I spend a good deal of time reading, researching, and pondering the topic of why people do what they do.
More specifically, what motivations, decisions, and fears drive them to choose one career path over another? There are hundreds of books written on this topic.
Because I am a ‘successful’ inventor (meaning I make a living from inventing), I assume if you are reading this blog, that you, too, are an inventor.
You Want to be an Inventor? Why?
As I have posited many time in this blog, inventing is quite risky. Perhaps 3% or less of would be inventors profit from their inventions. Below are links to just a few of my recent blogs that touch on the risk aspect of inventing:
- Inventions Are Cash-Eating Pigs
- Your New Invention May not be Patentable
- The Real World of Inventing
But, I have also written quite a number of posts about the rewards of choosing to be an inventor and (hopefully) achieving success, including:
I firmly believe that every person who wants to invent and be serious about it as a future career path, must ask himself or herself an extremely important question:
Why Do I Want to be an Inventor?
I suggest that you sit down with a sheet of paper and make an honest list of your motivations. Below are some typical answers people give to the question of why do I want to be an inventor:
- So I can ‘sell’ my inventions and make a lot of money
- I love tinkering with things and solving problems
- I have idea(s) for products I believe can improve the lives of millions of people
- I hate my job and want to do something else
If your motivation is either 1 or 4 above, stop now. Do something else.
Inventing will definitely not be a good path for you. If your motivation is 2 or especially 3, inventing could be worth your while.
Your Path Forward
Assuming you are still ‘in the game’ and want to really become an inventor, what should you do to move forward?
Decide which path you want to pursue: to build a business around your product or to license your patent and collect royalties, letting a manufacturer do the ‘heavy lifting’ for you. Much more information on how to choose between the two options can be found in the Two Paths blog I published previously.
So, you realize that you have a real passion for inventing, it is a bigger mission for you than just making money. Furthermore, you have decided which path forward (licensing or building a business) makes sense for you. Now what?
Do all the research and market testing you can to prove out your invention.
It is not enough just for you to love it, you must truly know that there is a real demand out there for your product and people will pay to have it. Lastly, focus on the why of it. Why would people buy it over a competitive product? Craft the answer into selling points for your product.
Then, go out there and do all in your power to market it in every way you know how. It will take a great deal of persistence and perseverance. There will be lots of frustrations, lots of rejections. But if you are willing to work long enough at it, to believe in our product and yourself, then others will want to join the club.
Do all of that and maybe, just maybe, you will become a successful inventor!