Hello! Welcome to my first ever guest blog post! My goal behind these posts is this: I want you to listen to their answers to my questions and then at the end I’ll give feedback about what themes I see from these amazing #ladybosses regarding legal issues in their businesses. I hope you enjoy!
This week, I was lucky enough to interview a huge name in the fitness industry, Marie Wold. Marie began her online fitness coaching and wellness influencer business at only 18 years old and is now one of the top wellness influencers out there! It started out as a side hustle while she went to business school, and now she has over 215k Insta followers, 60k+ YouTube subscribers, and is changing the lives of women all over the world. Can you say #hellagirlboss?!
Here are Marie’s answers to a few questions about what it was like to start her own business and her experience with legal issues and necessities:
How did you go about starting your own business?
Marie: I unofficially started my online fitness coaching/wellness influencer business at 18 years old and it was a side hustle while I went to business school. The funny thing about going to business school is that they don’t actually teach you HOW to have a legit business– so I started as confused and overwhelmed as any other new entrepreneur. Once I graduated, I decided to take my business full time and realized that I needed to become legally legit and really get organized in order to set myself up for a successful future. Typically I am pretty resourceful and can figure everything out on my own, but legal and financial issues are a totally different story! Legal guidance from someone who actually understands a creative entrepreneur’s business is priceless.
Have you ever hired an attorney to help you with your business, and if so, what did you need help with?
Marie: I have worked with an attorney on an as-needed basis for things like copyright and trademark, LLC/S-corp formation, brand partnership contracts, and liability waivers for my clients– all super important things to have done correctly since they protect my business and me from any issues down the road.
What was one significant legal issue you ran into while building your business? What was the problem and how was it solved?
Marie: By far the biggest and most daunting legal issue I’ve faced is simply getting started on the right foot. I had no idea what I even needed to have squared away until I was already behind the curve!
What is one piece of advice you would give other entrepreneurs reading this when it comes to starting your own business and thinking about ensuring you are following the law?
Marie: Spend the time and money to make sure that you are legally legit BEFORE your business starts booming. It’s way harder to go back and try to fix things versus just being set up properly from Day 1. Plus, once your business is healthy and thriving, it becomes harder and harder to find the time and resources you need in order to clean up the mess.
What has been the most rewarding part of starting a business for you?
Marie: The most rewarding part of my business is getting to meet the women who support my content and offerings– there’s no better feeling than putting faces and stories to the usernames and numbers. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the metrics, growth, and engagement when your business is centered around social media and content creation, but it’s SO important to remember that real people are at the heart of it all. My overarching mission is to empower and educate women to become their best selves, so being able to directly touch the lives of women all over the world is the biggest blessing ever!
What has been the scariest part of starting a business?
Marie: The scariest part of starting a business is definitely the unknowns. Every time you start a new project or commit to leveling up your business, there are new obstacles and questions, and that never really gets easier, but you do get better at tackling them over time. Having resources like attorneys, financial advisors, mentors, and coaches is absolutely invaluable and makes those unknowns far less scary.
THE LEGAL PAIGE TAKEAWAYS
Marie is definitely a one-in-a-million young gal in the fitness world. I’ve been fortunate to spend a lot of time with her during the Jenna Kutcher Mastermind this year. She holds a special place in my heart and I cannot wait to see where her business goes.
START EARLY GETTING YOUR BUSINESS LEGAL!
- Marie learned the hard way to go BACKWARDS and get her legal issues squared away after she had already created a thriving business with lots of followers.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE
- Marie’s ability to stay successful and in the right mindset is to see the faces of the women she is uplifting and helping on social media, versus getting wrapped up in the numbers and money behind it all. She’s learned that while there are haters out there, if she brings it back to the HEART of her business, she will consistently stand by her mission.
BE READY FOR THE UNKNOWNS
- Marie–like MANY entrepreneurs–is totally in line with this motto: “They don’t know what they don’t know”. Especially with legal stuff, there are so many little puzzle pieces that most people have no idea they need or should do next. Marie hired an attorney for bite-size issues in her business (i.e. contracts, NDAs, LLC formation, etc) that she needed help with in order to be ready for anything that may happen down the road. I highly recommend you consult with a business attorney to, quite simply, word vomit everything on them so they can dissect your business needs and help you legally!
Marie, SO SO SO great to have you on the blog! Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us and help others in their entrepreneur journeys.