Originally I wrote and scheduled a different post about why law matters to your business. Those why’s are all still true, and you can read it here.
But then something happened—my boyfriend got his trademark registered—and I woke up this morning knowing that this—what creative entrepreneurs experience—is the real reason business law matters at all.
Law changes the way you show up in your business. And in the world. It’s quite a personal thing.
That is what I watch entrepreneurs experience. I see businesses grow through the process of putting the legal pieces in place, but even more so, I see creative business people grow. Their confidence, what they bring to their business, how they think about their business, and even the mission of the business, all of that grows.
Because, suddenly, the business is real. The law has a way of making things very real. It solidifies things, and that’s very powerful.
Carson had decided last month that the timing of the market for his original idea had passed. But, he still has a really strong value proposition for the Pizza Delivery® game and TV show—they will drive his target market’s sales in a new, cool and profitable way—and now, he has a trademark on the name. The trademark Pizza Delivery® is in itself valuable to his market of food and beverage providers.
He told me that he felt powerful, that the trademark had changed everything. This is not the first time Carson has told me that intellectual property (here, trademarks and copyrights) had changed everything. For Giant and for him.
He’s not alone. Clients post on Facebook (ripe with exclamation points) that their newly registered trademarks made them feel Official(!).
In fact, Julie Stuart of Making Ideas Visible® shared her experience of getting her trademark during a talk I gave.
This is how she felt about it: “I love the name of my business. I think it describes exactly what I do. Doing the trademark made me feel like I was setting my little stake in the ground. This is my turf, this is my color, this is my logo, this is my territory. It made me feel like I was putting this little barrier of protection around my business.”
Feeling powerful, professional and secure happens even more often around client contracts.
Before Jess Larsen and I worked on her client contract, all of Jess’s clients were on trade. Through writing her contract, we talked about her entire business. We talked about her vision and her process. We talked about making her clients feel safe and connected while staying clear about her boundaries. We looked at the entire client relationship—from the time she met somebody through servicing them to what would happen when the relationship ended. Jess did a lot of work. There were some things that she didn’t even really know the answer to when we first met, so she went back and she did some more work.
Then I got this message from her: “You know, I’ve been thinking about this and I realize that it’s been making me really clear, not on my contract—you’re writing a contract so you can get clear on the contract—it’s making me really clear on my business. It’s making me really clear on what I don’t want to do and what I do want to do and what I really have to offer people and what I’m saying, oh I’ll just do this because I have to.” We put all of that into her contract. She told me that the contract made her feel proud and professional.
And she got results. Literally a week after we finished the contract, the first prospect she presented it to ended up being her first paying client and was an emerging national figure as a writer. Can I attribute this step up in Jess’s business to the contract? Maybe. Can I attribute it to the process she was willing to put the work and time and effort into to in order to get that contract? Absolutely.
The questions that law makes you ask about your business changes the way you show up in your business and in the world. Powerful stuff.
In the comments below, share with me your biggest insight about how law can change the way you show up in your business. I’d love to hear it!
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If this helped you, share it—it’s sure to also help your friends and clients.
Looking to change your business to better suit your life? Rebecca Prien also provides business coaching and business model design services through Ompreneur | The Yoga of Entrepreneurship.