It was a year ago in April 2021, we were thirteen months into the pandemic and I had been working remotely as an early intervention occupational therapist since March of 2020. Just saying that I was an OT providing remote services to children ages birth to three should make one shake their head. There are some types of work that should not be done remotely and one of them is providing motor therapy to a population under the age of three. But, with the pandemic, that was where I found myself and my colleagues. We did our best to make the most of a less than ideal situation. But, I was D-O-N-E! The thought of going back to work in person after a year working remotely filled me with dread. Fortunately, I was able to change jobs to a school-based occupational therapy position that filled me with vigor. But, as I contemplated my options that month, the idea of becoming a certified sleep consultant kept stirring around in my head.
I started to look into my options. I found Jayne on Facebook and joined her private Facebook group ‘Becoming A Sleep Consultant’. Jayne reached out to me via messenger wondering if she could answer any questions for me. Yes! I had many, the biggest being what set her apart from other sleep consultant certification programs? As a state licensed and nationally registered occupational therapist, certification was important to me. I strongly value a governing body and credentials as well as backed evidence when coaching families. Jayne kindly sent me the syllabus, which aligned with what I was searching for, research-based sleep training and most importantly, resources and support for starting a business.
After a few months in my school-based position, I felt ready both financially and emotionally to make the leap. I signed up in late November 2021 and made a 6 month plan to get through the coursework and a soft start to my business. The holidays came and went and they were a whirlwind like every year! In early January 2022, I started the sleep certification course and devoured it in under a week (Jayne indicated it was self-paced and would likely take 3-6 weeks. Nope- just a week for me! ) I was hooked! Fortunately, much of the sleep information was a review following many years of supporting families through their sleep and bedtime routines. The business and entrepreneur portion of the course was what blew my mind- it was digestible and full of action steps, which was exactly what I needed. Apparently, I was going to be an entrepreneur! The biggest nugget of advice from Jayne was to just get started- it may never be perfect(website, marketing, etc) but as long as basics such as liability were covered, it was the perfect time to get clients! We can always come up with excuses and reasons not to start, but there is also every reason to simply just start! No more setting up an arbitrary threshold for getting going- embrace the present, which is exactly what I did! Without a website (gasp!) I started taking clients and guess what- not one prospective client even asked about a website or reviews. I sold myself effectively and confidently and you can too!
So, on January 14, I made it Facebook official- I announced my new business, getting 130 comments and close to 250 likes! Since January 2022, I’ve helped 14 children successfully navigate better sleep habits with their caregivers. And I look forward to many, many more in the future. If you’ve been thinking about making a career move, starting a side hustle like me or are just looking to expand how you’re currently supporting families, please reach out.
This is how it starts….. you can only go up from here!