I am so excited to introduce you to Hannah Nieves. Hannah is a true multidisciplinary visionary who knows the complexities of running multiple brands. She knows what it takes to build, market and promote iconic brands that create bottom-line results. Her journey has taken her from corporate success to burnout to entrepreneurship and building the balance in life. She has recently pivoted from an online space to a brick and mortar studio as part of her long term goal of a real estate portfolio.
In this episode we will cover:
- Setting boundaries to keep life balanced.
- How to pivot your business.
- Building a great team and relying on them.
The Legalpreneur Podcast is advertising/marketing material. It is not legal advice. Please consult with your attorney on these topics. Copyright Legalpreneur Inc 2022
Episode 234: From Corporate Burnout to Three of Her Own Successful Brands with Hanna Nieves Transcript
Andrea: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Legalpreneur podcast. I’m your host, Andrea Sager, founder and CEO of Legalpreneur Inc. As a serial entrepreneur and someone that works exclusively with small business owners legally protecting their business, I’m dedicated to covering common legal issues faced by business owners, providing you with the business knowledge you need to catapult your businesses growth and showing you just how some of the world’s most elite entrepreneurs have handled these legal and business issues themselves. In true attorney fashion, the information in this episode is not legal advice. This is for informational purposes only, and you should always consult with your attorney before implementing any of the information in the show. Hello there. Welcome back to another episode of the. Podcast. I am super pumped to have my very good friend Hannah Nieves on the podcast today. She is a multi passionate entrepreneur running three different businesses, which I am so excited for you to hear about today because she’s doing one that I have really always wanted to do. And so I’m so excited for you guys to hear from her. She is incredible. I met her in Chris Carter’s mastermind. So Hannah, thank you so much for being here today.
Hannah: [00:01:14] Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here.
Andrea: [00:01:19] Yes. Okay. Please tell everybody your background how you got to where you are today, because I know you didn’t start life as an entrepreneur. I know you have quite the background, so please let us in on it.
Hannah: [00:01:32] Yeah. So I started in the corporate arena prior to this came from the commercial real estate industry. I loved real estate and design, so started my career in the underwriting division or Capital markets division of Cushman Wakefield, then went to a large national storage brand. Director of marketing there. Loved what I did. It was amazing, but I always went into burnout and this is something that’s really part of my story. So over three years ago, I actually went to the hospital for burnout and my body was telling me, You need to do something different. So yeah, long story short, I thought I had either a kidney stones or kidney infection. I went to the hospital. It turns out nothing was wrong. It was all stress induced. And I started the journey of eating again, which was pretty wild. And that was kind of at that point I was at my lowest where I decided, you know, I have so many skills and abilities and gifts I can help people with. And that was the start of fun. So fast forward now over three years later, from that point, we now have three companies. It started as a one woman show, just myself with our agency and our coaching division. And then this past March, we just separated out all of our companies. So we have a consulting or full service marketing, branding and PR we have in-house, which is our community for multi passionate women. And then we just opened up this Hudson studio, which is the Hudson Valley’s first photo event and coworking space in New York.
Andrea: [00:03:02] Oh my gosh, you have done everything. So one thing. Yeah, I want to touch on really quickly the hospital stay. Tell me more about that. Like what were symptoms that you were experiencing before that? Because I know that there’s many people that go through this that may not quite make it to the hospital, but need to do things to make sure they don’t actually get to the point of burnout.
Hannah: [00:03:30] Yeah. And this is something that is so deeply rooted, but it took a few years to figure that out. So, so deeply rooted from childhood. It was the way that I would respond to things, you know, the obsession with milestones and accolades, you know. So it is, you know, so it’s so deeply rooted. And it was a habit that I would go into, but I would kind of like walk the line and then go back out again, you know? And at this point, kind of leading up to it, I knew something was wrong because leading up to that point, my hormones were all out of whack and I was starting to get a lot of digestive issues and really just like this feeling of like overwhelmed like, you know, like that when you wake up and you have that pit in your chest and it’s just you wake up feeling heavy and leading up to it, too, the pain just sort of getting like more intense, more frequent. And at that point too, I remember I was like, Do I go to the hospital? Do I not? I’m the type of person I would just kind of like suffer in silence.
Hannah: [00:04:27] And at the point, you know, I really thought that I was having like a kidney infection and going there, going through the motions to be told like everything is fine, like they did CAT scans, they did all the things, like everything is physically fine with you was such an eye opening experience and post hospital event. I actually couldn’t eat anything besides bone broth and water for three weeks, so I lost like a crazy amount of weight, developed this really, really bad relationship with food because I was so scared of getting sick and it completely messed with my hormones. So since then I went on this whole holistic journey, spiritual journey, which is honestly most of entrepreneurship anyway. It’s like this personal development journey, but it was a foundation point and that’s why I was preach to our clients and even just my peers that your business needs to support your lifestyle and not the other way around. And coming from corporate, it’s so normal to want to create this corporate lifestyle. But in your business that you run, you know, which was a really eye opening experience.
Andrea: [00:05:36] Wow. That that’s an incredible I, I think so many people can relate to that and maybe not necessarily to the point of being in the hospital, but knowing that they’re burned out. And some people just keep pushing and pushing and don’t know even how to deal with it, don’t even know how to set those boundaries. So kudos to you for actually being intentional and doing that. So what are what are some things that you implement intentionally to ensure that you do set those boundaries and you don’t hit that burnout point?
Hannah: [00:06:12] Oh, absolutely. And this is such a great question. So few things. For me personally, understanding the ebbs and flows. Right, there’s going to be seasons where you’re in push mode and growth seasons and there’s going to be seasons where you have to pull back to really get clear and grounded, small tactical things that I do. I turn off all notifications on my phone, which sounds crazy, but I don’t get alerted. I can’t I cannot get alerted with Slack, with Boxer, with text. I’m on Do not disturb all day long, like I could be dying and no one would know. But that really put the control back in my in my relationship with my business because before it was just like email after email and text after text and you’re just in reactive mode. So that’s a tactical thing I do. I also really, really love journaling for myself and not just journaling just to write it out, but like really embodying that. So I love Dr. Joe Dispenser. He’s fantastic for that type of work as well. Feature visualization. I really focus in on my mindset more than anything, which was so powerful, and then also just having a routine like it sounds silly, but they never used to do this. But I like to take magnesium salt baths and that is like my moment to literally just decompress now. I used to do them like three times a week. I’m not that good anymore, but it’s really like that one thing that I do that’s just for me, that helps me just like unwind from the day. So I think it’s all just about like practices and rituals. You know, some of the listeners on here might be moms and you might be thinking, I don’t have three days a week to take a bath, which is totally fine. But maybe it’s, you know, when you’re walking with your child, say, for example, outside and you have headphones on, you’re listening to some type of meditation or podcast like you have to find what works for you and really own that.
Andrea: [00:08:07] Yes, that is so true. And I actually was on this panel yesterday with Nationwide and somebody asked because I was the only female on the panel and they asked like specifically like how women we do so much more, especially Hispanic women, like how what do we do? And they were asking me and I was like, be selfish, like, take time for yourself. And I told them, like, I like. And it’s not as easy for some people to be selfish single moms that have no help. I’m very, very lucky to have my parents that help a lot. And they’re I mean, I’m 5050 with their dad, which is incredibly helpful. But not everybody has that. But what I have truly leaned into, especially this year, is being selfish and being selfish to the point where it’s actually not selfish. It just feels selfish for us because we’re so used to doing so much. And yeah, that’s yes, I was so glad she asked that and I just straight up told her. I said, ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And so for especially any women that are listening that feel like they may not have that time to take for themselves. Get real with yourself and ask. Am I just assuming that I don’t have that time? Because I am just putting forth the effort to always do more? Just see if you can actually take some time, because I’ve realized that. We can like most of the time we can. I know it’s not like that for everybody, but I’m really glad that you mentioned that. And notifications on the phone are the I. When I first started my law firm, I remember my phone would go off the hook with email. And so I remember maybe within like six months of starting my law firm, I turned off notifications for email and then I turn them off for everything and I’m like, I don’t need notifications. Like, obviously I’m going to check it. And because I would legitimately feel the anxiety and that was one thing early on that I did, which has been really, really helpful.
Hannah: [00:10:15] Mhm. Yeah. And it’s like one of those things too. I was going to say as well with moms and more specifically specifically if you have children too is, you know, like you said, really just getting clear with yourself because I think that’s another thing too. Sometimes we tell each other like tell herself stories too, that like, Oh, I can’t do that or I can’t have that or X, Y, Z. And I think to just really getting clear to and like what’s important to you and really carving out that time, even if it is 2 minutes of your day, it doesn’t need to be this like 30 minute, you know, ten step morning routine process. It can be something really, really simple.
Andrea: [00:10:56] Yeah, 100%. Okay. I want to touch on the businesses more so the community. Tell me about the community that you have for multi passionate women, because I think that’s a lot of us listening.
Hannah: [00:11:09] Yeah. So I when I first started the community, I actually started with just myself. It was my name and I loved it that way. But after a certain point, this was fall of 2021, something started to shift in me and I started to feel really restricted in my social media, specifically because this community was growing a lot larger than me. And that was a really pivotal point because, you know, as an online entrepreneur, right, like you are the face of your brand. So it’s a really big move to say, Hey, I’m not necessarily the face anymore. I want you all to be the face of it. It’s a very different mindset. It’s a very different strategy. It took a lot of time and intention. I went back and forth for months of like, Is this the right move? And, you know, for me, I just was thinking about like, what is the long term here? And I always worked with clients that were multi passionate like me. They were doing multiple things. They had agencies, they were doing consulting, but they had products on the side or they wanted to do events on the side. And I wanted a place for the people that didn’t want to do just one thing to come together. So that’s how H House was born and also taking a lot of the inspiration from the New York Public Library. That’s where our branding comes from. Also interior design, the Hudson Valley. So all the things that are important to me, I morphed into Agent House and it’s been such a beautiful ride. We just launched the new brand in March and it’s been so well received so far. We’ve done several events, but it really allows us to create this community that is so much bigger than just any of us.
Andrea: [00:12:52] Oh, I love that. And I’ve done the same type of pivot. Still trying to do the same type of pivot from Andrea Sager law to legal preneur. And it’s not easy because people come for you and they love you, they love your personality, they love your brand, everything you’re about. And so it is really scary and it’s not always easy doing that transition. So I would love to hear from you even selfishly about how like what you have found to really ease the transition.
Hannah: [00:13:23] Yeah. So I would recommend if you’re thinking about doing this, like first off, I would recommend making sure if you are thinking of pivoting, make sure that things are stable from a revenue side perspective specifically. Right. So stable with your offers, you know exactly what you’re going to be offering as it changes X, Y, z. That’s a big thing because when you have any type of change, right, it can cause confusion at the end of the day. So one of the things that we did was leading up to the launch itself. Was that we were communicating the why behind it. Like, why are we doing this? Where are we going? What’s in it for you? Because at the end of the day, people want to know what’s in it for them, right? They’re following so many people. What type of value are they going to get? So really creating that, that storyline and that narrative around where the brand is going. That was number one. And we did this actually through a brand video. So you can do this. If you go to our Instagram page at H House, you’ll see we have a brand video sitting at the top there and it talks about like the why and what we do here.
Hannah: [00:14:26] The second thing that we did to which would be really helpful is the consistency piece. So you can expect your audience to suddenly know everything about your brand when you make the transition in one week or one day or one month, you have to constantly remind people over and over and over, this is why you’re here. This is what you’ll get by being here. Here’s our community. We built out my personal brand on a separate platform, and that’s been growing rather quickly. But it’s great because I have to remind people, Hey, go over here. This is where the personal brand is. So it’s a lot of reminding because remember that only a small percentage of your audience actually sees your content. So that’s a big one. But remember, at the end of the day that if you tell your audience what you want them to do and the reasoning behind it, the right people are going to be there. So it’s okay. You might lose people, people might not be aligned and that’s okay. They’re not meant to be there to begin with, and that’s totally fine. But I think just trusting in your gut that you did make the right decision is like the first step.
Andrea: [00:15:32] Yes, I love that because here at now, just Legalpreneur, we still get so many people that pay us for services and they’re like, I want Andrea to do it. And I had somebody I spoke at a conference last week and she wanted an LLC filing. She’s like, But I want you to do it. And I was like, I haven’t done an LLC filing in about four years. And I’m like, But I have to know it’s our job as the face of the brand to get the audience to understand, like, Look, we still have experts doing it and you actually don’t want me doing it. Like you want our expert doing it. Because if I had to do it like I, I literally have not filed like filled out the LLC paperwork in years. So I think it’s our job to really communicate that with our audience. And sometimes it may take it may take more time to just figure out how to really communicate that with the audience. So thank you for that. Now the studio. I want to hear about the studio, which I loved. I think back when we met earlier this year, you were talking about your husband, how he’s the handyman. And I was like, You’re so lucky. I wish I had a handyman that like Josh Cheapo. Yes. So tell us all about the studio. How did how did this idea come to you? Tell me how that’s been. Because it is. So for those listening, just to make it very clear, Hannah started with her online business and now has transitioned to this local studio in New York. And the marketing is very, very different, which we’ve had a couple of conversations about. So I want to hear about all of this.
Hannah: [00:17:14] So I always knew the brick and mortar was going to be on the horizon at some point. And, you know, we started out with online, which I highly recommend because it’s a much easier to get off the ground, be a lot more cost effective to get off the ground. Brick and mortar is a completely different beast, but I always knew I wanted to get into real estate and more specifically like commercial real estate. And this was kind of like the testing ground for those types of things. So it was around, Oh my goodness, last September, actually, yeah, September, because I visited the place September 30th and I saw the place online and I just knew I was like, This is it. I just I knew it was it. As soon as I walked into the space, I was like, I’m getting this. I don’t even know how much it is, but I’m going to I’m going to have the space and the space needed work at the end of the day. But I saw the vision because, you know, in our local area in the Hudson Valley, everyone has to go to the city to have these types of experiences and spaces. And I was like, Wait, why am I going to the city all the time? Why don’t I just create this up here, you know, for our community? And I wanted a hub to bring all these entrepreneurs locally together because the Hudson Valley has a lot of incredible powerhouse creatives and entrepreneurs, but no one is organizing them.
Hannah: [00:18:26] No one is bringing us together. So, you know, the biggest piece to you was figuring out, and I also came from the real estate background. My husband is in construction, so it does help. But the big thing is really just figuring out what the business model looks like, what the cost is going to be for the investment. And I ran all those numbers. I kid you not in like 24 hours when I saw the place, I knew exactly what my rental costs were going to be. I knew when I was going to be renting it for. I knew the timeline and we actually signed the lease November. We started construction in December. We finish up construction in February and we opened up the week after we met at our mastermind retreat in Scottsdale with Chris. So it was it went by so fast. People were like blown away that we got all the construction done by then. And of course there are still things that we’re adding to the studio. But like we it’s it’s been a journey, especially also working with your spouse too. There’s so many learning lessons that come with that as well.
Andrea: [00:19:26] Oh, my gosh. That is incredible. And he’s still works, right? He still has his day job, right?
Hannah: [00:19:32] Yes. So my husband’s in a construction. The city in a union. He’s an electrical field. So he’s also not in, like, carpentry or anything like that. Which is funny because he built the entire kitchen and he did a lot of work there. So funny at YouTube University, I tell you, it’s great. And going through that to a lot of late nights. And that’s one thing, especially for thinking about like a brick and mortar studio. There was a period probably for 8 to 10 weeks that I was working till eight or 9:00 at night, like 5:00 hit. I’d go to the studio. We were working on the studio. We’d be eating our tacos there on the floor and then like finishing up by 9:00. And it was it was a lot of blood, sweat and tears and a lot of work that went involved. But there’s just nothing like walking into a space that’s yours. At the end of the day, it just there’s this feeling. It’s really incredible. But again, it’s a learning process because for us, our long term goal is the commercial real estate portfolio. And this was the testing ground to really get our feet wet with what the process actually looks like.
Andrea: [00:20:36] Yeah. Oh my gosh, I, I am. I want to say jealous. Like, not jealous, but I’m so excited that you’re doing it because I’m like, Yes, I could do it too. So I. Anyone could do it. Yes. I really want to come out there and visit. Like I haven’t been to New York in a very long time. I don’t even know the last time I went to New York. So I want to plan a trip to come. Well, I was telling you before this, like, I’ll be there in May, so hopefully I will see you in May. Yes, but yes. Oh, and tell me, I want to hear a little bit more about if you’re able to talk about the consulting you still do with Cushman Wakefield. Is it so with him?
Hannah: [00:21:19] Yeah, no, it’s actually with California Closet, so I still consult with them. And so on our consulting firm side. Yeah, we so we do marketing, branding and PR. I take a very holistic approach. So I came from the world of real estate, which was the underwriting space, which I quickly realized underwriting was not for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the marketing and positioning side of things. So I went to Cal Clauses where I help build out their trade program and now I still consult for them on that. But we also have a roster of clients and many of them are clients that are either a seeking venture capital clients with brick and mortar locations. We have clients with software and platforms that they’re starting, so it’s really, really fun and I’ll step in as their advisor to support them. On the growth strategies from a marketing and brand positioning perspective, but then also on the personal branding side. So we get equally as many clients coming in who have really successful businesses that are coming to us and saying, Hey, I want to develop my personal brand. So we will from start to finish, from messaging to brand development to the website to their PR, we will take it all on and that’s really, really fun. It’s a hard one to let go of, which is why I still it’s under my name. I don’t think I could ever let it go because I love I love just seeing the growth because of the people that we’re working with. So that’s really fun. And I’m sure you understand that too, from being on like the loss side as well, just working individually.
Andrea: [00:22:46] Oh my gosh, I love that. I like I’m such a big fan of yours because you just have so many buckets going on. And I know like what is appearing on the outside is not always what’s going on in the inside. But I will just say from the outside looking in, you just look like you’re doing it so seamlessly and keeping boundaries, which is not easy for an entrepreneur. So I just want to say I am a huge fan and I love to see everything.
Hannah: [00:23:14] That you do. It took. I will say, though, especially with managing three companies, I get asked this question at least once a week with like time management. It’s like, how do you do it all? And I will say, I cannot do this without my team. That’s one thing. And we run a very lean team. Like we don’t have a massive team by any means. And you know, it’s been really great because we built such strong systems in place that help the machine to keep moving. That’s number one. Number two, our clients are that’s another big one. Our clients are so incredible, so respectful, especially when it comes to boundaries, too. And I will say again, like nothing is perfect. There are seasons where I want to pull my hair out and I’m like, Why am I doing this? And then there are seasons where like, things are really, really great, right? And I think it’s just understanding that there’s going to be seasons like that. And that doesn’t mean that the whole world is crumbling, but just means that you need to pivot and adjust and move. And it’s constantly what I’m doing over and over and over. Like something doesn’t work. I’m pivoting, I’m shifting. Like I don’t dwell on the negative things that happen or the mistakes that I make. And I make a lot of mistakes. I make so many mistakes, but it’s just a learning lesson. And that’s really all entrepreneurship is at the end of the day.
Andrea: [00:24:32] Exactly. It’s when you make a mistake, how quickly can you recover from it and how do you react to it? So exactly. Hannah, thank you so, so much for this. Please tell me. Oh, actually, I can’t forget the one piece of business advice that you would give to anybody doesn’t necessarily have to be to your niche related, but just one general piece of business advice.
Hannah: [00:24:58] I would say really embracing and embodying the mindset that everything is figurative. All literally everything is figurative. I love that book by Marie Folio. It’s fantastic. And I it’s one of my favorite books, but really embodying that because, you know, there’s going to be things that are going to come across your desk or obstacles in the way that come in the way. Nothing is going to be perfect. There’s going to be times where your revenue is going to go up top and it’s going to come low again. And you have to ride the wave of entrepreneurship and just know that you can figure anything out. And as long as you have the right support system with you, you can quite literally do anything.
Andrea: [00:25:35] So yes. Oh, my gosh. Thank you so much, Hannah. Please tell everybody where they can find you.
Hannah: [00:25:42] Yes. Over on Instagram, www.HNHaus.com or at HNHaus. That’s our website. If you’re looking for consulting services at the top of our website, you can toggle between all of our brands. So really easy, really simple and send me a voice memo I or DME. I will voice memo you back. I love connecting with our audience and I just want to say thank you so much for having me.
Andrea: [00:26:09] Here at Legalpreneur, we’re committed to providing a supportive legal community for all business owners. I know how scary the legal stuff can be. If you found this information helpful, I would be so grateful if you could share it with the fellow business owner. And quite frankly, it doesn’t cost anything to rate, review or subscribe to the show. Your support helps me reach more listeners, which allows me to support more business owners in their entrepreneurial journey. Have any questions or comments about the show? Feel free to drop me a line on Instagram. I promise. I read all of the messages and comments, and if you want to be a guest on the show or know someone that would make a great guest, simply fill out our application form and a team member will reach out if we think it’s a good fit. I’ll see you in the next episode.