A systematic approach can determine your creative path. 

Now that I have your curiosity aroused, consider the plight of the American inventor. Unfortunately, for this article we have to ignore the Edisons and those special people who changed the course of history in positive ways and became extremely wealthy in pursuit of their brainchild.

I am focusing on you, the reader—the creative individual who has a dream and visualizes the wealth and fame that can be derived from a successful invention. However, it is not the invention that becomes a big success; it is the transition of the invention and concept that is professionally developed into the product. Only then—after untold hours, days, months and sometimes years of frustration, anguish and loss of money, friends and sometimes family—does it attain success or failure.

During the six decades I have been working with and assisting and mentoring inventors, I have seen the creation take over its creator. In two cases, it actually broke up a family, with children suffering while their father or mother pursued a dream. The inventor became his or her own worst enemy.

Start this Self-Exam

So, you as reader/inventor has total control over becoming your own best friend or your own worst enemy. Let’s explore this further, starting with a self-examination test that will hopefully provide you with a favorable path to your creative future.

On a writing pad, not on the computer, start a list of what you believe are your greatest strengths. List all of the qualities that you recognize as potentially valuable. Look at all of your past accomplishments and list them on a separate sheet. Now, very seriously consider: What are your greatest weaknesses? Start another page for this. They could be everything from not having any experience in a subject that interests you, to a lack of vocabulary to express yourself verbally or in writing. Perhaps it’s taking care of your checkbook balance, or maintaining a list of your personal friends and contacts, or not working at the job you really want.

By now, you should have at least four or five pages. Now, start a new page. Sit quietly and visualize where you are and what you will be doing five years from now. Seriously project your mind into a future vision of happiness—home, family, work, etc. What can you see that now becomes a potentially future plan for success? Who is part of that vision, and why? Have your creative abilities transformed an idea or invention into a successful product?

OK, so if you now go back to the previous pages of everything you wrote, start on a new sheet of paper the vision that you want to turn into reality. This is an exercise to focus your thinking, as well as to make the dream happen. Go back to the page where you described your weaknesses. With a different colored pen, now list the people you know who may have the strengths to balance your weaknesses. You are now beginning to put together the team that hopefully will launch your new future.

Research and Protect

One of the most important ingredients in creating your new venture, and hopefully your new life, is to take the time to do your research. That includes searching for similar products by not only exploring the internet but by diligently going through the uspto.gov files of all of the patented inventions. Once you have concluded there is nothing similar to your invention, start researching the market, its size, what companies produce the products, why yours is better, etc.

Then, start to very seriously consider protection. Most of the answers to your questions can be found on the USPTO website. You can make an appointment with a patent attorney who will provide you at least a half-hour of free time. Protecting your idea will be critical if you decide to consider licensing instead of going into business. For all kinds of information on the subject, check out Iesusacanada. org, a worldwide organization of IP attorneys and thousands of corporations, universities, research centers, etc. If you want a lot of free information about inventing, go to CaliforniaInventionCenter.org.

The above systematic approach to successful inventing does work. There are a lot more required ingredients, but space limits my ability to further elaborate. Send me an email: [email protected]