167. 5 Scary Legal Scenarios That Keep Me Up At Night

5 Scary Legal Scenarios That Keep Me Up At Night

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Are you haunted by the thought of potential legal ghosts lurking in your business’s shadows? Don’t let these legal goblins give you sleepless nights. In this eerie episode, I unveil five spine-chilling legal scenarios that might just be lurking around the corner for unsuspecting online business owners and course creators.

In this episode, you’ll hear… 

  • The significance of well-drafted contracts in avoiding business disputes
  • Real-life scenarios highlighting issues with client cancellations, refunds, and content replication
  • An overview of trademarks, copyrights, and patents and their importance in protecting your brand and content
  • My personal experiences in the realm of business legalities

Listen to On Your Terms™ on your favorite podcast platform

Listen to episode 167, follow along so you never miss an episode, and leave a review to help introduce the show to more online business owners just like you!

Terrifying Tales of Contracts in Business

Ever had the nightmare of a client vanishing into thin air after consuming your service or demanding a sudden refund? Contracts are the magic spells you need to ward off these malevolent spirits. A well-crafted contract not only sets boundaries but acts as your shield against the dark forces of disagreements and disputes.

Bewitched by Trademarks and Intellectual Property

Venturing into the dark woods of trademarks, copyrights, and patents without a guide? Be warned! It’s easy for your precious creations to be ensnared by other creatures lurking in the digital realm. Equip yourself with the knowledge of these protections, lest you fall into a trap.

Personal Hauntings and the Ultimate Bundle™

Through my own journey, I’ve faced these phantoms head-on. And as I share an email from a fellow traveller, you’ll see the power of being armed with the “Ultimate Bundle™” of contract spells. With these at your side, you can march confidently, even when the shadows grow long.

While the legal underworld of business might seem like a haunted house, with the right charms and spells, you can navigate it fearlessly. Don’t let your business become another ghost story; arm yourself and face the darkness head-on.

Episode Transcript

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Sam Vander Wielen:
Hey, and welcome back to On Your Terms. I’m your host, Sam Vander Wielen. And I am so glad that you’re here. Today, we’re talking about five scary legal scenarios that I can easily help you avoid, but that you should definitely be aware of.

And I thought about airing this episode today because, well, tomorrow is Halloween. And I have to clear the air about something, if you’ve been in my community now for a while, then you’ve, unfortunately, had to hear me say this before, but I am not the world’s biggest Halloween fan. It is just not my thing. I don’t know, honest to God, right now it’s like I’ll just turn on the news if I need to watch something scary. I saw Elyse Myers, the comedian. She had a reel the other day that was like, "Can we all opt out of scary content when you turn on Hulu and Netflix and all this stuff? It’s horrifying, right?" And I’m like, "Yeah. I totally agree. I don’t need to see that. The world is like that."

But I don’t know, I’ve just never been into Halloween. My mom wasn’t into Halloween. And she would always say that and she would always be like, "I don’t really like Halloween. It’s too scary." I don’t like scary movies. I’m kind of a wimp. I know. Don’t hate me. It’s all right. We can still be friends. If you really like Halloween, I would love to hear from you. I don’t hate you. There’s no judgment. You can love Halloween freely. But, also, I would love to hear from you what you love about Halloween. Because I know some people just love getting dressed up or they always look forward to a specific party. I know I really like this time of year, so I like that that’s associated with that.

I also don’t really like candy. Well, I’m spilling all the things today. But, yeah, I’m not that much of a candy person. If you bring me a ball of salt, I would love you forever. But sticky candy, like gummy stuff, no, it just doesn’t do it for me. I know, terrible. Give me an Olipop or a Poppi and a bag of popcorn and I’m good to go. That’s all I want.

But anywho, all that to say that, you know, I knew Halloween was coming up, so I was like, "Let’s do a scary episode." But you know me, I’m not that scary. So, really, we’re just talking about things that sound scary today, but we’re going to very easily tackle them and make them not so scary, so you won’t be scared by the end of this episode.

So, I’ve been putting off recording this episode or not because it had something to do with Halloween, but because I’ve been really sick. And I’ve just had a really bad cold, like I tested negative for everything, and I just can’t kick it. It’s like one of those where I’ve had it now for a week-and-a half, it’ll be two weeks in a day or two, and I just can’t kick the cough part and all this kind of stuff, and it’s just very frustrating. And I was putting off recording podcast episodes because I wasn’t feeling well. But then, you just get to some point where you’re like, "Well, I’m not getting better, so I have to record this." I sound a lot better today than I did yesterday and the day before, so hopefully we’re moving in the right direction. But it’s just one of those annoying, lingering things.

I actually was thinking yesterday I haven’t been sick since March of 2022, because I remember I was sick a few months before my dad passed away. And my dad was like the Jewish mother I never had, because my mom was not very much like this at all, but my dad would just get really anxious about me being sick and he would always bring me soups and juices, and he was always convinced I was sick because I wasn’t drinking enough juice. And it was just like a classic Seinfeld scenario with him every day, let alone on sick days. And he was so upset that I was sick. And I remember I was really, really sick before he passed away. And he would always get very worried about me and that would show as anxiety and almost like a frustration that I was sick. It was like, "You can’t go down. I need you," because I was managing all his cancer stuff.

So, it’s been a very long time since I’ve been sick. But then, I feel like the trade off is the universe is like you will not get sick often, but when you do, it will last for weeks. And so, I don’t know, maybe I would take that over several week long bouts of sickness per year, I don’t know. Hopefully, you’re not sick now. I hope. If you are, feel better. I know there’s a lot of stuff going around. But, also, I hope that you’re someone who doesn’t get sick very often.

One of the reasons I’m happy I’m getting better is I’m getting ready to go to Mexico in a week, both to relax but really to plan for the rest of this year and for 2024 with my Operations Director, Lindsey. So, we are going to this awesome resort. I will tell you about it later when we’re back. I’ll share it, too, on social media. If you’re not following me on Instagram, head over to Instagram, @samvanderwielen. I’m sure I’ve been sharing pictures and video as you’re watching this. And I’ll just be coming back actually that day. But I’ll save it for you for sure under a Mexico highlight.

But wait until you see where we’re going. It’s so beautiful. And the resort, it has really, really healthy food and it’s really gorgeous. And it’s next to the resort where they filmed Bachelor in Paradise. They’re done filming. They filmed in January. And they actually used our resort as part of it as well, just for the staff and producers and everybody to stay. But it’s so cool because you can still see all the daybeds and the area where they all eat and they all hang out. You can see it all from the resort. So, the Bachelor fan in me was freaking out. I was so excited. I went there back in March. So, that’s what I’m getting ready to do.

I feel like every single time I plan for the year for my business, I get a little bit better. I have my planning episodes coming back for you soon. I usually air an episode where I reflect on this year and I teach you how to reflect on your business year. And then, I follow that up with an episode on me planning for my business year and how I recommend you plan for your business year. And we have a free planning document for you.

If you want to get a head start on all of this, I’ll link to our free annual planning guide below. This is a freebie that I offer that people just love, like we have hundreds and hundreds of people download it every year. So, I’ll link to that in the show notes down below. But you have that coming up, and that is the exact guide that I use for my own business and that Lindsey uses to help me plan for the whole year. So, that’s what I’m doing.

Lindsey’s my full time employee, so I treat her to this trip every year. And we do a little relaxing, a little hanging out. Luckily, I really like her and like hanging out with her so that that helps to have somebody you work with who you also want to go to dinner with. So, I love hanging out with Lindsey. I love chatting with her. I could chat with her all day long. And we have a lot in common. And, yes, we also plan and do business stuff. And so, we’re going to do a little bit of all of the above.

So, I wanted to chat with you about these five, in particular, legal scary scenarios today because I feel like they are a lot scarier. I mean, what I tend to find with legal stuff with online businesses in general is that these things sound a lot scarier than they are, or they are actually scary but they can very easily be prevented or handled. So, I wanted to talk through some of the five scarier scenarios that definitely keep me up at night for you and that I think that you should be aware of.

The first scary legal scenario that keeps me up at night is you not getting paid. Because the thing that I hate the most – and I get these messages and emails all the time from people – about work that you’ve done, a product you’ve created, a course you’ve offered, a service you’ve offered, and then you don’t get paid for it. That’s the worst.

Just to back up for a second, ideally, so many times when I get these messages from people, this kind of stuff wouldn’t happen if you had the right stuff in place, or if you were even onboarding clients correctly, or taking payments correctly, just doing some of the more operations, administrative stuff the right way. And I know it’s both confusing and maybe you don’t know that you’re doing the wrong way until you find out through getting screwed, like through not getting paid. But it’s also that sometimes people will be like, "Well, I don’t need to have that stuff set up yet. I don’t need to have this kind of layer of security yet. I’ll just wait and I’ll see how things go. I’m just a little business, nobody will do that to me." And then, all of a sudden, somebody does it to you.

I feel like what I’m finding, too, is that this is happening earlier and earlier. When I started in, like, 2016, 2017 an online business, I feel like what I would often hear about people not getting paid was somebody like me where, you know, I’m processing a lot of payments. We have people buying my Ultimate Bundle, for example, all the time who I don’t know, who I have no interaction with, who maybe just come to my website and get a recommendation, they see a Facebook ad, something happens, they click, they buy, and then somebody disputes their payment or cancels their card or the charge doesn’t go through. That’s what I associated the whole not getting paid thing with.

Because when I started, I felt like there was more of a connection between a coach and their client, for example. You had a personal connection. That person kept paying you. I think what started to happen or what I’ve started to hear a lot more about over the last two years is that coaches are coming to me all the time saying I was working with this person for, like, two or three months, or I just had somebody write to me, actually they posted in the Facebook community for my Ultimate Bundle program yesterday asking what to do because a client that they had worked with almost all the way through, they were almost at the end, canceled her payments and did a chargeback threat. So, she not only wouldn’t pay the balance moving forward, but she also went to her credit card company asking for all of the money that she’s already paid back because she’s saying that she didn’t like the service that’s being provided. I’m starting to see more trickery with some of that stuff.

And, you know, maybe some of this has to do something with the economy, maybe with where people are at financially. I think in our industry, also, consumers are going to become more savvy. People know how to cheat the return system in returning stuff to Target. But maybe for an online business, people didn’t know you can do a chargeback threat even though you’ve received this service and say you didn’t like it and try to get your money back. So, I think that we might just be seeing a little bit of an evolution there.

And that’s why it’s my worst nightmare for this to happen to you because there’s nothing worse. When I get these messages, I feel that pain of knowing that you’ve provided something, you’ve put yourself out there, you’ve done the work, and then you feel so robbed. You feel like you’re getting squeezed and you feel like you’re being taken advantage of, and it doesn’t feel good.

And, also, just as a small business, you can’t afford for that to happen to you. Especially if you’re working with people one-on-one, you can’t afford to have people using up your services, using up your time, which is your money right now. If you’re doing one-to-one services or any sort of services online, you have to get paid for that time, because otherwise that is all lost time. It’s like throwing profit down the toilet. And that is not sustainable, obviously, for a small business.

But I also know that when you’re more in the beginning and you’ve only had a handful of clients, or you only have a handful of clients right now, one client canceling their credit card or one client asking for a full refund can do a major damage to you financially.

So, in many of these cases, when I hear from people in my DMs or in emails, it tends to be that the person didn’t have either a contract at all, or they didn’t have a very good contract that didn’t speak to these kinds of scenarios, or the very specific scenario that this person is trying to pull. Like, someone contacted me the other day who didn’t have a chargeback threat policy and she didn’t have any language about cancellation in her contract.

That kind of stuff is basic contract principle 101. That language is built into all of my contract templates. Those contract templates are either available on my website or at least ten of them are included in the Ultimate Bundle. So, if you’re looking for contracts that are written by an attorney so that you know that they’re solid, they have the pieces that you need, that is what I do, that’s what I offer and you can get those on my website anytime.

But I find often that the contracts are either missing key language that’s pretty obvious, or they never used a contract at all, or they relied on some unenforceable type of contract, like an email back and forth with a promise, a conversation, a phone call, a handshake, an email, whatever, a DM, something other than what it needs to be which is a legitimately drafted and signed executed contract, a legal contract. That’s what you need to make sure you get paid.

So, you need a contract to avoid this scenario for two different reasons. One is because a lot of these things would be avoided. If you had this contract, that person might not be trying to pull this baloney on you, that might be one thing, or it would guide you in your conversation as to like, "Hey, you actually owe this much. This is what you agreed to," you know, that kind of stuff.

The second reason you need the contract to avoid this nightmare scenario is that you need something to be able to now go back you up and enforce this payment. So, if this person really stiffs you on the payment and it’s going to do damage to your business, and you can’t look the other way or you choose not to look the other way or walk away – I have a training on this inside the Ultimate Bundle, when is it a good idea just to walk away, because there are good scenarios for that – if it’s not one of those and you’re like, "No. I did the service. I gave the product. I performed the thing. I need to get paid for this. This person’s just doing the wrong thing," you have to have a contract in order to go and enforce that payment.

Without that contract, there’s nothing. There’s no way. There’s no mechanism that you have other than just sending nasty emails to that client or something like that. That’s really just like throwing spaghetti at the wall. There’s no meat to it. There’s no meat in that spaghetti. So, you really need something so that in that scenario you would be able to send them to collections, go to a small business attorney, file something, even just sending a nasty lawyer letter, getting a lawyer to write a demand letter and attaching the copy of the contract, that’s going to make it hook, line, and sinker for you to get paid. If you go to collections, you need the contract to show what they agreed to.

If that client does a chargeback threat, which is where they go to their credit card company and they say, "I don’t want to pay for this, give me my money back," you have to provide the credit card company with proof that this person agreed to certain terms. Once you provide those, and if those are adequate, then you will win the chargeback threat.

So, it is essential for avoiding this first legal nightmare scenario that you have a solid contract.

The second legal nightmare scenario that I definitely lie awake at night for you is getting reported or getting in some sort of legal trouble because of your license or getting reported to your state governing body because you don’t have a license, like somebody reporting you as a health coach for talking about nutrition or you’re a finance coach that talks about money and they report you to your state’s licensing board because you’re not an accountant or a certified financial planner. Really any kind of scope issue, it’s not even just getting reported, but it could be somebody calls you out for being unqualified or talking outside of your scope.

That is a legal nightmare that keeps me up at night, because that’s something that could get big, could be on a big scale. And it’s something I talked about recently with one of my Ultimate Bundle members, Jenna Overbaugh, in Episode 164 of On Your Terms, which I’ll link to in the show notes below. But Jenna is a therapist, and Jenna started an online business in which she’s not providing therapy, she’s not providing therapy services, but she’s selling courses and she’s running more of an educational platform on therapy, self-help advice, that kind of stuff.

And Jenna actually got reported by who we assume is a colleague. I mean, we don’t know. But I think in these cases, you tend to think that it’s someone who is probably in your industry. It could be a concerned citizen even. It can be anybody. It could be somebody following you online. And she got reported. I’ll let you listen to Episode 164 to hear what ended up happening and even how the Ultimate Bundle saved her ass, for example. But she had every single thing in place that she needed.

And that’s why this kind of thing keeps me up at night for you if you don’t have legal protection in place, because this is an example of one of the things I was talking about earlier, that can just be easily prevented if you have the right pieces in place.

And I feel like with Jenna’s story in particular, I can so easily see a parallel example where somebody who would have been in her position would have just been like, "I’ll just have this Instagram page -" like Jenna has a lot of followers on Instagram – and just like, "Oh, I’m just posting content, what’s the big deal?" or "I’ll just say this or I’ll say that or I’ll do this one thing, but I don’t think I need all this legal stuff." And it turns out that "all this legal stuff" is exactly what ended up saving her. And without it, she could have gotten in a lot of trouble, not because she was actually doing something wrong, but for failing to have the proper notices, and disclosures, and contracts, and terms, and all these kinds of things.

So, I worry about people getting reported. I worry about people legitimately getting reported because they don’t know what their scope of practice is. If you don’t know what I’m talking about and what scope of practice is, Episode 2 of On Your Terms is a great place to start because that’s my first episode I ever did about scope of practice. I even have a scope of practice playlist down below that I can link to if you listen on Spotify. But you really need to know what you’re allowed to legally do in your business, what you’re not allowed to legally do. It’s very dependent on who you are, where you are, what you’re talking about, so many different things. But that’s one of the ways you avoid getting reported.

And the other way is that you have the appropriate policies on your website. You use contracts. You understand disclosures. You understand how to talk about what you do. And as all my Ultimate Bundle members will tell you, it is equally important that you know how to talk about what you don’t do, and what you’re not allowed to do, and how to navigate those sticky conversations or requests when people are like, "Hey, can you help me with this?" or somebody writes you their life story in a DM or something like that. You have to know how to handle those situations safely.

The third legal scenario that keeps me up at night is you getting copied. I hate the idea of you getting copied. And I also hate the idea that you might be afraid of being copied and that might be influencing how you’re running or growing your business.

I know what that feels like. I get copied all the time. I feel like I spent a long time in this kind of more hesitant, paranoid position when I just didn’t know what to do because I felt like I kept seeing me get copied, and I was doing all the right things, obviously legally, but I would still get copied, or some things would happen and slip through the cracks because I was just busy running my business and not thinking that people were going to be stealing things left and right. And so, it happens. We’re all human.

And it worries me about getting copied, because I feel like you might underestimate how many people copy you or could copy you. I think you might underestimate how big your business has to be or how many followers you have before somebody copies you. I know for me and many other people, it happened very early on. And I almost feel like as my business has gotten bigger, I maybe have gotten copied less, I don’t know, or maybe I see it less. I’m not really sure. I mean, you definitely see more and more businesses kind of start to emulate your overall business. But I feel like I had more direct cases of copying when my business was a little bit smaller.

So, I actually think that the logic is kind of the reverse of what a lot of people think, and that’s why it scares me, because then you might not know and then you’re going to have that moment, like I did when I saw another attorney had stolen my entire website. And that is not a good feeling. Talk about feeling like you got violated and it felt so gross to feel like somebody had been fishing around and watching me. And even the idea that somebody had poked behind the code of my website, it felt like someone broke into my dressers, that’s how it felt. So, getting copied is not fun.

And it’s very important that as a content creator, you are creating content – the number one thing that you are doing is creating content, whether it’s on social media, or to your email list, on your website, on TikTok, on Instagram, whatever, podcast, or YouTube – you have to know what kind of content you’re creating, what does that fall under, is this something that needs to be copywritten, am I doing stuff that needs to be trademarked, does my business need a trademark. Those are very basic and simple questions that you should be able to answer as a business owner with a little bit of help, obviously.

So, I have an episode that I’ll link down below for you, Episode 113 of On Your Terms, which is all about how to legally protect your content itself through copyright registration. And then, I also have an episode down below that I will link for you about whether or not you need to trademark your business name or the names of your programs, or even differentiating between trademarks, copyrights, patents, all that stuff. It can be really confusing, and so I have some really easy, quick episodes for you that I will link to down below all about this.

The fourth legal scenario that I am nervous about is that you might get caught without a contract, or be using a bad one, and then get stuck in a scenario in which not having a contract or having a bad one comes back to bite you.

So, we kind of talked about this when it comes to not getting paid, that is definitely one area where I see it. I see it when people ask for a refund and then you’re like, "Well, I said no refunds" – I don’t know, like on the sales page or on the checkout page somewhere. And now they’re asking for a refund and like, "I know, but where’s your contract for it?" You need a contract that says that there are no refunds and that they have to agree to it. So, refunds are a good one.

Another good example, I mean, I always say this to people, I’m a lawyer and I sometimes don’t even foresee the shenanigans that people pull sometimes online. So, I remember one of my friends, she is a course creator, but this was, like, several years ago, and she was selling her online course, and it was before we became friends, and she had very simple terms at checkout. So, again, she had a contract but it was a bad one. It was not written by a lawyer. It was something that she cobbled together herself, copy and pasted. I know that that is what a lot of people do. And so, she had this at checkout.

Somebody buys her product, they basically take her course so that they can be inspired by it, and they want to go out and create their own. And they end up basically going off and creating the identical course. They go and create their course. They don’t steal the content outright, but they go and use the structure of her course, the topics that she talks about, they’re very inspired by it. And then, they use a lot of the methodologies and strategies which weren’t things that she necessarily owned, but she definitely taught them in that course. And then, this other person saw them in her course and goes and replicates them.

And when my friend finds out about this and contacts her and says you’re in violation, you’re violating my copyright, and my this, that, and the other thing, the girl says, "Where’s your contract that says that any of this information was confidential, that it couldn’t be reused? I don’t see anything about a license. I don’t see you saying that this is your intellectual property. Do you have it registered?" I remember seeing the email and I’ll just tell you that this girl from Philly wanted to slap her when I saw the email because it was so rude. She was clearly playing games with my friend and she knew what she was doing and she knew it was wrong, but she was trying to get out on a technicality. It was so rude.

By the way, I’m just kidding about slapping. I wouldn’t physically harm another human being on purpose. But I’m just saying I digitally wanted to slap her because it was just so sneaky, snarky, gross, slimy. I hated it. I remember I was so mad when I saw this email.

And on the other hand, she was right about some stuff. The point is that this person should have had to agree to a contract when she purchased the course – that was good – and that talked about these issues. Everything that I just named are super basic issues. Like my contract template for your online courses and memberships, it’s called Terms of Use contract template. The Terms of Use contract template, that goes over what you are and aren’t allowed to do with reusing the content, who you can share it with, your intellectual property ownership, what you would do if you found out about it, all of these kinds of things. All of these issues are basic, basic issues that would be in any good terms.

So, that’s why it is a legal nightmare to get caught without a contract or with a bad one, because you could just be missing things that are really obvious that people like me would know to put in there. And it’s no fault of your own, but it might just be missing from your contracts right now.

Okay. Are you ready for my fifth and final scary legal scenario that keeps me up at night? By the way, after I finish my fifth legal scenario, I want you to stick around because I actually have a listener the other day, one of our Terminators – as I’m going to start calling you all my Terminators if you listen to the podcast regularly – asked if I could start sharing a little to-do list or recap at the end of the episode of here’s what I would do. So, I’m going to share that after the fifth legal scenario.

Okay. So, the fifth thing that keeps me up at night is you’re never going anywhere because you’re afraid that you’re legally exposed, but you’re never doing anything about it either. Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is just that we need to focus on what we can control, and that a lot of our fear and anxiety around a lot of things in business, but I can only really speak for the legal stuff, is that we spend a lot of time worrying about things that are outside of our control. And it’s a double dose, a double whammy of a bad combo when you also don’t take action and do the things that you can.

So, a lot of times I hear from people who are really afraid of being sued or of being found out or someone reporting them, like a lot of the things that we talked about today, like what if I offered this thing and then people cancel their credit cards? Or what if someone steals it? What if someone copies from me? But then, I’ll ask them "So then, what are you doing about it?" Because some of this stuff we can and can’t control. Some of it, even, if we get the legal pieces in place, we’re not necessarily getting these legal pieces in place so that no one can ever copy us.

As I always say, there’s nothing that stops somebody from grabbing their phone and typing in your caption into their caption on social. That’s easy to do and there’s not a lot you can do to block them, but you can do something to put yourself in a position to do something about it. And then, we can work on releasing the rest, you and me together.

Because, look, I’ve got my own anxieties from here to next Sunday and a lot of it is about stuff that I can’t control and that’s not up to me. And we’re fooling ourselves if we think that we can just sit here and worry it out, like we’re going to fix it by worrying or whatever. I really do believe that you’re resourceful, you’re resilient, that you can handle it when or if it does happen. I believe, for one, that probably a lot of what you’re worried about wouldn’t even ever happen. And two, that if it did happen, it’s outside of your control. That because it would be outside of your control, therefore, if it did happen, you are strong and capable enough to just deal with it. And that’s really all that you can do.

So, I am here. My Ultimate Bundle is here, for example, so that you can have that breath of relief, that sigh of relief knowing that you have done what you can do. Because like with the Ultimate Bundle, for example, you can get the legal contracts that you need, quickly fill out the ones that you need right now. If you need a client contract or you need a course contract or you have to protect your website with privacy policy, a website disclaimer, and terms and conditions, those are all in the Bundle for you. And then, it’ll teach you how to set up your LLC. It’ll teach you about trademarks and copyrights. It’ll teach you what to do if a client doesn’t pay you. I’ll even give you the email to send them if they don’t pay you.

So, you have the resource. That’s why I created this. The Ultimate Bundle is not a course. It is meant to be something that you continuously go back to and you draw upon when you need it. It’s a resource. It’s a pack of legal templates with a resource that you continue to go back to if and when you need it, so that you’re not alone in these situations, so that you do prevent as much as humanly possible.

And we work on what we can actually control. And what you can control is getting the legal foundation in place, having the contracts that you’re going to need to enforce this stuff and protect yourself and protect your boundaries, even more importantly, and learning how to get some of the key legal pieces in place that keep you legally safe, like registering your business properly, getting business insurance, setting up a business bank account. Those things are basic and fundamental and required to run a safe online business.

So, I definitely recommend checking out the Ultimate Bundle. I’ll leave a link to the Ultimate Bundle in the show notes down below.
You can get a really great deal on the Ultimate Bundle if you sign up for my free legal workshop called Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business below, even if you don’t want to watch it. If you already know you need the Bundle, just sign up for it so that you can get the best deals, the best deal you can get on the Ultimate Bundle. So, I highly recommend doing that, and I’ll make sure I leave all of that for you in the show notes.

With that, I want to give you a quick little to-do’s, takeaways. Here’s what I would do if you were listening to this episode, so for one, I would focus on getting your contracts in place. Because, probably as you heard today, contracts are really important and they’re going to be the most immediate need if you haven’t done that already.

The second thing is that I would make sure that your business is registered properly so that you are personally legally protected. If you don’t know how to do that or what I’m talking about, I teach you how to do that inside the Ultimate Bundle. I also go over that in that free legal workshop I was talking about, Five Legal Steps to Protect Your Online Business, so I’ll link to that down below. But you want to make sure that you are registered properly.

The third thing I would do after this episode is get business insurance so that you are financially protected in your business. The fourth thing I would do is familiarize yourself and listen to some of the episodes that I talked about, about protecting your content, knowing how to protect your content, what pieces of your content actually need legal registration, what kind of stuff do you just need to be aware of. But I would listen to those episodes.

And the fifth and final thing that I would do after listening to this episode is that, if you are ready to stop worrying about the legal stuff and confidently be able to grow your business, I would go get the Ultimate Bundle. If you’ve been thinking about it for a while, I don’t know what’s going to change with time, but I would highly recommend getting inside, because what I hear every single day as a creator myself is from thousands and thousands of customers saying "Once I got it, I automatically felt better and I was able to start moving forward. I was able to start confidently promoting my business."

Actually, you know what? I’m going to read you an email I just got. Okay. Here’s an email I just got today from a brand new Bundle member. She said, "I’m nearing the launch of my first online course, which will later include a group coaching component. I’ve been playing small with promoting my one-to-one coaching offers because of my DIY contracts that I know aren’t as legally good as they should be. I knew I needed some legally legit contracts in place before I could really feel comfortable and confident to scale my business and up level. I was and still working through afraid of being seen. I was comparing you and your Ultimate Bundle between another attorney for coaches who offers similar legal templates. And, ultimately, I went with the Ultimate Bundle because it really seemed to have everything I needed for what I’m hoping to build. I love that there’s continued support and opportunity to connect in the Facebook Community Group if I need to, as well as the ability to search the group to see what questions have been answered before. When you announced the Bundle will be on sale and I saw your bonuses, it really was a no brainer. I haven’t even logged in yet, but I already have more peace of mind knowing that I have it and I can’t wait to dive in and get things set up. Thank you."

So, that was a really nice email that I got just a couple of minutes ago. That backs up what I’m saying here about, I think, as soon as you even have it, you’re going to feel better. But, really, I want you just to get this stuff in place. So, thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode. My DMs and email are always open. You can DM me, @samvanderwielen, on Instagram. Let me know you listened to this episode or if you have any questions. And you can always email me or reply to any of my emails that you get with any questions that I can help you with. With that, I’ll chat with you in a few days.

Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms Podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business, at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram, @samvanderwielen, and send me a DM to say hi.

Just remember that although I am a attorney, I am not your attorney and I am not offering you legal advice in today’s episode. This episode and all of my episodes are informational and educational only. It is not a substitute for seeking out your own advice from your own lawyer. And please keep in mind that I can’t offer you legal advice. I don’t ever offer any legal services. But I think I offer some pretty good information.

Resources Discussed in This Episode

If you’re ready to legally protect and grow your online business today, save your seat in my free workshop so you can learn how to take the simple legal steps to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build. Click here to watch the free workshop so you can get legally legit right now!


  • Read Sam’s Blog for the latest legal tips, podcast episodes & behind the scenes of building her seven-figure business.
  • Listen to our customer stories to see how getting legally legit has helped 1,000s of entrepreneurs grow their own businesses.



  • Kajabi // use Kajabi to sell your course, program, or even build your entire website. Get a 30-day free trial with my link.
  • SamCart // what I use for my checkout pages and payment processing and LOVE. And no, not because it’s my name.
  • ConvertKit // what I use to build my email list, send emails to my list, and create opt-in forms & pages

DISCLAIMER: Although Sam is an attorney she doesn’t practice law and can’t give you legal advice. All episodes of On Your Terms are educational and informational only. The information discussed here isn’t legal advice and does not intend to be. The info you hear here isn’t a substitute for seeking legal advice from your own attorney.

© 2022 Sam Vander Wielen LLC | All Rights Reserved | Any use of this intellectual property owned by Sam Vander Wielen LLC may not be used in connection with the sale or distribution of any content (free or paid, written or verbal), product, and/or service by you without prior written consent from Sam Vander Wielen LLC.

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