Blissful Baby Sleep Coaching just won a Totally Awesome Award for Best Parenting Program in Southern California. We recently spoke to Joanna Clark, the founder of Blissful Baby Sleep Coaching, about her experience as a business owner, the best advice she’s ever received and more. Hear what she has to say below!
Red Tricycle: Your community recently voted you “Best Parenting Program” – what do your customers value most about your business?
Joanna Clark: Sleep is bliss. You may have known that before becoming a parent, but you really know it now. And, when you’ve had a bad night of broken sleep, you really, really know it. My clients often reach out to me when they’re overwhelmed and completely exhausted. No one in the house is sleeping, and parents feel hopeless and irritable. My expert guidance and “hold-your-hand” Gentle Sleep Coaching approach resolves families’ sleep challenges. Ultimately, I help parents reclaim peaceful nights, and doing so has a huge positive effect on the whole family. The whole family enjoys consolidated, restorative sleep and the dynamic completely changes. Sleep—for parents and for their children—is fundamental to good health and happiness. It’s a magic elixir for wellbeing. With less stress, less guilt, and more free time for themselves and as a couple, parents thrive. That’s why I say, “Sleep is bliss, let’s get you some more!”
RT: What do you want people to know about your business that they don’t already know?
JC: Going to sleep independently and peacefully—and staying asleep—is a learned skill. As parents, we sometimes assume that sleeping is a developmental milestone that comes naturally, yet healthy sleep habits and the ability to self-soothe is learned skill. Babies and children need the right coaching, the right circumstances, and the right environment for practice and mastery. In teaching and coaching your child how to self-soothe to sleep, you give a lifelong gift to your child. What makes Blissful Baby Sleep Coaching different is that I offer an alternative to “cry-it-out” approaches to sleep training. I am a trained and certified Gentle Sleep Coach. I offer a full-service, proven system and live support to promote a gentle, reassuring, gradual change that results in healthy sleep habits.
RT: How did your business get started and what was the motivation?
JC: When I was a new mom, my child did not sleep. I was exhausted and I found it infinitely harder to meet my child’s needs with the energy and enthusiasm of which I knew I was capable. Searching for answers in a sleep-deprived haze, I found Kim West and her book Good Night Sleep Tight. This gentle and accessible methodology was my lifeline out of my own most-challenging time. From that point forward, “all things sleep” became my passion. I knew I had the skills and empathy to help other tired parents out of their own most-challenging times. In July 2011, I became one of the first 50 graduates of her Gentle Sleep Coach℠ Program, which is currently the most comprehensive and professional infant and child sleep coaching certification program available. As a pediatric sleep expert and certified Gentle Sleep Coach℠, I have helped over 500 families across North America. With all clients, I develop and implement a customized sleep plan to help the child to independently fall asleep and stay asleep. I offer an alternative to “cry it out” methodology. As a result, parents benefit from reassuring, parentally supported, gradual change that results in improved sleep habits and a well-rested family
RT: Tell us, what do you start your morning with: 1. coffee 2. tea 3. mimosa 4. water 5. all of the above.
JC: I start my morning with a freshly brewed pot of loose-leaf oolong tea.
RT: What is the most awesome thing a customer has ever done for you?
JC: A grateful client once bought me the most beautiful bud vase with a single rose. I was deeply touched and thrilled. My client didn’t know it, but I put fresh flowers on my desk and dining room table every week as a ritual to keep me grounded in beauty and the wonder of nature. So every week, I add a new flower bud to this vase. Doing so, lets me appreciate nature while simultaneously reminding me of the kindness of a client and how important my work is to families. It’s my mission to help families reclaim peaceful nights.
RT: What is your biggest pet peeve as a business owner?
JC: It’s time! I wish I had more of it. As a female-operated small business owner, as well as a mother and wife, I wish I could “expand” time so that I could not only help more clients each day, but also get “back to the mat”…yes, sadly my yoga mat sits rolled and dormant.
RT: How do you keep your stress levels down?
JC: In order to monitor my stress and tame the relentless “to-do” list scrolling through my mind, I always brew a fresh pot of Oolong tea every morning. I sit quietly in my yard, whether it is hot or cold, mosquitos or mist, and I sip my tea and I listen to the birds. I absorb a moment of gratitude and stillness before the bustle of the day. I am joined in this ritual each and every day by my fluffy, always loving, and always happy standard poodle, Hansi.
RT: What’s your secret superhero power as a business owner?
JC: I believe my superhero power is being incredibly perceptive while at the same time being an active and empathetic listener. These superhero powers allow me to masterfully guide parents to the right next steps to get them to where we all want to be: well-rested.
RT: Tell us, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received (as a parent or business owner)?
JC: As a business owner, the best piece of advice I’ve ever received is to consistently offer exquisite customer service and responsiveness. As a parent, the best piece of advice I’ve received is to make healthy sleep habits a priority for each and every family member. We model for our children what we want for them to incorporate in their own lives when they grow up.
RT: How about the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
JC: I am deeply dismayed by our cultural sentiment that time spent sleeping is “time wasted.” Sleep is critical to our health and wellbeing. As humans, we need consolidated sleep to recharge, refresh, and perform to our true potential each and every day. Sleep is just as important to health as good nutrition, physical activity, and wearing your seat belt.
RT: Is there a special offer you’d like to include for Red Tricycle readers?
JC: I’m offering Red Tricycle readers the chance to win a 45-minute consultation or a $50 discount on a full sleep coaching package. In order to enter the weekly drawing, readers must complete the following two tasks between now and 12/31/16: Task One: Go to http://www.blissfulbabysleepcoaching.com and download the Free Gift & Tips titled “Was your Child Awake Last Night?” Task Two: Go to Facebook and LIKE: Blissful Baby Sleep (https://www.facebook.com/blissfulbabysleep/) By completing these two tasks, readers will be entered into a weekly drawing. All winners will be notified by email and Facebook messenger.
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Photo credit: Leah Valentine Photography