Hi, folks! Shawn here with you. I want to talk to you about contracts and what they are and I really want to break it down. Now, we’re going to get a little legal here. Many of you know, I’m a lawyer, I’m licensed in 12 states, and DC. But, I’m not your lawyer. So, I’m not advising you here, specifically. But, I am talking generally about legal principles. Information that may be helpful for you.
What are contracts? At the heart of it, contracts are just lists of promises. One party promises something to another party and the other party makes a promise back. And, they’re crossing promises. Hopefully, for economic gain, right? One party’s giving up something that’s of less value to them to get something back that’s of more value. You want that coaching. Money is not as valuable as the return you’re going to get from the coaching. There you go. And, for the coach, that money is more valuable than the time they’re going to give you in the process they’re going to give you the coaching. It’s an economic trade that’s valuable for both parties. That’s all a contract really is.
Lawyers talk in terms of “offered”, and one side makes an offer to the other side. Did the other side accept it? Was there consideration? Is money going back and forth? Then, there’s an absence of defense. Was everybody able to do a contract? Was everybody okay? That’s how lawyers put it in terms.
If you look at the case law, you can determine whether a contract’s enforceable. But, really, what we got is promises going both directions. It’s pretty simple. You just want to make sure that you have promises going both directions, and, what they are. And, where people get a lot of trouble with contracts is, they don’t think about their promises. They don’t think about how those promises work. And, then, the other thing they don’t think about is, what happens if the promises don’t happen.
So, let’s break it down to simple terms. I often get my clients to get out a piece of paper, a ledger pad, start writing things down. This is what we’re doing. This is what the other side’s doing. This is what we want in return. This is what we expect from them. And, then, we run the what-if, what if something goes wrong. So, it doesn’t have to be complicated. We make contracts very simple. We make them very good. We need to be thinking about it from the beginning, and, working through it. And, of course, at the end of the day, when you start getting into an economic agreement with the other side, start pooling things together. You’re going to want to stop and talk to them, and, ask them about the contract and agreement, and understand where things are. So, it’s really not as complicated as you think it needs to be. Don’t overthink contracts, work through it.
So, if you’re dealing with this, let me know. I would love to, kind of, you know, see what’s going on out there in the marketplace. Of course, if you’re working with your attorney, that’s great. We just love to hear the stories. What people are negotiating, and what’s going on from a business standpoint. If you have particular questions, maybe it’ll be a content for an upcoming video. No attorney-client privilege or confidentiality, obviously, when we do videos about your stuff. But, if you have questions, send them in.
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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/photographer Robert Owen-Wahl.
About the Author
R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can email R. Shawn McBride or (214) 418-0258.