Making It Legal’s Swan Song . . . Sorta

By Nina Kaufman, Esq.

On a bleak January morning a few years ago, I got a call at 8:47.  My husband’s Uncle Jimmy had died.  James V. McGuinness was a New York City beat cop for many years, a dutiful (and hard-nosed) father of 5, with a dry sense of humor and a wide smile (when you could coax it out of him).  His death made me stop racing around mindlessly—death has a way of doing that—but my valiant efforts to get through my full to-do list were like trudging through caramel.  I didn’t succeed.

I started to think about how death can really have an impact on a business.  If it’s your death, how will your estate handle the dismantling (or sale to a partner, if you have one)? If you’re the spouse/significant other of one who’s been touched by it, can your business cope in your absence while you’re handling family affairs? All important questions, involving the need for solid legal planning.

And then I got another call that day.  Regarding a different kind of ending.

Entrepreneur.com was going through a major redesign and as part of that, they’re dismantled their blog network.  Which meant no more Making It Legal.  At least in this form.  And which makes this post a “swan song” of sorts.

The phrase “swan song” comes from Ancient myth where a Mute Swan would sing one beautiful song in its life–the moment before it dies.  Okay, so maybe the analogy isn’t as apt as it is dramatic.  First, I’ve been squawking about small business legal issues through 391 posts (this one makes 392) for 3 years, 10 months, and 4 days (but who’s counting) on a whole range of subjects: contracts, IP, litigation, business partners, taxes, and advisory teams, to pick out a few. Hundreds of you have joined in the conversation and shared your ideas—and not just a few frustrations (understandably).  And I thank you for wanting to wrestle with these issues.  So that’s a bit more than a single song.

It’s also not a true swan song because I will continue to blog about small business legal issues—as I have been since before Making It Legal launched—on my own blog at AskTheBusinessLawyer.com.  You’re invited to check out the different posts and articles we have . . . especially after February 9th, when (fingers, toes, and eyes crossed)—drum roll, please—AskTheBusinessLawyer.com will have finished going through its own major redesign to make searching this content s-o-o-o much easier.  I’ll also be able to do more with video, which will give you a variety of learning formats to choose from.  And you can join the several thousand who are already following me on Twitter at @NinaKaufman.  So it’s not exactly the end.

Then, as now, my goals for my small business legal blog are to:

  • Empower entrepreneurs to become comfortable with legal issues and advisors
  • Demystify the mumbo-jumbo that often surrounds legal concepts
  • Share examples of others’ successes and missteps that you can learn from
  • Translate the jargon/lingo into plain English
  • Serve as an information resource to help you know more . . . AND . . .
  • Have fun doing it!

I’ll continue to be part of the Entrepreneur.com community as an AskEntrepreneur expert and through the occasional guest column and Daily Dose post.

It’s just that things will be different.  And just as life doesn’t stop for my husband’s family, unquestionably it will be different.  I’m grateful to the Entrepreneur network for the opportunities I’ve had with them.  And I’m grateful to Uncle Jimmy for the fond memories he’s left with me.

I’d like to leave you with a smile … and a real groaner of a joke (somewhat apropos, given yesterday’s events):

A mother and son were walking through a cemetery, and passed by a headstone inscribed “Here lies a good lawyer and an honest man.”  The little boy read the headstone, looked up at his mother, and asked “Mommy, why did they bury two men there?”

I’ll look forward to seeing you all on AskTheBusinessLawyer.com!