Lessons on Growing a Successful Business from Lawyer turned Entrepreneur Robert Freeman

Robert Freeman CSUF Startup Incubator
Robert Freeman, Esq. giving his talk at the CSUF Startup Incubator

Almost every week we are fortunate enough to welcome in experts from various fields to talk about subjects important for people who are interested in becoming the best entrepreneurs they can be. This week, we welcomed Robert Freeman, Esq. to talk about the lessons he has learned from being a lawyer and a successful business owner. Below are my notes from Robert’s talk.

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  • “Never take your eye off the ball”
  • When he was young, Robert was working on becoming a black shirt at his dojo and what ended up getting him that black shirt was his perseverance. While the others were taking breaks he kept on working and that work ethic was noticed by his sensei

Entity formation

  • The first consideration is legal and the second consideration is taxation
  • C Corp leads to double taxation because the corporation pays taxes and then the individuals who work for the corporation pay taxes
  • Entrepreneurs should have a good CPA; they will make sure that you don’t run afoul of any of the relevant laws
  • S Corporation is a C Corp but filed under the S Chapter with the IRS
    • Consult with your CPA; professionals are needed and Robert, a lawyer, uses a CPA with his businesses
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) is cheaper to form and has fewer compliance issues
  • According to Robert C Corps, S Corps, and LLCs are legally the same
    • Just make sure to never pierce the corporate veil
      • Obviously, don’t comingle funds
        • Can pierce the corporate veil and can lead to prosecution
      • Making a personal guarantee can also pierce the veil
        • Like with everything that involves professionals, consult with a professional when dealing with matters like this

Avoid the God Complex

  • You don’t know everything
    • “The difference between God and a doctor is that God doesn’t think that he is a doctor”
  • It’s important that you create a powerful culture, one where every employee fits within it and, if they don’t, then you need to get rid of them

Gotta have courage

  • You can’t lead your life in fear
    • Paraphrased: “Don’t live your life in fear but couch it in practicality”
  • You get out of life what you put into it
  • The most important part of this is that you have to just continue to move forward; when things get difficult you figure out some way to get through the difficulties


  • Robert’s company, OC Kickboxing has, for three years in a row, won the best fitness company according to the OC Register
    • It’s an awesome accomplishment but Robert did not receive credit for it, the OC Register gave his predecessor credit for this accomplishment
    • Robert could have stomped and shouted but he was flexible and focused on what was important, which was that his new company was receiving some tremendous PR
  • “Champions win, champions lead, champions speak” by Tommy Lasorda

Robert was a great speaker and everyone in attendance learned from his story and the lessons that he has learned from being a lawyer and an entrepreneur. To find out about all of our future seminars, office hours, and competitions please go to http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

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