Today's guest, Nancy Wood Stabell, is a business attorney with a focus on entrepreneurs and founders who are interested in scaling their business. I'm gonna be honest, before I got into the Entrepreneur Organization, I had no idea what that meant. So if you don't know… you don't know what you don't know. And that's okay!
Nancy started her career in big law and spent a period of time doing high end health care finance for hospital systems, before going in house with a multinational marketing company that worked with financial institutions. She brings all that experience to smaller companies and founders who are working to be that big; meaning they have plans to scale. The stories that she shares are absolutely mind blowing. If you're an early company, especially if you're raising money, or doing anything with equity, it's so important to just have a relationship with somebody that you can reach out to before you sign your name away.
We have been very schooled on how attorneys are expensive and unaffordable. But that’s not always the case, you have got to do your homework. Make sure that you have the right legal setup before you do anything. And if you don't have a business attorney or, or you don't have an advisor or someone that you can call, please, please, please go to Nancy. Because not only is she an amazing attorney, she really freakin cares! Listen into this episode for all her top takeaways and steps to point your business in the right legal direction.
Follow Nancy Wood Stabell at the social handles below:
*What having a go-to business lawyer who understands your business can do for you
*Key legal agreements that every creative business needs.
*The power of a good partnership agreement between you and your partners… and what happens if you don't have one.
*Invest in a relationship with a good attorney who can help protect your business and achieve your goals. That person should understand your business, its drivers and key risks.
*Ensure that you have key protections in place for your business — limited liability structure, partnership agreements, NDAs, employment agreements and 1099s, employee proprietary rights agreement, noncompetes, etc.
*Focus on your strengths – outsource the rest.
More About Our Guest:
Nancy Wood Stabell is the Founding Member of Wood Stabell Law Group. As a fourth-generation attorney with over 20 years of experience, Nancy knows the law; she loves business; and she is committed to being a strategic partner who delivers results, improves the bottom line, and protects stakeholder value.
As an attorney with an M.B.A., she doesn’t just provide legal advice to businesses; she gives sound, creative business advice supported by legal knowledge. Nancy is known for her innovative approach to representing growth-focused businesses, sophisticated entrepreneurs and high net worth individual investors in complex transactions.
Nancy routinely advises senior management and investors on capital raising solutions, which may come from bank financing, friends and family, angel investors, and/or venture capital or private equity funds. She tailors capital raising transactions to a client’s unique needs or to serve the investment objectives of the investor, the venture capital fund, or the angel investor, and ensures compliance with investor guidelines. Nancy also drafts and negotiates business to business agreements; reviews and negotiates commercial loan documents; prepares employment agreements and advises human resources on employment matters.
Prior to founding Wood Stabell Law Group, Nancy was Vice President & Senior Counsel at Affinion Group. Working directly with the C-Suite gave Nancy a deep understanding of how executives communicate and how businesses face unforeseen circumstances. Nancy spent 10 years in private corporate practice with two AmLaw 200 firms where she honed her clients-first approach. Nancy uses all of her experience to find lean, creative solutions for her clients and to position them for future success.
Nancy is active in the Nashville community and enjoys cooking, entertaining, and traveling. She can be spotted around town supporting her son in his sports and activities or walking her dog Charlotte.
Today's guest is a business attorney that focuses on entrepreneurs and founders who are interested in scaling their business, I'm gonna be honest, before I got into the entrepreneur organization, I had no idea what that meant.Continue Reading
And so if you don't know, you don't know what you don't know. And that's okay. But you can still learn a lot from this. And it's also something it gives you something to just further think about. She started her career in big law and spent a period of time doing high in health care finance for hospital systems, which I come from healthcare to. And before going in house with a multinational marketing company that worked with financial institutions, she brings all that experience to smaller companies and founders who are working to be that big meaning scaling. So the stories that she shares are absolutely
If you're an early company, especially if you're raising money, or doing anything with equity, it's so important to us to just have a relationship with somebody that that you can that you can reach out to before you sign your name away. It is crazy. All the stuff, Americans have been very schooled on how attorneys are expensive, and I can't afford it unbelievable. And it's like, no, you got to do your homework. And apparently, there's like some online companies where you can just, you know, pay $500 Real quick set up an LLC in Delaware. And like you think everything is going to be hunky dory and like it's not. So making sure that you have the right legal setup first. And then if you have a business partnership, or some type of an operating agreement, you both need to have legal representation. Regardless if your family or friends, like that was another one of the big takeaways. It can like ruin families, it can ruin relationships. We both have stories that we shared on things that have just it's like, how can this even happen? How do we even get here you involve money and emotions and things can just get messy. So just reach out, if you don't have a business attorney or, or you don't have an advisor or someone that you can call, please, please, please go to Nancy. Because not only is she an amazing attorney, she really freakin cares. That's that's, that's hard. It's not that other attorneys don't, that's not what I'm saying. It's just it's just a completely different level, because she's invested because of her background, so heavily into wanting to closing the deal and get to the finish line for business owners. And not everyone takes that on when they're doing a service, which is so important. And we talked about planning and strategy. And we're coming up on the end of the year and things that you really need to think about, like updating your will and like just doing things that are not fun and sexy in business, but like they will save you so much headache and so much time and so much money and so much effort, when actually something does happen. What's really cool is she is a fourth generation entrepreneur. And so she grew up in an entrepreneur land with with her grandparents and her parents and so being around that she just brings a completely different level. Having someone that is approachable, that you doesn't make you feel stupid or less than not that again, anyone's trying to make you feel that way. It's just you know, when you vibe with people and you earn their trust, and you trust them and they trust you and you trust them to get you to be a smarter business owner in terms of the decisions that you're making. can sometimes save your business needs to be Sybil. Welcome to the show.
Thank you. I'm so excited to be here. This is fun,
right? I mean, he's just talking it's just like I love it. But before so y'all we were chatting beforehand and I'm like I'm not even recording I need to record They have like, everyone needs to hear these stories. You don't know all about my stories and like helping people not make some, I don't say mistakes, I say opportunities to learn, but shit some of this stuff. I mean, it ends up costing you a lot. And unfortunately for some businesses they have closed, because they didn't have an attorney or somebody in their corner looking after the things that you don't know what you don't know. So, before we like dive in, because there's a few specific things that I want you to share, can you share a little bit about your background, like what drove you to become an attorney and an entrepreneur and really like work for yourself?
Sure. Um, so I am a fourth generation attorney. And I'm also on my father's side of the house. And on my mother's side of the house, I'm a fourth generation entrepreneur, my whole family on that side goes up or real estate developers, and my mother did that and was in healthcare. And so somehow, I don't think I was able to escape the entrepreneurial call that is kind of of independence. And I spent a number of years in house with working in big law, before I went in house with a multinational company. And, and when the time came to leave there, they were having some what they called regulatory headwinds. They closed the department and the eight in laid off the eight people who work for me, and I was like, I'm gonna, this is the time in my life to go out and just do it, just go out and do it and start my own thing. And do what I like to do with the people that I'm passionate about and interested in. And, and that was nine years ago. And since then, we've grown to be a boutique firm of six lawyers who focus on working with scaling companies, founders, investors, and, and then in commercial real estate, so And everyday is fun. And every day is different. And it's interesting.
So y'all, we're both in entrepreneur organization, I talk about it all the time on my podcast and attribute a lot of the tools that I'm able to put into place and like move us forward every year as a business and how to grow. And we're at a family, a fun family event. And we're just talking. And you're like, I'm Andrew's intern, I was like I mean, because I'm in all these meetings, talking about and y'all we live in Tennessee, and so the liquor and the alcohol licensing stuff, like when you do it's just bizarre, like it's hard. And so, um, you know, the owner of this company's talent, will Nancy, this and Nancy. And so I'm like, Okay, what does Nancy I mean, I'm like, that's a Nancy question, right? But you got me, you guys, this is so important. Okay, so you started to tell me a story about a gentleman. So good. And if you're if you're new in business, I don't mean young and age, because there's people at the Entrepreneur Center who are in their 60s who had a whole full blown s career who are now they're now starting an entrepreneur journey, because they have an idea, and they want to make an impact. So if you're new or newer in your business, you may not feel that you need these things yet, but every business needs these things. And so really, for companies that, like you said, like want to grow and want to scale and all those things, like you want to think about those things and get there, like you're gonna blink your eyes, I can't believe I've been in this for 22 years. And I'm just like, Oh, my God, and especially when you like, love it, you have fun, it just goes by so quick. But will you share with us what you were talking
about, you know, like legal expenses, it's expensive to hire a lawyer. But again, people are it's it's cheaper on the front end than it is on the back end, as in all things in life. And I so often have clients who think that they're like, Oh, I got this, I've got this and no, and they just look at it. And then, you know, they do the deal, and things go wrong, and they call me back and they're like, fix this. And I'm like, I can't do anything. And I have a client that I'm trying to help right now who, again, this is what he did. He's a serial entrepreneur. He's got a number of things apart. Somebody he knew. He was a family friend came to him, they live in a small town and said, Let's do this deal together. And I'll I'll I will pay for this. I will get the lawyer to put all the documents together. And so my client was like, Okay, I trust him. He's a good guy, a Santa church on Sunday. That's, that's always the worst. And so he has put several million and dollars into this venture. And, and things are not going how it's supposed to be going. And they brought us the all the business documents, and it's now several different companies. And every single one of them says that he has no rights, he is an investor in this business, he cannot vote, he has no decision making whatsoever, this person can do anything they want with his investment, and the person is siphoning basically the investment and the assets and the return out to other companies that he controls, and letting this one be a loss leader. And, and again, interest rates are starting to go up. And so he decided, the bad guy doesn't want to renew a loan that's coming due. So we put out a capital call for another $800,000 that he wants my client to pay into the business and my client is like, I mean, one, we're not doing that, whatever the outcome is, we're not throwing good money after bad. But if we had read this, on the front end, we would have saved millions of dollars, we would have said, Whoa, wait a minute, people, like you have no rights, you've got no authority. You know, there's a whole list of issues that I would have gone down and said, problem, problem, problem problem. And it's never my job to I'm always trying to get you get your deal done. I mean, that's my ultimate goal is we need to do your deal and and how do we make it work? But how am I protecting you and seeing those red flag situations. So either we negotiate and out, or we are able to find you a path or at least you go in eyes wide open. So in this instance, we've got very little we can do other than just sit and say no, and they may dilute us down, he may lose his investment. But there's not any magic that I can do. So it is just it's just literally, and I see this, this isn't the first time I've seen this, I see this all the time, we get somebody who comes in here, probably every four to six weeks, he's got a similar story with they've gotten themselves into a business relationship or into a partnership. And it's not what they thought it was and what can I do? And oh, yeah, I looked at it and it looked kind of okay, it was a lot of words. So, again, $1,500 on the front end, $2,500 would have, you know, kits saved. You know, again, we're looking at about a $1.8 million investment at this point in time. That's that's largely tossed away. I'm not making this up. No, I,
I know, and that's the thing that people don't understand, like, when you when you start and you're if you're a small business, then you don't think about these things. I mean, I know I could, I could probably write a full book on like, effed up stories of if I just hadn't had known, you know, could could save us a lot of heartache and money down the road. But like, you know, having those people that you can go to when you need something, and just to have your stuff in place like us on an entertainment thing for some like thing that we did with TLC, many, many years ago. And there was an entertainment attorney who was an SAP strategic alliance partner and EO that I reached out to, and I'm like, hey, you know, how much is it for me to just have you like, look over all this? Because I don't know what it means. And he told me how much it would be. I was like, okay, you know, that's fine. I sent it to him. And he came back and he's like, I don't think you want these things. Like they're basically saying that if they launch products around this show with your name on them, that you wouldn't make any money like nothing like they would own I was like, wait, what? That was like, what and so I mean, he redline the shit out of stuff. And then I came I went back to him. It I mean, it was this back and forth thing and then the producers are like, well, your attorney of course is going to keep saying this because it's he's making more money every and I was like, no, he's actually protecting me. And it's a mindset thing where people will try to tell you because it's in their favor that you don't redline things up and yes, it's an investment but like you said, if I wouldn't have known that if if something like really took off and there's some some shows that did have taken off and I'm friends with some of these people, and they I mean it's actually public knowledge. I think if you like that Honey BooBoo, how they got so screwed because they Going attorney. I mean, it's kind of a famous story in America of like, know your rights and like have the right people. Okay, so you mentioned something that was, like, if you're in an early stage of your company, like avoid Legal Zoom, like, does it say like, what does that mean? Because I don't even know, you know, I'm like, zoom, I think of zooming like we're doing now. Or there's company called Zoom info. That is an amazing AI company that a lot of big marketing firms use when I say big, I mean, they're spending over $10 million in a quarter to advertise and do things. So in lightness, what does that mean?
So there's an online company, it was started by I think it was Robert Shapiro, one of the OJ Simpson's lawyers, if you go back to the, to a celebrity lawyer, and it's an online that you can go in, and you can pay $199, or something like that, and there plus their fees, and it'll set up your LLC, and you can get a stock NDA or an employment agreement, or there's lots of things there. And I see people do this, all the time, and even more established companies, because they're, you know, and again, it's fine, you just go do that, you're gonna pay me twice as much to fix it, because you're now playing in lawyer and just like, you don't really want to be your own surgeon. Like, you know, there's, there's nuances that go into how do we set up your partnership with this other individual, or if you're entering into a lease agreement, or a license agreement, or, you know, there's a whole menu of stuff out there that you can do. Just invest in creating a relationship with somebody that you can call because the people that I work with on an ongoing basis, I know what you're like your businesses, I know what your risk factors are, I'm thinking about what are your goals, I want to know what your destination is. And I'm thinking about all those little hurdles that get along the way. And it may be something really routine that I can just pull off and just, you know, I'll put a nominal something on it. But again, you're gonna get into you don't know what the paper actually says. And and does it meet your needs? Does it actually cover your intellectual property that you're creating? Does it say that, if you get in a dispute, you're gonna have to travel to Delaware, you know, and hire a lawyer in Delaware when you live in Nashville? You know, I'm an I can go down the list. But invariably, as soon as those documents walk in the door, I'm like, alright, well, we've got to add this to the list is we've got to redo all of this. Because you've set yourself up to be bored manager or director managed, or, you know, I mean, there's all kinds of stuff that people pick that they just don't know what it means.
So it should, it's fascinating, because like, two things with me, your My family had a wedding venue, my uncle ran it for 35 years until he was like, he retired and sold it. And so it's just like, what he's like, Don't ever do this. And don't ever do that. And don't ever bla bla bla bla bla bla, and I'm like, Well, I can understand where he's coming from. But then there are some really great relationships and business partnerships. And I've been in some of them where they're so healthy, but it comes down to how is it laid out? How is the language laid out? And when you're not clear, especially when it comes to friends and family, because, you know, I teach people how to raise money and with investors, but they do their friends and family round first, typically. And so it's a little different, but even when it's like friends and family and you want to do something, ask and invest. If you're like, well, that's too expensive. I can't afford that. Or oh, this is just a little sad thing. Well, that little sad thing. Can which was my mindset years ago was something that we did online. Um, like, it was just a little sad thing. Like it's no big deal, but if we need to pay $1,000 Whatever, but my business partner was like, well, let's do it in Delaware because bla bla bla bla bla bla bla and she had done all this research. Well, I go back to the same firm that is an SAP and whoever this specialty you know, they sent me to the I didn't know you then. Nancy banana, no injury. But I'm like, wait, Delaware. I'm like, wait, what? And so and you know, I'm not a researcher at all. But yeah, like I watched a few videos and I'm like, Well, if this happens, and this and yes, there are advantages, but like, I didn't even know the right things to ask or if it even made sense. And so some of the stuff and because I'm so busy, usually I'm just like okay, whatever but We pay for my previous experiences of almost getting royally screwed out of some things. I'm like Ninan and I don't sign anything. And so our journey looks.
People think that they'll presume like that their bank, Oh, it came from the bank, the bank is fine. Now the bank is looking out for the bank. And another example is, I had a couple of months ago, one of my longtime clients that I'm doing all of his corporate work, the bank knew that I did his this work, and we were doing a real estate deal. And so they contacted me to close his loan, and he had not talked to me about the loan. They just contacted me because they knew I was in his orbit, which was fun. We were going to do it and they sent a loan documents over. And I wrote him because that's what I do. I read the document. And then I called the client and I was like, so let's talk about what these documents say. And it says, you are going to borrow a million dollars, and you're going to pay this back over 10 years. And so it's a 10 year loan, right? And he's like, Yeah, timeline, and he's like, the documents say, this is a demand note, which means they can come back to you in 10 days and say, we changed our mind for any reason, or no reason, give us the money back. And it was like, and this is exactly what happens. If you go back to 2008, nine and 10. During the financial crisis, when so many people had signed documents that were this loose, the bank just gave it to him. And it was cheap. I didn't want a lawyer. So they just signed it. And then there, things are starting to get kind of edgy, and the banks nervous, because of the macro conditions, they just call it the loan because they could. Now if you had spent five or $6,000 on a lawyer to help you navigate through this, we would have you in normal loan documents, we would have very specific default provisions, there would be opportunities to cure there would be you know, these lists, there's a list of things. But it's about, you know, I don't have space to help you when you're in trouble if I haven't been able to build it in on the front end. And again, you can't assume it can be anybody. So
and I mean, another thing, too, is like I've been subpoenaed to court before, like we've had clients file bankruptcy. I mean, they're not our clients anymore. But like, literally you entrepreneurs, I got married, kind of put on a scam. And then I got sick. I mean, this was so many years ago. I mean, it was like a freakin Dateline story. And, again, I had to, you know, there's so many tabs, you have like, gone to this company. And I'm like, Okay, I need an attorney for this. Because I don't know what I'm doing. Like, what's the point? And I don't get intimidated. Like, it doesn't scare me. I just try to ask more questions to better understand. But like with you, you I know this because Andrew tells me like, you just I don't even know what to ask sometimes. And it's like, even when people don't ask, you're like, well, we need to think about this. And you can't teach that awkwardness to someone. Because I also know you genuinely care about the, you know, the companies that you're representing.
Absolutely, I really I want people to succeed. That's my aha is you know that, like that we have a win that we make, we take you to the finish line that you've got your exit, you've got your whatever it is, again, that's a point of pride for me that I'm I mean, I'm in I am all in. But I hate, you know, if we're not listening and working together, I'm kind of, it's not near as much fun as it is otherwise. And I'll make one more point on this, as we were talking about you were talking about people raising money, and they're like, Oh, I'm just gonna go ask my buddy and my friend over here and my friend over there, and it'll be okay. And I'm gonna, we'll just kind of make up some stuff and tell people and they'll just give it to me because I who I am, people do not understand that you are now in the business of selling securities. And this might be one of the biggest things that I talk to scaling companies about is not to do this lightly. And it is not a place to go super budget. And they're like a we don't need to pay a lawyer, you absolutely need to pay a lawyer to help you do it in a good one at that because it is so fraught with risk. And there are so many rules out there about who can give money and the grounds that they can give money. And the and the other thing that goes with that is I have a client who didn't know, this was much earlier in his lifetime and he introduced some people together. And his friend invested with his other friend and gave him $50,000 And so the company sent my client $5,000 Check saying thanks so much. We really appreciate you doing that and that called or it's like a referral fee. And they're illegal. And my client got arrested. He was about 25 years old. And he got in trouble and securities fraud and spent a an entire year on house arrest. So he had no idea what he was doing.
Yes, I mean, but I get again, like legally setting to me, it's like, I mean, I'm in the wedding industry, it's like commissions and affiliates and links. And I mean, I would have made it through COVID. Without, like, why all our stuff. But I think what you're saying is like, that's written completely different, because it's not, like, it's a friend of it's like, a, it's a legit business. And we're also very vocal about it. It's like, Hey, if you liked this software, or you liked these pants, or you like this, like, you can use my affiliate link, because content creators like, that's how we keep going is we are beat, we're able to provide free value and free content to people because we have sponsors that are paying for things. And so I guess my question is, like, how do you know if it's like, super legit so that you don't go to jail? Like
so. So, one, if you're investing, you need to do due diligence, you need to see you need to get into the company, you need to see, are they giving you the private placement memorandum? Are they giving you disclosure documents? Do they have paperwork that is robust that you can take to a lawyer and have them look at it? If you're going to spend 50 100 $150,000, investing in another company, spend the 1500. Somebody look at the documents, because I get some that come in all the time that I look at it. I'm like, I don't even need to spend any time looking at this. This paperwork is so shoddy, the answer's no. Just no. Just we're not going there. They are not. I mean, I know I can look at it in a second. And I know, how is there a legitimate law firm involved in as what they're doing? That's my like, first telltale sign. And then I start looking into, you know, what are the return provisions? What are the decision making, I've got a long list of things that I look at that I, you know, I send people about 10 Bullet summary that they need to know about their investment. But you would be so surprised at again, how they're scam artists out there, every where, and it really may be your brother in law. Yeah, my brother in law is great. I love my brother in law, but I'm just saying in general, you just don't know. I mean, people, you will be amazed at what we see
if you want so I don't really watch TV. However, I did binge watch Breaking Bad because the guy that is like the, you know, FBI, or whatever he is Hank, I think was his name. It's like, that's kind of like my dad growing up. So I just identified it. I mean, I kind of lived that. That life a little bit. I didn't know it as a child. But then as adult, I was like, wow, what you did was really effing dangerous. Um, but it's like, even in watching Breaking Bad. It's like in watching. I mean, the directors were so brilliant. And like, making you love the history teacher that is dying, but he doesn't want to, he doesn't have the money, you know, and he doesn't want to tell his family and burden them. So he like starts to make meth to sell it to pay for his treatment. And then it's like, you don't vote, I don't know. And then, but then she's married to the guy he. But that's a perfect like, I immediately got a breaking bad when you're like your brother in law.
Again, you were being so surprised at some of the sketchy stuff that we say. And it's not rare. Again, I wish I could say I've only seen one or two of these. And I literally had another company come to me that wanted to take a private equity investment. And they were in a real pinch. They were they were really tight that COVID was just rutile on this company. They were fighting to survive. And this private equity came in and they were promising the moon and it was I mean, again, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And and they wanted them to just sign paperwork. And fortunately, my client was like, No, we don't sign it. Nancy doesn't look at it. And this stuff was so sloppy and so bad. And it was so despite unfavorable to my client, and we spent five months fighting with these people, my client was determined to do this deal. I mean, determined to do steal. And I don't know that we moved the needle a little bit. We did it just enough but they got in and they were scam artists. They were total scam artists. And my client to this day will tell you I I told him every step of the way, this is wrong, the paper is wrong, we're negotiating the wrong things. We're negotiating the wrong things. This is wrong. And fortunately, we had put enough together in in the documents that it wasn't perfect, but we were able to get rid of these people. And one day, I'm going to write a book about that he and I will write a book together on that deal. Because it was just unbelievable, again, how invidious people can be at times. And they prey on people who are desperate, who are excited, he's got an idea, you believe in it, you're trying to grow, you're capping out, you need that extra capital to be able to lever up. And you will be amazed at how they will find a way to take like in this instance, they took a full Assan they wanted a full assignment of all the company's IP, as collateral as collateral. And I just started talking circles around them enough that they finally got frustrated, they didn't know enough of what they were doing that, you know, again, having a really good lawyer to help you. They actually abandoned that term. But I do believe that that was one of the linchpins that if they had been able to get it, we might not have been able to get rid of them. So
but you were I mean, you're not even like exaggerating, like the fact that this, I mean, some of this scam stuff, that it's like you guys could just have a podcast talking and just have business owners on it. That had been scammed. Like I have the best stories, literally recently. These two girls were a lesbian couple, we treat everyone the same. I don't care if your two men, two women, two dogs, a cat and a dog, I don't care if you want to celebrate a party and you're in love, we will flip and help you. And but then people prey off of that empathy sometimes. And they had come and said that there was a venue that was not only racist towards them, but they couldn't get married. But the law was passed in Tennessee, and this is the law and this is you know, whatever. So because I was raised by a private investigator, my brother also who is an EEO investigations cavity. I'm like, Hey, can you run the background checks on these these names? So one of the girls had 72 pages, Her record was 72 pages on credit card for all this stuff right? Now, I let it go on for about 24 hours when they were like telling me they wanted all this stuff, no budget, blah, blah, blah. And I'm like, Okay, well, before we move forward, you know, we take a retainer, you have son contract, so we'll send that over to you. And they're like, Well, is it a problem to pay cash for everything? Because, you know, we would like to just pay cash and not can we save on taxes? I'm like, Well, does it really work like that? Sure. You can pay cash, like, our we work with different religions that are paid differently, and we don't judge anybody. And I said out loud in front of non people sitting in this meeting with us. Jokingly, but being funny and serious at the same time, I said, of course, you can pay with cash, as long as it's not drug money. We're fine with that. But don't don't involve us in any kind of drug anything. Because my dad and my brother, and the guy that was with me, his sister worked with my brother and was a PA. And like, we just don't need to get caught up in anything illegal. So it's fine as long as it's good money. And they're like, oh, no, our dad, one of the dads like owns this big company in Switzerland. He's gonna fly over in his private plane and like, you know, pay or whatever, right? So I'm like, no, these stories are not completely
in my Learjet because that's how it really
isn't Scott so great. Was she so you know, in a relationship usually have the one that's like the loud over and then you have like, introverted one, which was definitely this. And we were on a group text with people. She's like, um, so the dad, the dad is going to meet you. And he'll, you know, bring I was like, great, never showed up. So I texted him that night, I was like, we're not we can't meet out at the venue or have another meeting until we get a retainer, meaning it's non refundable. And I've learned that the hard way from deposit to retainer, and she's like, tells his story. She's like, well, he got into a wreck. He was hid behind and his neck is really hurt and the plane left him. So it's gonna be tomorrow. And I'm like, well, that's funny when you have a private plane. Why the fuck would it leave you? Like that's But listen, I played with it for about two days where I just kept asking I already knew asked questions. And then I dug a little bit deeper. And the the worst part about this story is that they had been going around Nashville, Tennessee. He for about six months scamming all these vendors like and these are good vendors and yeah, we weren't. And so I just started little things like little clues they started mentioning. So I like text people, and I'm like, hey, this girl, and then they're like, Oh, well, they ordered a $12,000 dress six months ago, and I've never seen a penny, like, Oh, that's funny. Well, they're scam artists. So that sucks that you're out that but it's just but they're like, Don't you dare call the news and bring me into this. I'm like, oh, you know me real? Well, because I'm not the girl do anything to you? Because I will publicly tell everyone real quick. Right? Use it as a state right now. It's like, okay, do people not ask more questions, they just think that they're going to chase all this money, and it's magically going to be okay. And it's not that it's too good to be true, what they were saying. It's just the way that they were doing it. And the question, you know, again, put clues together, it happens more than you would think. So and of course, I like called the news and like, did blogs and things. I don't think I've done a lot of podcasting on it. But it's just, it happens too frequently, to where the right way, it's
easy to go set a relationship up with somebody get something go on the front end, if you have a good relationship, and it's ongoing, then it's actually going to be less expensive. And it's going to be somebody who's going to be responsive when you're in a pickle, and you're trying to figure something out. And who can push back and say no, because again, where people try to take advantage of you, it happens all the time, and especially now that we're going into this weird economic period where we are and things are getting tighter, you're gonna see more of this, where can I get an extra dollar here? And where can I get an extra dollar there, and your small business that you're scaling every dollar matters. And if you have to then spend four times to that to try and go fix the problem after the fact, if you can get your money back, and whatever it is, it may cost you an FTE, it may cost you this new marketing initiative that you want to do, because it's taking up all your capital. And so, you know, just knowing and having that really good foundation, and, and again, if it's a great relationship, I get a lot of my clients who they call me, and it takes me about 30 seconds to answer their question. And I may not even write that time down, because it would take me more time to build that. And it's really about Goodwill, I would rather you call me. And let me say, danger, danger, danger, let's stop and talk about this. Then, then, if you then the not call me. And so I don't know how to be really, again, it's a partnership. And so there's just what I really preach to people, I can't tell you how often I have a client who, who signed a lease for a property and then came back later, they were storing, they were growing hemp and they were going to grow hemp store hemp in this warehouse. And then the warehouse started leaking, and created all this mold and they lost all of their crops, they lost all of their crop for the entire year. And you know, they came back to me and we're trying to get fixed stuff. And, again, there's not a whole lot I can do because the lease was so crappy. You know, I was able to get them out of the rest of the lease, and they didn't have to go make certain repairs that were wanted. But again, when you're spending this much money, and this is your entire entire business and all of your capital A little I mean, a penny goes a long way.
I don't know like the the Attorney Lawyer industry has done a phenomenal job, especially in America of educating consumers, that your time is expensive. I'm like, it's the best investment ever. You'd look at things differently when shit happens to you. And and you don't see it come in. Um, but it's like, it's a mindset shift. I think somewhere. It's not that I don't think people think about it. I think they think they can't afford it because they think it's so expensive. But like you even threw out a number earlier. I mean, $1,500 Okay, well, I don't drink coffee, and I don't go to Starbucks. But I can tell you that there's people in my life who go twice a day. And if you add up with with they and their family spin and I'm related to one of these people, I promise you, it's probably again, everybody has different priorities. It's okay. But if you're doing business, make sure it's not that it is expensive. It's a mindset shift of let me protect myself. Let me protect my assets, protect my ideas, protect things Before you're gonna go blow something up, and then you're not protected. And then it's all taken away like that. That's bad. You have a
great NDA so that somebody you're going out and talking to somebody about your idea, you've got this amazing idea that you want to go get, and you didn't go get the NDA in the advance before you start spilling the beans. Well, now, it's not protected. You can, it doesn't matter what you do, you've given them your ideas and your path, and all your hard work, and they can go crib off of that. It's fair game. And you know, it's an NDA. I mean, so right, it's just, again, being proactive and putting that as part of your foundation, as you're making yourself. You know, and again, this is such a great time of year that as we're rolling into the end of year, you're doing your goal for next year, go do an audit, and you can you can get a legal Audit Checklist online, or I'll even send you one Angela that you can go put, you can put on your show notes. That is just something that you can like be thinking through, have have a Is it time to file for my trademarks? Or are they current do I need to be making have a look at my license agreements? Do they need to be up to date do I have? Is my business in good standing at the Secretary of State? Do I need to go back and look at my core contracts in my MSA again, do I have all my employees under proprietary rights agreements that says if they go out and develop a concept, they create something, anything a concept, a slogan, whatever it is, that you own it and that you're able to put that into your company's IP, and that you're not about to have a big IPO? And somebody stands up and says, Ron, I want a big check. And happened? You know, I mean, this is the time to be thinking about that is just checking your foundation every year just like you do your financial plan, go do a legal audit on your business quick and easy.
If you could share the checklist, I think that would look great. I can guarantee the very first checklist that I saw, you know, again, I was a very young young business owner. I didn't know what any I was like, Wait, what is this mean? Like one of the questions about estate estate selling. And you know, you don't know you need these things until something happens, right? And, and we've had people come and talk like tax strategist and estate, and you know, where I wasn't my wife at that time, I didn't really need any of that. And then, you know, life changes and things happen. And it's like, okay, I do need those things now. Like what what, you know, what do I need to do? And so just because maybe your business isn't to a million dollars yet, or you don't even know what scaling is. There might be other life opportunities where if you have a business, and you have an attorney that specifically deals with business?
Right, that's the key. And not somebody. somebody's complaining me about selling her business and her law, the lawyer she used has on his website that he does social security and workers compensation. That's not the same thing. So no, but you just hit on another thing. And this is a mantra I'm saying to everybody. Again, this is a rant that I have right now. Do you have a will? And where is it? And every business owner, everybody needs this, but in particular, your business owner, have you thought about? What happens is Andrew says, You go on a safari and you get eaten by a lion. You are, who is going to be there to be your emergency in case to keep the business going. But also how does it transfer. And this is actually one of the biggest files I have on my desk right now an entrepreneur that he and I talked during the pandemic, your business is starting to get really big, we need to make sure you have an estate plan and that we have thought about this. And he we talked for more than an hour on some of the issues he needed to be thinking about. This summer at the tender age of 48. He did not wake up. He just did not wake up. And we now have a huge I mean it's about six companies. It's it's it's a very substantial business that generates a lot of cash. My air is 12 You cannot give an A and a 12 year old I mean they can't do this. And there's no putting it in a trust after the fact the trust doors dead. So we Now have lawyers till the end of time managing this, we are spending lots of money trying to analyze, and we've got assets in other countries. So it is, again, as even if it had been a very simple, simple, it didn't have to have elaborative tax planning with it, just some simple planning would have saved his family, unbelievable amounts of angst. And, and we would have had, I mean, save the estate and extraordinary amount of money. And so this is just, I'm on a bandwagon with everybody. Do you have a will? And where is it? So
update it, update your will, I was, like, I'm gonna, I'm gonna admit, last year, because every December, I usually don't work a lot in December, it's like, years ago, we're like, okay, we're not doing any events, want to do any weddings, we're gonna attend a few events. And then and then get our shit, you know, together for the companies for next year. And so last year, like my brother had a baby, they're having another baby. And it's like, you know, all the, I don't have real kids, you know, that are mine. And so it's like, my sister's kids are on things. And it's like, I needed to add my brothers. And then I'm like, well, she's pregnant again. Like, I'll just wait until next year, you know, and it's like, so I tell them, like, do it every year, it's on my to do list. And here it is, you know, like, at the end of another year. And I'm like, well, the baby's about to be born. So after the baby's born, but it's like, these are the like, not so fun, sexy things until something happens. And I seen not having a will rip families apart. When I'm in the planning weddings, that they're spending millions of dollars and family. I mean, it's just one simple document could have, like you said, really lay things out. It's like, you don't want to think about death, you don't want to talk about it. But as a business owner, even there's a very well known story that through EO were a member, unfortunately, his business partner died of a heart attack very unexpectedly. And their operating agreement was not was so loose, and then the wife and then the other, it just got messy, messy, because the wife didn't know all these things that was married to the one that passed away. And it's like, neither family has any ill will towards each other. It's just they believe that they have the right to XYZ because of XYZ. It's just fine. Just be proactive, to spray proactive, right? And think about it, I could talk to you all day. It's like, like, it's like, oh my god, um, but if people want to connect with you, so in in the, in the shownotes, like, you know, we'll put some of these resources. But if people want to connect with you, what's the best way for them to reach out?
You know, what, just shoot me an email or you can reach out on my, on my email on my website, I've got words to bail.com. And there's a little link and it says contact me now and just put a note in the in the line that you saw me on the air on ANGEL profits podcast. So we're happy to talk and happy to see if we can help people. And if we're not the right fit, we'll help you find the person who is the right fit.
So that thank you so much. Thank you so much for your time. And if you're watching, you're listening today. Thank you so much for your time. And be sure to tune in next week for another episode of business unveiled by y'all. 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/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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