Everyone wants the good life, for themselves and their families.
The frequently overlooked question is: what really comprises the good life?
Is it about earning a high income or having wealth and a secure retirement? Is devoting time to family, friends, and loved ones every week key to the good life? The answer is yes to both scenarios.
But having a great career with high income and wealth and having time for family and friends seem to be mutually exclusive. You can have one, but not the other it seems.
For example, most attorneys typically earn top salaries, by one estimate the average partner in a large law firm makes about $450,000 per year in compensation. But if he or she is working 7 days per week, 60 or more hours each week, what besides income is good about that life? Such a go-go, high stress life seems to be a recipe for a heart attack, not the good life.
Others trade income, wealth and status for family time, electing to work at non-profit agencies pursuing meaningful causes. Unfortunately, families require not only time, but also money to provide sustenance for education, medical and daily living needs. A family getting by week-to-week on a limited income is continually under stress and has no long term stability. One or two major auto or medical expenses could be disastrous. How can this be the key to the good life?
The answer obviously lies somewhere between the two extremes. It is about striking a balance between two highly desirable circumstances that combined seem mutually contradictory high income and time for family and friends.
Invention Success – an Unusual Option
As a successful inventor, I seem to have the best of both worlds: the Good Life.
Full disclosure: I believed obsessively in my product; for many years I took risks, worked very long hours striving to pay the bills and keep my inventive dream afloat. My life was completely out of balance, but my hard work and unswerving faith in my product finally paid off.
I licensed my product, the Wonder Wallet, to a large infomercial company. My royalties now afford me a very nice living, plus I have a freedom of time very few people enjoy (including the high-paid attorney) – I can use my time as I see fit. As long as my product sells well in the marketplace, I will receive royalties. My life today is indeed the good life.
My current circumstances allow me to have plenty of time for family and friends and a solid income. But, I took a path over the last 5 years much more likely to lead to disaster than to prosperity: high risk, long hours, low pay, no stability. I cannot and would not recommend that path to anyone else.
I know of inventors, however, who have achieved the desirable circumstances I have (and better) who have not taken the perilous path I did to get here.
While inventing is always risky with no guarantee of success, I believe there is a better path than mine that can lead to inventing success.
Focus upon trends driving today's consumer marketplace, become aware of annoying problems that bedevil us, the speed bumps that slow us down. Coins and phones falling between car seats, purses spilled onto car floorboards, and bulky painful wallets are annoying problems that led to successful ASOTV products (Drop Stop, the Purse Pouch, and Wonder Wallet, respectively).
So, keep your day job, but invest a bit of your spare time every day and on weekends looking for that unsolved problem that annoys millions of people every day. Then, invent a solution to the problem that can be cost-effectively produced and sold. Do not go into huge debt to build a business around your product idea. Instead search persistently to find a company who will license your product, manufacture and market it into the huge consumer marketplace – and pay you a small royalty on each sale. It is not easy to do, but nothing worthwhile ever is.
I can assure you achieving success in this way provides a quality of life very few people achieve – even CEOs.
Maybe you should give it some thought.