Business Podcasts | Attorney Wes Carter Answers Business Legal Questions from the Thrive Nation

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Business Podcasts | Attorney Wes Carter Answers Business Legal Questions from the Thrive Nation

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Audio Transcription

Okay, we fill out these papers, become a real business, and then we can get to the fun stuff. Okay, do we want to be an S-Corp or a C-Corp? Well, I think S-Corp stands for serious corporation, and C’s for casual, so… I’m more serious, you’re more casual, so… Well, let’s just do both of them. Checking them both. Awesome. Okay, do we want to be non-profit or profit? Hmm… I want to make money, so… Yeah, profit, but I don’t want to come across as greedy. That’s true. Okay, I’m going to mark non-profit because it sounds better. Okay, okay. Okay. Why are we even doing this? Well, this is a limited liability form, so it would become a limited liability. Wait, wait. Limited liability? Yeah. I don’t want to put any limits on this. We’re going to the top. Yes, we are. How about unlimited liability? Put that down. Put it down. Okay, I don’t see that here. Well, just put a U in, in front of the word. Honey, I think you picked up the wrong form. We need an unlimited liability company. We want to be a ULLC. No, you want to limit your liability. That’s the whole point. Honey, this thing’s going to be huge. Why are you putting limits on us, Laura? I’m not. If someone sues your business, they can’t take our personal stuff. I’m not scared of that. Okay, honey, I think if we’re at the point where we’re making so much money that we’re being sued, I think we’re doing pretty good. Real good, guys. Real good. Real good guys, real good. I didn’t realize you had a PhD in accounting. You can’t get a PhD in accounting. Bye honey. Hey, give Jimmy a call. Who’s Jimmy? You know Jimmy, the guy who’s been arrested like three times and the court appointed him a lawyer? Let’s give him a call. Call him up. Jimmy? This program is not an advertisement for legal services. Any discussion on the program involving legal issues is intended for general information purposes. No attorney-client relationship is established by listening to the program. This program is not a substitute for legal advice. You should contact a competent attorney for advice on your specific legal issues. Bonus Business Coach Clay Clark Life Tips. No coach-client relationship is established by listening to this program. This program is not a substitute for common sense. Please remember to look both ways when crossing the street. If you discover that your clothing is burning, stop, drop and roll. If you get upset with someone about their driving, don’t chase them around through town. Don’t sleep with someone that you just met. Don’t sleep with someone I just met? Don’t sleep with someone I just met? Where did that rash come from? Don’t spit into the wind. Don’t get a regrettable tattoo on your face and act like it doesn’t impact your ability to get a job. Don’t show up late for things. Don’t debate politics on Facebook. Don’t go to shell bathrooms. Say yes. Say thank you. Don’t debate religion at work and drink responsibly. Don’t text and drive or have three wives. Thank you. You smell terrific. All right, Wes Carter, now that we got all the disclaimers out there, how was that for a disclaimer for you, my friend? That was pretty inclusive of… Those are just the issues I worry about. Yeah. See, those are just the issues. A window into Clay’s mind. I mean, this is just, we had to get all the legal jargon out of the way, because we didn’t want to be inappropriate. Now, Z, we have seven legal questions for Wes Carter. How we’re going to tee it up here. I’m going to ask Wes Carter the question, and then Z, you are going to represent the Thrive Nation, the business owners out there who are saying, what the crap? What the hey who? What the crap does he mean? Quit talking down to me, quit giving me, quit killing my dreams with the facts. So here we go. We have a thriver out there as a company, it’s a plumbing company based in Kansas City, who writes, I’m very new to how unemployment works, and I’m looking to promote someone to customer status on my team, aka fire them. What are the action steps? What are the action steps? How do I address potential unemployment issues? Wes Carter. Well, unemployment’s handled on a state-by-state basis, but it’s really not anything you have to do to initiate the process. So once you terminate someone, typically they are going to go file for unemployment themselves, and then the unemployment agency in your state is going to send you a notice, ask if you want to respond. And typically, you’re not going to fight unemployment benefits unless they were fired for good cause. You fired them because they were consistently not following established policies that you had set and they were doing something that really they deserved to get fired, not just they weren’t very good at their job. Now if you, let’s say that you do have to pay unemployment, how much does it actually cost you? What happens is that you pay a percentage, I believe, of your payroll to unemployment. And it’s a very low percentage, but as people file on you, they can and will raise that percentage for a period of time. So it depends. It’s kind of like, you know, what does your car insurance do if you get a bunch of tickets? There’s a threshold where they raise your car insurance. It might even cancel you eventually. Not that unemployment would cancel you, but they would raise your car insurance to get more expensive, is kind of what happens. But I always thought, and every state can be different, and Wes, check me if I’m wrong, but I thought the threshold for Oklahoma was that you had to prove that they were willfully harming your business. Yeah, and that’s a, you know… Not to deny them. Right. It’s a high hurdle. It’s a high hurdle, and I always preach to people that ask me, say, listen, why fight it? Let them have the last victory. It doesn’t last very long. It’s not a lot of money. It gives them a little something, and then they feel like that they don’t work. I agree with what you’re saying. I just want to make sure I’m getting this. I think the listeners out there who don’t know, they think not a lot of money can be relative. Let’s just say you’re paying some guy four grand a month, okay, 48 grand a year, and you have to let the guy go. All right? You let him go. He breaks all the rules. He files unemployment. You go ahead and say, you know what? I don’t want to fight it. Let’s just let him have the last victory. We’ll go ahead and pay. So are we talking about thousands of dollars a month extra we have to pay in unemployment? No, no, no. Not at all. What are we thinking? It’s not. I could probably Google it up and look, but it’s a small percentage of your payroll that you pay for unemployment. I mean, it’s not thousands. I’m just making sure the listeners know. It’s the equivalence of insurance. So your premiums may go up as a result of having a number of claims, but you’re not paying unemployment out of your pocket. Right. You’re not paying the, let’s say you get $2,000 a month for unemployment. You’re not paying that. Worst case scenario, you’re at hundreds of dollars a month, you know what I mean, as your rate goes up. But I mean, you’re not out thousands and thousands. It’s not… Correct. But you just don’t want to get in the habit of it. Well, and when someone then, and that may not even go, number one, that may not even go filed. Number two, even if they do, at some point, if you don’t have anybody file on you, your rate goes back down eventually. Now, Zohan, you have a controversial move as it relates to writing employees up, or shall I say not writing employees up? Correct. Can you please explain why you, I mean, now you’re at a level where you have managers who do things for you, but why are you not a big write-up kind of guy? What do you really get from writing somebody up? Well, you document the issue, you say, hey, you’re right, we’ve talked about it. And why do you have to do that? I’m not saying you have to. Wes, Wes, why would you? Legal Eagle, Wes. Legal Eagle. Where it comes in handy is, so you terminate an employee for a legitimate reason. That’s right. And when they file a claim, they allege you didn’t fire me because I was late, you fired me because I had a disability. And I told you about this disability and you never offered me an accommodation for my disability. And you know. I sense a conflict brewing here between Dr. Zellner and Wes Carter. Back to you there, Dr. Z. It’s like a tennis match here. It’s a volley, Dr. Zellner. A cage fight. I mean, sometimes the write-up, if not done correctly, can backfire on you. Very true. Very true. So, to me, it’s kind of like, hey, Oklahoma’s an at-will state. It’s really important to understand. You may be listening, it’s somewhere around the world. And this, I’m giving you advice on the rules and laws of Oklahoma, the state of Oklahoma here in the great country of America. It’s an at-will state. You can fire somebody for anything. You don’t have to have three documented late days. You don’t have to have the fact that they can’t answer the phone and speak clearly. You don’t have to have it documented. It’s an at-will state. If you just say, hey, you know what, Billy? I don’t want a guy working for a guy by the name of Billy. If you’re writing somebody up in North Korea, I mean, the laws are different. The laws are different. Let me add one phrase to your statement, which is true with a caveat. You can fire anyone for any reason as long as it’s not an illegal reason. So, I can’t fire you because of your gender, your sex, your race, your… Real quick here, guys, as the head of the lifeguard crew here, I just want to point out, Robert, come on up here, I’m firing you because you’re white. I hate white people. Just get throwing that out there. You’re fired because you’re white. Wes, you’re fired too. You’re, what are you, Wes? Are you kind of white? What’s your deal? You look weird. You’re too dark. Seriously, what is your ethnicity, Wes? What are you? I’m Caucasian. Are you part Native American? I always thought so, but… Did you do the DNA test? To avoid the Elizabeth Warren issue, I now just claimed Caucasian. My DNA test came back English and Wells. I thought so my whole life until about six months ago. Oh my goodness, how funny is that? Well I’ll tell you what, I like your skin color. It’s a little darker. You’re hired. We’ll keep you. See you’re fired. Okay, I’m out of here. You can’t do it for that reason, right? Correct. Well that’s why when you’re firing someone, folks, let’s go back to the rules. It’s just not working out. No other reasons. Buh-bye. That’s great advice. Now, another thing you can’t say is, hey, old guy, come on up here. You’re fired. We’re going younger. I’m going with the youth movement here, buddy. That’s why you don’t say anything, because therefore, you don’t put yourself in a corner. You just keep it simple. It’s just not working out. You’re fired. Bye-bye. Nothing there. They can imagine why they’re being fired all they want. They can think it’s some legal… They can whatever they say, but you don’t have anything written down to prove otherwise. You haven’t opened your big trap to say otherwise, and what you’re thinking is between you and God alone. Now, we have a Thriver out there who wants to know, they say, how do I trademark a business name and logo? What does the process look like? How much does it cost, Wes? So to qualify for, there’s really three types of trademarks. We’ll go through this real quick. Common law trademark means I have not registered with anybody. I just claim rights because I use it, which are very limited rights. You have state trademarks, which you file in your state, but are only good within that state’s borders. And then the best, the brightest, the most powerful, are federal trademarks, which you file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. And to qualify, you have to use a mark, you know, a drawing, a word, a group of words, whatever your mark is, in connection with whatever kind of good or service you’re trying to protect in interstate commerce and business across state lines. And if you can meet those elements, you file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. They process it. It takes about six to nine months. You’re looking at starting out around $1,000 usually with attorney’s fees, filing fees, everything. Okay. Now, if you’re out there today and you’re saying, I have a legal question, just email us to info at And Z’s going to get that email, I get that email. See, we get the email. And then we say, you know what? We get the email. Let’s wait until Tuesday and let’s ask Wes Carter. That’s what we’re going to do. And then we’ll ask Wes Carter. It’s the move. It is the move. It’s a legal move. This does not substitute legal, actual, you know, having a lawyer represent you. So now that you’ve heard it’s about $1,000, Wes, you probably shouldn’t go online and try to do this yourself. Am I correct? That’s absolutely right. Okay. Now we have a thriver out there. This is our third question. They say, this is, see this question right here is a beautiful question. This right here is a tremendous, well, see I’m trying to hype it up a little bit here. Just give me a little bit of energy. I need to know that you want to say something. And now, from the blue corner, Clay Clark brings the next question. That’s right. Okay, here we go. Thrive wants to know, hey, we have an e-commerce retail company. We’re not well known yet, and we don’t want someone else taking our name or our logo. How do we protect it? Well, we roll right back into trademark issues. I know there’s a lot of confusion. They need someone to have you trademarked that. I don’t need to. I have it. I bought the domain name. Well, did you buy every variation, possible variation of that domain name? So, I mean, a lot of people think just because they registered a name with the state or they got a domain name that now all of a sudden they can stop people from using their name or that gives them some sort of trademark rights. Really, the only thing you can do to proactively try to protect the name, prevent someone else from using it in a similar way, is to go down the trademark road. So you can always fall back on those common law trademark rights, where I get some rights just because I’ve been using it, but they’re very limited. You only get rights geographically in the place that you use them. And so if I’m in Tulsa, for instance, I might have common law trademark rights to a name, but it may be for Oklahoma City or Little Rock. There’s no need to get into those, leave yourself open to those traps. If you really want to protect the name, you have something unique that you want people not to knock off or use something confusingly similar, then you need to look at a trademark. Now we have another thriver out there who has an e-commerce business, Z, and they are selling physical products, tangible goods. Tangible goods. And they want to know what stuff do we need to do legally to be in compliance? Broad question, but a good question. See, that’s a good question. That’s a good question. What stuff do we need? They already have a website up, they’ve got a shopping cart, they can fulfill the product. But talk to us about licenses. Do they need a business license? Do they need to secure a reserve of the name, protect the name? What kind of stuff do they need to be doing? Well, we’ll hit a couple of them. I mean, you’re right, it’s a very broad question. One that’s been coming up more and more is if you’re on an e-commerce site, you need to make sure you’re paying attention to your terms and conditions and your privacy policy. Those are, you know, if I come to your site and use your site, we have an agreement between me, the site operator, and you, the site user, where we’re going to fight, what are the terms, is there a membership, am I giving you my credit card information, all that stuff. Privacy policy, that’s a big issue right now. If you’re opening up your website, let’s say you’re growing and you start getting, let’s say, customers from the EU. Well, the EU has crazy strict privacy rules. Real quick, can you explain what the EU is and do we have to deal with the EU? The European Union, so we’re talking about Great Britain, at least for right now. Can I, real quick, I just want to tee this up. We left you guys for a reason. We’re trying to buy our crap. If you don’t want to deal with them, you can geoblock them. You can say, you can’t access my website from those countries where I don’t want to comply with your crazy laws. So that’s one thing. Another thing is, you need to be looking at sales tax. When you’re first small, you’re probably not on a state’s radar. as you grow or someone reports you, you need to be looking at which states you may be required to collect sales tax and pay to the state, which gets into a whole maze of compliance issues from registering those states, registering with their tax people, so that’s one. And then I think just from a general broad standpoint, one of the things that people assume is that just because I have a, I’m just doing stuff on the website. I got my widget. I’m selling my widget on a website. I don’t need insurance. I don’t need a corporation or LLC. I’m not doing business under my personal name. We still have those fundamental basics of get an entity, look at insurance, make sure you’re doing accounting correctly because all that revenue coming in still obviously has to be reported as income. Z, there’s so much there. So much. I just want to do a chant. G-O-Buck. G-O-Buck. G-O-Buck. It’s a fun word. Seriously, I don’t understand why… It’s so interesting how Europe is so… It’s so… Z, what’s the word I’m looking for? Bureaucratic? Yes, yes. Policed? Yes. Regulated? Yes. Stagnant? Do you recall Europe recently inventing a lot of things? Do you remember, did the airplane come out of Europe? No, but I can think of a couple of really great things. French fries? Yeah, French fries. What are some things that are coming? What are some hot tech companies coming out of France right now? Wes, do you have any over there? Crickets. Crickets. I know of a huge tech company coming out of Spain. I got to… No, I don’t. I’m joking. Yeah, so I mean, it’s a good point. People don’t think about… When I throw my website up, people can access that across the globe. And the EU right now, with their privacy, which just went into place last year, the new privacy rules, and now they’re looking at new rules that I’m reading about on internet controls and their copyright and intellectual property protections that might change the whole face of how we do, you know, like a, you go to a website aggregator, like getting permission before you can link to someone else’s story. So as those things evolve, if your industry is involved in that, you need to keep an eye on it because last thing you want is some, some guy from the EU trying to find you or something. You know, when you say EU, I go EU. One of my favorite European observations, one of my good friends Andy Mathren is from Europe, one of our first employees back in the day. He played basketball at Oral Roberts University. He came to Oral Roberts University to play basketball, Division I scholarship, and he did some work for me over the summers. And he pulled in one day to load up his DJ gear, Zee, with the biggest SUV I’ve ever seen. The biggest Suburban they would sell him. Wow. Those are big. And I said, why’d you get the biggest Suburban in the world? I mean, it was huge. It was like an older one, but it was huge. And he goes, well, in Europe, you have these little small cars. And I just said, if I ever came to America, I’d buy the biggest vehicle I could. And it’s just interesting because he kind of educates me about what it’s like over there. And he’s gone back to visit there recently. But he’s like, it’s so funny in Europe. They really pride themselves on being so educated. And they really know, and if it’s made in Europe, it must be better. But yet, they all smoke. He’s like, there’s so much smoking. He’s like, it’s just amazing, just the idea of the over-educated idiots across the pond. So if you’re from Europe out there, and you are not an educated idiot, I salute you. Well, if they’re listening to our show, then of course they’re driving it. I’m just saying, it’s brutal doing business over there. It is tough, and I think everybody out there, if you can, geo-block those people. Block them. Get them off your site. No, seriously, because if they go on your site and buy some crap from you, right, Wes? And then they say that you weren’t in compliance with their EU stuff, they could see across the pond. Yeah, I mean, there’s fines. Now, the chances of them coming after a small fish over here may be low. But if you’re a medium fish… Right, as you grow, those are things you have to take into account, and you can just reduce the risk altogether if you want to. Now here’s a fun one. We had an email that came in, this is fun, we had a member of the Thrive Nation who has a business that’s doing very well, and they got an email from a marketing firm. Okay, the email from the marketing firm, so check this out, we have a client we’re working with and their former marketing company sends the client an email saying, you have to cease and desist. Stop using the website we built for you because you’re not an active client. You’ve got to cease and desist. Just like I’m telling this hornet that’s inside the studio to cease and desist. My friend, talk to me. If I go silent, I’m running. Andrew, try to hit it while we’re doing the show. See if you can hit the hornet while we’re still recording, my friend. Okay, so cease and desist. Can anybody tell someone to cease and desist? Can a marketing firm send you a letter asking you to cease and desist? I don’t think you should do it with a wood block. You’re probably going to get a magazine or something. That’s a dangerous call. He was going serious. He was getting axed out. He was getting axed out there. Let’s focus just on the situation because it happens a lot. Where I see this is marketing, web design, coding, anything that you’re having someone else write or develop for you, you need to be very careful with your agreement that you have with that company because what ends up happening is that when you get in a fight, you fire them, whatever it is, or they claim you owe them a bunch of money. They say, I own that, because the default rule is whoever creates it owns it, and I never gave you written permission to use it. Aren’t we one of the only marketing firms you’ve ever heard of that lets their clients have all their materials, there’s no contract to it? One of the few, yeah. I mean, there’s usually at least a clause in there that you can have it after you pay us for whatever’s left of your final invoice. I don’t, and I don’t, any clients, if you work with us for a month or a year, you get to own all your stuff. Yeah. I do that because I don’t, if I, if we’re no longer working with you, I don’t want to talk to you again. Yeah. I don’t want to like do constant, like, John, you’ve seen this. You got to get on a mic here, John. I don’t want to, we don’t want to do a deal. We have a client we worked with seven years ago calling us to make a quick tweak to their website. I mean, we don’t want to be your kind of backup plan that’s hosting your website for you, right? Well, right. And we have X amount of clients that we keep all the time. And so we can’t… Right. If there’s clients that we had to keep coming back to that we’re actually not getting paid on, all of our time would be spent on clients that aren’t even paying us. Andrew, I think you’re going to get that. Is it a hornet or a wood bee? What kind of thing is it? A hornet or a wasp. It’s a mud dauber. Is a mud dauber a real thing? Yeah. I’ve never heard of a mud dauber. I’m going to have to bone up on my identification. Okay, now the next question, this comes in from a Thriver who says, what action can be taken if you know your competition is coming across state lines, into your territory, in and unmarked vehicles and being unlicensed and offering plumbing services, contracting services. So again, there’s a plumber across state lines, across, there’s an electrician across state lines, okay? They’re coming into Oklahoma to compete with one of our clients and they are not licensed. And everyone in that town knows it, but they’re calling them for cheap across the border and they just show up unlicensed. Yeah, that’s one of those where you’ve got to take a little bit of a creative approach to it, because there’s probably not a good claim that you can bring directly against your competitor. Possibly unfair competition, but I think really your move there is report them to whoever the licensing body is for that profession, and see if you can get them to help you enforce it. Or PR. You know, you see these advertisements where, hey, we’re a roofer, we’re actually licensed, we’re actually insured, we’re actually bonded, here’s why we are. Don’t use some of those guys coming to you. We can’t mention their name, but if you see somebody who is… Make sure they’re licensed in Oklahoma to do your job or you’re not protected. I think you can advertise around that to address some of those issues as well. And then you’re getting advertising out of it, the government doesn’t charge you anything to enforce their own laws, and you’re not spending money on attorneys to go fight on something where you may not have a great claim. Okay, another question from a Thriver is, I have a deadbeat employee, and they’re not doing their job, so I fired them. They weren’t doing their job, so I fired them, I guess you could say. Deadbeat employee, they didn’t do their jobs, they fired them. Now they’re calling my current clients and trying to steal them. I know they have no money, but should I still sue for the principal? Well, a lot of that depends on if you had a contract with this deadbeat employee. So absent a contract, they’re not under any obligation not to compete with you when they leave. So if they’re just an employee, there’s no agreement, there’s no contract, when they leave, they can call up your people and say, hey, I got a new business, you want to come work with me? Now, there are limits to what you can do there. I mean, you can’t lie. There’s a claim called tortuous interference with contract, which means you are illegally interfering with my contractual relationship with this other person, but it’s very hard to prove. All the other guys I say is, no, they called me. They called me and I answered the phone, and so I didn’t do anything. That’s why it’s very important if you have someone on your payroll, especially in a sales position where they have those relationships and there’s a threat where they can walk out the door for a better paycheck from one of your competitors, that you want to try to lock those up with contracts. The next question we have from a Thriver is, they said, can you take legal action on a contractor who has your product and will not send it back? John, I’m not aware of this situation for this question. Do you know any context for this one? No, okay, but the question is, can you take action on a contractor who has your product and will not give it back? John, do you know more detail about this question? No, I don’t, but I, you know, we get a lot of times questions about people that pay for somebody to make a product, say overseas, and so they pay this company that’s overseas to make a product and they never, they hold on to it. So they hold your money and your product. So a company like in China, you pay them up front 40 grand to make your product, they never make the product. What are you going to do? Well, again, you go to China? And those agreements, you know, let’s say you have a contract to manufacture in China. Your first move is to try to have that contract governed by U.S. law, and then you’d have to sue them in the U.S., get a judgment, and then try to somehow enforce that judgment against their assets. You’re not going to get that money. You’re not going to get that money. So, you know, any time you’re dealing with a foreign entity, enforcing the piece of paper is very hard. Let me ask you this. Yeah. Your law firm over the years has represented T.D. Jake’s, Craig Rochelle, which are listing huge names. Let’s just say that Brother Jakes, Brother Craig Rochelle, Brother Joyce Myers, they all come together. Sister Joyce Myers, Super Jerk Clay Clark, we’re all teaming up together to say, listen, the Chinese are copying our books. And you know this happens, by the way. The Chinese will copy even Christian books. They will copy the book. What they’ll do is they’ll buy the book on Amazon. They’ll scan the whole thing. And they’ll make a replica. And these homies will do it in a week. They sell them cheap. Yeah, they’ll sell them on Amazon for like a dollar. They do that with the Jordans. They do that with shoes. Even if we had all the money in the world to throw at it, could you honestly sue the Chinese, win, and actually make them stop? Is it possible? If they had assets here in the States, possibly. You could freeze those assets, maybe. Right. You might be able to collect against assets they have in the States. The move there usually is online. You can do takedowns. There’s an international body that helps govern these kinds of things. So online you actually have many more options as opposed to just some shady company sitting on your stuff and not sending it to you. Okay, we have a listener out there who’s a 71 year old woman there, Wes. 71 year old woman who’s been working for over 30 years as a salesman for a manufacturing company in Pennsylvania. Can a company insist that she has to sign a severance agreement to get her severance package. What if she refuses? How can they reduce their legal exposure if she sues the company after being released? So, probably not. Unless you have, no, here’s a caveat. If I have a practice, a policy, that I pay everyone severance on their way out, and part of that practice or policy is not to require a severance agreement, you may have an enforceable contractual right to severance payment. Normally, there’s nothing like that. Severance is optional. And if it’s optional, I can put conditions on that. So I will give you a soft landing and a check on your way out the door on top of what I owe you, because that’s the key to severance is, on top of what I would otherwise have to pay you. And to do that, I’m entitled to make you sign a severance agreement. And one of the reasons I’m paying you that money is so that we tie this off with a clean bow. You’re not gonna sue me, you’re not going to bring a claim, you’re not gonna talk bad about me. And I have that peace of mind, and I’m buying that peace of mind from you. So that is how the employer limits its exposure, hopefully providing a good benefit for the employee as well. But almost always, if severance is optional, then they absolutely have a right to ask for you to sign a release in exchange for the payment of that severance payment. Now, okay, my final question. This is me asking you here. My final question. I’m going to go around the table here. John, question number one as I lead into my question. I look like a good trial attorney. I want to soften the knee here, Wes. I want to build rapport with my jury here, okay? Okay. Jonathan Kelly, have you, in fact, purchased a house ever? Yes. Okay. Okay. A little more more more than I what I was looking for there. Thank you. Just please answer the question. Andrew. Mr. Andrew. Mr. Andrew Bloomer. Yes. Have you in fact purchased a house in the past? In fact, I have. Okay. Mr. Wesley Carter, attorney at law. Have you in fact in the past purchased a house? Affirmative. Okay. So we have three yeses, we have three… Okay, so we can say, so far our witnesses all are saying they’ve purchased houses. Six percent, Wes, that is the question. The six percent. Six percent. John, that is the question. Andrew, that is the question. Did you use… Jonathan Kelly, what real estate agent did you use? Do not say her name. Is it the same real estate agent that Wes Carter? Did you and Wes Carter use the same real estate agent? To your knowledge, did you use the same real estate agent? I don’t know who he used but I doubt it Andrew Bloomer, maybe you’ll be more forthright in your answers. Have you have you did you use the same real estate agent as mr. Wesley Carter No Not that I believe not that I know you better qualify that These are attorney skills. Yeah, not to the best of my knowledge Okay, so you three gentlemen have eat but you each paid at the end of the day, for closing, when you close on the house. Did you, Mr. Wesley Carter, pay a 6% commission to the realtors involved? Yes. Andrew, did you, in fact, pay a 6% commission to the realtors involved? Yes, I did. Mr. Jonathan Kelly, did you, in fact, pay a 6% commission to the attorneys involved? Guilty as charged. Oh, attorneys. Okay, so the question I would have, Mr. Wes Carter, is right now there is a lawsuit abrewing. A major lawsuit is abrewing, that we can read about in Forbes. And this lawsuit, it’s alleging collusion. And the lawsuit is, you can learn more about it in Forbes, we’ll put a link to it on the show notes, this is not my opinion. To find the article, you can go ahead and do a quick search for, lawsuit alleges collusion, inflated commissions among realtors. West, the same law firm that represented the suing of the big four tobacco companies, and they won by the way almost 25 billion dollars for the consumers who… I would have loved a piece of that contingency. So let’s talk about this real quick here. So it’s the same people that took the lawsuit and sued Major Tobacco and won, are now saying that it is in fact collusion that that all realtors are charging the same fee to buyers and sellers. Now I would like to ask you, what does collusion mean first? What does collusion mean to you, Mr. Wesley Kirk? Well, I mean, generally it’s your competitors in the same market and you’re agreeing to price fix as opposed to engaging in a free market competition system. So you’re saying, that would be like every disc jockey company agreeing to charge the same price, every photography company agreeing to price, you know what I’m saying, we’re all going to charge the same price, that way the consumer can’t possibly get a better deal somewhere else, is that correct Mr. Wissokowski? Right, and usually you do it in a way where you discourage competition and someone who wants to come in and undercut you, you say, okay, there’s three of us. A and B will price fix, and if C comes in and tries to mess with us by charging a lower price, we’re going to team up and put him out of business. So do you think right now that the case has merit? Do you think that it will actually… What is your prediction based on your experience? This is not you saying, yes, this is going to happen. You can’t… How do you think it’s going to happen, though? What’s your opinion? I’m not intimately familiar with the exact how they’re framing their arguments. I haven’t read the pleadings, but I think the theory of it has some possible legs to say you can’t create a monopoly or an anti-competitive environment because we’ve all agreed this is what the going rate is. Now I think there’s some holes in that, but I think it’s got enough to get some legs. Let me read an excerpt to you just to give you a little more look at it. This is what it says here. It says, the law citizen in Forbes, it says, home sellers from across the nation are claiming that the National Association of Realtors’ compensation policies, which require all of the member brokers demand blanket, non-negotiable buyer side commission fees when listing a home on a multiple listing service, is a violation of antitrust law. Rheology Holdings, Home Services of America, Remax, and Keller Williams have all been named in the suit thus far. Yeah. And that’s where it gets down to really antitrust. You can’t do something that’s going to unnecessarily stifle competition to control the entire market. And I think where the strength of the argument is, is the MLS listing. Because that is the primary place in the entire country that people utilize for buying and selling homes. Let’s say you put your home up on Zillow or, that kind of thing. Now okay, so this is where, now we’re getting into it here, Wes. So Wes, if you were going to buy a house, are you going to stay in the house you’re in for a long time, or are you going to move eventually, or what do you think? I think we’ll probably move again in the near future. Okay, by the way, do you like the rocks back there? Do you see those rocks? Your backyard is looking spectacular. Pretty dope. Okay, so Andrew, are you going to move in the future? Not in the near future, no. John, are you going to move in the near future? No. Okay, so you guys, let’s say you do move though, okay? Okay. In a company that I have, a company that I’ve started with Mr. Glenn Shaw from Shaw Homes is a company called Sam Adams Realty, where we want to revolutionize the real estate industry. Oh, I see what you did there. So what we’re doing is we’re charging people a flat fee of $1,000. So imagine you’re out there wanting to buy a house, and you’re looking for a real estate agent and you’re going, well, should I pay 3%? So if you’re paying 3% to buy a $300,000 house, it’s a $9,000 commission right there. Sam Adams is $1,000. If you didn’t know me and you heard it was $1,000 flat to have somebody help you buy your house, would you, Wes, would you, I mean, would you check out a service like that? There’s one company called Door down in Dallas for $5,000,000 will do it. To my knowledge, nobody else is doing it for $1,000. Would you look into it? I would certainly look into it. Now, John, would you look into it for $1,000? I would. Would you, Andrew? Absolutely. Now here’s what the National Association of Realtors says. They said this is the value they bring for the 6% West. They say, one, we help you determine the fair market price that you should be offering. Do you believe that you could figure out the fair market price of a house without a realtor, or do you think you’d have to have a realtor to figure that out? What do you think? You’re pretty smart guy, maybe. If you could get the right information in your hands, I think it’s just a matter of doing some comparisons. Do you feel like having access to would give you an idea of what the recently sold houses would be? Or do you think no? No? I think I could get pretty close. Andrew, do you feel like you need a realtor to figure out what you should be paying for? I mean, Kelly Blue Book for cars. I mean, do you think you need a realtor? With all the information on the internet, probably not, no. John, do you? No, I mean, they have the different, you know, Zestimate on Zillow. They have those different estimates. You can also get somebody out to appraise the property and you can just do that by yourself. The second thing that the National Association of Realtors says that realtors do to help you is help you negotiate. So I want to ask you this question, John. Because we’ve coached with realtors. You’ve seen us. We’ve coached them. Have you ever met a realtor that we’ve met so far that has helped their client get a better deal? Not that I was aware of, no. I have yet to… I’ve worked very close with these people. I’ve yet to see one who was like, man, I’m going to negotiate this for you. And why do you think Andrew Sorn would not be motivated to negotiate a lower deal if they make commission? Probably because they would make a lot less money. Now maybe Wes has had a different experience. Maybe he had a realtor who helped him negotiate down the lowest deal possible, and maybe that is an outlier. Wes, what say you? Well, I can only speak from personal experience. I did the negotiating and then just relayed that to the realtor who communicated my counter offer to the other side. Now, realtors also, the third piece of value that realtors say they offer is that they say they can help you find the properties. Last time I bought a house, including the house we’re in now and the one across the street and the other house. I basically found it myself by finding a part of the town I wanted to live in and then I would go online and find it. Or for flip houses, I would just drive around looking for tall grass and nice neighborhoods. That’s how I did it. John, did you help your realtor find the houses or did they send you a list of all the houses that were available? So, we went through a couple different realtors and all of the houses that we went and saw are the ones that we found. And so, how we did it was very similar. We started online and we said, okay, we don’t want to live in these areas. So what’s available? And then we just kind of narrowed it down from there, then drove the neighborhoods and then went and looked at the house. Wes, what do you think? That’s kind of how I use a travel agent. I decide when I want to go exactly the resort I want to go to and then tell the travel agent make it happen. Andrew, did you suggest the property to buy or did your realtor do it for you? I my wife and I definitely found all the property or the property that we ended up buying ourselves interesting Now the fourth claim the National Association of Realtors says why they charge 6% Wes is they say they help you market your houses now I want to make sure that everyone listening out there gets this idea for Sam Adams What’s I want to be fair here we go if you listed your house with me say Wes I’m gonna charge you a thousand dollars Okay, thousand bucks to listen. This is what I’m going to do. I’ll talk to you and Darcy. I’ll say, Darcy, here’s what we’re going to do. Got it. Step one. We’re going to take great photo, video, and 3D tour. Drone. The whole deal. Make a flyer. Sounds attractive. Now here’s the deal. I will take those photos and videos as many times as I need to until you’re happy. So great as defined by you. Okay. Then I’m going to put your property up on MLS. And I’m going to put the sign out there and I’m going to sit back and wait. Just being honest. Because every other realtor that I know, that’s what they do. They just say they’re out marketing all day. But I don’t know anybody, I’ve never met somebody, maybe you have, who’s bought a house because they saw it on Facebook, on a Facebook ad, or they saw somebody sending out mass emails to 21,000 contacts saying you should buy this house. Everyone that I know who’s decided to buy a house that I know, and I would like for you three to break the mold if that is true, they have found out what part of town they want to live in ahead of time, and they drive around looking for signs, or they go online looking on or Zillow or something. Wes, is that how you bought your house, or did a realtor send you a big, massive email newsletter of all the houses that are available, and it just tickled your fancy a certain way, and you bought the house? Um, no, you know, not to go against the grain here, but… No, I want you to go against the grain. I believe we bought our current house. We bought, you know, more than one. Stir it up. Here we go. The realtor had a friend that was about to list a house. Oh, so in this case, I’m going to give one point, one mega point to the realtor. It wasn’t a marketing thing as much as it was a relationship thing. But that might have been right place, right time. That’s a realtor. That’s a point. That’s why it’s 6%, John. That’s why it is. John, what about you? Did you get some marketing stuff that helped you? The only marketing thing that I experienced was they would do open houses, and then sometimes they would knock on neighbors’ doors, inviting them to the open house. Which makes a lot of sense. I mean, your next door neighbor would like to buy your house, right? Well, all they do is, yeah, your nosy neighbors just go through, rifle through your stuff. Right. That’s all they’re doing. I don’t know anybody who’s sold their house as a result of an open house, but again, I could be wrong. I just have yet to meet anybody who’s done it that way. I don’t, yeah, and I don’t think we’ve ever done any open houses on the houses we’ve sold. And I know that most realtors that I know who do open houses, they do them to get leads to represent buyers, but… And you have to find something to do all day besides be in your house. Well, and you already bought the cookies, you might as well clean your house. And you clean your house to the nth degree. Okay, Andrew, talk to me about it, man. What’s your take on this situation? Have you ever bought a house as a result of a realtor marketing to you? Right. Going out there with a megaphone, running up and down, putting flags out everywhere, making cookies, serving to the neighbors, you know, networking. No matter what, if you get reached by a realtor from an email or a text or a phone call or something, no matter what, you’re going to see it on Zillow because everyone looks on Zillow. So no matter what, you’re going to see the house. It’s not because of the text that you saw the house. You’re going to see it on Zillow. So now to my final legal question as I wrap up this. Wes, I got a seven-minute voicemail the other day from a realtor in Tulsa. Was it a seven-minute voicemail, John? At least, yeah. And he was very upset about the ethics of the… Oh, nice. I was wondering where we were going here. He was very upset about the ethics of a $1,000 flat-rate real estate company. The ethics of it. I think that was the core mixed in with yelling. Yeah. John, was it more yelling or was it more of a softer tone? I would say it was a passionate talking. Talking. Talking with passion. And I chose not to listen to the remaining six and a half minutes of it. I just wanted to get a little, you know, put your toe in the water and move on. A little taste. Wes, I mean, is there any rule against leaving seven-minute voicemails? Is there any rule? Can we set a rule? Or is it still America? Can you leave a taunting seven-minute voicemail? You can leave nasty voicemails if you like, as long as you’re not threatening physical violence, I think they’re probably safe. Okay, well if you’re out there and you’re losing a listing to Sam Adams yet again, just feel free to leave us a voicemail. But go eight minutes, John. We don’t want to go seven. Yeah, I mean, come on. One up. We expanded our capacity of our voicemail system. We keep them- Our hard drives are bigger. It’s incredible. Yeah, just keep it in the voicemail, because if you start telling third parties that, you may be exposing yourself to some legal claims. Can I take those voicemails and put them up on YouTube and optimize them? Hmm. That’s a good question, interesting question, because who owns the copyright to those? They created it, but they put it on your system. They’re kind of an artist. But where do you draw the line between passion, complaining, and slander? Like if they’re dropping some choice words. Did they drop any choice words? No, no, no. I’m just wondering. It’s nice. It’s nice to have them upgrading our hard drive. If someone’s assailing your character in a way that calls, you know, you’re fraudulent, you’re a cheat, you’re unethical, and that could affect your business reputation, then that could quite possibly rise to the level of some sort of defamatory attitude. So if I were to take those voicemails as they pile in here and optimize those to come up top in Google where it’s like, why do realtors love Sam Adams so much? Can I do that? I know I could technically do it. We might want to have an off-air conversation. Just marketing ideas. Just things I’m thinking of. I feel like the consumers are loving it right now. It sounds like something you’d do. The realtors are in. Okay, just towing the water. Now, Thrive Nation, if you’re out there and you want to have a conversation with a potential attorney, I can’t say, Wes, I can’t go on the show and say, Wes is the best attorney, use him. We can’t do that. No, we cannot. I can say that I do pay you. You pay me a lot. I can say that I enjoy paying. I can say it’s a blasty blast. You pay me for legal work, not to be on the show. The show is just… Yeah, I do pay you. For the benefit of our thrivers. I do pay you. You do pay me for legal work. And right now I’m paying you to finish a franchise disclosure document. You are. And I pay you to look at contracts. I’m very happy to pay you. You do a good job. I referred a young lady who’s going through some divorce stuff to give you a call. I try to refer you because you do a great job. We appreciate all of them. So how do people get a hold of you? Do they call your cell phone or how do they get a hold of you? Yeah, no, they can call. You won’t save your number, so that’s fine. You can call us at our office. It’s 918-494-6868. It’s 918-494-6868. Or you can check all of us out at the firm on our website Winters king calm once it’s winters like Burr, it’s cold winters and then King like this is a very regal show winters king calm check them out winters king calm And I guys like to end each and every show with a boom and are you ready psychologically John? I’m ready legally Andrew. Are you ready so ready Weston in a subconscious way? Are you ready to go? Here we go. Three, two, one, boom! You have questions? America’s number one business coach has answers. It’s your broda from Minnesota. Here’s another edition of Ask Clay Anything on the Thrivetime Business Coach Radio Show. Yes, yes, yes, and Wes Carter, welcome onto the Thrivetime Show. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Yes, yes, yes, and Wes Carter, welcome on to the Thrive Time Show. How are you, sir? I’m amazing. How are you, Clay? Man, I’m excited to have you on the show here. You, for the listeners out there that aren’t familiar with you and what you do, can you explain to the Thrive Nation who you are, what you do, just so they can get kind of orientated with your professionalism? Yeah, I’m an attorney here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our law firm is Winners and King, and the firm has been around since the 80s, and we kind of have a niche in the for-profit and non-profit world, but kind of known for our practice in the religious space with mega-churches and media ministries and large religious organizations all over the world. We have some tough questions from the Thrive Nation here, but before we get into our disclaimer, before we get into the questions, I want to ask you, because you work at a firm that’s been around since the 80s, that has represented some huge clients over the years, I want to ask you the hard-hitting question to start here. So here we go. What is your stance on wood paneling on the walls? Are you in favor? Are you against? Because it’s the 80s, it’s like the 80s that was hot, hot. Wood paneling was hot. Then there was a time where you kind of went in the 90s and it got hotter. And then 2000, it stopped. And now it’s creeping back into the cultural conversation. So what’s your stance on wood paneling? Don’t give me a politically correct answer. No, no, I’m anti-wood paneling. Really? Even if you’re like the new, the white plate board, you see, whatever they call that. Ship lap? Ship lap. You’re getting ship lap? I’m so good. Holy cow! Unbelievable. Unless you’re in a log cabin and you’ve got split tree trunks on your wall to make it look cool, I’m anti-woodwall. So you’re saying unless you’re at a log cabin with logs in your cabin, you don’t want to do that? Right. Okay. Now my next question, it gets a little more intense from here, folks. Get ready. Okay, so how to protect your LLC. Remember the Thrive Nation asked us the question, they said, how do I protect my LLC? Now, before you can answer the question, give us your legal blurb, my friend, as I get ready to pontificate with the megaphone. Well, we always tell our listeners, me coming on the radio show, the podcast, is not substitute for you to go get your own attorney and get actual legal advice for your specific situation. Right. And just because you listen to me on the radio or a podcast does not mean that you’re my client or that I’m your attorney. That’s true, that’s true. Don’t say, don’t say Wes is my attorney. Don’t say that because I’m a freaking megaphone and I don’t wanna have to crank up the volume on this show. That’s right, so go get your own attorney. Find some good advice from someone who knows what they’re talking about. That’s right, and also I’ll be, just so the listeners out there know, I am not Wes’s official hype man. I don’t get, but I do tend to want to follow him around with a megaphone. It’s me and three really buff guys and we follow him around and we have earpieces in and then Wes will come in there during some potential litigation conversations like at Resource or Quick Trip. He might say something like, excuse me ma’am, can I get the paper? I don’t want the plastic. We would say, that’s right. We don’t want to get into the litigiousness. Very familiar circumstances. Okay, all right, all right. All right, so how do you protect your LLC? Well, once you’ve set up the LLC, it’s very important to, I like to describe it as treat it with respect. You have to treat it like it’s a separate entity. You know, you don’t want to mix your personal money with the LLC money. You don’t want to be paying your bills out of the LLC, your lights, your utilities. You don’t want to be using it like a piggy bank, just pulling money out willy-nilly whenever you want it. So that’s the most important way you can protect yourself as far as limiting your liability to inside the LLC and not having your personal stuff get mixed in with it. And I’ve got a lot of other little ones I’ve seen over the years as a business coach there. And so I want you to kind of help me break down the truthiness of these stories here. One is, you know, you’ve got to file every year, like, $25 to keep that LLC active. There’s probably a legal word for this, but what happens if you’re saying, ah, $25, I mean, come on, it’s a million dollar business, man. Listen, okay, I’m paying an attorney this, I ain’t got time for a $25 fee. What happens? Yeah, every state’s a little different, but you usually have to file an annual report, and there’s some sort of fee that goes with it. And if you don’t file it, the state will revoke your LLC or your corporation and you will not have standing to defend a lawsuit to bring a lawsuit to do all kinds of fun stuff that your LLC or corporation will be dead. That’s right. Next thing, you have an LLC or business is called, I’ll make up an example. Your company is called, hypothetically, I’m looking for a name. I’m trying to, Andrew, I’m trying to think of a name. Your company is called Living Water Irrigation. This is because you are a show sponsor and you’re here inside the studio today. In my mind I’m picturing somebody out there like this. Josh are you here? Right here, Josh. Hello, hello. Okay, Josh, one of our show sponsors here at Living Water Irrigation. Sir, is Living Water Irrigation actually the name of your company? That is correct. Okay, this just in. A lot of listeners say, I have to put my LLC on my card. I’m not saying Josh has ever said this. I’m just saying people Josh knows say, Josh, listen to me, buddy. As your non-legal advisor, fellow chamber member, from chamber member to chamber member, I will tell you, my company, and again, if you’re out there and your name is Doug and your name is Doug’s Painting LLC, I don’t know anyone in Tulsa with that name, so I’m sure there’s somebody. Here’s the deal. Somehow I’ve become Bostonian. So here’s the freaking deal, Josh. I want you to know as a fellow chamber member, if you don’t put your name or your business, like you don’t, you put on there, because my name is Doug and it’s Doug’s LLC. That’s my name, my company, Doug’s Painting LLC. You see my shirt? It says Doug’s Painting LLC. My signs say it. I got my vans that say. If you don’t put the LLC, the comma, LLC, your business, you’ve pierced the veil of the corporate protection and you’re screwed for life. Put the LLC on there.” Wes, what would you say? You don’t have to put the comma LLC on every single thing, especially some marketing materials, but you do have to be careful to hold yourself out to make it clear to the public that you’re doing business as a corporation or an LLC, not an individual, but that doesn’t mean that every single shirt you have to have has to have… You can have a logo without putting LLC or incorporation on it. But your contracts, usually there’s a disclaimer on the bottom of your website. You do need to hold yourself out as a corporate entity separate from yourself, but not every little piece of swag you put together has to have the LLC on it. You can put a disclaimer at the bottom of your website, and if you’re a younger spectrum of the millennial generation, you could just put a disclaimer on your bottom. That’s true. You could do that. Not only is it true, it probably is more likely than not. Think about that. There’s a certain stamp disclaimer there that you’re going to find. Anyway, back to you. Back to you, Wes. Recover from that. No. Another question people ask a lot of times about their LLC is they’ll say, I have a silo. I’ve created a shell corporation. Yeah. And I put my LLC underneath that. So I’ve got a shell. We’ll call it company. Imagine this org chart, Thrive Nation. Okay, and imagine it at the top of this pyramid. There’s company a That’s the shell Company B is doing business with the shell It’s a payroll company for company C that does business to the company C does business with the market Company C has does business with the payroll company and the payroll company. Yes. Oh, yes it does business with the shell company, ABC. It’s easy as ABC. Why is that? Because you see this all the time. And then it’s not correct, it’s not filed properly. People are like, and that’s why my employees are all contractors. Talk to me about the Jack Hassler you’ve seen with all these shells and half set up, half baked ideas, people watching too many infomercials. Yeah, I mean, most commonly, there are ways you can structure your corporations or your LLCs to help silo different liabilities. But the problem is most people have one set of books. They don’t have five different sets of books. They don’t have five different sets of payroll. Like we talked about treating it with respect earlier, they try to set up this complicated structure, have no idea what they’re doing, or don’t have the time or the willpower to duplicate all their administrative obligations five or six times to actually do it properly. So if you’re not going to do it properly, you’re wasting time and money because you could just do one LLC and spend that money for better insurance, to increase your policy. Or any insurance would be great for some folks. Right. But there are certain times, if you have a particularly risky part of your business, you want to put it off into a separate entity, like the product manufacturing as opposed to our services, there are legitimate reasons to set these kinds of things up, but you need to tread very carefully how you set it up and how they interact with each other. Now the most common legal mistakes entrepreneurs make, a thriver emails in, they want to know what are the most common legal mistakes you see entrepreneurs make? Now you probably have a massive list. So many to choose from. Right, but I’ll just give you the floor, you say a maximum of five. Okay. Okay. One you’ve already referenced is employees versus contractors. Everybody wants to- That’s right. He’s freaking Wes Conner. He’s freaking right. Back to you Wes. So that can have dire consequences when you misclassify a worker as an independent contractor as opposed to an employee. So that’s a common mistake. Another one is they just assume because they register a DBA with the state, which is an assumed name. Doing business as. Right. That somehow that’s an LLC or a corporation or those are the same things. And all that means is it’s still you. You just have permission to use another name as you, your alter ego. You see this with rappers all the time. Yeah. Rappers have to start going by a certain name. Seriously, you see this a lot. And rappers have their, a lot of rappers have those taxes screwed up because no one sits down and talks to them about this stuff. Just because you’re going by the nickname, Lil Smokey, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay taxes just because you were paid at the concert in cash. You know, Lil Smokey. Is that your real name, sir? You know, that kind of thing. So it’s really important that the DBA thing, you’re not casual. You’ve got to make sure you form that LLC. Wes, what does it cost to form an LLC? Are we talking about millions? No, no. Millions no no I mean even with the attorneys fees filing fees to put the whole thing together all the documents It’s under a thousand dollars really yeah, what’s what’s mistake number three was? Probably signing contracts without reading them I mean There’s a lot of entrepreneurs that will just stick their signature on whatever you put in front of their face But I’m not and so whether it’s a lease or it’s a vendor contract Let’s go into leases real quick. Every time I’ve given you a lease agreement to review, I think it was by four so far. I think we had Elf in the Room, we had South, we had the Riverwalk. I think it was a few things. But do you not always catch something? Yeah, and that’s what a lot of people don’t understand. Everything’s negotiable. The first draft you see is going to normally be very favorable to the landlord. And then you can go back and ask for changes because they want your money. That’s what a lot of people don’t understand. Even as a new entrepreneur, you have bargaining power because they’re going to be taking your money for five years, ten years, and you have to be very careful because you could end up stuck in a ten-year lease that if the business doesn’t gain traction and you sign a personal guarantee, you and your family are going to have to come up with that money for the next ten years. You could live in the building. You might have to. That could be the strategy. To not go bankrupt, yeah. So if you’re out there, I just encourage you, again, if you’re thinking about moving into a building, have somebody look at that lease. I remember one of the leases you helped me out with. I think it was the Broken Arrow Elephant in the Room. I think so. I think it was Broken Arrow. It was something like on the air conditioning, in there, the way it was worded, it was like if the air conditioning unit went out, we would have to pay for it. Right. And it was, those air conditioning units, I have no idea what those costs are. Crazy expensive. I know they’re over $100,000. So if you’re paying like a $4,000 a month lease and the AC goes out, you go, well guys, you want to sweat it out or sweat it out. Because I mean, if you sweat it out and not get the AC, that’s bad. But imagine if the average listener out there coming up with $100,000. I mean, that’s not a move. So again, I would just, Wes, do you have another common mistake, maybe one more where you go, this right here, this right, if people would just stop doing this. Yeah, I think especially for, at the startup phase, is not doing any due diligence at all, any research into the name you’re going to use. So I have a lot of people that come to me six months, a year down the road after they’ve done all the marketing, the SEO, followed all the process and procedures, only to find out that there’s some giant corporation that has a trademark for that name. They get a cease and desist letter. And now they have to start from scratch building their brand and repay to redo all those materials. And it’s a nightmare for a small business owner to have to go through that process. So just a little bit of due diligence, I mean, even Googling if you can’t afford an attorney, but looking into what other uses of that name are out there can save a lot of money in Hardick. I have a listener out there right now thinking about a name change of their business based in McKinney, Andrew. Right McKinney? That’s true. And these people are thinking about changing the name. If they wanted to call you to look into, can I use this name? And the new name might be named after an animal. How much would it cost to check? Maybe they give you four or five names and say, please check. Well, I can do quick cursory searches in a matter of minutes. The trademark office has a website where we can look pretty easily. And then once we dial it down to one or two, we’ll order an in-depth search. It usually runs $200 to $300, and it’ll give us all the federal trademarks, all the state trademarks, all the domain names, all the corporate registrations in the entire country. So you can see, I mean, more information than you’re ever going to want to actually read through, but we can get a ton of information so you make an educated decision before you start sinking money into marketing and billboards and signage. Are we talking maybe $500 total to avoid what could potentially be a $500,000 snafu of branding in the future? I mean, it’s just like a $500 thing. Yeah. OK. If you’re out there today and you’ve not checked nationally about the usage of your company name, look out. Yeah, because if you ever want to grow, you may be able to have the rights in Arkansas, but if you want to come over to Oklahoma, well, tough luck, buddy, because someone filed… Even if they started using the name after you, their federal trademark is going to trump your prior use in a different state. Did you say Trump? Trump. Really? Okay. Trump. Well, a lot of times on the show, I mean, you kind of were apolitical, but I feel like that was like a Trump-tastic quote. I noticed you didn’t say, like, if you want to Obama the competition, do this. You said Trump. Yeah. Okay. All right. Next time, to be fair, I’ll say Hillary. Why don’t you weave in a Hillary reference throughout the show here? Now, Josh, do you have a question for Mr. West? Yeah, just to go back to something, Wes, because I know a lot of us contractors, even some some maybe in this room at this given time maybe at some point Andrew paid everybody 1099 because everybody was a subcontractor oh not not not me not living water irrigation no no no Andrew and Andrew Andrew although you do not have business we know about we know about your shell corporation Back to you, Josh. So could you please destroy that myth, however legally you can right now, that you can’t just 1099 everybody. I have a bunch of friends that have companies and they’re like, yeah, everybody’s 1099. Yeah, so the IRS, and at the state level as well, but I mean, the IRS, everyone kind of follows their guidance to some degree, has very specific criteria, what an employee is versus what a contractor, an independent contractor is. And they really, you know, evolve around how the level of control you have over the worker. And so if you’re telling someone when to show up, how to do their job, when they can go home, you’re going to use my tools to do the job. I mean, those are employees. The longer the relationship, more often that’s an employee as opposed to a contractor. If they’re not working for other people, if they’re only working for you, it leans towards employees. So it’s like a checklist where you’re trying to figure out, check more boxes in this category or this category. But I think the important thing to know is, if you do it wrong, now you have an employee that you might have overtime claims, minimum wage claims. As an employer, you’re doing withholdings. And if you don’t do the withholdings, they can have the taxing authority, whether that’s the state or the IRS, not only make you pay what you should have withheld, but what they should have withheld out of their check as well. And many of these kinds of claims are double and triple damages plus attorney’s fees. So I mean, these turn into nightmare scenarios when you don’t get this right. And all’s good until one of your employees gets ticked off and decides, oh, light bulb moment. You know, Andrew, I hate to do this to Andrew on the show, because Andrew’s a great guy. He saves, what, 35% of your income, Andrew, right? Yes, sir. You’ve been married for about a year? Yep. No criminal violations? No, so far. No, married for a year, right? Yeah. Great guy. He never got in Detroit. We worked at Chick-fil-A, then for Epic Photography, then here. I mean, just a great record. I would hate to spread rumors or gossip about his Latvia-based Ponzi scheme, but I do have what some believe, and I say some, I can’t name names, some believe that this is audio of his phone being tapped. So we’re in a state, Oklahoma, where you can record calls. One party state, that’s right. be you talking to your team of contractors before today’s show when you discover that you can’t misclassify everyone as a contractor. Okay, so we have you. I’m going to cue it up. Don’t react until you’ve heard the entirety of the clip because we know it’s you and you’ve done one of those voice altering things. So it’s like, this is not me. Okay, here we go. I’m going to cue it up for you. Here we go. Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue. Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue. It’s like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking. It’s like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking. It’s like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines. Andrew, what say you? I believe I have the right to remain silent. Yeah, and he also has the right to allege that that’s the scene from Airplane. But the point is, the point is, Wes, the point is, if you’re misclassifying all your employees, you need to be careful and walk through that with an attorney who knows that kind of law specifically, because you don’t want to just jump out and say, Hey, guys, I’ve been screwing up all this time. So please don’t sue me. I mean, there’s a you have you wouldn’t want to call the IRS and say, Hey, yeah, you make me want to shoot and then hang up. You know, they’re gonna get a catch on. You have to do that very delicately. Hey, yeah. Okay, now, the next question that Thrive Nation has, and I get this question every day, and I want you to settle it right here on the show. Settle it, okay? I’ll get my hype man megaphone ready so we can subtly deliver this tip. Subtly, I like that. With the megaphone. Our non-competes, by the way, I’ve been using this megaphone for a lot of, I use this megaphone to wake up my kids. I bet they love you for that. Oh yeah, I announce dinner, I announce it’s time to wake up, time to go to bed. The kids just love me. It’s really going over well. So I’ve been using this at funerals lately, too. It’s a way to, you know, like, kid. You called me earlier using the megaphone. I’ve really been trying to, you know, it’s great when you give a eulogy with a megaphone. People respect you more. OK, so the question is, are non-competes actually enforceable ever? Sometimes. It’s becoming. Pretty big there, buddy. Yeah, and that’s why every state has different rules. So it varies. Some states say absolutely not. That’s right! Some states say yes. That’s right! And many states are somewhere in between. I don’t get it. Yeah. So… What? The rule with non-competes is because the courts and states are becoming less and less favorable towards non-competing. Can I explain to the listeners why? Yes, please. I would like to tee this up. There is a book written by a Thrive Time Show guest that I’ve read called The Free Agent Economy. Yes. Have you heard of The Free Agent Economy? I have not, but I’ve heard of it. Okay, well, Andrew, please look up the average length of employment for the average American employee. Got it. I want you to look that up real quick. How long is the average American employed somewhere? The Free Agent Economy is a book by Daniel Pink, and I’ve heard the book, and let me just kind of queue up to you what it’s about. It’s called Free Agent Nation. The future of working for yourself. What happens is, we’re in a time, we’ll call it, Wes, do you remember when the economy was rocking in Tulsa before the Great Recession? You remember that when we were just rocking? Yes. Oil and gas, there was a lot of energy. Construction, everything was going great. I think Williams was a huge employer at the time. Who else was a big, big player at that time? I feel like Williams was rocking. There was the large debt collection service in Tulsa. Bartlett’s, what was the gentleman’s name? Was it Bartlett? Who was the gentleman? He was a CFS. CFS? Yes. What was that guy’s name? I believe it was… He’s a billionaire. Yes. But he was doing great. The Williams was doing great. A lot of companies are doing great. Well, then the economy corrected and shifted, and a lot of these big companies contracted, and then they threw, now companies can grow so fast because all these people can now invest. You and I have mutual funds, and there’s ways we can invest. So companies can get big real fast. Think about this. Facebook, how old was Zuckerberg when he started Facebook, and how quickly did he become a billionaire? An article came out the other day about Bibi Kardashian being the youngest female to become a billionaire. It’s like before the age of 24, she did it using just social media and her makeup line. So I mean, you can really pump up a company quickly. You can get big quick now. Yeah. But you can also contract quick. So the recession wiped people out, then you get big quick. So there’s a lot of people out there trying to become self-employed or as a result of being laid off, they’re becoming self-employed. The technology is cheaper, computers are cheaper, it’s easier to start a company, it’s the easiest time in American history to start a company. How long does the average American keep a job? Forbes is saying for the average American not just Millennials, but American is 4.6 years So people are getting you know in their career 10 to 15 different jobs So if you block somebody out from the only thing that they know how to do it could be argued in court They can’t earn a living Exactly and that’s and that’s the whole public policy behind it is you shouldn’t be able to prevent me From feeding my family and practicing whatever my profession is whatever the skills that I’ve gained, I need to be able to utilize those to earn a living. So many states, you can still enforce, you can’t steal my clients, you know, you can’t steal my confidential information, but it’s becoming very difficult to say, you can’t go do the same job you’re doing for me for someone else or for yourself. Well, there you have it, folks. Those are the answers to your legal questions from Wes Carter, who’s an attorney that I certainly can’t legally endorse. I can’t say he’s the best. I can’t say he’s my favorite. I can’t say I pay you, right? You do pay me. For legal services. I can be your favorite. That’s fine. I can be bitter about it. I’m not, but I could be, right? I mean, I can’t say you’re the best, but I’m just saying that I do use you. You do. Right. And I have, I have a lot of listeners know I have low standards. So it could be because he’s just available, or it could be because he’s the best. You don’t know. I can’t go out there and go on a limb. But Wes Carter is, he is an attorney. I can say that, he is an attorney. And go to his website, if you need an attorney. We end every show with a boom. Three, two, one, boom. The number of new customers that we’ve had is up 411% over last year. We are Jared and Jennifer Johnson. We own Platinum Pest and Lawn and are located in Owasso, Oklahoma. And we have been working with Thrive for business coaching for almost a year now. Yeah, so what we want to do is we want to share some wins with you guys that we’ve had by working with Thrive. First of all, we’re on the top page of Google now, okay? I just want to let you know what type of accomplishment this is. Our competition, Orkin, Terminex, they’re both $1.3 billion companies. They both have 2,000 to 3,000 pages of content attached to their website. So to basically go from virtually nonexistent on Google to up on the top page is really saying something. But it’s come by being diligent to the systems that Thrive has, by being consistent and diligent on doing podcasts and staying on top of those podcasts to really help with getting up on what they’re listing and ranking there with Google. And also, we’ve been trying to get Google reviews, you know, asking our customers for reviews, and now we’re the highest rated and most reviewed Pescemon company in the Tulsa area. And that’s really helped with our conversion rate. And the number of new customers that we’ve had is up 411% over last year. Wait, say that again. How much are we up? 411%. Okay, so 411% we’re up with our new customers. Amazing. Right. So not only do we have more customers calling in, we’re able to close those deals at a much higher rate than we were before. Right now our closing rate is about 85 percent, and that’s largely due to, first of all, our Google reviews that we’ve gotten. People really see that our customers are happy, but also we have a script that we follow. And so when customers call in, they get all the information that they need. That script has been refined time and time again. It wasn’t a one and done deal. It was a system that we followed with Thrive in the refining process. And that has obviously, the 411% shows that that system works. Yeah, so here’s a big one for you. So last week alone, our booking percentage was 91%. We actually booked more deals and more new customers last year than we did the first five months, or I’m sorry, we booked more deals last week than we did the first five months of last year from before we worked with Thrive. So again, we booked more deals last week than the first five months of last year. And it’s incredible. But the reason why we have that success is by implementing the systems that Thrive has taught us and helped us out with. Some of those systems that we’ve implemented are group interviews that way we’ve really been able to come up with a really great team. We’ve created and implemented checklists that way everything gets done and it gets done right. It creates accountability. We’re able to make sure that everything gets done properly both out in the field and also in our office. And also doing the podcast like Jared had mentioned, that has really, really contributed to our success. But that, like I said, the diligence and consistency in doing those in that system has really, really been a big blessing in our lives. And also, you know, it’s really shown that we’ve gotten a success from following those systems. So before working with Thrive, we were basically stuck. Really no new growth with our business. And we were in a rut, and we didn’t know. Okay, the last three years, our customer base had pretty much stayed the same. We weren’t shrinking, but we weren’t really growing either. Yeah, and so we didn’t really know where to go, what to do, how to get out of this rut that we’re in. But Thrive helped us with that. You know, they implemented those systems, they taught us those systems, they taught us the knowledge that we needed in order to succeed. Now it’s been a grind, absolutely it’s been a grind this last year, but we’re getting those fruits from that hard work and the diligent effort that we’re able to put into it. So again, we were in a rut, Thrive helped us get out of that rut, and if you’re thinking about working with Thrive, quit thinking about it and just do it. Do the action, and you’ll get the results. It will take hard work and discipline, but that’s what it’s going to take in order to really succeed. So we just want to give a big shout out to Thrive, a big thank you out there to Thrive. We wouldn’t be where we’re at now without their help. Hi, I’m Dr. Mark Moore. I’m a pediatrician. Through our new digital marketing plan, we have seen a marked increase in the number of new patients that we’re seeing every month, year over year. One month, for example, we went from 110 new patients the previous year to over 180 new patients in the same month. And overall, our average is running about 40 to 42% increase month over month, year over year. The group of people required to implement our new digital marketing plan is immense, starting with a business coach, videographers, photographers, web designers. Back when I graduated dental school in 1985, nobody advertised. The only marketing that was ethically allowed in everybody’s eyes was mouth-to-mouth marketing. By choosing to use the services, you’re choosing to use a proof-and-turn-key marketing and coaching system that will grow your practice and get you the results that you’re looking for. I went to the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, graduated in 1983 and then I did my pediatric dental residency at Baylor College of Dentistry from 1983 to 1985. Hello my name is Charles Colaw with Colaw Fitness. Today I want to tell you a little bit about Clay Clark and how I know Clay Clark. Clay Clark has been my business coach since 2017. He’s helped us grow from two locations to now six locations. We’re planning to do seven locations in seven years and then franchise and Clay’s done a great job of helping us navigate anything that has to do with running the business, building the systems, the checklists, the workflows, the audits, how to navigate lease agreements, how to buy property, how to work with brokers and builders. This guy is just amazing. This kind of guy has worked in every single industry. He’s written books with Lee Crockerill, head of Disney with the 40,000 cast members. He’s friends with like Mike Lindell. He does Reawaken America tours where he does these tours all across the country where 10,000 or more people show up to some of these tours. On the day-to-day he does anywhere from about 160 companies. He’s at the top. He has a team of business coaches, videographers, and graphic designers, and web developers, and they run 160 companies every single week. So think of this guy with a team of business coaches running 160 companies. So in the weekly, he’s running 160 companies. Every six to eight weeks, he’s doing Reawaken America tours. Every six to eight weeks, he’s also doing business conferences where 200 people show up, and he teaches people a 13-step proven system that he’s done and worked with billionaires, helping them grow their companies. So I’ve seen guys from startups go from startup to being multi-millionaires, teaching people how to get time freedom and financial freedom through the system. Critical thinking, document creation, organizing everything in their head to building it into a franchisable, scalable business. One of his businesses has like 500 franchises. That’s just one of the companies or brands that he works with. Amazing guy, Elon Musk, kind of like smart guy. He kind of comes off sometimes as socially awkward but he’s so brilliant and he’s taught me so much. When I say that like Clay is like he doesn’t care what people think when you’re talking to him. He cares about where you’re going in your life and where he can get you to go and that’s what I like the most about him. He’s like a good coach. A coach isn’t just making you feel good all the time. A coach is actually helping you get to the best you. Clay has been an amazing business coach. Through the course of that we became friends. My most impressive thing was when I was shadowing him one time. We went into a business deal and listened to it. I got to shadow and listen to it. When we walked out I knew that he could make millions on the deal and they were super excited about working with him. He told me, he’s like, I’m not going to touch it. I’m going to turn it down. Because he knew it was going to harm the common good of people in the long run. The guy’s integrity just really wowed me. It brought tears to my eyes to see that this guy, his highest desire was to do what’s right. Anyways, just an amazing man. Anyways, impacted me a lot. He’s helped navigate. Anytime I’ve gotten nervous or worried about how to run the company or navigating competition and an economy that’s like, I remember we got closed down for three months. He helped us navigate on how to stay open, how to get back open, how to just survive through all the COVID shutdowns, lockdowns. I’m Rachel with Tip Top K9, and we just want to give a huge thank you to Clay and Vanessa Clark. Hey guys, I’m Ryan with Tip Top K9. Just want to say a big thank you to Thrive 15. Thank you to Make Your Life Epic. We love you guys, we appreciate you, and really just appreciate how far you’ve taken us. This is our old house, right? This is where we used to live years ago. This is our old neighborhood. See? It’s nice, right? So this is my old van and our old school marketing, and this is our old team. And by team, I mean it’s me and another guy. This is our new house with our new neighborhood. This is our new van with our new marketing. And this is our new team. We went from four to 14. And I took this beautiful photo. We worked with several different business coaches in the past. And they were all about helping Ryan sell better and just teaching sales, which is awesome, but Ryan is a really great salesman, so we didn’t need that. We needed somebody to help us get everything that was in his head out into systems, into manuals and scripts, and actually build a team. So now that we have systems in place, we’ve gone from one to 10 locations in only a year. In October 2016, we grossed 13 grand for the whole month. Right now it’s 2018, the month of October, it’s only the 22nd, we’ve already grossed a little over 50 grand for the whole month, and we still have time to go. We’re just thankful for you, thankful for Thrive and your mentorship, and we’re really thankful that you guys have helped us to grow a business that we run now instead of the business running us. Just thank you, thank you, thank you, times a thousand. The Thrive Time Show, two-day interactive business workshops, are the highest and most reviewed business workshops on the planet. You can learn the proven 13-point business system that Dr. Zellner and I have used over and over to start and grow successful companies. When we get into the specifics, the specific steps on what you need to do to optimize your website, we’re going to teach you how to fix your conversion rate. We’re going to teach you how to do a social media marketing campaign that works. How do you raise capital? How do you get a small business loan? We teach you everything you need to know here during a two-day, 15-hour workshop. It’s all here for you. You work every day in your business, but for two days you can escape and work on your business and build these proven systems so now you can have a successful company that will produce both the time freedom and the financial freedom that you deserve. You’re gonna leave energized, motivated, but you’re also gonna leave empowered. The reason why I built these workshops is because as an entrepreneur, I always wish that I had this. And because there wasn’t anything like this, I would go to these motivational seminars, no money down, real estate, Ponzi scheme, get motivated seminars, and they would never teach me anything. It was like you went there and you paid for the big chocolate Easter Bunny, but inside of it, it was a hollow nothingness. And I wanted the knowledge, and they’re like, oh, but we’ll teach you the knowledge after our next workshop. And the great thing is we have nothing to upsell. Every workshop, we teach you what you need to know. There’s no one in the back of the room trying to sell you some next big get-rich-quick, walk-on-hot-coals product. It’s literally, we teach you the brass tacks, the specific stuff that you need to know to learn how to start and grow a business. I encourage you to not believe what I’m saying, and I want you to Google the Z66 auto auction. I want you to Google elephant in the room. Look at Robert Zellner and Associates. Look them up and say, are they successful because they’re geniuses, or are they successful because they have a proven system? When you do that research, you will discover that the same systems that we use in our own business can be used in your business. Come to Tulsa, book a ticket, and I guarantee you it’s going to be the best business workshop ever and we’re going to give you your money back if you don’t love it. We’ve built this facility for you and we’re excited to see it. Hey, I’m Ryan Wimpey with Tip Top K9 and I’m the founder. I’m Rachel Wimpey and I am a co-founder. So we’ve been running Tip Top for about the last 14 years, franchising for the last 3-4 years. So someone that would be a good fit for Tip Top loves dogs, they’re high energy, they want to be able to own their own job but they don’t want to worry about that high failure rate. They want to do that like bowling with bumper lanes. So you give us a call, reach out to us and we’ll call you and then we’ll send you an FDD, look over that, read it, fall asleep to it, it’s very boring. And then we’ll book a discovery day, and you come and you can spend a day or two with us, make sure that you actually like it, make sure that you’re training dogs for something that you wanna do. So an FDD is a franchise disclosure document. It’s a federally regulated document that goes into all the nitty gritty details of what the franchise agreement entails. So who would be a good fit to buy a Tip Top K9 would be somebody who loves dogs, who wants to work with dogs all day as their profession. You’ll make a lot of money, you’ll have a lot of fun, it’s very rewarding. And who would not be a good fit is a cat person. So the upfront cost for Tip Top is $43,000. And a lot of people say they’re generating doctor money, but on our disclosure, the numbers are anywhere from over a million dollars a year in dog training, what our Oklahoma City location did last year, to 25, 35 grand a month. To train and get trained by us for Tip Top Canine to run your own Tip Top Canine, you would be with us for six weeks here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. So we’ve been married for seven years. Eight years. Eight years. So if you’re watching this video, you’re like, hey, maybe I want to be a dog trainer, hey, that one sounds super amazing, go to our website,, click on the yellow franchising tab, fill out the form, and Rachel and I will give you a call. Our Oklahoma City location last year, they did over a million dollars. He’s been running that shop for three years. Before he was a youth pastor with zero sales experience, zero dog training experience before he ever met with us. So just call us, come spend a day with us, spend a couple days with us, make sure you like training dogs, and own your own business. Well, the biggest reason to buy a Tip Top K9 is so you own your own job and you own your own future and you don’t hate your life. You get an enjoyable job that brings a lot of income but is really rewarding. My name is Seth Flint and I had originally heard about Tip Top K9 through my old pastors who I worked for. They trained their great Pyrenees with Ryan and Tip Top K9. They did a phenomenal job and became really good friends with Ryan and Rachel. I was working at a local church and it was a great experience. I ended up leaving there and working with Ryan and Tip Top K9. The biggest thing that I really really enjoy about being self-employed is that I can create my own schedule. I have the ability to spend more time with my family, my wife and my daughter. So my very favorite thing about training dogs with Tip Top K9 is that I get to work with the people. Obviously I love working with dogs but it’s just so rewarding to be able to train a dog that had serious issues whether it’s behavioral or you know whatever and seeing a transformation taking that dog home and mom and dad are literally in tears because of how happy they are with the training. If somebody is interested I’d say don’t hesitate make sure you like dogs, make sure that you enjoy working with people because we’re not just dog trainers. We are customer service people that help dogs. And so definitely, definitely don’t hesitate. Just come in and ask questions. Ask all the questions you have.


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