Margot Sandy, Industry Expert

Is there such a thing as an Inventor’s High? There is a Runner’s High, described as the state of “euphoria, a feeling of being invincible, a reduced state of discomfort or pain and even a loss in sense of time…”. I believe the same can be true for the Inventor. The difference being you don’t have to be running a monumental number of miles to reach that pure bliss. Instead, you are running on the shared joy of having an idea and a person or people that start to like or finally really “get” something you have created.

If you are a dreamer, a tinkerer or even been told from time to time that you think “outside the box” very often you may have a vision(s) that not all people may see at the moment. The idea is clear as day to you and can be quite bewildering when others may not see the enormity of the inevitable possibility. How could your idea not change the world or create an influx of income? This gadget has been missed for years and you have figured out the solution! It is right there, your million-dollar problem solving idea! However, more often than not the responses are “that’s ridiculous” or “…maybe try and think of something else”. So, when you finally hear those “that’s awesome” or “I get it” comments or even have investors lining up at your door to support an idea you have been brewing after years of being perpetually deflated, that state of euphoria sinks in and time tends to go out the window, sometimes all reason goes out as well.

Urgency starts to creep into your psyche even feelings of a sometimes conquered-up competitor that is right on your heels if you don’t bring your once in a million-dollar idea to market now. Suddenly, a plethora of decisions are coming fast and furious. Money becomes an overlooked temporary barrier. Sayings like “you have to spend money to make money” become your mantra. Those ‘no’s’ you heard in the past become obliterated with your answer to everything being the same as a 90s Meg Ryan movie with ‘yes, yes, yes’. This is where things can spiral. This is where mistakes are made. This is where irreparable debt is incurred.

Over the last several years I have met many inventors that have spent tens of thousands of dollars (sometimes even teetering on hundreds of thousands of dollars) on an idea and find themselves in the same place they were when they started. Some have been scammed. Some have refused to accept any other path than the one they are on. Some fear that if they stop now, they’ll never recoup what they’ve already lost. My response… STOP. Sometimes you just have to stop. Take a step back. Relinquish that self-imposed sense of urgency. The answer may simply be to stop. Take the monetary maybe ego deflating hit and focus on a new idea instead of losing even more. Take comfort in the gains of knowledge you have acquired from your previous foray. On the other hand, maybe the solution is to find someone else to work with; mixing things up on your team may infuse much needed new eyes on your project. Lastly, perhaps your stopping point is just to recanvas the scene and then stay the course.

Whatever the case, instill some Monopoly-esque checking points to reduce those missteps. At the same time, accept that mistakes are inevitable, because you are creating something new, but before passing GO or mile 23 survey the landscape and make sure you are on the right path to progress.

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