“I’ve got an idea!”
That’s been the starting point for countless creations, concepts, and conveniences, good and bad. Hell, even this blog post started with that very phrase and of course, an imaginary cartoon light bulb over head.
But how exactly does someone move their idea from the intellectual property phase to a real life, existing product? We’ve all read the books with the step-by-step instructions about setting a budget, creating prototypes, utilizing focus groups, and finding reputable manufacturing that fits your business model and if you haven’t read the books, perhaps that is a good place for you to start. But if following a specific blueprint were all it took to find success, wouldn’t more people be listing ‘inventor’ as their occupation on their tax returns?
Enter last week’s episode.
The Women Your Mother Warned You About interviewed experienced founder and inventor Maureen Stockton who is responsible for creating Formé, the first shoe shaper designed specifically for women, by women. After noticing her husband making use of those old fashioned, wood men’s shoe shapers she was determined to give women the same option in wearing comfortable footwear. “I have to get a gift for my girlfriend, oh and that’s for me” joked Maureen.
What started as a crude mock-up using her son’s Crayola modeling clay has turned into a successful new consumer product company whose focus is on “addressing women’s desire for enhanced shoe comfort and improved shoe wardrobe maintenance.” While Maureen notes that the best advice she got during the process was to “find an engineer who has designed products that work day in and day out because you want something that’s going to last a lifetime”, co-hosts Rachel Pitts and Gina Trimarco got her to offer up some other incredible tips for those individuals looking to translate their ideas from mind to matter.
Be relentless. The only reason Maureen was able to get Formé shoe shapers passed the engineering phase was her ability to demonstrate “progress and persistence.” “You’re a cheerleader.” You are responsible for getting people excited about your vision and your product. Meeting adversity in this process is inevitable. Just consider the journeys of industry greats like J.K. Rowling, Walt Disney and Ray Kroc who were met with rejection many times but never gave up.
Learning opportunities, not failures. You have to learn to utilize failures as learning tools and constantly ask yourself “what do I need to see from this to move forward?” If you can reframe mistakes as opportunities to learn, you can motivate yourself to become more knowledgeable and resilient.
Establish ‘external milestone keepers’. Maureen set herself up for possible embarrassment by telling people what she was doing. She encourages entrepreneurs to establish what she calls ‘external milestone keepers’, people that you respect who will hold you accountable and who you would be embarrassed to later tell that you haven’t made any progress.
Celebrate the little moments. Anytime the staff at Formé experiences a win, regardless of how small, they bust out a trophy adorned with the word “YAY!”, talk about why reaching that milestone was so important and how good it feels. “You need those moments that you celebrate because” as Maureen says “it is the journey not the destination.”
Put out feelings of success. In following the basic law of attraction, if you put out feelings of positivity and success then positivity and success is what you shall receive. This might sound like flower-child fukaka but depending on the frequency of your thoughts, the universe will give you an answer. Your thoughts and energy will attract the kind of world in which you live so why not make that a positive and successful world?
So how else does Maureen suggest you use the law of attraction?
Well, one day while walking past her son’s room, she overheard him say “F*@k me, I look good” while talking to his own reflection. She challenges all women to start their day the same way!