Meet Kelly Bagla, Esq., CEO of Go Legal Yourself and Judge on Everyday Edisons!

Meet Kelly Bagla, Esq., CEO of Go Legal Yourself and Judge on Everyday Edisons!

She’s known as the Queen of Business Law, and now she’ll be the queen of Everyday Edisons’ judging panel! Kelly Bagla, Esq. joins forces with Chris Ferguson and Louis Foreman, lending her extensive legal and IP expertise to the innovators on season 5 of Everyday Edisons streaming now for free on Crackle.

Kelly comes from a family of hard workers who pursued their
dreams with grit and determination. When her family migrated from India to
Birmingham, England, her father took work as a laborer in a denim factory,
which he later went on to own. His modeling of self-made success—and the
respect he received from others in the factory—influenced her significantly,
and she caught the entrepreneurial bug early on.

She remembers having a passion for law as early as five years
old. With a stubbornness she attributes to her mother, she decided she would
become an attorney, despite the fact that all of her six siblings wanted to
pursue careers in medicine. She also had an inkling that she would like to own
her own business one day.

Beginning her law career in 2004, she got her start in a giant
biotech firm, working up to seventeen hours a day. Working on international
transactions, she gained a solid footing on the corporate ladder and later
moved to a smaller corporate firm where she was the only female attorney. She
became an expert in IP law and considered trying to make partner. But in her
heart, she knew she wanted to be her own boss, and she wanted to focus on small

Ten years ago, Kelly did just that, striking out to create the
Bagla Law Firm. Because she’d built such a strong foundation with her clients,
several of them followed her there. “I became a champion for small business
owners,” she says. She’d learned that with the big firms, small business owners
were often neglected. One thing was clear to her: she wanted to become their
champion. Less clear was how to go about doing that.

“Law school doesn’t teach you about owning your own business,”
she explains. “I had to learn all by myself. Being self-employed can be the
most exciting and incredible thing anybody can experience,” she says. “You
learn that you can only eat what you kill.”

Today, Kelly not only has a thriving law firm, but she’s started
a second business, Go Legal Yourself, which provides online legal resources. She
has also authored a book by the same title that gives readers nuts-and-bolts
information on setting up a sustainable small business.

Inspiring Women and Veteran Entrepreneurs

Kelly especially enjoys working with veterans, as well as women
entrepreneurs. Besides being married to a Marine, she says, “I always deeply
appreciated the sacrifice that the armed services provide. There’s no greater
sacrifice than going off and serving your country. One way I could give back
was to help from a legal perspective.

On helping women, she thinks back to her experience as a new
corporate lawyer. “My whole life, the one thing my dad taught me was that if I
wanted something, I needed to want it from my heart—otherwise don’t bother.”
While she had always known in her heart that she wanted to be a lawyer, but at
that time only about 4 percent of women were corporate attorneys, and only
about 1.5 percent minorities. She worked hard to prove herself as “one of the
guys.” In her own firm, she realized at one point that 90 percent of her
clients were men.

Reaching out to other women entrepreneurs was one of the
motivations behind her latest book, Go
Own Yourself
. In this book, she coaches people to learn their own value
without waiting for someone else to dictate it. “As I was writing and meeting
these women,” she remembers, “I would hear ‘I was always taught I wasn’t good
enough.’” She wrote the book to help women and others who might be having a
crisis of confidence overcome such obstacles of self-doubt.

Kelly Bagla, Esq., CEO of Go Legal Yourself, on the set of season 5 of “Everyday Edisons.”

Her Role as a Lead Judge on Everyday Edisons

Kelly says that she “can’t say enough incredible things about the show.” She appreciates the fact that it allows everyday people the opportunity to engage with experts in engineering, packaging, and distribution—an experience that can be out of reach for the average person. “It will reach out to a lot of people who are sitting on the fence [about inventing],” she says.

As opposed to on shows like Shark
or Dragons’ Den (the British
show on which Shark Tank was based), Everyday Edisons contestants know that
they’re going to be supported and their idea will be valued. “Sometimes the
simplest ideas are the ones that make millions,” she says. The show affirms her
view that America is a land of opportunity. “When I migrated to the States, I
created such an incredible life for myself. Nothing can stop you—it’s truly a
land of dreams.”

Adding to the many reasons why Kelly was a perfect fit for the
show is her own experience competing on an inventor series—ABC’s The Toy
. When browsing the toys at gift convention, she found that few of them
appealed to her. She knew she could make something better, and set about
developing her “Eardorables,” plush animals that have oversized ears so “you
can share your secrets with them.”

“This experience I’ll never forget,” she says. Prior to being
selected for The Toy Box, she’d had a
crash course in entrepreneurship with the Eardorables, complete with creating a
prototype, shopping it at a toy show, filing a patent, signing with a toy
broker, developing an infomercial, and . . . watching her creations sit boxed
under the stairwell for three years. Thankfully, a friend heard about the TV
show and suggested she submit her idea.

In the course of the show, ToysRUs/Mattel ended up choosing to
license the Eardorables, and her creations finally found their path to the
market. Prior to being on the show, she’d encountered lots of “naysayers—people
who were saying it’s not the season for plush. If I’d listened to them, I
wouldn’t have gotten to engage with Mattel and be selected for the cover story
of Inventor’s Digest.” This cover story, incidentally, also connected her to
Michael Cable, the executive producer of Everyday

Her personal experience as an entrepreneur and inventor series
contestant helped her empathize with the Everyday
innovators. She notes that she was “very proud of all of them” and
“with some of the inventions. The most common mistake she sees among new
inventors is believing that there’s nothing like their product already in the
market. “When you’re an inventor putting together a pitch for judges and
inventors, you have to include who your competition is—you have to show that
yours is better.”

When asked for the five words that best describe her, Kelly
chooses “self-made, entrepreneur, driven, sophisticated, and confident.” She
credits her family with arming her with confidence and an entrepreneurial
spirit and jokes that her sophistication comes hand in hand with her British
accent. But she is careful to note that the lion’s share of these descriptors
belongs to her own hard work.

As she ascended in her career, she frequently found herself in
roles where she was the only woman, and she found few mentors. For
reinforcement drew on the legacy of one of her heroes, Margaret Thatcher, who
became the first female prime minister despite widespread resistance from her
male critics.

Like Thatcher, she says, “I had to learn it all on my own, from
bumping along.” Finally, after growing dissatisfied with working for a large
firm, she thought “Why not do it myself?” She now owns two businesses and
working for herself suits her perfectly. She loves the fact that she doesn’t
have to waste time sitting in traffic or rushing out of the door in the
morning. She loves working from her home office where she can be close to her
husband and four dogs and create her own schedule.

What’s Next?

What’s next for Kelly, who seems almost allergic to sitting
still? She wants to continue grow Go Legal Yourself, with the ultimate goal of
dominating the online legal space. “One of these days I’ll write a book about
my life,” she adds. We’re betting that when she does, it will be quite the page
turner. After all, her favorite quote, from the Sikh bible, is “Why blend in
when you were born to stand out?”

The post Meet Kelly Bagla, Esq., CEO of Go Legal Yourself and Judge on Everyday Edisons! appeared first on Edison Nation Blog.

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