It’s important to have realistic expectations about how much you’re going to profit from an idea. I hate to disappoint the many inventors who call my office, thrilled that they’re going to rake in a million dollars in their first year! They know that their product is just that good. Your product might be great. But I can guarantee you you’re not going to make a million dollars in the first year you begin inventing.
How can I be so sure? Because inventing takes time. And inventing takes practice. And most ideas simply aren’t million dollar ideas. But I really don’t intend for this information to discourage you – and it shouldn’t! I’ve yet to earn a million dollars in a product’s first year on the market, but licensing my products has earned me more money than I could have in many other professions and has given me an unbelievable amount of freedom. And, as we all know, freedom is fairly difficult to put a price on. I’ve been able to choose what hours I want to work and what hours I want to spend with friends and family. I’ve been able to enjoy earnings from products I licensed years earlier!
Different ideas generate different amounts of royalties. A novelty design may earn ten thousand dollars in royalties in a year; a new kitchen gadget, thirty-five thousand. But start to imagine: what if you introduced several new novelty ideas to the marketplace in one year? Additionally, many of my ideas continued to earn royalties for several years.
The most important thing you should expect of your first product is to follow the process through to the end. Work on getting familiar with an industry, on improving your confidence, and perfecting the speech and sales sheet you use to sell your product. The money will come, if you invest in the process and your knowledge of it. If you learn and try to perfect the skill of bringing a product to market, that’s worth more than a million dollars. It’s a skill you can use over and over again, with new ideas, with new industries, and with new potential licensees.
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.