Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Is Legal Advice Really Necessary In Our Pretty World???

by: Cristina Rivera

Lawyers?? REEAALLYYY???? I mean, this is Make-up, Fashion, Photography etc.. for crying out loud!!

You've showered, styled your hair, put on your faces and slipped on those expensive shoes. You're on your way out of the house and you decide to double check the weather channel to make sure you're not caught in a tsunami on your way out into the world. The weather man has called for rain. How much rain is something he can't say, could be from a sprinkle to a heavy shower. They're isolated though so you can't be sure where it will rain and where it won't. Hmm... to grab the umbrella or not to grab the umbrella. I can just hear you now saying "Duh, grab the umbrella it MIGHT RAIN". LOL.. I agree!!!

Most of us would, in fact, grab the umbrella to be sure they're prepared in case of rain. It doesn't hurt to have it on your person. If you're caught in a storm, you're ready, and if not, at least you can rest assured that you were ready for it.

Now, turn this same way of thinking on your business. You've networked you're little heart out. You've contracted people to work for your show or photo shoot, or you ARE the person being contracted. You've read your agreement and signed on the dotted line. You're ready to go. In an unfortunate turn of events you find out that you're services are not going to be paid for right away. They've actually reserved the right to send payment for 30 days. You didn't realize this and now you're stuck.

How will you pay your rent, your car note, or maybe even get home. Who is going to help you? Certainly not the person that drew up the contract. I would say it's fairly obvious that the contract you signed was written in their best interest. They've drawn up an agreement that they felt was fair and you signed it after all.

Another scenario for you. You've NEVER received payment for services rendered. You can't reach the person who owes you. You've sent emails and invoices, you've mailed requests for payment with no response. Nervous yet?

Better yet, you've agreed to jump on a plane and travel to a far place for work. You've made arrangements for travel based on the email you were sent by the person contracting you that they would reimburse your expenses once you've arrived. You arrive at the destination only to find that the event has been canceled. There is no one there to meet you. You're troubles were for naught.

This is what I would call a tsunami. Generally speaking, we should hope for the best but always be prepared for the worst. Where is your umbrella now? Where is the lawyer that could have re-couped all of your costs, retrieved your payments or read the contracts and explained them to you BEFORE you signed??

This, my friends, is why a lawyer is a good idea.

Now I know what you're thinking, "I can't afford a lawyer". Well, there IS such a thing as pre-paid legal . With pre-paid legal, you can pay installments to a lawyer and you'll be able to rest assured that when you need them, they'll be there. You'll have representation in case of litigation (heaven forbid) and even to draw up your own contracts.

So don't overlook such an important part of your business, protecting yourself. No one is going to do it for you. Remember that everyone in business is pretty much looking out for themselves because THEY know that they're the only ones who can and will.

Once you've prepared for the worst, you can continue hoping for the best.
Smile, be courteous, continue to network & get those gigs!!!

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