Hi, my name is Gisel Brito and I’m one of the partners at Silverberg|Brito PLLC. We’re a law firm in South Florida. We do homeowners insurance, first party, property insurance, and we also do real estate law, which in very simple terms means that we make sure that insurance companies pay what they’re supposed to pay to homeowners and service providers, people that do repairs on homes. We represent new buyers and sellers in real estate transactions.
We met Doug initially through BNI Business Networking Institute. We are a member of BNI and he was also a member of BNI. We were going through a transition in our business where we were growing really quickly, a little bit quicker than we anticipated. We found ourselves in need of guidance, like desperately.
When it came to the business side, we knew how to do the cases, the substance part, the business side was taking a toll on us. I own the firm with my husband, Steven Silverberg. It was taking a toll, not only in our business, but in our personal life. I think we called Doug just out of the blue and said, we need help. I think it was literally just like that. We need help desperately. He didn’t ask any other question. He was just like, let’s meet, let’s talk. Let’s sit down, and I think in less than a week, we were sitting down with him and Jody and discussing what they did, how they could help us. I don’t think I gave it a second thought. I looked at Steven and I was like, where do I sign? What do I do? How do we get this?
We started working with Jody and Doug two and a half years ago. So in March of 2018, it’s crazy how time flies, but we have accomplished a tremendous amount of things. When we started with Doug and Jody, we had a team of, I believe it was about less than 10 people, maybe seven or eight. We’re currently a team of almost 25. We’re about to make our 24th hire. So we have grown tremendously. We have put in place. I can’t even count the amount of systems and structures in place. We have our corporate structure within our firms. So we’ve created that, and we have revamped that structure through time. We have accomplished so many goals with the help of Jody and Doug.
I mean the quarterly sessions, we have Growth Club, the quarterly clubs are incredibly helpful. They keep us in check, us being attorneys. We’re not the greatest planners, and we tend to just be very detailed and not see a bigger picture. Doug and Jody have constantly kept part of our eye on the bigger picture, which I think has been incredibly helpful in our business. In the time that we’ve been with them, we’ve not only grown in team members, but our business has been very financially successful as well in the two and a half years that we’ve been working with them. So the numbers that they gave us at that initial meeting regarding revenue and income and things like that seemed really far-fetched at first, but they’ve actually surpassed the numbers that they gave us. So it’s been really amazing in the law firm.
It’s just the two of us partners, my husband, he’s my life partner as well. Our office manager is my sister, we have a very interesting work dynamic and we have multiple family members involved in the firm. So having Doug has been like having a mediator in those difficult times where family gets involved with the business side and having that mediator has been lifesaving. I would say relationship saving when it comes to maintaining the boundaries, maintaining the professionalism, maintaining focus because when you work with family, sometimes the focus gets mixed in. So that has been invaluable. To give you a very specific instance, I want to say a year ago we were having a lot of difficulty communicating the three of us.
I remember sitting in my car and getting a message from Steven regarding one issue and getting a message from my sister regarding the same issue, but different opinions. I remember sitting in my car and saying, I am not mediating this. I called Doug on the spot and I was like, Doug, I need an emergency session ASAP. This is what’s happening, and I cannot mediate because how can I mediate between my husband and my sister? So can you see us? He did not hesitate. He was like, I’m in my calendar. I can meet you guys today at 3:00 PM, and we got together and I dragged both of them in there and we mediated the issue and we really got a lot of stuff out that really had nothing to do with the actual situation.
So that communication and that environment that they create where you feel safe enough to communicate difficult things has been invaluable. I don’t think we would have been here, had it not been for them. I was probably one of the biggest skeptics of business coaching. It felt like therapy, which is not something that I’ve been very open to in my life.
However, Doug said something in our initial meeting that just immediately caught my attention. I’m very sports oriented. I played tennis in College. My whole family is very sports oriented. He said, everyone has a coach. Even the best players in the world, they have a coach. No one thinks that they need a coach to have a business. How is it any different? You know, you guys are lawyers. You’re not business owners, even if you went to business school, which I didn’t, I avoided it with a passion. Even if you do have that business knowledge, that’s not what you do. So that changed my whole perspective on it. All of a sudden I was able to listen and I was open to listening and that made a huge difference.
So what I would say to someone that is considering business coaching, I would say, remove the label, just remove it and think of it as help, someone that you have there to guide you, to bounce ideas off of, to advice you, to listen to you. Sometimes in the business, as a business owner, it can be lonely because you’re responsible for everybody else, but you know, you have needs too, and you have worries too, and concerns and pains, so really, it ends up being therapeutic. I won’t lie about that. Sometimes it feels like we’re in couples therapy with Steven, since he’s also my husband, but removing the label allowed me to be open to it, and to really understand that this exists in every other avenue of our lives, everything. What makes us think that we can do business without one?