A must read for stay at home moms
My name is Judy Clark and I am a Child Sleep Consultant. My passion is helping families get the sleep they deserve by teaching their children to sleep through the night so they get the sleep they deserve for their health and wellbeing.
Never in a million year had I dreamt I would be doing this, if anything my previous career was one I was very passionate about and had worked hard to get to senior managerial level before leaving to set up my own business 2 years ago.
I used to be a Customer Service Contact Centre Manager, setting up and running successful contact centres for large organisations in the UK, such as Local Authority Councils and the Financial Regulator in the UK. I was very successful in what I did and the salary and benefits that came with it were very rewarding. I also got great job satisfaction from what I did.
I gave birth to my daughter Jannah 4 years ago and that was the turning point of my life, I realised how much lack of sleep as a result of a baby not sleeping or taking good naps affected the whole family! My relationship with my partner was now made up of constant arguing as none of us were given a manual to explain how sleep would affect us once baby was born!
For me it was constant night feeds, using dummies, rocking, trying to get her to sleep next to me so when she woke I could easily breast feed her, bouncers, buggy rides, car rides you name it I used it just to get her to sleep!!
By the time my daughter was 8 weeks old I was at breaking point, I felt like everyone was judging me and I could not understand how as a Manager responsible for huge contact centres with up to 200 staff could not get my baby to settle and sleep!! For all I knew a baby could sleep just a we did!
After endless nights with hourly wakes and a baby who just screamed all day I started researching into child sleep, I spoke to doctors, health visitors, midwives, other mums, family etc and the advice was pretty much the same “ leave them to cry or they will out grow it” The leave them to cry I wasn’t comfortable with and they will outgrow was not something I was willing to wait for as we were all tired and my instinct told me that If Im tired and not happy how can my little one enjoy being tired and unhappy! I came across Dana Obleman a leading Global Child Sleep Specialist and Creator of the Sleep Sense Program, the night I implemented her methods my daughter slept for 7 hours straight and within 2 nights she was sleeping 7am to 7pm!! This was amazing for an 8 week old.
This was just amazing and straightaway I started emailing Dana and could not praise her enough, I asked if she could teach me her methods as I wanted to help other families who were struggling with this very issue, by this time I had had my 2nd daughter as by the time Jannah was 4 months old I got pregnant with my daughter Chloe, many emails back and forth and after 2 years of me pondering with my heart’s desire to help families but my mind telling me that I had a successful career to go back to, I finally decided to follow my heart and took up Dana’s offer to train me, I went to Canada and that was the start of my amazing career as a Child Sleep Consultant .
Starting your own business can be challenging and scary. However my advice is follow your passion and if you genuinely believe you can make it work then go for it. Having children does not mean you have to stay at home and not earn or loose that part of you that has drive to be career focused. There are ways to plan your time if anything you are your own boss and you have all the time you want to plan your day around your family life. You are doing something you are passionate about, you are spending time with your children so they always have mummy around for them, you are also earning an income!
Below are some Tips on starting up and running your own business:
1.) Let that passion drive you, think of all the benefits of the service/product you are selling will have on your clients, think of what you would like to be earning and work towards that
2.) Expect a few challenges along the way. They say it takes about 2 years before you start to see your business earning you an income. So plan and ensure you have support during this time i.e. your partner can cover the household bills so at least you can focus on marketing your business as if you stay focused you will start to reap the rewards.
3.) Look at a challenge as a learning experience and not as a barrier to prevent you from achieving what you want.
4.) Market yourself, no one can sell you better than yourself, don’t be scared to knock on doors or approach potential customers as the worst they can say is “No” and so what you move on to the next, it’s not the end. Now the best they can say is “Yes” so let that drive you as that Yes could be the making of your business
5.) Join Networking groups and support groups so you are meeting with fellow mums in business and can bounce of ideas, benchmark and share tips. You will be amazed how beneficial this is, as businesses promote each other and people buy from people they trust or have had recommended to them by someone they know.
6.) Market your business in a cost effective way by making use of Social Media – It is a very powerful tool, so blog frequently and get yourself known, offering your services/products at a school bazaar, charity event or local event as a raffle. Look for opportunities where you can go and talk about your product or service to an audience i.e. Parent groups, nurseries, stage shows etc
7.) Invest in Technology that will help in the running of your business i.e phones with emails on the go, and Ipad etc It’s amazing how you can be preparing a meal but able to access instant email without having to log onto your computer. Multi Tasking is great
8.) Manage your time around you family so if your little ones are on a routine or are at school then schedule your working hours around them. If your child is young and still naps, plan your work time around that so every time they go for a nap you can work on your business. Use the evenings when they have gone to bed to do your admin tasks. If you have help then work a schedule where you can get the children looked after for a period of time while you get yourself to your work space to get some work done i.e calls, admin, visiting clients etc
9.) Be very disciplined as its very easy to get side tracked and be strict on yourself when it comes to your allocated work hours, work as if you were working for an employer
10.) Make time for yourself, you must give yourself a break and take time out to relax as then you will be able to think of innovative ways to keep build your business.