When you have traction with your team of mentors and your business is up and running, the next team you need is a professional: a lawyer, a business manager, and an accountant. So in this post, let's zoom in on the lawyer.
So often, people see a lawyer as someone who puts out fires. Instead, I'd like you to view your lawyer as someone who helps you build your business, and I advise asking for specific ways your lawyer believes can help you do so.
A great lawyer, for example, can help generate royalties, as DJ Nicky Romero's lawyer does in the example described in Redesign: Becoming a Happy, Healthy, and Successful Entrepreneur.
Most lawyers either represent other entrepreneurs or see themselves as entrepreneurs, too. So it's essential to find a lawyer who gives you the feeling that your business is in safe hands. You'd be surprised at how financially literate lawyers turn out to be and how much they speak the language of business. Most importantly, they understand the difference between things like gross margin, profit, and revenue and can create legal processes that touch the very core of your financial health. Take my legal adviser, Harro. He worked for one of the world's largest and most traditional firms, and his hourly rate is super high. Three years ago he started his own firm and is super busy.
Nevertheless, Harro takes the time to go out for coffee with me regularly. He doesn't charge me anything. Nearly every time, I come back with solid leads (mostly his other clients) and new insight into building my mentorship and speaking practice.
He wants to go for coffee because I know the best coffee places in town and because his law firm is looking to adopt a more service-oriented model, and I'm asking him the right questions, and so should you do with your lawyer.