LEGALLY BOSS UP YOUR BUSINESS
In this video, Chevelle Nick first and tonight, we'll share with you how to legally boss up your business for ultimate profit protection and peace of mind. As always, before we get started, make sure you hit the bell and you subscribe to our channel. So you never miss a thing. Chevelle is known as the legal boss, and she began her career as an assistant district attorney for the city of Philadelphia. And she specializes in civil litigation, criminal defense and business law.
Chevelle has been recognized as the top 100 national trial lawyer, a rising star, super lawyer, and a lawyer of distinction. And she's also the owner of soar to success Academy, where she serves as a business growth and legal expert, helping small business owners get legally positioned for ultimate profit protection, peace of mind. And she's also an award winning international speaker and a two times best selling author. So welcome Chevelle to the show. I'm excited that you are here with us today. Okay. Well, Chevelle, thank you so much for being here with us today.
I'm really excited to talk to you about the legal side of our businesses. Thank you so much for having me. And I'm excited to talk about it with you. So that'd be. Yeah, of course. So what I really want to know first is if you think that most business owners and entrepreneurs don't take it seriously enough, right? Is that really a topic? The legal aspect of our business that people like to overlook? It is one of the biggest things that people overlook.
And I think one of the reasons is because people have a tendency to move fast if they want to get out of pain. Right? So like if your house is on fire, it's, uh, you know, nine one, one, the firefighters are there. They're dragging you out. Nobody has to beg you to come out of your house. Like you're looking for help, but when your house is not on fire and you think everything's okay, even though there's some dangers lurking around it, you don't pay it any attention because it's like we respond to problems as opposed to preventing problems, right? That's how most entrepreneurs, they ignore the legal side of their business until there's a fire.
Uh, so they, they pay attention to it once there is a legal problem. Usually if I usually, um, now that, um, I do some of the, the coaching side of it, I see I'm there to help put preventative measures in place. But that's how my coaching side started because before coaching, I was reactive, people would come to me because there's a fight with a business partner or they will come to me because someone is still in their brand or they will come to me because there's a dispute with a client or there's a chargeback again, a problem. So I was like the firefighter of the business.
That's when most entrepreneurs came and that's actually why I started coaching from the beginning to try to get them to take measures beforehand so that I'm not the firefighter. Absolutely. Yeah. And I like what you say, you know, you're protecting our profit and you're giving us peace of mind knowing that we are in good shape, you know, if something should happen to us. Absolutely. So let's jump right in. What are some of the biggest blind spots or things that people like to overlook? Well, there's a few things. The first thing is, um,
most entrepreneurs don't think they typically overlooked the entire legal side, to be honest with you, because most entrepreneurs think they don't need to do anything legal until they get a client. They don't need to protect their profits until they are profitable. Right. So initially they don't think about it at all. Um, but the other critical thing also is starting without like the very first thing I always tell entrepreneurs to do is put your business inside of an entity. You know, make sure you have some like shelter. And I always say to my clients,
would you be homeless? Could you imagine if you were homeless, when this pandemic hit, like when COVID came right. When we all had to go quarantine in our homes, your business needs the same type of shelter because you have quarantine issues, too. You have clients that are going to want to get out of your programs. You have business partners that are going to want to get a divorce. So you have all these things. So do you have your business in a shelter because that's, what's going to protect your personal assets.
You don't put the business and you don't separate yourself from your business. And that's the first thing that entrepreneurs need to understand. It's like the separation of powers, right? You want your business to be its own separate entity so that if things happen, because sometimes they do it doesn't mean that we can prevent everything, but you just want to make sure that if something goes wrong in the business, that the business will deal with it, but you like Carolyn, you'll still go on. You'll still have your house and your family and your kids don't have to worry about, you know, their trust fund or your retirement, or, you know, your travel. You don't have to worry because you separated.
Absolutely. So does that mean we build that's what an LLC would be for, right? Or right. Yeah. Typically, you know, most entrepreneurs would do like an LLC. I always say, consult your advisor and see what's best for you, but an LLC and a C Corp or C Corp where you're taxed as an escort are typically the structures that most entrepreneurs go in. And most entrepreneurs that are just starting off, if you're under like a hundred thousand in LLC is, is very feasible.
Yeah. And that's a good point. So under a hundred thousand, so people might think, well, I'm not making money yet. Or to your point, I don't have a client yet, so I don't need to be protected, but is there, should we do it right from the start? Like when you decide to launch the business, who should be part of it immediately. It should be part of it. And I'm going to explain to you why this is the example that I love to give all the time. I give this example of, if you're starting in business,
you really don't have a lot. Most entrepreneurs don't have a lot when they're starting in business. Some of us are taking money from retirement, from our savings or whatever, to launch this business. Right? So you don't have a lot of assets. So you typically have more to lose than say like, if someone sues Oprah Winfrey and she has like a gang of money, right? So she can actually fight back and defend herself.
And I've actually seen her fight litigation that she just didn't settle. You have more to lose. So if you get sued and you're not in an Oprah Winfrey sort of speak, you can lose it all. Like I just said, there's no separation.
You can lose everything. The house, the retirement, if Oprah who is settled and it's making good money, she gets sued and she doesn't have it. She can still afford to do it. But the point I make is the less you have, the more important it is because you don't have, you don't have you, you don't, you have too much to. Yeah. You can't afford to lose anything. You don't have anything. Exactly. Yeah. So we need an LLC. We need the separation of entities and um,
and then what's next? What else? No. So what I usually say, um, and, and w I'll talk about this when I talk about the following thing, but the first thing is you want to make sure that you have your business in some type of entity, which we said is shelter, which is like an LLC. Then you want to make sure you have effective legal agreements, because you want to make sure that you have the rules of engagement between you and your client settled at the initial part, because it's like, when you get, when you're, you know, when you get married, you're happy. You're happy. You're excited. Everybody wants to please the other partner person. But when the divorce comes,
it's messy, right? People are fighting over their cats. They want to split the kids in half. It's the same thing with your business. You know, if things go wrong, your client is no longer your friend, your client isn't smiling. Right. And your client also doesn't remember the same terms that you remember, because that's why you're fighting. So it's better always say at the onset of the relationship, that's the best time to set the boundaries, the rules of engagement.
When everybody is excited and eager to work with each other. Now you can say, this is how much I'm going to charge. This is what you're getting. You know, when you're going to pay me, this is what's going to happen.
If you don't pay me, this is what's going to happen. If you fall file a charge bag, this is what gonna, what's going to happen. If you steal my content, everybody, you know, needs to have a mutual understanding at the beginning, all parties of the agreement.
Yeah, absolutely. I have to say that I really liked the agreement that we have. It's probably on the more intense side with how much detail is in it, but it's served me so many times when they were just simple questions or some clients were trying to, you know, get out of an agreement or, you know, like you said, just, you know, stop the engagement. And that does happen at some point. You never know. And having, you know, your legal ducks in a row, so to speak really has been so, so important. So how do we go about doing that? Do we draft it from scratch? Do you like templates or not so much? What's your advice? My advice is this. I always like,
I have a legal agreement site that I actually draft. And I always say, my contracts are attorney driven, peer review. So I draft them. My associates reviewed them. And then, you know, we, we put them out there, but that's after like years of me drafting clients, individual client contracts, I'm like, I have this whole arsenal. Right. But what I would suggest to people with contracts, the number one thing you don't want to do is to just pull them off the internet, download them, cut, and copy them, borrow them from your friends, you know, take them from your mother, you know, help your child, you know, let your child help you. Like don't do any of that.
You want to make sure you're always tell people, you are a professional you're in business. You want to look professional, not just from your service perspective, but from your business perspective, that's why you want to be in an entity. That's why you want to have effective agreements. So you should always get a legal agreement from someone who's competent from an attorney or from someone who is in. And I always say in the industry as well, if you're like in the coaching space there, I have a lot of colleagues that are attorneys, but they aren't in this space. So they don't understand this space.
So you want to make sure that your contracts are drafted by someone who's familiar with this space. Yeah. The one thing you can also do, if you get a contract that's if you cause some people go, Oh, I'm not sure I want my lawyer to review it. That's fine. But get your contract drafted from someone in this space. And if you want to have your attorney review it to make sure, you know, it's local, locally acceptable, sorta speak, then that's fine too. And it's, it's cheaper to have an attorney review that to draft, especially if the attorney isn't in this space. So. Great feedback. Yeah. I created my agreements when I didn't know you yet.
So same thing. I went to my attorney here and he said, well, I really don't know anything about coaching or consulting. What is this? So I found, I researched. So I had to find someone with that coaching background and she, she created something for me. And then I brought it back to Jake. My attorney here locally, you know, does this make sense for New York state? Make sure you're familiar with this because you're going to be my attorney for my business. And so that, that saved me money to your point too. So, and I know you have a fantastic online library source, so share with us. Uh, I want to get that out there. Chevelle,
how can people access that? So my, my legal template site is my, is www.myprofitprotector.com. You can go on that site and it's probably over 30 agreements. It's for coaches, consultants, speakers, healers. If you have an online program, a group program and all of these agreements, like I initially said, they were all drafted for private clients. And then it's just that I received so many calls and I was re you know, repeating the process.
So I actually took my agreements that were drafted by people who paid me handsomely. And I put them in done for you templates, where you just have to fill in a few things. Each template comes with an audio guy. So you can actually, I actually tell you exactly how to fill it out, you know, and it's not that much to do, but it, you know, it's, it's drafted by an attorney that's in this space that these are the same agreements that I use in my business that my clients use in their business. And they were designed specifically for this space in this industry. Yeah. Awesome. So we'll put.
The link along the description. Definitely look at these templates. There's, there's more right. Not just for coaching. There is there's for anything you. There's branding they're event planners. And even when it comes to speakers,
I tell people all the time, because, you know, that's my number one, like Legion is like, I love to speak, right. But all speakers just like all entrepreneurs aren't created equal. So if you're, you know, this is why you want to make sure you have agreements from someone in this space, because if you're doing, if you're speaking and you are, um, the event host your agreement may be different from the speaker. Who's not the event host because just as an example, if I'm an event host, I want to make sure that if the events canceled, that I may not have to pay to speak, but if I'm a speaker, I want to make sure that if the events canceled, I want to get paid for the speaking game. So that's why you want to make sure that you have agreements that are tailored to your specific needs and we have different templates for all different situations.
Smart. Yeah, definitely, definitely go check that out and make sure that you have something in place for any type of meat you may have, or for your business in any professional way. Chevelle, what are some of the most common issues that people encounter? Like for my experience, I had, um, intellectual property issues. So people were trying to, you know, copy websites and copy sales pages, not so much the course content, but I had that. I had client disagreements, um,
financial problems. What have you come across? Well, all of what you just described, I've seen an array of at all, right. Um, but I would say right now, especially in this online space where there are so many people coming in and everybody wants to hold themselves out to be, you know, an expert in this space and everybody's looking to get a head start. Um, copycatting is what I call it is, is very frequent.
And so what I, what I tell entrepreneurs, you want to make sure you are protecting your brain. You actually want to make sure you are not just protecting your brand, but owning your brain. And what I mean by that is just like you just indicated, there are people who are going to come out here. They're not going to want to, you know, they're going to go look at your website. It's fine to look at people's websites for inspirational purposes. I mean, nobody wants to recreate the wheel from scratch. So that's fine. Um,
I would never want, like, I don't want to be, you know, like Carolyn sold, I want to be Chevelle MacPherson, but some people want to be traveling solo. You're like, Oh, I just want to position myself. So the first thing, my recommendation is always to define your own brand and put yourself out there. You want to be known for what you're known for, you know, just because you, you know, don't compare your beginning with someone's middle or someone's in, right. So start off by creating your own brand. But when you do that, you want to make sure that you're putting measures in place to protect it.
You want to make sure you're copywriting your content so that people aren't stealing it. You want to make sure that you're trademarking your, your names, your tag, anything that distinguishes your brand, because there are going to be people that want to take a shortcut. There are going to be people that are going to want to just come on an established influencer site, you know, and take their stuff.
And not just an established influencer, they're going to want to come on anything that looks like it could work for them right now. Here's the thing. This is the other mindset that people have to realize is like, people may be, they're going to try Carolin, Soldo, but they may be more likely to try someone who's not in influence. Who's just starting out because they're like, Oh, I see this stuff. It's not protected. Let me copy it. Let me use it. Right. So it doesn't matter if you're a, if you're an influencer or you're just starting out, there's always going to be what I call a thief in the night that, you know, that's waiting for you. Right. And you want to make sure that you have things in place to stop. I call,
you know, I always say you have to be careful out here in these internet streets. For sure. And you brought up a good point here too, because I, well, I get so many questions from clients about, you know, should I trademark this? And what does it actually mean to copyright? So can you explain the difference between copywriting and what that actually means in a tweet? So copyright is it protects like your literary works. It protects the w you know, what you create in terms of like your content, your blogs, your website content.
So think of copyright as content, sort of it's like, you know what, the things that you're creating, you know, what's in your book, the things that you are memorializing that you're putting out there and that you're writing, think of that, you know, all the copy, all the content. So think of see copyright content that sort of helps people remember copyright trademark. On the other hand is brand, think of your brand. Like, what are you putting out there? That's going to distinguish you from the competition. What, you know, your, your name, the names of your courses, because always tell people the content of your courses think content is copyright, but the names of your courses, the name of your business, that's your branding. That's trademark protection. So both are protected through the federal government, but one is through the copyright office and one is through the trademark office, right? So they protect different things.
So you have intellectual property that will fall under the category of copyright, which again are your creativity, your works and things of that nature. And then you have your intellectual property that will fall under trademark, which would be your brand. I bought you to be your, um, taglines, your logos, anything that distinguishes you. So it's like, if I said to you Apple right now, you'll probably think of Apple computer, right? Because they've branded themselves. If I say Nike, you might think of the swoosh because they branded themselves. So I always tell entrepreneurs, what is it that you're putting out there that people are going to, you want people to think this belongs to Carolyn, this belongs to Chevelle.
That's your brand. And if you don't federally, if you don't register it, technically you really don't own your brand. And I've run into problems with clients where they've come to me, because this is the other question that comes up. When should I trademark?
That's a common question and trademarking is, it's an investment. So I usually tell people, you want to trademark a name when you know that it's something that you're going to, you know, you're going to keep, um, it's gonna bother you. If someone uses it or stills it, um, it's important to you, right? It's like naming your child, right. Once you've given this name that you know, you're not going to change your child's name. So once you know, your baby is your child, once you name this, and it's something that you're going to stick with in the beginning, you know, you have to fill it out because we're changing in the beginning. We're trying to figure ourselves out in our brand and where we are. Right.
So the names you come up with initially, I wouldn't say, as soon as you get a name, go run and trademark it, but you still should do your due diligence. You still should, you know, check it, make sure it's available, make sure nobody else is using it. And, you know, periodically check up on it. But when the moment you decide, like, this is the name for me, like, I'm keeping this name. I don't want anyone to have it. That's when you trademark it. Yeah, for sure. I think I waited. So I retrieved my brand, your passions,
and we couldn't Trey brought the powerhouse coach because an actual trucking company owned that, like, you know, a coach. So, uh, but I waited a good year to really make sure that I liked the name and I was going to use it to your point, you know, for the longterm. And I didn't want anybody else to use it. And, um, I don't know if you did this right? But we went to an amigo service online and it was not cheap. I have to say, like, it was a couple hundred bucks to get this done, but you got the certificate from the government and it's the trademark office and it's official. And then you can prove that this thing is, is yours. Now,
just to, we really clear to copyright something, is it enough to put the little, see at the bottom of our pages? Well, so here's the thing. When it comes to copyright, you should put the C there, because what the C does is that you letting the world know that you're claiming ownership to it. You have every time. And I tell people this all the time, whenever you create anything, you own it because you are the creator of it. The purpose of copyright is to make sure that you are the registered owner. So there's a difference, right? You create a blog or you create content.
You created it. You're, you know, you're, you're the original owner. The problem becomes if someone steals the blog and they use it. So the Carolyn has this log on her site, Chevelle has this log on her site who owns it, who created it. Now, if you have a copyright registration certificate, most likely, I'm saying most likely you're, you know, you are the registered owner, but if that person, and this is the other thing, if the person who also has it, if they stole it from you, clearly, you're a registered agent unit. I mean the registered owner, but if the person who's using it has been using it before you, then we have to look at the common law rights to it. Right. So I always say, make sure when you create something, if you're going to copyright it, copyright like cop it copyright is not as expensive as trademark.
So you don't have to like, wait a long time. I think it's like $35. And it's not that complicated, but there's no reason. So, but if you don't copyright it, at least put the C there, because if it comes down to who used it first, like first, and you know, who's been using it that see, that will help you show that this belongs to me. I created it in 1998. This person is now using it. And the first time they put it out, there was like, you know, 2010.
So even though I didn't register it, I I've been using it. Right. It's it belongs to me. So it belongs to you clearly, you own it, but it just becomes proving who it belongs to if there's ever an issue and it's not copyright.
And, and the first she was, that's a good point in generally the website would tell us when the post was created or the page was created. Yeah. Smart. So, I mean, missing anything, we talked about the LLC coaching agreements. Anything else we haven't talked about yet? Um, I think for the most part, you know, there are a lot of things you can cover, but I think for the most part, if I'm an entrepreneur and I'm considering how to get my legal ducks in order, those are the first three things that I would do.
I would make sure that I put myself inside of an entity. I would make sure that I'm using effective legal agreements. And I would make sure that when the time is right, that I would copyright and trademark my intellectual property. Awesome. Three simple steps that anybody can remember and maybe even do right now. Right. And again, with, uh, you know,
agreements go to Chavez resource online, we'll put the link below, check it out and don't make it harder than it needs to be. And, um, and yeah, one more fun question I have for you is Shabbat. What do you love most about the law? What do I love? Well, you know what I love about the law. I love the fact that the law is empowering, right? Because most people think that the law is scary. And I tell people all the time, the law is very, very empowering, just knowing your rights and knowing that the things that we're creating, especially as entrepreneurs, that we can protect it. Like that's really how you boss up your business, right? And I say that to people all the time.
If you want to be the boss of your business, you want to be the CEO. This is not the side you want to ignore. Yes. It's not. No, it's very, it's very, very empowering. And I think that's what we all want in our businesses. Aside from, you know, peace of mind and profit, you know, don't, you want to feel empowered and confident, you know, and power and empowerment and confidence will allow you to be able to build your business without focusing and worrying about if someone's still in my content. If someone's stealing, you know, you put these legal pillars in place,
it's like set it and forget it. It's done. Right. Set it and forget it. So it gets you empowered and get you legally bossed up. Now you can go do what you go do, what you love, go grow your business, go make money. And if there's a problem and you've put the pillars in place, it's a simple phone call to the person or to your attorney and things are in place. So you just so handle this, you know, it's copy written, it's protected. Here's my agreement, right. Even if there's a charge back, the first thing that you're going to have to do is send over the agreement.
What if you don't have the agreement? It's, you know, it's, it's not empowering. It's scary. It's, it's risky. It's dangerous. And nobody wants to be, nobody wants to be in that house. That's on fire. Yeah. No, yeah. I see it. I mean, I totally agree. You know, you'll show up as a real business owner because you're organized.
And one of the things that came to me, I don't know if it's important, but for, you know, things like finances banking, if you ever want to take out a loan borrowing, you'll need to show that you're a real entity too, and that you have all that stuff in place. So for that reason, it's really important. Two. And also if you want to attract high paying clients, I always say all the time, you know, I remember even when I was looking for someone to just do branded for me, when I first got the agreement, luckily for this person, I knew them well, and I knew their work. I would've never did business with them because the agreement looked shabby. It looked like it was cut and paste it. You know, it was just not good.
So you never know what your clients are looking at. Especially high ticket clients. They look at everything. Yeah. Well they know they have high expectations and we professionals too. You can always say, you know, if you're asking someone to pay you high money, you know, a lot of money, do you think they're going to write a check out to Joe blow? Or how about Joe blow incorporated, even though it's Joe blow, it sounds better if it's like Joe blow incorporated. Right. It sounds like it's a real business. Exactly. Yeah. So tell us.
Uh, where else can we find you? Are you on LinkedIn? Facebook? What's your favorite place to connect with people? I'm on face. Every all of my handles are Chevelle MacPherson. So I'm on Facebook at Shabbat MacPherson. I think LinkedIn I'm Chevelle MC on LinkedIn. I know LinkedIn, I'm Chevelle MacPherson, um, Instagram, Chanel, MacPherson, everything should go make fearsome except for, um, Twitter, which I'm not on that much, which is Chevelle MC. Yeah.
So you can find me there. So anywhere, whatever your favorite platform is. If you have a legal question, I highly recommend, again, go to Chevelle Sandra message connect with her. She is going to have your bag and show legally, empower your business to, you know, expand and for you to have the peace of mind that you really deserve. So Shabbat, I think this was awesome. Really tactical, actionable advice. Good for now protecting for the future. I love it.
So thank you so much for being here today. Thank you for having me. And now. We would like to hear from you. What big aha did you have during this episode? What action steps are you going to take right away? We want you to be legally protected, safe, and sound and grow your company in the right way. So let us know down below in the comments Chevelle and I will be checking back and love to have a conversation with you.
Now stay focused on your goals because I believe that your expertise and your message is meant to touch and impact the world. If you liked this episode, make sure you give us a like subscribe to our channel and make sure you come back again next week for more powerful business scaling strategies for your powerhouse business until then take care and I'll see you soon. Do you often feel stressed and overwhelmed from growing your business? Do you crave more ease and happiness from your success? What if I gave you a tool that has the power to instantly make you feel focused, peaceful, and at ease all while growing your business faster than ever before, I've created the business growth scorecard that has helped countless business women, but place overwhelmed with confidence and not a scorecard is available online. It's free takes less than 10 minutes and provides you with a customized growth plan, including your personal scores, go to business growth, scorecard.com to take the test right now, I look forward to helping you grow your business with ease and excellence.