The Three Most Important Tools in an Inventor’s Mental Toolbox

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With the ongoing success of LifeWave, built on the strength of our phototherapy patches, for which I hold a number of patents, people often ask me how they can achieve success themselves as inventors. Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all response to that question; each individual must seek out success in the way that makes sense through their own unique efforts. Still, there are some tools that can give you an advantage while pursuing your dreams. Below, I’ll discuss some of the most important of these, as I see it, and how they can be used to further your goals as an inventor.

1) Persistence

Perhaps it’s trite to say, but persistence is perhaps the single most important attribute you can have to achieve success. It’s also something that does not get acknowledged because we often only take notice of well-known inventors after they’ve achieved success. We haven’t necessarily seen the risks taken that went into them arriving in the inventing winner’s circle. In fact, it’s much more common for an inventor to find success after a long string of failures or set-backs from which they learn, grow, and advance.

So what allows an inventor to keep forging ahead? You guessed it — persistence. One of the only things guaranteed when you set out to create something novel is that life won’t always go your way. Persisting through the natural ups and downs of the inventor’s journey is part of the process by definition — and the only way to really achieve the success you seek. Before anything else, you must be persistent.

2) An open mind

The journey of becoming an inventor requires you to keep an open mind in many different areas of your work. This is usually easy to stomach when it comes to innovation because the basic premise of an inventor’s work is to create an entirely new object, system, or process. In this sense, keeping an open mind is baked into the work, but there are other ways in which a mind can be opened that can be crucial to bottling creative lightning.

One key way to engage in this practice is to listen to the suggestions of others. I’ve found that subscribing to other ideas can be difficult for many inventors since a venture can be such an individualistic pursuit. However, pushing ahead obstinately without listening to others can often be a disservice to what you ultimately intend to achieve. We can often receive lightning bolts of inspiration from the well-meaning advice of a trusted friend or colleague who will provide advice on a confidential basis. Those who know us well may be able to guide us around a roadblock to which we ourselves may be blind. Another person’s experience can be a great asset and should not be dismissed lightly. Keep an open mind to any advice that comes your way and you’ll often be better off for it. Certainly, whoever provides you input, no matter who they are, it never hurts to have them sign a non-disclosure / non-compete agreement, if you are serious about your invention.

3) Prudence

I know of the rush of adrenaline that can accompany a new and exciting idea. It can incite an inventor to throw caution to the wind and dive full-force into turning the idea into a reality. While this enthusiasm can be a great asset and can help bring many things to fruition, it can also work to a person’s detriment if it’s not paired with an appropriate amount of caution (like signing the agreement mentioned above) and due diligence.

A lack of diligence can lead to a lack of testing or an impatience to file a patent or otherwise move the process forward too quickly. This can lead to an idea that is not completely fleshed out. While I empathize with the desire to move forward in one’s pursuits, exercising prudence when possible is always advisable. Rigorously testing an idea through completion can be key to making sure it will survive the eventual, often legitimate, slings, and arrows that might come your way during the financing and manufacturing stages prior to getting to market.

Taking time to ensure an idea is well-developed before filing a patent can also save you money. Filing a patent is expensive and doing so before it’s warranted can be a waste. Since money is a limited resource, it’s important to conserve it where possible to best avoid the possibility of financial setbacks or otherwise being unable to meet important patent milestones and deadlines.

Being persistent, prudent, and keeping an open mind are three of the most important tools in an inventor’s mental and operational toolbox. They have served me well time and again throughout my life, especially in my work with LifeWave technology, for which I have received numerous patents, my most recent being in July of 2020. When I’ve adhered to these and other key operational disciplines, I’ve often avoided delays, problems, and set-backs that could have stopped a project cold. By keeping these tried and true tools in your inventing toolbox, you can dramatically increase your chances of success.

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David Schmidt is the CEO of LifeWave, a leading health and wellness company he founded in 2002. More about David Schmidt at https://davidschmidtlifewave.com/

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