As humans, we are capable of so many things. It only takes the willingness to learn and determination to apply these learnings.
Like us, a lot of people become entrepreneurs by accident and when that happens there’s a lot you have to learn. One must face the unknown and overcome obstacles that they’ve never experienced. You have to be humble enough to ask for advice and crazy enough to take the risk. As mentioned in our previous post we knew we had a good idea and we needed to pursue it. We acknowledged that we had no idea how to get it done or even where to start.
We became students of entrepreneurship and took the leap to develop our idea. The leap started with spending our beer money and then some on patent searches, applications and going through the IP process. We heard both sides of the coin. “Don’t waste your money or time. Be first and hustle”, “I wouldn’t spend any money or time until you find out results from a patent search”, “Totally worth it”, “Not needed”, etc. In the end, it’s always up to you to evaluate these pros and cons. All we know is that bringing a product to market takes a heck of a lot of time and money, more than we initially thought. If you are trying to figure out how to get started, I would reach out to local entrepreneurial programs and tap into their network. Kansas City has a wealth of programs to help entrepreneurs at any stage of their journey.
Once we realized nothing like Wobblrs™ existed, we were quick to apply ourselves and were able to secure patents. We also broke our personal promise to never go back to school but, we needed help and a lot of it. We enrolled ourselves in eScholars, an entrepreneurship course through UMKC and Regnier Institute of Entrepreneurship, where we spent 9 months learning, executing and ultimately came out with a rock solid business plan.
But it hasn’t been all been champagne and caviar. With each win, we’ve also had plenty of setbacks. After some self-analyzation we realized that we need to quit doing a few things:
- Stop second-guessing every decision.
- Don’t settle for “the process”.
- Don’t assume things are being done or will be done.
And instead do:
- Focus on the task at hand, make a decision, implement and move onto the next thing. Delegate tasks based on our strengths (or weaknesses).
- It's ok to push and look for alternative/unexplored routes that can save time or money. Seek advice from those who know the tricks of the trade.
- Stay on top of things and do weekly status until there’s a point these aren’t needed.
The reason people say “fail often” or “it’s ok to fail” is because something great happens when you dig yourself out of the bottom of the barrel. You learn what went wrong, you analyze what happened and process many different ways it could have been done successfully. Ultimately, you learn at 5-times the rate.
The best way to figure things out is to go out there, do your homework/research, learn from others who’ve walked a similar path and JUST. DO. IT!