Many clients of mine have unwittingly signed contracts in which they promise not to compete against their employer after their relationship terminates. I have seen some pretty outrageous contracts in which essentially the employer tries to make it so that the employee or contractor can never create a rival enterprise. Before you give up you should take a look at Texas Bus. & Comm. Code section 15.50-51 and talk to a lawyer. In Texas, this statute actually specifically deals with these non-compete agreements and lays out the required factors to make them valid. Likewise, if you are crafting one of these contracts you should be aware of these factors so that your non-compete agreement will be found enforceable.