To be frank, I wish all inventing experts were as exciting as Rob Yonover. His passion is tangible and his spirit contagious. His book, “Hardcore Inventing: Invent, Protect, Promote, and Profit From Your Ideas”, is about to be released and I can’t wait to read it. It isn’t only Rob’s inventing style that’s hardcore – it’s his lifestyle, as well. He moved to Hawaii twenty-five years ago to work on active volcanoes and developed a passion for surfing large waves and fishing in rough waters in the process.
“I had a need to invent new survival technology. Ideally, I’d spend my days off the North Shore, surfing thirty-foot waves and fishing amidst ten-foot ones. I’ve been doing both for years. It’s a measured danger; I’ve trained and continue to train for these activities.”
And inventors think bringing a product to market is frightening. But Rob has clearly learned to channel his fear into productivity.
“Both are scary,” he laughed, “But I guess the difference between the two is that one may kill you. Having the phone slammed down in response to your pitch seems a little more trivial in the face of thirty feet of white water.”
Although his example is dramatic, the advice he gave from his new book was spot on. Here’s how he’s learned to deal.
“Sure, it hurts your ego, being told ‘no’. But after having enough people reject me, it doesn’t bother so much. It almost invigorates me. It gets me revved up for the next call I make. The book discusses tips and tricks that I use. For example, relying on the ‘elevator’ example. When I make a pitch, I compare it stepping into an elevator with a CEO. I have about twenty seconds before he’s going to exit on his floor. How would I frame my pitch? Because basically, you DO only have twenty seconds to hook someone, be it on the phone or in person,” Rob explained.
But what really resonated with me, and I hope resonates with you, is how he derives confidence for and in his idea.
“Someone once told me, ‘No one knows your idea better than you do’. You’ve got to believe you’re doing someone a favor when you call him or her – they don’t know it yet, but you are! You have to find a way to translate that benefit. How are you going to make them money? Explain how. I also think it’s important to modify your pitch as you’re making it. This is easier to do in person, when you’re able to read someone’s body language, but it’s not impossible over the phone. Feed off the other person.”
One of the questions the book poses to its readers is if they want to go to their deathbeds wondering, what if? What if they’d just given it a shot?
“You may have a framed patent on your wall, but you’ve got to actively get out there and pitch! You have more spare time to do so than you realize,” he exclaimed.