I’m an educator. I’ve dedicated myself to the process of bringing products to the marketplace through licensing. I sell courses. I host a segment on Blog Talk Radio. I’m the author of a weekly newsletter and this blog. This diverse array of experiences has led me to meet many remarkable individuals, often in the most surprising of ways. More and more frequently, I’m reminded that I can’t predict who I’m going to meet, where I’m going to meet them, and where our relationship might lead. Even though I know my time is precious (as is everyone’s’!), it’s important to keep an open mind and to be aware.
As professionals, I think we all tend to instantly categorize people we meet. How are they going to help us? Where do they fit in our lives? I know when I receive a telephone call from someone I don’t know, I try to label him or her: is he or she a student? Is it someone who is going to help me with Spin? But some people defy categorization. And those may be the most interesting and/or helpful people of all.
Having expectations helps us simplify our interactions – depending on the label we’ve ascribed, we expect to give or receive. But sometimes it may be better not to have any expectations at all. I recently received a call from a gentleman who reminded me of this fact. He called the office, wanting some information. I love to talk and I love to share information, but my time is important too. Even though all I expected was that he wanted something from me, I took his call.
What resulted totally surprised me: our interaction was reciprocal. He gave me as much as I was giving him. It was a good exchange of information and knowledge. He helped me and I helped him, which I never could have predicted.
Keep an open mind.
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed
over 20 products in the past 25 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 and listen to the weekly radio show on inventing. Get In The News, list your invention to have media outlets find you for news stories.