Episode #13: Protect Your Business with These Legal Foundations with Layne Lyons
The Fast-Track Woman Podcast: Episode #13
Protect Your Business with These Legal Foundations with Layne Lyons
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Meet Podcast Guest, Layne Lyons.
Layne Lyons, JD protects women’s businesses. She graduated from Duke Law School and has dedicated her 25 year career to protecting others. Layne has written three books, successfully started and managed five corporations, worked with thousands of clients, negotiated endless contracts and spoken on stages across the country.
She is also a health coach with first hand experience of the legal structures needed for a successful coaching practice. Layne makes the intimidating world of legal protections simple, approachable and easy to understand. You will have peace of mind that your hard work and investments are protected which frees you to focus on your biggest mission.
About this Podcast Episode.
Layne Lyons, JD protects women’s businesses. Terra interviews Layne about the legal foundations every entrepreneur needs to have in place to protect their business.
Layne graduated from Duke Law School and has dedicated her 25-year career to protecting others. Layne has written three books, successfully started and managed five corporations, worked with thousands of clients, negotiated endless contracts and spoken on stages across the country.
She is also a health coach with first-hand experience of the legal structures needed for a successful coaching practice. Layne makes the intimidating world of legal protections simple, approachable and easy to understand. You will have peace of mind that your hard work and investments are protected which frees you to focus on your biggest mission.
Resources, Tools, and Links Mentioned in this Episode.
Read and Download the Transcript for this Episode.
Intro (00:02): Welcome to The Fast-Track Entrepreneur Podcast with your host Terra Bohlmann. You are about to get filled with business strategies, advice, and motivation to get you prepared to fast track your five year plan in less than one year. So buckle up and let's create your first class business with clarity and confidence.
Terra (00:28): Hi there, welcome back with your host Terra Bohlmann. I'm so excited to have our guests today. It is my complete intention to bring you the best and the brightest women entrepreneurs that I know that can help serve you. And in this case, let me introduce to you and I'm going to read her formal bio because I always feel it's good to give women entrepreneurs the respect they deserve and actually read their bio. And for a couple of reasons, one because it's really cool to hear it, you know, cause and we'll, we'll ask Layne what she thinks about that. But so let me introduce her. Her name's Layne Lyons, J D and she protects women's businesses. She graduated from Duke Law School and has dedicated her 25 year career to protecting others. Layne has written three books, successfully started and managed five corporations, worked with thousands of clients, negotiated endless contracts and spoken on stages across the country. She's also a health coach with firsthand experience of the legal structures needed for a successful coaching practice. Layne makes the intimidating world of legal protection, simple, approachable, and easy to understand. You will have peace of mind that your hard work and investments are protected, which frees you to focus on your biggest mission. So please join me in welcoming Layne Lyons. Hi Layne, how are you?
Layne (01:55): I'm excellent. So happy to be here. Thanks.
Terra (01:57): Awesome. I'm so happy to have you. Oh my gosh. So it's so important and I feel like a lot of women entrepreneurs need to know about what they have to do to legally protect not just their business, but themselves. Right. And that's why I'm so excited to chat with you on this podcast interview. Yeah. You know, it's not always the sexiest thing, right, to talk about those foundational structures of our businesses. But those are the things that set us up for all of that amazing success that comes from all that visibility and marketing and sales and all those things that we really love to dive into. Without those base level structures, it's kind of hard to get to the next level. Not only is it hard, but sometimes it can be a little dangerous, you know?
Layne (02:43): Absolutely. Absolutely.
Terra (02:44): So tell us, sharing your journey on how you ended up becoming an attorney and why, what led you to where you are now with helping women entrepreneurs?
Layne (02:54): So how I became an attorney is my dad is an attorney and a judge. And as kids, my sister and I were only given two choices, lawyer or doctor, she was older than me and she chose science. So I took what was left, which was English and history leading me down the path to become a lawyer. But you know that I say all that, you know, tongue in cheek and kind of give my parents a little giggle. But really it was because I've always found myself protecting other people. You know, I was that kid on the playground saying, no, she didn't do it. You know, don't just, don't listen. You know, and always having teachers say, what are you, her lawyer?
Layne (03:29): So I would just, I was sort of always willing to stand up and stick up for other people. So after I graduated law school, I started working at the district attorney's office. I worked for a while, a long time in a division that at the time was called sex crimes. It's now called special victims. So that means mostly children, almost all had been abused, mostly sexually abused. It was really, really hard work. And I took that job really seriously, you know, here were these kids who had been kind of chucked around from one end to the other of the system. And so many people in my eyes had failed them to that point. And here they were in my hands. So I took that job really seriously. And you know, what did that look like? Right? It means I never slept. I ate whatever was on the run.
Layne (04:21): You know, usually the food trucks long before the days of good food trucks, right? The food trucks outside the courthouse. So I slept, never. I ate nothing good, come on, nothing good. And I was under so much stress because I took the responsibility of all of these kids home with me, all of my client, all of all of the cases that I was working every single night. Eventually that all caught up with me. You know, everybody here knows the story. We all have our path. Then those things that seem like a good idea in the moment, eventually all catch up. And I became very, very sick. My immune system shut down. I was diagnosed with a disease of fatigue. I ended up in a wheelchair from excruciating pain and crushing fatigue. I was in my wheelchair for over five years. I had 13 doctors telling me I would never walk again.
Layne (05:14): Two of them told my husband to prepare for me not being here the next year. And that started me, I guess, you know, I think about it. I took all that protection that I had always given to everyone else. That fierceness, right? You know, my name is Layne Lyons, right? I am body. That spirit of looking out for others, but what I had to do at that point was turned that fierce protection to myself and that started me on an eight year healing journey. My husband and I went around the globe. I stayed a month for a hospital in Switzerland trying what they had to offer a month for a hospital in Mexico where I was trained to do a protocol of juice fasting. I did a juice fast for 18 months. I did daily venom injections. I did 500 IVs in one year in my home to myself.
Layne (06:02): I drink tumeric mud, which yeah, that's as awful as you think it is. And eventually something clicked, something went right. And to me, the biggest needle mover in all of that, the thing that I had control over outside of the medical system was what I ate right? 21 times a week, seven days a week, three times a day. We have control over what we put into our bodies. So when I found out for myself that incredible healing power of food, food as medicine, food as the nourishment that we need to stay healthy. I wanted to tell other people. I definitely did not want to practice law at that point. I had been so burnt out and knew that it was my journey as an attorney that had kind of taken me there. So I went back to school and I became certified as a health coach.
Layne (06:50): And I started teaching women, you know, just all the things that I had done for myself. How to increase their energy, just using the same techniques that I had used to increase my energy to protect and increase my energy. And I earned myself the nickname of energy magician from my clients, which I loved. And gosh, you know, Terra, there I was health coaching, making a difference in women's lives on an incredible high, loving, really seeing results and loving it. And then I got an offer from another health coach to enter into a, like a sort of a partnership, a collaboration. And even though I knew better, I proceeded with no written agreement. And dot. Dot. Dot. You know the end of the story, the unthinkable happened and I was lightly, I can say double-crossed. She took all of the money that we had invested, both had invested, that was supposed to be a payout and all of the content that we had created was shared.
Layne (07:52): And because I had no written agreement to control things for how things were going to go, there was no way that I could protect myself. So everything was lost. But that very night I sat down at my laptop and I started drafting all of the agreements that I wished I would have had with her. And as that kind of process took over, I was like, well wait a minute. What does a health coach need? What does a business coach need? What are these structures that had, I had them, I wouldn't be in this position. So I spent the next couple of weeks, next couple of months building out all of those structures and then I just shared them with some of my health coach friends and said, Hey, I kind of put together this package of legal protections. What do you think about it? All of them said, I don't know of anything like that and I want it.
Layne (08:43): So, you know, I guess what's that expression? Necessity is the mother of invention, right? That's how things happen, right? That's how you know you're in the sweet spot. So I went back to practicing, went back to using my law degree, much to the delight. And here I am providing, helping women with businesses protect themselves. So that very thing that happened to me, you can't imagine that it's not real since it happened to me. Right? So that very thing that happened to me won't happen to anyone else. So now I, yeah, I provide all of these women, these incredible businesses that are at certain stages of success. These structures, like we were just saying, right? To get to that next level of success, to have that solid foundation so that there are no bad apples that topple the Apple cart.
Terra (09:31): Yeah. There's so much goodness in that story. Like, I mean, it's, you have a remarkable story. You know, just what you've overcame and whatnot. I mean, that's just, I mean, it's something I can't even fathom. Right. And I mean, and we've all been, I think everyone listening, we've all been through the muck at some point, right? And it's like, what's so what I find so fascinating is when I, because in 2019 it's been a, it was a crazy year for me too. I went through a lot of things that I thought were happening to me that it made me realize, no, this didn't happen to me. This happened for me so that I can be better, stronger and more clear on what I'm doing as a business coach for my clients. So yeah, it's so I are you at that point now where you're like, okay, that didn't happen to me. It happened for me.
Layne (10:20): Oh, a hundred percent because then I get to get out there and serve in a very big way and in a bigger way than I was. I loved being a health coach, but I would have three or four clients at a time for six, eight or 12 weeks here, this is every single week I have, I help another business, another business. Another business and other business in just one week. So I'm really feel like I get to be a bigger part, a smaller part of many more people's success
Terra (10:48): For sure. And that's kind of the joy at the end of it is that ripple effect of like, Oh, if I can help people not have to go down these paths that I went down that are, I mean, and we can talk about, you know, some of the legal things that can, that happen. But you know, the one thing I did want to point out that I thought was so interesting and the more and more I hear this, the more I'm like, okay, so I'm not alone. And I'm sure our listeners can relate as well. It's like when you're really good at your job, your corporate job, and you're, you know, you worked for what the DA office and an amazing lawyer doing your thing and putting in your all your effort into it. I worked for like one of the top consulting firms, putting all my effort into everything and, and whatnot.
Terra (11:29): And then I've met tons of women entrepreneurs who just give their all in their corporate job, right. To a point of burnout, right? I mean we've all had, it all looks and feels different. Yours was from a health aspect. Mine was from a probably more of a sanity and given a lot of guilt. I was feeling so, but what I think is so interesting is all the things that made us great in our corporate world. And in your case, that's all that legal and you know, go into school and whatnot. And even for me it was like I knew how to solve all kinds of business problems cause that was my job in consulting. And then I go into my own business, like let's start our own thing, right and do our passion and whatnot. And lo and behold, it's like the wild, wild West and we all of a sudden forget everything that made us successful.
Terra (12:14): Why is that? That is so crazy to me. But I did the same thing. It was like, wait a minute until I stepped back and said, okay, I'm going to focus on, I need to be my own best client. What would I do with terrible men inc if I were, if, if she were a client of mine. Right. You know, and that's hence the first business map was born because it was mine. So same type of thing with you. It's like, okay, even if I can't go back and you know, I can't reverse the situation you had with their business partner, that strategic partner you could, it probably made you feel really good just to start drafting that. Oh my God. It was like, it was like the saving thing and I was like tap on my laptop and I was like, Oh, I can't believe this happened.
Terra (12:58): But all this goodness came out of that. Right? Totally. Absolutely. And that's how I felt with the first business map was like, why didn't I do this sooner? And then I did the same thing where I went to some of my friends, my women entrepreneur friends that I really respect and I said, Hey, I did this for myself. Like we take a look at it, what do you, what do you, and I had it binded and like and laminated and they're like, this is amazing. I want one of these, you know? So it was funny how we both can, I didn't ever realize we had that similar journey where we created then showed and then people are like, yeah, I want that. And then one of my first sales was one of my dear friends who is a fabulous coach. It was like, I want, can I buy them in bulk?
Terra (13:35): I want these for all my high end clients. I was like, yeah, okay. So it just validates what you're doing and that there's a need for it. So no greater way.
Layne (13:44): Yeah, yeah and just like a businessman, legal protections are something that everyone has.
Terra (13:49): Yup.
Layne (13:50): I'm sorry everyone needs, and almost nobody has until it's too late.
Terra (13:55): They have to go through a bad lesson and you're like, you don't have to go through that. It doesn't have to cost you time, money. And, but for me, sometimes the money, it could be devastating, right? I've, we hear horror stories, but sometimes it's the stress and the distraction of being in a legal situation that will make you buckle to your knees where then you're not serving your clients because you're so worried about, you know, something legal. So, yeah.
Layne (14:21): And you know, to be really clear, it's not just getting sued, you know, for a coach to get sued, I think is a real, I think is a really big long shot. But it's exactly what you're saying. It's that drama and that distraction, that time suck. Money suck, but bigger, that energy suck that I see when I, you know, I'm like the arson inspector, right? You know, nobody's calling me when it's sunny out and it's, you know, happy days, right? They're calling me when the essay has hit the fan. Right? So I get to see all of these things, all these ways, different ways that women's businesses can fall apart.
Layne (14:54): And it really, it's like 99% of it never gets any conversation about a lawsuit. It never gets into a courtroom. It's about that day to day drama that this one client can just ruin your mojo for continuing to serve your other client. Right? Right. You to this point that you're like, I just want to give up. I have had multiple coach clients who have closed their businesses after a huge dramatic event because they didn't have protections in the first place. Right. They're coming to me and saying, what can I do? Right? I'm saying, you know, well, send me your client agreement. Right? Let me take a look at what you've got. And they say, I don't have one. Right. That's the answer I always get is I don't want to have one. So it's very hard to recover from somebody who really wants to take your business down.
Layne (15:39): It's hard to recover from that when you don't have any protections in place.
Terra (15:43): Absolutely. And so from a client agreement standpoint, it's just that like for years I did like just, and that's what I call it, a client agreement. Now I'm at a point where it's a straight up contract. Actually I hired Layne and she like customized my whole Concorde mastermind contract. And that's like hilarious story in itself. A little bit of a beast, wasn't it? You were calling, you were calling your contract a non-contract. I think that the name, the name of the town was too scary. Yeah, the non-contract contract. I was like, Oh no, no, no, because I think, yeah, we want to kind of not do something super. I don't, we gotta be grown up about it. Right now we're running a grownup business, but I think there is an idea that these legal protections are going to be harsh.
Layne (16:32): They're going to be aggressive or abrasive and you know, you know, everything is written so gently with so much care for both sides. I was the mediator for many years. And my job is to make both sides feel comfortable, especially with a client agreement. Right. I know your client is going to read that agreement. Right? Or when we did the one I did your Concorde mastermind agreements for you. Our Concorde fellow, Concorder's are going to read that. And if there's something in there that's totally one sided or really just self interested for you, they're going to feel that and that's going to start that relationship off in the exact opposite of the way we want, right? We want to start that relationship coaching relationship or mastermind relationship. We want to start that off with trust and confidence from them that you are the right person to help them build their business.
Layne (17:23): So if you come, I know if you come out of the gate guns blazing with this contract, that's like all you know, like just has no, I will Sue you. I will Sue you. Yeah. I'm going to take you down if you, if you don't deal. Yeah. And that's just going to start that relationship. I like a mess and I know that. So, and you know that Concorde mastermind that you have? No, it's a huge agreement, but page by page, by page, it's gentle and it's fair. It's clear. It's clear. And yeah, the big point being it's an a client agreement. So, and when I, when I hear that it's, here's what I expect of you as a, as a Concorde participant or you know, in some cases I even have people sign it and the business map method program too because it's like, here's what I expect of you.
Layne (18:09): Here's what you can expect of me. So let's just get these expectations of each other right out of the gate so then nobody can come back and be like, well, I thought I could talk to you every day as a private coach and have a session for an hour a day. It's like, no, it's very spelled out. So then there's no room for interpretation which causes drama, which you know, ripples down. Exactly. It's those failed expectations. I have to say that like 95% of the time when a coach comes to coach or an entrepreneur comes to me with a challenge, with a problem with a client, it is because of failed expectations. Right? So when we set up those expectations at the beginning before money changes hands, right? We're both on the same page and we just like, we have to have boundaries in our own personal lives, you know?
Layne (18:57): I mean that's like a big piece of if you don't have boundaries with all the people who you have in your life in relationship, you are going to have them expecting things of you that you never promised. Right? And people are going to not maybe on purpose but step over those boundaries if they're not there. Right? Because you haven't articulated them right. Having solid legal agreements with your clients and with everyone you work with is actually you being the leader in your business. It's you taking that first step. You know Terra, you always say put a line in the sand, put a stake in the ground so they can make ground baby. If you are putting a stake in the ground saying, this is how I run my business. These are my policies and my practices so that they're clear what's expected of them and what you are going to bring to the table because it's those failed expectations.
Layne (19:48): Those miscommunications on either side or just,
Terra (19:52): For a lack of not even having the conversation, like let me just sweep it under the rug. Like I look at my no contract contract and when I first started coaching it was the whole premise of like, Oh there's no contract because contracts are scary and you know, and then it was like, okay. And then it was the more I got into then I started the no contract contract and then it was just kinda like, okay, like it took a couple of times. Like honestly, I mean for me, we all get to our point in the journey, learn from me, just do it upfront. I knew I had to, I wanted to do one cause I was growing up in my business and I to model that for the other women that were in my program too. Right. So you know, having a no contract contract isn't being like, to me the best business coach because I want to model like how you have a real business, right? So and how you pay yourself a salary and you know, all these things. That's important for me to model so that you know, other women will do
Terra (20:47): It too, you know? And so I did so, Oh, so I was going to say like, we all have our point in the journey where it's like, Oh, okay, it's time to just, I need to grow up. Right. Like we kind of have our, I had a practice business when I first started, which I've talked about before, which was doing websites and whatnot. And then I had, you know, then I did my one on one coaching with like, Oh, we're not going to do a contract or you know, like month to month, like, Oh, the live like very whatever because I didn't want to, you know. Yeah. It just felt very scary and I didn't want that to be a block for any woman to want to work with me. That's where my post, my prices were lower too. It was like, we're learning, right. We all go through that.
Layne (21:27): You know what, you know, it's scary. Yeah. What I hear, I hear that and I know that there's a perception that legal agreements and contracts are going to be scared of you. It's scary getting a phone call from someone who's saying, I'm not happy with your services and I want all my money back. And you saying, well well, well that's scary.
Terra (21:45): Yeah. Yeah. And you know, and I was just had a, you know, what, if anybody wants a refund, like I would rather get, I don't do this for the money. I'd rather give back money or just in the agreement and move on. Right. Cause you know, but then that also is so loosey goosey that you're not giving anyone any accountability to like complete the program. So anyway, so that was kind of some thoughts that went into place. Even for me back when I first started coaching and then what I needed was once you're running a mastermind, there is an increase of liability, right? We're traveling, you know, people can choose to go out after we're done and go dancing spring and ankle like there was. And that was the stuff that I was starting to be like, okay. And by then I think I've hosted 142 live events at this point.
Terra (22:30): And I was just kind of like, that was my biggest thing was that Okay, Layne. Like I can use one of your templates, but I think mine is kind of like, cause I've got a coaching program embedded into the mastermind. And so we had to, we created what I now call the beast, but I'll tell you like I was nervous to have, I think it's maybe 18 pages, but the way it's written is so like you said, gentle and it's so it's not Terra cited. It's very much for your protection because who wants to join a mastermind if they think there's not going to be confidentiality? I mean like that is something that is so important, right? To get right off right out of the gate. And
Layne (23:06): You know, that confidentiality piece is so important. I get a lot of people who think, you know, when it's a group like ours, right. And there's a confidentiality piece. I get a lot of people when I'm talking about it, who think the big benefit of that confidentiality is that each member of the group is like, Oh, well I signed a confidentiality so I'm not going to spill the beans. And that's not the big, there's so many things I get so geeked out. There's so many things in legal protections and in the law that have these incredible side benefits. So this is a great example of one. So here we are with this group agreement and each woman is signing a confidentiality agreement. Not only does she know that she signed it, but the bigger of it, the side benefit is that she knows that every other member of the mastermind or of the group has also signed it.
Layne (23:52): So she shows up on that first day knowing that it's a safe space, knowing that she can reveal what's really inside for her and not hold back because she knows that everyone signed it. Right? Absolutely. So yeah, and there is something really special that makes the space very sacred when you show up. Right. Whether it's on one of our virtual calls or in an in person retreat and whatnot. So, so yeah. So very, very cool. Okay. Let's switch gears. Let's talk about, you know, I know you specialize in doing contracts for coaches specifically like health of people in the health space because that was initially where your passion started. And then any other coaching industries and then just entrepreneurs in general, right? So when somebody, at what point in their business should they put these legal agreements in place? In my opinion, it should be the first thing that anybody does before they get started.
Layne (24:45): So before they start sharing their website, I think there's a big, I do a lot of mentoring of new coaches through my health coaching school. ITN and there's this big tendency, Oh, the first thing I want is a logo, right? They want to get the logo and they want to get the colors and they want to get, you know, the branding. And I totally understand that. But what happens is people spend all of this energy creating this unique content that belongs to them. And then they put it out there into cyberspace, into the world of where we all, you know, the online world and they don't have any protections for it. Right. And then they say, another thing I hear often is no protections on your content is, that's how all this stuff got swiped in 2019 we had a lot of swiping in 2019 whole programs.
Layne (25:29): I have three different clients became clients afterwards. They came to me, whole programs totally stolen. One of them from a former client who didn't even change the branding. She just changed the initials on one. It was like one of those logos with the initials and the sort of wheat around it. She didn't even change the colors. She just changed the two initials. Wow. So yes, swiping also get, a lot of people come to me and say, well, I want to get like 10 or 15 clients first so I have money in the bank so that I can then protect myself. Right. What about those 10 or 15 first clients, especially when you're a new coach or a new entrepreneur and you don't know maybe what the right thing always to say is you don't have that experience behind you of years of coaching or years of working with clients to know and have made some mistakes.
Layne (26:18): So don't make those mistakes while you're unprotected. The time to get protected. I like to say before money changes hands with that first client or before you hit launch on that website, get those protections in place so that you're not out there in the marketplace without being protected. Because that's scary. Totally agree. I totally agree. I didn't get the best business advice when I was starting my company with my original coach and whatnot. And you know, and it's one of those things that for me and my own personal journey, it led me to meeting you, you know, when you joined the Concorde. And then what happens when women join the Concorde is I realize how freaking amazing they are. So I tend to always hire them and promote them and whatnot. So that's just kind of what we do. In our little inner circle. But yeah.
Layne (27:01): For the people and then hang on one second and then if you don't, if you have been out there coaching and you haven't gotten your legal protection, so I get a lot of, about 50% of my clients are what I like to call mid-level coaches. That's coaches who have been out there for two, three, even four years without ever having stopped to take the time to put these things in place. And some of them are really stuck at this sort of plateau in their growth, right? They're stuck at a certain dollar amount, right. Coaching for dollars, they can't get over that amount. They can't seem to get more clients and they just feel stuck. I say put in the legal agreements, put out that welcome mat to a bigger business, right? Because everything's energy, right? And we're all getting Terra to come over a little bit to the wound side.
Layne (27:46): Yes, I'm trying, I'm trying. We're bringing her, bringing her over. But it's all energy, right? So when you have a business and it's all hodgepodge inside your computer and you don't really know when a new client comes in for onboarding, what am I going to send them? And I kind of have contract shame or onboarding shame and I got this from my web designer and this from my school I graduated from and it's all big a hodgepodge. Clients can feel that, but in the opposite, when you get all of those legal, I like to call them legal ducklings in a row and everything is all set up and you have this streamlined process. When you bring in that next client, she's going to feel that you have that welcome mat out to a bigger business. You're setting yourself up for growth. Those clients, those mid-levels get a huge immediate boost and a burst in their business when they take care of that sort of housekeeping stuff that they were ignoring in the basement.
Terra (28:41): Right. And in reality, it's one of those things that you know, there's, you're never going to feel like it's the right time because when your business, especially in the mid level industries, it's like there's never enough time. Like time is your biggest like thing I'd never, I need more time, I need more time. I'm like, need to clone me, I need to do this. And in reality it's like, just like planning an Oak tree, the best time to do it was 30 years ago. Right? But the second best time is now. And if it's the same thing when women that I work with to do their business strategy and create their map, you know, when's the best time to do that? Well probably when you started, but that's okay. You've been going and again, it's that, I call it Frankenstein business, right? You have a Frankenstein business model that's like confusing and that's what's causing all that un-clarity, which is then causing you to spend tons of time and money to try to fix it. And it just work.
Terra (29:31): So when you stop and you and I love getting your little legal ducklings in line, like thinking of it like that instead of Frankensteining your legal, you know, where like you said I got this contract that was kind of came from the coaching program I took and then this and then you know I Googled this and you honestly like there's something that comes with a ton of confidence as a coach or business owner in general, when you have, you know, your step one, your deck number two, your deck number three and it's all been aligned for you. Cause if you don't understand your legal stuff, no one else is going to. And just having a contract isn't like you have to understand what it means. Right.
Layne (30:10): One of my favorite things to do is when I, when I meet with a nuclear, with each new prospective client, I have them send me over what they're using. One of my favorite things to do is to grab just one paragraph. I'm not trying to shame anybody, but I'll just grab one paragraph and I'll email it to her and I'll say, do you know what this means? Because I read it three times and yeah, at the end I kind of have a sense of what you're trying to say with that, but that is not clear to me. Right. It's not clear to me. And she'll always say, I'm so, Oh my God, I can't believe I even have that in my contract. Because if a client reads that it prospective client for a coach or an entrepreneur reads that, they're going to say, well, I can smell that this is not, this is not lined up and this is not like a healthy business.
Terra (30:51): Right, right. Well it's like you could say, you know, and if it's something like a friend of a friend of a friend gave you this contract or whatever, it could literally say something like you know, in an effort to, you know, no refunds are available for services. Right. And then the way that it would be worded under it would be like, unless it's, you know, sunny and the day ends and Y you know, and it's like just counter addicted itself. So there's so much room for interpretation here. You thought you were being awesome, but you don't understand it. And I think that's what I love about when I work with you. It's like, and when other women have worked with you, it's like not only do you, you know, you have the template and then you can customize it, but you give like the training behind it and it takes the time to explain what this means and how this protects you and you just kind of feel like a total CEO afterwards. It's like, Oh yeah, like that's it.
Terra (32:36): Absolutely. Absolutely. So, you know, transitioning into some of the foundational legal protections that women need to have in place and men too, but we focus on this podcast on women entrepreneurs. But what are some of those legal protections that you would say, you know, before you run off and invest in branding or you know, a marketing strategy or, I mean, obviously you'll want to get your LLC or your anchor, your incorporation and how you're gonna be structured cause that's going to be in your legal template or your legal documents. But like, you know, thinking about building a business in a smart strategic way versus throwing $10,000 and to get the logo and the branding and the colors, which is super fun and sexy. Like I'll admit that. Like I get caught up in that and I've, I've spent tons of money on branding you know, and it's like, that's fun, but this is a necessity. So tell us about those legal PR, those foundational legal protections that you believe every woman entrepreneur needs to have.
Layne (33:34): Yeah, so let me thread the needle in a two part answer. Okay. So the first thing is I teach women what I call the legal umbrella method. And I use the letters from umbrella as a framework to help women understand what they ha in layman's terms, what they have to protect. So you unique content, right? So that's everything that you put out there, your techniques, your strategies, your worksheets, your words, your videos, this podcast, everything that the business creates, that's unique content that belongs to that business that is valuable, that is gold people that has to be protected. So U unique content, M, money speaks for itself, right? We've got to have a refund policy. We've got to have a chargeback policy. We've got to have very clearly, how are we accepting the money? What's the terms of a payment plan? If we have one B umbrella B brand, that's all that sexy, fun stuff, right?
Layne (34:30): Somebody swiping somebody logo, right? We want to have our pieces trademarked, copyrighted, protected words that say these belong to us. Putting everyone else on. Notice that these are ours. UMBR, relationships, this is a huge one. This is everyone that you serve and everyone who serves you, every single person that you work with, you've got to have clear boundaries and clear expectations if you want it to go successfully. Relationships is an enormous one. E last big one. E is your e-presence. So that is your website, your Facebook presence, your social media, any groups that you're running, your YouTube channel, your podcast on, iTunes, your entire E presence, your whole online empire. I like to call it. And then umbrella L L A for your love, my life attitude. L L a because I will tell you what, when the crap hits the fan, we like to call it a legal thunder storm comes into your day.
Layne (35:31): You are not going to be sitting down at your desk tomorrow morning with a smile on your face. You're going to be, I hate my business. I want to stay in bed. I want to pull the covers over my head and eat what? Popcorn, blueberry bon bons, whatever I can just to get away from my business. So a big thing about putting these legal protections in place is to protect that sanity. Right, that love my life, attitude that your sanity will be shot if you have drama. And one thing, I know for sure, 25 years practicing into every business, a little drama will flow. That does it. I get people say, Oh my clients are so aligned with me and everything's really yummy and we're all on the same wavelength. Yeah, no, no, that's not reality, right? It's just the way of the world that at some point there's going to be a breakdown with someone at some point.
Terra (39:04): Yes. And I always say all the time too, I'm not an attorney, so I, you know, people come to me and they're like, well should I, what should I do? Set up an LLC and INC? I was like, you have to go to an attorney for that. Like, yeah, that is not my space. I know my lane, I'm all about the plans and helping fast track that and helping make you money. But there are certain things I don't want to go into. And like you said, if I didn't have that straightaway, like, and that really, those expectations clearly defined, then you never know cause well what happened?
Layne (39:32): Yeah. Well the challenge is that the, the downfall when you don't have that is that the law holds certain licensed professionals to a higher standard. Right. So we can think about this in the medical industry, the law holds a doctor, nurse, naturopath, licensed medical professional to a higher standard. So when do a different standard, let's say to a different standard. So when a health coach for example is working with a client, of course she's going to give and you're as a business coach going to give the highest care that you can. This is not about what you're actually going to do. This is about if there's some kind of a breakdown and things do get into a legal action or a legal argument, what is the law? What is the court going to say? Was your responsibility? What level are they going to hold you to? So my thing is all about having them hold you to the lowest standard possible to keep you out of hot water. Does that?
Terra (40:27): Yeah, that's how protective is that. That's awesome. That's good. And then is there one more?
Layne (40:33): Third thing on your website is a website terms and conditions. This is a super boring document, but it is like the rules of the game for monopoly. It tells everyone what's going to happen. If there is a dispute, what's going to happen. If, if there is some kind of a problem on your website or with your website, this is the place that's going to set up how everything is going to go. This is super dry, I totally get it, but it's the rules and you have to have a website terms and conditions on your website. If there was ever a copyright issue and someone is swiping your content, this is what they're going to look to. This is what the court is going to look to to see. Did you put them on notice all your website visitors, did you put them on notice that the content was yours? So this website terms and conditions, I like to think of it like a big blanket that makes doing business out there in the online space where we don't know coming through our business makes it so much safer.
Terra (41:27): I love that. That is so great. And then of course you know from those are like the must haves like on the website, on the, on the online side. Absolutely. And then you have things like if you want to be a professional speaker, you might have a speaker agreement. We've seen where if you want to do affiliate partnerships, there needs to be an affiliate agreement. Client contracts don't even get me started on, you know, retreats, liability waivers, photography releases. And I'm just saying this because these are all the things that I do. Right? You know, if you can record people at live events, which would be like the photography video release and
Layne (42:01): Testimonial release. I see people putting people printing testimonials in a printed brochure without getting permission
Terra (42:08): Or just swiping a screenshot from Facebook. Well, you know, did you get permission on that? Right, right. Yeah. And then then once you get into building team, which that has been a big focus for me for 2019 and will continue to be for 2020 it's like got to have like your nonconfident, your, you know, confidentiality, blah, blah, blah. Non-Disclosure. So I mean it's just, it's nice to have, you know, a resource like lane in your back pocket for when you start putting these strategies in place. But at the very minimum, you know, like she said, those three need to happen on the website side just to, plus
Layne (42:44): Anybody who you work with at that very top level is client agreements. Whether that's one on one or group agreements, you have to have a contract signed with anybody that money is going to be changing hands with.
Terra (42:55): Absolutely. I love it. Yes. And learn from me who I didn't learn that when I first started and learn from me cause I didn't learn it right. And it's just saved so much time and energy and stress and and feel like a grownup business, which is what we all are. Right? It's just a matter of putting those foundations in place. So fabulous. Well thank you so, so much. This has been amazing. Let everyone know how, how can they get in touch with you?
Layne (43:19): So one of my favorite things as I said earlier, is to go into your business and see what you're actually doing. So book a call with me. It's a super easy link. It's bookwithlayne.com. Go ahead and book a free call with me. I will do a little dive into your business, see what you're using, audit it. If you don't have anything, that's great too. Then we'll start from scratch and then we'll talk about what protections you do need and which things that Terra and I have talked about you're doing in your business. So bookwithlayne.com.
Terra (43:46): I love it. And it's Layne. Yeah. L A. Y. N. E. So yeah, so not L, A. N. E, L. A. Y. N. E. We'll have all this on the show notes as well. But yeah, I mean she does complimentary discovery calls. Like why would you not like you have somebody who's like, I will take a look at your stuff and I will help protect you and here's your options. Right.
Layne (44:07): Never having somebody spend any money that they don't need. That's a big pet peeve of mine. So I will make sure that you don't spend any money that you don't need to, but if you need it, let's get it on.
Terra (44:17): Yeah, get it on. I love it. I love it. Well, thank you again. This is fantastic. And I look forward to, you know having you back on the show. I think we'll have some other things later on that comes up that weekend we can go, you know, we can, this whole podcast could be dedicated to it, so we'll definitely have you back. All right. Thank you. Okay. Take care. Bye.
Layne (44:38): Ok. Bye. Thanks!
Outro (44:40): There you have it. Another episode packed full of strategies and motivation that you can use every day to put your business on the fast track. For a podcast recap and more resources, visit TerraBohlmann.com. Don't forget, subscribe to the podcast and get what you need to help fast track your five year business plan.
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