When Life Experiences Lead You to Business: with Guest Stephanie Hewitt

Christina: [00:00:00] Welcome to episode 21. Today, I interviewed Stephanie Hewitt of Rise and Rest Parent and Sleep Coaching. Stephanie is a postpartum parent educator and sleep consultant who offers private coaching to families with children from newborn to teen years. She works with families all over the world to help parents reduce anxiety, find a schedule that works for them, and communicate effectively with their children.

Stephanie started her business as a mom of four children, who learned through experience the importance of sleeping well, both for children and parents. Through some sleep challenges, Stephanie found the life changing help her family needed and was inspired to get certified and bring her expertise and wisdom to others.

Listen to hear more about Stephanie’s story as a solopreneur and as we discuss marketing options for her business. Find the full episode and transcript at richlysuccessful.com/21.[00:01:00]

You’re listening to Richly Successful Solopreneur with host Christina Renzelli, helping you learn to trust your gut and follow your heart so you can set your business up for success. Podcast episodes will help you build better business relationships.

Hey, Stephanie, welcome to the podcast. Thank you.

Stephanie: So happy

Christina: to be here. Yeah. I’m so glad that you’re joining us, especially because your business is something I think A lot of people need more than ever. So you are a sleep coach. Is that? Yes, I am. Yeah. Um, so what, what’s your story? What led you to starting this business, helping people with their [00:02:00] sleep?

Stephanie: I was a stay at home mom for 16 years and I love being a mom. Um, it’s really what I wanted to do. Uh, like even in college, I was kind of going to school and I’ve just. Wanted to be a mom. I got married in college. We had our first baby, but this Common thread from all four of my kids was trouble with sleep You know, you have a baby and the first thing people ask a parent with a newborn is are you getting any sleep?

How are you guys feeling? Because it’s a problem, right? Yeah, just yes, you’re just up and down and feeding. Oh, yeah, it’s a huge problem Eventually like she wasn’t a newborn anymore and we kind of mucked our way through the first weeks, but the sleep didn’t like get any better. So I would go to the pediatrician and be like, so what do we do?

Like, how does this change? And the pediatrician would be like, yeah, it’s pretty normal. She’ll kind of grow out of it. Or, and I was like, okay, but that’s not [00:03:00] happening. So we, yeah. Like how long do we do this? So we just kind of mess our way through that. She had sleep troubles like all the way through toddler years, you know, taking her out of the crib and putting her in a toddler bed.

She was coming out of our room. And we, we used to joke that she was Houdini. Like we would be like, maybe we should, you know, get a canopy for her bed. Maybe we should move her dresser. So she like, can we like drop her in here? And it was just. It was crazy town and then we had, you know, our son and he started climbing out of his crib when he was two years old and we were like, what are you doing, man?

What? What’s happening? Oh, yeah. And then we had, we just kept having them like that. We had another one and we were like, why aren’t you sleeping? You know, it just was a huge problem. And so then we had these three kids. And then seven years later, we had one more and I was actually really nervous because we were finally getting some sleep.

Yeah. My youngest was seven and we were finally getting some sleep. And I told my husband, I was like, [00:04:00] I can’t do that again. That was too hard. So then we were okay. She was born. Yeah. Um, I felt like I had, you know, I’m a newborn mom. I’ve got experience with this. I know what we’re about. But then she got sick and her, she got pneumonia and we, like we were doing breathing treatments and we were worried about her lungs and so we just went into survival mode.

But then after she was well, the sleep didn’t reset. And now I have all these older kids and I have a baby and I was, I would just remember laying on her bedroom floor. And we were up and down. I was like getting maybe an hour of sleep, not all in a row. And I just was like, this is dumb. There’s got to be a way out of this.

And so the internet put a sleep consultant in my feed. And I told my husband, I was like, I can’t do this. I’m not going to make it. I’m about to throw some money at this. Somebody’s got to help me and it was [00:05:00] literally like we look back on that and the best money we ever spent It changed our lives. It changed our relationship with each other.

It changed my anxiety level as a parent Um, my daughter is now five. She is still our best sleeper I feel like it just gave her this skill set that my other kids didn’t have And I was like, do you know what? All the moms, all the parents need to know about this and I have a lot of kids and I’ve done a lot of parenting and I love kids and I love parents and I feel like this is in my wheelhouse.

So I got certified and it’s been awesome.

Christina: Wow. I think it’s so important because I think, I mean, well, if your kids aren’t sleeping and you’re not sleeping, it can actually be really dangerous.

Stephanie: She was six months old. We were in the middle of the pneumonia. I hadn’t slept for over a week and my sister was flying in to come and help me.

Mm hmm. And I don’t remember why, I don’t remember much from that [00:06:00] time, but I don’t remember why, but I ended up having to go pick her up from the airport. And I got in the car and started driving and literally 15 minutes later, I like looked around and was like, I don’t know where I am. And it was this, it was so scary because I went, it’s because of sleep.

This is too much. And so you’re absolutely right. It affects everything. Yeah.

Christina: I don’t have kids, but I do know that when I don’t get enough sleep, I’m a monster.

Stephanie: Well, I, I’ve worked with moms like you who naturally just really kind of struggle with sleep. And then when you introduce an outside factor, like a, like a baby, it, and it’s just that much harder.

And so, oh, I feel ya.

Christina: Yeah. I’ve heard moms tell me that they’re like, I haven’t slept really since I’ve had kids. So, um, yeah. So my next question was going to be what’s your why, but I feel like I just,

Stephanie: I want people to know it doesn’t have to be that way. That you don’t have to, [00:07:00] you don’t have to feel this overwhelmed.

You know, I was telling somebody, if you’re consciously thinking about how tired you are, then you’re too tired. You know, if it’s taking up that much brain space and I always tell parents, if you’re tired. Your baby’s absolutely tired too. It is and we talk a lot about like exercise and nutrition These are really key components of living a healthy lifestyle, but you can’t exercise and Maintain healthy nutrition if you’re not sleeping Yep.

You’re too tired. So I just, I feel like sleep, you know, I, it’s always been passionate. Like I’ve always been passionate about sleep, even when my kids were little and I didn’t really know what I was doing. I just did my best to stick to early bedtimes and everybody needs rest and you need, you know, 10 hours of sleep.

And it, so it just kind of fit in with what I was already feeling. And now I just have so many more tools. It’s

Christina: been great. Yeah, now you have the [00:08:00] magic. So how do you, what does it look like to work with your clients?

Stephanie: Yeah, so I do the majority of what I’m doing right now is private coaching because every family is so different.

I’m actually kind of toying with the idea of doing. Like a masterclass or online course, because there is a generality to sleep. Like there’s just general information that applies to everybody. But the private coaching is, is really essential because every baby is different. Every parent is different.

Every parenting style is different. Um, biology is different. And so I work with families in a private coaching. Sphere most often. And, um, I work with newborns, infants, toddlers, elementary school kids, and teens. So, I can, you know, and I meet them where they’re at. So, and each package that I offer has three different levels.

Because I truly believe in something for everyone. And I want families to be able to go, [00:09:00] okay, This is what I think will work best for me. This is the kind of support that I want. Um, and so I work with a family of a newborn for a minimum of a month. Usually, we end up working together for two or three months.

Because it’s just slow. It’s not like sleep training. It’s more sleep foundations and education. And I want them to be able to ask me questions for a long time. And then with an infant, Um, and I consider an infant four months and up to 18 months. Um, we work together for a minimum of three weeks. We talk about naps, daily schedules, feeding, falling asleep, unassisted, all the things.

And then with toddlers, we, we talk about behavior a lot. There’s a huge behavioral component with toddlers and elementary school kids. So we talk about setting boundaries and we do some parent coaching and we talk about also falling asleep independently and giving them control over their circumstances and then with teens, most of the time we just talk about cell phones.[00:10:00]

We talk about time management and communication. Being respectful and more boundaries. So working with me is a commitment. I mean, I’m, and it feels vulnerable sometimes because we talk about real things and I kind of come in to your family, um, for a couple of weeks and we just kind of muck through some things, but the results are life changing.

Do you

Christina: work with people in your local area or is it? I mean, in addition, do you work with people online or is it mostly a local type of service?

Stephanie: No, I do almost exclusively virtual. I have done in person in my local area, but people, for the convenience factor, tend to prefer the virtual anyway. So I’ve really, I’ve worked with clients internationally.

It’s mostly in the States though. Yeah.

Christina: Great. So. Yes. What do you love about having your own business, about being a solopreneur? [00:11:00] It has

Stephanie: been such an eye opening experience. Um, what I think the thing that has been the biggest change for me is how my kids see me. Actually, um, I’ve always, I’m just like their, I’m just their mom and they, and we really love each other.

Like we have a great relationship. Uh, we have, we have a beautiful family, but I’m the mom, right? Like mom, where’s my socks? Mom, can you take me to my friend’s house? Mom, when’s dinner? You know? And now I’m like doing this other thing and I’m on this podcast and I’m talking to people on the phone and I’m like solving their problems.

And I put a reel on Instagram the other day that got a couple thousand views and my son was like, Oh yeah,

Christina: you’re a CEO now.

Stephanie: So that’s, yeah, that’s been kind of fun to have them see me in a different way.

Christina: So how can listeners reach you? If they want your

Stephanie: help. Yeah. So I have a website, it’s, um, riseandrestcoaching.

[00:12:00] com. I’m also on Instagram as riseandrestsleepcoach, and I have a Facebook page, uh, riseandrestparentandsleepcoaching. And, um, you know, my pricing is all on my website. My packages are all on my website and I do offer. Free calls. Okay. Anybody who just wants to ask questions? I believe that everyone should have access to information.

So I offer free 15 to 20 minute calls just so that we can see if we’re a good fit. Is this something that. That we want to embrace together and, um, because like I say, I have four kids. Do you know how many mistakes I’ve made? So many! And I want parents to be able to come to me and feel like, I’m not going to judge you.

And I think you’re a good parent. If you’re, if you’re asking for

Christina: help, you’re a good parent. Sometimes the more you, the more wisdom you have. If you’ve learned from them. Yeah. Yes. Wow. That is amazing. So what have been. Have you had any challenges? What’s [00:13:00] been your biggest challenge as a solopreneur?

Stephanie: I’ve had a lot of challenges because this is, I was literally just telling my husband this the other day, that I came from a mom background.

Right. So the actually helping families and like stepping in and solving problems and answering questions. That is the best. I can do that all day long. The business side of this has proven to be a huge, huge learning curve. Like completely unforeseen. The technology, the marketing. Um, the sales aspect, websites, blogging, social media, creating reels, being on LinkedIn as a professional, all of that stuff has come at me and I’m like, Oh gosh, I don’t have experience with this at all.

You know, I, the last job I had, I worked on campus at our college. I didn’t, you know, I’ve never worked in corporate, I’ve never worked in an office. [00:14:00] And so that has been something. That man, a lot. Yeah, it

Christina: really is. It’s really hard. Yeah, because it’s kind of like you don’t know all the things Go into running a business until you’re in it And it’s kind of like you kind of have to learn by experience.

Stephanie: Yeah, it’s it’s been tricky. The marketing piece has been really really hard. I don’t I know how to help people, but I don’t know how to tell them that I know how to help them. And that’s something that I’ve really been focused on. Is

Christina: That what you want the coaching part to be about? So yeah, let’s talk about it.

So tell me what would be, what’s your, yeah, what would you need coaching on the most? That we could solve in this, the next. Well,

Stephanie: yeah, let’s, let’s focus on the marketing because I think that if I could, if I could get to people and let them know, Hey, this is what I do and this is how I can help, it would just take a little bit off

Christina: your head.

So what are some ways that you’ve been telling people what you do and how you can help?

Stephanie: [00:15:00] So I have created the business Instagram and Facebook pages. And, you know, people talk a lot about, social media is free, right? And it gets you a lot of eyes. The thing that I’ve realized is that this is a numbers game, you know?

However many people, if I talk to 20 people, then maybe 5 of them will want to talk, you know, book a free call. And then maybe one of those is like, yeah, let’s, let’s move forward. So social media is great because I can get in front of a bunch of people at one time. But it’s also hard because of this algorithm and is this working and blah, blah, blah.

So then I’ve thought about starting an email campaign. Do I send a newsletter? How often do I send a newsletter? I’ve also started teaching a few classes for free. Like I’m happy to go to the chiropractor’s office or the local mommy exercise class. Or, you know, so I’m trying a few different things.

Christina: Yeah, which one do you, of [00:16:00] those three things, like the social media, the email list, the classes, what?

I mean, I guess they can all kind of overlap and you can collect emails and ways from all of those. What have you found is the most, has been the most helpful?

Stephanie: The most effective has probably been Facebook. Um, I did, I was able to join a few mom groups like sleep support groups and I just get on and answer their questions. Like they’ll say, Hey, my baby’s going through the four month sleep regression. What can I do? And I’ll give them some tips. These are a few things you can do.

This is normal. This is not normal. I offer free calls. I’d love to talk if you want some support. So that has probably been. The most effective way for, and that people will be like, Oh, great. Um, but it is very time consuming to be on Facebook a lot. Um, the one I like the best is [00:17:00] teaching the classes and talking to providers.

I like that the best. So that’s

Christina: the best. So you find the most enjoyment out of that. Okay. Um, and has that been effective?

Stephanie: Yes and no. It’s not consistently effective. So I’ve had a few situations where I’ve gone in and taught a class and then was able to book a few clients from it, but then I’ve had other situations where I’ve gone in and taught a class and booked zero clients, but I never feel like any of it is like a waste of time because it’s all information that I’m giving people and it’s all people that now know my

Christina: name.

And those people will remember you and they will tell their friends who are parents about you. Um, so question, I do have one question. When you teach the classes, do you have a way to collect their emails?

Stephanie: I always have a list so people can [00:18:00] put their email, like, information down and I always ask the person who is organizing the class if they’re able to share email addresses with me. Sometimes they can

Christina: and sometimes they cannot. Okay, so here’s a little tip that might help and this is something I learned long ago when I first started a business.

I actually started my business as a professional organizer, and I had a wonderful mentor, and she taught me that when you do speak in engagements, create like a paper, I mean, I guess technology now, you could probably do it online, but I had a paper form, and it was a survey, and I just was asking maybe five questions for their feedback, because I genuinely wanted to improve my classes.

So I would have, you know, questions, they could answer what they thought, maybe give me tips for what to do next time, what they wanted to learn more about. And then at the bottom, I said, would you like to share? Your email so that I can keep you updated on any further any information that I’m doing, or you can be in my newsletter, [00:19:00] something like that, so that they actually gave me and they they loved giving me their email.

I had a huge list for the organizing business just based on that. So I think if you have, if you, if you can collect their emails, maybe then. You’ll start nurturing those people more, um, and it sounds like if you really enjoy that in person teaching that could be a way to, I don’t know, go farther in the long run.

Yeah. Oh, I love that. A survey, that’s a really in the long run, those people will be hearing from you and they’ve, they’ve opted in. You’ve asked them and they’ve given you their email. So, I think that could be one way. Um. Yeah, and then I always really think do what you like. So if the Facebook thing is, is good, that’s also another way.

I mean, you don’t have to do it all the time if, if you enjoy it, do it. If you don’t, you know, I say don’t spend your time there. [00:20:00]

Stephanie: Yeah. It’s just hard when that’s the one that I seem to get the most. It feels like a backup, right? So I’ll be going along and I’ll get a few calls booked and, um, I’ve had people find me on Google, which feels really good.

And then I’ve had, you know, obviously referrals from previous clients, which are my favorite ones because people come in and they’re like, my friend told me about you and I’m like, yes ma’am. But then when things die down, like this last month has been slower. And I think it’s because people have gone back to school, things just feel a little busier.

Sports has started back up. And so it’s been a little slower. So I’ve gotten back on Facebook and I’m starting to contact the moms and I’m offering them suggestions and I’m trying to give them value while also letting them know that I’m available to continue to support them. And yeah, it picks back up a little bit and

Christina: it’s, it all comes down to you’re creating relationships where you are going to help people, um, and you basically want to stay in touch with those people if, and if they, as long as they want to stay in [00:21:00] touch with you.

So, um, and. If you continue to just keep doing that, I think you’re going to do great. You’ll just build and build and build. And then that referral base will keep, people will keep referring you. And then maybe in the future, you’ll create your course or program or what you had mentioned that before. Yeah.

Stephanie: How. Often, do you generally recommend sending an email? Because I don’t want to be annoying, right? I want to make sure it feels valuable, but I also don’t

Christina: want to do it. I think a lot of solopreneurs, especially when you come from a non sales background, can feel like they’re going to be annoying. But remember, those people asked to hear from you.

So they want to hear your tips. They want to hear what you have to say. And if they don’t, they just hit unsubscribe. You can always hit unsubscribe. Yeah. Okay. I think everyone thinks they’re bothering someone, but really what you’re doing is you’re giving [00:22:00] them a gift. You’re giving them the value. Of what your expertise is, which is sleeping is really important and people need what you have to say.

So I think let them worry about if they don’t want to hear from you, they’ll just hit unsubscribe. That’s all or delete it. I mean, I get a lot of emails that I subscribed to a long time ago, but I don’t really. Always read them, you know, I mostly delete, but at the same time, I’m like, well, what if I, I sometimes want to read what they have to say.

So it’s really okay. They can, they have the choice to unsubscribe if they want. Um, and I would say more, you’re probably not bothering people at all. You’re probably under bothering them if that’s a, if that’s a

Stephanie: thing,

Christina: just keep telling them what you need to say until they say no, thanks. Okay. Okay. All right.

Does that feel helpful? [00:23:00] Okay. Yeah. That makes

Stephanie: sense. I appreciate that. I love the survey idea. Um, yeah. Next, next time I’m definitely doing that.

Christina: Well, thank you so much for joining us. I really appreciate it. And I’m really excited about what you’re doing in the world. I know that so many parents and, well, and kids need, need this, so thank you so much for doing this work.

Stephanie: No, absolutely. Thank you for the tips. I’m excited to implement them. I think it’s going to be really helpful.

Christina: Thanks for listening to Richly Successful Solopreneur. Remember, you can trust yourself and follow your heart. If you’re ready to find your flow and grow your business, I want to invite you to head over to richlysuccessful.com where you’ll find more valuable resources. If you’re getting value from this podcast, please leave a review and share it with a fellow solopreneur.