Fool Me Once, Shame on You. Fool Me Twice ...

"A couple of years ago, I was employed as the marketing director for a small, family-owned business. For several years in a row, this company saw huge increases in annual sales as a result of my efforts. Unfortunately, the owner died, and the owner's son who took over the business fired me for no reason and put his girlfriend in my position. I...Read more

Wikis and the Law

"I'm widely considered an expert in a particular field and thinking of contributing an article to Wikipedia -- the online encyclopedia -- as a way of promoting my consulting practice. What are the legal ramifications of contributing to a Wiki, and how do I protect myself against liability?"

For those who don't know, a wiki is a collaborative ...Read more

The Greatest Motivator, and How to Harness It

We're almost at the end of January, and I'm willing to bet most of you have already given up on one or more of your New Year's resolutions.

The key to success with any resolution -- personal, business or otherwise -- is will power. We all start out with the best of intentions, but when you set a goal and fail to reach it, it's nearly always ...Read more

The Three Essential Small-Business Skills

Having worked with over 20,000 small businesses and their owners over the course of the past 40 years, I see patterns that many other people aren't privileged to see.

I see patterns in the businesses that succeed, and I see patterns in the ones that crash and burn.

I've spoken about these in my column before, and have made some of them the ...Read more

No 'Right to Be Forgotten' in the U.S.

"I am a 40-something professional with a somewhat unusual legal problem.

"While I am well-established in my profession, I moonlight as a semi-professional musician in my area, performing at local bars, clubs and restaurants. I released a CD of my music last year, which has been very well-received, and I'm starting to build a real following on...Read more

My Entrepreneur of the Year Nomination: Part 2 of 2

Entrepreneurs are today's American heroes, and that's a good thing. But too many people have an unrealistic picture in their heads of how things are going to go. They think that being a successful entrepreneur means they will be universally loved and rewarded, both financially and psychologically, and that everything will go on without a hitch...Read more

My Entrepreneur of the Year Nomination: Part 1 of 2

"Like the guy in Psalm 130, I am writing to you out of the depths of despair.

"I started a retail business last year involving a hot new technology. We needed some local real estate and found a pretty good location, but when our contractor inspected the space after we signed the lease, he discovered all kinds of environmental and structural ...Read more

When an LLC Makes a Subchapter S Election

"I have operated a service business for the past few years as a limited liability company (LLC) and have been quite successful.

"My accountant is recommending that I change my LLC so it's taxed like a subchapter S corporation. I understand she is trying to save me money on taxes by doing this, but I'm confused by what I'm reading on the ...Read more

Collecting Your Overdue Debts From a Distance

"Your YouTube video on collecting from deadbeat clients was truly inspiring. I am an electrical contractor who is owed $3,000 from a customer located way on the other side of the state. His business is selling a product made by others and installed by electrical contractors such as myself. He has no business assets, works from home and has no ...Read more

When SAFEs Aren't So Safe: Part 2 of 2

A simple agreement for future equity, or SAFE, is a contract between a company and an investor under which the investor puts money into the company in exchange for a promise to issue shares in the future upon the occurrence of a triggering event (usually the company's first round of venture capital financing).

Like preferred stock or ...Read more

When SAFEs Aren't So Safe: Part 1 of 2

"I am a successful entrepreneur who has decided to make an angel investment in a small startup company.

"I asked for preferred stock in the company, but the founders have offered me something called a SAFE instead. I've read the paperwork, and I confess I'm a bit confused about exactly what I'm getting. Reading about SAFEs online, it sounds ...Read more


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