Daniel Hernandez, NextLevel Law
A CEO Freedom Coach Case Study... part 2
Rachel Steininger 00:00
Hi, everyone, this is Rachel Steininger. And I'm so excited to introduce to you one of my most successful clients, Daniel Hernandez, he was able to get out of the whole realm of working as an employee in his own business and actually got to work on his businesses instead of in it all while having phenomenal revenue growth. So welcome, Daniel, thank you for joining us.
Daniel Hernandez 00:21
Thank you for having me.
Rachel Steininger 00:22
All right. Great. I would love for you to tell us a little bit about you and your business. And what you do.
Daniel Hernandez 00:29
My name is Daniel Hernandez, and I am a divorce attorney. And I run a law firm called NextLevel Law. We started off with just four employees when we first met Rachel, and now it is a team of six and we are growing and growing.
Rachel Steininger 00:47
Alright, and what was the problem that you were encountering before we started working together?
Daniel Hernandez 00:51
So my biggest problem was that I was always working in the business instead of on the business, it was stressing me out. And I always was trying to get to hitting those goals. And it just wasn't happening. And I was attributing it directly to the fact that I was working, running into court, I was helping clients, right. And I just couldn't get my head out of that type of work in order to really see the success of the business because I used to talk to a lot of friends about this. And I kept telling, you know, my friends, like the work is really good. And I had a friend tell me, yeah, but imagine if you could replicate you, and how many more people you could help. And he was one of the essential people to tell me like, hey, you need to get someone to help you get out of working in your business and working on business. Because once you have that transition, right, it's like, your mission, your goals, right? To just help out so many more people now that I'm working on the business, instead of in it.
Rachel Steininger 01:53
All right, and why did you choose for us to work together specifically, what was different about us working together versus other coaches, other programs that you looked at?
Daniel Hernandez 02:03
Rachel, when I first met you, I just loved your personality. I loved that, you know, we could grab a coffee together. But I also loved the fact that you hold me accountable. And you would hold me accountable even before we had, you know, a formal coaching relationship.
Daniel Hernandez 02:21
You would tell me, "Hey, Daniel, you know, you said you were gonna set goals? Did you ever set those goals?" And I'd be like, yeah, one day, and you'd be like, "No, you told me at the last coffee meeting we had when we were just networking, that you were going to set some goals. So what's up?"And I think that's so important, right? I think that when you're, when you're having a relationship, like a business coach, or like I've mentioned in our coaching sessions, like, you're my therapist, for my business issues, right? You really need someone who you're going to feel comfortable with, but also someone who's going to, you know, hold you accountable. And, you know, kind of tell you like it is . And I think you do both in a great way.
Daniel Hernandez 03:03
I love to work with you, I enjoy the fact that I do have a little bit of a friendship banter with you as well, and that I can tell you when I'm having a bad day, and you know if I could reschedule my coaching session, because I need to be in the right mindset to have those conversations. And I think that's what makes you different from you know, a book that I'm reading, right. And I've read plenty of books on from other coaches, right. And it's great that I can read. And it's great that I can, you know, pick up on what they're saying, but there's nothing like someone to just have that. Kind of, I don't want to call it a full friendship here. But you know, it's very nice to feel like we're friends. And we're, it's very nice to know that I have a business partner, right, and a business coach and someone who cares about me personally and about my business.
Rachel Steininger 03:57
What about the, the aspect of it that involved employees.
Daniel Hernandez 04:01
I think it's great for me as a business owner to have a coach. But I too, am not perfect at what I'm doing. And I'm still learning and I think it's great that I'm able to have you coached my staff right on ways that they could, could be better, right? Because sometimes, I am too busy still to help out with even the management of, of the firm, right?
Daniel Hernandez 04:24
And in the sense of, you know, an issue comes up with an employee or in the sense of, you know, transitions happening within the firm, as you're growing, you know, someone goes from being a coordinator in the office to being the office manager and they don't really have a lot of training on that. Right. They were they were there they know you they're loyal to you as a as a business owner, they love your your mission and your vision of the business. Right and they want to continue to work, they want to continue to grow.
Daniel Hernandez 04:54
And I think it's so great that you're able to coach them to teach them the skills that they need to help them business be successful. I think it's also great that we do group coaching together to that we have those group sessions, because I truly believe that my staff is more connected because of you. And I share that because, you know, when we formalized our relationship, a pandemic happened, and we all were sent home. And I thought one of the biggest problems was trying to collaborate, being from home, right, everyone being remote, I mean, you can only Microsoft Teams someone so many times and have so many video meetings before you're just, you know, you get fatigued and stuff like that.
Daniel Hernandez 05:35
And I feel like you've really kept us together. And a lot of your ideas we've implemented, I mean, I start my morning off every day with a morning huddle, and my staff loves it. And it's just so crazy how when everyone feels connected, how everything about growing the business or sales, which I think a lot of employees are afraid of right? How it just becomes natural, right? Because we're holding each other accountable, because you're helping us throughout the process.
Rachel Steininger 06:02
So what would you say of like, How's the team dynamics, you had a team before we started working together, you still have the team and it's grown... what does it mean to have somebody like me involved with your team dynamic?
Daniel Hernandez 06:15
Rachel, I like to think about you sometimes and I've described you to my friends, as like the employee whisperer. You are coaching everyone, right? There are some group coaching sessions where I don't attend. And then during our session, you get to tell me and hold me accountable for the things that the team is telling you I haven't done. But not only that, you're able to share with me their thoughts on new procedures, their thoughts on how we're handling the client experience. And without you as a coach, I wouldn't know that information.
Daniel Hernandez 06:50
And I think one of the things, and I always share this with so many, you know, whether you're managing, you know, a team, or whether you own a business or you know, you're VP of whatever, you can ask an employee, do you think this is a good idea? Most of the times, they're going to tell you yes, because you're their boss, right? Like, you're the authority figure that they want to appease, right. And I think what's so powerful is that you get to come back and say, hey, you know, your idea, no one likes that idea. Only you, only you and your pocket, I wouldn't know that information. Right? And so I again, another invaluable piece of having a coach and having a coach that is training and coaching the whole team.
Rachel Steininger 07:40
What actually has been your outcome? What was your goal? And what did you actually achieve?
Daniel Hernandez 07:44
So my goal last year, it was my very first year in business as a new law firm that I started and our my goal last year was to generate revenue of half a million dollars. And I got to 484,000. I mean that that, to me, it was reaching, reaching the goal, given the pandemic, right, given the downturn that happened, given the revenue loss that I did see in a quarter, but it's so crazy how I will always say it was you who kept us going. I remember when everything got locked down, us having a coaching session on a Friday and me saying, "Hey, I need help. I think I need to cut some expenses."
Daniel Hernandez 08:24
And you're like, "Yeah, well, you're not going to cut your marketing budget, because right now is not the time." That is what I really appreciated from you in growing, right. But it was so great, because it got me very close to the goal, right? I think every step of the way that you helped teach me, really helped me to be successful.
Rachel Steininger 08:44
And how would you say your life has changed since achieving that outcome or throughout that process?
Daniel Hernandez 08:49
Well, financially, my life has changed. But I also think my mindset is different. You know, I'm not worried so much about if I generated enough revenue to cover all my bills, because at this point, I feel that it will come, because I'm doing everything in the process to make it happen. And I'm doing the things that we've talked about in our coaching sessions. And to me that lack of worry, is really is a good feeling, right? I mean, there's nothing like not being anxious, you know, because at times anxiety will stop you from being a business owner. It'll stop you from getting that next thing, doing that next consultation or acquiring that next client, right.
Daniel Hernandez 09:35
And I think that that having that peace of mind that every day you wake up and you're doing the right things to get you to the to your goal. Again, another piece of invaluable teaching that you coached me on.
Rachel Steininger 09:47
And how has it changed in terms of working in the business versus on the business as you've achieved this result?
Daniel Hernandez 09:54
I think it's a different form of waking up. It's hard to put it in words, because I don't want to say that I'm not stressed out anymore. I think my stress is just a little different, or that I'm not working as much, right? My work is just different. And it does feel different.
Daniel Hernandez 10:12
Because I'm waking up now. And I'm wondering, you know, where do we stand in a month? Are we collecting the right amount of money from our clients? Right? Have we reached certain percentages? What can we change to collect more revenue? What can we change,o acquire more clients? What can we change... Not only... I mean, I've spent this whole interview talking about generating revenue, right? But what can we change to make the client experience better, which are things that you've coached me on too and coached the whole team on.
Daniel Hernandez 10:45
And I think that when you're able to, you know, to be above and looking down, having that bird's eye view on the business? To me, I'm preemptively solving a problem, right? You know, you get a client complaint that says, Hey, you're not communicating with me enough. And you're like, hey, yeah, you know, what we should be doing? Had I been still working in the business, I would have just been putting band aids on stuff versus looking at the problem and saying, okay, you know, you have a little bit of an issue.
Daniel Hernandez 11:16
And now you're able to say, Okay, this is how we're going to handle all client communications, right? Versus just saying, oh, okay, let's just fix it by making this client happy, we'll take their phone call right on the spot, or we'll do this and we won't really have a good set of procedures, right. And I feel like when you're working on the business, you're kind of looking at it from that perspective, right?
Daniel Hernandez 11:36
What are we doing to enhance the client experience? What are we doing to grow the business, right? And what are we doing to make sure that it is the same for every client, not just for, you know, the one client that's complaining, the little things that I think when you're working in the business, that's what you're trying to do, you're just trying to make everyone happy, but you're not really paying attention to if everyone's doing everything uniform? Or you have the right procedures in place to really drive that growth or making sure that the client experience is good.
Rachel Steininger 12:06
Where do you think you would be right now, if you hadn't taken action, and we hadn't started working together?
Daniel Hernandez 12:12
I probably wouldn't be taking as many risks, not that you're telling me to go jump off a skyscraper or even take those kinds of risks in my business. Right. But I think for me, I don't think that I would be in the place that I want it to be. I don't think I would be working on the business. Right, I think I'd be working in the business.
Daniel Hernandez 12:30
I think that had had you not come along, I probably would have made some poor decisions to on growth. And this is what I find so invaluable from you is that, as a small business owner, I don't have a ton of data to go off, right? I don't have this historic historically... This is what has happened. I'm not McDonald's, or a Chase Bank or something like that, that can look at, you know, decades of sales figures and figure out what's going on or what's not going on.
Daniel Hernandez 13:01
But I can say I have this idea. You know, Rachel, my family all lives in Florida, I had this idea of opening a law firm in Florida. What do you think? And you're the data, you're the talking piece, you provide analysis from your experience, right? And you're able to tell me, Hey, this is the research we need to do first, this is the numbers we need to have before we go full force on this. Without you I would have gone full force on a lot of ideas. And I think that they would have cost me money. And I don't think that they would have generated a lot of growth, right?
Daniel Hernandez 13:36
I've never heard you tell me, "no, that's a dumb idea and you shouldn't do it." You tell me "hey, have you done the research on that? This is what I have found when business owners do that. I caution you before you take that leap to really put together a plan." And it's so crazy, because every time I've taken the time to put together a plan, and I've come back to you and said, "You know, I think I'm gonna nix that idea."
Daniel Hernandez 13:58
Again, invaluable, right, I would have had no one else to turn to , it would have been an idea, I probably would have done it. And I would have seen if I failed at it. Or if I succeeded. I don't know if that's the way I want to move forward anymore. I've even thought about cutting, you know, certain marketing expenses. And I am always like, not the coach, the coach does not move from the line item, because it is a value, a huge value.
Rachel Steininger 14:25
If there's anyone watching this right now who might be on the fence about working with me or joining a program, what would you say to them?
Daniel Hernandez 14:33
I would tell them that they have to do it. They need to join one of your programs, or have their team participate in one of your programs. It is to me the most invaluable experience that I have.
Daniel Hernandez 14:47
And I think that almost anyone will get along with you and your great personality. Right. I think that your results speak for themselves. I mean, you have truly helped us grow and have truly helped us with our businesse and our client experience, and you know, we owe a lot to you. So I mean, if you're thinking about it, and you've already met with Rachel, I highly, highly recommend signing up.
Rachel Steininger 15:12
Well, thank you. All right, we'resigning off. Thank you so much. And Daniel, thank you for for doing this and I will talk to you soon. Thanks.
Daniel Hernandez 15:20