Why You Should Treat Lawyers Like Primary Care Providers Instead of ER Doctors

Episode 135 on the Business Bites Podcast

As entrepreneurs, it is important to be proactive rather than reactive, especially when it comes to the legal side of your business. 

Building a relationship with your lawyer is one of the most important business steps you can take. Listen in, and my awesome guest, fellow lawyer/entrepreneur Scott Reib, and I will tell you why!

First and foremost, your attorney should be treated more like a family practice doctor and less like an ER physician. Have routine check ins regarding your business (think of your yearly physical) versus only using your attorney when you need him (like going to the ER for an emergency). Again, proactive versus reactive

Next, we must focus on building relationships instead of focusing on transactions. Serving over selling. This will result in a better output for your client/customer, and just as importantly, yourself and your team. Building a relationship with your attorney beyond an hourly fee is key. Having this foundation from the beginning will save you a lot of time and potential headaches in the future, from setting up your business to avoiding conflicts in the future. 

How do you do this? How do you find the attorney that is right for you and your business? Ask questions. Find lawyers that are entrepreneurial, understand this new business world, and that are relationship focused. You want an attorney that is going to want to be involved in helping you grow your business, not just collecting your hourly dues.

The next big problem I see is that everyone’s still doing these handshake agreements or maybe they’ve got a bid form that’s basically got a signature line on it and they’re calling that good. There’s no terms and conditions, there’s no real understanding of what they’re doing for their clients.

Scott Reib

Learn how to build the perfect attorney-client relationship: 

  • Two common things businesses do without an attorney but would be better to have an attorney’s guidance [10:05]
  • Tips for new entrepreneurs who don’t know what they don’t know [14:10]
  • How to find the perfect attorney [23:05]
  • Why it’s important that your attorney has an understanding of intellectual property law [27:50]

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN.

Read Episode Transcript

Rachel Brenke:
Overwhelming, intimidating, expensive. I’m only going to worry about it when there’s a problem. Friends, if you know me at all and if you know anything about the Business Bites Podcast, we’re all about proactive versus reactive. And today I am joined with an awesome guest who is also an attorney but he’s more like me, a lot of fun, a lot of great tangible tips. We take away the legalese so that we can focus on you realizing that we can be your friends, us lawyers. Treat us more like family practice doctors where you get your checkup versus us needing to resuscitate your business like ER doctors later. So, let’s go ahead and dig in because you guys are going to love hearing the path that Scott has taken. Not just that he’s an attorney, but he’s an entrepreneur just like me and just like you. So let’s dig in.

Speaker 2:
Welcome to the Business Bites Podcast, the podcast for busy entrepreneurs. Whether you’re an online entrepreneur or seeking after brick and mortar success, this podcast brings you quick bites of content so you can learn and grow anywhere you are. Now here’s your host, Rachel Brenke.

Rachel:
Just a few little housekeeping things before we dig into the episode, all show notes are going to be found at rachelbrenke.com/epi135. Also, I’m recording this in September but it may not publish till end of October. But if you reach out to Eden Law, my law firm, and say you heard about the trademark and copyright protection package promo on the Business Bites Podcast, we will go ahead and honor our promo for you. September promo was $500 off trademark packages, and a thousand dollars off getting all the IP protected in your business. We will dig into it when we do our initial legal meeting, you’ll actually hear more about that in this episode as one of the options that some attorneys out there provide. But just keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be expensive, overwhelming.

You can reach out and just say, “Hey, heard on the Business Bites Podcast. I want to get protected, let’s do this thing.” And we will honor it. So let’s dig right into the episode. All right, everyone, you have quite a show today. You have myself as an attorney and host of the Business Bites Podcast, Rachel Brenke, and I’m also joined by Scott who’s also an attorney, we’re both from Texas. So you’re going to hear a lot of legal talk, lawyer talk and some Texas talk like you all’s might come out. So Scott, welcome. Welcome to the show.

Scott :
Hey Rachel, thanks for having me.

Rachel:
I’m excited. We were talking pre-show, this is one of the first times that either of us have talked to another lawyer on a podcast like this. So this will be interesting to see how it comes out. But Scott and I are coming together and as you guys have heard in the intro, Scott is a legal coach and he just works with a lot of people so that they can understand that lawyers should be viewed as and treated like primary care providers instead of ER doctors. If you’ve been a Business Bites Podcast listener for any amount of time you know that all about proactivity versus reactivity, so we’re going to dig into the topic. But before we do that, I want to hear from you Scott, how did you get into entrepreneurship? What did your path look like?

Scott :
Right out of college I started into sales with a major telecom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and they didn’t have an employee position, they had an independent contractor position where I could be a rep for them and other companies. And so back in 92 I started my own business and found a way to make some pretty good mailbox money through them, and it was really more money than my wife and I had realized we could make at 23 years old. And then the management figured out what I was doing and decided to breach my contract, take it in-house, pay someone minimum wage to do this thing that I’d found and suddenly I didn’t have that anymore.

And so I did what every normal person would do, I went to law school. But in the meantime, I had to find other ways to make money and so we started an entrepreneurial journey. And then after three years of law school, I’ve always been except for the first six months of practice, I’ve always been an owner of the law firm where I’m practicing. And I’m very active in the management of that and then involved with other joint ventures along the way over the last 23 years.

Rachel:
I love that. How did you end up as a Zig Ziglar Small Business Lawyer and Ziglar Legacy Certified Trainer? I mean, you’re known now as America’s legal coach. How did you weave your way into that?

Scott :
I decided in 2012 that I needed to change the way I was practicing law. And I was doing the traditional mostly litigation stuff charging by the hour, people would come to me with their problems and we would fix them but it was really expensive. So, I started my subscription model and then I needed to focus in what was my client avatar going to be? And small business yeah, that’s great, that’s not really narrow enough. Who do I really want to focus on? And I thought I wanted to work with speakers, trainers and coaches because their whole focus in life is helping other entrepreneurs grow their businesses. And so, if I can help them then my effect will be exponential. So, I found someone that was teaching lawyers how to be just that, a lawyer first, speaker, trainer, and coach.

I signed up for their program that was more money than I really should have spent. I probably didn’t actually have it and went to Atlanta, sat through a three-day seminar on how to work with them, and my homework going home was to go to a live event and take notes and then come back to the group and we would all share our experiences. Well, I’m back in Texas and you all know that the name in Texas is Zig Ziglar. So I Googled Zig Ziglar who had already passed away but they had events going on, they were doing their born to win tour and so I flew to Houston for an event at a hotel. I arrived a little bit late, I was just there to observe I wasn’t there to impress anyone, walked in in jeans and sat down in the back and just started listening.

And Tom got up and started talking, and Tom Ziglar the proud son of Zig, and I was just amazed at the information and wisdom that he was giving the group. And then his compadre Howard Partridge got up there and did the same and then we took a lunch break. And we’re out in the middle of nowhere in Sugar Land, Texas and there’s no where to go to lunch. And so I’m talking to the person at the front desk they’re like, “Well, we have a vending machine but the nearest restaurant is like five miles away.” Well, Howard Partridge hears me talking to the front desk person and says, “Hey, would you like a ride to lunch?” And I’m like, “Sure.” And so I got in his car, he’s coaching me up all the way to lunch and I get to meet some of his coaching clients.

And then on the way back he’s like, “How are you getting back to the airport?” And I’m like, “Well, I guess I’ll call the cab that brought me here.” That was before we were using Uber. And so he said, “No, Tom will take you.” I’m like, “Tom who?” And he said, “Well, Tom Ziglar.” So we walk back to the meeting room and he says, “Hey Tom, you’re taking Scott to the airport.” And Tom’s like, “Okay. Well, I’m leaving at 3:45 so he needs to have his back packed. So we finish the afternoon, I sign up for their program and so now I think that’s my third coaching program in at the time. And we get in his rental car and I’m stuck in Houston traffic for about an hour and a half with Tom Ziglar.

Rachel:
That’s incredible. That’s so incredible. Like complete divine intervention through your stomach. I’m hungry, but what am I going to do? And you end up changing the course of your entrepreneurship, that’s incredible. Looking back at this, whether it’s before this situation or after what is a lesson in your business you wish you had known?

Scott :
The importance of relationships. Early in my entrepreneurial journey, I was very transactional. I think it was very focused on how much money I could make out of each transaction and just getting to the next transaction. Working the numbers, I knew if I made a hundred phone calls I could get 10 appointments and close one deal. And so I just would work the numbers, it was all about the numbers. And now it’s all about the relationship for me and how I can help solve the problem of the person that I’m getting to talk, to meet with. Sometimes it’s a legal problem, sometimes it’s a marketing problem but whatever that problem is I want to help them move forward. And if I can help them move forward then what Zig taught me that if I help everyone get what they want in life, then I’ll get what I want in life.

Rachel:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Definitely and I just want to-

Scott :
And so changing that focus, it makes a huge difference.

Rachel:
… Yeah. That’s one of the big themes that we talk about on Business Bites is about serving over selling and that how serving is going to result in a better output for your client or customer as well as for yourself, with your team that you’re managing all of that. Relationships are definitely key, which is a good segue into our topic for today. I’m a huge proponent not just as an attorney, but as an entrepreneur myself of having an ongoing relationship with professional services particularly lawyers. What are some of the top things within this whole idea of being proactive the primary care doctor type versus ER resuscitate your business type? What are some of the key things that you see that entrepreneurs are maybe dismissing? Areas of their business that they’re dismissing the need for legal services or just the legal advisement from the beginning?

Scott :
Yeah, I think there’s two main things I see one is that people are starting their businesses without lawyers helping them set up the legal foundation, which should be their corporate structure, corporation LLC combination. They’re either just skipping that and they’re going sole proprietor, or they’re using some online service to set up some bare-bones LLC with their partners. And there’s no operating agreement, there’s nothing in writing and then they need to unwind it and it’s very difficult to do. Or something pops up where they need to know how do we do meetings? And then they’re stuck with whatever states code is covering them and I see that happening a lot. Or they get sued before they’ve taken that next step of forming the LLC and now all their personal assets are at stake. I’ve seen that too.

And the next big problem I see is that everyone’s still doing these handshake agreements or maybe they’ve got a bid form that’s basically got a signature line on it and they’re calling that good. There’s no terms and conditions, there’s no real understanding of what they’re doing for their clients. And what I like to tell them is, and what they’re not doing and sometimes that’s more important is what am I not promising to do for you? And those are the two main areas that I see entrepreneurs making errors that are really easy to fix. I mean, the things that I work on or what I call low-hanging fruit, it’s not hard stuff it’s just the things that get in entrepreneur’s way they don’t want to do it, they don’t think about it. And they’re just not trained the way you and I are to deal with them and so we can deal with it very efficiently in our firm.

Rachel:
Yeah. And you know even just from a rural world, tangible, practical standpoint even myself being an attorney I don’t want to deal with my own legal issues.

Scott :
No.

Rachel:
I’d be happy to do it for my clients, but I want to be getting my checkups, going in, making sure that I’m healthy and everything is good. Doing those evaluations especially as my business is growing, my liabilities increasing because I want to be focused on my marketing branding and serving of my clients and not my own legal mess. And so it’s hard for me, putting the lawyer hat aside, it’s hard for me when I see other entrepreneurs that are completely blind to it knowing that it’s not. If they have an issue it’s going to be when or when it’s popped up and they’re all distraught, they’re tight on resources of time, money, and energy it’s I feel for them, but at the same time I’m like, “Come on you all, you need to be doing this from the get-go.”

And it’s funny I had just seen on Twitter, I might’ve retweeted it, it was a business coach that, and she might also be an attorney or maybe a recovered attorney. She had tweeted that saying if you have a business class, you’re teaching other entrepreneurs, you’re offering services for other business owners, and you’re not addressing the importance of legalities, including what you just talked about. Corporate structure, contracts and I would even add on their intellectual property I mean, she said, “Then your class is trash.” I wouldn’t go so that far to say that it’s trash, but I do think it’s doing a disservice. So what are your tips? I mean, obviously Business Bites Podcast is a good resource, we’re going to link all your stuff also the show notes page. But for someone that is just brand new, may not even know about these areas, what would be some resources or how you would walk an entrepreneur that has no concept of any of this through the process to convince them they need it? Obviously besides listening to this episode?

Scott :
Yeah. I mean, what we generally do is I’ve got a couple of small mini books on strategies that they should be following to follow these basic things in place. We have some online video training for new entrepreneurs so they can get some business law drilled into them so that they know what they don’t know. And then they need to research and find lawyers that are entrepreneurial and understand this new business world. And that are like we talked about earlier relationship focused and want to be involved in helping them grow their business and not just a transaction.

And if they can find that person, then they’ll walk them through here are the first steps you need to take, we’ll do this in an affordable way and then come back in a few months when you’re ready to take the next step. And we just stepped through it until they have the cashflow to maybe enter into a real, more in depth relationship where they’re having on demand access that I think is super important. But at some point there’s only so much money to go around and so you’ve got to try to leverage that by finding the right legal professional that can work with you in an affordable way.

Rachel:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). And actually what I love about, and the reason I wanted you on this podcast, this is because both you and I, so everyone listening, Scott and I both believe that legal advice does not have to be expensive, intimidating, or confusing. We are licensed to do this, we’re also entrepreneurs like you and we… And another reason to have him is that Scott also approaches his services of providing legal advice and information a little different than we do. For example, Scott you have Access Plan, which is a subscription model legal service where you help clients understand their legal questions before they end up having a legal emergency and need you to resuscitate them. For us we take the same approach.

And I was just having a conversation with a potential client about this before I’ve gone in to record this, is that we do in-house free consultations. But what that means is when you come to me with say, “Hey, I want information on how to set up an LLC.” We’ll go through poke around, we’ll see what your online presence and all that is and then we move you into. If we think we’re going to be a good fit, we move into a paid initial legal strategy meeting. And the reason that we do that and we call it this is because we’re not just going to sit there and we order takers in a restaurant, right we’re going to answer the questions about the LLC but I have an entire checklist.

A lot of what you just outlined and then some, we have an entire checklist that you’ll have an actual tangible plan when you finish that phone call. And because what I’m finding, I’m sure you’ve seen this with other law firms, is cost prohibitive, it’s confusing, intimidating, overwhelming to give it onboarded. Or if it’s a free consultation, entrepreneurs are walking away with not a lot of answers. There perhaps only given, “Yep. You can get an LLC now that’ll be X amount.” They’re not given a strategy. So, I would love to hear mine is more of the initial legal strategy then we move into flat rate packages, yours is a subscription model. Do you want to explain the subscription model a little bit?

Scott :
Sure. Yeah. My belief, we already talked about being proactive and that’s key. My other belief is that as an entrepreneur, you have to have the right information at the right time it makes all the difference. And so we created plans back in 2012, whereas an entrepreneur, Rachel, you could call me and my team, text me, email me and say, “Hey, I’ve got a question, I’m in this meeting and I need to know what to do.” And we’re able to get back with you and give you answers so that you can make the best possible decision and move forward. It’s not going to always be right, you’re still going to make some mistakes, but you’re going to have better information. And so to do that, you sign up for a monthly plan that fits your needs. We have three different levels depending on where are on your entrepreneurial journey, that all have different bells and whistles.

They all come with a 30-minute legal coaching session every month where you’re spending time with me and my team where we’re concentrating on your business, it’s focused on you. It’s not just a drive-by where you’re calling in with a quick question, if we’re totally focused on what’s going on with your life and your business. And then you have the on demand stuff or the projects that we’re tracking, you have built in face-to-face or right now we’re doing a lot of Zoom meetings to maybe focus on a project like forming your LLC. Or let’s go through what I call the IP wheel and we do an inventory of what all your intellectual property you have so that you know what you have and then how you would protect it and pricing for how to protect it. But to do that, you have to have this ongoing relationship and be talking on a regular basis.

Because the more that entrepreneurs talk to me or to you, Rachel, the more we can uncover and the chink in the armor we can see. If they don’t talk to us, we can see the easy stuff that’s wrong with everybody, but it’s hard to see those things that they’re doing that the only they are doing that way until they tell us. I mean, so many times that happens when I’m on a call with someone I’ve worked with for a couple of years and they say something in the meeting, how they’re doing something and I’m like, “I didn’t know you were doing that way. You got stop that and you got to do this.” But had they not had that conversation with me, it wouldn’t have happened. And they wouldn’t have had the conversation if they were having to pay me $400 an hour to do it. They just won’t call.

But when they know it’s a built-in costs, they can call me anytime they want, then they have this ongoing relationship with me where it’s not a new conversation it’s just a continuance of the conversation. And so that’s how we do it. It built into all the plans are the formation of basic legal structure, so if you need an LLC you can get one built into our package. We designed what I call a shatterproof enterprise structure which would be you share your goals and dreams with me for your future of your business what’s your vision. And then we draw that out and what sort of legal entities would you need to be protected? And then we start growing into that over time. And all of that’s the kind of things that are included in our Access Plans.

Rachel:
And I love that. And that’s why I wanted to parallel how I do it and you do it because I want those listening to think and see how you can get creative of how what works best also for you in your business you all. You all listening what works best for each of you all? Some of you want that month to month, with us we also do yearly calls, we do that full comprehensive, like yours is called shatterproof. We do that initial legal meeting where we sketch out everything and we do phases, et cetera, so that we can fully serve. But I think what’s important here, and this is the theme that I hope you all are hearing is that, is proactivity. Because some of you all, if you stuck with us this far, you’re going to be ahead of those that decided to hear the first few things that Scott said about what entrepreneurs getting to get their head around they’ve gone, “Okay, great. I got that.” And they closed the podcast. But what they’re not realizing is this next tip.

And a lot of what Scott is getting at this is a continual relationship. When you create your contracts as your business grows, those need to be updated, they need to be shaped, they need to be changed. They’re a living, breathing documents. You know they may not be drastic changes if you don’t make drastic changes in your business but it’s things like that. And even when it comes to a corporate structure, maybe you’ve gone from LLC to all of a sudden wanting investors, and this and shareholders and all this sort of stuff, you might need a change. And if you’re not integrated with an attorney that you trust, who knows your business, you’re definitely going to have a bigger issue in the end.

I just recently had a client, absolutely love them to death, but they had a services contract. And I think they kind of had the mindset of, “Well we got this off to the internet, it’s good enough.” But it really wasn’t specific. And what happened? A problem came up and they had to spend more money cleaning up that problem, which I was able to do, but guess what? We’re still having to fix the contract in the end. So just you all, please stay on top of this because reactivity, this whole idea of being an ER doctor, treating a lawyer like an ER doctor, is when it becomes expensive and intimidating. When you decide to come and chit chat with, “Listen, Scott and I are fun to talk to.” If you get a relationship with us, you’re going to have fun, which is really rare for lawyers, but you’re also going to be protected.

So let me ask you this Scott, and by the way, before I go into asking another question on that, this is just two examples of different ways that attorneys do things. Like I mentioned before, you all listening and need to find what works best for your business but I do encourage you to rewind and listen to when Scott was outlining his Access Plan. Because a lot of those key points, we do that as well we just call them phases depending on the topic matter, but you want to make sure that you’re getting a well-rounded attorney. So Scott, what would you recommend those listening how do they find an attorney besides us? I mean, obviously we’re the only choice, right?

Scott :
Yeah.

Rachel:
How would you advise them of how to really qualify an attorney that’s best for their business?

Scott :
It’s really hard. So, I feel for them because it’s hard to find lawyers like Rachel that really get the entrepreneurial journey and want to have a relationship with you. So you’re going to have to go through a few to find them, and you’re going to have to interview them just like you would a new employee. And so you want to go in armed with questions and one of the questions you want to know right up front is how do they charge for their services? And if the only way they charge for their services is by the hour, I would recommend that you run because they’re not focused on the relationship they’re focused on the money. Because they know that they can charge whatever they want per hour or use more time and make whatever money they want to make and so there’s a conflict there and you are not going to use them like you need to.

You need to find someone that has flat fees, maybe phases like Rachel is talking about where you pay as you go but you know exactly what you’re going to pay and what you’re going to get. And you’re not getting surprised bills and you’re not paying to ask questions. Or you need to find someone that has a monthly subscription program or retainer program that gives you built-in benefits that always include phone calls, emails, texts, so that you can get answers quickly. And if they’re not interested in those things, then you should cross them off your list. And then I would ask them questions like what books are they reading? If they’re only reading law books, they’re not going to be helpful to you. You want to know that they’ve read the E-Myth Revisited, they’re reading the latest business books. Even if they’re going to conferences that would be helpful because then you know that they’re trying to learn more and more about what’s going on in the business world especially entrepreneurial world. And that’s the kind of person that can help you.

If they just go to lawyer continuing legal education they may be really good and they may be really smart, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to be able to explain things in a way that you can understand. They’re going to use legal mumbo jumbo all over the place, you’re going to not like it, so you need someone that speaks your language. And so, that’s one way to figure that out is ask them, how are they spending their time? Are they just training legally, which is important they need to do that, but you want them to be training in entrepreneurial methods in ways so that they can help you keep up with the latest and greatest and that they speak your language. And then I would want to know what technology they use to deliver their services. Because if you have to go in and see them every time that’s not going to work.

You don’t have time to drive a half hour to your lawyer’s office, wait in the waiting room, have an hour meeting drive back. Now you’ve lost three hours out of your day. You want to be able to jump on the phone, do a Zoom type call or go to meeting whatever they want to use, but some way of connecting with them face-to-face but not have to actually physically be there because that leverages your time. And if you’re an entrepreneur time is your greatest asset, and you want to be spending that time with your family, with doing what you love to do and building your goals and dreams not sitting in your lawyer’s office.

Rachel:
It’s funny you say that. I think I’ve shared this story on some previous episodes during COVID, but when this hit, I watched legal Twitter explode. They’re like, “What are we going to do? How are we going to see our clients?” And my firm and I were almost like the little Kermit meme where he’s got like a cup of tea and he’s just sitting there and we’re watching everyone else run around because we have this infrastructure in place. But I obviously didn’t have pandemic in mind, but one of my mindset was exactly the example you gave about entrepreneurs are already super busy and you don’t want to. And I live in the DC area and I know you’re in Denton right outside of Dallas-Fort Worth, so traffic can be crazy. But it could take you an hour and a half to go eight miles in the DC area. You don’t want to be schlepping back and forth that’s time away from everything else. Because honestly, I would rather you all be spending that time, just like Scott said, on your business or with your family. Because that’s really is what is important.

One little tip I want to add onto that and Scott you did throw this in earlier when you’re talking about the IP wheel. When entrepreneurs are going to talk to business lawyers or to hire one, like the whole interview process like you just mentioned, I think it’s extremely important that you have someone that has intellectual property knowledge. Now understand that lawyers, we don’t really have specific licenses. And you can become specialized by state yada yada, but for the most part things like intellectual property are not typically required in law school, at least when I did probably dating myself a little bit, and it wasn’t on the bar exam at the time. So you can be an attorney and have no idea what intellectual property is.

I mean, actually I do a lot of IP work for other attorneys that have their own family law firms, et cetera but I think that is extremely important. And this is one area I wanted to hone in on with you of the proactive versus reactive, primary care versus ER, doctor, when it comes to intellectual property what is one of the big issues you see that people fall into? Because either they’ve gone to an attorney that doesn’t know IP or they haven’t gone to an attorney at all and then all of a sudden they’re having an intellectual property issue. Can you think of a story or a major issue that you’ve seen?

Scott :
Oh yeah. Picked up a client about five years ago, it was a 15 year old company, they’re in the entertainment business in eight states at the time. And they had purchased a business, it was a really strong brand and during my initial strategy session with them, I started asking questions about intellectual property and they didn’t have a trademark for their brand. So, we started the process and doing the research to see if we thought it was trademarkable and there were several marks that were too close for comfort. And so they had to make a decision on whether to file and risk having drawing attention to the fact that they’ve got a mark that’s very close to some other marks. And possibly getting at best cease and desist letters and worst lawsuits, or just starting all over with their brand.

They flipped the coin, rolled the dice and we filed the application and it did get approved and they didn’t get any letters and so they were able to save the brand. But what really I thought was going to happen was that we would start getting objections and they would be locked out of this brand. So they basically they would have spent all this time and money building the brand for someone else and have to start completely over, right? You climb the ladder and you’re on the top of the wrong building. It would have been so expensive to try to start over and rebrand that business and it was all because of what you mentioned, someone didn’t tell them early on when they formed their corporation, that they needed to trademark that brand name. I mean, they made it through it by the skin of their teeth. It so easily could have gone the other way and it would have been tragic.

Rachel:
Yeah. And just so add on to that and those situations. Had his client been in a situation where someone that was already using a similar name before them, or it had rights before them could have potentially pursued his client for disgorgement of profits. They would have had to pay to rebrand, they would have lost 15 years of that brand value that they’ve created in the market. And so it’s huge. I mean, if you follow me for any amount of time on Twitter, you know I get into these rants about it because I do it because I care. Because my clients that come to me after not with the ones that come in the very beginning they come to either your Access Plan or my initial legal meeting and we create the strategy. But we’re talking on a reactive side they’re like, “Oh no, I got this letter I got to clean up.” And it’s like, “Come on now, you’re going to spend three to four times as much and may potentially have to rebrand and lose customers in the process not worth it. We need to do this from the get-go.”

So, the reason I share that is because there are many business attorneys out there who don’t even think about the IP concepts. They may know enough to file an LLC, but that’s pretty much where the puck stops. So for me, that would be an additional question to definitely dig in and ask, especially if you are a personal brand, influencer, speaker, author, online business, really big presence. We all have intellectual property, we have a business name, we have a logo, we have marketing assets to promote our business. I mean, even this podcast is something that is protectable and it’s an intellectual property that we need to pursue. So podcasters, I highly encourage if you’re listening dig in, go through and we’ll put these notes on the show notes page for you. Nice little checklist of things that you can mark off when you go to find an attorney and then share it with your friends who are also entrepreneurs. Because it’s extremely important for us to go this whole proactive versus reactive.

Scott :
Yeah.

Rachel:
So I think we’ve hit them pretty hard Scott here. Can you think of maybe one last hard hitting tip that could help steer them on the right path?

Scott :
Yeah. So, many people right now because of the pandemic or have changed to online platforms, they’re putting together online courses. If you launch a course in one of your wonderful or maybe your favorite students decided they’re going to take your course and sell it as their own, then you’re behind the eight ball because you haven’t registered it. You have to then go back, register that with the copyright office before you can go after them and stop them from using your intellectual property and making your money. So the only way to do that is register it as you do it. So, when you create it and you poured hundreds of hours into this thing, then register the copyright it’s not that hard, it’s not that expensive. Call Rachel, call me, or call someone else but make sure you’ve protected this thing that you’ve spent all this time building before you take it to market.

Rachel:
A hundred percent, I agree. Well Scott, this has been so wonderful packed with information. You all listening, definitely make sure you dig into the Business Bites Facebook group. As always every episode we have its own specific thread. I want to hear what intellectual property you all have not because I want to sit and solicit to protect it, but I want to be able to provide you guys a little resources to make sure you’re having optimal protection. And I just want to see who’s in the group. So, make sure you dig into that. And once again Scott, thank you so much. We’re going to link all your stuff. You guys can check out his Access Plan on the show notes page. Also throw up some information of my firm, as well as the quick checklist that you need to see what you need to protect, how you need to avoid issues. And also how to find an attorney that’s going to help you be proactive like a family doctor versus reactive like an emergency doctor trying to resuscitate your business later.

Speaker 2:
Thanks for joining Rachel on this episode of the Business Bites. For show notes, a list of recommended tools or referenced episodes you can find them at businessbitespodcast.com. Until next time.

Scott Reib headshot

Meet Scott

As the official Zig Ziglar Small Business Lawyer and a Ziglar Legacy Certified Trainer, it’s no wonder that Scott Reib is known as “America’s Legal Coach.” For the last two decades, Scott has been helping business owners, entrepreneurs, and coaches “shatterproof” their businesses by implementing specific strategies for structure, growth, and protection. Over the last three years, Scott has been sharing these strategies with business owners and coaches, and watching them grow and succeed!

Even with 20+ years of legal experience, Scott is a firm believer that legal advice doesn’t have to be expensive or intimidating. His passion lies in changing the way we view legal counsel: from “emergency” situations to “primary care provider” relationships. Scott is shifting this perspective via Access Plan, his groundbreaking subscription-model legal service, where he helps clients understand their legal questions before they find themselves in a legal emergency.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 

Hi, I’m Rachel Brenke

Rachel Brenke

As a mom, team USA athlete and cancer-survivor, I want a real life while I have a real business.  This is why my resources don’t promote hustle-culture, rather tough-love and no-holds-barred tips to achieving both.  In addition to this website, I have a top-ranked business podcast, been featured in places like Forbes and work 1:1 with so many of you.

Enough about me though. I am proud of you for pursuing entrepreneurship. It is rewarding and amazing.  Keep at it!

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