Copyrights, Contracts, and Creators: Legal Advice for Online Businesses with Brittany Ratelle

by | Feb 13, 2024

Episode description
Brittany Ratelle, a legal guru who helps online entrepreneurs stay on the right side of the law, reveals the secrets of securing your intellectual property, setting up your legal foundations, and using legal tools to grow and protect your online business. You’ll hear how Brittany went from a “naptime lawyer” to a powerhouse for digital entrepreneurs, and why being legally legit is crucial in the digital age. Her actionable tips and engaging stories will give you the confidence and clarity to build and protect your online empire, and show you how legal preparedness can boost your business growth.
Timestamps

00:00:00 - Warm Welcome: Introducing Legal Maven Brittany Ratelle
00:04:08 - Legal Guardianship: Your Business Ally
00:09:51 - Brittany's Voyage: From "Naptime Lawyer" to Entrepreneurial Advocate
00:14:07 - The Digital Legal Landscape: Adapting and Thriving
00:19:36 - Mastering the Work-Life Symphony
00:24:06 - Building Blocks: The Foundation of Being Legally Legit
00:25:49 - Contract Clarity: Securing Agreements the Right Way
00:30:59 - Risk Wrangling: Navigating Business Pitfalls
00:35:07 - Legal Legitimacy: A Recap of Essential Steps
00:38:30 - Legal Lifelines: Where to Find Further Guidance
00:41:14 - Wrapping Up: Secure Your Online Empire
00:44:18 - Farewell Thoughts: Embracing Legal Empowerment

Episode transcript

Brittany: I really, I would encourage you to take that down or find a substitution because that stuff can quickly turn into, I call it zombie content. It means you forget about it. It goes to bed, it becomes dead, but it can rise. It can rise from the dead and come and bite you. Especially if people like you would appreciate this being a blogger for a while.

Brittany: There's people who've been writing and blogging for a long time and they have lots of backlinks and lots of content on their blogs. And some of that were photos. Some of that was from the era when we used to do roundup posts and whatnot. And those photos, even if you're giving someone credit. Or linking or putting the link on there if you have those photos and been on your website, that's problematic and you can get cited with copyright infringement and get shaken down.

Brittany: There's whole law firms that this all they do now is search the internet. They're bots too looking for this stuff on your website. So make sure you have that all, all buttoned down.

Dustin: All right. Welcome back to another episode of seven figure leap. I'm really excited today. We have a [00:01:00] really unique expert to highlight and someone who really helps people like us who are in the scaling phase of entrepreneurship. And who are kind of building the plane as they're flying the plane as they're building it or whatever the right analogy is there.

Dustin: And so **Brittany Battelle** is going to be our special guest and I'm going to let her introduce herself here in a moment, but I like to reflect a little bit on how do I know these people? Cause I feel like I have access to like the coolest people in the world and it may come as no surprise since rich relationships is one of the key things that we talk about with making the seven figure leap that I know **Brittany** through a mutual friend.

Dustin: So **Michelle Gifford** is An accelerator graduate of my main program. She's in my mastermind. I had a hand in helping **Michelle** find a speaking opportunity at Traffic and Conversion Summit in Las Vegas a few weeks back. I was there speaking as well. And so **Brittany** was in the crowd cheering me on. She took some great photos and videos and was very gracious.

Dustin: And we got to hang out for quite a bit after that. And then we both got to see **Michelle** take the stage just a few hours later. uh, and I got to know
[00:02:00] **Michelle** through someone named **Brooke** who We were just discussing before we started recording. **Brittany** knows from another mastermind connection. So it's a small circle that we all run in when you get down to it.

Dustin: So **Brittany**, I'm super grateful to know you, first of all, and that you accepted my invitation to come here and share about not only your own entrepreneurial journey, but how you help entrepreneurs in your, in your legal services. So would you like to just let us know a little bit about who you are and the main things you do at this point in your career?

Brittany: For sure. Thanks, **Dustin**. Yeah. And I would, just reiterate, it's always warm and I love how small the world can seem when you start playing that Rolodex game of who do you know? But it just reemphasizes the need for, in this age of like AI, when people can, are getting skittish, right?

Brittany: A little bit about like content production and am I on all the platforms and speaking and saying things in all the places I need to that. In the end of the day, we do business with people we want to know and like relationships matter, right? So, totally agree with that and why that's promise is such an important part of your teaching but yeah My name is **Brittany Ratel** and I am an attorney for small business [00:03:00] owners and My huge goal is to help people get legally legit and protected so that they can grow their businesses as big as their dreams so I tend to help a lot of people in the online business space.

Brittany: That's my Ideal client I love to work with. And so there are people who maybe be service based businesses. They may be thought leaders and coaches and authors and have personal brands or even have come to it from the media side have been an influencer or creator and are now launching more of a personal brand and their own products and courses and services and memberships.

Brittany: On top of other things. So, yeah, I've been in the space for almost a decade now. I love it. I get to work virtually and it's been a really cool place because it's so dynamic, right? Things are changing so quickly that It means that I get an opportunity to keep learning and growing and educating myself so that I can be really Of good use to my clients as an advisor as they try to grow and achieve the next step in their business dream

Dustin: that's amazing. So you're unlike a lot of our guests who are maybe coaches or consultants, would you say your [00:04:00] title would be like legal advisor where someone engages you and says, look, like. I have all this intellectual property. It's unprotected or Hey, I'm, I've got this new program I'm launching and it's maybe unprotected or uncopyrighted or, or whatever. I don't even know the right terms because I'm, I'm fairly ignorant, which is why I'm talking to you and why I wanted to share you and your wisdom with, with the audience. But is that really like advising?

Brittany: Yeah. Yeah. I do it's a hybrid both because I'm for sure, some people see me as their lawyer and more traditional like, hey, this is my lawyer and everything from startup to drafting contracts, reviewing and redlining, negotiating things to helping with disputes and conflicts and even exits.

Brittany: But then I also have kind of some hybrid roles where I'm doing a little bit more of legal strategy and that also works a bit with, the nature, which I think is unfortunate in terms of state restrictions on my ability to practice because I'm barred in a few states, but I have to be careful about working with people outside of those states.

Brittany: It really depends on what the issue is and what the law is and if I can help them. And the great thing is because I do so much intellectual [00:05:00] property and that's federal that I can really help people in other places because most of what the issues that I'm dealing with, especially in education and entertainment.

Brittany: Is all intellectual property, right? That's how we're making money. That's how we're willing to dealing Those are the projects and the deals that we're caring about. And then I also sell digital products So that's the other arm of my business is that I found that there are A lot of people especially who are getting started, and beginning stage of their businesses that are not being served Well, and they need something in between the legal doom as I

call it and you know Maybe a high price attorney on the 15th floor, right?

Brittany: Who's going to overcharge them or dismiss their business. And I have a lot of horror stories of people going to their local gray haired attorney and really not being taken seriously or having someone dismissed or not even understand how they're making money online. And they certainly don't understand YouTube or Instagram or LinkedIn or what it looks like to be an online business or service provider.

Brittany: So. I'm really trying to fill in that gap because digital resources are what's scalable, right? I can only serve so many clients, as every service provider knows, that's [00:06:00] always a cap, but you can have with digital resources like checklists and templates and guides and online courses, which I now offer I can help more people and that fits better into my big mission.

Dustin: So I love that for a couple of reasons. One is you're, you're a doer as well as like an advisor, meaning you're not an attorney who's like, doesn't really get what it means to have an online business, to run group coaching programs, to sell digital courses, you actually do those things. And therefore you have a deeper understanding of it.

Dustin: because you're the first person and it like completely I was like not expecting after my presentation to come out in the hall and have an engaging conversation with a lawyer. So I was like, well, this is interesting. And then as you started unpacking, I'm like, Oh my gosh, like there's so much here that I need help with.

Dustin: And so then I, I'm a reflection of my audience, right? So I'm like, I know they need help with it. And as you were speaking to when I was at story brand summit last year. Donald Miller emphasized, I think he said it three times in one talk, he's like, as an, as a creator and as a thought leader, you have to have these legal [00:07:00] protections and the way that he framed it was like, you have really smart things you do, you have frameworks that you teach through and you have to get those things legally protected, like trademarked and some of the things I'm sure you'll share later about what that, how you actually do that. Yeah, the intellectual property, like that's. At the end of the day, that's really what gives us value.

Brittany: that's and I've seen a huge growth in that industry. Right. And the self development and coaching industry in general with people's different stacks. And, the models that we're probably familiar with in terms of we may start out with. Group coaching or one on one coaching and maybe go to group and then a higher ticket for a mastermind or something else.

Brittany: That's more high touch, but in woven through all of that is probably your methodology and framework and then understanding, and then maybe on top of that, I'm free now certification, right? But you're allowing people and saying, I'm going to license out, it's a triangle, but not a pyramid scheme, right?

Brittany: This episode where, Jim comes on and he's like, yeah, it's not a pyramid. It's mature. In all seriousness, it's a way to extend your reach and your mission because you realize you're [00:08:00] limited and you have people who want that training. But again, it goes back to what is in the container and what are the boundaries we can put on that?

Brittany: And I love being a a business boundary educator is something I call myself because I really believe in business boundaries, being able to help. You and free you take some weight off that mind so that you can really focus on what you do best. And you can learn what you need to worry about and what you're gonna have to let go.

Brittany: And that's part of being in the online digital economy,

Dustin: Oh man, I love that. And I'm like your sweet spot right now because I've never said this publicly, I run a group coaching program and I've got an ongoing mastermind. So you check those boxes. I have some digital products and I'm in the infancy of. A certification program. So I have some people in my current accelerator who came over from the StoryBrand world and StoryBrand is, is very much a certification company, which is why Donald Miller talks, talks so passionately about IP and trademarking and things like that.

Dustin: And so these people know that [00:09:00] world. And so we're just working it out right now. So nothing's official, but certainly it will be official at some point. And I will definitely need **Britney's** help to make it legit, legally legit. So I love that tagline as well.

Dustin: So this is interesting. And like I said, you're doing the thing that you're helping people with, which is amazing. And I wish everyone followed that path. One of the things that we like to do on this podcast is yeah. Dig a little deeper into why, like it's a pretty unique niche you found yourself in. Obviously, you went to law school.

Dustin: I'm not sure if this was your intent or if you fell into it, but I would love to know a little more about that. Like what's your origin story and why are you drawn to this?

Brittany: Yeah, for sure. So yeah, when I graduated law school, I really went thinking I was going to do something maybe in a public profit or like public non profit kind of advocacy and helping women and children. I had worked interning in the foreign service. I had taken a lot of international development courses and I really felt that drawn.

Brittany: So when I got out of law school, I had my first baby. I really wanted a flexible job not really a thing for lawyers, turns out. So I really had to create my own thing. [00:10:00] So I, I started my own shingle and I did family law and I did estate planning because those were practice areas I could do on my own and didn't love the divorce work.

Brittany: Honestly, I don't know if anyone really does. But I did love doing adoptions and I loved. Getting to maybe help people through a time of crisis when honestly a lot of people during divorce and family law issues, they need someone to be kind and to also tell them it's okay. This is just a really awful chapter, but this is, this is a tunnel, not a cave to your story.

Brittany: And, I did a lot more. Probably therapy work, unlicensed therapy, then, then lawyering. Sometimes when I'm like, you know what you need, you need therapy needs therapy. That's what we need here. But as I was doing those practice areas from home, I called myself a naptime lawyer, I had these friends in my peer group and my group from school college friends who were starting with some of the first mommy bloggers and really starting to be successful and have other bigger opportunities.

Brittany: They were getting bigger contracts. They were getting sponsorship deals. They were influencers before we had influencers

.

Brittany: And they came to me and were like, **Brittany, I know [00:11:00] you don't do this, but could you read over this contract? Because I have no idea what this says, and I'm just going to sign it. And I'm like, please don't do that.**

Brittany: No that's contract 101. We don't sign things that we don't know and send them. And then I would help start their LLCs because they didn't know how to do that. And I figured that out. And that's where my practice started. So it was really off the cuff and it was just in response to a need that I saw in my community.

Brittany: And most of them were women business owners because that's who I served and that's who I knew and who their friends were. And again, they, if they went and tried to go to their dad's golf buddy they weren't taken seriously, right. Or were talked down to or dismissed or really overcharged for what they needed because someone was learning this whole business that didn't know that, they weren't listening to Pat Flynn and Amy Porterfield and, and whatnot.

Brittany: And Jasmine Starr. And so they didn't know this world. Right. And so that's where I got my start and then I've really grown my practice from there.

Dustin: So just pause real quick. I have a lot of thoughts, but one of them is like, do you have like a timestamp? Like when, when was this? What year was this? When this

Brittany: So I, I got started, I graduated law school in [00:12:00] 2011 and then I really started switching to this and like 20, like, like 2015 2016. So it was really actually when I was having my last baby. And for me, I'm, I'm, I'm a faithful person. It was really a matter of like. Continuous prayer and really meditation for me.

Brittany: Cause I was, I really thought I was supposed to do something else with my law degree, but I didn't know what it was. And really this answer came strongly to me that this is exactly who I was supposed to help. And in a weird way, answering my call of why I went to law school. Cause I did end up helping women and children because I was helping women.

Brittany: Grow their businesses and support their families. And I've also helped nonprofits who that's another great niche of people who really need help and advocacy and need someone to, to guide them through that process. And so in a way it's really fulfilled my deepest desires of being able to help people who have these amazing dreams and just need someone to help them with the scaffolding to get them there.

Dustin: That's so cool. So a lot of overlap in our journeys. I, I'm, I guess I'm a pretty much OG blogger. So 2009 I started my first [00:13:00] blog and it was, it was called engaged marriage because I had a call to help marry couples and help families. And I was an engineer at the time. So I also had this technical degree and.

Dustin: And around 2015, 16 uh, similar to when you had this clarity about your calling and how you could apply it in a different way. That's when I was really drawn into digital marketing. And I was like. I can use this kind of engineering mind and this, this mindset, but I could help entrepreneurs.

Dustin: And I realized that around that, in that period between those two things that I was an entrepreneur. And so that's when I quit engineering and started doing marketing and, eventually led to this moment in time. So that's that's fascinating. So how has it, I don't know if evolves the right word, but.

Dustin: Obviously you felt this calling and this way to use your skill sets and your legal background to help these people. You really felt called to help. Like how you've been doing that. Specifically, it sounds like for eight years or so. So how has that deepened? Or do you feel like a lot of peace that this really is really is [00:14:00] it?

Brittany: 100%. And I, and I talked with and we actually just had our business planning meeting with my husband who helps me in my business. And reflecting on last year, what are our goals for this year? And, we always check in of like, do you still like having kind of two businesses?

Brittany: Because that's really what I have. I have a law firm. And then I have the digital side and, and online business. And I love still having a lot from, I think, I don't like to use the word always, cause that's my lawyer heart, right? Be careful about your words and your promises. Lifetime access. I

Brittany: don't think so.

Brittany: Um,

Dustin: No lifetime access. Yeah. I've had to slap my own

Brittany: Quit saying that in your marketing. That's a quick tip because you, do you want to be playing Kajabi hosting piece forever? Maybe not. So, but I do love being in the legal lap. Like I love being in the work and I think it's hard if I didn't have if I wasn't serving clients and getting their emails and getting on calls about what do you want to do this quarter in this year, then I would lose some touch with that.

Brittany: And I have other colleagues who've migrated from law and now all they do is the cell templates, right? And no shade on them, but I'm like, there's only so much like your work [00:15:00] is going to be stagnant after a while because you're not going to understand them. What's going on and what are people pushing buttons on and what conversations are coming up in forums and at events and everything else, because you're out of the loop, right?

Brittany: Legal wise. So, so yeah, for me, I really like having this spot, even though it's busy having two businesses and you, a little bit about that Dustin and

Dustin: Yeah. I got a few.

Brittany: Lots of irons in the fire, but what an opportunity and a fun challenge to figure out. And someone I always tell my clients is to appreciate that entrepreneurship is actually not about.

Brittany: Getting rid of your problems. You actually will never be rid of problems as a small business owner. Your job is to find newer and more interesting problems all the time. And if you can embrace that, that that's a true statement and that that's okay, that's actually what's supposed to be happening, then you can enjoy the ride, right?

Brittany: And you won't always feel like I'm doing something wrong or I have imposter syndrome or there's some cool club that I'm not part of. If I just got part of it, I wouldn't have these issues anymore. That's actually not true.

Dustin: Yeah. And that's like a really [00:16:00] good business lesson in, in, in offers is something that ironically, Brooke, who's part of my origin story and meeting you she pointed out to me one time I was like, well, I've solved this finite problem for people. So we have the accelerators 90 days.

Dustin: There's a specific promise. Right. And it's like, she's like, yeah. And when they're done with that. They're going to have new and better and bigger problems, right? Like, Oh, yeah. Okay. So that's where the mastermind came from. It's, it's to solve more of the infinite problem of business growth and network growth and connection.

Dustin: And so I love that, that context. So in thinking about that for yourself shifting into future pacing a little bit here, and it comes right on the heels of your planning meeting with your husband, which is awesome. So you think about like the next year, even five years, where do you see this going?

Dustin: Is it, is it more of the same? Is it? Is it honing in in a specific area of your business or kind of where do you see the future of Britney's two businesses?

Brittany: Yeah, for sure. So I think that I, I want to keep increasing, both businesses specifically on the law firm side for me. [00:17:00] I'm getting more and more where I have more clients who are bigger fish themselves. And so I get to be more of that strategic role in your business. Like you talked about being a legal advisor, right?

Brittany: And I really love being in that seat because I get more touch points and I really get to understand their business and be part of the planning process.

Brittany: Be proactive instead of reactive, right? I, right. I don't love, and I certainly have helped people like this, but I don't love coming, coming in and being an ER doctor, right?

Brittany: When someone has something go wrong and they're like, my image just got ripped off. Someone didn't pay their bills. Right. I got a cease and desist and I get all those, but the options are limited. Right. And now people are in crisis. And we're living in, we're trying to deal with regret and shame and the couldas and the shouldas, whatnot, ideally.

Brittany: I like to get people taking their vitamins and going to yoga and whatnot, and on the front end, and then putting investments in and being proactive. And that's not to say we can solve all legal problems, right? Because we can't, because some people are going to do what they're going to do. And it's probably not a matter of if, but when you're going to eventually have a [00:18:00] legal issue or even litigation in your business.

Brittany: But you still have put boundaries into place. That I would love to see myself more as a functional outside counsel. And there's a couple of my clients who are on the cusp of that place. And it's been a real pleasure to serve them as their businesses are growing and their needs and that I get to really be a strategic partner to help them with that and, and know their businesses really well, and they know that.

Brittany: I can answer those quick questions and understand, okay, we, we want this piece to figure here because this is our dream and we want to make sure these runways are open to us and we're finagling and putting together protections in place with an eye on that. So, and on the scalable side, digital side, I want to be able to help more people, right?

Brittany: I don't have a really specific number in mind. I know some people are like, I want to help, a thousand business owners or. I've gotten to help hundreds personally and certainly through teaching, thousands because I love to educate.

Brittany: I like to teach at conferences and workshops and in mastermind groups or whatnot.

Brittany: But I would just

Dustin: Podcast where you're doing an excellent podcasts. Yeah, right. Um, but I would love it just for legal, legal, resources to be more accessible and be more relatable to [00:19:00] the average small business owner, the modern small business owner that has questions. It has concerns that gets really conflicting

Brittany: So that is a bigger, ambitious mission that I would love to unfold. And I think, digital resources are obviously the solution there because that's what's scalable. Right.

Dustin: Yeah, 100%. So to the extent you're comfortable, I would, I'd actually like to peel a little bit on the personal side. And you mentioned your husband is a, is a partner or has a role in your business. I know when you and I talked, one of the first things you share very enthusiastically was this idea of.

Dustin: Being a lawyer who gets to work virtually that you live in a beautiful state and that you ski. So yeah, give us a little peek into maybe the current version of that with the little kids and things in your household, but where you see this fueling your lifestyle moving forward as well. Cause I would love to

Brittany: Yeah. Cause I think for me, you know, as we had our planning meeting yesterday, yes, we'd love to make more money. Like most people do. Right. And there's goals and [00:20:00] family goals, whatnot, especially we have four kids. And so we're trying to now think of paying for all the things they need now and also sending those kids to college and helping them get to that next stage of life and whatnot.

Brittany: But but yeah, it's also playing that balance of like, what is having a rich life really mean to us in terms of time freedom. And that's really important to me. And my husband, my husband helps in my business. He works from home as well. He was in a mental health business with his dad. And then he passed away from cancer a little over a year ago.

Brittany: So he's been in transition and getting to really be focused as the lead parent at home the last year. And that's been awesome. And he's getting ready for his next stage, you know, we, we like to ski with our kids, they all do ski racing. We all do jujitsu as a family now, which is really fun. And we actually invested, we have mats. in our basement, which means that we are the literal Retail Mojo Dojo.
So because we don't have, we have now have jiu jitsu mats in our basement. But like, how much more money do we want to make? If it means that we can't be the ones driving our kids in the afternoon, right.

Brittany: Or if [00:21:00] we can't take off a Friday when it's It's powder day or having to work on the weekends or, or whatnot. So for that, we're always trying to come back to like, this is a short season where we have our kids at home. Our youngest is seven, our oldest is 13. And so trying to be careful and intentional about that, because I, I want to, I don't mind working a few more years.

Brittany: I love working. All right. I see that coming in more of an advisory role in a business or we take some of our money and then we put into some other revenue streams, right? Or commercial real estate or in one of those, ugly businesses that Cody Sanchez tells everyone to invest in. But, stuff like that.

Brittany: I would rather do that for a few more years and then have flexibility with our kids now, because this is peak golden era for us to get to be there with them. And just enjoy and work and play and do life together. So, which I think is a, it's a huge treat. So, yeah. Yeah.

Dustin: It's clear that you guys have thought deeply about that and building your business around your life. And as someone who's, about 10 years, maybe eight, I won't date myself that much, maybe eight years ahead of you in that in [00:22:00] that part of the journey with the family. So literally yesterday, as we record this, our oldest son left for basic training for, for the army.

Dustin: And so we had the first one leave the nest surreal time, surreal moment. And we've had a lot of build up with that and getting to have friends and family come in and talk to him. And there's a real sense of contentment and pride with that. Like, I feel like we've done all we would literally done all we can.

Dustin: We've spent so much time with him over the years and having an online business has been a huge part of that. And, and for like our family, you talked about your husband being in transition and losing his father, like my wife. There's a special educator. And then she stayed home completely for eight years with our kids.

Dustin: That was an amazing gift. And then she went back and now financially, she doesn't need to teach, but she just loves it for now. And this is more like a three to five year gig we think. And then we'll probably, have a different phase of our lifestyle. But I just say that just to relate, like, I think you're being really smart.

Dustin: I'm glad that you're the foundation of what you're building for. [00:23:00] Is really to nurture this precious time you have with, with all the kids under the roof. Cause I can tell you it, it does end at some point and it's great, but it's also it's, it's good, I guess the way I would put it, it's great to look back and not feel regret.

Dustin: Like, I've worked a lot and things like that, but I would think if you ask my son, he knows, like I was there. Just as much as he would ever need me probably more than he wanted me sometimes as a teenager. But yeah, that's amazing. So thanks for just sharing your heart for this the vision for you, where you guys are building, I think it's amazing.

Dustin: I'm grateful for you and grateful for what you're doing. So at this point, I'd like to transition a little bit into kind of the closing part of what we do here. So we always like to really understand the entrepreneur, your own journey, why you do what you do. And then we like to just leave to some really practical, takeaways for the audience.

Dustin: I call them smart strategies. I'm assuming you may share something in the legal realm or on IP, but I basically gave you a open, open forum here to come on [00:24:00] and teach whatever you feel. is most pertinent to our audience. So I'd love to hand the mic back to you, Brittany, and just let you teach a strategy for us.

Brittany: Yeah, for sure. Well, thanks for that. So I'd love to. So, I will dig into no, probably no surprise to you. I love acronyms and, finding ways to memorize and people, think about your framework. And so I actually have one for getting legally legit. And so for me, when I teach people of pay, because I always get of like, where do I get started and what order?

Brittany: And so legally legit, For me actually stands for the L means lay your foundation, right? And so that's the first thing you want to do. And I imagine most of your audience, if they've been in business for a while, probably have most of these things taken care of. They probably set up their LLC, their business bank accounts.

Brittany: They're good about keeping their money separate. Having, payment processing, all that stuff look good in a way that doesn't scream. I'm a hobby. Take myself seriously, right.

Brittany: We don't play with those red flags. Really. We want everything to be really consistent, professional and legal is one of those tools that can help us not only protect us, but also give us that internal swagger.

Brittany: Sometimes it's it's wild, but I've seen it too true for it to be coincidence that When people register and incorporate their business as an LLC, they immediately get like a little bump of like taking themselves more seriously. Like I'm a real business now and I call it your business birthday. Right. And you should celebrate that as a milestone and, market and even take some pictures or buy yourself a cake or whatever.

Brittany: And it seems weird, but we don't do enough of that. I think as business owners, I'm like marking and celebrating our own journey. And it can be such a lonely journey that. Might as well, right? Document for yourself because you'll be amazed at where you are someday. So

Brittany: that's kind of that.

Brittany: And then the E in legit is going to be evaluate your website.

Brittany: And this is pertinent, obviously, in a modern online business because we all have websites, right? We all have some sort of online presence, and this is really our home base. Or a lot of times we are sending traffic back to and we want to start getting serious about cultivating that relationship. And so we want our website to be protected um, and to be compliant.

Brittany: We want it to be an asset to ourselves and our business, not a liability. [00:26:00] That means we need the right stuff in our footer, in our website. It means you should have a privacy policy in terms of conditions and a disclaimer based on what you might say. Sell or offer the content. This means if you're a health and wellness provider or coach, you need to have some language in there saying, that WebMD language, not intended to diagnose or treat any illness or disease, right?

Brittany: You should also have a copyright statement and then really do a whole copyright audit. I call this kind of a, an a content audit on your website and look for content that you're not sure where it came from. If you have, especially me on your website and you don't know where it came from, it fell off the truck off the back of the internet.

Brittany: I really, I would encourage you to take that down or find a substitution because that stuff can quickly turn into, I call it zombie content. It means you forget about it. It goes to bed, it becomes dead, but it can rise. It can rise from the dead and come and bite you. Especially if people like you would appreciate this being a blogger for a while.

Brittany: There's people who've been writing and blogging for a long time and they have lots of backlinks and lots of content [00:27:00] on their blogs. And some of that were photos. Some of that was from the era when we used to do roundup posts and whatnot. And those photos, even if you're giving someone credit. Or linking or putting the link on there if you have those photos and been on your website, that's problematic and you can get cited with copyright infringement and get shaken down.

Brittany: There's whole law firms that this all they do now is search the internet. They're bots too looking for this stuff on your website. So make sure you have that all, all buttoned down. And I sell a website bundle that has everything you need in your footer. Because I understand a lot of people are like, I don't, do I have to like pay to get that custom drafted?

Brittany: That's probably overkill, right? Unless you are developing like a mobile app. Then I would hire an attorney to get that. But if you're not that anything else, then yeah, you just need some solid terms and conditions, especially on checkout. If you're selling any type of digital product, right, and this is probably especially pertinent for your audience for coaching program, ebook, mastermind, or whatnot make sure that you have those terms.

Brittany: There's a checkbox on checkout, and that whatever is in those terms and conditions is good and [00:28:00] valid and protecting what you need to. Make sure you're covering stuff like what, what is the license that they're getting? What they, what can they do with all this IP? What are the rules of your group? Can you kick someone out if they're not following the rules?

Brittany: If you have a no pitch policy and they start pitching, what happens now? Right? Do they get kicked out of the group? Do they get anything else? Is there a refund policy? It's not to say that having all those things again will mean that you would always win a charge back. But it's a really important piece of that process because if you get a charge back from somebody, that is the first thing that the payment processor is going to ask for.

Brittany: What were the terms of this agreement? What were the terms of this contract?

Dustin: So I'm a little nervous. No, I, I definitely have room for improvement in some of these areas, not to draw liability to myself, but but no, I feel like if people. If they took one thing out of this episode, if you simply had the right footer stuff, which you can like get directly from Brittany and you have the terms and conditions at checkout so that you can defend yourself against charge backs or like you said, like,

Brittany: are people yet quitting your program when you have a, a pay option, [00:29:00] right? You gave him a payment plan. Those are the two biggest

Brittany: So yeah.

Dustin: That's amazing. Very, very valuable.

Brittany: So then now we're on to G. Yeah, G is get it in writing, meaning use contracts, the lawyer loves contracts, and it's not because they're sexy and fun, right? For people to review and draft contracts, but it's because our human brains don't do a good job of remembering conversations. We're not robots.

Brittany: And so we want to appreciate complex and really, especially like, just to teach us if you want to have good relationship marketing and preserve relationships. Yeah. Business relationships have to have a contract and that way we can let the contract be the bad guy. It doesn't rely on our understandings or even our unsaid expectations of what we were going to do.

Brittany: And so, these are critical, right? Having an operating agreement. If you have a business partner, that's like your business prenup and you need to have a business prenup. So you don't have ugly business divorces, right? Having client service agreements. If you offer client services, if you have vendor relationships, right?

Brittany: If you have helpers helping you, you need an independent contractor agreement. So, there's a variety of things you might need there, but having those good contracts and that's why I sell, 40 plus templates in my shine creative contracts, because all of these keep on coming up again and again, and I'm like, I want to be able to just have something that's plug and play and you follow the color code, right?

Brittany: It's like paint by number. And you can reuse it again and again in your business. So. That's contracts.

Dustin: Big, big gap in the dust, big gap in the dust world there. Guilty as charged again. So,

Brittany: Okay. You know, it just means it's just more information, right? And that's all it means. We just know more than we did before. So the next guy, right? And our legit framework is going to be identifying intellectual property.

So, and this like Dustin referred to is going to be really critical. If this is what makes us money, right?

Brittany: Is getting our amazing thoughts out of our head. And then into something. It's into a book, an ebook, a course, a coaching methodology, a mastermind, or a variety of different offers of our ladder stack, right? And so the two tools that we use here mainly are copyright and trademark. So copyright is going to protect the creative guts of something.

Brittany: So it's going to protect the contents of a book, an ebook, an online course, a podcast, a YouTube channel. Social media content, photos, illustrations, all of those things can be protected via copyright. And you get some automatic rights just by creating it, right? Just by sending it out into the world.

Brittany: And that's what we get under U. S. law. But you get some really good enforcement rights, some more some, some better enforcement rights by actually registering the copyright. I actually have one of those right here because I have these committed all the time for my clients. And this is an additional step that you need to take.

Brittany: And I suggest it for a lot of my clients, but I find it's a really underutilized one, especially for course creators and curriculum creators, because you can package up your entire online course and register the copyright. And when you do that, it means if and when someone rips you off you can do a DMC takedown, get to the front of the line, you can get statutory damages, you can get attorney's fees.

Brittany: It means you have options to get people to do what you want. Hey, that's my thing. Stop it with your little stick, which is what you have without it. And then someone else goes, no, no, no, no, boo, boo. I don't think so. A lot of kids are expensive and people who do this a lot know this. It takes that little stick into a baseball bat where you're like, knock it off.

Brittany: And they're like, I'm so sorry, Kajabi and, Etsy and anywhere else, platforms will take you seriously and we'll listen and we'll turn off people's ads and we'll turn off their site and we'll de list from Google. And practically speaking, you get a lot more options. And this is especially important if we're dealing with overseas actors that honestly don't care about the reaches of American law.

Brittany: And they're like, we think that you're not going to come after us and hire Chinese attorneys, which may or may not be true, right? We have to get into the, some of the financial economics of pursuing our options. So. So that's copyright. And then trademark is going to protect our branding. So this is protecting the name, overall maybe name of your company or your logo, or the name of your product, or program, or course, or mastermind, or event, or retreat, or whatnot.

Brittany: Maybe your primary, your sub logo, or branding, or phrase that goes along with it. We can even protect in a way frameworks this way. You just have to be a little careful because technically the trademark office is like, we don't protect systems and methodologies. So you have to show that this is like in connection as like a shorthand for your branding.

Brittany: So there's a way we can do it, but we got to be, we got to be strategic about it. But this is the way I've been able to help protect, especially from my online, curriculum creators and be able to protect kind of their suite of things that make them, then what's their secret sauce and what. Seth Godin calls it your remarkability.

Brittany: What's the one thing that people keep on thinking with you? That's what we protect. And that should be the first thing on your list. And then we move down as your brands grow. And then that really opens up other doors of licensing co ventures and other projects like that. But to have those deals set up, we really need to protect our own house.

Brittany: First, we need to make sure that we're not building. On ground that we don't own, right? We're like digital squatters. We've built this thing, and then we look down and we're like, Well, jeez, I sure hope I own this land, right? I sure hope I can stay here and put a big flag here and keep attracting people into my world and my empire.

Brittany: And you want to have sense of confidence, right? And that's what trademark can get you. So, love trademarks. And , there's room for NDAs and contracts and that kind of protects kind of trade secrets and the stuff in the middle. And then there are patents. That's mostly for, inventions.

Brittany: I don't, I don't do patent law. So I refer that out to other people. So I don't really speak a whole lot about that. But that is definitely an option if you are in the physical product space. A lot of people ask me, can I patent? a business methodology or framework or something? Quick answer, no. So there might be some other tools at my disposal, but patent likely isn't one of them.

Brittany: And then the last T in legit is getting, is troubleshooting. And this is really where it really pays to be working with an advisor that can help you balance what should be first thing on my list.

Brittany: What, how do I make sure that I'm have the right legal protections for the exposure that my business is right now, because some people can misplace.

Brittany: They can think that I find that some people and entrepreneurs are nervous Nellies and they're extreme and thinking I need everything under contract and everything needs everyone. He's assigned an NDA and I can't. Talk about my business to anyone because they're going to rip me off or whatnot.

Brittany: And that's living in too much fear, right? And that can really hurt your chances of being able to iterate, of changing, of being able to get good market feedback, which we need to. At some point, you need to ship it. You need to start talking about it. Because you're not even sure if that name works yet.

Brittany: So, I tell people all the time, you're not ready for a trade. I hope we see you again, or let's at least do a trademark search to make sure you have clearance, but you might not be ready yet because you don't know if you love that name and we're not there. And on the opposite side of that risk spectrum are like my base jumpers.

Brittany: And these are my entrepreneurs who. They reverb and they just go and they're like,

Dustin: People can see I'm hiding my face. Like, I think I'm going to be thrown into this category, but let's

Brittany: and they're vase jumping without a parachute. And they're like, and then liability insurance, what's that, but because of that, they, sometimes we get problems that are more expensive to solve. Right. And we have more limited options and not all of those lessons we need to learn the hard way for ourselves.

Brittany: Some of those we can learn from. Other people and colleagues and people being able to share about that. And it's hard sometimes in business, because we're not used to being vulnerable and talking about, like, you won't hear from a lot of people that they got sued, right? Or they had to issue a refund or that they got a employee or a contractor that was misclassified and they got sued by the California department of workforce, but I guarantee that anyone listening to this has people in their circle that all those things have happened to, right?

Brittany: And so sometimes it's, it's helpful and that's why it's a big mission of mine is to. Reality check and I don't want to I don't want people to live in a state of fear but I want them to have a healthy balance of like look there are things out there and The law doesn't care about your intent a lot of the times.

Brittany: The irs doesn't care about that or your state Does it and we get to be in this cool online business realm that doesn't have a lot of formal Milestones and to tell you hey when you get to this point and you're making this as much money You you need to have done this right? 20 30 years ago if we were in a different type of business At some point, we'd have to like sit in someone's office and like show them our business plan and they would like check over and be like, well, you have a contract, right?

Brittany: And you have an LLC and you set this up and we'd be like, well, yeah, I've done all that. We don't have to do that as online business owners, and that's great. And also it's a big challenge because it means we have to take on that role and really put on that CEO hat and be thinking about risk management as part of opportunity to grow and make sure we've taken care of that stuff so that we can have a sustainable business that can keep on solving people's problems.

Dustin: Wow, that is that might be the best framework I've ever heard and what's really cool about it is like, you literally just went like the whole spectrum. I'm sure there's more, but like the essential spectrum of what we really need to know in legal terms. So, like, I feel like I just sat through a very high end webinar, like it's.

Dustin: Given us the, the real like essence, what we need to know. So recapping real quick, L is lay the foundation. E is evaluate your website. G is get it in writing. I is identify your intellectual property. And then T is troubleshoot for kind of all the scenario planning and the things that we need to think about as we're growing and expanding and scaling.

Dustin: And we're encountering those new, those new usually virtuous problems in our, in our business.

Brittany: Yeah. And new, new challenges that might come out. . And understanding that with growth comes exposure. And that has to be part of the blessing, ? Like you said, it's a virtuous problem because just like I tell people, when they get mad about like taxes and stuff like that, I'm like, first of all, go

Brittany: read profit first because taxes should not be surprised to anybody at this point in the business.

Brittany: But also if it makes you feel better. Write in on that comment line. Go find something in the federal government that you are happy or at least not angry to go support and write that in or, put it on the comment line because it can help, ? Just change your mindset, which is all we can do, ?

Brittany: Because these are things that are going to come up, but you can, you can change in your mind of like, Oh, look at me. I've had a big enough deal in my business where I have to worry about this ? New level, new devil. Try to flip a little bit of that internal script for yourself. Yeah. Yeah.

Brittany: Yeah.

Dustin: Love it so much, like I'm so grateful for you and the eloquence in which you, don't take this wrong way, but you make like legal stuff sexy. Like, it's like, this is actually exciting because it's not like this boring, onerous stuff I have to do. Like some of this is very much stuff I get to do, right?

Dustin: Like I get to have a trademark. That's really cool. I hang that on your wall, like your program. So legit. Or like if you set up your LLC for the first time and someone's like, send me your W nine, you're like. Number one, I know what that is. Number two, it's an LSC and not my personal name. Like that's cool.

Dustin: Because it is something to celebrate.

Brittany: Yeah, it does mark your journey and you get to celebrate that. And I'm a big believer that you only, the only person you need to have believe in your business is you only one person. Everyone else is just gravy and that's not to dismiss having a support system and coaches and friends and peers.

Brittany: Cause I hope that those come for you and you get to encourage that along the way. But really the only person you need to is you. And so sometimes there are things you can do in your business that can help you when your brain wants to spiral and go into a place of, I don't know how to do that. We've never done that before.

Brittany: You can be like, I get it. You're right. We have not done that before, but fear you're going to, or you can ride shotgun next to me because I see you and you're real. Cause I'm not a sociopath, but you're not going to drive the car.

Brittany: Because that is the challenge that we get to have in entrepreneurship. And if you want to grow as a person, have kids, or start a business, right? Justin and I are, we've gotten to do both. And so what an opportunity to grow as a person and get to challenge yourself and learn new things and self confront.

Brittany: And I think that's, that's the wild ride that I love being part of and getting to see and help people behind the scenes of.

Dustin: I love it. [00:41:00] So I'm sure pretty much everyone that's listening to this is like, yep, there's some gaps there. I need to go deeper with this. I need some additional help and obviously they can hire you, which I'm. Sure. I'm going to do Brittany, but as the first step, as a next step, if they're listening to this or like, I need to go deeper into this, I need to get better educated.

Dustin: I need some resources. What's, what's the best next step for people to come over into your world?

Brittany: Yeah, for sure. So I do have a freebie for people. So if you head to get legit with Brit. com, I, like I said, love, love a good one rhyming and alliteration. That's my legally legit checklist. And it really summarizes these steps that I've gone over. And it's a way for you to start putting in and checking off.

Brittany: And what's great about it is if you've done some of these things, awesome. Give yourself a good. Gold star, check it off and then maybe see where you start to have some gaps or more questions and I have some digital resources to help.

Brittany: I create a lot of free content cause I really believe in giving back to the community and making stuff relatable and fun as much as it can be. Right.
So I have that. I [00:42:00] create content on Instagram on a YouTube channel and on my podcast. So you can all find that under Brittany Rattel. And then if you are ready for one on one work and support and Done for you, then reach out for my Instagram and you'll see then I, we can meet for a consult and see if I'm a good fit to helping you where you want to go in your business.

Dustin: That's awesome. So yeah, we'll have show notes, but for people that are, listening in their car or are out on a run, just remember, get legit with Brit. I assume with two T's, right?

Brittany: I actually have both of them, so

Brittany: you're,

Dustin: perfect. That's great. Okay. Get legit with Brit, however you want to spell it dot com and that will get you this the, the checklist so you don't have to try to memorize all the amazing stuff she just went through in 10 or 15 minutes in a place that you can go give it a little thought, check some boxes.

Dustin: The way I see it working is then fill in some of these things with your digital resources. And then the more advanced stuff, the stuff that's like, I don't even know how to start on this, then call or DM you on Instagram and

Brittany: are open and I love to connect with people. And so, especially if you're on Instagram, I'm like, I'm like Ariel. I want to be where my creatives are, my online business owners. [00:43:00] And they're on Instagram, a lot of them. And so that's where I love to hang out. And so always open to to connecting with people there in the community.

Dustin: Well, thank you so much for this. I really appreciate you coming here being so open and transparent about your own journey, but also being like you really epitomize smart strategy and like be able to do that in such an eloquent way. And then have a have a takeaway that people can go actually take action with it, right?

Dustin: It's not just because that's the temptation, especially with legal stuff. It's like you hear it and you're like, Ooh, yeah, I should be doing that. And you're like, Okay, I'm gonna ignore it again, because I'm not yet. I

Brittany: Again, and I, and I hope, my, I know I went through a lot, and quickly through my framework with you guys. But my hope is that you can just take away one thing to move forward next. Don't let your brain, go to the area of like, oh, this is too overwhelming, right? Or even, put fear or shame on top of it.

Brittany: I always tell when I'm teaching workshops and I go more into depth into this of like, look, you don't need to be in shame to worry about this. You simply know more than you did before. And that's all you got to tell your brain. Oh, look at that. I know more than I did before. And [00:44:00] that's okay. So I'm going to do one takeaway at a time.

Dustin: love it. Well, thanks again, Britney. This is awesome. I look forward to getting to know you even more after after this session, but this has been an amazing podcast. I hope everyone takes action goes to get legit with brit. com and hangs out with you over in your world. And if you're listening and you want
to Know more about what I'm up to, seven figure leap. Dustin: com is the home base. And I'm not so much on Instagram, but on LinkedIn.

So if you guys are on LinkedIn, I would love to continue the conversation there and hear about your takeaways from this episode and connect you with, with Brittany if if you don't make that connection directly. So thanks again, Brittany, and I look forward to talking to you again, real soon. Brittany: Thanks, Dustin.

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