There is no such thing as luck. Timing is the closest thing you can call luck. Or bad luck, in my case when launching Gearfix.
Create your own fortune The envious often fail to see all the sacrifice and hard work it takes to become fortunate. I clearly remember when I started out as an entrepreneur and was jealous of colleges that got all the jobs. Later on I realized the “secret” of fortune – Working hard and working smart.
Fortunately unlucky When I missed the catalogue deadline it wasn’t a big deal at first. The downside of this became apparent much later. I got the product into over 60 stores in three countries which was great. But nobody knew of its existence because it wasn’t in the freaking catalogue!
The result My new product wasn’t selling that great since no one knew it existed. Only slow walking customers shuffling around, ending up in the right isle of the shop had a chance to stumble upon my designed Gearfix box. Then they had to make an effort figuring out what a Gearfix was hopefully purchasing one or two.
Why was this extra bad? I was hoping the sales numbers could help in my future pitches to other retailers. It was selling fairly well, but certainly not breaking any records. I was extremely worried that my product would be cancelled before even making the retailers next catalogue.
You have to make sure that your invention will sell before anything. This is no joke, it’s really expensive to start industrial production of even the smallest, simplest gadget you can imagine.
Are you happy? If your invention improves your own life – perhaps you should stop there and keep on just being happy. Turning your clever invention into a successful dream project can easily turn into a nightmare.
All in? Just because you invented the best thing since sliced bread doesn’t mean people will buy it. Taking the next step is a life changing experience. Most likely to a lifelong path of misery and economic hardship. It is addictive and you just can´t stop.
My solution I kept my day job and didn’t invest more than about 50 € making prototypes of my drill bit holder Gearfix. Not until I had a retail order for thousands of them I felt safe to take a loan. If you can’t tactically wait with your investments like me, make damn sure you will survive a failure!
Are you special or very special? Can you distinguish between good and bad advice?
You are not an expert of everything, so input from others is essential. Ask many stupid questions and count on the experts to put you down. Don’t be discouraged and make sure you understand their point of view. Even the experts don’t know everything, but they are experts of something you aren’t.
Film of a very special guy.
I’ve often experienced when receiving advice that the expert goes out of their field of expertise and mainly express their personal opinion of your venture. Gather the facts, ignore their personal opinions and evaluate the information. Don’t expect them to completely understand what you’re doing. You probably don’t completely understand it yourself.
If you’re very special
Sometimes you get blinded by your brilliance. If everyone*, friends and family excluded, tell you it won’t work. You really have to question yourself more than once why, how and by what degree it won’t work. Perhaps you can improve your crazy solution into something really useful. But don’t quit your day job just yet.
Often the issue is that you identified a real problem but your solution isn’t perfect, not commercially viable or is just plain stupid. Even if you prove that it works, will anyone buy it?
* Most people will actually try to be nice even when they think your idea stinks. Listen carefully to them who plead you to quit your insane venture.
If you become a successful inventor you must attend lots of business meetings and travel the world. A dangerous problem is to fall asleep while driving. I’m a clever guy and have a great tip for all you sleepy guys and gals out there.
Nose picking when driving a car is great fun and a bit of a treasure hunt, you can find amazing things in there. To beef up the game, start plucking your nose hairs. It might generate a tear in the eye but most certainly will keep you awake on your journey.
When safely arriving to your destination you will look fantastic having removed that horrible nose hair.