Does Your Business Have a Death Clause?

May 01, 2023

I received an inbox from ESSENCE Magazine the other day and the subject line read, ” The one thing Queen Latifah’s contract won’t let her do in a film.” Of course, that piqued my interest, I wanted to know what her contract wouldn’t let her do. How has she managed to get to the top of her game, in her line of business, and there’s something she won’t do? So I clicked on the link and was taken to a video where I could hear about the clause she includes in her movie contracts. What I found out, made absolute perfect sense.

She includes a death clause in her contract.

After the movie Set It Off, where her character Cleo was killed, she had an epiphany.

“Wait a minute, I’m starting to die too good in these movies. Hold up – if I die, then I can’t be in the sequel.”




When I heard that, instinctively my mogul senses started tingling. I thought, how many entrepreneurs are killing themselves off because they don’t have a death clause in their business? I’m sure you’re wondering what I mean by that. Let me explain.

When you’re creating your product or service, are you creating the next step or the sequel to the initial transaction? A lot of business owners are one-show ponies, where they only have one trick to sell or show. After they’ve sold that, they don’t have anything else to sell their clients or customers. They don’t get repeat business, they’re not building their pipeline, and they don’t have a list of potential buyers that they can nurture for more sales after the initial transaction. Doing business this way will kill your business,  your revenue, and ultimately your energy to operate your business. You’re working hard and not smart. You have to constantly be on the lookout for your next paid gig, to hold you over, until next month when you get to do it all over again. Hoping and praying, with each month, your business doesn’t die.

Now, if your business had a death clause, you’d be preparing yourself for its sequel. Hell, prepare for the trilogy! The Matrix series delivered three good products. Each one was built on the one before it and had you wanting more. You can also go for broke and be like the Fast and Furious franchise, they’re seven products in and if you’re like me, you’re waiting on the eighth. At some point, yes they’ll stop making this product and it will die. But not before milking it for every dollar it’s worth.

With that in mind, when you’re brainstorming your products are you considering what comes next in your sales cycle for product development? If you want to know how to build in a death clause for your business, it’s simple, don’t let your sales cycle die. Have another product or service waiting for your buyers after they finish with their initial transaction. Then another, and another. Multiple revenue streams can be from various businesses, but they also are within your main organization.

Your clients or customers come to you and make their first initial transaction with you, be it a product or a service. After that, you should have some merchandise available to sell them; albeit t-shirts, mugs, books, calendar/planner, classes, etc. You want to have a product that compliments your main major selling item. This is your baby sequel. After that, introduce another product or service that you offer so you can have a major sequel transaction. Then host an opportunity for your fans, a.k.a. clients and customers, to get the opportunity to see you in action through a webinar, conference, training, or live stream. This can be paid or unpaid, you’re still building that demand that only you can supply!


You’ll never die. You’ll have a death clause in your business.

Take it from Queen Latifah, she died once and realized she had to put a death clause in her contract. She’s managed to stay alive in her line of business for 30 years. She’s a Cover Girl, Actress, Executive Producer, Songstress, Author, Show Hostess, and let us not forget her first product, where it all started, she’s a Rapper.

If the death clause can work for her, it can work for you!

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