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

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Mining Unique Opportunities to Grow Your Business with Liza Montanino

Mining Unique Opportunities to Grow Your Business with Liza Montanino


Liza is a certified pediatric sleep consultant through the Center for Pediatric Sleep Management, a certified special needs sleep consultant through the Institute for Pediatric Sleep & Parenting, and co-founder of the Westchester Mama & Child Wellness Expo. She is also the sleep expert in The Indy Lab’s Parenting Center, a sleep instructor with Virtual Village Parenting, lactation educator, and a proud member of CAPPA and the Hudson Valley Birth Network. Opportunities to Grow Your Business

Liza is passionate about working to disrupt the narrative that motherhood means sleepless nights by educating parents on the connection between sleep and mental health, and supporting neurotypical and special needs families in getting continuous, restorative sleep so that both parents and their children are positioned to thrive. Opportunities to Grow Your Business


On this episode of the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast,  Liza shares how she has created unique opportunities for growth in her business. We discussed:

  • How to approach cold outreach when connecting with other professionals
  • Best practices for fostering and maintaining relationships within the field
  • That continuing education and a commitment to growth and excellence is what builds authority and ultimately leads to new opportunities in business!


Links: Opportunities to Grow Your Business

Website: Rock-a-Bye Baby Sleep

Email: liza@rockabyebabysleep.com

Instagram: @liza_rockabyebabysleep

Facebook Group: Rock-a-Bye Baby Sleep

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.

Book a free discovery call to learn how you can become a Certified Sleep Consultant here.


Transcript: Opportunities to Grow Your Business

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.

Liza is a certified pediatric sleep consultant through the Center for Pediatric Sleep Management, a certified special needs sleep consultant through the Institute of Pediatric Sleep & Parenting, and cofounder of the Westchester Mama & Child Wellness Expo. She is also the lead sleep expert in The Indy Lab’s Parenting Center, a sleep instructor with Virtual Village Parenting, lactation educator, and a proud member of CAPPA and the Hudson Valley Birth Network.

Liza is passionate about working to disrupt the narrative that motherhood means sleepless nights by educating parents on the connection between sleep and mental health, and supporting neurotypical and special needs families in getting continuous, restorative sleep so that both parents and their children are positioned to thrive.

Jayne Havens: Liza, welcome back to the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast. You know I always love having these conversations with you.

Liza Montanino: Thank you. I’m so excited to be back.

Jayne Havens: Before we get started, let’s take a brief trip down memory lane. For those who don’t know you, take us back. Tell us about your journey through becoming a sleep consultant and eventually leaving your job to do this work full time and what your business looks like now.

Liza Montanino: Yeah, so I got certified in I think it was like June, July of 2021. I got started really because my husband was just like, “You’re obsessed with sleep. You’re doing good things for friends of friends and their children. You could probably do this professionally.” And I was like, no, that’s really not a thing.

But then, of course, I started looking into it. I found you and your course, and it was very much a thing. So I got through it very quickly. I was just super passionate about everything I was learning. I did sort of like a soft launch-ish in October of 2021. I really started it as a side hustle. Because I was working in publishing, I loved working in publishing. I found this fulfilling in a totally different way. So I just found myself making more and more time for it on the weekends and in between meetings and evenings and things like that.

By, I would say, March or April of 2022, things had totally changed with my job. I was becoming increasingly unhappy, and I also started having some health issues. I was very fortunate that I had the opportunity to do a bit of a mental health leave and reset.

During that time, I was like, well, I don’t want to just do nothing. I love sleep consulting. And that doesn’t feel like work in the same way, so I’m going to keep doing that. And because I had some time to really devote to that and only that, I found even more opportunities to meet with families and to help them. And in doing only that, I realized that was really what I felt like I was being called to do. It felt like it was time to make a big transition.

I’m sure part of it was also like turning 40, I felt like it was sort of my midlife crisis. I had the opportunity and a very supportive husband who encouraged me to go for it. And so I left my full-time job in October of 2022 and really decided this was going to become my one and only. Since then, I have just found new and interesting ways of enjoying sleep consulting, even beyond the one-to-one work. So yeah, it’s been a really exciting ride.

And I feel like one of the things that’s made it so fun for me is, I crave variety. I don’t like doing the same thing every day. Not that it was like that even with one-to-one clients, but I found I was really missing presenting and being in front of people and sharing knowledge. So I’ve sort of feel like it’s a little bit of a choose-your-own adventure.

I’ve turned this into a career where I’m meeting with a lot of professionals and working with their groups of postpartum women. I’m giving presentations to schools and things like that, and really just getting to spread the gospel about how important sleep is and that there are things you can do to make it better for your children and your entire family. Yeah, I love it.

Jayne Havens: I love all of that. It makes me so happy. Nothing makes me happier than seeing somebody who just thought they’d get into this because they enjoyed it. They do it as a little side hustle, and now it is a legitimate career. It makes me smile from ear to ear.

So today’s podcast topic is actually one that I’m particularly excited about. We’re going to talk about creating or mining unique opportunities to grow your business as a sleep consultant. You sort of touched on it a tiny little bit in your intro. But I’d love for you to expand upon all of that, if you’re willing. What has that looked like for you in your business?

Liza Montanino: Yeah, it’s really, it’s sort of twofold. I mean, the first piece of it is just having conversations with either pediatric professionals, perinatal professionals and looking for ways that we can collaborate. I think that’s something that a lot of people in your group do too — talking to pediatricians, talking to OBs, meeting with postpartum doulas and things like that.

One of the relationships that I formed and which led to this wellness expo that I did back in November was really born from just working with a number of families and realizing how little support there is in this country in the way of postpartum. And if you don’t know that postpartum doulas are a thing, or if you don’t know that sleep consultants are a thing, and if you don’t live near a family, it is such an isolating, really confusing and overwhelming time.

I was talking with a colleague who actually doesn’t work as a medical professional, but she works to find different kind of family activities, essentially. In doing that — she was pregnant with her third and she was just like, yeah, you know, I’ll have three under four. We were talking about how difficult it feels to thrive when you have so many children with such different needs. Wouldn’t it be great if we could bring a lot of different professionals together and show women and show families all of the different professionals that exist that could potentially make their postpartum time easier and also help their children thrive better. So that was sort of the genesis of this expo.

Together, we’re both not afraid to be squeaky wheels. So we just would talk to everybody. A lot of cold outreach to OTs, PTs, pelvic floor therapists, licensed clinical mental health workers, a lot of different people in the clinical space. Then we also started branching out into more of the holistic space. So we were talking with acupuncturists and massage therapists.

And because I live in a community that is really, it feels very small in some ways, we’re just continued to spread, and we got a lot of interest in people wanting to sign on and be vendors. So that turned into a venture that really connected me with a lot of the professionals that I’ve since kept up relationships with. And that is what I attribute a lot of this different unique path as a sleep consultant.

So this event was in November. We had about 90 vendors, mostly across Westchester but also some in Pennsylvania, some in Connecticut. The goal was really to promote health and wellness for women and for getting their baby off on the right foot. And from there, that has just led to a lot of connections that I’ve continued to keep up with. Going into my email and reaching out to a postpartum doula and saying like, I’d love to come speak to your community.

If you think that some targeted sleep education would be beneficial to them, let’s see what we can make happen. That is something that I’ve continued to do. And so talking one on one. It ends up being like this group Q&A, essentially like an AMA for a large group. And from there, some people sign on right away. Some come back in a few weeks. But that has really helped just, I think, take my business in a different direction.

The growth that I’ve seen from that is so much more than just one happy client who’s telling her friends. That happens too all the time, I think, between Facebook, client referrals and these other perinatal channels. Those are definitely my three main forms of clients. But the other piece of it is just being willing to learn and being excited to learn.

I think my own kids have really played a role in my desire to constantly learn more and more, not just about sleep but the special needs piece. That is something that I’m exploring more and more. I don’t know if I would say that I’m niching down to it in particular, but I find it really, really rewarding and empowering to be able to help families who feel like they’ve tried everything.

I’ve heard from doctors like, this is just it. There’s nothing we can do. So I’ve just been learning a lot more about the sensory system and how that plays a role in sleep in particular. That has sort of taken me down this other professional collaboration path where I’m working with an organization that is specifically focused on children with disabilities, and we’re creating a disability sleep course together. So it’s sort of like there are a lot of different tentacles, but it all comes back to just being excited to share this information because it’s so important.

Jayne Havens: There a couple of things that you said that I want to go back to and touch on. You mentioned cold outreach, which I think for those who are listening — I have no idea who listens to this podcast. I think it’s a healthy combination of people who are already sleep consultants, and they use it as a way to sort of gain continuing education and their own businesses. But I also think there are people who listen who are interested in becoming a sleep consultant, and they haven’t yet jumped in. They wonder, like, how am I going to find clients? What’s that going to look like? Right?

And even for those who are still sort of in the earlier stages of growing a business and trying to figure out, where is their clientele coming from? You mentioned cold outreach. What does that look like? Can you explain? Is that phone calls? Is that emails? Is that leading to in-person meetings? Is that leading to Zooms?

Can you walk us through sort of maybe even the language that you use to build these connections? Then you also said right after that that you kept up those relationships. That’s the part I’m particularly interested in. Because I think it’s really easy to shoot off an email or to make a phone call, but how do you foster or nurture those relationships so that they don’t just turn into a one-off conversation that came and went?

Liza Montanino: Yeah, that’s a really good question. I think I will clarify by saying cold outreach, I don’t mean like approaching moms who might be cold leads. It is specifically the professionals, like other people working in this space. But I usually do start with an email. In terms of the language, I will usually — I do my research first. So I will reach out to someone after I’ve looked at their website, looked at what kind of offerings they have if they have like a group support group, postpartum, like group support, which a lot of people in my area tend to do.

Then I will just say, you know, I noticed you offer this group to postpartum moms. I’m really passionate about educating postpartum moms on the importance of sleep and helping position them to help their babies and themselves thrive right from the beginning. I wonder if maybe there’s an opportunity for us to collaborate there. Would you be open to talking further? So that’s really how it starts. Then from there, I almost always will move to a Zoom call. Sometimes we’ll do in-person. But usually, Zoom to start to get a feel for the person. Do we actually have similar philosophies and values?

I’ve been very fortunate that most of the people I’ve reached out to we’re like, yeah, let’s all bring you in as a guest on X date. A lot of the groups that I go and meet with are virtual, because these are new moms and it’s tough to get out of the house. So it’s that much easier to reach a broad audience. But I’ve definitely done coffees with people. If it seems like we’re really, really clicking over Zoom, then I will suggest that we meet up in person and maybe spitball some ideas back and forth.

In terms of keeping up the correspondence, that is something that is very high on my priority list. So I will check back in with whoever I have met with at least once a month. I don’t want to be too pushy, but I tend to check back in and just again say, like, are you with a new cohort of people now? I would love to come and meet with this group. It really has paid off.

I have also created a number of sleep guides, and that’s something that I spent a lot of time working on. I think it was last year of 2023. I will sometimes start by offering up my newborn guide to a doula who has a support group and said like, if you would like to take a look at this. These are some of the information that I tend to share with new moms. If you think this would be helpful, you’re welcome to share it with your group. And then bring me in as a speaker, and then they can actually learn from the voice behind this guide. Then I’m just the first person they think of when they’re actually in the throes of sleepless nights. I feel like that has really, really given me a push.

Jayne Havens: I love that. I love it. It’s brilliant. It’s really authentic. It’s really genuine. I think it’s also a really enjoyable way to grow a business, right? I think one thing that a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with is the loneliness behind entrepreneurship, that you’re a one man or one-woman show and you don’t necessarily have co-workers.

You might have a lot of colleagues, but you don’t have co-workers. And when you can fill your day with conversations with other people who have a similar mission as you — supporting moms postpartum and helping them to thrive — you can surround yourself with all of these really smart, hardworking, intellectual people who want all the same things for motherhood and for parenthood, and for babies as you do. I don’t know. I think it’s more exciting to get up and go to work every day.

Liza Montanino: Absolutely. And I feel like every day really is different in that regard too, like letting the conversations take you where they may. But I also think it’s been really important for me to connect with other people who are also supporting moms in this really delicate time. Because I think we often fall into the role of therapist as we’re working with our clients. And if you are just giving, giving, giving all day to your clients and to your children and to your spouse, sometimes I feel like my tank is depleted much faster than others. But if I can have these conversations with other professionals, it just fills my tank back up. And I feel like I have more to then give to everything.

Jayne Havens: Do you feel that this approach has helped you to establish or build a higher level of authority within the industry?

Liza Montanino: Yes, I do, at least in my local area. I think that doing the expo and being at the helm of that definitely positioned me as someone in the county who knew what she was doing and really cared about connecting parents with resources that might help them. That exposure really led to a lot of other, I don’t want to say like — I don’t know. I don’t want to say high profile because I don’t think that’s true. But my name was out there in a very different way. I think seeing my name in connection with all of these other professionals, especially medical professionals — obviously, I did not go to med school. I am not a physician or a clinician by any means.

But I think being seen as the connector for all of these things definitely just put me at a higher level than I was before. And that I think is why I’ve gotten some of the inquiries that I have from various school districts to come and talk to their parents about the importance of sleep, health and hygiene. And talking to the Westchester Psychological Association about sleep in parenthood and why that has to be the first thing that you start when you are helping a parent through their mental health journey.

So, yeah, I do think it’s — it’s been a much more, you said like authentic and genuine. I really don’t like Instagram; I wish that I did. I really wish that I did. Because there are just some people who are amazing at it. But for whatever reason, it’s not me. I can’t do it. And I felt like I had to figure out something else that worked for me if I wanted to stay in this business and grow.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, well, I connect with you there. I don’t like Instagram either. And I’m a firm believer that meaningful and strategic connections, and then also leveraging your excellence as a form of marketing is really crucial, right?

When you can articulate to other professionals but then in turn parents and families that you actually really know your stuff and that you’ve surrounded yourself with really smart, highly-educated, highly-qualified people, that positions you to sort of I think have a higher level of excellence. Then therefore, you can market yourself accordingly, you know. And I think some of that is confidence. And some of that is experience. And some of that is time and hard work, right? Like this doesn’t happen day one out of the gate when you first launched your sleep consulting business. I think it takes time. Right? When did you say you started your business? Was it 2021?

Liza Montanino: Yes, October 2021 was when I started part time, and then October 22 was when I — but yeah, that growth that first year, especially part time, it was really — it was slow. It really was. I think Instagram also made me feel worse about how slow it was, which is probably also one of the reasons that I realized I just had to find a different way for myself.

Jayne Havens: Right. And I really do believe that figuring out what works for you is ultimately going to be what positions you to thrive, right? Some people I think aren’t necessarily cut out for the networking game. They’re better at making fancy reels on Instagram. Some people like you, you do better actually having conversations with people and getting to know them and learning from them. Let’s go into that a little bit more. I want to hear a little bit more about what you’ve learned from others, whether it be other sleep medical professionals or whatever it may be that’s helped you to position yourself as a stronger sleep consultant.

Liza Montanino: So part of it is just like this ongoing education that I’ve really committed to over the past year. I love taking courses. I love learning new things that are connected to the sleep world. Because I think there is so much that, especially with the special needs community, there is so much beyond the behavioral piece of it.

I have talked about this before a little bit. But my daughter has diagnosed ADHD, and my son has diagnosed sensory processing disorder. So when thinking about, in general, how sleep has been challenging for them at different times and then meeting with parents who also have their own struggles — and it could be a child who’s on the spectrum, or a child who has some other medical diagnosis or intellectual disability — I did not feel really prepared to serve them at first even with my experience as a parent.

Because there was so much that I didn’t really know. I knew what worked for my kids. Right? So I took two really, really interesting courses over this past year. One was taught by Dr. Anya — I don’t remember her last name.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, she’s actually quite — yeah, the CPSM community is actually going to be meeting with her in a couple of weeks.

Liza Montanino: Oh, amazing. McLaren-Barnett, I think, is her last name.

She’s incredible. I learned so much about parasomnias and medical sleep issues from her. Then I also took a course with Melissa Doman who is sort of known as the special needs sleep consultant. I learned a lot from her about the sensory system, and nutrition, and all of these other things that really impact a child’s ability to even fall asleep from the get go. Through both of those courses, I’ve sort of approached the way that I work with toddler families, in particular, really differently.

When I first meet with a family and they’re telling me about their issues, some of them, I can immediately identify as behavioral. Like, of course, your child is waking up eight times a night wanting you to come in. You’re falling asleep holding their hand. But there’s so much more that I have learned about. Like they want that deep pressure. They want that contact. That has something to do with their sensory system. They might be a sensory seeker, and there might be some sensory techniques that we need to build into their early evening and their bedtime routine to meet those needs so that they’re not looking for them as strongly at bedtime.

My approach and the language that I’ve been using recently with toddler families is really working to support their child’s body from the inside out. So we’re starting with their sensory system. We’re starting with nutrition or supplements, if they don’t have enough calcium, or omega, or vitamin B6, or magnesium. Then we take a slower approach to actually making the behavioral changes at bedtime. Because we have to set up this foundation first where their body and brain are in balance and able to get to a place of calm so that they can actually learn these behavioral techniques that we’re then going to implement.

I’ve found that that has been really — it’s just like an internal mind shift for me too based on what I’ve learned, but it’s been really helpful for me and really rewarding to see. Yeah, that’s been a big shift for me recently.

Jayne Havens: I love it. Well, Dr. Anya is going to be speaking to the CPSM community in the next couple of weeks. I’m going to be announcing that actually very, very soon. So I’m excited that you brought her name up. I just love that you have really taken ownership of continuing your education. I’m also, I like to consider myself to be a lifelong learner, not always through additional courses. But I read. I listen to podcasts. I’m constantly scooping up knowledge and education wherever I can. I do think that that’s what leads to all of us being better at our jobs.

Liza Montanino: Absolutely. There’s so much more to learn always.

Jayne Havens: Always. Before we wrap up, where can everybody find you if they want to connect with you, refer you, or just meet you?

Liza Montanino: Sure. Email is the best way. It’s liza@rockabyebabysleep.com and my website is www.rockabyebabysleep.com. You can find me on Instagram even though I am not there very often. That’s just @liza_rockabyebabysleep. Those are the main ways. I have a Facebook group as well also called Rock-a-Bye Baby Sleep. And yeah, that’s about it.

Jayne Havens: It’s always a pleasure chatting with you, especially today seeing you face to face. It’s so nice. And we will have to do it again soon. Thank you again.

Liza Montanino: Thank you.

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. Opportunities to Grow Your Business

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