Get It In Writing
The days when a handshake deal can be considered a trustworthy agreement has decreased significantly. It used to be you’d make an agreement, shake on it and that’s was your word. Unfortunately people go back on their agreements or sometimes say they never made the agreement you thought they did.
That’s the importance of getting it in writing to make sure everyone is on the “same page” so to speak. Having a written agreement or contract protects both parties. It makes it crystal clear what you’ve agreed upon and the terms and condition. If you don’t have a documented agreement, you can get into all kinds of trouble over it. First you won’t be able to prove your position and second you may end up investing a lot of funds in attorneys to fight about it in court.
I know of a situation where a couple went into business together selling products out of their garage. The woman never thought about getting anything in writing because they were engaged to be married. She put her trust in the relationship. She put up the initial investment to get the business started. Just before they moved it into a storefront, he left her for someone else and completely cut her out of the business. Took the products, cleaned out the bank accounts and left her with nothing. He said it was “his” business and she wasn’t entitled to anything.
She could have fought it in court but the investment of time, money and emotion weren’t worth it. She may have walked away with some money or residual from the business but at what cost? You always have to evaluate consequences upfront in those situations.
The bottom line is to make sure all your agreements are in writing. Even if it’s a text message, email or written on a napkin. Having a written document will protect you.
See you next week!
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, MSgt USAF Retired