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How To Create Saleable Assets With Your IP With Erin Austin

TRANSCRIPT

TRANSCRIPT AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED Diane: [00:00:00] Hey, Hey, today's guest Erin Austin is a lawyer and consultant. She helps founders of expertise based firms build and protect sale level assets. So the business is ready to sell. If the founder is ready to exit, if you've never considered your exit strategy or you just thought you'd let it happen. Quote, unquote, naturally, Get ready for this perspective. Hey Erin. Welcome to the show. Thank Erin: you, Diane. I'm very excited to be here. Diane: So let's do a quick intro to you and your business. Erin: Yes, I'm Erin Austin. I am a lawyer in the us, and I have spent a career working in and around the intellectual property space in film publishing data market research. And now my focus is working with expertise based businesses and helping those experts make sure that they create. To using intellectual property, to develop new streams of revenue and create some independence from the business. So Diane: let's talk about what an asset is for an expertise based business. Because as an expert, as a coach, as a consultant, I am the asset. So what is a saleable asset for an Erin: expert business? well first, thank you for using the word saleable. It's one of my favorite words. and so I'm gonna start with, and we're gonna talk about assets, but we're also gonna talk about creating saleable assets, cuz it, it all kind of ties in to saleable, scalable, sustainable, all the, you know, all the things, all the Ables yeah, all the Ables that we are creating something that is separate. Us as experts and that's more focused on our expertise. So I like to talk to it about, about, you know, not just selling yourself I E your time, but selling your expertise. And we do that by creating assets with our [00:02:00] expertise. So, for, for the expert are intellect. Creates intellectual property. And so in order to capture it as an asset, we need to make sure that we are following the intellectual property rules. Now I will caveat that I am in the us and our discussion will cover intellectual property laws of the us. And of course you know, this will be general information. If you have any specific questions, please talk to your lawyer so that aside The types of intellectual property that most of us as experts have in our businesses are one of two kinds. We have copyrights and we have trademarks and I'll just start with trademarks. Cuz trademarks are the indication of a source. It, it identifies the source of the good or the service. So everyone probably knows wherever in the world you are. Coca-Cola. So whenever we see the Coca-Cola name or symbol, we know as a Coca-Cola product or a McDonald's, we see the golden arches, we know as a McDonald's product and the same goes for your business. And so if you like, my business is called think beyond IP. And so I have a little kind of stylized IP, and that is my trademark for that identifies that either I've written something or my slides or whatever is from my. And and then we have copyrights and so copyrights would be the, unique expression of anything that is put down in tangible form. So that can be a photograph that can be your training. That can be your, your slides for your presentations. That can be your trading materials that you, you share with your clients that can even be something internal, like your standards and procedures. So all those. In order to protect them and get the benefit of the intellectual property laws. Then we need to make sure that we're following the rules to make sure that the ownership is with us and that we [00:04:00] aren't accidentally giving rights away to our clients. Or we aren't accidentally not getting rights when we are the client. So we have to think about those rights coming into our business from the contractors that we hire and how they might be leaving our business through our client engagements. Diane: okay. Wow. So there's a lot of things to think about. I think the trademark piece, most people are aware of and understand that it's a big legal thing. And we are used to seeing the little TM and celebrating the big R when we get it. Right. And when we talk about copyright, I think we more often than not think of it in terms of protection against theft. Versus thinking of it in terms of like a positive thing that you can confer rights on other people with before we go any further, I have a question. This might be really stupid, but it's never occurred to me before. So like on my website every year, the 1st of January I go in and update the copyright to be the current one. Yeah. Yes. should I be doing anything else for that specific piece, I don't mean in general for copyright, like cuz like trademark has that legal registration copyright doesn't have that same legal registration side to it. Erin: Right? Well it, it does, but you do not have to register your copyright. So most people. Probably do not register content on their website because it's dynamic. Right. And so unlike a book, you know, it, you know, you make sure you register it, but what under us law, the copyright is vested in the owner, which is also the creator, probably in your instance, at the time of creation. And so it does not require the little symbol, but it's a good thing. Cause it puts brutal notice that you're claiming copyright and and. In the event of a breach or an infringement, you do have to have it registered if you want to Sue somebody. So it's [00:06:00] yours, you own it, you know, preferably you've registered it, but you don't have to, certainly if it's changing all the time but if in the event of an infringement and you want to go to court, then you have to register it. You could do it then. So it's not that you can lose it. Right. But but yeah, but if you have something that is ever. , you know, if you record a video or something like that, that's gonna be an evergreen. Maybe you might wanna register that. Diane: Thank you for explaining next mm-hmm , I feel a bit better, had a momentary panic there, but it's, it's all good. It's all good. If we go back to, okay, so we've created something is the easiest thing to think of from an expertise perspective. Like I take all the knowledge in my brain and I build, like, let's say a framework. As an example, yes. Is that framework then an asset, like, let's say that framework has other stuff around it explaining how to use the framework or lessons or whatever it is, but is that what we're talking about from like a saleable asset? Erin: Well, yes. And there's two things. Cause I realize now I did not mention another piece of intellectual property, which is trade secrets. Mm-hmm . And so there may be elements of it that are copyrightable. So a copyright, you would something that you put in tangible form and you register the copyright office and therefore you have the exclusive right to make copies of it, distribute it, publish it, perform it grant rights in other people to use. Trade secrets are also intellectual property, but the way that we protect it is that we keep it secret. And that's where those confidentiality agreements and those NDAs come in. So there may be elements of your framework that are private and the value of them just cuz nobody else knows what they are. And so those things you would protect with your NDAs, if you have employee. Or if for some reason, a contractor has to see it, or for some reason, a client has to see it. Whereas there may also be part of it, like, you know, training materials and things like that, that you would have protected with, with the [00:08:00] copyright office. And the reason we wanna create these assets is so that we can build, you know, products around them. So let's say you have your framework and you want you one on one, providing those services to your clients and you have some growth goals and you have to think about, do I wanna grow internally by adding more. Or do I wanna grow by creating some sort of product either way. You wanna make sure that you have those assets protected so that you can either, you know, bring people in house with your systems and they can do it without you. I mean, the idea is for you not to work more hours, but for you to figure out a way to, to continue to grow your business. Somehow with third parties providing the services. So you can either bring someone in house and then you have your processes in place and your assets in place to train them on. Or you may create a product such as you know, a course or some other training program, or you might also use that same material to license it to third parties. So perhaps you are. A a DEI adversity, equity inclusion consultant and, and, and you want to grow by licensing other people you have there other people who are like, I'm also an HR consultant, but I don't have this expertise in this area. You've got this expertise and you can create a program where you would license that to those third parties. And so there's so essentially, you know, creating assets is the key to kind of building leverage and scale in your business. Okay. Diane: So it's creating the asset itself is not so different from what we think of when we think of. Okay, I'm gonna build, say a group program, and then I'm gonna build a team to run it, or I'm gonna build a course. That's super hands off for me. It's just an [00:10:00] alternative to, I guess, launching that course all the time or managing and leading that team. Right. Which also can take a lot of work. The third option is actually to license that to other people, to use in their businesses. Erin: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there's two types of licensing programs that I see. One is kind of to another provider, like the example that I just mentioned, that you have a process and that other providers would benefit from you know, I know some people who, who are. Up to date on accessibility. I'm not sure about, well, I was outside the us, but in the us, under our dis American's disability act requires that every website is supposed to be accessible. You know, whether you're blind or deaf or whatever, and almost none are, I think 1% of them are. And so there are consultants who are getting very up to speed on that. And so maybe you are, you know, you are a web designer and you just, you don't anything about it. And so you can license that from somebody else. So you can provide that to your client. So then Have that same expertise in creating accessible websites and you have clients that you do it for, and that client would rather go, you know, I've got affiliates all over the world and rather than have you come in and do it all the time. License your process to me, and then I can use it for whatever. So you can either have, you know, the licensing program to other providers, or you can turn your clients into licensees. And so then instead of you providing that one-on-one service, they're paying you a license fee to use your program. Diane: Okay. That makes a lot of sense. I think that was a really such a clear explanation of where this could fit in. And I'm kind of almost like I'm thinking at the back of my mind, Could I name people or businesses that have licensed things in the kind of entrepreneurial world. And there are definitely a few that come to mind, but nowhere near like the number that I could put on group programs and [00:12:00] courses mm-hmm what do you think the advantage is of the licensing option versus the other. Erin: Yeah. Well, I mean, if you ha currently have a B to B and I I'll B to corporate type of one on one kind of high touch consultancy. the likelihood that you have a mailing list or an audience of, you know, being able to sell a course to, you know, I mean, granted, some people have courses that they sell for thousands of dollars, but most do not. And so to have that kind of high volume type of product that a course can be, or to fill seats in a. Coaching program, you need to have a fairly good audience. And so you may not have that type of audience. If you have been a B to C provider you will most likely benefit from doing that license, turning that client into a licensee. So it really depends on the nature of your service and your current client base and your. Diane: Yes. That makes sense. So what do I need to know? Like, let's say I have my framework, it's a process that I've run multiple times. I've got like, here's all the client workbooks that you use. Here's everything that you would need to like go out and do this as a business, almost like business in a box. What do I need to know to get to that stage? Or what do I need to think about from a. I guess an agreement perspective, right? I'm not asking you to like legally write a, a contract for me right now, but there must be things that we need to think about that because most of us have not done licensing. It's just completely foreign to us. Erin: Yes. Well, there's a couple of steps. First step is. Legal due diligence. And there's, for me, there's really no other place to start because we don't always own what we think we own. So, you know, maybe you have been certified by someone else, you know, maybe you went through some sort of [00:14:00] program that taught you part of your using the HR consultant example, you know, maybe some of the materials that you use with your one-on-one clients, you received from a third party. You have permission to use them with one-on-one consulting, but you do not have permission to create your own licensing program based on those. So, always start with making sure you understand that you own what you think you own, going back to those intellectual property laws. You know, let's say you created some of those material. training materials. Let's do the HR consultant. And you have a training that you do with your clients that includes like going through different scenarios or whether or not, you know, what happens in harassment. So you have these scripts and you've created these training materials and you hired someone to help you develop those scripts, or maybe you hired someone to be the actor in those, and you didn't have anything in writing with them under us intellectual property. The person who created it owns it. So even though I'm the expert and I told that script writer, I want a scenario of, you know, someone in the bathroom. And I have, I want an example of, you know, someone coming up and touching you on the shoulder. And I want an example of someone, you know, with the coffee, you know, chatting about what they did that weekend and all your ideas, you know, you gave them feedback and, you know, perfected it. But you didn't have anything in writing with that script writer, guess who owns those scripts? The script writer, not you. That's correct. And so, and let's say you were at your old employer and as part of your job, your old employer, you wrote the employee handbook there, and now you've left, you're gone out on your own and you're using that employee handbook with your new clients. And so we'll like to say like increase visibility. Creates increased scrutiny. So what you've [00:16:00] been doing with your one-on-one clients, no problems, but suddenly you create this licensing program or a group course or whatever, with these things. People are gonna say, Hey, wait a minute. I recognize that that's mine. And so you wanna make sure that you own everything that you think you own before you go forward. And so, you know, nothing can change, you know, stop. Well, one it's expensive obviously, but two, it really halts your momentum. So it makes sure that you own everything you think you own first. And then yes, absolutely. A license is the grant to use intellectual property. And you absolutely want that to be in. And so, you know, a license is a contract and in it, it will have the parameters for the use of that intellectual property. So one, it will identify what the intellectual property is. Two, it will have a terminate three, it will have license fees in it, and it will have any restrictions. So let's say. I love the HR consultant example. So let's say you're an HR ex consultant and you're, I'm in the Washington DC area. And, but so you have someone in Atlanta, Georgia who says, Hey, I really wanna use your, you know, DEI. Framework. And so that license would have restrictions. Like you can only use it in the Atlanta area, or maybe I'm known for working with law firms all over the country. Like yeah, you can use it, but you can't use it with law firms. And so it is because it's a contract it's whatever you negotiate, you know? And so, but you definitely want, it's not a DIY issue. and. Sometimes they're recorded. Not always, you know, certainly I've been in the film business where a distribution agreement is a license agreement and we always license those just because the numbers are so big. You always make sure those things are recorded in the, in the copyright office. But yeah, but it, it is a, a legal process including intellectual property. So do you think Diane: one of [00:18:00] the, I'm trying to picture this as like, okay, I've decided that this is what I wanna. I have all my information in my head, places where I have seen licenses happen or licensing programs happen in the entrepreneur world is. Mike MCIT is a great example of this. He's the guy who wrote profit first mm-hmm pumpkin plan clockwork. Fix this next. And he writes his book about the framework mm-hmm and then licenses people to use the framework in their businesses. Yes. So he doesn't actually run any of the businesses connected to it. Like different people run all those different businesses for him So because he is written it as a book, he would have that as a recorded copyright that it's his stuff. Yes, absolutely. Right. And then he would have that license agreement. So me with all my expertise in my head, would it be better for me to put my expertise into a book that be, that was a recorded copyright and then to think about, okay, now how do I license that? Cuz that gives me kind of two assets. It gives me the book. But it also gives me then the licensing off the back of it or the group program, if I wanna do it or whatever. Erin: Yeah, well, the book is the asset and the license is the way you're exploiting it. So it is that permission to use the asset. So think of it like a building. So you ha you own real property, and then you lease it to different people. so the lease is how you exploit and, and get revenue from it. And so that's the same thing with your licensing. So you have your asset is your book and then the licensing program is leasing out pieces of it in exchange for fees. So, yes. Okay. Diane: it's an interesting concept to me, but. This is gonna sound so lazy. It sounds really work intensive yes, because for most like online businesses, the stuff that they're teaching, like no, one's really teaching anything new. It would take a lot for me to think about, [00:20:00] like, where did I learn this concept? Like, did I get this idea for this table, from somebody else's work over my however many years in corporate and my however many years in business. Right. So even step one is not that I'm plagiarizing or stealing from someone else, but just where did I learn about it? Yes. Before I like go and slap my own copyright on it then to think, okay, it almost needs to be. Standardized to the level of a book. Mm-hmm , even if it's not a book, even if it was a group program, but it needs to be standardized to that level so that I can then exploit the asset. Erin: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, how else until you have standardized it systematized it proceduralized it, like, it would be impossible to teach it to someone else. So it has to get out of your brain and it has to be put down in some concrete form that can be shared with others. And that concrete form, of course you would register the copyright office. And you know, when, when people have problems with ownership, I mean, very rarely is it because someone went, ah, I'm gonna steal this. It is because, you know, they don't understand that, that license, that they got to use a, you know, evaluation program. Is only for use with end clients and not something that they can use in their own licensing programs. They just don't understand it, or they just don't understand that they can't just take the stuff from their employer, old employer and start using it in their business. And you know, I, I had a conversation with a woman who worked at an event planning company. And at the beginning of the pandemic, they, the, the employer went out of business. And so she had all these materials and she started her own event planning business. Great. And you know, her old employer's like, yeah, fine. You know, take the materials. We're going out of business. She's using it to provide event planning. And then she comes to me and says, oh, and I wanna, [00:22:00] I now wanna create a certification program. Like everyone. learn about event planning, wanna create a certification program? Well, she's using those materials that she got from her own employer. Like, I don't know, maybe the old employer will still be like, yeah, whatever, create your million dollar certification program. I don't care, but maybe they'll go, well, wait a minute. It was, it was no problem when you're providing one-on-one services. It's a different thing when you become, you know, the event planning university and using that materials. So we wanna just make sure. We're looking at those things. Yeah. Yes. Diane: A hundred percent it's a really interesting topic cuz it's, it feels kind of like an octopus. when you first hear about it, all you think is like, Ching, like I'm gonna create this thing and then I'm just gonna like step away from it. And all these people are gonna take responsibility for delivering it, selling it, all the things. And then you're like, woo. There are so many tent. So I know that from you like people to think about things in this way and create IP in this way so that it is saleable. So if the license is the lease, you can then also sell this piece of IP, whether that's you sell the whole business and the IP is the asset is the value or if you have multiples, then maybe you sell one asset yeah. To somebody else. What does that look like? Erin: Yeah. Well, if we wanna create a, you know, I'm, I'm thinking back to the beginning of this podcast and I, I started to talk about sellable versus saleable and I never did. Did I? So I'm gonna go back, Diane: go back and start again. Erin: So I like to use the car analogy. Sellable versus saleable. So let's say I have a car and I have the title to it. That means I own it. There's no lien against that. I paid off the loan, you know, I am of legal age and sound mind. There's nothing preventing me from selling my car. I, it is sellable. Now let's now say that same car is kind of up on [00:24:00] blocks and it's rusted out of the bottom and you know, it's really cool, you know, vinyl roof is now slashed up. I still have the title. I still have the legal right to sell it, but guess what? It's not saleable because nobody wants to buy it. Nothing to be saleable has to have market value. And so when we look at our businesses and we wanna make sure that we create something that's saleable, there has to be something that has value in the hands of the buyer. And so the things that are valuable in the hands of a buyer are things that they can't easily create themselves. And that's why we wanna make sure that we have assets on our business. So when we have intellectual property, We have exclusivity, right? I mean, the very nature of an intellectual property asset is exclusive use of that asset. There's no one can, can reproduce it. No one can make their own. No one can use it without either getting your permission through a license or buying it from you. And so. If we're just selling our time, obviously we don't have an asset that we can sell, cuz that's called getting a job, which is now what we want. So, so, we, we create those assets one and not only do they have to be exclusive to us. But they also have to get through due diligence and so that would be the due diligence on the buyer's side. So let's say let's go to the car and it looks pretty, but then they open the trunk and like there's nothing there. Right. And so are you using contracts, you know, do you have insurance? You know, if you have employees. Or, or what are should the employees, but you've been paying 'em in cash and not, you know, paying employment taxes you know, does it fall apart when they look at under the hood to see what, what that asset really looks like, Diane: would they be looking under the hood at do you actually own this? Like the event [00:26:00] planner person would they be going , Hey, how did you get these assets that you're using in wedding planning university that you're now certifying all these people. Do you actually own the copyright to those assets? Is that the like intellectual property under the hood look? Erin: Yes, so we call that, you know, chain of title, where you look at, like, you. It's a piece of IP back to the creator, like who created it and how did you get it? So how did you get it? And so, you know, in, in the event planner example the creator was that business, you know, here a business can be the creator. And and so how did you get the rights to it? And you know, that the owner said, yeah, have fun with it. Is. A grant of rights. So, Diane: yeah. I guess fundamentally the lesson that I'm taking away from this is almost keeping track of. where I'm learning things from. Like, I know a lot of people in the research space will talk about naming your sources and there's a big push in the online space to actually like, yes, everybody teaches things and everybody learns things, et cetera. But stating your sources. Mm-hmm I guess that also keeps you kind of quote, unquote honest. Cause I'm not, I don't mean that people are being intentionally dishonest, but you could forget who taught you something 15 years ago. Yes, you can. As a specific framework. I mean, I don't mean somebody who taught you that, like, you know, accounting is made up of debits and credits. That's just like common knowledge, right? Like no one taught you that specifically, but maybe somebody taught me very specifically. How to fill in a particular headline for a blog, right. And it's their methodology that I use all this all the time. Right. But it's not actually my methodology. So it's, it's really almost starting with going through what we think is our IP and asking ourselves to be really honest with ourselves about how much of that is general knowledge or our created knowledge versus [00:28:00] somebody else's teaching. Right. I guess there has to be an element of transformation in there though. Right. So if I've learned, like I come from an accounting background, mm-hmm, , I've spent a lot of time having to learn like economics and accounting and commercial law. And I don't know a multitude of other incredibly dull subjects. Right. But, so there's a lot of knowledge over a lot of years that lives in my brain. Or I've done things that talk about how we did things in corporate and I tend to focus on small businesses. So there is a transformational element of like, this is a good strategy. I'm transforming it to a small business. Yes. How do we evidence that when we're doing it? Erin: Well, I mean, what the intellectual property laws cover. Literally the copying. Right. And so, you know, the things that we learn over the course of our careers, that all combine to become part of our expertise, like that's yours. Right. Right. And so, but if you are pulling, you know, you know, parts of something that has been written down, you know, if you're pulling. Research studies that are there as you're pulling from you know, their framework that they developed you know, and you aren't, you know, like sometimes for instance, people will have a say evaluation asset and it is very generalized and maybe you have a very specific niche, like, okay, this is evaluation process for any business, but your niche. Pizza parlors and you've created something that is very specific to pizza parlors. Like, you know, what kind of dough they use and where their location is, and, you know, do, is it wood fire, you know, wood burning or is it, you know, electric oven and and you can use that. So you've, you've transformed it to make it very specific to, to, to a certain niche and.[00:30:00] and I just wanted to go back to something that you said about giving credit to people. And so it is very important to give credit to people. And I, and I certainly want you to continue to do that, but I don't want people to use that as a substitute for getting a license to commercially exploit somebody else's idea. Diane: So, yeah, no, I meant it more is if we get into that practice, mm-hmm, , we're more likely to remember. That. So, and so showed us this diagram. Yes. That became the heart of our framework. That was more where I was coming from. Yes, please. Don't just randomly, like, here's the book I give you credit. Here's the book I wrote and like, it's like a three page book. It was like a 300 page. Like sourceless no, no, no, not that lazy. Huge. I know I said this sounded like a lot of. But Erin: I know. Yeah, no, just, you know, but people do think like, oh, if I get credit, then you know, if I link back or something that, that that's somehow a license and it just isn't. Diane: Oh yeah, no, we might need to like, put that one in like all caps in the show notes for people like this is not what a license is. so if people are like me and they've never really thought about this before where can they go for like a resource or a guide or a step by step? Because like, this is a lot and a lot of people will be like me. Well, like I got on this fairly confident that I understood licensing. I had a couple of good examples in the back of my brain that I was kind of fitting in. And now I'm like, who, if you had to tell me that that's what I'm gonna do. Like let's say in next year, that that was, I was gonna license Diane's brain. That feels like a really big project. is there something that could just set me off on the first step ? Erin: Well, well, I mean the first step is making sure, like starting today, if you [00:32:00] aren't using agreements, make sure you're always using agreements and I, I don't want any one to be intimidated by them. They don't have to be treatise. You know, if you are in, you know, if you're working. Large corporations. You may be presented from, with the treaters from time to time, but when you are use creating your own templates, it does not need to be complicated, but we just wanna make sure that when you're hiring contractors, that you're owning everything that they're doing for you. And that when you're working with clients, you wanna make sure that you are retaining rights in your original materials. So you're coming to almost every client you're coming to them with some preexisting materials, like your own framework, your own training materials, and making sure that you're. Giving those rights to your, to your clients. So first things are making sure you're using your contracts and that you're reading the ones that people are being presented to you. And and that when you are hiring either a contractor or an employee that they're signing employment agreements and NDAs, and and then you need to make sure, like, in order to, to have a viable licensing program, of course you have to have happy clients who are using your methodology. So we wanna make sure we have a methodology, your framework, or a process that is providing results. Cuz people will pay for things that provide results and they won't pay for things that aren't providing results. So making sure that you have that as happy customers. And and then well, you know, other than talking to a lawyer, Diane: then hire a lawyer, hire a Erin: lawyer. That would be, that would definitely be it. And then also I have, you know, on my website, which is, think beyond ip.com. You can get a free resource. I have lots of free resources there. I'm a, I'm a lover of graphics who kind of make, makes visual some of these complex issues that we've been discussing. You can get a, a self-assessment that shows you kind of the progression from, you know, having a [00:34:00] business where everything's in your head. You're the doer. Maybe you're billing hourly to that progression, to thinking like a CEO where you're building processes is into your, to your company that you're using contracts that you have a, a, a real risk mitigation process in place. Meaning you have. Insurance and you are properly, you know, paying your employees and things like that. And so from there, you can see like where you are and what you need to do to, to the point where you're building a business that could be saleable someday. So I encourage you to go there for that. and then there's some other resources in there too, or, you know, comparing different types of licensing programs different revenue models. and I'll start to get this so Diane: awesome. This has been great. I don't think we talk enough about intellectual property beyond like, Hey, you show a framework for your group program or actually exiting a business, actually thinking about what do I have to value my business on so to finish up, we're gonna change tech. I like to ask all of my guests a couple of questions. Sure. First of all, what is your number one lifestyle boundary for your business? Erin: Ooh. I do not check email on. At all Diane: at all. Okay. Whenever anyone says weekend to me, I always ask them to define weekend . Erin: That would be Friday at five. Two Sunday at five, I guess. Diane: You know, and that's why I ask people to define, because often people will do a little bit of planning on a Sunday night. Right. I don't want people hearing that and thinking, I touched my phone on a Sunday night. Right. I mean, I don't know how good it is for you. Like when I was in corporate. I almost like had to like desperately not touch the Blackberry. Look at me, aging myself, on a Sunday night because it just amped up the Sunday scaries, you would see the thing that you couldn't deal with, right? At least in your own business, you could deal with [00:36:00] something . dear. Finally, what is the worst piece of cookie cutter advice you've been given in your. Erin: Oh, just do a course for sure. and create what you did. Yeah. Create a course, create a. I had no audience. I had, you know, I'm like, okay. And I buy this thing, I go through it. I'm like, now what, you know? And there's too much, you know, everyone's telling you to create a course and you know, if you don't have the audience for it, it just doesn't make sense. So, yeah. Yeah. Diane: And I think the testimonials are usually people who had massive audiences who've been begging for full, of course, right? Yes. Yeah. A hundred percent. Oh, this has been fabulous. Like, I feel like my brain is spinning in new and unusual ways. So thank you so much. Where is the best. On socials for people to find you to come and carry on this conversation to come and hire you. yeah. everyone's like, oh, I don't know if I'm, if my intellectual property's legal anymore. Erin: yeah. So you can find me on LinkedIn, just Erin often. And I've been there since Blackberry day. So I am the original air in Austin. So you can, you can find Diane: me there. Awesome. Thank you so much. Thank you.


If you've never considered your exit strategy or you just thought you'd let it happen “naturally”, get ready for a different perspective.

Erin Austin walks you through why saleable assets will set you free and all the legal hoops you’ll need to jump through first.

Key Takeaway

Saleable assets require due diligence to ensure that you are only selling what’s legally yours and that might be less than you think you own.

We talk about

  • The intellectual property rules
  • How to create saleable assets
  • Licensing models, methods, and motivations..oh my!
  • What you absolutely must do first when creating your assets
  • What to consider when you want to exit the business or sell the asset
  • Erin’s lifestyle boundary for her business
  • The worst cookie-cutter advice Erin’s been given on her lifestyle business

About Erin

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Erin Austin is a strategic lawyer and consultant who uses her 25+ years of practicing law, including roles as COO and general counsel at large and small IP-driven companies, including Warner Brothers, Lionsgate (formerly known as Artisan), MGM, Teaching Strategies, and M3 USA Corp, to help founders of expertise-based firms build and protect saleable assets so that the business is ready to sell when the founder is ready to exit.  Through her Hourly to Exit podcast and her consulting practice, Think Beyond IP, Erin guides businesses on the journey of transforming their unscalable income-generator into a saleable wealth building asset.  Her special talent is helping businesses meet their growth goals through the creation of IP-based revenue streams. Erin is passionate about using her expertise to create an economy that works for everyone. In her spare time, Erin likes to clear brush on her farmette, search for the perfect gluten-free baguette (all leads are appreciated!) and work on her backhand.

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Disclaimer:

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this podcast episode and article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article or episode. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Diane Mayor disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.