I truly love the process of creating. Seeing your product on store shelves or maybe even TV is incredibly rewarding. Watching someone use your product is magical. I love it. But, like everything else in life, it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to succeed.
Here are a few simple truths that I’ve learned in my career about creating new product ideas.
1. Have realistic goals.
Start small, learn as much as you can, and then think “big”. You have to walk before you can run. Always set the bar higher. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.
2. Stop listening to others.
Don't listen too much to friends and family, instead listen to experts and find individuals that are doing exactly what you want to do. Of course there will always be obstacles, but people often tell you that you can't do something when I am here to tell you that you can! Find like-minded people and join their community! Join an inventor's group!
3. Help others.
Be as helpful as you can. You’ll be surprised at all the doors that will open. By helping others you build relationships. People like to work with people that are positive and enthusiastic. Be that kind of person!
4. Educate yourself.
We are all students. Always be curious, never stop learning. No one knows it all. Things are constantly changing and you want to keep up with it!
6. Treat everyone with respect.
It’s absolutely OK to disagree with someone. It’s better to listen to their point of view. I never comment or react to quickly to anything. (Well, I try not to) And sometimes not saying anything says it all.
7. Have a solid work ethic.
Work hard, dedicate yourself, there’s no quick anything. Most successful people have worked extremely hard. Make a schedule, be determined and persistent.
8. Sometimes work is just work.
Even though you are a creative person, realize you’re going to have to wear another "hat" to market, sell or license your creativity! No one else is going to do the hard stuff for you.
9. Be patient.
Things do take time. Don’t get in a rush. This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
10. Have short-term goals and long-term goals.
Without a roadmap it’s hard to get to where you want to go. And make sure you have a target to hit each and every day.
11. Don’t gossip or talk about others.
Don’t be distracted by the noise of social media.
12. Treat other people like you would want to be treated yourself.
Everyone you meet along the way (and that includes the gate keepers) is extremely important to your success. Treat everyone with respect. It takes quite a few people working together to help you succeed.
13. Learn from failure.
You will fail over and over again. That's perfectly OK. Just keep moving in the right direction and learn from all your failures. Failures are not the problem; the problem is how you view them. Learn to accept and take ownership of mistakes you’ve made. If you don’t acknowledge your mistakes it’s hard to learn from them.
14. Love your ideas.
Some ideas might make money. Many will not. Love the process of creating new products more than the money.
15. Come up with lots of ideas.
This is a numbers game. Most of your ideas will get rejected so you don't want to hang your hat on just one! Don't get too attached emotionally or financially to any one idea.
16. Be reasonable.
When working with others, when negotiating with a company - be reasonable! Ask questions. You will not get everything you want - if you recognize this upfront you will help the process go more smoothly. Be prepared to compromise.
17. It's never over.
If you do license a product idea to a company, help them sell it! Use social media to promote your product, ask the company what you can do to help, find ways to spread the word!
18. Ask for help.
Sometimes you might become depressed or frustrated. Reach out to people who support you - make phone call or meet in person for a pep talk.
19. There is more to life than inventing.
Try not to talk about your product 24/7. You will drive your friends and family nuts!