If you’ve ever declared yourself to be an inventor to friends or family, you’ve probably been the recipient of more than a few raised eyebrows. The image of the “wacky” inventor persists. To be sure, there are some incredibly unique inventors out there who fit the bill. But in my thirty years of experience, the average inventor is far from wacky. To put it simply, most inventors think about the world differently. And they all the need is a little education and support to channel that difference into productivity.
If people attempt to criticize or judge you after you inform them you’re an inventor, ignore it. Maybe they’ve met a wacky inventor in the past. Maybe they’re imagining you tinkling away in your garage or mixing potions in a laboratory. Try not to become frustrated! The television shows and websites highlighting crazy ideas and the people who are obsessed with them don’t exactly help. Even if a couple wacky inventors have contributed to this perception, you can certainly undo it. People are often unafraid of the unknown and the unfamiliar; you being an inventor will likely surprise them. I’ve been the recipient of criticism and skepticism so many times, I can hardly remember them all. Now I just brush them off. Achieving success as an inventor is a better retort than I could have ever made.
Have an inventor in your life? Don’t bring them down! Creative people need nurturing. Let them be who they are. They may just invent the next Google or iPod. Other countries stifle difference and individuality; in the United States, we celebrate it. Part of the reason our country has been so successful is that we foster inventiveness and individuality. Our economy thrives on it! Let creative people do their thing, and do it well. You’ll be the one they thank when their new product saves lives, saves time, or saves money!
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.