Jerri Hemsworth, CEO of Newman Grace Marketing, interviews immigration attorney Danielle Gotcher, Managing Partner of Global Immigration Partners. Danielle shares her story of becoming an attorney and managing partner of a growing immigration firm. What has she learned about managing a growing immigration law firm? How does she balance the needs of a fast-paced, growing firm with motherhood? Listen to how Danielle got her start.
How She Got Her Start
How She Got Her Start is a podcast devoted to the stories of women business owners and women executives. Listening to their stories, their challenges and their successes is meant to inspire other women while they maneuver the world of business. Whether they are attorneys, accountants, marketing and public relation execs, or IT specialists, every woman has a unique journey with shared threads of commonality. Hearing how we are a community of common goals and dreams hopefully inspires those on the journey with us and those coming after us.
Listening to other women business owners and executives allows a listener to tap into a wealth of knowledge, experiences, and support. Actively seeking out and engaging with our community, one can accelerate their own growth. One may also overcome obstacles, and find inspiration and guidance along the way.
Women business owners and executives can bring diverse perspectives and insights to the table. By listening to How She Got Her Start, one can gain a broader understanding of different industries, markets, and client segments. This diversity can inspire fresh ideas, creativity, and innovation in one’s own business approach.
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And now from the Echelon Studios in Los Angeles, California. It’s the How She Got Her Start podcast. So let’s all get started with your host, Jerri Hemsworth.
Jerri Hemsworth 0:16
Welcome to How She Got Her Start. This is Jerri Hemsworth. And how she got her start is a podcast of love. And for me, and I’m absolutely thrilled today to welcome Danielle Gotcher from Global Immigration Partners. How’re you doing?
Danielle Gotcher 0:35
I’m doing well. Thanks for having me, Jerri.
Jerri Hemsworth 0:37
Oh, I’m, I’ve been waiting for this podcast. Because you and I have known each other for a few years now. And I was thinking this morning. Every time I see you, every time I meet with you, I learned something new. Not only about what you do in your business, but also about you personally, and I find you incredibly fascinating and inspiring. I do.
Danielle Gotcher 1:06
Jerri Hemsworth 1:07
She’s blushing. She’s turning 16 shades of red. But it’s true. You tell us exactly what what do you do? And what is Global Immigration Partners?
Danielle Gotcher 1:17
Well, global immigration partners is an immigration law firm. We practice exclusively in immigration law. It’s myself and my husband that own and run the firm along with nine other attorneys. And we’re in Agoura. And we you know, a lot of the conversation around immigration really focuses on the border and on illegal entries. And actually, where we practice is in legal immigration. It’s largely focused on corporate and business immigration, employers from across the US who need to bring in talent or retain talent that is not, they’re not US citizens or green card holders. So they need some type of work authorization to be here legally and work legally in the US. And there’s literally an alphabet soup of different types of visas, depending on the job, the background and the country. And we help employers figure out the best options and strategically plan for future hires. And we work with a lot of multinational organizations who are moving people around the globe to and from foreign countries and in and out of the US. Same with some foreign investors who are looking to expand their businesses from Europe and Asia into the US and need help bringing their talent as they expand foreign students. And then we do a lot of family based immigration, folks who have been here for a while and now want to bring their families over or someone who marry’s someone from another country and needs help making a permanent place here in the US.
Jerri Hemsworth 2:47
That’s I think it’s when I learned first learned about GIP and global, Global Immigration Partners. Listener sorry, I really didn’t understand the scope that major corporations or any corporation needs to go through. And we’ve had many discussions about the length of time and the number of forms and the and antiquated methods and and the backlog and stuff. And it blows my mind that anybody can get anything done. And, and your firm seems to have figured out how to work with these companies extremely well.
Danielle Gotcher 3:26
Well, it’s interesting, because a lot of people always ask me, you know, do companies really need to hire foreign talent? And I always
Jerri Hemsworth 3:35
Why can’t you find it here in the States.
Danielle Gotcher 3:36
Exactly, there’s so many people looking for jobs, why can’t you hire them here in the US, and I’ll be honest, you know, HR’s will tell you recruiters will tell you, it’s very difficult to find the talent that they need at the skill level that they need. And so having, you know, a pool of talent from foreign countries helps them do that. But the way that the current regulations are set up, it does make it very difficult. And I’ll be honest, these employers would hire somebody from the US if they could, because it would be easier, it would be less expensive. And they would in most cases, be able to onboard them more immediately than they can
somebody from a foreign country. So they’re forced to use immigration because they cannot find the talent here. And oftentimes, it’s not as quick and easy as they’d like. But that that’s going to take some regulatory fixes. If our government can decide on how they can cooperate together to do that.
Jerri Hemsworth 4:33
And that’s not one you’re going to dip your toe into. You mentioned your husband, Jim.
Danielle Gotcher 4:40
Jerri Hemsworth 4:41
So the firm is a family owned firm. I mean, it didn’t start with you and Jim.
Danielle Gotcher 4:47
That’s correct. To start it. It started actually with Jim’s dad, my father in law, who is James Ronald Gotcher, goes by Ron Gotcher, who is now retired, but in his time he was very very well known in the immigration community, and had had some very interesting opportunities in some cases that he worked on. And he he started the firm when Jim was growing up, and then worked also for a very large multinational law firm as the head of their immigration department. And then eventually left and was a founding partner of Gotcher Law Group. My husband and I met in law school, first week of law school, and he knew his path, he knew he was going to graduate and work with his father and do immigration law. So when we graduated, he went off to do that. And I went into litigation. And after a few years, they dissolved Gotcher Law Group and my husband formed Global Immigration Partners. It was formed in 2009, started doing business in 2010. And at the time, it was just my father in law and my husband, Jim and Ron, a paralegal and an admin
Jerri Hemsworth 6:02
That’s it, four people.
Danielle Gotcher 6:03
Four people in 2010. And then started to grow a lot faster, I think, than the two of them had anticipated. And we had our daughter in 2012. And he had asked me when I was on maternity leave, because I was having sort of anxiety about going back to litigation and,
Jerri Hemsworth 6:25
Especially as a young new mom, oh, my goodness.
Danielle Gotcher 6:28
Yeah, it was a lot. It was very challenging. During that time, and I, he had grown the business to about 12 people. And he was doing everything at the time, he was doing HR, he was doing the books, he was doing the billing, in addition to being one of only two lawyers at the firm.
Jerri Hemsworth 6:46
Wait, wait, wait, wait. So in about two years time, it went from four to 12.
Danielle Gotcher 6:52
Jerri Hemsworth 6:53
Oh, my gosh,
Danielle Gotcher 6:55
Jerri Hemsworth 6:56
Danielle Gotcher 6:56
And then he asked me to come in and help him run the business. And at the time, it was it was a difficult decision to leave my my firm where I had been working for almost five years and was on a partner track to to become a partner at that litigation firm. And it was a wonderful firm. The two partners at that firm are still mentors to me today, I take a lot of, I try and model how we manage our firm the same way that they did, in bringing in are bringing up our younger attorneys to try and train them. Not just in the practice of law, but in management and dealing with clients and bringing in business because it’s more than just practicing law these days, you got to also be able to, to manage the folks and it takes a certain type of personality. And and nobody’s really know nobody ever teaches you how to manage No. You know, you had to learn through your mistakes. So we try and try and teach them and I learned a lot from from Garrett and Tali. And so when Jim brought me over initially, it was just to help him run the business. And I had never run a business like before. Okay, luckily, my father was a CPA. So I had a really good resource in terms of running the books and how and he taught me a lot about what I needed to know, to run the business, but I had to learn everything about payroll, I had to learn everything about insurance, leases, you know, anything that comes along with just overseeing how the business is going to operate everything from the equipment leasing, and, and furniture and cyber insurance. I mean, the list of things goes on and on and on when you’re an employer, especially in California. So I had to learn and take in a lot of that. And actually, my litigation background came in pretty handy, because with litigation, you’re always taught to kind of think 100 steps ahead and try and foresee all the potential things that could happen. And that’s, I feel like that’s what I do on a daily basis with the firm is trying to look ahead and where’s this practice area going? Are we going to be able to renew our fire insurance? I mean,
Jerri Hemsworth 9:16
Exactly, where your office is, it’s right up against some some brushy hill.
Danielle Gotcher 9:19
Very practical stuff that that we have to deal with. And it’s been challenging, but I’ve learned a lot and thankfully, I’ve surrounded myself for the most part with very good professionals who I trust, because that’s the one thing I’ve learned is that if you have to have you can’t do everything and I can’t learn everything I need to find the person who’s the expert at it and have them tell me what I need to do.
Jerri Hemsworth 9:46
I so agree with you as a as the business owner or the person managing the business. It’s your I believe we’re only as successful as those we surround ourselves with just exact For that reason, because I can’t take in all the accounting, all the insurance knowledge, all the leasing knowledge. I’ve got to release some of that. And they have to be stellar people. Yeah. Otherwise, I’d be sinking, yeah, it wouldn’t be in business.
Danielle Gotcher 10:15
Yeah. And so we together have kind of figured out how to do this. And we’ve, you know, we grew, we’ve grown even more. When I joined in 2012, there was about 12 people, and we grew out of our space, there at the space that we were at within three years, and built out a brand new space. And we were, we were approaching 40 people by 2015 2016. And then just exploded in 2017 and 2018. And we were over 50 people
Jerri Hemsworth 10:49
Danielle Gotcher 10:49
Yeah, we were up to 14 attorneys and, and 54 people
Jerri Hemsworth 10:55
Now do you have a strategic plan in place? Or is it just been sort of growing organically with and molding and shaping as you go along?
Danielle Gotcher 11:05
Until recently, I’ll be honest, we didn’t have a goal or plan, we were just trying to keep up with the growth. It was very organic, we had never spent a dime on marketing, our growth had come entirely from client referrals. Either, you know, company owners who would talk to fellow company owners and recommend us. But a lot of the growth actually came from the employees themselves, the foreign nationals who a lot of firms in our industry, will focus primarily on the employer and work with the employer as the sponsor, which makes perfect sense. And we have to do that, and we partner with our employers as well. But oftentimes, the employee gets cut out of the process, and they don’t know what’s going on. They have a lot of questions. They have a lot of anxieties.
Jerri Hemsworth 11:56
Yeah, this is their life.
Danielle Gotcher 11:57
100%. I mean, if, if you or I lose our jobs, no big deal, I can go find another one, right. Some of these folks, if they lose their job, they have 10 days, to 60 days, depending on what visa they’re on to find another job, or they have to leave the US. And they’ve got families, and they’ve got kids in school. And they’re got rent and mortgages that they have to deal with. And it’s a big deal, what they’re dealing with. And so we make a very big point that we speak with our clients, both the employers and the employees, and you develop relationships with these employees. Because these processes can take years, especially when you’re talking about sponsoring somebody for permanent residency or green card, that process is minimal three years. And it could be over 10 years, if you’re from India, or China. So we’ve got clients who’ve been with us for a decade, and you’re on this journey with them. And it’s literally an immigration journey. And so when they move around, you know, they’ll they’ll change jobs, and they’ll introduce us to a new company. And that’s largely how we grew, we got introduced a new companies, people would recommend us and some of them were very large companies. And then what would happen is they get acquired. And now we had some, in some cases, you lose the company because we get acquired, but in a lot of cases, we would then take on all of the entities that were under that umbrella. And it was it was we were just trying to hire people and keep processes in place and make sure that we could continue to serve the clients and give them the quality work. And we were just trying to manage that growth. During COVID, that really came to a halt, everything kind of came to a halt. And it really forced us to take a look back at our processes, put some actual metrics in place.
Jerri Hemsworth 13:46
It forced you to take a breath and force
Danielle Gotcher 13:49
everybody to take a breath, which was a good thing. Yes. Yeah, I think
Jerri Hemsworth 13:53
Danielle Gotcher 13:53
But we had been, you know, we didn’t ever have the time to go back and make sure that we had certain infrastructure in place. And when you when you grow so quickly, there are things that that break sure in your process, which is a good thing you have to in order to figure out how to scale your business, you have to see where those those weak links are. And so we found them and we had to do a lot of work doing COVID. And it made it very challenging for our team to work remotely in what we do. The government still requires paper filings. So unlike many businesses,
Jerri Hemsworth 14:31
Wait, paper filing.
Danielle Gotcher 14:32
yes. Yes. Yeah. So everything has to be shipped nothing. We’re hoping that maybe in the next five years, we’ll get electronic filings. The Department of Labor already has it so we’re kind of miffed as to why the USCIS can’t do it. But that made it challenging for us because we always had to have a team in the office. Somebody always had to be there and coordinating with the people at home. There were a lot of inefficiencies with, with remote work. And now that we’re back, we’re we’ve been trying to plug up those inefficiencies with, with better technology and a lot of automation. And all of that stuff is really meant to give our team more time to spend with the clients, rather than time spent drafting forms, doing administrative clerical work.
Jerri Hemsworth 15:26
And I know talking with you and Jim, that that one on one touch is so important, it’s almost it’s ingrained in your firm in your mission, it
Danielle Gotcher 15:37
Jerri Hemsworth 15:37
You are such a people oriented business and firm. It’s very inspiring. And that’s I just, you just don’t see that as much as we would like to, you know.
Danielle Gotcher 15:51
It’s, it’s always been important to us. I can’t imagine not being responsive and there for the clients. And the employers too, I mean, it’s stressful for them when they don’t know if they can hire the person that they need. During COVID, when people were stuck abroad, trying to get them back to the US figuring out how they’re going to do payroll when they’ve got somebody who’s stuck in India, you know, all kinds of have layers to that. So there’s just a lot of anxiety around the employment situation, and they need to hear from somebody, that one what they’re going through is is normal, unfortunately, this is what we’re dealing with right now. And hang in there. You know, it’ll be okay, I’ve seen this before. And here’s Plan B, and here’s Plan C, they get reassured by knowing that if if our first option doesn’t work, we’re there with backup plans. And that seems to help. Or we need to strategize with them. If God forbid something happens in their home country, they need to leave, you know, a family member is sick or dying. How is that going to affect them? Are they even able to travel home? Do we need to file anything for them to be able to reenter the US? It can get, you know, these are real, real people with real lives and
Jerri Hemsworth 17:18
and you’re in there holding their hand and you’re there with them.
Danielle Gotcher 17:21
But it’s it’s not all bad. It’s also very gratifying. I mean, I bet when you’re with a client for years, and they finally get their green card.
And like yes.
And they’re just so thankful for, for everything and just being there for them during the journey. That’s a lot of what we get is that in our feedback is you know, thanks for for answering all my questions and being so patient and always taking my calls. And to me that’s like, that’s what I’m here for, you know, of course, I’m gonna do that. But to them. I mean, it’s a huge deal that they had this person kind of holding their hand throughout the process.
Jerri Hemsworth 17:55
Humanity. Awesome. Let’s back up a little bit. Where did you go to school? Where did you grow up and go to school?
Danielle Gotcher 18:02
So I grew up in the San Fernando Valley. In fact, my husband and I lived 10 houses apart. For about the first six years of my life. We both lived on the same street and didn’t even know it. And then I know it’s crazy. And then my family moved to Calabasas. So I grew up in Calabasas went to Calabasas High School. And then for college, I went all the way to Boston University
Jerri Hemsworth 18:31
That’s kind of a track. It was a miles away.
Danielle Gotcher 18:35
It was I was very keen on going far away for college. I had grown up in Southern California and I love Southern California. But I really wanted to get out of that bubble and experience something new. And to me the East Coast and especially Boston was just like so romanticized, I guess you could say for college. And and at the time, when I went to college at the time, I wanted to be a broadcast journalist. I wanted to be like an investigative reporter. And Boston University had one of the best colleges of communication in the country. Yes. And so I got a scholarship to go there. And that was actually how I convinced my parents to let me go there. You had to convince them. Yeah. Well, they wanted me to, you know, I got into Berkeley. And they were like, well, Berkeley is a great school. Why would you say no to Berkeley? And it costs x amount. Boston University costs twice as much.
Jerri Hemsworth 19:30
Yeah, so yeah, yes. and plus living expenses in Boston.
Danielle Gotcher 19:34
Jerri Hemsworth 19:35
Oh, now they’re probably about the same as far as Berkeley. Oh, no,
Danielle Gotcher 19:39
it’s very expensive. It’s a private school. So I had to make the cost be the same or less than going to Berkeley or they wouldn’t have I wouldn’t have been able to, to go there.
Jerri Hemsworth 19:50
You on a mission and you got the scholarship.
Danielle Gotcher 19:52
I did, thankfully. So I went to BU and I actually ended up double majoring in communication. It’s an in political science because I’ve just found this. I always had a passion for US history. And I just really enjoyed those classes. And it was great. And then I could my focus kind of turned a little bit more towards the politics side. And I was thinking that in college, I would maybe want to do either be a lobbyist or work in DC and media, you know, putting together doing journalism for for the Washington, DC area. So I did get an opportunity when I was in college to work in DC. Yeah, I, I worked at the communications and press office for the vice president. So I was working at the White House. So usually, yeah, you
Jerri Hemsworth 20:42
got it. It was an internship?
Danielle Gotcher 20:44
It was an internship.
Jerri Hemsworth 20:45
In the White House? Wow.
Danielle Gotcher 20:47
Yes. In the White House. It was during my senior year of college. And it was, it was an interesting time to be there. It was a sure it was with the it was in the Clinton White House. But I actually worked for Vice President Gore in his communication office. And at the time, he was running for president.
Jerri Hemsworth 21:05
Danielle Gotcher 21:05
And this was when everything with the hanging chads, and all of those supreme court hearings were happening.
Jerri Hemsworth 21:14
Oh what a time to be in the communications office.
Danielle Gotcher 21:17
It was, it was a very interesting time to be there and see who was coming in and out to do interviews and putting together you know, press releases that they would issue on various things. And you’d have to coordinate with the campaign office, because certain things had to come out of the campaign office versus the White House Press Office.
Jerri Hemsworth 21:38
Danielle, you must have been run and run and run and nonstop in that office during that time.
Danielle Gotcher 21:44
Interns aren’t that busy, it was more answering a lot of calls and you know, getting people press clearance. And but I got to see a lot. And I got to help proofread a lot. And actually, one of the folks that I came in contact with a lot there was one of the in house counsel’s because everything that gets released has to go through legal. And that was actually very eye opening for me that the lawyers were involved in so much. Nothing, every single word was scrutinized. And, you know, because certain words could be taken or interpreted in a certain way, which you know, to me as this 21 year old, I was pretty naive at the time, you know, I didn’t think that far ahead. And they would catch things that I was that didn’t even occur to me that could potentially be taken the wrong way. So they would edit things and the the legal counsel, just a very bright, bright woman. And I was just fascinated that that was a job. That that was someone’s job to make sure that that what they were releasing wasn’t going to be illegal or offend anyone. And then obviously, Gore did not win that election. And so I think if he had won, I would have stayed in DC and probably worked in that White House. And when that happened, I had to figure out what I was going to do or
Jerri Hemsworth 23:04
You were suddenly a recent graduate, and and what happened once you graduated, and you’re out of the White House?
Danielle Gotcher 23:12
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do then. And so I decided I would move home to LA. So you came back came back to LA and then I took a year off I worked at this architecture firm, which is was just so such a blip. In architecture, I was a receptionist there while I took the LSAT and got ready to go to law school because I figured all right, well, you know, there’s a lot of lawyers in my family. So they were like, well, you know, you could do a lot with a legal degree. And I did enjoy writing. And I thought, you know, I don’t know if I really want to practice law and be, you know, in the courtroom. But I there were a lot of other things that I could do with a law degree. So I thought okay, this is a good idea.
Jerri Hemsworth 23:58
well, and then you had sort of that experience with the lawyers in the White House. So that must have been like, oh.
Danielle Gotcher 24:07
yeah, it just opened my eyes to like, there’s so many things that a law degree or lawyer can do outside of the courtroom. Right, right. Yeah. And that, yeah, a lot of what they’re doing is just counseling, and giving advice and being that person in the room who’s looking out for whatever the liability might be, as opposed to the press or something else. And so and but this was also right after 9/11. Right after I graduated from college 9/11 happened and it was just a crazy time, right? And so we all didn’t really know what we wanted to do and I thought okay, law school sounds like a good idea.
Jerri Hemsworth 24:48
An where did you go to law school?
Danielle Gotcher 24:50
I went to Southwestern University here in Los Angeles. And like I said, I met my husband like first week of of law school where to meet him. We were sitting next to each other in class. Oh, just oh, just Hi there. Yeah, just started started school and
Jerri Hemsworth 25:09
You have an extra pencil?
Danielle Gotcher 25:10
Kinda. Yeah, he was, he was very quiet and humble and, you know, a little bit shy. And we all there was a group of us that kind of became friends and hung out and started dating a few months later.
Jerri Hemsworth 25:25
Wow, wow. And then how long until you were married?
Danielle Gotcher 25:30
We, we graduated from law school in ’05 and got engaged about a year later and married about a year after that.
Jerri Hemsworth 25:40
So you had mentioned that you went into litigation. But that wasn’t, I mean, you wanted to stay out of the courtroom. So how did that happen?
Danielle Gotcher 25:51
I like a lot of folks came out of law school with a lot of loans. And I needed a job. And at the time, that’s who was hiring. And at the time, I thought, You know what, I’ll do this for a few years, I’ll get a good foundation in litigation, see if I like it. And, and who knows. Because at the time, I really just needed a job. And the firm that I worked at was a nice firm, I had a great first two partners who mentored me one really gave me an opportunity to do a lot of writing and appear in court. And I learned a lot of the basics of, of litigation, and the other partner oversaw a lot of catastrophic injury and toxic tort litigation. So these were, you know, very high, high monetary value cases. And we would represent a chemical company out of like 50 chemical companies that were named in a lawsuit, and it was just like this faceless corporation.
Jerri Hemsworth 27:03
Danielle Gotcher 27:04
And there were some very sad cases where, you know, we were brought in to defend a large company, usually a chemical company, and the plaintiffs in the case were, were sick. And you know, I don’t know that, that my clients were to blame. But those are hard depositions to sit in hearing about treatments and illnesses, and having to grill people on their past and figure out if there were any other causes to their, to their illnesses. And I didn’t love what I was doing at all. I really didn’t like the catastrophic injury cases either. And having to look at photographs of crime scenes and accident scenes. And I really only lasted at that firm for a couple years, and moved on to another firm that I worked out for about a year, they did the same type of work. And again, I was just not really loving what I was doing, and
Jerri Hemsworth 28:03
It had to be stressful.
Danielle Gotcher 28:05
It was more depressing just to this is, this is why I went to law school. Like, I didn’t feel like I was the people that I was helping, I didn’t really feel like I was helping anyone. And I, I didn’t really feel fulfilled. You know, as a young lawyer, I was getting good experience. And I’m doing well. But I didn’t really love the type of cases that I was handling. And so then I started looking for another position. And I found a great firm that did still did litigation, but it was not personal injury. It was professional malpractice, defense. So representing attorneys and CPAs, when they would get brought into suits either sued directly, or oftentimes they like with the CPAs, they get, subpoenaed for records or deposed, because they were involved in a business or a divorce or something like that. So we would have to represent them at a deposition and, and work with them. And I did a lot of business litigation, partnership disputes, stuff like that. And I actually really enjoyed that much more than the personal injury aspects. But it’s stressful to be in litigation, because you have very long depositions, you have billable hour requirements, you have people who do ex parte hearings, where you find out the day before that you have to be in court the next day. And you know, it’s fine in my 20s when I didn’t have a kid, and you know, I could stay late, or show up the next day, you know, I didn’t have as many responsibilities. But then after having our daughter, I wasn’t sure that I could keep that up or that I wanted to really, and it just kind of coincided with this this time where there was a crossroads at the firm and Jim really couldn’t grow it because he needed help. Yeah, and you know, it was actually a really good time because I could work there part time While our daughter was an infant, you know, for the first 18 months, I really only worked, you know, two to three days a week, I could do what I needed to do to help him run the business from home or at the office and still be with our daughter. But we continued to grow. And there were certain holes in our practice area that we needed to fill. And so I learned those practice areas, so that I could become the expert on those in our firm. And we’ve just kind of continued to grow from there and trying to hire attorneys that had the expertise in the areas that we didn’t have, so that we could become a more well rounded, firm, and cross train each other and be able to serve different areas in different industries, including entertainment now, so we do a lot of there’s just specific pieces that pertain to the entertainment industry. I mean, not right now during the strike. But you know,
Jerri Hemsworth 30:54
That one’s kind of slowed a bit.
Danielle Gotcher 30:56
Editors and writers and producers and musicians and you know, bands and cultural teams that come in here for gigs, they need visas. So that’s been an interesting little niche we’re trying to grow. Yeah. And so just things like that. We’re trying to gather the talent to, to expand the practice.
Jerri Hemsworth 31:16
I think that’s a great step. What a what a obvious step for you guys. I think you mentioned your daughter.
Danielle Gotcher 31:27
Jerri Hemsworth 31:28
And you’re a mama obviously. Oh, yeah. And how do you find balancing being mama and being like, managing partner?
Danielle Gotcher 31:37
It’s hard. I feel like you are at least me personally. Yeah, I never, I always feel like I’m letting something down. Sure. Right. Like go, I’m not spending enough time with my daughter, because I’m at the office too much. Or I can’t get to that at the office because I gotta go take my daughter to waterpolo practice. I mean, I’m very fortunate that I own my business. And I have control over my own schedule and my own flexibility. So that I am very, very grateful for but my, I have a lot going on. And sometimes I’m with my daughter from like, three to six, and then I gotta jump back on the computer now, at nine o’clock at night, right? And it can be very tiring to do all that. And I always feel sometimes I always feel guilty. Like I’m not giving enough to anyone. Im one person.
Jerri Hemsworth 32:25
everybody I’ve interviewed, especially on this podcast, we’re all mamas. So far. We’re all Mama’s. And that’s a very common feeling. I know I felt it to my daughter is now 23. But even now, I still sort of feel okay, I’ve booked up my week. But I didn’t schedule Libby time in there, you know, even at 23 and she’s living her own life. Yeah. I don’t know that that feeling ever goes away of am I spending enough time with my kid? And, and the balance?
Danielle Gotcher 33:00
And I’ll be honest, you know, we we talked about having another child. And I think we had always thought we would have at least two kids. But then after building this business and building this family, I don’t think for my own mental health that I would have been. Okay. If we had had more kids, right. I same thing. I I feel very blessed with our daughter. She’s amazing. When she’s so independent, and I don’t know if that’s just because we can’t be doing every single thing for her and she just has become that way or she just that’s her personality.
Jerri Hemsworth 33:35
And also don’t, what I what I saw was their quiet observers. We are we are role modeling for them.
Danielle Gotcher 33:46
What they learn better or worse, right?
Jerri Hemsworth 33:49
But they they are watching us and as they age as in my case, as as Libby aged. She has become sort of that independent, well spoken. She might not like when conflict comes her way or something in life comes her way that makes her uncomfortable. But she’s seen Mom and Dad maneuver through it. And especially mom, I mean dad, too. Yeah. And she kind of knows what tact to take. And it’s it’s through osmosis is through observation.
Danielle Gotcher 34:22
It’s it she does pick up on everything. And she is privy to a lot of conversations with that Jim and I have about the business and about employees and managing them and clients going through hard things and how we’re helping and even when we lose in how we’re handling, you know, losses and failures and how we’re handling wins. It’s it’s she gets to see a lot and hear a lot.
Jerri Hemsworth 34:46
Yeah, yeah. Libby. Libby gets to see tears. You know, I don’t remember. I never remember seeing my mom cry in front of us. I could hear her sometimes. But I never I chose to never hide the stresses or the things that matter from her. And I think as as business owners and working moms, being able to, like you mandate our own schedules and be there for our kids. I know Jen Felton does the same thing. And Jessica Liu, and it’s interesting. You’re all three attorneys. It matters. And I think it helps that we’re conscious of it. So yeah, I think it is, it is a challenge to everybody. But I feel extremely grateful as you that I could mandate my schedule.
Danielle Gotcher 35:45
She sees me having bad days. And I’ll tell her, you know, today was a bad day. But, you know, tomorrow will be better. And I try and just teach her how to deal with that stuff, too.
Jerri Hemsworth 35:56
Right. And you said she plays water polo?
Danielle Gotcher 35:59
Jerri Hemsworth 36:00
Yeah, that’s good to help her too.
Danielle Gotcher 36:02
She just started a few months ago. So she seems to love it so far. That’s cool. Yeah. Well, Jim played growing up pretty competitively, throughout high school. And so she’s always she knows her daddy plays water polo. And she’s been doing swimming. I mean, since almost the time she could walk, and just loves the water and loves being in the pool. And so she’s decided, oh, we’ll try this daddy played. So let me see if I like it. And she seems to really love it. So that’s cool. We’ll see where that goes. And yeah, she also so proud of her, she, she’s been playing piano since she was six, and now is starting to figure out how to play songs she just hears on the radio, or, you know, making up songs and, and singing all the time. She just loves music, so
Jerri Hemsworth 36:52
You might have a musician on your hands.
Danielle Gotcher 36:54
Yeah, I don’t know.
Jerri Hemsworth 36:55
who knows it.
Danielle Gotcher 36:56
I think it’s more just something she enjoys, which I’m trying to nurture that part of it right now. Because I don’t feel like when I was growing up, I got the chance to do activities that I just just to do to enjoy. I felt I feel like everything we did was oh, this will go good on your college resume. Or, you know, everything was like got to be competitive at the sport, or, you know, you get the award. And I don’t know that I was ever given an opportunity to do something just because I might enjoy just just for fun just doing it for fun, right? And so I’m trying to be in tune with what is making her happy. Yes. And giving her the chance to do that too.
Jerri Hemsworth 37:38
Yeah, we learn, we learn how we grew up, you know, how we, what we want to do in what we don’t want to do with our kids and, but to watch her grow, and emotionally, personally, physically. It’s, it’s, it’s amazing. And I know it’s a great journey as parents, and I can’t wait to see how she
Danielle Gotcher 38:01
we’re entering a new phase. Now she’s I mean, she’s 11 and she’s about to start middle school. And so I just I feel like this is a huge transition right now from elementary school kid to middle school and then high school, you know, tween and and teen. Yeah, I’m excited to see where, what she’s gonna do and what she’s going to be into. And
Jerri Hemsworth 38:24
I’m excited to see how you and Jim deal with it.
Danielle Gotcher 38:28
Oh, man. Just, yeah, just take a deep breath. It’s not personal. When she gives me an attitude. I just look at her and say, What did you say?
Jerri Hemsworth 38:39
Yeah. Okay, you’re in a mood today? Yeah.
Danielle Gotcher 38:43
Watch your tone?
Jerri Hemsworth 38:44
Yeah. All those things mom used to say to us, right? It’s coming out of our mouth. Oh,
Danielle Gotcher 38:50
it’s terrifying. Yeah.
Jerri Hemsworth 38:53
Danielle, thank you for being with me today. I really love chatting with you.
Danielle Gotcher 38:57
Thanks for having me.
Jerri Hemsworth 38:59
We’ll talk soon. All right.
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