rebecca_icon_blue_200I see (and hear) creative entrepreneurs make this mistake over and over again when it comes to the legal aspects of their businesses.

They believe that they have to come up with the questions to ask before they talk to an attorney.

I hear it again and again:  We don’t know what questions we want to ask you (so, we’ll wait until we do . . . we’ll talk to you when we’ve figured that out . . . we need to reschedule our meeting, etc., etc.)

This makes little sense to me.

To me, the entrepreneur taking responsibility for asking the legal questions turns the entire relationship and reason for an attorney on its head.  It puts the responsibility for asking the questions on the person without the expertise to know which ones to ask.

Creative entrepreneurs are not fully equipped to know which questions to ask.  They are experts at whatever is their thing, not law.  And somehow, they feel silly about this.  Self conscious.  Like they are supposed to know which legal questions to ask (and to have already asked them).  Nonsense.

Here’s my take on it:  If you knew which legal questions to ask, you’d be an attorney.  Don’t worry about it.  And certainly don’t feel silly, self-conscious or stupid about it.

When you tell an attorney about your business, little lights and bells go off, as we tick off potential issues.  Law school trains us to do that—issue spot.  It’s what we do.

So, we should be doing the asking—or provide you the questions to start asking yourself.  It’s our responsibility not yours.

And I propose it’s the most value I as an attorney have to you as an entrepreneur—to see issues you don’t see and to ask questions you don’t ask.

As one of my clients put it, “Rebecca, you always ask the questions I don’t think to ask.”  Yes!  Good.  If I can’t listen to a story about your business and do that, then I’m no value to you as an advisor.  None at all, and I might as well just hang it up now.

But I can, I do and I will ask those questions—because it matters to your business and that matters to me.

To see the questions I’d start by asking about your business, you can download my free Legal Mind Map. (I think you’ll be as excited as I am!)

Identify what you need to know about law for your business with my Free Mind Map.

In the comments, tell me your biggest aha! about looking at the legal needs of your business. And if this post helped you, go ahead and like it or tweet it and help another creative entrepreneur.

flower_icon_04Looking 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.