Today we’d like to introduce you to Alicia Cochran.
Hi Alicia, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
I was born to teenage parents with colorful lifestyles. My childhood can be described as chaotic at best. My siblings and I witnessed or personally endured our own unique combination of mental/physical/emotional/domestic abuse, addiction, alcoholism, infidelity, and other mental health crises.
My mother worked nights and my dad was usually working in his shop late, so from the time I was about ten, I took on a domestic role in my family, helping to raise my younger brothers and housekeeping. Having to grow up fast, I matured very quickly and from a young age, wanted to be the first college graduate in my family. I ended up moving out as a teenager due to not being able to handle the environment any longer. I was fortunate my best friend’s parents took me in and helped me to achieve my dreams.
In 2010, I accomplished that goal when I earned my associate’s degree. Two years later, I earned my Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality Management. I then went on to meet my husband and eventually became his business partner in our Real Estate CRM, Systemate. I was originally hired on as a Customer Service Agent and over the last eight years, have self-taught myself a wide array of skills that have landed me the role of Director of Operations. I am the “go-to-girl” our company knows that if they cannot figure something out, to call me because that’s my specialty. I always find a solution. I credit that skill to my childhood. I always found a way to succeed despite challenges and that has transferred over to my professional life as well.
After having two children less than 18 months apart, I found myself exhausted and sleep-deprived. After attempting and failing to sleep train my children using tips I found online, I hired a sleep trainer, and within a week my children were sleeping through the night. I knew at that moment I had to become the same saving grace for other parents. Sweetest Sleep Co. (my pediatric sleep consulting business) was born. At Sweetest Sleep Co. I support parents through the sleep training journey. I use the expertise I learned during my certification process and real-life experience to choose gentle sleep training methods tailored to each child and family dynamic. I was recently accepted into the International Association of Sleep Consultants where I have recently published a blog post for their website.
I am currently in graduate school getting my MBA with a focus on Strategic Marketing. Once I graduate, I will be the first on both sides of my family to earn a graduate degree.
So how did I “get” to where I am today? Simply put – I always found a way. I set my sights on my goals. I worked hard to achieve them. I never let life’s obstacles deter me from my vision of a brighter future.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not. While we could argue that others had it worse because many did, I did not have an easy road to get to where I am today.
Some of the struggles I endured were:
Rough relationships with both biological parents. Until about a year and a half ago, my mother and I could not get along. I moved out at sixteen which hurt her a lot, and until she got the help she needed; she used hurtful words to explain her pain. Thankfully, she and I are now better than ever, and apologies have been made and accepted. My father is an addict who’s technically died three times in the last eleven months. That has taken a huge toll on me, his only child. I love him dearly, but it’s been very hard to carry the burden and fear that comes along with being the child of an addict.
A chaotic childhood. As stated previously, my parents were young when they had me, forcing us to grow up together. This led to a lot of hard times and seeing things that children shouldn’t be exposed to.
My own mental health – due to my childhood, my mental health was not great until I was able to realize the issues I had and seek the help I needed. I am now in a great place and able to process things using healthy coping mechanisms. I am still very proud that I was able to achieve as much as I did before I sought the help I needed. As stated before, I never let life’s challenges get me down.
Financial hardships – I grew up quite poor. I have worked, typically two jobs simultaneously, since I was twelve years old. Starting off doing yard work and housekeeping for a neighbor. Because of the strong work ethic my mother instilled in me, I was able to support myself (with some help, of course) through college. My independence served me well in helping me to achieve my dreams.
Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
At Sweetest Sleep Co., I work with parents to sleep train their children aged 4 months – 4 years using gentle techniques. I have an in-depth intake form that the parents fill out prior to creating their customized sleep plan. I then analyze the parents’ responses and use them to create a sleep plan that ensures alignment with their family’s lifestyle and parenting philosophy, as well as one that considers their child’s temperament, medical needs, and full medical history. As a sleep consultant, I have a variety of sleep training methods in my repertoire, and once I understand the complete picture, I am able to determine which method would fit the child and family best.
My clients love my unconditional support, passion to educate without judgment, and prompt reply times. My entire brand is about supporting the family as a whole and improving the mental health of the parents. This work is the most rewarding work I could be doing. I am able to help children get the sleep they so desperately need while witnessing their parents’ mental health shift and improve in less than two weeks. I often describe it as “magic.” Even though my business is based on scientifically proven methods, it still feels magical every. single. time.
I work virtually with clients nationwide and offer in-home sleep consultation services in the Dayton, Ohio area.
What are your plans for the future?
I’ve got lots of future plans.
My next goal is getting my Master’s degree which I am currently pursuing. Once I have that, I plan to consult for other small businesses helping them to achieve their goals. I am driven by my passion for helping others. Whether that be their business goals or mental health. I strive to positively impact others’ lives every chance I get.
I also plan to use the techniques I learn in my program to become an even better asset for my software business. We are a newer entry into the Real Estate CRM sector and currently hold a smaller market share. It is my goal to help our incredible software become more nationally known and recognized for its innovative features and the incredible support we offer.
Finally, I would love to bring on other sleep consultants to join me at Sweetest Sleep Co. I would love to be able to serve more families and know that while I am powerful on my own, having a team beside me would enhance and grow Sweetest Sleep Co.’s mission to get every baby and toddler sleeping independently.
- Sweet Dreams – My Most Popular Package – $275
- Sleep Tight – my DIY Sleep Training Plan – $85
- Sweetest Sleep – Offers the most 1-on-1 support – $400
- Website: https://www.sweetestsleepco.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sweetestsleepco/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SweetestSleepCo
- Other: https://internationalsleep.org/2022/06/01/breaking-the-stigma-of-sleep-training/
Jessalyn Pugh Photography
Big 7 Media