Let’s get you Dreaming
We all cherish those blissful nights when our heads hit our comfy pillows, and our bodies nestle under our warm blankets, and then, next thing we know, our alarms go off, and it is time to get up. Wow! Eight hours of perfect restful sleep.
Unfortunately, that is a fairytale scenario for too many working parents with infants and toddlers. Their nights are filled with many ups and downs, with one eye open, listening for the slightest peep from their newborn, or just as they start to dream, they feel their toddler tugging at the sheets: “Mommy, I can’t sleep. Can I crawl in bed with you?”
Dana Schultz has become an expert in training parents and their children to find that perfect night’s sleep. As a college student, Dana worked part-time evenings at a daycare center in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, often caring for 24 babies at once. Fast forward 30 years, and Dana found herself — in 2021 — recovering from a broken ankle and unable to return to her full-time labor-intensive job.
Dana began formulating a business idea of turning her passion for caring for children and her love of teaching into a business. She went to the Anchorage SBDC and began working with Business Advisor Misty O’Connor. Together, they developed the business structure for Dream a Little Dream Sleep Academy LLC. Once the LLC was formed and the appropriate business license was attained, Dana and Misty worked on the Financial Projections and the business plan. Dana learned through completing the financials that she had a viable business model. While working with Misty on the business, Dana also took courses to become a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant.
When asked how the SBDC helped Dana get her business started, Dana stated: “My business advisor, Misty, is a dedicated and insightful professional that provided valuable guidance that helped me navigate the challenges of starting a new business. Her positivity and support has kept me motivated even through the hard stuff, which for me is everything on a computer.”
So, what makes a person like Dana passionate about working with young children and their parents? Dana recalls: “Growing up with a grandmother who was a teacher in the Palo Alto school district, I was always drawn to working with children. While working at the daycare center, I knew I had a gift because everyone marveled at the fact that I could care for 24 babies at one time. The idea of opening my own business and working with families that struggle with the sleep challenges that come with babies and toddlers came to mind. I’ve done it many times and with great success for countless families. I researched where would be the best place to get certified as a Pediatric Sleep Consultant and off I was making my dreams come true.”
To pay for her certification courses, her marketing, and setting up her business, Dana pulled funds from her personal finances. Dana didn’t have to wait long for her business to start making a profit. Before she was finished with her required training hours, Dana had clients on a waitlist. Word of mouth has traveled quickly for Dana as many of her clients come from the same high-performance careers that demand that the parents get sleep.
Dana says it like this: “Investing in your child’s sleep training is an investment in their happiness, success, and overall well-being. And when your child is thriving, you can also thrive as a parent. By prioritizing your own restful nights, you can recharge and have the energy and patience to fully engage with your child during the day and be awake at work.”
Dana is proud of how unique her business and her overall field is. When asked what sets her line of work apart from a day-care center or general childcare, Dana shares: “Pediatric Sleep Consulting is a relatively newly recognized field; however, I’ve been doing this for 30 years! I’ve helped hundreds of families over the years. My experience is my number 1 asset. Not only do I meet with families in person, I also offer virtual consultations allowing me to assist families from Juneau to Fairbanks and even beyond!”
At the end of her first year in business, Dana has plans to expand her offerings. Dana shares: “Taking my business one step further, I am working on earning my national infant/toddler/child CPR instructor certification. This will allow me to better assist my clients in keeping them safe. Then I plan on offering CPR certification to my clients from ages 4 years and older.”
Dana’s biggest influence in her successful business venture was Dr. Nancy Sydnam, Alaska’s first female doctor and a mentor to Dana. Dr. Sydnam had her own family practice in Anchorage, delivered countless babies, and later headed clinics on the Aleutian Chain while also being a pilot and owning her own plane. Dana had the privilege of caring for Dr. Sydnam until her passing in November 2021. Dr. Sydnam always encouraged Dana to follow her dreams and never stop reaching for the stars.
Dream a Little Dream Sleep Academy has a waiting list of parents waiting to work with Dana. If you or anyone you know has infant children that are not sleeping well and causing you not to sleep well, reach out to this dynamic, passionate lady for a free “Discovery Call” at https://www.dreamalittledreamsleepacademy.com/.