Shawn McBride interviewed with Lorri Allen, on DEAR Texas Radio about his book, Business Blunder!: 10 Dangerous Business Mistakes and How to Protect Your Business so It Can Thrive! and other business issues on November 10, 2016.
You can find the full interview here: https://soundcloud.com/deartexasradio/dear-texas-read-radio-show-95-r-shawn-mcbride
You can find the full interview here: Lorri Allen: Hi, everybody, and welcome to Dear Texas Radio. This is Lorri, and our featured author today is somebody that I think you’re going to respect just as much as I’ve come to. His name is R. Shawn McBride and he’s an attorney, he’s a business consultant, he’s a CPA, and most importantly for us, he is a Texas author. His latest book is called Business Blunders!: 10 Dangerous Business Mistakes and How to Protect Your Business so It Can Thrive!
Hey, Shawn, how are you doing?
R. Shawn McBride: Hey, great. How are you doing, Lorri?
Lorri Allen: Great, great. Well, we’re so proud to have you in our stable of authors. Tell us how you came up with the idea for Business Blunders.
R. Shawn McBride: It really started with my legal practice. I straddled the fence between being an attorney and a business strategist. I just had people keep coming to my office after they had got into situations. So, clients would show up, they’d had problems with their business, ended up turning into legal matters. And if some of these same types of issues keep coming up over and over again, wouldn’t it be great if we just put some of these down and give them to people when they started their businesses or when they were in the early stages of their business so they avoided problems before they happen? It became sort of a guide to business owners to avoid problems before they happen.
Lorri Allen: Well, I thank you for doing something so altruistic. People can buy a copy of your book at http://books.txauthors.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=business+blunders&Submit= . Now, Shawn, some people have been in business for years and still haven’t done it right, so I think this book is good for anybody in business, don’t you?
R. Shawn McBride: Yeah, exactly. It is something where I’ve actually, as I’ve written it . . . several of my friends are business owners and people I’ve encountered along the way have read the book, and almost always they come back and say, “Wow, there’s something I’m missing. I’m not doing something quite right.” The book profiles ten specific things that we saw, and my experience with most business owners that have been in business for a while, they’re doing great on eight or nine of them and there’s usually one or two items where they say, “Wow, I could go back and put some more attention there,” and that’s where they spend their time and that’s where the value is.
Lorri Allen: Is there any blunder that surprises folks?
R. Shawn McBride: One big one that’s surprises a lot of folks is the fact that just because you filed your LLC or just because you set up a corporation with the state doesn’t necessarily mean your personal assets are protected. You usually have to go one step beyond that, and most people don’t realize that it’s not just the mere filing with the state but it’s also actions you take after you file with the state that really creates that protection for your assets.
Lorri Allen: Wow, you may have just saved some people their businesses and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Thank you. We’re talking with R. Shawn McBride and his book is Business Blunders! 10 Dangerous Business Mistakes and How to Protect Your Business, so It Can Thrive! I know we’ve got a lot of authors who listen to this and they can probably benefit from this book, too. They may not think of themselves as business owners but they really are. Any comments about that, Shawn?
R. Shawn McBride: That’s right. Writing a book is really a business activity for most people because you’ve got pieces of business there, you’re going to be creating it, you’re going to be marketing it, you’re going to be appearing in events, you’re going to be selling the book, so this is a business activity. You may not think, “Just because I wrote a book, I’m in business,” but this is a business activity.
Whether it makes sense to form a company or not really is going to depend on your situation and how you’re commercializing it, but there’s possible liability risk there. You know, if you say certain things in your books, they could possibly sue you based on that, or just being out there when you’re hosting an event for your book, maybe you have some risks there as well.
Lorri Allen: Yeah, yeah. Shawn, you’re such a busy guy, you’re an attorney and you’re also just getting a great speaking business going. How did you find time to write your book?
R. Shawn McBride: Yeah, I just made an intentional effort. It was one of those things where I wanted to do it. I thought about it for a while, I wanted to get something out there to help people, and I just stopped and I made time every day for a period of time. I didn’t stop my business to do it, but every day I made sure I put intentional effort and time into writing the book. Some days were more productive than others, as I heard other authors say how their experience was, as well. Once I started making time for it, the book really came together.
Lorri Allen: That’s great advice. That really is helpful. Well, I know you’re writing another book, and maybe you’ve already finished it since we last talked, and you’re also doing speeches on this topic, it’s called The 3 Laws of Empowerment. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
R. Shawn McBride: Sure. The 3 Laws of Empowerment is something we’ve created based on my breath of experience, working with so many business owners over the years and looking at it from a different perspective. This is not just a pure nuts-and-bolts legal of how do we protect the business owner but how do we get the goals? How do we build companies that are bigger than the owner that are going to stand the test of time? It’s really about making plans and achieving dreams. The 3 Laws of Empowerment is a framework for looking for where are you in your goal-setting process, what are you doing to make your plans work, and how are you protecting yourself?
We’ve brought it all together into these principles which comes together in a lovely keynote which has been very popular with audiences. Now we’re working on a book that really goes into some of these concepts in a little more in-depth than I can cover in a typical keynote speech.
Lorri Allen: That’s exciting. Now, Shawn, I have to ask you, we think of lawyers as very smart guys, sure, and smart women, and we think of CPAs as very detail-oriented. What do you like about writing and speaking?
R. Shawn McBride: It’s an education process for me. Personally, I like being an educator and it’s something that I think was buried inside of me for many years, and I’d kind of forgotten this side of me that I like working with people and I like teaching, and speaking and writing gives me an opportunity to teach people, to expose them to concepts and ideas, and so that’s the thing that really works for me and that’s why I enjoy it so much.
Lorri Allen: Can you tell us a story about somebody, a client perhaps, that you’ve helped either avoid one of these business blunders or given them some empowerment and it really made a difference for them?
R. Shawn McBride: Yeah, I’ve had clients. I had a person that was an employee of mine who read The 3 Laws of Empowerment draft, which hasn’t been out to the public yet, but based on that, they made major life decisions on how they were going to change their path, how they were going to look at life differently. It’s funny, I’ve only shown that draft of The 3 Laws of Empowerment book to a handful of people, but I’ve had a couple people come back and say that they’ve got a new perspective on life and how they’re going to analyze situations and how they’re going to make decisions in their life, and that’s so fun, just to know that we’re giving people a framework to look at things differently and make better decisions in their life. That’s what’s so exciting about The 3 Laws of Empowerment.
Lorri Allen: Yeah, and that must be so fulfilling for you.
R. Shawn McBride: It feels great. It’s just fun and these lessons have come together from so many people. I’ve learned from a community of my clients and experiences, some of my personal experiences that I’ve grown my business. Yes, it’s rewarding to be able to help others get what they want to achieve and to think better about their goals and their process of achieving their goals. That’s really making a difference in people’s lives. It’s kind of the unintended consequence of my career. I never thought that I knew I’d be helping people and I knew the law side of me would be beneficial to business people and I would make a difference there, but to be fundamentally changing how people live their lives is a way I never thought that my career or life would go, but it’s such a fun thing to do.
Lorri Allen: That’s huge. That really is. Well, we know people can get your Business Blunders book at http://books.txauthors.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=business+blunders&Submit= , but if they want to hire you to speak or find out more about The 3 Laws of Empowerment, you’ve got several websites, which one is the best one for that?
R. Shawn McBride: They could go to www.rshawnmcbridelive.com/3laws and Shawn is spelled S-H-A-W-N. That profiles me as a speaker and has specific materials talking about The 3 Laws of Empowerment. That website is really geared to explaining the speeches that we give and what that’s about. If you’re interested in the speech of The 3 Laws of Empowerment specifically, that’s the site I could encourage people to go to.
Lorri Allen: You know, in interest of full disclosure, I have heard Shawn speak and I’ve definitely read Business Blunders, and I can highly recommend him. If you just stumbled upon us, this is DEAR Texas Radio, and that is an acronym, that DEAR part. We urge you to Drop Everything And Read, so we hope that you will do that. Today, our featured author is R. Shawn McBride. He’s an attorney, an author, a speaker, a CPA, and he wants to help people not make business mistakes.
Shawn, you were talking about The 3 Laws of Empowerment, and I know you started doing something called The 3 Laws of Empowerment for High Growth Companies. What does that mean?
R. Shawn McBride: Yes, that’s the new versions of The 3 Laws of Empowerment. Again, an outgrowth of the principles of The 3 Laws of Empowerment, which are originally geared to businesses and business owners. People started saying, “What about my employees? What about my staff? Can they use the principles of doing intentional planning and building careers at work?” That’s how we came up with the idea of The 3 Laws of Empowerment for High Growth Companies. We’ve taken the core message, the core three laws of preparing, planning, and protecting, and now allowing employees to apply them to their careers.
There’s forward-thinking companies that are really looking to grow and know the key to their growth is having empowered employees that are doing things that are great for both the employee and the company. This is now a message that they can use as part of their corporate training program.
Lorri Allen: You know, Shawn, I know because you and I have talked, that you’re not just a nose-to-the-grindstone all the time. You do have an interesting hobby of, is it restoring classic cars or is it just buying them and driving them?
R. Shawn McBride: Well, I like classic cars. I like doing engine work and mechanical work, I can keep the brakes and do the maintenance and stuff. I’m probably not your best body guy. The latest antique car I bought, I had somebody going over the body and doing that kind of work, but I do enjoy working on them and keeping them up and doing the maintenance on them. The painting body work I have to get from somebody else because I think they do a much better job than I ever could.
Lorri Allen: Well, you’re very specific. There’s a very specific era and kind of car that you like. Do you want to tell us about your latest car?
R. Shawn McBride: Yeah. I recently got a ’70 Dodge Challenger Convertible. It’s really historical. Back in high school I drove my father’s ’70 Challenger Hardtop, one of my friends fell in love with it. Fast forward many years later and he calls me up one day and says, “I have a car that you need to buy,” and lo and behold it’s this ’70 Challenger Convertible. I always like convertibles. Of course, my father had a ’70 Challenger Hardtop, and now I’ve got a convertible version of it, and it’s in purple, the color that I always wanted my father to paint his car. It was a strange combination of things that all just came together.
Lorri Allen: That sounds like fun. I’m glad that you actually do something for fun now and then.
R. Shawn McBride: Yeah, you’ve got to take a break from the work.
Lorri Allen: Well, I just think you’re the kind of guy that probably thinks that doing all this business stuff is fun. Would that be fair to say?
R. Shawn McBride: It is very interesting to me. I don’t feel like I’m working. I often tell people I watch Facebook and Twitter and people are like, “Oh, my god, it’s Sunday. I’ve got to go back to work tomorrow. Now it’s Monday, I’m dreading it.” Wednesday we’re getting half way through the week, Friday they start celebrating. For me, my week isn’t like that. I enjoy the weekend and I do some different things on the weekend, but I don’t dread Monday coming because there’s things I want to do and there’s things I want to be engaged in. I’m very lucky that way.
Lorri Allen: That’s great. Well, I think it’s about time for us to take a break, Shawn, so we’ll talk more about what you do in just a minute.
R. Shawn McBride: Sounds great.
Welcome to DEAR Texas Radio where we encourage Texans to Drop Everything And Read (DEAR). Your hostess for today’s show is Lorri Allen.
Lorri Allen: Hi and welcome back. So, glad you can be with us. We are talking to R. Shawn McBride. He is the author of Business Blunders!: 10 Dangerous Business Mistakes and How to Protect Your Business so It Can Thrive! Of course, you can find that at http://books.txauthors.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=business+blunders&Submit=, and we are just so excited about all the authors that we have there and all the books, but Shawn, you’re a special guy, so not only are you writing books to help people, but you’re also having fun doing it.
I happen to know that your legal practice specializes in partnerships. What are some of the problems that you can have in a business partnership?
R. Shawn McBride: Well, a lot of it is the lack of planning. A lot of people get very excited about the business opportunities that partnerships are going to present. They’re moving forward and they find their partner. Maybe it’s somebody they know when the business idea comes to them or somebody they’ve known for years and they move forward. Then life happens. We spent a lot of time with our clients early in the process to protect the wealth that they’re going to be creating, to make sure that regardless of what happens in the business, regardless of what happens with the partnership, they’re going to be safe, they’re going to be protected and that wealth is going to be there.
We put planning in the beginning. We know life is going to change and we know very, very rarely do both partners want to enter the business or multiple partners want to exit the business at the same time, so we start planning early on to make sure everybody gets their fair share out of the wealth creation, and then there won’t be problems down the road.
Lorri Allen: Kind of like a prenup? Is that what you’re talking about?
R. Shawn McBride: It’s kind of like a business prenup, and it’s not in the negative standpoint of saying, “Hey, we’re not going to get along.” It’s recognizing that life’s going to change. At some point, probably one of the partners is going to want to go into a different business, they may want to pick up a second side business, they may want to change their hour allocation, they may have their values shift because of certain family events or other things outside of the business.
We just know as human beings, that over the course of three, five, or ten years, people’s view of the partnership is going to change. One of them might want to get out of it in five years and move on to a completely unrelated project. One of them may want to double down and make the business their passion. We just build the flexibility in early on to make sure everybody’s economically taken care of regardless of what future decisions we make. It’s kind of like a prenup but it’s more about just building flexibility into the arrangement so that everybody can follow their life path as that evolves.
Lorri Allen: You know, that sounds really smart because I think you have some horror stories or maybe there’s some headlines in the news where a partner will get a divorce or die suddenly, and all of a sudden, the wrong person is running the business.
R. Shawn McBride: Unfortunately, yes, we’ve seen that. Divorce has been a big one. We talk often in terms of the four Ds with our clients. Anytime our clients come in there, we analyze what we’ll do with these four Ds situations: Death, disability, divorce, and disagreement, and you just hit on two of the four Ds which is divorce or death. We’ve had times where people have had a divorce and then the ex-spouse becomes an ex-owner of the business, and some starts asking a lot of questions. Is the money being spent properly? Why am I not getting a dividend? Why are you paying that much rent? Is this a fair business deal you arranged with this third party that you signed an agreement with?
It starts putting a lot of trouble in the water and it’s hard to get two ex-spouses to agree, so if you have a divorce and you don’t do some advanced planning, you’re going to have two ex-spouses that are both owners of your business. That can be an ugly situation. Yes, we have unfortunately seen a couple of horror stories with that. Similarly, with death. Somebody dies and then their spouse or children show up at the business and say, “Okay, I’m an owner now. I’d like to exercise my rights. I’d like to come to the next board meeting,” and that can be awkward for the remaining partners.
Lorri Allen: Yeah, that’s probably a nice way to put it.
R. Shawn McBride: Yeah.
Lorri Allen: Go ahead.
R. Shawn McBride: I’m just saying, yeah, that “awkward” is not the word that most of the people showing up in our office would say. They usually use much more emotional words.
Lorri Allen: What about people who just … I hate to say ignorant or naïve of how to build their business, but they make some of these blunders just because they don’t know better, and they’re leaving money on the table. Is that fair to say?
R. Shawn McBride: Yeah, that’s often the case. The partners come in with the best of intentions and they want to build a business, but then they find out that they didn’t do the planning and now they’ve got a problem. They didn’t think that they would end up here. They thought that they were going into business with their best friend and now they’ve agreed that they want to go separate ways, but one of them wants one number and the other one wants twice as much money.
Lorri Allen: You know, Shawn, I think some people are scared to come to an attorney like you just to maybe check and see if their business is okay or to start a business. I think they’re scared to death that attorneys are going to cost them an arm and a leg, maybe money they don’t have. You and I think other attorneys offer free consultations or have information on your website. Tell us a little bit more about that.
R. Shawn McBride: There’s a lot of information available in our law firm’s blogs. If you go to www.mcbrideattorneys.com, which is our law firm website, there’s a blog there. We write about a lot of these issues, so you can educate yourself a lot on this stuff in advance and figure out some of the issues you might want to be looking at. The traditional attorney is going to charge you some legal fees if you do come in here to build one of these and do one of these correctly. But the cost of that compared to the amounts that litigation might cost you later on, unfortunately, we’ve had partners who have had to walk away from partnerships because the economic value of the partnership was less than what the cost of litigating over the partnership would have been. Those kinds of losses are big, compared to some legal costs you could put into planning early on. It’s usually smart money up front to get these things right sooner than later.
Lorri Allen: Yeah. Look at it as an investment. We are talking with Shawn McBride. His book that you can find at http://books.txauthors.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=business+blunders&Submit= Business Blunders!: 10 Dangerous Business Mistakes and How to Protect Your Business so It Can Thrive! Shawn is also, in addition to being at attorney and a business consultant, he is a speaker. He’s writing another book about The 3 Laws of Empowerment.
Oh, this programming note: Starting after the first of the year, we are going to have something that you’re going to want to pay attention to and listen for, because we’re going to allow you to win, or maybe incentivize you to listen, we’re going to give you the opportunity to win a book from the author who we are interviewing. That’s kind of exciting. Something new here at DEAR Texas Radio.
Well, Shawn, if you had to give some tips or suggestions or advice about how to build companies that last, what would you say?
R. Shawn McBride: I’d say it’s a lot of intentional planning, it’s being realistic early on, that whatever plan you have is probably not going to go exactly the way you thought. Then you need to be flexible, you need to build flexibility into your ownership, into your structure, knowing that some of your partners may leave before others, your partners may have different views on when the right time to sell the company is. Just knowing that you’re going to have things evolve along the way that you haven’t exactly planned for, you can start laying a foundation so that when these things happen later, you have the flexibility to adapt the business and evolve the business. That’s one of the keys.
Then for some companies, people in a single-owner situation or a maturing ownership group, you may want to start putting plans in place for how do you transition the business? How do you get other people involved in case something happens to the only owner? How do we keep that business moving forward to protect that economic value?
Lorri Allen: Well, how do you leave a legacy?
R. Shawn McBride: How do you leave a legacy? Unfortunately, I’ve had these conversations with some business owners, and a lot of them say, “Well, if something happens to me, I get in an auto accident or, for whatever reason, I’m unable to come to work for a week,” here’s your star salesperson suddenly circulating their resume and out the back door because they’re not going to sit around to see if the company does okay without the owner coming to work for a week or two. It’s that narrow of a margin, there’s that kind of risk there. We can build stuff in the management structure and in the legal structure of the company to make sure that the company is very stable, we can communicate that to the employees, and that does a lot to protect that value for the owner’s family or other heirs to make sure there’s something there to leave behind.
Lorri Allen: Yeah. You know, Shawn, I teach crisis communications, and I tell people, “It’s not if something horrible or bad is going to happen to you, it’s when, and that you need to be prepared.” Sounds like the same sort of principle for just planning and structuring your business.
R. Shawn McBride: Exactly. We know life. We know unexpected things are going to happen in life. All of us has had things we haven’t planned on happen one day. We get news that something happened that we never thought was possible or we didn’t think was likely to happen to us. These things, unfortunately, are going to happen. Now, what’s the plan? How do you make sure that your business continues? How do you make sure that it’s still there for your employees? How do you make sure that that wealth’s still there for your family? How do you keep that rolling forward? That’s where we jump in with our clients and do the “what ifs” and figure out how we do that.
Lorri Allen: Those are all such good goals to have. It’s not like you’re just being greedy, it’s you’re contributing to the economy, you’re making a way for your family, you’re doing something worthwhile. It’s not anything bad to build your business or build a company that lasts.
R. Shawn McBride: That’s right. I’ve worked with so many business owners over the years. Usually, at some point, the business owners – they want to keep some wealth for their family, they want to make sure that their children, their spouse are protected, maybe some extended family. They also want to protect their employees. Particularly small and medium-sized businesses, people that stick around for long-term.
You’re creating jobs, you’re helping people live their lives, and so many business owners want to protect the business for those people too. Some of this intentional planning can help protect that greater constituency when you build it correctly. A lot of our business owners want to make sure that the business lasts, not just to get the money to their spouse or children, but to make sure their employees still have a place to go to work too, so their lives aren’t disrupted.
Lorri Allen: That’s great. Well, Shawn, as you can tell, cares. Shawn, we’ve just got about 30 seconds left. You’ve given us several websites. We know we can buy Business Blunders at http://books.txauthors.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=business+blunders&Submit=, but remind us of the website to maybe get you as a speaker or to get some of your legal services. How do we find you?
Lorri Allen: Great. Probably any of those, even if we got to a different website, we could still contact you and say, “Hey, help.”
R. Shawn McBride: Exactly. We’ll get it sorted out if you can get ahold of me. www.rshawnmcbridelive.com/3laws. Letter R, S-H-A-W-N.
Lorri Allen: Shawn, you sound like just such a nice guy that you’re the kind of attorney that I would want to have, so I appreciate you writing this book and being with us today on DEAR Texas Radio.
R. Shawn McBride: Thank you. I really enjoyed it.
Lorri Allen: Good, good. Well, that’s R. Shawn McBride, and again, the book is Business Blunders!: 10 Dangerous Business Mistakes and How to Protect Your Business so It Can Thrive! You may not think of what you do as a business, but hey, if you make a living from it, it is a business.
Well, I’m Lorri Allen. I’m also a Texas author and so proud to be a part of this organization. DEAR Texas Radio, Drop Everything And Read. Until next time, read as often as you can, it will just make you smarter, and buy as many books as you can afford. Thanks for being with us.
Make sure you download our free checklist to assess your business: www.mcbrideforbusiness.com/BlogGift
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 Cheryl Empey.
Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment (www.rshawnmcbridelive.com/3laws), gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 418-0258.
You can reach Lorri Allen at DEAR Radio at 214-878-8610.
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