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27 May

Ep. 44 – John Fagerholm – Entrepreneur & Attorney – Founding Partner, Metal Law Group

John Fagerholm – Entrepreneur, Attorney and Founding Partner of Metal Law Group; Legal perspectives for 1st time entrepreneurs; Trademarking; Thoughts on Doing Business with friends and family.

Segment 1: (Length :05:00) – General Updates; Introduction to John Fagerholm and his journey as an entrepreneur thus far, as well as being an attorney and his background into creating Metal Law Group; differences between law and entrepreneurship.

John’s finer points:

“In entrepreneurial endeavors, different is good. That’s what people don’t realize a lot of times . . . When you can find those little niches and little difference, that’s where the sweet spot is.

“I’ve always been a terrible employee. It’s my background . . . there was always that hustle.”

“I spent a lot of time reading, like the self-help books. That’s what led me to wanting to start my own businesses.”

“I can give real-world experience as far as problems that I’ve run into. I became a lawyer because I was sued so often just because I was all fire and no brains.”

“The typical lawyer is a deal killer. They want to look at every possible contingency and then at the end of the day, the deal doesn’t happen. For me, I like to let my clients know that something is a possibility, but it’s remote or can happen any day of the week. Then we just figure out how to get around the real problems so we don’t kill a deal.

“They don’t train you to run a business in law school. They train you to think a certain way and it’s very narrow thinking. That’s why a lot of attorneys are not good business people because they don’t think like entrepreneurs. In order to think like an entrepreneur, you have to think outside the box.”

Segment 2: (Length :07:00) – Talking with John Fagerholm; Legal perspectives for first time entrepreneurs; When should one do a Trademark;

John’s finer points:

“The first thing is other people . . . Understand what an agreement is. It’s just a document that tells a 3rd party like a jury or judge, that if you get into problems, what it is you agreed to in a specific moment.”

“Make sure you’re doing business with a right person because a contract doesn’t force anybody to do anything. It just tells a 3rd party what you agreed to.”

“Trademarks are one of the first things you should do if you’re putting a product out there or are already showing things. It’s not that expensive to do a trademark either.”

A trademark is very inexpensive. If you don’t have the money to do a trademark, or start an LLC or an S-Corp or anything in the beginning, then you’re probably not ready to start a business anyway. That’s bare bones minimum.”

“You do have a trademark automatically when you use it, but it’s only a common law trademark and it has no remedies to it. Here you are showing people from all over the world this cool trademark and when they see you don’t have it, they’ll register it themselves.” 

Segment 3: (Length :07:00) – Thoughts on going into business with friends and family;

John’s finer points:

“There’s no hard or fast rule to that . . . the success or failure of any things, usually has to do with who’s next to them. It’s more along the lines of experience. Always have the best people around you to do what you need them to do. If that happens to be a family member, or whatever, that’s great.

“If you have one guy that you don’t know and he’s got a certain amount of experience and you’ve got a family member that’s even remotely close, I’d probably go with the family member just for the trust aspect of it.”

“I don’t try and get too involved in family matters. I just let them know who they probably want around them and then let them choose.”

Segment 4: (Length :03:00) – Hustler Thought of the Day:

“The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else”

– Eric Ries

John’s finer points:

“I wasn’t thinking from a legal perspective. I was thinking of really knowing what you want to do and knowing the business you want to be in.”

“So many times people call me up and they ask me what they think is a legal question and I say, “Listen, that’s not even a legal question. You should go find that on Google.'”

“A lot of people have the idea of what they want to do, but they don’t want to do the work for it. They want everyone else to tell them how to do it and that’s not the way to be a successful entrepreneur.”

“The way to be a successful entrepreneur is to know everything about what you’re doing. Know it inside and out. When you get in front of whoever, whether it’s people who are funding you or whatever, you should know all the answers. You should live it and breathe it.”


John Fagerholm – Entrepreneur & Attorney – Founding Partner, Metal Law Group

  • John Fagerholm practices in the areas of intellectual property law and business law, and represents clients within the media, entertainment, technology, action sports, and lifestyle brands spaces.
  • He began his legal career as a litigator at a well-known law firm that represented high profile entertainment clients prior to co-founding this firm in 2003. Mr. Fagerholm has an extensive background in litigation, business, intellectual property, and entrepreneurship.
  • He has owned several businesses, including a car buying business, a kickboxing studio, a convalescent home, a mortgage company, an escrow company, and a nightclub, so he has first-hand experience with the issues that business owners face.
  • John Fagerholm is the founding partner and owner of DefendMyBiz.com a Los Angeles based law firm dedicated to protecting and defending California employers and business owners from the states unfair labor laws.
  • John is the “Entrepreneur’s Lawyer” and specializes in helping small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs navigate the tricky legal landscape.




Matt Gottesman

Matt Gottesman is a global digital strategist and technology advisor, creator and editor-in-chief of Hustle & Deal Flow™ - an online magazine dedicated to the world's entrepreneurs, creators and makers, a Social Media Influencer and a consultant on New Media and go-to-market strategies for investments in digital marketing, technology, websites, mobile applications, eCommerce, social media and content.

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