Myth and misunderstanding have led most people to shun taking their product concept from idea to reality. Creating wealth by developing a product that solves a common problem faced by millions sounds great, but the prospect of enduring the long process of registering patents, manufacturing product and convincing brick-and-mortar stores to distribute your items may sound painful.
Painful, but not impossible. ABC’s Shark Tank investor, Lori Greiner has brought more than 400 inventions to market. She started her inventing career with no business background and just an idea for an earring organizer. Earlier this year I read her book, Invent It, Sell It, Bank It, and was intrigued to read about her failures and successes throughout her journey.
Here are three takeaways that I picked up from the book:
1. Be Honest With Yourself.
As entrepreneurs we sometimes get carried away with our ideas to the point that we cloud our thought process. In her book, Lori talks a lot about finding out if your idea is a hero or a zero. She suggested asking yourself questions like - does it serve a function and solve a problem? Would people be willing to pay for this? Are there a lot of competitors in this space?
The truth is it takes much more than a good idea to make a lot of money. This is because not all great ideas can be made into a business. The “Hero or Zero Checklist” that she shared in the book can help determine whether or not your product can actually make any money. However, you have to be completely honest with yourself or else you could hurt yourself in the future.
Related: 3 Lies You Heard on 'Sharl Tank'
2. Be Passionate.
A common theme that was easily spotted in the book was the level of passion Lori has for her product. Throughout the book she shared the hurdles that she faced and how she overcame them. Personally, I believe that she was successful because of her strong passion, and the support she received from those around her.
3. It Won’t Be Easy.
Whether you are bringing a product to market or simply operating a service-based business, you will meet hurdles and challenges. Giving up at the first sight of struggle will not be good for you, and that is why it’s important to be passionate. Passion will push you to move forward despite the hurdles.
Those entrepreneurs that bring products to market are able to serve a much wider customer base and therefore are often the ones that change the course of history. Invent It, Sell It, Bank It has a lot of invaluable information on including designing, patenting, manufacturing, pricing, and marketing a product.
Before publishing, I reached out to Lori to get her to conclude this piece. She responded, “You can make almost anything happen if you try hard enough have great drive, determination and passion! Don’t ever let anyone crush your dreams by telling you, you can’t do something. One of my favourite quotes and definitely a good one to live by is – “When someone tells you that something can’t be done, all it really means is that is hasn’t been done before.”