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The Top 5 Legal Considerations For New Coaches Who Are Starting Out. With Corinne Boudreau Ep:062
Episode 6210th October 2021 • She Coaches Coaches • Candy Motzek
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In today’s episode, I’m joined by Corinne Boudreau, and we are talking about 5 main legal considerations every new coach needs to look at when they are getting started. Corinne is a Canadian lawyer, and even though the specifics of this episode relate to Canada, international coaches can still listen in and use this discussion to become informed and take action in their own country to minimize risks as they start and grow their business.

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Candy Motzek:

Hey, welcome to chic coaches coaches. I am your host candy motsek. And I'm going to help you find the clarity, confidence and courage to become the coach that you were meant to be. If you're a new coach, or if you've always wanted to be a life coach, then this is the place for you. We're going to talk all about mindset and strategies and how to because step by step only works when you have the clarity, courage and confidence to take action. Let's get started.

Candy Motzek:

Hey friends, and welcome to this week's episode of she coaches coaches. Today my guest is one of my friends Corrine Boudreau. She's a Canadian lawyer who specializes in the area of online business. Her company is called online legal essentials. Corinna and I met originally at an Amy Porterfield event back in, I think it was 2017 or 2018. When Amy put on an intimate course, for just 100 people, I kind of think she was test driving her digital course Academy, which she now offers a couple of times a year. But it was a chance for a group of people to get together and really know each other, and it was invaluable. Now since we've met, we've roomed together with a group of friends at an Airbnb at in person event was all pre COVID, of course, and we spent some time walking the beach just outside of San Diego. Now, she is a Canadian, as am I, but she lives on the other coast. So when you think of the geography, I'm in the Vancouver area, and she's in the Halifax area. So even though we're both Canadians, we're actually about a seven hour flight apart. So it's pretty far. I like Curran because she's casual and easy to understand. She knows that the last thing that you want to do is think about legal stuff. So she takes that legal stuff, and she makes it manageable. And when I think of her, here's what I notice, she appears quiet at first, if you ask her question she considers, and gives you the best answer she can. She never speaks before she's ready, she thinks things through to the end, so you know you're getting the best of the best. Second, like I said, she appears quiet. But don't let that fool you. She's a badass and a ton of fun. She's casual and relaxed, and she helps others relax to plus, she's a musician. And she loves to swim outdoors anywhere. And I think in any weather, I found out pretty quick that if you don't know where to find her, go look in the pool or in the ocean or the lake, and she's probably swimming, that's a good thing. Because none of us want to be having a boring life. That's why we're doing this online business. That's why you're becoming a coach, because you want to live the kind of life that really draws you in. So a couple of months ago, she wrote a blog post on my website. And of course, I'll put the link in the website. But we talked about the five steps that coaches need to take, and things to consider when you're getting started. Now, even though she's a Canadian lawyer, there's a lot of really solid advice that all countries could listen to. Now, at last count, and I just looked it up before we started recording. We're at 73 countries and counting. So do knows that these principles are solid, and you would do well to listen, the Canadians in the group. She has a most wonderful online legal template library that you can take part of. And of course, I'll put the link for that in the Episode Notes as well. So let's dive in. Welcome. I'm so glad you're here.

Corrine Boudrea:

Thanks, candy. I don't know if your podcast listeners can tell. But I'm blushing after that introduction. It'll be part of my hype squad.

Candy Motzek:

I'm so glad. You know it's one of the things that it gives me so much pleasure. I sit for a few minutes quietly when I'm getting ready for the interview and I think what is it about this person like what is it about her or him that is special? And I just I have so much fun writing these little intros. They're just they're just from the heart right?

Unknown:

And if we weren't out a seven hour plane ride away I would definitely come visit you in the she shed.

Candy Motzek:

Oh good. Yeah. We Oh We all need to shed in our life, that's for sure. Absolutely. So let's talk a little bit about why did you switch to being a lawyer for online entrepreneurs? And why did you create these templates? Tell me about this.

Unknown:

Sure, it really was an evolution. So I don't think I went from my legal career started being in a big law firm, it was one of the top 20 biggest law firms in Canada. So that's when I was in law school, I was lucky enough to get hired by one of the big firms, I actually brought peanut butter fudge, that was my grandmother's recipe to the interview. So that's what I that's what I say how I got that job. But anyway, I was I was fortunate to get you know, in with a great firm doing great work. But about 10 years in, I just hit the wall, as a lot of people do. I had an you mentioned that I was a musician. I've since written a song about a called my soul sucking soul sucking situation. I just I just couldn't do it anymore. That was after having a couple of kids. And anyway, just realizing I didn't want to Bill, Bill 2000 hours a year, which was kind of the minimum expectation. So but I had great I had skills and and if you think about and I'm sure coaches do this, too, you think about who do I love to work with, like, Who are the people that really light me up that get me out of bed in the morning, it was small business owners, but I realized, being in a big firm, I couldn't serve them the way I wanted to just the structure was wrong. So at that point, I went off and started my own firm. And I kind of started with a blank sheet of paper and saying, and talk to a lot of people and people had actually given me lots of unsolicited unsolicited feedback over the years. One time, a client who I loved working with, she was so great. She had like an innovative company, she was doing great things. She said Korean I loved you until I got the bill. And I was just like, again, one of those soul sucking moments. So I knew I had to change the way that I did things change the way that I you know, provided legal solutions or whatever you want to call it to small businesses, because they just weren't. I didn't think they were very well served by more traditional law firms. So it started with me, starting my own law firm, and one of the big parts was doing fixed fees. And then I started teaching. So I got a call from a business advisor who said, I'm always getting legal questions. I'm not comfortable answering them. We've got like a pool of funds to do training for small business owners, can you put a curriculum together, so I actually started teaching in person. And then I found the whole online space, you mentioned, Amy Porterfield, I think the first person I actually found was Marie Forleo, who led me to Amy Porterfield and, and led me to all this stuff, but I realized, hey, if I'm gonna create all this content, I don't want to just be able to deliver it locally. Again, I want to be able to have a broader impact. So I, once you get into the whole online world, then you realize it's this whole other thing, and talk about people who light you up. People who doing things in the online space, again, I realized we're just my kind of people. So it was really a gradual, gradual evolution of things. But when I think about like, what helped me get there, it was really immersing me whether it was immersing myself in like the small business community, or, again, immersing myself in the online world. And just listening to what people's questions were and what they needed. And what the gaps were. I mean, I think that's what all entrepreneurs do, right is try to figure out, what do people need? And how are they not being currently served? Yeah, just creating solutions around that. And the legal industry is generally still pretty conservative. And some people may say old fashioned, you know, but, so I just kind of tried to find some space there where people needed stuff.

Candy Motzek:

And I think it's kind of interesting. So there's a couple of things here is, first off, how you described just immersing yourself in, you know, in this sort of the pool of where your potential clients would be, and really listening and looking for the gaps. And that is actually coaching as well. So for those of you new coaches, or potential coaches that are listening to this episode, listen to what she's saying. These are the qualities of coaching this curiosity and not walking into the conversation or to that environment with thinking that you know the answer. So that's a really important quality. The second is this online world, like you said, it's kind of it's, it's kind of like in a bubble. And, you know, the online entrepreneurs, we talk to each other all the time, but what we forget is that there's A ton of people that have never even heard of the online world, they don't even realize the scope of that. And this whole group of people that exist. The other piece of this that I think is important is that, sorry, I just need to get my head together here. It's something to do with, I have this feeling that the traditional business model needs to change. Sort of on the more extreme side, I feel that our traditional nine to five business model corporate model is really broken, and it doesn't serve people. And the online space allows people to create businesses that serves them, their family, their mental health, their physical health, their financial health. And so I think that you're on the cusp, you know, you're on that early adopter part of the graph for what is needed. So anyway, I just wanted to sort of fill in there because there's, there's a lot to what sad, yeah, what do you think that

Unknown:

and I always kind of felt, again, like a mismatch between my own values and like the values of my profession and my firm, again, lovely people, I don't blame any of the people exactly. But I always felt like I sort of was like, on top of the mountain telling people like, you have to come up here on my terms. And I will, you know, give my wisdom to you again, all on my terms like, which, again, doesn't work for small business owners, what I've learned over the last couple of years, small business owners are often doing the admin and the behind the scenes tasks for their business on weekends, six o'clock in the morning, midnight, you know, all these kinds of times again, do you could you get an appointment with a, with a lawyer at midnight? On a, you know, on a Sunday night? No, no, no, but you know, what you can, you know, again, access things online, and often that's when people I see purchases coming through at weird times, or people sending me, you know, requests, you know, they'll comment on a video that I posted or something at weird time. So, again, it's just really, I think, again, listening to what people need and how they consume, you know, your services. Yeah. And how can you respond to that?

Candy Motzek:

Yeah, yeah. That's super interesting. Okay, let's just transition over to these five legal mistakes are the basic things for new coaches, small business owners, new online entrepreneurs to consider. And like I said earlier, I know you're Canadian. And you know, so this is got a little bit of a Canadian specific feel to it. But it's also sound advice for everyone, no matter what country you live in things for you to consider. Okay, so where would you start?

Unknown:

Sure. So when I started, again, teaching and putting, putting together materials, I wanted to think about the big rocks, you know, what are the foundational pieces. So these five things, again, the principles are pretty broadly applicable to people wherever they are, again, how you put them in place might be a little different, depending on your country. But for me, and this is, it is kind of a boring one, but figure out your legal structure, and then register yourself properly as a business, wherever you are. So there are many pieces to your legal structure, you always think about, again, there's always tax implications. There are often liability concerns. So you should be thinking about those things when you're choosing your legal structure. Again, registering your business, sometimes people say, Well, I'm just getting started, do I need to register? Again, you legitimize it, you protect your name, there's all kinds of good things that happen once you get your business properly registered. So legal structure and registration is really, I think, the first foundational piece, and again, that will look different for people depending on where they are. The second one is, and sometimes I even put this one first. Actually, I recently did a post on Instagram that said, whenever you have a relationship, you should probably have a contract. But with with people, and especially including coaches, your most important relationship in your business is with your clients. So in order to set yourself up for success with your clients, which again, very important relationship, creating a contract with them, can just make sure you're on the same page at the beginning. So you create like clear expectations, which I know coaches are all about anyway. Again, it's not like counterintuitive for coaches to create, you know, clear expectations. it so it helps set you up for success then, and then down the road. Again, if someone doesn't fulfill their part, you know, decides not to pay, wants to cancel whatever, you have something that's legally enforceable. So it gets you on the right step up the right foot. upfront, and then protects you at the end and during the relationship. So that's kind of the second big pillar is having a client or coaching agreement. That's cool.

Candy Motzek:

And then the third, you know, this is for coaches, once they have started, feels like once they've, when I start with new coaches, I actually don't recommend that they start by building a website, because I think it's more important for them to start coaching and to start creating clients and to start practicing their craft. So it's a little counterintuitive, because a lot of new coaches, the first thing they want to do is get that website up and ready to go. So talk about the third one as well, please.

Unknown:

Sure. So the third one is to have, again, some thought to what you have on your website legally. So one of the big things is a privacy policy, I think people are used to now seeing privacy policies on your website. So I tell people think of your website is if it's, it's like opening a shop, but it's just, you know, on the interwebs. So you still need to think about again, all of the signs. So I think of the privacy policy is we're really telling people, the information that you're collecting, how you're going to use it, you know, where you will disclose it or not disclose it, you know, cookies, all of that kind of stuff. So you're telling people sort of some of the ground rules of using your website, just like you would tell people, again, in a store, touch that, you know, don't touch this, you know, this part is for employees only, you know, there's always those kind of parameters when you have a physical location, disclaimers are the other piece. So you're kind of telling people what this is, and what this isn't. So a lot of people, once they have a website, or even social media, they start to create content, but you want to make it clear, it's different if someone's reading a blog post versus, for instance, hiring you one on one. So it's not, you're not giving the same kind of advice, if someone's reading your blog post as if they were to hire you one on one. So again, that's kind of like putting signs up around the store to say, you know what floor and, you know, here's the refund policy and all that kind of stuff. So again, just having a website, you shouldn't just think of it as like a you know, it's not just a business card, it really is a sort of functioning, living breathing part of your business, that does require some of these things. Again, the other two things would be a copyright notice, which protects your content, we're going to talk about that. That's one of the other pillars all by itself. And then Terms of Use again, that's kind of all the rules. But it's really just again, it's it's all very analogous to having a physical location. Yes, that now it's virtual. And I like this,

Candy Motzek:

you know, like, if I walk into a store, I know what the prices are, I know where the emergency exit is, like you said, If somebody's got a little bit of water that's dripped off of an umbrella, I know that there's, you know, slippery The floor is wet sign, I know if I can return that item or not, or if it's only exchange. So what I you know, what I'm hearing from the first three things is that this is how we define a relationship. It just happens to have the word legal around it, but it is still how do you create a clear relationship with people. And so, you know, for the new coaches, if you're feeling a little nervous about all of a sudden, you're realizing that you need to be looking at some legal obligations. Just think of it as here is me starting a relationship, not just with my clients, but with people who come and see my website with people who click and maybe sign up for one of my free reports. For anybody who puts their name in to sign up for a newsletter. It's creating that relationship. And for me, it's the back and forth, here's what you can expect from me, here's what I expect from you. And so I think that makes it that makes it feel a little bit more human. You know,

Unknown:

and again, when people start thinking about putting, because definitely I remember the the day, I can clearly remember the day I hit publish on my first law firm website, because it was kind of my launch date. And I actually had lunch that day with my dad, and he had printed off God love him printed off copies of the pages of my website, I had some comments, some feedback, some constructive feedback, but it's scary. Like I remember sweating, my palms are sweating. So putting yourself out there you do when you when you write blog posts, when you publish a website, you put yourself out there, but again, the legal stuff helps you feel more supported and more solid when you start doing that. So it kind of you feel like you have that backup that I'm doing. I'm putting the stuff out there. But I also know again, what the some of the parameters are around that.

Candy Motzek:

Yeah, for sure. So what are some of the other pillars that you're that you're outlining to people?

Unknown:

Yep. So again, the fourth pillar is understanding copyright laws. So that you can protect, I guess there's two pieces of it, protect the content that you're creating, but also not infringe on the content, the rights of others who've created content. So, again, copyright laws, people sort of bump into it here and there, we sort of know that you can't, you know, take someone's image and put it on a T shirt and start selling them down on the corner. You know, you can't take people's music low. You know, with digital music, it's changed a little bit in terms of, you know, it doesn't have that physical. You don't always hold it in your hand anymore. But we sort of have a sense that copyright laws are floating around out there. So again, once you become a content creator yourself, whether you're creating, again, courses, like content for your membership, or a coaching program, or writing blog posts, or putting images on Instagram, you just need to understand some of the basics of copyright laws.

Candy Motzek:

Hmm, yeah, yeah. And when I so when I think of content, I hadn't even really thought so much about courses at this point. But I think about the three basic content written so often seen as blog posts, which you know, will often take that blog post, and then create a social media post out of it as well. And sound like this, podcasts or private audio is another way. And then the third is video. You know, there's a lot of people that might do Facebook Lives, they may take those videos that have them talking and put it on their website, or even publishing to YouTube, something like that,

Unknown:

right? And want to and social media has definitely muddied the waters for people a little bit because, essentially what you do so if I were to do a Facebook Live, the content is mine. So I'd still protected by copyright. I'm the copyright owner. But what I'm essentially doing is licensing that content to Facebook, so that pn people, whoever the Facebook users are, can share it, like it comment on it within the terms of use of Facebook. But it doesn't mean that I've signed it over to Facebook, it also doesn't mean that you could take my post from Facebook, and start sharing it outside of Facebook, and call it your own. And Holly erode. Yeah, yeah. So you do that's part of what I usually talk about in terms of copyright is, again, what does social media look like versus putting things on your website or creating a podcast or whatever. So yeah, there's some pieces to that. And again, I don't think any of this is rocket science, it's all fairly common sense. But it's just again, things that people haven't necessarily thought about before.

Candy Motzek:

Yeah. And when I think about this copyright, and you know, what people may choose to do with your content. The first thing is you create content because it adds value. It helps your clients it helps your potential clients. And, you know, just these basics says, Hey, you got to think for yourself, you know, like you've got some ideas, pull them together into a way that is going to help the people that you would most love to work with, don't take somebody else's idea and do a copy, paste, legally, it's wrong. It's also ethically wrong, if I would say that too. But it encourages us to say, I get to think for myself, I get to think about my life, my opinions, my knowledge, my skills, and create something and there's not a lot that is more satisfying than creating your own content. You know, like I've been doing this podcast for a year now. So I think I'm at at a no as we record this, I've just published Episode 53. But I've also got, like 200 blog posts that I created, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 freebies that people can sign up for. And so just from that level, I can tell you that is so satisfying to create your own stuff. It's a you know, it's a way for you to create a legacy and you know, take what you know and create something that will help others. So what's the fifth, the fifth pillar that you're going to talk about?

Unknown:

I feel like we need a drum roll here. Okay. I told him I told my teenage son who plays the drums to be quiet so he won't be playing the drums during this recording. You could

Candy Motzek:

have killed him now would be pretty cool.

Unknown:

So the fifth one is to create a contractor agreement, so you can create clear terms With people you're hiring. So again, what I'm talking about here, there in this is going to be the same. Like, again, the principle is the same no matter what country you're in, the tests of what who's an employee, and who's a contractor are going to vary by country. But whenever you're hiring someone, again, if we go back to when you have a key relationship, you should have a contract. When you're hiring people, once you get to that stage in your business, where you're not just wearing all the hats, yourself, you want to create clear expectations with those people. So one of the very key legal distinctions is like, what status does this person have that I'm hiring? So again, you want to be clear about their their legal status again, Are they an employee, a contractor is not an employee. So that looks very different. And then whatever they are, so if you're hiring contractors, most people start out hiring contractors, whether it's like a graphic designer, or a copywriter, or a virtual assistant, or there could be many types of people, you want to make it very clear, again, the scope of the work, how you're going to pay them how the contract can be ended, who owns again, if they're creating content for you, who owns that content? You know, all that stuff. So create clear expectations with people who you're hiring.

Candy Motzek:

Hmm, yeah, super helpful. And for new coaches, this happens faster than you think. You know, it won't be long before you think that it's time to hire somebody to help you with your social media, or that you want to hire somebody to help you with your branding, or getting photos for your website, or your website itself. So, you know, just because you hear this contractor agreement, don't think, yeah, of course, that sometime in the future, this happens a lot quicker than you think it does. So just keep that in the back of your mind as well. And, and again, this fifth pillar, really, again, it's just about relationships, you know, so you've talked about relationships with the people on your website, you've talked about relationships now with the contractor talked earlier about relationships with clients. It's all about clear relationships. So can you just read the five pillars again to me, please? And then I just want to ask you a little bit more personal of a question too.

Unknown:

Sure, absolutely. So the first pillar was, choose a legal structure and register your business wherever it is that you are located. The second pillar is make a coaching agreement template, so that you can create clear expectations with your coaching clients. pillar number three is put a privacy policy and disclaimers on your website, and your business, your coaching website. Number four is understand copyright laws. So you can protect your content that you create and not infringe on the rights of others. And number five is create a contractor agreement when you're hiring people so that you'll have clear

Candy Motzek:

terms. That's great. Thank you. Okay, so to something a little bit more personal. I know you love to swim. Like I said earlier, if you can't find you guess what? You're in the pool or in the ocean. Tell me some of the most interesting places that you've ever swum. Oh, man.

Unknown:

Um, well, I'm definitely I love swimming in saltwater. That's where we'll start. So I would tend more towards the ocean. So I've definitely swim in some interesting places and oceans around the world. Obviously in Canada, we're kind of limited in time to like mostly July and August and even those are like a little iffy. But when I've traveled, I remember swimming. You know, in the Mediterranean, when I was traveling there as a backpacker, I swam on the other end of that I was in Finland, and I went to a you know, a very famous sauna sauna, and then jumped in the lake, you know, because you do the hot and then you do the cold. Yeah, so I jumped into the lake after being in a sauna in Finland in June. So the water was not warm at all. Yeah, I mean even more locally, again, I live in Nova Scotia, we've got like a million beautiful places to swim. Why do people go to Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia, but they don't know that there's actually some really super cool places that you can swim there. I

Candy Motzek:

didn't know that. That's pretty cool. Yeah, you

Unknown:

have to ask a local. Okay. Again in Cape Breton. I grew up we had a you know summer cottage on Obrador lake. So that's still my favorite place the lakes are. They're kind of, I think black is the word so they the ocean water mixes with the fresh water. So it's kind of a less saltier version and a warmer version of the ocean. So that's still my perfect swimming place. There's some cool places again, in Cape Breton, there's like a gypsy, what used to be a gypsum mine and shadow camp. That's, that's filled in, and it's just like this beautiful You have to hike way into the woods and jump into it. So I don't know I could go on and on.

Candy Motzek:

Keeping a log of all the places that you swim and maybe take like a photo or something like that to

Unknown:

go right? Well, I do keep a summer swimming log. I just got back from camping for three days. And I I actually swam like, I think it was nine times. So I actually write down like who I swam with where I swam. It's just a fun for me, it's just a fun, like, memento of the summer, my daughter and I drove to Montreal to see and this will probably appeal more to the Canadians listening. But we're huge hockey fans. So our team that I followed my whole life was in the Stanley Cup Finals, like the finals of the you know, of the league. We just decided on a whim to drive and we but we got a hotel with like a rooftop pool so we could see the whole city of Montreal from the rooftop pool.

Candy Motzek:

So sounds great.

Unknown:

I try to I do try to find swimming pretty much wherever I go.

Candy Motzek:

Before we wrap it up, I want to make sure to give you a way of sharing with the listeners. How can people find out more about you? How can they get in touch with you? How can they get some more support from you?

Unknown:

Sure. So my website is online, legal essentials.ca. And that's kind of my hub. So if you go there, you'll see, you know, links to my social media accounts, blog posts that I've written. Again, if there are Canadians who are looking for legal templates, there's a store so you can go and check them out. So yeah, people can definitely find out more about me and my services on the website.