Sleepless nights. Anxiety. Stress. As a solopreneur or business owner it's ALL ON US. We are our business. And there is a direct correlation between feeling legally safe and secure in your business AND your health, happiness and sanity. Legal expert and business mentor Elena Favaro Viana shares her passion for helping entrepreneurs like you get your legal stuff handled so that your business can thrive (and so that you can get a good night's sleep).
In this episode you will learn:
Our amazing guest (and serious legal badass): Elena Favaro Viana is a Lawyer and Business Mentor. She started her career in International Criminal Law working with the United Nations in Cambodia and at the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands defending individuals accused of crimes against humanity and genocide. After several years abroad, Elena found her passion in the online space! She opened her own virtual practice focusing on business law for Online Entrepreneurs, Small Businesses and Coaches with a mission to make the not so sexy "legal stuff" easy and approachable. She also offers Business Mentorship for a more holistic approach combining business & legal.
Elena: "So first and foremost, your business is literally held together by its legal structure. It is born in its legal structure is is held together by its legal structure without API's, you have a hobby and expensive hobby. That's it so you need to have the legal stuff together. So the day that you register a domain the day that you wake up and you say you know what, I am starting a business and I'm gonna change your Instagram handle that's the day that you should also be registering your business and that doesn't have to be so scary. There's there's multiple different forms of registrations, but you know, there's a really simple one where you just say hey, government, I'm starting a business and and then there you go. And so you just have to tell somebody, you're doing this and that's really the first step in order to take your business seriously. And the flip side of that The reason you know I see people who are like, Oh, I'm afraid of the legal stuff, I'm afraid of doing it, it's too expensive. I'm not sure if this is going to take off. And you know, and I look at them, and they say, you're already setting yourself up for failure, you didn't start this business to see if it's going to take off or not, you started this business because you're ready to change your life. So you really need to pull up your pants, and put both feet in and just this is happening and go down that road and be like, there is no way out. Because these are babies, your business is your baby. So you need to take care of it, you don't just, you know, throw a baby in the water and hope it can swim. No, you put the floaties I've heard that does not work, it does not work, right. And that's the same, you have to put the protection on, you have to put the floaties on the baby. And that is exactly what you need legal for to put the floaties on your own business to take care of it."
Elena: "And it is scary. The thing is, everybody thinks this is not going to happen to me. Everybody sits down and says well, all my clients so far amazing, this will never happen to me. And that is just not the way to think about it. So if you if you want to set yourself up for success and avoid all of the stress, right, like, that's where you're listening to this podcast is to avoid stress and to understand how to set yourself up in preventative measures. You need to take care of the legal from the beginning."
Elena: "Because even though things are going great today, you don't know what it's going to look like in the future. And you don't know what kind of protections or lack of protections will bite you in the butt later on. And so, you know, you want to grow safely, and you want to scale successfully, and you want to do that, you know, you want to take yourself in bed at night and be like I'm so protective, nothing can go wrong with you just you want that like sense of like peacefulness as you go to sleep and, and many clients come to me and they're just like, I just like I'm awake at night because I'm scared that I don't even know if I can do that. I don't even know if my clients can do that. Is this even legal? Like I have all these ideas, and I just want to check with a lawyer if I'm allowed to do that. And that keeps up so many people I may like we're just like, and women, gosh, well, it's our to do lists, our brain is like never ending. And so by getting your legal ducks together is just one really good way of just creating a lot of sanity in yourself and your business."
Elena: "Both feet in you didn't start this to just see if it happens. No, you started this to change your life. So just take it seriously and give it the respect that it deserves. Otherwise, you only really have you know not to be rude or anything you only have yourself to blame right. So go all in and the truth is failure and success. They're the same side of each claim. There isn't just you fall on one side to failure, you fall the other side to success. No, you move through failure to success. But the point is is that you keep moving and so you need to start from the very beginning. Understand that eventually this will succeed. This absolutely has success written all over it. But you're gonna fill up fail a million times, and the most successful entrepreneurs on our planet have told us, they failed a million times, they made a million mistakes, they went bankrupt. And then they made a million dollars the next day, like, these are the stories you hear. And to think that that's not going to happen to you. I mean, guys, it happens to everybody. And so jump all in, do it and give it the respect that it deserves and get your legal stuff in order."
Elena: "your contracts are invaluable as an online service provider specifically. So if you are providing a service between you and one other person, or you too many, or you in a group coaching experience, you are providing a service, you need a client agreement or service agreement, and there's there's multiple different ones, but you need this. And what this is, it's, it's a piece of paper, really, on the face of it, that is going to outline everything that you will be giving as a part of this transaction, everything they can expect as part of this transaction, and everything that they should not be expecting as well, which is really, really important. And, and the not P is that's you know, why lawyers are trained to find the notch pieces and lawyers have every horror story under the book, that's our job is to know the horror stories to be like, Okay, are you doing this are you not, and let's make sure it's really clear. So you're managing expectations. And the contract is all about building out your dream relationship. And I know, when you're starting a business, when you have an online business, we have these beautiful, magical, almost a unicorn like ideas of how it's going to be. So get that on paper, right? Get that all on paper, get that in a contract, and write it out and have the other person sign it. And this is going to limit your liability, manage risks and expectations. As well as all of your internal policies of your business, write them all down. And when you both sign this contract, it becomes law between you and that person. Right? It is a legally binding document."
Elena: "ou're not alone, in the, in the feeling that you felt like you were sleeping better afterwards. So there is a, it's so beautiful to witness because when I started to make firm, I didn't necessarily even expect this level of transformation with every client. But when they came to me, they were like, I don't know anything about this stress, like, I know, I need to do it freaks me out, you know, this, like level of anxiety just weighing on them, of like, Oh, you know, even these, like fears, too expensive. Who said that? Right? Who do you even know the price, like Who told you these things? So you're building up all these stories of anxiety, and then what ends up happening, and I've seen this time and time again, clients afterward, they either left their appointment with me, and they've secured a client immediately, like two or three days later, because the level of clarity they received in their own business, understanding the nitty gritties, that they're they just empowerments like this level of like, competence has washed over them where they're like, he Yeah, or this other level of empowerment, where they're like, I'm so serious, I do take care of, of my, you know, legal stuff. And so they step into this, it's really this new wave of confidence, and they're able to close better deals, and they're able to show up more effectively in their business and, and just it's like level of anxiety. It's just God. And then I've had other clients who have come to me who said, Listen, like, this was freaking me out, I wasn't doing it. And my business just kept growing and growing and growing. She's, she's like, I'm not growing with it, I feel stunted. And so after it, she's like, Oh, she's like, I've caught up with it, I finally grow with it. And so it's this massive relief off of your shoulders. And, and then like I said, before, if you ever get into any weird, sticky situation, you know exactly what your contract says you're not operating blind anymore, right? You know, you if you've worked with a good lawyer with myself, there's always a call where we go through clause BY clause, everything in there. So you know exactly what it says and what it means. So if anything kind of comes up, you already know how to navigate it, like a true CEO."
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