Today’s post is the last of the “checklist” items for inventors:
Today’s topic: Resilience
Most careers have standards, expectations and compensations that are structured and predictable. Inventing, however, is a creative endeavor where standards, expectations and compensation are fluid and often unpredictable.
Dealing with such volatility on a daily basis is frustrating, wearying and discouraging. Resilient people have a way of “staying the course” when nothing seems to be working. Resilience is a sort of inner confidence that gives courage and life to persistence. Resilience is a key ingredient for inventor success.
How do you make resilience work for you as an inventor?
First, recast your expectations so they are realistic.
Virtually nothing you attempt is likely to be successful on the first try – or the second, third or perhaps fourth. Resilience means that you find ways to reduce discouragement. Sometimes when one effort continues to be rebuffed over and over, change tact and try a different direction for a while. Changing directions brings new insights and, amazingly, often brings you back to the original direction.
For example, I spent three years attempting to license Savvy Caddy wallets. Every company I met with initially liked the product, but never enough to sign on the dotted line. I became very discouraged. So, I took a different direction: I had the wallets manufactured and tried my hand at selling them. The wallets were a hit with buyers and I was able to take them to QVC and sold them successfully there for two years.
Success on QVC, led me to consider DRTV (direct response TV) as a possible licensing path (back to the original plan). After another 3 years of being rebuffed by potential DRTV companies, I found a company willing to move forward.
Resilience kept me going. I refused to give up and maintained a belief in my product. This is why I think resilience is extremely important for success.