I knew I liked Marlen immediately. She was direct and organized. When she called me, it was obvious that she had a clear plan in mind. She was in the process of pulling together the right team of people: a distributor, a copacker, a producer. Her leadership made it easy for me to understand how I might contribute. I decided I wanted to.
Assembling the right team is so important. Marlen understood that she didn’t have the skills or connections necessary to launch the beverage on her own. And why should she have even tried to? Finding the right people, rather than struggling to understand multiple different industries herself, was a much more effective effort. If you’re an inventor who succeeds at cold calling but has little technical experience, why not reach out to engineering or branding and marketing experts? The inventing process relies on an incredible diversity of skills. Find someone who is an expert in a field you’re not to help you. Or consider exchanging skills – undoubtedly there’s someone who could benefit from what you know and are good at.
I knew nothing about the beverage industry (other than I liked to drink a few), but I agreed that the Spinformation label could be a valuable asset. I started to do my own research and got even more excited about the project. I also knew and respected the other team members Marlen was recruiting.
We told her we wanted in. And in response, Marlen did something really smart: she gave us all small specific assignments to complete. How each individual responded to the assignment spoke volumes. It was clear who was going to be a valuable participant and who wasn’t. It’s a step I’m going to take with me in the future and you should too. Team members can be incredibly helpful, if not downright necessary – but only the ones you can fully depend on! If you give a potential new team member a small assignment to complete before committing to a project, you’ll be able to quickly discover who is and who isn’t the right partner for you.
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed
over 20 products in the past 30 years. Along with business partner
Andrew Krauss, Stephen runs inventRight,
a company dedicated to educating inventors about selling their ideas
and the skills needed to succeed. You can listen to the weekly radio
show on inventing. Get In The News, list your invention to have media
outlets find you for news stories.