good legal and business foundations with my online company saved me thousands.
Jenna Carelli
Jenna loves to help her clients use their current resources and existing network to grow their business. Creating an online automation system that requires zero manual upkeep will save hours in your day that you can devote to your family!

WHAT HAPPENED TO ME COULD HAPPEN TO ANYONE.

I was invited to a virtual “connection call” and was completely blindsided when the conversation turned quickly from a meet and greet into a forceful sales pitch. I was promised a lot of amazing business results that day. Then I was told that I had to pay the $5k deposit before hanging up the phone. I asked to discuss things with my husband and told that anyone who isn’t willing to pay an upfront deposit on the phone isn’t in the right mindset to make changes in their online company. Using my credit card, I paid the $5k over the phone from the front seat of my car.

How could I be so naive?

During one of our coaching sessions, I was taught this exact coercion strategy. This is truly unethical and simply the wrong way to run a business.

BUILDING AN ONLINE COMPANY IS HARD.

Finding friends in the online space can be even harder. As a result, everyone is worried about being seen as the next sales pitch rather than a friend or colleague in business.

“Everyone is worried about being seen as the next sales pitch rather than a friend or colleague in business.”

If it wasn’t for my 6-years of experience as a corporate paralegal, forming an LLC at the recommendation of a CPA, and setting up proper legal and business foundations from the get-go, I would have lost a lot more than $12k when I was scammed by an online company.

THE TWO ENTREPRENEUR TYPES

I consider myself extremely lucky to have had phenomenal year-long partnerships with two incredible business coaches before making my first bad business decision with an online company in September 2017.

There are two types of entrepreneurs: the type who hire help right out of the gate and the type who tries to DIY things for a bit (before eventually realizing they need to hire help).

Yes, there is a third category – the unicorn entrepreneurs – who become successful DIYers. If this is you, know that I envy you. It also doesn’t matter what “type” of entrepreneur you are or which category you fall under, you are taking incredible strides for yourself, for your family, and for this world. You are making an impact.

My Story

I tried to DIY my business for 10 months before hiring my first business coach. I shouldn’t say “tried” because I need to give myself more credit then that – and you should, too, if this is you.

During my first 10 months of owning my own business, I pursued a passion for nutrition.  More specifically, educating the wellness industry on macronutrients and how they could use them to improve at their sport, their self-confidence, and overall happiness.

As a result, I landed quite a few seminar gig’s at local CrossFit gyms, running communities, teacher-in-service events, corporate wellness programs, and even a gathering of plumbers. My desire and goal was to make an impact.

During that time, my profit was anywhere from $1500-$2000 during months where I had a seminar on the calendar. This income was very sporadic – nothing consistent. I was also working a full-time job as a corporate paralegal. This meant any cash I did bring in was “bonus” money to put into savings. Perks of having a husband in the financial industry.

At some point I realized I may be onto something. I hadn’t been happy at my paralegal job for a few years. This crazy thought popped into my head. Maybe I could turn this into something bigger and actually quit my corporate job.

At the time, I knew nothing about the online space. It wasn’t even an option of mine. I actually thought I’d be able to make a full-time income hosting in-person nutrition seminars. Had I not turned to the online space, this road would have led to burn out quickly.

I made two very awesome business decisions that I dedicate to my success.

Awesome business decision #1: First of all, I hired a business coach in October 2015. Part of the deal was that I received a free phone call with one of my coach’s team members. Consequently, I chose to hop on the phone with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This was awesome business decision #2. Why? Because after my call with this CPA, I immediately formed a legal entity for my business. As a result, J. Carelli Consulting, LLC was born in October of 2015. 

Since my conversation with the CPA, I have not encountered one single person in the online space – between October 2015 and May 2018 – who spoke to me about the importance of using an entity. So, hats off to the CPA who set me up for legal success from the very beginning of my entrepreneurial journey.

If it wasn’t for my 6-years of experience as a corporate paralegal, forming an LLC at the recommendation of a CPA, and setting up proper legal and business foundations from the get-go, I would have lost a lot more than $12k when I was scammed by an online company.

WHAT 6 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AS A CORPORATE PARALEGAL TAUGHT ME ABOUT MY ONLINE COMPANY

You are never too “small” of an online company for legal protection. Do not wait until you are making a certain income to set legal boundaries. You are the CEO of your online company and should act like one. Simply playing the role of entrepreneur won’t cut it.

HOW SETTING UP PROPER LEGAL AND BUSINESS FOUNDATIONS WILL SAVE YOU THOUSANDS AND HELP YOU AVOID SCAMS – 

“Using an entity makes good business sense, saves you thousands in taxes and protects you from devastating personal lawsuits.” (“You’re Not Too Small To Use An Entity”)

Honestly, “saving you thousands in yearly taxes and protection from personal lawsuits” should be all you need to hear.

However, if you are still not convinced, go back to the beginning of this article. Read about the coercive measures that some online companies use to take your money. If you are legally protected and aware, you can avoid these scams.

TAKE IT FROM THE PROS

A good friend and partner of mine, Bert Seither, CEO of The Startup Expert ®, has set up thousands of entities. What he discovered is that about 80% of people who have LLCs have them set up incorrectly. As a result, this mistake is costing those businesses thousands of dollars annually.

On a similar note, here’s an article Seither recently wrote for Forbes for all the people who are in business or want to be in business about entities in general. I hope you find it helpful!

At the very least, you should have an LLC. Make this a non-negotiable. You can thank me later. Learn from my disaster story and save yourself time and money!

“Using an entity makes good business sense, saves you thousands in taxes and protects you from devastating personal lawsuits.”

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