Sleep, oh elusive, beautiful sleep. If you are a mom struggling to get your baby to sleep, you need to know Dana Obleman Founder of Sleep Sense™. Dana is a baby sleep and parenting expert, but she can offer mom's more than a good night of zzz's. If you're a mom who’s interested in starting her own business, you need to hear about Dana's Certified Sleep Sense Consultants program.
Over the past few years, she's helped more than 150 women from all over the world launch careers as “baby sleep coaches.” She says it's the ultimate job for new moms because you get to set your own schedule around your family, all while earning a great income doing work that genuinely makes a difference in the lives of other families.
Let’s get to know her a bit better.
These profiles are a celebration of the publication of my first book, Mom Boss, a mom’s guide to running a successful business. The book provide practical tips and sage advice and so do our profiles. Here we go..
What did you have to give up to get where you are?
The biggest thing I miss about being an employee is the work free holidays. I think that’s been the hardest thing for me to give up over the past 13 years. I do take holidays, I take at least two a year, but it’s never completely unplugged. I try to clear my calendar as much as I can, but I still have to check in and keep an eye on the business. Sometimes I daydream about being a Barista. Then I could just leave at the end of the day and not think about it again until my next shift, but then I quickly snap out of it as I would last about 10 minutes as a Barista. I am sure I would be fired almost immediately.
Do you ever feel like you get in your own way?
Yes, all the time. I tend to get bored easily, and my follow through isn’t always the best. At the same time I have about 10 new ideas a week, and then get frustrated that I can’t do those all as fast as I’d like.
How do you prioritize what gets attention at any given moment?
That is a tough one for me. I get distracted easily. I like to think of myself as a visionary, but that means I can get sidetracked by the “shiny stuff.” It helps to be an avid list maker. The old fashioned pen and paper kind.
Mom Boss Book Tips From Dana
Have you ever had to turn down a business opportunity because it interfered with family time? Or have you had to disappoint your family for something you believed was critical for your business?
Recently, I decided to attend a speaking workshop in L.A. and then go to Australia for a certification training we were holding there. A friend of mine suggested she join me and we could spend a few days exploring Australia afterwards. The first thing that entered my mind was, “Oh, no I can’t do that. I’d be away too long.” In fact I was already feeling guilty about adding the L.A. extension onto my trip, I couldn’t possibly take more time. Then I thought, why not? My family will survive for 2 weeks without me. So, I packed up the mommy guilt and said, “Yes. It will be so much fun, and I’ll bring them each back a present.” Doesn’t that solve everything? ;)
When the school nurse calls or you get that dreaded lice letter - who in your family handles that?
Since my husband is also my business partner, it usually involves a two minute huddle to see who has the most pressing stuff to do in the next two hours and who can tend to the child. I’d say it’s pretty close to 50/50.
If an investor gave you $50k to spend - how would you spend it?
I’d love to do an overhaul on the brand. Just freshen everything up, make it more user friendly, help organize the back end of all our products. These are the things that can easily get put off, or continually moved to the bottom of the priority list. It would be awesome to have the funds and the staff to execute this.
What's holding you back today from hitting your next goal or desire with your business?
It has finally dawned on me that I need to hire a project manager. As you can see from most of my answers, my attention to detail and planning is definitely not my strong suite and I need to stop trying to force myself into a role that I am just not good at. There are plenty of things that I am good at, so if I had the right person to help me implement and execute plans, there would be no stopping us!
How do you recharge?
I like to think I’m pretty good at the self-care stuff. I learned a long time ago that if I don’t take care of my own needs, I get grouchy really fast. About 6 months ago I decided to start taking Fridays off. I hold myself strictly to this rule, even when other things feel pressing. I spend the entire day alone. Usually shopping, taking myself out for lunch, or whatever I feel like. I spend most of my week talking and engaging with people, so one day a week, I need some alone time.
On social media, everything always looks so pretty - let's be honest - what are some epic messes that you've had to clean up?
I think the biggest mistakes I’ve made have to do with my impatience. I tend to be “all gas” and that can get me in trouble from time to time. For example, we’ve made a couple of hiring mistakes that had to do directly with my impatience to get the position filled. I should have slowed down, and really thought through the process to ensure they were the perfect fit for the job. I think I have learned my lesson.
Do you work traditional hours. When do you log off for the day?
I feel like I’ve also gotten pretty good at this over the years. I remember those beginning days when I felt like I was always in work mode, and that caused me a lot of stress and guilt. Now I am home in the morning to see the kids off to school and I leave the office by 4:00, sometimes 5:00 pm. I’ve put myself on a strict “no phone checking” rule once I leave the office, and although it was hard at first, it’s so liberating now!
What recent work achievement are you most proud of?
I’m really proud of the Sleep Sense Consultant Certification Program. We are in our 5th year now of helping women start their own #momboss businesses, and I’ve discovered that I’m almost as passionate about that as I am about sleep. (And I’m ridiculously passionate about sleep.)
(Big thanks to Clorox for sponsoring this book tour–)What’s the most terrifying mess you’ve ever come home to?
Oh wow- that is a good one. Once, I got on an earlier flight coming home from Peru. My husband had no idea I was coming home at 8am, so when I opened the door and found traces of chocolate stains all over the house I was less than thrilled. He had given them a chocolate bar so that he could snooze for an extra 10 min (he had told them that Santa had come just for that day- which they enthusiastically told me). My youngest son was only 20 months at the time, so there were traces of tiny chocolate finger all over our beige couch sheets and on the walls. Not a happy mama or wifey.
Through all of your moments, Clorox is there. Clorox powers through the mess to reset so the next moment can begin. Stop worrying about the mess, enjoy the moment, and let Clorox take care of the mess. Because messy is part of a life well-lived. When you try to pull off the perfect party and end up with sticky floors and counters I recommend the Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes. They help remove germs, bacteria, kitchen grease, and countless other nasties you find lurking in your home. Got a messy Mom Boss situation? Head to the Clorox MyStain App:Clorox.com/mystainapp for solutions.
Dana is amazing and inspiring...and you can hear more of her. She's got a podcast “The Sleep Sense Show” --she interviewed me for Episode 19 --hear it by clicking below:
Dana and I chat about what it takes to start a business with a baby (or big kids!). Plus we get to the bottom of what motivates SOME moms to try and “have it all” -- the family AND the successful business.