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Emily D. Baker on Business Unveiled

How to Avoid Legal Business Mistakes

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How to Avoid Legal Business Mistakes

Emily D. Baker ON BUSINESS UNVEILED

How to Avoid Legal Business Mistakes

Whether you are just starting out or enhancing your business, there's some things you should know… You may not be doing everything you should be to make sure you and your business are covered legally. Not to worry! Today I am chatting with Emily D. Baker, lawyer for online businesses all about how legal isn’t the sexiest part of business, but it’s critical to a business’ success.

MAIN TOPICS
  • Why does legal even matter in online business space?
  • What are some legal things to keep in mind when starting to scale?
  • Emily shares stories from the online business world as well as her time as Deputy District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles.
KEY TAKEAWAYS

Legal doesn’t have to be over complicated or time-consuming.

Legal is a must for anyone scaling their business

Practical stories that can be helpful for the audience.

MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST

Breaking down the information you need with no BS. Emily turns legal into English mixed with pop culture references and relatable stories so that you can make an informed decision. With over 15 years of experience Emily has the experience to break it down. Emily's consulting clients love her practical approach to legal protection, business strategy, and wealth creation!

EPISODE TRANSCRIBED

I'm so excited about our guest today, Emily D. Baker. She's a lawyer. But she's like a fun lawyer. I am an entrepreneur for online businesses, which I've got a few online businesses and one of them somebody tried to sue me It's funny, like, you need to listen to her on YouTube. Okay, so we'll get into that in a minute. But we're gonna talk about how legal isn't the sexiest part of business and it's not. But when you get those really uncomfortable letters that are certified that you have to sign for.  Continue Reading

You learn real quick that you need a business attorney like in a business advisor. And it's so helpful that you're actually an entrepreneur. So welcome to the show, Emily, thank you. I'm so happy to be here. And it is law is not always the sexy stuff. And it's so much more fun to do other stuff when you start your business. But then there's always this moment where you go, Oh, God, I didn't know X, Y or Z and you're like, right, but by the time you don't know, sometimes it's too late. And there's a phrase that I use with a lot of my content and my clients, and it's with legal you can't put the shit back in the horse. And you just can't. So it's better to, it's better to prepare. Let's just prepare, we know what's gonna happen. Let's just prepare. This shit is like, so bad. I'm laughing because we have this clot that is a cattle farmer, which is so not me. I'm like,
from coming from the country, but like Not really. And I was standing behind a horse recently. And I'm like, Oh my god, it's shitting. It smelled so bad. It was like so big. So it was like so recent. But anyway, you can viscerally relate to the metaphor you're like, once it's out, it's just a mess. And there's not much you can do. Exactly. That's how I feel about legal and business.
Before we jump into that, like, take us back and let us know. Like, did you always know that you wanted to be some type of an attorney like growing up? Like, I know that you're from the west coast. So you just came over to the south. But tell us a little bit about your journey of how you've gotten to where you are today? Absolutely. I didn't know. I always wanted to be an attorney. I thought I did. But I also didn't think I was smart enough to be an attorney. I am very, very ADHD. I'm also dyslexic. So going through school, I didn't always feel capable or competent. And I really thought that I was kind of just destined to kind of do whatever I didn't really envision what it was going to do. I was like, oh, I'll go to school and I'll get a job and it'll be fine. I was playing college athletics. I played Water Polo, and I got injured. And I was like, I have literally no plan. Like my plan was to like play water polo for four years in college. And then I guess, get out of college and figure it out. Like there was no like, goal. I was a political science major. And I was like, I'll just figure it out. And then I started really applying myself going, No, I want to go to law school. And I had some experiences in college that led me that way. I didn't know if I could do it. But I, around the same time started dating my now husband and he was like, Well, I mean, if you don't try, it's it's absolutely not going to happen. So you might as well just give it a go. And going through law school, I really, really realized I wanted to be a deputy district attorney, a criminal prosecutor. It was the most exciting part of law to me. And I was like, I can't imagine anything better than speaking up for victims and showing up in court like as a woman and a lot of the victims of crime that I had been exposed to in college were other women and they were dealing with male police officers and male attorneys and it can be very, very uncomfortable.
I just I wanted to lend my voice in that way and did that for 10 years, I struggled with adrenal fatigue and burnout, and back surgeries and other health issues. And when you know what I love this career, but it is not loving me so much, and decided to take a step into entrepreneurship and wasn't sure what that was going to look like, I didn't go Okay, I'm going to go from being a DA to doing business consulting essentially at with a legal with a legal aspect to it and content creation. And I really tried to figure out what it is I loved to do most. And then what I also was good at doing, and started venturing into entrepreneurial circles, and they're like, Oh, my God, you're a lawyer, but like, I understand the words that you say, Can you explain why I need an LLC? I'm like, oh, boo, I got you mean this and this and that. And they're like, like, that's, like, that's, I mean, really, people? Oh, and then I started finding so many entrepreneurs who were like, nobody's ever really sat me down and gone. You need these five things to start your business? We're gonna do lists, none, none. clueless, right. So I started finding entrepreneurship to find a tribe. Because the district attorney's office was my tribe, but like law enforcement or military, when you leave your tribe, they're like, I don't even know what you're doing anymore. By I guess, yeah. And so I was really looking for community and the entrepreneurship space just felt like a warm hug of community. So then they found out I was a lawyer, and then everything just kind of built from there. And I shifted and tweaked and modified as I went, I love working with business owners, I love entrepreneurs, online entrepreneurs are scrappy, and that, like, I resonate, resonate so much. I don't work with startups that are like, Oh, no, but we had $4 million to get rolling. I work with people who are like, I have nap time and 10 bucks, like what do we got?
Yep. Well, and also to, I'm assuming that when you at least, like the day and age of how we can make money online now and there's so many ecommerce opportunities and making money from Tick Tock us? Yes, absolutely. It that none of that existed when I went to college. It Yeah. So it's just like, having to really navigate through the waters of all this, okay. It's like, I mean, even with my accountant who was like a father to me, for like, 15 years. And, you know, it's, it's like, you got to keep up with the times, yes. So that however revenue is coming in. And it's like, well, do I need to charge tax on it? Like, how much do I need to be saving on that? Like, what? And then all of a sudden,
you get a bill in the mail, which has happened to me.
And then I'm like, oh, what the fuck is this? Like, you didn't tell me? And then that kind of went to like, well, I'm so sorry, Angela. Like, I didn't mean for that to call it fall through the cracks. Like we're just growing and growing. And we're so busy. And we're working with so many businesses and like, what I learned is I'm too nice about it. But that niceness ended up costing me about you, right? So I sought out a new bookkeeper and a new accountant. That was not just younger in age because it wasn't even about that. It was more about understanding how to work with people who made money online. Yeah, in all different ways. deals. Yes. So it's like, oh my god, I have so many questions like, I will start with the basics like why just legal? Okay, listen, you guys if nothing has happened to you yet, that you must be a brand new freakin business owner first off. And so I was super proud of her for like first 10 years of business. And then I started to get into the just works my way into the luxury market. People were spending half a million million plus dollars on a freaking wedding and an event. Yeah, and it was a lot of work and fun. But we've had some crazy shit happen to us. I mean, a con artist, and it's Thank God my brothers and undercover.
All of his systems and like, run this number. Is this a scam? But like, I didn't have all that, you know, back then. And so I mean, I've been drugged a court, I've been subpoenaed to court. I've had photographers try to drag me into court to be a witness like nothing I ever did. But since I was the planner, I was the mommy of it all. Yeah. And boy, did I learn quick that my contract did not protect me. I learned really quick legally that I was referring 45 people for every event. And so I had to learn all this the hard way, which it's not that it costs me a lot of money at the time. It cost me a lot of time and anxiety. And like, I didn't sleep at night because I would get so upset where I'm like, God if I just would have known these things. So for people who haven't had anything happened to them yet, or they're
In a business, like, why does the Why does it matter? It's so funny because with legal the I didn't know what I didn't know doesn't fly. And that is the hardest part of it. And when you start a business you normally have if you start a brick and mortar, you normally have these triggers of when you're trying to get a loan to get your lease, they're like, Okay, well, where are all these things? When you start online, you can make a lot of money without anybody ever questioning you about it or saying, Hey, are you saving for taxes? But for example, if you have a website where you advertise any good or service, if you don't have a privacy policy, the FTC can find you. $40,000 per website, right? I didn't even know that. Right? So it's things like that, where you're like, wait, what, and you're not going to find it in a Facebook group necessarily, or a blog post? It is the what do I need to get started and the legal having your website legal and protected in this changing environment of regulations. And if you guys are on social media, you'll probably see new things saying, Oh, you can't do this anymore. Because of new regulations in Europe. Oh, you can't dm people because of new regulations, the regulations will keep changing. So following people in this like online, lawyer space, myself, and there are lots of others will help you at least stay on top of those things. It's like oh, things do keep changing regulations keep changing how you can collect email addresses changes, and you can be charged and fined for that you can be sued for that. Not having a website that's accessible through different kinds of ABA programs for hearing and vision impaired, you can be fined for. And people are like, oh, that won't happen to me. And it's like, right, but let's start the foundation strong. And that really starts with protecting your website, and then protecting your client agreement. handshakes are lovely. Well, I mean, it's COVID. I don't even know if we can use handshape metaphors anymore. It's like elbow. And elbow bump is lovely. But
it's not a contract. And the thing with business relationships, I've seen go right, is when there's good and clear communication. When people No, I'm paying this, I'm getting this, and this is what I'm getting it. And if something happens, here's what happens. Next, if we don't want to work together, this is how we do it. If I don't deliver on time, this is what your options are. So it's very clear, clear communication, will stop a lot of the expectation stuff. And if you're an online service provider, if you don't have those things, and someone charges back your 1020 $50,000 project, and you don't have those in place, PayPal stripe, square, whatever will go, Oh, I'm so sorry, you don't have your contract. And because you don't have a contract, we're going to give the charge back to the person who charged it back, it doesn't matter that you spent hundreds of hours working on it, they will grant the charge back. So those little things of protect your website, protect your business agreement, or your first steps, client contract,
website protection. And then the next one is dealing with your money stuff. Even if you're a sole proprietor, which is fine. You have to separate your money. So your business money and your personal money have to be in different places, you have to have an Ei n, which is your I know it says employee identification number, you don't have to have employees. But you need that it's your business's social security number, because you don't want to go slapping your social security number all over the internet. I mean, it's probably already there anyway, but mitigate the damage.
So use your AI and get your business bank accounts, separate your money and treat it like a business. You never know when your business might blow up. And you need to be prepared for something to go viral. Or for something to happen. You need to be prepared for your business to go from a $2,000 month to a $20,000 month because if you're not prepared, the taxes friend, the taxes you will pay
on that big month. Yeah, or big months, because you never know you want to be prepared for it to exceed all of your expectations. Yep. And and especially from an online perspective, it's so different. And so when I got into the whole sales funnel world about a decade ago, we had and new things keep coming up. So it's like, you know, everything seemed to have good it would go through PayPal and then now it's like, I mean, I think there's six different ways. Like we take things online, it's like now we've got Venmo now we've got Zell now I mean, there's just it's so messy, so many thoughts about demo.
Don't use them for business. Purpose. Oh god. Well, but I cannot even tell you how many people will say to me,
can I just Venmo you I'm like, No, you're gonna get an invoice from QuickBooks and you need to pay hit the link on QuickBooks, which you know, this is before I got this new bookkeeper, accountant person who was like your answer is hell no. But now like with online businesses, we've got
got it set up to where it's like if people want to pay with Apple Pay? Yes, they want if they want to use some type of like, I'm not a bank of america person. So it's like, No, I don't take Zell. But if you're trying to send me money, like there is, but it's, but it No, it's like, we've got everything set up in stripe, then we have people that don't live in America and they want PayPal. I mean, last week, we had somebody, we have to do all these conversions for online courses. And someone was like, it says, on your website, you did this euros. But when I put my credit card in, like it's not converting or it's not working, I don't know. I'm just like, I'm not smart enough to figure that out. Like,
back to you. Like, I don't know, I'm like, here's the password to get into your class. So you can start Yeah, and then, you know, for some crazy, they paid, but if they didn't, like I would just take their access away. So it's like when people are trying to give you money? Like I used to say, Yes, I was like, yeah, sure, whatever, just throw money at me, baby. It's fine.
My cat, it's like, No, no, we're not doing that for so many reasons. Yeah. And so it's Yeah, for know that the hard way I like PayPal, PayPal for business is fine. I also really like stripe and square. Yeah, if you want to sign up for Apple Pay, or Amazon pay, go ahead. The more ways people can pay you, the better. There are also the payment plan different processors that help break down payments, depending on what you sell. But Venmo is meant for personal. PayPal send money to a friend is meant for personal. And when you pay through personal ways, you're not protected as a vendor. And that is hugely problematic. And I know people are gonna be like, Well, my hairdresser was like, Can you just buy me like, I'm not telling your hairdresser how to make money. But if you're the hairdresser, I've been square work just as well. Venmo. And you can do the little pay where you stick your card in and it connects to your phone the way people do it like a farmers market. There are lots of options. But if you don't get paid properly, you can't then deduct things properly, either. And people are like, well, there's credit card processing fees. Look, I work with companies in Europe, the amount of fees that a business will pay in other countries, we pay the least amount of fees and taxes from any business I work with here in the US. Your credit card fees will come off your taxes, it's the cost of doing business, it's okay, we pay so much less than anyone else anywhere else. Yeah, I mean, I get that people ask me that all the time. And there are some, like small businesses that we work with. And they're like, well, if I charge your clients credit card, it's gonna be 4%. I'm like, it's fine. Like, whatever, that's fine. Like, I'm the girl that would rather have the points. So I'm like, I'd rather just use the card and whatever, 4%. But, you know, it does start to add up over time. And my old accountant was like, No, you're charging that convenience fee. But then this new person and other consultants that I work with, they're like, this is a good problem to have, if you're paying $10,000 a month in credit card fees, that means you're at least bringing in over 100 k a month, like, right, that's okay. That's like you said, the cost of doing business. So get over that, the more you're selling, you know, my my accountants, like 30% goes into this account for this, and this goes here, and this goes here. But that's actually how we price our products. Yes, they do you love you for saying that so much. I feel like we're gonna like clink wine glasses, at some point be best friends.
Yes, it goes into your pricing. Like that's your overhead. And it's so clear. If you're selling a good for a lot of people, it's like, okay, the cost of the good is this. And the markup on the good is this and the rent and the employees are this, like Target knows exactly how much they're making when they sell a coffee cup. And they know what the cost is to keep it on the shelf and how much to source and all of that, we have to do the same. Even if what you're selling is digital goods, you have to the cost of your email service provider, the cost if you're using something like clickfunnels, the cost of your team or your VA your time, all of that gets roped into your pricing. It's not just like, Well, everybody prices it at 999. So nine and a nine sounds good. No, your pricing is specific to your business. And it is a big part of your business thriving and surviving is pricing properly. And pricing in processing fees is part of it. That it and again, I never even until I have this newer account. And I'm like, I guess I didn't think of it that way. But it totally makes sense. So what is something so someone that is listening that has an online business? Or if they're even thinking about getting into an online business, which guys if you're listening and you don't have something online that you're selling like you should probably get into it like don't show it online unless people are gonna throw money at you. It is the most fun like I I tease my kids. I'm like, you're taking so much time at the moment. I don't talk for free, y'all. We Come on kids, like I don't talk for free. These are conversations I get paid for which is why like I don't do a ton on Instagram anymore. Because when I go on YouTube, there are super
chats and so people can pay and you can put advertising on it. And yes, Instagram is expanding into that, but it's not there yet. And so there are ways to get paid for just about anything you want to do online, like literally anything online, and which is I tell my clients all the time, figure out what you like doing in your day, and then figure out how you want to make money. Because you can find a million different ways to make money, particularly in the online space. And you should have more than one. Because as fun as it is to make money on YouTube, YouTube has glitches, YouTube goes down for a period of time. If YouTube's down for a day, then my ad revenue is down for a day, but I'm also making money in other different ways. So it's kind of fine. diversify that income. There are so many ways to make money online. I totally sidetracked what we were talking about. No, but it's good. Like we recently did a digital event for a client we started end up managing some things and for them, and like just through YouTube and Facebook Live and then the affiliate deals they had in their Amazon store, and their Patreon and that was like all that they were focused on and they're just fine. But here I'm over here. I'm like, What about Instagram reels. What about Tick Tock Danson? Yeah, that's fun. And you can get paid on tik tok to Yes, which we're getting into that. It's so fun. Like, it's fun. I don't even know why I thought it was like a kid's dance class platform pre March cuz it kind of it kind of is but it kind of isn't like it came from Bitly. Right? So the people who when you look at the people who have made it big on Tick tock, you're like, oh, like Charlie and Dixie dimeo. And they're what like 16 and 19, and Addison Ray and all these kids. But when you really get into the tick tock sphere, you see business, I hate to say mature business owners at over 28 but mature business owners over the age of 28 on Tick tock, really finding community and there's an I I have, I have a love hate relationship with Tick Tock due to their security and some other things. But it's a fun platform and it grabs your attention like nothing else. It pushes views, like nothing else, it's still growing. And it's unique. And that once you start swiping on Tick tock, if you've never played with it, the screen is just full of the person you're watching. There's no ads popping up like they do on YouTube. There's nothing to take away your attention. It's not trying to push you to anything but the next content. And if you're liking a creator, you'll see the more and more and more in it. It just it fullscreen pushes content which is different than any other platform right now. Have you heard that YouTube was going to start doing the whole little short real vertical things? I think they're testing it in India right now. But I did not hear that. I just got YouTube stories turned on for me today. And I pulled up my YouTube today. And I was like, Oh, I can do stories. I've experimented with YouTube doing vertical too, because a lot of the people who watch my YouTube channel, watch me on mobile. And when you watch YouTube on mobile, if you film it vertical, it fills full screen, almost like you're watching reels, but for like an hour, and there's nothing competing for attention. It's really really a fun platform. I was shocked when I started. I refocused energy into content creation during COVID just because I love it. I do legal commentary, mostly on pop culture issues. I love it. But also the news like shit you want to talk about with your friends like oh my god, Britney Spears is in a conservatorship. Kanye West is leaking contracts on Twitter or The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills husband is going to be you know, filing for bankruptcy. I love talking about this stuff. And I dialed down into YouTube, the money that I made. When I started refocusing on YouTube, I was like, oh, oh, I should have done this sooner. Like what I love. I love it. I love it. I love making content. And it, it works. And that ad revenue is no joke. And then there's other ancillary revenues to it and memberships. And now it's like, okay, we can monetize it all over the place. It's so much fun. But I didn't hear that they were doing little shorts. It'll be interesting to see how that goes. Because people, YouTube watchers go on to YouTube and want to at least my audience watches 30 plus minutes on my stuff, because they don't want to keep swiping to something else. So it's just the platform where people want to watch. They like watching playlists, and they like watching through a conversation different than tic toc where if it goes for more than like 30 seconds, you're like, why is this so long?
And I have such a short attention span. That's not for me. I'm like, this is so perfect. Yes. Tick Tock ruins me, because now I hear songs in the car. And I'm like, why am I hearing more than 15 seconds of this like next? I'm like, I'm just used to like the tone of the phrase. Uh huh. And then one of my friends is over there the other day, she's like, does your Alexa do you tell Alexa just to play the top tech talk?
Songs I'm like, No, she's like, literally since I've been here, every single talk song in my head, I'm like doing this.
We're gonna Renegade, right? Like, cuz we know I like the little dances. It's just fun, a fun conversation. But so so if people are trying to scale online, like what are the top legal like, Are there three top legal things that they need to really think about if they're trying to scale online, even for scaling, website protection, first privacy policy Terms of Use, those are your those are your first and your basic line of defense. Next is going to be your client agreements, then separating your money, then it's going to be hiring properly. If you're scaling and you want to scale your business and higher, it's going to be understanding who's a contractor who's an employee, I know y'all don't want to hear it, the contractor laws in the US are changing, it is getting harder and harder to legally hire contractors, depending on where you live. California is leading the charge with all of this stuff. And I'm a licensed in California, even though we moved to Tennessee, California has a new consumer Privacy Act that they passed, they just started enforcing in July with the ways that you can interact with California residents the way you can store their information. And California is leading the charge with independent contractors as well with something called a B five and the way you can hire independent contractors, Uber was gonna shut down, it was a whole, it was a whole thing, but other states are following suit. So the way you hire is going to be very, very important in 2021 2022. As it changes, yeah, we work with a lot. In fact, the IT company that does all of our it stuff and our website stuff and has for 17 years they are in California, but they haven't said anything or brought but I mean, they have a full blown ass business, right? So for them there, if they were working with contractors that were providing service to you, it's a problem for them, they need to have their people as employees, you can still contract business to business. It just has to you can't contract business to business for certain things. If you were also doing web stuff, and then you were outsourcing to them. They would be an employee to you, but you're not doing web stuff. They're a actual service provider. The The example I give a lot is like a plumber. If a plumbers coming to your house, you tell them what the problem is, and trust them to figure it out and fix it and tell you how much it's going to cost and how long it's going to take. That's where your contractors need to be, hey, I don't know how to code a membership site. But I need one. And I want it to kind of look like this. And I need it to kind of be like that, can you tell me how much it's going to cost? how long it's going to take? And then can you please just do it. But if you're bringing somebody in saying I need you to answer customer service emails this particular way, and I need you to use this to do this, they're more likely an employee because you're directing their work, versus bringing in a you know, a Facebook ads person and saying, I need ads to run to these things. Can you tell me how much that's going to cost to just do it? Mm hmm. So that's where it breaks down? The more direction you have, the more likely they are an employee. I have guides on that on my website. So Emily baker.com has a lot of free stuff for businesses to have a guide. So you can go through and go, Oh, how do I hire properly because scaling. That's one of the things you need to bring in. And what I find business owners forget is that even if it's like, oh, that might need to be an employee, they can be an employee five hours a week, like an employee does not mean they have to be a 40 hours a week, ride or die full time with benefits, employees can still be part time, you just pay them with a W two, not a 1099. And then you don't get in trouble with the IRS. Which is like every business owner's worst nightmare is like is the IRS gonna be salty with me? We don't want the IRS to be salty with you. Right. I do think that I it'll be interesting to see next year, how some of this whole mindset shift has what the pandemic has done in 2020. And so many people are now I mean, everybody's had to work from home. Yes, where some people don't prefer it. And I actually prefer it I get way more shit done if I'm like no interruptions sitting in my home office. So it'll be very interesting to see how the IRS deals with that with some of these small businesses. Absolutely. But I know you have a lot of stories like what I'm just like, what's your top story for, like online businesses? Because I know you have a unique background, you know, being a district attorney. Yes. And then also, I feel like in LA a lot of crazier shit goes down then in like Tennessee, like in Nashville. I don't know it could be wrong. But do you have some crazy thing that like could have been avoided if someone just knew
Like, hey, you shouldn't do it this way, like, what's your top go to story when you tell people like you need to lock down your shit. I mean, when we talk about da stuff, I have like da business stories and then like my client business stories, but as a DA, I worked with a business owner who had been embezzled from and he didn't find out about it for ages. And I think it's a good cautionary tale. He was running an orthodontic practice, and was just working in the business trusted, trusted everyone else. He was a service provider, right? I sit in the chair, I put braces on people, and that's it. And the business was struggling, and he was working more and his his spouse was just like, what is happening? And he's like, I don't know, when they started taking money out of the kids college funds to try to support the business, like the money's just not coming in like it was. But I feel like we're seeing as many people and just kept trying to outwork the problem, instead of evaluating the problem. One day, he had a patient come in and say, Hey, your front desk, person called me last night at home, and said, If I paid for this in cash, and brought in cash in an envelope, they would give me a 20% discount. And I think that you business owner, are trying to avoid paying taxes with the IRS. I'm an accountant. And I am offended that I would only get a discount if I paid cash, because it feels like you're trying to avoid taxes. And the orthodontist was like, we don't take cash. Like we never take cash. What do you mean, we take cash? And he's like, What are you talking about? What are you talking about? Like, what are you talking about? We don't ever take cash. And she goes, your front desk called me last night. And that conversation of a client essentially coming in saying what you're doing is bullshit. He went, Oh, fuck, and family and found over half a million dollars in embezzlement. So when he was pulling money out of his kids college fund, and taking a second mortgage on the house, to keep his business afloat. It's because money wasn't coming in. The front desk person was telling clients, I will take cash and give you a discount on your braces. And there are people who are gonna be like, yeah, I mean, if I can get like 20 30% of all my kids braces, I'm giving them cash in an envelope. I don't really care. I mean, this is Santa Monica, right? We're like, people are like, oh, is cash how this works? Cool. Well, we'll we'll do that.
And so the money was coming in and cash envelopes. And the front desk was keeping those cash envelopes, and putting a fake credit card number on the books. But the books, she was also helping to reconcile. So the books weren't reconciling properly. But because he didn't have enough people in the business. Keeping an eye like the front desk was taking the money and doing the books and reconciling stuff. instead of stopping working so much, and evaluating the problem, like I'm working, where's the money going? It went on and on, and then ended up with me in criminal court with him being like, I don't know how to recover from this. Like, we've got the mortgage on the house, and my kids college funds are gone. And I'm like, right, it's gone. And it's hard to track cash. And it's hard to recover cash. And it's like, yeah, we can put her in jail. But it doesn't get you back the college funds and the mortgage on the house, like you're still gonna have to work your way out of that hole. Because he was so focused on money's not coming in work harder versus money's not coming in Why? and service providers and online business owners we can get very wrapped up in running our business and not always taking a step back and going okay, but what's coming in, where's money coming from? And sometimes it's a product that's just dog in it, and it's not earning its keep and you got to just be like, no friend, you're gone. Or sometimes it's a it's a, you know, a contractor or an employee that's also not pulling their weight. But you have to keep your eyes on your business, even if what you do in your business is content creation course creation, podcasting service, providing you still have to keep an eye on the business. You have to Yeah, I have some. I mean, I'm guilty of multiple things like
I know better. And sometimes I'm still like, I don't want to deal with this this month. Like I get it, I get it, but it's like I just I'm not a numbers girl, but like that can't be an excuse anymore. Like the my accountants like if you've sold this many online courses, but this money is coming in Where's the money? And so then I went back and asked the guy that we had outsourced to build it all. And after we dug more into it, he accidentally had that zoning to a different account. Hmm. And I'm like, I don't know if you're if you think I'm a dumb blonde but
Like, you owe me a bunch of fucking money, dude. And so there was that and then But imagine if that went for a year. I know, right? And you didn't catch it. Because I was so busy doing yes, these huge events, which my thing is like we would do 30 events and the you know, it's a much larger revenue stream than selling 100 online classes, and much smaller chunks of revenue. And so it's easy. I think sometimes when you have revenue coming from different places, yep. That to not notice some things. And then another thing that happened was a guy was act, this is always an accident. I'm like, how do you fucking take somebody's credit card and put it on another? Right? It's a, it's a Oh, oh, you caught that. Right is like, and so that, but I'm glad all these things happen to me because it taught me like to pay attention, to bring things in house to hire people that are going to work with me that I can trust, because I don't trust many people. As far as I can spit. People are just full of shit. It's nice. You want to work with people who empower you to also keep an eye on it. Instead of they're like, No, no, I've got it. You can't you don't need your login to look at that. It's like, Oh, no, oh, no, I want to look at what you're doing. I use a bookkeeping service that's online called bench and you log into your portal, it's really easy to get involved with. So for people who are like, I don't even know if I need a bookkeeper yet, that's fine. Get a consulting session with a CPA, lots of CPAs that work in the online space will do a consulting call and get you set up and help you self help, especially if you're not bringing in a ton of money. But as you start making regular revenue, a bookkeeper is going to save you more money than they cost you. And it is part of doing business. It also empowers you to look at your money and go, Okay, this is where things are. So you know, I didn't catch I had like a reoccurring charge on one of my credit cards. And I was like, Wait a second, my CPA caught it like the second month. I'm like, No, I had cancelled that those kinds of accidents also happen. But with reoccurring charges, those can go for six months, if you're not on top of your books monthly. And then you're like, dammit, I mean, maybe it's $200. Maybe it's $500. Maybe it's $3,000. It depends on how much you're bringing in. And this stuff happens to businesses that make $500 a month, and businesses that make 5050 1000 and 100,000. Don't be embarrassed. It's always time to get started. And it's it's worth your money, like the ROI sometimes on legal and accounting doesn't always feel like you see it, right? You start running ads, and you start seeing money coming in. And it's like, yes, these ads are working. The thing with preventative stuff in your business, is you can never really see how much it saves you. Because it saves you. And that's the thing. And that's why it's like Ah, I don't know if I want to spend it.
Do it right. And it will save you in the long run. Whether it is a quick bookkeeping service, a consultation with an attorney, a consultation with a CPA, it's absolutely worth it. And and like I can't even tell you guys
just freaking cover your ass. Like don't wait for something to happen. Like I literally like when you said at the beginning when we were talking, I didn't know what I didn't know doesn't work like illegal like it just it doesn't. And then when you end up paying a bunch of money when I say a bunch of money, I'm talking 100,000 plus dollars, which that's a lot of effort and money. I don't care how much you make, like money is money and we all work hard for it. And so why not invest in yourself on the front end and cover yourself so that as you grow and scale you don't have to worry about those things because you know, they're taken care of. I've been covering a story with YouTubers and there's this youtuber on youtuber lawsuit going on over defamation, and the YouTuber that's being sued received for cease and desist before this lawsuit. Now had that youtuber responded to one of these and dealt with the problem. They wouldn't be being sued in federal court over this. Now it's become a big thing because everybody's following it because it's YouTube on YouTube drama and nothing. Nothing YouTube loves more than talking about other YouTubers, myself included. Like when you've got YouTube on YouTube drama being discussed on YouTube, the amount of videos on this particular case is crazy. It's crazy and it blew up my it blew up my channel talking about it, but it's a fascinating defamation case. But if the person who got the four cease and desist, had talked to an attorney, speculation because I didn't ask her I don't know, but had talked to an attorney and stopped. She wouldn't be in this federal lawsuit. That's probably going to cost at least $250,000 today
And if not more. So, when it's like, oh, what should I do? Talk to someone, even if it's like, oh, it might cost me $500 to book a consultation. 500 is a lot less than a quarter of a million. I'll just, we're just going to put that out there. And a lot of lawyers in the online space, do things like a free consultation to say yes, this is worth having a call for, or Yes, we need to explore this more. When you let things go. With legal and accounting, it gets worse, like it never just gets better.
You can't just it never just gets better. So it's hopefully their cautionary tales, I don't want to ever freak anybody out. The thing that's the best about legal in your business is once it's in place, you feel like a badass, you're just like, oh, I've got this and, and if something happens, which it may, which might be no fault of your own, I know who I'm going to call. And just having that empowers you to just make the money you want to make and do the shit you want to do. Because you know, if something comes up, you know where to turn.
So do Can people hire you still to like be their attorney for their online business? Or do you just do consulting now I just do consulting, but I'm more like I will come in, I will help you figure out a game plan. Oftentimes, they don't need much more than that I have an online shop where I can place people with you need these things. And then there's other attorneys that I work with to where I'm like, oh, you'd probably be a right fit over here. You need to go get your IP stuff taken care of get a trademark, get a patent, or, hey, these are the benchmarks where you need to reconsider this conversation. I love doing consulting and putting people where they need to go. A lot of attorneys don't want to talk about real housewife, drama from a legal side. And I do I want to read all of your lawsuits like if if somebody in the public eye is getting sued, I want to read the lawsuits, I want to talk about them with my friends online and go. This is a lesson to learn about how to do this thing. And so commentary has absolutely won my heart. But that's why I love consulting because it allows people to just spend an hour with me get their questions answered, get a game plan in place. And then if they need people to implement that game plan, I give them recommendations of who can do it. I love it. And it will and it's such a unique way to
like go through all these documents and then like, put it in English terms. Yeah, you know and, and also to I will say like, I mean, I don't watch on TV or anything like that. But the I've had clients in the public eye where I'm right in the middle of doing their wedding and then I have E on the background e news. And then I've got another news. And they're like Nashville superstar bla bla bla breakup and put it in I'm like, What?
Just with them and the wedding is happening, like, the way and that's when, like when I started to work with people in the public eye years ago for their events and their number one parties and their weddings. I'm like, wow, the media is so much more full of shit than I thought. Yeah, but it's like from your perspective, like you can look at it and I would much rather watch your YouTube channel If I was interested in something and learn like the real shit that's going on rather than the media pulling it apart and 90% of what they're saying is twisted and it's a flat out lie like it's crazy. Yeah, I I wait for the legal documents that said it doesn't mean there can't be shit and bullshit in legal documents either. I just make it clear like, hey, this will have to be proved it's not proved yet but listen to what they said. This is the shit that they're saying that they believe and breaking. There are so many lawsuits right now going on. It's really fun to break them down and I break down. As I said Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is popping right now because of Erica Jane and her husband's multitude of lawsuits. But there's what are they being sued for? Oh, God, girl. I don't know anything girl. Her husband's is really big. We're gonna break this down in like 660 seconds. Her husband's is really big, famous lawyer dude. He's 81 years old. She's 49 he was the attorney that did the Erin Brockovich case that the movie was made after so he does. Those types of cases where people are injured from chemicals or in disasters. He most recently represented the surviving members of one of the Boeing plane crashes when they grounded all those Boeing planes. The Boeing c 39 or whatever they grounded all those planes. He dealt with the victims from one of those crashes and never paid out the settlement to the families. So they've been sued in federal court, but then all these other lawsuits popped off right now. There are 10 lawsuits from 2020 regarding him not paying for shit he's supposed to pay. It looks like they're gonna end up in bankruptcy. Erika Jayne also has this song called it's expensive.
To be me, she has this notoriously extravagant lifestyle played out on television. So now it's looking like he's maybe 30 million in outstanding potential judgments and cases. And the lawyers have said there isn't 30 million. They're like, we have $15,000 in the law firm. And that's it. So the judges are like, froze their assets. Where is the money? It's wild. It's absolutely wild. So there are currently from 2020. There are 10 lawsuits. There are more as you track back. It's, it's bananas. And so attorney Oh, oh, he's like in the head. He's a famous attorney. Like he's not just an attorney. He's a famous attorney. So the allegations in the federal suit are that they were skimming money to pay for this big fancy lifestyle and that's why victims and clients weren't getting paid which is like the number one No, no in law ever. And that's the kind of stuff I break down like y'all This is some shit and the federal judge seems fucking pissed about it so
it's a lot of fun the federal judges cranky as hell, he's like, no, where is this money your assets are frozen. You're all going into receivership. We're selling everything you own and we're paying these people back and and and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is filming right now with her. Well, this is going down. This is gonna be like I do you know what shits Creek is? Yeah. Because yes, it's like that. What it like had this medium talking to me and he was like, I see this man like,
on shits Creek. And I'm like, people keep saying that, but I've never seen it. So I turned it on the other day. And I'm like, Oh, he's the veterinarians cute I get I'm like, but he's a little bit soft for me. Like I need like somebody who can like help me grow. Like I don't want to be, you know, the girl like runs all over him. But the reason that
sounds like a shits Creek episode or something wild like real life, you can't script real life. And I said this at the dean's office all the time. I'm like, you cannot make this shit up. And some of the stuff we dealt with at the dean's office was just funny, like a guy who got identified because he had the dancing girl emojis tattooed over his eyebrow. And they're like, no, he had the dancing girls emoji tattooed over his eyebrow. And then I get the booking photo. I'm like, sure his shit does. Wax sure is the dancing girls emoji tattooed over his eyebrow. And there's just stuff you can't make up. And that's why I love breaking it down. Because then it's like, okay, these are all the things not to do. Because look at what these fuckers are getting sued for. Like, it's fun. I love it. And content. Like my personal brand evolved from doing just legal work for businesses, which I love, but then also having this content. And as the content took off, I wanted to keep doing more content. And then I started partnering with attorneys that are like, I do not ever want to be on camera ever. I really just want to write contracts for people. It's my happy place. I love it. I do a consulting call. I write my contract, I give them a contract, and they go on their way I go on my way. And I'm like, perfect, because I don't want to sit behind my computer all day without talking to people about stuff. Because I like to talk. Yeah, like I get to get it out. We're speaking about talking. So your podcast get legit law and shit. Yes. Like I love it. Yes, it is. And that's what this is. I mean, this is essentially what I do on the podcast is breaking down the legal shit that you want to talk about. And it really has morphed into like the legal and pop culture legal. So it's news stories. It has been since my youtube channel has started growing. The podcast has been trending in news commentary worldwide. And I'm like, why is why is this trending in Poland? Okay, but I have a very international audience that I was unaware of. And people are fascinated by what's going on with us laws. Because our culture, our pop culture, and even our politics have so much impact on the rest of the world. And so my international audience is like, I see the news stories, but I don't understand why it's happening. And the US audience is like, okay, same. I see the news stories. But I don't understand why Texas is trying to sue all the swing states, and how can that even happen? So we do break stuff down. That's of consequence. But we break it down on the facts, like this is what they're suing for. This is what they're saying. This is what the law is. We're not going to talk about the personalities and the politics behind it. We're just going to talk about the legal shit. And so everyone understands. It's fun. I love amazing. And I love like, we'll put all this in the show notes too. But you guys have to go check out, get legit shop.com.
And like, I love how you have all your collections built. It's like Are you new? Are you not new? Yes. And it's like you bundle all your stuff together like you guys, you could get your website bundle. So if you don't have a privacy policy and in terms of use, you need to go get that right now.
And don't go sleep to do it. And then, like, you've got like really good stuff on here, like your foundations. And I love everything that you've put together. And I also know the work on the back end that goes in behind this. And like, it's super exciting. It's fun. I mean, and once again, having the ability to do something like a template shop. And being able to have these different revenues is really important for me, because sometimes with being a service provider, you're like, I want to be able to pick and choose what I work with and how I work and dialing down my business into I just do consulting was scary. But it's been amazing. And focus, it sounds like you focused. And, you know, I'm still learning that.
It's like a one funnel for next year. But it's a big one. And so you're limiting yourself to one funnel, it sounds like that's a struggle, like you look stressed saying, Oh my god, just one funnel, you're like, No, I have 15 funnel ideas. I want to do all the things. I'm gonna start seven new businesses and buy 15 different URLs. Yes, yes, that's so me. And then when I joined my first like, Infusionsoft group, and all these people standing up, you know, I'm the new girl, and they're all talking about the $1 million funnel, you know, that they've worked on every year. And I'm literally thinking in my head, these people are so fucking lazy. Like, I only have one funnel, like, I'm so confused. And then I started like, looking at all their stuff, but then I, you know, we all shared numbers. And then after month two, I'm like, Okay, I'm the idiot, because clearly they're doing something right. And I am not. And I mean, I learned a lot from that group. And it does. I mean, the bigger the funnel, the bigger the product, the more the product is in like, I didn't understand the whole like, you know, top of the funnel stardom big bring them down. I didn't know the lingo. And so, you know, as a learning curve, I felt like I was working in healthcare again, like with an ICD nine I'm like, Is there a book
or a video like with all this jargon and and what I learned from it though is there isn't and every consultant in every group and every company like there's some terms that are normal across the board, but then in like how to do it like inside of this there's not yeah cuz if your Infusionsoft funneling it's different lingo than if your clickfunnels funneling. Yep. Which is different than if you're like Active Campaign campaigning, which are kind of email funnels, but they're called campaigns. Yeah, it's different, and workflows and sequences. And yes, we've had to learn every platform, because most of our clients that come to us that we help with productivity, they all have a different platform. And what I've seen when I'm, what I'm seeing in everybody is it's all a mess. It's all a mess, because no, they have to create their own internal process. And legally, it's so gray. That I mean, I've had people who own major massive companies who've worked with other consultants, and I'm like, What do you mean, you don't have Google Analytics on all this? What do you mean, you don't have some type of a site for your analytics? What do you mean, you don't own your audience? And what do you mean? And then you look in the fine print, because we go to their business attorney, and it is definitely in the fine print that you don't own your pixel and you don't own your audience and you divorce that ad agency, and you walk away with nothing. Oh, and guess what? All the content that they produced on your blog for the past five years, now they're gonna, either
It's wild. What? Yeah, so that's where I'm just like, Oh, my God, and they all have business attorneys. And I'm like, but business. The thing is, a lot of traditional business attorneys read it, but they don't understand the value that they're talking about, because they don't understand our space, which is why I you know, when people are like, but my Shopify site, I'm like, I get it. I've been up at night crying over my Shopify site, I totally understand it can be so frustrating. But a traditional attorneys don't understand some of those non traditional spaces. Because a traditional workflow if you're an employee, your employer owns all this stuff. But if you're hiring a contractor, normally they own the stuff. And so attorneys don't think that's weird. But in the online space, there's room to say, No, if you're creating this on my behalf, I own it. And you have to have that work release in that made for hire release in your contracts. But traditional business attorneys don't know that that's a problem within this particular space. Because it's not weird in other spaces. Yep. Yes. I just I and again, like that's where, I mean, I've even gotten into with a content creation, design photos that I was doing, and I was trying to help the community. And then a few photographers came back, which by the way, we were tracking it, we were testing it, and we were making sure that
It can actually be a legit online business because I'm not going to go and pay my attorney and get all the contracts and tell the creators, I'm going to pay him back if no one's gonna buy the product. So we're in the middle of testing this a couple years ago. And then I get a mail in the mail, I get a letter from an attorney from a photographer telling me that I'm like stealing her work and stuff. And I'm like, No, actually, I paid you to come out on my behalf and shoot my designs. So technically, because I did consult with my attorney. But what I learned from I learned a lot of things, but I learned number one, no matter how friendly and how nice, and how much business I do with these photo people, they have to sign a release. Yes, I own my content work for hire, release, that's the first thing that goes wrong. And the second thing was, he wasn't a content creator, attorney. So I mean, he, I don't know if since then they've hired someone, but like the way you think, legally in the way, trademark, or like, he was an entertainment, like he did all my entertainment contracts, where that's a whole different podcast, production companies are trying to screw me, but you learn from all those things, but he guided me on stuff and I'm like, we're gonna test we're gonna do this. We had all the content creation stuff set up. And then I start getting these letters and emails. And I'm like, there's a huge miscommunication going on right now. Like you said, writing, communicate. And so I tried to reach out to them, I'm like, Can we please have a conversation about this? Because we're actually trying to pay you for your work, right? But there's no sense in me rolling out this online business until it's going to work. They the girl wouldn't talk to me. She's like your attorney, I'll have to talk to my attorney. I'm like, Are you fucking kidding me? I'm like, What is your problem? Like, I'm not trying to steal your work. But in talking with other people, I learned that there was a much, much bigger issue there. And some wants a huge brand had used an image of hers, and she got nothing from it. Right. And so people get their their defensiveness up a little bit. There is a really, with photographers, there's a really, there was a really famous case with regard to the Barack Obama posters, the hope one that had the blue and the red with the photo of him. That was his kind of big campaign poster, the photographer who took that photo sued over it. And then, because it, nobody got permission to use the photo that they used to make all those campaign posters. And then he had been working for Getty Images. And Getty swooped in and said, Yes, you're right. But also you were working for us when you took that photo. And then Getty Images actually won the lawsuit. And the photographer got nothing. But Getty won the lawsuit over it because the photographer was working for them at the time. And actually, yeah, it's very interesting how, yeah, how content and ownership of content matters. And it's, it's kind of the next step of things when you work with people, if you work with a designer, in your business. If you work with a designer to design your logo, you might not actually own your logo to copyright unless they give you a work for hire release on that logo. And those are things that you don't always know and that sometimes they don't know, either. I've had clients get letters because they're doing a, a big event. And they put all the speaker images up on the website. And they normally just grab them from the speaker's website, or the speaker has sent them. Like, here's my headshot, they've gotten letters from photographers saying no, I took that headshot of such and such entrepreneur, you can't use it on your website. I didn't give you permission, I still own the copyright. And it's like, but the entrepreneur provided me the headshot. So the entrepreneurs don't always know when they don't own their own images. And they don't own their own photography. And so yes, it gets
really gets muddy, hairy, but the thing is, is like, my thing is like, just have a conversation. Oh, yeah, don't be a dick should definitely be the beginning of all of this. Yeah. And like, I'm over here, like doing Instagram lives and like telling people how they can use all these designs, and then how they can I'm just thinking like, from a helpful perspective. And then it's like, but I will never forget, I did some of a Dave Ramsey many years ago. And he's like, the more you do, the more you put yourself out there. The better you do. the more money you make. The more you grow, the more people see what you're doing. They're gonna try to take you down. Yep. And we'll try it. Yeah, and it's like, but legally, if you have every corner covered, which, you know, I thought I was okay. And then it's like, No, actually, it really went but it all could have been fixed from my side if I had not been like, Oh, you know, too nice, right? And just thinking like, Oh, I'm paying you for this service, so I should own it. Right?
Well, technically, neither of us had a contract. Now it's in my client contract, that if I do your design, I can use that those design pictures to do whatever I want. But it got very gray because neither party had any type of a contract. So some of the photographers who were actually in our program now, they're like, Oh, this is actually making me rethink my contract, how I work with designers and planners, and I mean, even in the interior design space. And so after all this happened, I'm like, you know what, I'm gonna go buy my own motherfucking, camera
shimkus. And we use our pictures that I take, right now, I am not a photographer, and I will never do it for anybody else. But when people are like, oh, let's do a content day. And can you be in this? And can you be in that? And I'm like, No, I, I do my own stuff, right? Because I don't, I don't want to get now we've gotten you know, good at, it's just part of the flow. But it's just like, um, I don't want to get in an argument with somebody. And definitely not no lawsuit, a public loss, or any type of a lawsuit, over miscommunication over who owns the images, it's photography is any creation and design is one of those areas where if it's not clear in a contract, it can get very, very, very muddy, and making sure you know, and for photographers, if you're selling the underlying rights to the images charge for it, it's totally okay to be like, I don't want to own your photos, I store them for three months from the time I give them to you, and then they're gone. And they are all your responsibility. And that is it. But then you charge to give them all the ownership. Or you say I'm giving you ownership, but I reserve the right to use them in my portfolio, totally fine. Just understand how that works. When you start a business, especially a creative business, this happens to web developers all the time, when like a client gives them the images, and then they get the takedown notice for copyright violations going, you built this website, and it's got my copyrighted images on it. And they're like, but the client gave it to us. I'm like, where does it say that the clients responsible? If you get sued for building the website, it needs to be in your contract. This whole conversation is like, shit. I didn't know that. Yes, this is the point we started at the beginning with you don't know what you don't know.
And this conversation is illustrated that I think, Oh my God, if people want to connect with you like what's the best way? I am the Emily D Baker all over social media, from your Instagrams to your YouTubes to your to your Twitter's and the tiktoks. I don't do a lot on tik tok, but I'm there. And then my websites Emily Baker comm where you can find all of your opt ins, I have free content around, you know, your business guide. There's a very, very basic like getting started business guide on my website, I have an independent contractor, guide, and other resources. And that's how you find me. And then if you want to listen to the podcast or find content on YouTube, it's all searchable. I love it. Awesome. We'll put all this stuff in the show notes. Everybody that's listening. I know you learned a lot of
like these ladies like to curse. Yes, we do. We've had so much fun. Before we started recording. She's like, here's my cute mug. And I'm like, that's how I grew up. So we're gonna be okay.
Everybody that's listening. Be sure that you turn in tune in next week for another episode of business unveiled. Have a great night. Have a great day. Whatever time you're listening. Bye. That's it for this week's episode of business unveiled. Now that you have all the tools that you need to conquer the world and GSD get shit done. Would you share this with your friends and fellow business leaders? One thing that would really really help us and help new listeners is for you to rate the show. And leave a comment and Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you tune in and listen to business unveiled. You can check out the show notes at Angela proffitt.com slash podcast and link up with us on social media so you can share your biggest insights. And I want to know your aha moments. Until next week, remember the profitable shifts and structures you're creating in your business. help you be more present in your life. So get out there and GSD
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Published: February 9, 2021

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