Lisa Bonner has held numerous titles throughout her career: entrepreneur, travel writer, and entertainment attorney working in film, music, television, digital, and production.
Bonner, who serves as the managing attorney of Bonner Law PC, knows everything about starting a business from a legal perspective. She has represented and advised clients in negotiating recording and publishing agreements, royalty recovery, and other potentially difficult matters.
She’s now imparting that knowledge to those in the media and content creation game with her new book, The LegaliTEAS of Entrepreneurship: The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence and Balance in Starting Your Own Business (BookLogix, $19.99).
The author told Black Enterprise, that she often ran into family, friends, and clients who always had a question on a range of topics. Eventually, the idea of putting all the answers in one place came to her.
“The book was spawned because I am an entrepreneur and I know how to run a business and when you’re not in this aspect of it from a legal or money point of view, a lot of times you don’t know what you don’t know,” Bonner says
“Because this is what I do for other people and myself,” she adds. “And I’m working with people who might come to me with a lot of questions about topics that are really, in my opinion, the foundation and the basics of starting a small business. What do you need to start a small business? What’s the difference between an LLC and a corporation? What sources of funding are out there?
“I just decided that it was something that needed to be written but I also know that there are a million books out there on entrepreneurship so I really wanted something to differentiate my book from the millions of small business advisors out there.”
The COVID-19 pandemic motivated a wave of Americans, specifically minorities and Black women, to start a business. Additionally, the Black Lives Matter movement and a focus on equity led to numerous small business accelerator and grant programs where entrepreneurs could receive funding and technical assistance in creating a digital platform and marketplace.
In her book, Bonner talks about her own experience, how to avoid the pitfalls, and what to work on immediately—and what can wait until a business has established itself. Every chapter speaks to a part of running your own business and features what Bonner calls “tea time.”
“It talks to you from start to finish about how to run a small business, but throughout each chapter, we have tea time where I sit and talk to the reader and give them first-person stories about sanity, balance, wellness, and being careful who you get in the business with. But they all lead to a chapter about starting and running a business,” Bonner says.
One situation Bonner details is when she worked at a firm and discovered one of the owners was arrested in Canada. Because Bonner was not an equity partner in the firm, she was not liable, but she uses it as an example to make sure you know who you’re doing business with.
The book also includes more business advice and knowledge, including what paperwork to fill out when establishing your business, how to get started and develop a fanbase, and how to protect intellectual property, employees, budgets.
In addition to the book and her firm, Bonner also has a podcast, Laws of Entertainment, which provides an insightful look at the laws, trends, and topical issues of all things entertainment. She can also be found on Twitter.