I am enjoying interviewing professionals about their line of work or their side hustles. Today I am sharing an interview with Nicole from The Baby Sleep Site.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business. Why did you select it and how did you get started?
Many, many moons ago, I obtained my MBA and kept my career focused in computer programming, which was my life for a long time. Once my husband and I had our first child, though, things got very interesting. By interesting, I mean foggy and blurry and not knowing if I was coming or going. My first son “hated” to sleep (and still does!) and I learned just why sleep deprivation is an actual form of torture. His first year was a grueling one for all of us but once I learned how to help him sleep, things really improved and I became a better mom, wife, and person overall. I became extremely passionate about helping other parents who had babies with sleep issues, and who were looking for better sleep, too. I combined my background in programming, my business acumen, and the knowledge and experience I gained in baby sleep to develop my first Sleep Helpdesk for tired parents. It’s now grown bigger than I ever could have imagined and I am so very thankful to spend my days doing what I love most – helping other parents!
What are some of your favorite things about what you do?
My absolute favorite part about what I do is hearing from happy (and now well-rested) families about how their lives have improved or their marriages have been saved or how they’ve fallen even more in love with their (now well-rested) babies as a result of working with me and my team. This is the most rewarding experience ever and makes the long days and nights working with families so very worth it. My second favorite thing would have to be with playing around with the programming of our Helpdesk and internal software – what can I say? Programming is in my blood still.
I’m also incredibly proud of the fact that the business is run 100% by virtual employees who are all women, most of them raising young children. To have the pleasure and opportunity to help women contribute to the household, financially, satisfy their desire to work, and help others, while also “staying home” has been a true blessing.
What are some challenges of this business?
Our primary challenge is that “sleep consulting” was not much of an established field or industry nearly a decade ago when we came along, but I truly believe that our team’s passion, devotion, and advocacy for this field has helped to shed more light on it. We still find that we must work hard to “normalize” and remove the stigma associated with hiring a professional sleep consultant or coach for baby and toddler sleep. It’s as simple and as normal, for many families, as hiring a professional accountant or a professional childcare provider and we hope we’ll continue to play a big part in educating parents around the world about it.
For someone interested in what you do, can you share what to expect as far as earning potential and effort?
After investing in your craft by experience and becoming a professional sleep consultant, I think the earning potential can be what you make of it. It honestly requires tedious effort and work and tons of continuous research paired with real life experiences to be truly successful, I believe, because no one family, no one baby is alike. Depending on how many clients you want or can see per week and how much time you have available to invest and what your rates are, you could start to see earnings upwards of $20k a year in the beginning. I’ve invested time and effort in building a strong team of sleep consultants and growing my firm so we can reach more parents around the globe each and every day. This is a bit different than if one were to become an independent sleep consultant. It’s been a hard job but it’s one I welcome and am thankful for each and every day.
What does it take for someone to get started with their own side hustle in your line of work? How does someone start their own business like yours?
This is a great question – one for which I think there are several answers! Some sleep consultants choose to pursue a certification based on a program or curriculum from an institution or agency, then use those credentials to find work. Others choose to use their personal experiences for similar or to start their own businesses. Others, still, seek out companies like my own where they can learn, stay and grow in their craft and potential as a sleep consultant. So many choices, which is a truly beautiful thing.
Anything else you would like to tell us about your business?
Our sole mission is to help families sleep. We do that by meeting them where they are and trying to find solutions for them based on their exact and personal parenting philosophies and their sleep goals for their children. Over the past 10 years or so, we’ve been able to help tens of thousands of families meet those goals and have lost count of the number of families who have come back to us time and time again with new children or to meet new milestones. My team and I are so truly blessed and happy to be a blessing to families who choose to work on their children’s sleep. We realize that some families do not wish to actively work on their children’s sleep, which is why we also offer tons of literature on our site simply to educate and promote good sleep habits, whatever each family may find that to be.
Nicole Johnson is a married mother of two wonderful boys and owner of The Baby Sleep Site. When her eldest son was born, he had a lot of sleep problems – he would wake every one or two hours, all night long! She got busy and thoroughly researched literature and scientific reports until she became an expert in sleep methods, scheduling routines, baby developmental needs, and more. She overcame her son’s sleeping issues in a way that matched her own parenting style, and knew it was her mission to help other tired parents “find their child’s sleep”. If you have your own sleep issues, Nicole and her team at The Baby Sleep Site® can help! Download the popular free guide, 5 Ways To Help Your Child Sleep Through The Night, to get started today.