I am not a natural entrepreneur. I learned this the hard way when I started my first business a decade ago. Like most lawyers, I am way too risk averse, so the stress and uncertainty of business ownership always, inevitably, cloud my vision. Thankfully, with the help of my wonderful advisers' guidance, I was able to finally overcome this weakness.
However, despite all of this support, until I read Jessica Alter’s piece about formalizing the relationship one has with one’s business advisers (or mentors), it never even occurred to me to provide payment to the people who choose to work on my behalf. So far, the adviser relationships are maintained by the bond of friendship (also, it doesn't hurt that my friends are also in the business of giving small business owners advice). So, what should I do? Should I formalize this relationship? Would a contractual relationship that entails duties, obligations & payment limit a friend’s ability to provide advice only when he is willing and able? What have you done in the past? I’d really like to hear your response.