not a holiday that we observe at home. My mom and I are going to take the kids to Turkey Hill ice cream factory and teach them how to make ice cream. We’re just going to have a great day. I love that I get to do that. I can just block off my calendar and spend the day with my kids. And it’s like no skin off my back. When I get home at night, I’ll put my computer on my laptop. I’ll catch up on a little work, and all will be okay.
When I think back to my days, I used to work in catering. I wasn’t a teacher. But I always called it the catering ambulance. It was always like a fire alarm was going off. The amount of stress that I had from my clients, their most important moments were in my hands. And so I was always working, and I had the emotional labor of their anxiety over their events. It was never ending.
I love that I don’t have to deal with that anymore, and then I can be present for them. So I think that that’s probably, to some degree, true for all of us. Whether your teachers or working in another field, it’s, I think, a little scary to go and leave that nine-to-five or take a break from the traditional workforce. But there are so many added benefits that once you do it, I think it feels really good.
Randi Robinson: 100%.
Jayne Havens: Emily, I think you touched on this first when we were first starting this interview, but I’d love to sort of go back to it a little bit. I’d love to hear the process of you guys working together. I know how you got it started. You started first, and then Randi sort of jumped in. But how did you really form this partnership, this business alliance? What does it look like for you to work together as a team?
Emily Vogel: It’s been really great so far. We’ve transitioned into working as a team pretty well together. We have a website together that Randi worked hours on. It looks great. We have a website that together we can contact clients, or they can contact us to book a discovery call.
In that aspect, we just trade off. Like, “You got the last one, this is what’s mine. You got this one. This one’s mine.” We just kind of trade off that way. Then also, if somebody reaches out to us personally or if it’s a referral from a past client, we just take them on as our own. So we have the shared responsibility and then our own thing, too, which has been good.
As far as networking and getting our name out there, it’s been really great to have two brains to do that. We’ve done the social media route, but we found that more integrating ourselves into the community has been a bigger asset. So we’ve been going together to Mommy-and-Me yoga classes. We did a moms-in-the park workout class with a bunch of moms last week.
We get to do it together, which is really fun. Because I think selling ourselves is not our strong suit or not our comfort zone, I should say. We’re getting better. But it’s nice to have another person to bounce ideas off of or be like, “What should I do here? I think it’s gone really well overall.” It’s nice to have a partner in this. Because as you said, it’s kind of scary to leave what you’re used to and try something totally different. So having somebody who gets it is super helpful.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, I bet it’s really comforting to have a friend by your side during this whole process. I think that one major thing that keeps people from getting into entrepreneurship is that it can feel very lonely and that all the pressure is on you. You’re in business for yourself. You either figure it out, or you don’t.
Personally, I think it can feel like you’ve failed or succeeded. It feels very black and white sometimes. What I know to be true from having done this for several years is that it’s not black and white. There’s a whole lot of gray, right? It’s not pass-fail. It’s a learning curve, and it’s a process. But I think when you have a friend alongside of you, it just feels probably less scary, if I had to guess.
For those who don’t have a business partner or business friendship, at least inside of CPSM, I’m always trying to sort of pair people up with others so that they don’t feel so alone during this process. I’m wondering if you guys in your work together if you’ve identified each other’s strengths and weaknesses and played to them. Is one of you better at the tech stuff? Is one of you better at social media? Is one of you better on discovery calls, or are you really just a solid team effort tag-teaming everything that comes your way?
Randi Robinson: I think up until this point, it’s been a lot of tag-teaming but also just like saying, “I’ll take responsibility for this.” Emily was running Instagram. So we opened our Facebook. I was like, well, I’ll take the Facebook. Just kind of saying like trying to keep the balance, “You’re working on this. We’ll all work on this,” to split the workload.
Jayne Havens: Okay. Is there ever any animosity, like one person is working harder than the other, or do you really feel like it’s just different seasons? Maybe this month is really busy for Randi personally, and Emily picks up the slack. Then the next month, maybe Emily has a lot going on a sick kiddo, and Randi picks up the slack.
Emily Vogel: I feel like it’s been pretty even. If one of us is having a rough day, like the other day, Randi was like, “I know I said I was going to do this on Facebook, but Archer has an ear infection. It’s been a terrible day.” I’m like, “Get to it when you can.” We really are communicating every day, and we’re totally understanding of one versus the other.
Randi went to Oregon for two weeks, but she was still in tuned taking discovery calls, sending me stuff to post on Instagram. I went to Ireland for a week, and we just traded back and forth. But yeah, I think we’re pretty good at communicating what’s going on in our lives currently. We have kids the same age, so I feel like we really understand the season of life that each other is in right now, when how a day can just go the opposite of how you expect.
Jayne Havens: Absolutely. I think I saw one of you recently. It was I think in the past couple of days post on Facebook or Instagram about a recent testimonial. Would one of you be willing to share a little bit, either about that case specifically or if there’s another one that sort of pops up in your mind that was a really great transformation, a meaningful experience? Would you just share one of your stories? Randi, do you want to take it?
Randi Robinson: Sure. I worked with a family recently. We connected on Facebook. They had tried working with some other sleep consultants, and it hadn’t worked out. The dad was working out of state, so it was just the mom with an 11-month-old baby girl who just really wasn’t sleeping. Up every hour or two had been her whole life. They were frantic and desperate.
We had a discovery call. They booked a package. But I could tell they didn’t think it was going to work. They were just like, “We have to try. Our daughter doesn’t sleep. It’s just this kid who will never sleep, and it’s hopeless.” The first night, she woke up once. After that, she was sleeping through the night.
That was just the best feeling. I feel like that’s where I got the connection with teaching — that moment when I’m working with the students and they read a word for the first time, and they’re so excited. You get that warm, bubbly feeling. It was the same when they would reach out. The mom was like, “Oh my gosh, I can sleep. I can clean my house. We can make plans during the day.” They were so grateful. That was the moment I think I was like, I am helping people the same way. It’s different, but it’s the same feeling.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, really, it never gets old. Every single time I get those text messages at 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning when a mom or dad for the first time slept through the entire night and wakes up worried. Like, “Is my child breathing? Is she okay?” And they slept through the night because they wanted to, and they needed that sleep. It’s the best feeling ever.
Emily, do you have a success story that you want to share?
Emily Vogel: Yeah, I’m actually working with the oldest child I’ve ever worked with. Currently, right now, he’s four and a half.
He has been a great sleeper his whole life, until about a month ago when he just started getting up in the middle of night. His parents’ bedroom is downstairs. They have a baby gate at the top of the stairs. He was getting out his room and going to the baby gate and just screaming. He has a twin brother, a 6-year-old, a 2-year-old, and a 10-month-old. So they are very, very busy. He was screaming and waking up the whole house.
They were like, at one o’clock in the morning, the twin would be awake. The 6-year-old be awake. The 2-year-old will be awake. The 10-month-old would be crying. They were like, “We’re losing our mind because he’s ruining not only his own sleep but everybody’s sleep.”
We went through the different options. I was like, we’re really going to have to get buy-in from him. We’re going to have to really get him invested. Because he is almost five. He is very aware. And so we started with a couple preliminary behavioral supports in place. We started doing the quarters game that you recommend. He is so beyond excited about these quarters.
She sent me a video of him buying these little toys at the car mechanic from the little turntable machines. He’s jumping up and down that he bought it with his own money. The past three nights, he has slept completely from 8:00 to 6:30 in the morning. Not a peep.
They were like, “You’ve transformed not only his life but everybody else.” They were like, “Our 6-year-old is in kindergarten for the first time and was showing up exhausted because he was awake.” Not by his own accord. And so that just feels really good to know that not only is this 4-year-old getting the rest that he needs, but the rest of his family is no longer being impacted.
Jayne Havens: That’s fabulous. Randi, do you have any thoughts on goals or sort of where you would like to see the business, whether it’s six months, or a year, or five years down the road?
Randi Robinson: Yes, Emily and I actually just met and made our updated goals to go through the end of 2023. So we are trying right now to approach at least one business every week, whether that be like a children’s art studio and asked to put out cards or my gym. Just different places where our clientele would be. Then being present at a minimum of one community event a month.
In October, we are putting on actually an event at a brewery with some other women. One is a nurse and does CPR. One works with healthy eating. So we’re kind of putting on a moms’ night out with them, and then just looking for other events where we can network and chat with people. Because I think we’ve really decided that’s a better way in to meet the people who need us.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, that’s what I always say. I’ve done many a podcast about this in the past. I think one thing that scares a lot of people when it comes to starting their own small business, I think the thing that scares people the most is social media, that they don’t want to have to be on social media. I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to be. I think it’s a great tool. And if it works for you and if you enjoy it, then you should use it and leverage those connections online.
But for people like me, and I think it sounds like for you guys too, making those personal meaningful connections in your hometown and with people that are also supporting parents in other capacities, for me, it feels easier. And it sounds like maybe you guys are enjoying that too. So I love it.
Randi, before we wrap up, do you want to share social media, speaking of, or your website and let people know where they can connect with you or follow along if they’d like to?
Randi Robinson: Yes, our business name is Teaching Sweet Sleep. Our website is teachingsweetsleep.com. We are on Facebook, Instagram and now TikTok, which was new for both of us, under @teachingsweetsleep.
Jayne Havens: Awesome. It was so great chatting with both of you all. I wish you nothing but ginormous success down the road. I can’t wait to see where you guys will be in the next year or two down the road. Congrats on all the great stuff you’ve done so far.
Emily Vogel: Thank you so much.
Randi Robinson: Yes.
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.From Teaching to Sleep Consulting