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June 3, 2022

E033 Raul Hernandez Ochoa: Holistic Revenue Growth Strategist

It Is Our Duty To Lead Change In Organizations With Vision, Empathy, Persistence, & With The Right People Who Are Willing To Go The Distance.

Raul Hernandez Ochoa is a Holistic Revenue Growth Strategist, Author & Speaker that helps digital founders reach their impact and revenue goals. His frameworks have helped startups size $800k to $50M+ grow. He has also trained hundreds of entrepreneurs through live seminars, online programs, and private masterminds. He lives in San Diego and is loving life with his family.
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Raul Hernandez Ochoa 0:00
The other premise that we need to understand though, like if people don't want change, or that change is natural and that we have to accept it in order to be renewed and become stronger, become better. There are some people that may not want to do that and they will have to self select out as normal. When you have accountability, when you have strict like, focuses and expectations, and you start measuring what gets done, some people may just like you know what I don't want to be here.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 0:34
Once upon a time, there were millions of businesses struggling every day they wasted time, effort, money, and human hours on repetitive tasks that added no value one day the Better Automation podcast by PROCESIO came to help them find a way because of this, these businesses grow, save time, prosper and make better decisions because of that. human creativity is liberated to change this world. Hello, my name is Aziz and I'm your host that Better Automation podcast by PROCESIO where I interview the world's top experts and share their very best ideas on how to improve automation in your business, processes and life. My guest today is Raul Hernandez Ochoa. Raul is a business strategist that helps digital founders reach their impact and revenue goals. His frameworks have helped startups size 800,000k dollars to $50 million grow. He has also trained hundreds of entrepreneurs through live seminars, online programs and private masterminds. He lives in San Diego and his love and life with his family. When Raul is not working and drinking a homemade cold brew coffee. He's either serving his community and church training for a crazy obstacle course race or simply surfing. Raul. How are you today?

Raul Hernandez Ochoa 2:16
Hey, thanks for the great intro doing great.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 2:19
We're gonna have so much fun. I'm ready for it. And I will ask this question. When it comes to digital transformation? Is it an option anymore luxury? Or is it like necessary that you should do it or die?

Raul Hernandez Ochoa 2:38
Well, if you're asking if your company right now is asking, do we need your digital transformation? Or how do we do digital transformation, you're in a really tough situation because it sounds like you're behind the curve. So I think it's an intuitive place to be in right now around having digital means of which you operate your business. So I think if you're asking those questions, right now, you're behind the curve. If you know the answer is yes, I think you're at least in the right direction.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 3:08
Thank you. And when it comes to digital transformation, people focus on three parts, which is people processes and technology. Which one do you think most businesses that you come across have the biggest challenge with you? That's a good question.

Raul Hernandez Ochoa 3:25
Because technology is easily accessible by everyone. I mean, obviously, there's some customization that needs to happen. People, typically great teams make great companies and produce great products and services. So I think the biggest gap is always going to be around process or how we actually do the things that we should be doing in the way that we should be doing them to best serve our community or our clients. And that aligns with the purpose and the mission of the company. So I would say process, but it's more like a design around that process.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 4:00
Thank you. And I'll ask you then, because he spoke about the importance of serving your community, your customers and all that. Many would argue actually that it's like one in 1000 businesses that really understands their customers and are serving them well. And when you do that, nothing else matters as one person was saying he's somewhat of a famous marketer, that if your customers had an accident and are laying bleeding on the road, they don't care if you come in a Rolls Royce or in a beat up car as long as you get them to the hospital. So my question is, Do companies truly understand their clients and what needs to happen so that they design processes around that? Or are many companies paying lip service to it but are not really like who is their client, a client and what they need is not what they're assuming or thinking or working under the premise that they are

Raul Hernandez Ochoa 5:00
I think I think you kind of hinted on it. I think there's no mal intent about not knowing your customer right now, I think it's all around an existing premise that always needs to be challenged or updated. Because because there's a huge evolution in terms of culture. cultural changes the way that we behave, the way that we interact, the way that we believe in technology, the way that we see technology use technology, in our everyday interactions, and depending which industry you're in, I think it's important to always question the premise to our customers always believe this. How can we get better data around the customers, what are the actual tailwinds in the marketplace are supporting what we're doing that are either opportunities for us to better serve our customers or for our clients to be able to ascend to different products or services that we may not currently have, but use market data, customer data, customer feedback in order to create new products or services? So I don't think there is. Companies are paying lip service, I think it's they're doing their best based on the information that they have. But I believe there is a data flywheel in terms of getting qualitative and quantitative data from the customers not just like, by getting their information online, but actually talking to them, asking them the tough questions, asking the right questions, so that you can best serve them and vice versa, for them to better understand have a better relationship with the company.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 6:25
Thank you. And, okay, taking that even further, I spoke to an AI and machine learning experts about singularity, I asked him, you know, whether machines will become smarter than humans someday, but he said no. And he explained singularity as something that I view as dystopian, which what he said is, we're moving towards a world where the competition is raging, where people can adapt so fast because of the technology, the competition is worldwide, the feedback is almost instantaneous. And therefore, if you don't reinvent yourself, every day, every hour, even, you will not stay in business long. Because what used to take like, even in technology time, a week in order to happen, or a couple of weeks where you had time to go over the qualitative data and mull over things and think about, you don't even have the luxury of that time, where you will need to literally reinvent your business model your business, your products, your messaging, and niches breaking down into smaller and smaller parts that it becomes chaos. What's your perspective on this? Well, I

Raul Hernandez Ochoa 7:37
mean, I'm not an AI expert. When it comes to data, or because I kind of want to understand better the question, it sounds like you're asking when data becomes too useful or too much to become useful? Or can you kind of reframe that question,

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 7:56
okay, when the change is so rapid, that you will need to reinvent and act on data almost hourly, in a way that you're constantly reinventing your business? Do you view that the future will go toward that in such a rapid state? Or there will be somewhat of like, a balance of stability and change?

Raul Hernandez Ochoa 8:19
I don't think that yeah. So now, now that I see the question, I don't think it's a binary answer, yes or no. Because you could, if you say, No, business won't get to evolve to that point, then you're kind of aging yourself to be archaic and like the stone, and just like you're gonna be static. But if you say yes, then you also might go the too far the other way and get too anxious about change and too anxious about always changing and not having stability and actually creating something worthwhile right now. So I think there is an even balance between both because yes, you have to have data in order to be positioning yourself in the marketplace. Yes, you have to have data to better understand how you can best serve the market, no matter how good your data is, if the markets gonna go bad, doesn't matter how great of a CEO you are, your business will be affected because of any thing in your particular market your niche. So I think being able to capture data on the marketing front, to better understand how you best position your company, what kind of data and trends are happening in the marketplace for product team to be able to assess how we build the best products or services that serve our customers today and tomorrow. And also using data to see can we move our offerings up the vertical in terms of the the chain of where you're actually niching down? So data will always be used, in my opinion, getting to that rapid speed of data is going to take quite a while in my opinion, just just to be honest with you because it is a large investment to create like a data pool, like a source of all data for your company and then being able to have business intelligence built on top of that. app. I think that right now that isn't fully accessible to every entrepreneur unless there is like a tool that does it with a really good subscription plan right now, it's pretty heavy investment. And you do need technical, technical engineers to be able to help you do that. But in my opinion, coming from the business strategy and the marketing side, data will allow us to pivot and change and evolve, our offerings evolve, our products evolve how we do business, but I don't think if we, if we focus too much on changing the business model to fast and you're really you might be acting fast and moving fast, but you might actually not be moving forward. And I'd be going in circles. So that's, that's just there's a caveat to going too far to one end too far to the other end.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 10:52
Thank you. I love that answer. It's well reasoned. And you mentioned something specifically, which is moving up the vertical in terms of the niche. So if I understood correctly, you believe that markets should expand their niche or go up a level in their market, and therefore, in many ways, contradicting what people say a lot of experts that markets will break down into smaller and smaller niches, and that every customer will expect something much more tailored, and therefore, they are not open to the broader appeals. What did I understand correctly? Or what was that point? Oh,

Raul Hernandez Ochoa 11:32
that was just like one way to expand your market offering. Like there's multiple ways to expand your market, you could take your same product and put it in a similar niche, or an adjacent niche. To serve similar services, you can completely you can take similar concepts and build something new in a different niche. There's multiple ways to scale, but one of them is also looking, where are you currently proficient in? And how can you serve customers at a different level, in that same niche. Just to give you a simple example, like, let's say that you work with startups, and those startups are only like, sub five mil, like sub 5 million in revenue, but you have something that could also serve companies who are mid enterprise level, but it's just taking that product and moving up the chain. So that's just one option. It's not saying that's the only option to grow.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 12:20
Thank you very much. And in the beginning, you mentioned the importance of designing processes well and correctly, can you elaborate on that point,

Raul Hernandez Ochoa 12:30
actually give you a real case study. So usually, when I work with, with teams, and we look at, we look at their product, we look at their market, look at pricing, we look at all the factors, like do a deep dive in the business. And it always comes back to the core operations of how you're actually running your business. And this is like a concept that we have in productive profits. But it's all around. What are the depending on your size of business six to eight to 12. core operating KPIs, what are the core metrics that are leading indicators that produce an outcome, people just look at profit expenses, maybe some ad spend, maybe some like advertising, maybe some, like labor costs, and then profit. But we have to also look at very specific leading indicators. For those leading indicators. Typically, there's, again, depending on your size, a company, six to nine to 12. But with those leading indicators, you have to also identify which actions support these leading indicators. Because those actions are going to be either done by you, the founder, someone on your team, or a machine, because their habits, then you have to identify from those habits, what are the actual steps that need to happen for this action to be completed? And that's quote, unquote, a process? And again, somebody either use someone else or machine, but then you also have to have a dashboard? How are you measuring that process? How are you measuring output? How are you measuring and keeping accountable? How are you measuring that KPI? And then you do that for the top operating KPIs. And you kind of have a centralized place where you can start designing what's the best way for us to fulfill the goals and metrics that we want to fulfill in a streamlined fashion, and take the headaches out of it.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 14:16
Thank you. So if I understood you correctly, and this is what I understood your mind when businesses want, let's say profit, Conway's Law, whether it's profit or revenue, or whatever it is. That is yes. So that's the ultimate, that's the ultimate goal. But that goal, you only get to it because there is a delay between what you do today and that goal tomorrow you don't know whether you're increasing profits messing with it or whatever. Therefore, there are indicators that are leading indicators that your best not to your best of knowledge. If you do them you will increase profit, and therefore you take those and you break them down into actions that are specific in your business and how your business is adding value to the marketplace in order to read to earn those profits. And those become actions and breaking them down into steps. That is the process. And then you visualize it both in terms of execution of the process, outcome of the process, input, output, whatever it is, and you have dashboards, and you trim the fat to whatever is useless or is a constraint or is a bottleneck or is not adding anything like there is a book called BS jobs, you know, jobs that do nothing, but are there and therefore you have something that you're not guessing what the process should be. But it's 100% tied to the ultimate outcome, which is profit and your unique way of adding value to the marketplace. Did I understand correctly?

Raul Hernandez Ochoa 15:55
Yeah, that's, it's, that's the basic of it, we also have to tie into the company culture has to tie into how you actually operate as a business. Because if you take, let's say, you have your business, and we have like business a and business B, we could have 95%, the exact same processes. Pretty much every business almost does, right. Depending on your if you're a SAS, if you're a service if you're a brick and mortar. But in the way that you do them, that's the unique, that's the unique spin to it, because you business a may not do the exact same things as business B, because in either how they do it, who does it, or in the style or the expectations. So we have to keep that in mind too. When we're doing design. It's not just black and white rubric, you do this, you do that. It's more about how does this fit into the people, the culture, the real goals, the visions and the expectations of the company.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 16:56
Thank you. And then I will ask you something, maybe I'm wrong about this. But it seems there is a lot of research that cultural change is very difficult change management is very difficult, because deep down when it comes to the company being a reflection and its culture of the personality of the entrepreneur and the founder. And therefore as all systems are highly sensitive to initial conditions, the entrepreneurs, personality dictates in many ways, the culture. And then there is something in systems theory, which is that all systems primary directive or prime directive is to survive. And therefore if you try to change your system, everything within the system will drive towards homeostasis and fighting any change. Because if you change a system, basically you killed the old system, and it didn't survive, and you built a new one. Do you agree with this? Do you believe that change management is very hard? That cultural change is really, really, really difficult? And what's your perspective? Or advice for people conducting change management projects today?

Raul Hernandez Ochoa 18:02
So it's a huge question, culture and change process. Alright, so I mean, it we have to reject the premise that it's hard. Okay. Yeah, everything we're doing is not easy. Sure. Get over it. Then once we get over that, then okay, cool. What do we want to change? Because yeah, I've changed companies, I've implemented change. I have peoples that fight change. And that's normal. It's a normal part of like, I mean, you're drinking for SIG Matic coffee, you probably also fast Correct. You do fasting here and there, what's the purpose of fasting to kill the dead, the cells that recycle themselves, and that's natural, it's part of the business, some people may not want that change. I think the other premise that we need to understand though, like if people don't want change, or that change is natural, and that we have to accept it in order to be renewed and become stronger, become better. There are some people that may not want to do that. And they will have to self select out as normal. When you have accountability, when you have strict like, focuses and expectations, and you start measuring what gets done, some people may just like, You know what, I don't want to be here. That's okay. Now, we also have to reject the premise that the culture is based on the founder themselves, that is typically true. However, that isn't always the case. Or it should be the case because there shouldn't be a point in the growth of the company where the culture is based on what is best fit, to serve the vision, because the founder is can help support the vision or create the vision, but they are not the vision. So we there needs to be a point of a step in heroic leadership to be able to let go of your own ego and understand that what is the actual purpose? Sure to make a profit everyone needs to make a profit. Great. Why should I care about your business? And then when you get to that answer and understand that, that to have a business purpose is alignment to what the marketplace wants, because people do business with people, when people want to be part of a movement want to be part of something bigger than themselves, not even your customers, but also those who work with you. When you start creating that vision, that purpose and that alignment towards, here's what we do, here's why we do that. Here's your role. Here's why it's important. And it's not just to get a paycheck, as everyone wants to take care of their family take care of themselves. It's just like a basic necessity. It's like a bait, it's like assuming that everyone needs to breathe. But we have to move past that. Why are you breathing hard? Why am I on a treadmill right now? Why are we trying to run marathons? Like, what's the purpose of that? When you start seeing the bigger picture and align the team towards the bigger picture, when you start implementing a change, and you educate and you support that change? I think you can have a holistic approach and create some harmony with the team to really unite towards the change and understand that this is actually for the better. And even though like let's say it's a technology change, like I did a technology change for a team took like eight months to really adopt across the entire organization. It's a pretty, it's, it was a large organization, right. And it was just implementing a new technology to make life way easier. And there was a lot of resistance, and a lot of people didn't drop it. But until we started seeing, hey, you know, if you don't implement this technology, you're still gonna be, you know, falling behind, there's gonna be more chaos and more stress. It's like, okay, let's actually try it. And I think by supporting and encouraging and showing the team, why it's important, why change is important, how to make sure that they can see themselves in the future, that company, I think we can combat the negative stigmas of everyone's afraid of change, so we just have to kill the change agent. Well, if that's the case, and nothing is worth doing. And then anyone who's has a great idea to change the world shouldn't pursue him. That's not true. So then we have to reject both premises, like yeah, that it's hard, like, Sure, it's hard, but then, so is also doing a podcast. So it's also running a business. So like if you choose hard things and just go after it. In the second piece, when you institute a change, you have to approach it from an empathetic point of view as a as an understanding, how's this going to affect customers, how's this going to affect business, how's this going to affect culture. And as a leader, we have to see that culture shouldn't just stem from your personality, it should stem to how does the culture that I cultivate, increase the team's velocity to reach its purpose.

Because we have to increase the speed for them to reach their outcome. And if we don't do that, then the culture will define itself. And you don't want that to happen. That's just as bad as you know, if you're in your marketing, you don't position yourself, the market will position you and your marketing. So either position yourself or be positioned or create a culture, or the culture will define itself. And it's up to you to how do you want to design that? How do you want to dictate which direction we're heading. And hopefully having the empathy to understand that it's not just about the founder, it's more about the actual purpose, the end outcome, alignment to the products or services that you're doing and aligning back to the team? So I know that doesn't answer the question directly. But I want to give a broader a bigger framework or a broader approach to addressing a question like that.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 23:28
Thank you. And you answered somewhat 50% of my next question, but it's important to ask it again, you're asking people who have empathy, because those will be the most effective in order to create change. But at the same time, this is what's happening, people who are have empathy, they have this need for validation or to be liked. And therefore, like you spoke about shedding of the cells, and letting people go, who are not aligned with the mission and all that, that will be very, very hard for a person who is caring, who can put themselves in other people's shoes, who can feel their energy, as well as they tend to have, like a deep case of imposter syndrome, where even though they see the vision, they will doubt themselves, where people who aren't as smart might not doubt themselves because they're not, you know, smart enough to see, to see the error of their ways. So how to overcome these two possible obstacles when doing that seeing the vision, aligning the team, creating velocity, letting go of the wrong people, with changing the culture and having the growing pain and the period of discomfort that comes with it. When you can feel people's pain as you let go of them. And you the smarter you are, the more you're likely to have this impostor syndrome, understanding the uncertainty of everything. So what's your perspective on this?

Raul Hernandez Ochoa 24:58
So I mean, there's two questions here. The first one is about like having empathy with the team. I don't think empathy should be seen as a weakness. It's more about how do I have the intelligence? Or how do I foster the intelligence to better understand myself and those around me and read a room, most importantly, especially a virtual room, like a virtual chat or a virtual zoom, like understand, like, what is my team feeling, and not catering just for a feeling if that feeling is going to do an output of negativity or something that's not productive for the company. So it is it does require some pretty strong leadership. But I think that's for everyone to develop. And I think anyone who says that they're a perfect leader is just not there yet. You know, I think we're all learning as leaders. So I think in terms of having empathy, there is no, again, I wouldn't, I would reject the premise of having impostor syndrome, I just feel like it's better to understand like, hearing the other person knowing the other person but not having, there's a difference between sympathy and empathy. Sympathy is to feel what the other person feels empathy is to understand how the other person feels. And like you ask the question, when you let someone go, like, Well, me, no one loves letting people go. But like, you have to do those things like today, we let someone go and one of our teams, it just has to happen. And it was that definitely if we didn't have a whole podcast on that that's a whole case study. But I feel for that, like, it's what's the greatest good for the company? What's the greatest good for the team? And what are your opportunity costs? And I know that kind of comes down to like, being kind of some people like well, you know, businesses, you know, just numbers and dollars, but this is more looking about what's the greatest good for, for the whole focus of the company, the purpose of the company, the revenue that being generated, the community that you serve the clients that you serve, the team that you foster, and you know, the the mindset of the team. And I think that also answers. The second question is, with the impostor syndrome, I think the number one thing that founders can do is just to improve their mindset and improve their approach of how they believe who they are in the world and who they see themselves out. Because if you don't see yourself as a successful leader, you'll never be a successful leader. And there are multiple books, there's multiple people that you can follow. For me, personally, to be able to grow in this direction, I just read a lot of Ziggler. And that really helped me in my approach, but that's just me. Whatever supports you and helps you in your growth, I feel like it's all about self image and stepping into the leader that you sort of you have to be for your team to thrive.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 27:25
Thank you. So basically, to believe that you Do Good Work. So can you speak about "Do Good Work," about yourself, what services you offer, what knowledge you share about your books, where people can find more about you. And I'll write some of the links in the description.

Raul Hernandez Ochoa 27:43
Wonderful. So yeah, is the the website, its growth strategy for startups, between one doing at least $1 million in revenue, and they want to double or triple their business. And you have less than 20 people. It's all about what I teach and what I share the frameworks that are proven based on experience, not theory, not like hypotheticals, it's like, Hey, this is working in a team. Let me make a framework for it and share it. I post a lot on LinkedIn, if you want to check those out, I put my best stuff for free. I think information should be free. But if you want transformation, you need skin in the game. If not, you'll never make the change that you seek to seek to make. So you can follow me on LinkedIn, follow And if you're looking to double or triple your company, just just DM me and we'll take it from there.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 28:27
Thank you. And on that transformation journey, of course, your frameworks, I'm sure they let people condense and avoid the confusion and the chaos and all that into what really matters so that they're focused and focus like a laser beam is what will get them towards their results. And another ally that can support people towards their goals is PROCESIO, which is what makes this podcast possible processes is the modern low code, no code platform for advanced automation and creating an enterprise grade back end for your software. Any viewer can live can request a totally free account at And for those with higher business needs. There is a very generous 50% discount code which is BETTER50OFF one word in capital letters, more information in the description. Thank you, Raul. It's my pleasure, my honor. It was such a great and enlightening conversation and I wish you to keep doing good work every day.

Raul Hernandez Ochoa 29:32
I appreciate you. Thank you so much. It's easy. We'll catch up later and continue doing good work. Take care brother