For most people, starting their own business is a huge risk and it may not turn out as expected, which could leave them overwhelmed with loss and disappointment. What most business owners fail to comprehend while launching their enterprise is the way governing law influences the internal management of any corporation. They may have a brilliant idea and all the resources, but if not managed well the business will still suffer the loss. To shed more light on this subject we sat down with an expert in the field of corporate and business law, a bestselling author, and one of the top women entrepreneurs, Attorney Kelly Bagla, who believes starting your own business doesn’t necessarily have to be such a liability. As the CEO of Bagla Law Firm, APC that has been successfully operating for 17 years now, Kelly is well acquainted with the challenges that any business owner comes across and has some wonderful insight to share with the rest of us.
It can be very daunting and confusing for foreign-based companies to learn the ins and outs of how to do business in the United States and that’s where we excel: helping those companies with all their legal needs when expanding operations in America.
Aspioneer(A): Please tell us a little bit about what inspired you to choose this route? Are there any specific challenges you faced when setting up your firm? How did you handle them?
Kelly Bagla(K): “For anyone entering into a field which only has 3% of women incorporate and business law, there was some uncertainty from time to time. But I had an enormous amount of conviction that I was doing the right thing, with each of these decisions. I was born and raised in England and am the youngest of 7 children. Although I have wanted to be an attorney for as long as I can remember, I also witnessed firsthand, the incredible freedom and opportunity that comes from being a business owner. I watched my father work tirelessly as an employee of a factory, all the while saving, and dreaming, before ultimately buying the company he had worked for. It was a beautiful and empowering experience.
Not surprisingly, my parents encouraged me to follow suit and chase after my dreams. Even though there were no attorneys in my family, they cheered my every step. As a young attorney at Baker & McKenzie LLP, I cut my teeth in the practice of law with some of the best attorneys in the field. After leaving and joining a boutique IP firm, I expanded my knowledge and expertise to include not only the practice of law but how to bring in clients, which would ultimately allow me to open Bagla Law Firm. There was also a bit of apprehension about leaving the international law firm, and again, there was fear to overcome when launching my firm. But my conviction overrode my fear. Although healthy fear can play a valuable role from time to time because it prevents us from making risky decisions such as going for a jog on a freeway during rush hour; when it comes to chasing after your dreams, I find fear to be a particularly unhelpful emotion. So, I walk right through it.”
A: How does your organization work towards your ultimate goal and what do you think has contributed to your success over the years?
K: “Bagla Law Firm specializes in providing excellent legal services to those clients who are based outside the United States and plan on growing their business by selling products in America. It can be very daunting and confusing for foreign-based companies to learn the ins and outs of how to do business in the United States and that’s where we excel: helping those companies with all their legal needs when expanding operations in America. Our ultimate goal is to help business owners from inception to exit and everything in between. In fact, I have written a short book called DoingBusiness in the United States, and anyone can download a free e-book from my website (BaglaLaw.com). You know your business. We know the law.
The most formative lessons and experiences, responsible for my success, and frankly, which led me to write two best-selling books, launch a podcast and become an award-winning legal expert and lead judge on the Emmy winning televised show, Everyday Edisons, – was my belief in myself and my own abilities. I was taught to set goals, work hard, and go after my dreams. Regarding Bagla Law Firm specifically, my firm became successful essentially from the start, because I had seen business owners making the same mistakes over and over again for years. I saw wonderful people lose everything they’d worked for because they hadn’t safeguarded themselves and their businesses properly. I knew how to stop that cycle. I knew that I could make a real difference, in reaching one of my goals, which is to improve upon the disheartening statistic of companies which fail.”
“What is success?” I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.
A: It is inspiring to see the level of commitment and dedication you have towards your purpose. Your start-up ‘Go Legal Yourself’ is a powerful tool to empower business owners in running their business smoothly right from the start. While most are driven by success, you seem to be driven by the quality of your services. But still, speaking of success, how would you sum it up as per your own experience?
K: “My role model Margaret Thatcher said, “What is success?” I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose. I find her assessment to be spot-on. You must have a passion for what you do, or what you want to create. It’s not enough to want to create something because it will make you money. Otherwise, you’ll fail in business and likely lose money. Likewise, there simply isn’t any substitute for hard work. To be a leader, you have to be willing to smartly outwork everyone else. I have to mention confidence as another invaluable attribute. If you don’t have confidence in yourself, it is highly unlikely that others will have confidence in you. So, you need to trust in your own abilities and your convictions. If you can honestly say that you do, confidence will come naturally.”
A: To conclude, coming back to the biggest obstacle that you defeated as a woman working in a male dominant field, and someone who is most passionate aboutworking with veterans and women in business, what would you like to say to the fellow women striving to be leaders just like yourself?
K: “Grab the world by the pearls! It’s yours for the taking! I cannot emphasize how important I believe it is, for women to remain true to themselves, and to be confident in their abilities. I believe that fear prevents too many from going after their dream. Again, Margaret Thatcher summed up my feelings perfectly when she said, “People think that at the top there isn’t much room.” They tend to think of it as an Everest. My message is that there is tons-of-room at the top.”