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The Scariest (And Best) Decisions I Ever Made...

Just a little over 12 years ago, I made what was probably the scariest — but ultimately the very best – decision of my life.

At that time, my first son was about 8 months old.

I was doing my best to enjoy being a new mom, but there was something weighing heavily on my mind just about every day.

You see, I was just about at the end of my maternity leave, and I knew that, pretty soon, I was going to have to go back to work… and find someone else to take care of our baby boy during the day.

(Plus, if I’m being completely honest, I can’t say I was looking forward to teaching 1st Grade again. I loved the kids, and got a lot of personal satisfaction from helping them learn to read and write! But I was dreading the long commute, unpaid overtime, and “teacher’s lounge drama.”)

Anyway, the idea of letting a stranger raise my son — combined with the thought of going back to a career I was losing my passion for — was great motivation for me to come up with a better plan!

But… But, what?

I had a degree in Psychology… but I would need to go back to graduate school if I wanted to actually WORK as a psychologist.

I had another degree in Education… but I’d decided teaching wasn’t for me.

I was stuck.

I was stuck, that is, until a beautiful spring day back in 2003. My husband and I were taking our son for a walk around the park, discussing (for the hundredth time) what I was going to “do with my life.”

“What are you good at?” he asked me.

“I like teaching. I like talking to people. I like helping them solve problems,” I said. “And babies!” I said looking down at our son in his stroller. “I really like babies!”

That’s when my husband said something that changed my life forever…

“Maybe you could help parents get their babies sleeping,” he said. “You’re already kind of doing it… You would just have to start getting paid for it.”

Even though he was half-kidding, it was like a light switch had been flipped on in my head. I swear, as soon as he said that, I knew what my new career was going to be!

You see, we had struggled badly with our son’s sleep for the first 6 months of his life. He had trouble falling asleep… woke up 5 times a night… the whole deal.

It had driven me almost to my breaking point, until one day I went to the bookstore and bought literally every book they had on babies and sleep.

I spent the next few days reading through them one after the other. After finishing the last page of the last book, I informed my husband that we were making some changes to our son’s sleeping habits, and that I was 100% committed to getting him sleeping through the night.

There were, of course, some bumps along the way, as I tried things from one book, replaced things from another, and make many adjustments. But within about 10 nights, he was sleeping from about 7 pm straight through until 7 am.

After months and months of sleep deprivation, I was feeling very energized! And I used most of that newfound energy telling anyone who would listen about how I had solved my son’s sleep problems!

And since it seemed like everyone I knew at the time was either having babies or knew someone who’s baby wasn’t sleeping well… I had a HUGE audience!

There were, however, a few problems.

  1. I was broke.
  2. I was on maternity leave.
  3. I lived in one of the most expensive cities on the planet.
  4. Everyone was telling me I was crazy for leaving the security of a good job.
  5. I had never run a business before.
  6. I had no idea how I would find clients
  7. I had no idea if anyone would actually pay me for my advice.

Okay, maybe there were more than a FEW problems.

However, my mom always said that when I got an idea in my head, I was “like a dog with a bone… I wouldn’t let it go!”

Anyway, I managed to convince my father-in-law to loan me a few thousand dollars to get the business up and running. I worked VERY hard for those first few months, but — sure enough — I started filling my schedule with clients.

And — much to my relief — the things I was telling them to do were actually working!

Their babies were sleeping through the night!

Within about 6 months, I was already making more money working part-time at this new career than I had been making full-time as a teacher.

Plus, people were starting to take notice of me! I started getting calls from TV and radio stations wanting to interview me, and before long, I was a (very) minor celebrity in my town — at least among the “young, sleep-deprived yoga-mom” demographic!

Fast forward a few years, and I start getting a different kind of phone call.

Not from tired parents or from radio stations, but from women who wanted to know if I could teach THEM how to become sleep consultants!

At first, I always said “No.”

I was plenty busy already, and besides, why would I want to train my competition?!

Well, it turns out that some of those people ended up just going ahead and starting their own “sleep consulting” businesses anyways…

And can you guess what happened to MY business?

Surprisingly, it got even busier!

See, when I first started, nobody had ever heard of hiring someone to help you get your baby to sleep.

But as more and more people became sleep consultants, it became more and more common to hear about people hiring us! It was pretty cool!

Anyway, I continued to receive calls from women asking me to train them, and I continued to say “no,” until one day I got a call from a woman who we’ll call Jill. (Not her real name.)

Jill asked me if I could train her, and — like always — I said no.

The next day, she called again.

Then she e-mailed me.

And called.

And e-mailed.

I told my mom about it, and she said, “Wow, she’s like a dog with a bone!”

Remind you of anyone? ;)

After about a week of calls and e-mails, I finally asked Jill why she was SO insistent on me training her to become a sleep consultant.

“Because” she said, “my maternity leave is over in 3 more months, I don’t want to go back to my old job, and I’ll be damned if someone else is going to raise my kid for me!”


This woman was SO much like me, I decided to give her a chance.

And it was one of the best decisions I ever made!

Not only was Jill very successful at her new career, it helped me discover a new passion that I never knew I had:

It’s helping other women break free of careers they don’t really like, working flexible hours that fit around their family’s schedule, and earning a great income while doing work they are genuinely passionate about!

Over the past few years, I’ve helped dozens and dozens of women become successful sleep consultants and turn their dreams of making money while staying home with their children a reality!

It’s been a real gift for me to be able to help so many people.

And, in August of this year, I’ll be giving this opportunity to just 15 more women.

As of today, 9 of those 15 spots are already taken.

Now, there are definitely certain personality traits I look for when deciding who to accept into my training program.

(You cannot just write a check and be accepted.)

You have to be passionate about helping parents (of course), but you also need to have an entrepreneurial streak. You need to be friendly and enjoy talking to other people. And you can’t be afraid of putting in a little hard work!

In return, though, what you get is the knowledge, confidence, and credibility you need to start an exciting new chapter in your life that is not only personally rewarding, but financially rewarding as well.

Like I said, 9 or the 15 spots for August are already taken.

If any of what I’ve just shared has inspired you, you can find out what it takes to get one of those last six spots at

To brave decisions,


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The Sleep Sense Philosophy

Cry-it-out? Coddle? Co-sleep? Attachment parenting? Ferberizing?
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Dana’s Sleep Blog

Straight talk about sleep, parenting,
babies, toddlers, relationships… and
just about anything else!
My blog is a great place to find opinions, advice, the occasional rant, and some great videos about sleep.

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