I was reading an inventor forum some time back and noticed a thread about how family members often react to those of us who always have an idea for how to do things better.
The level of support is often driven by their tolerance, the funny stories they can tell their friends about out inventions, the hope we instill, and of course success. But as inventors we all know “Success” is a hard word to define.
Read through these thoughts from people just like you and I – maybe you’ll find some words of wisdom in what they wrote.
“I have to say that I get great support from family and friends, when I tell them they do give me their opinion and sometimes it’s not good, but that’s ok…funny, when I tell someone what I do in my “not so spare time” they go “really, wow, how do you that??” And then the questions start…I like to talk about my experiences and always ask them if they ever had an idea…most have, funny, they never do anything about it…what makes us different here is that we are executing on the ideas, where most people sit on the ideas”
“Everyone has the light bulb go off in their head at some point (or more likely – many points) in their life. Most (I would say 99%) people don’t do anything about it. They don’t have time, don’t know how, or don’t think they could ever put it all together to commercialize that idea.”
“My family tells me I have a ZERO percent chance to succeed!!! One can never anticipate the pressure to give up!!”
“My family thinks I’m sitting on my butt doing nothing, which in a way is better for me. I never disclose what I’m doing until I am successful. It is easier to explain success, then attempts”
“I have received everything from laughter to the “that is an awesome idea” to the usual look of “that’s another one of his ideas”. I finally decided to try and prove myself to myself.”
“My parents have always believed in me; my in laws believed me until my inventions actually brought finical loses to my family, then they think inventing may not be the best path for me and their daughter. However they manage not to say anything strong to against it.”
“THAT is what separates us as creators from just thinkers…”
“SUCCESS is the proof in the pudding. Until we have achieved it, inventing is just a hobby to others. I think that success is in the eye of the beholder.”
“Success for me some days is getting up and facing the frustration of waiting another day and then other times it is reaching another rung on the ladder. I set my goals in reasonable increments (hour, day, week, month….) and when I reach that goal, I consider it a success even though no one else would be able to see any improvement or progress. And, once in a while, the ‘thing’ I worked on just doesn’t get any further: in that case, I consider success to be that I was smart enough to quit and not beat my head against the wall.”
“Success for me is getting through the day without doing something stupid. Like the time I blew the vent off the microwave while trying to heat up a hard boiled egg. I’ll never forget the explosion.”
It’s interesting to read the wide variety of impressions people have about inventing. It is after all an individual journey, so I guess it should be expected that we all do it for different reasons.