Make your own A-Team!

I was excited to have dinner last night with a long time friend.  You can tell what friends are good for you by how you feel after being around them.   Some friends bring you down, others bring you up.

 

Friends that bring you down are toxic, and should be eliminated from your life.

 

This friend however is very inspiring, supportive and intelligent.  I haven’t seen him in about a year, and divulged my information on Tweakz.  I hold Tweakz close to my heart since its still a young and tender baby.  Kinda like a little babies soft head, it needs to develop more before resisting any kind of impact from criticism.

 

Happily, he was very responsive and encouraging of my business plan.  How Exciting!

 

This positive response only further ignites my engine to push forward.  Just like the little engine that could; I think I can…..I think I can……I think I can……   I just keep trucking up that hill!

 

As for my current progress, I’m still waiting on the revisions to be completed by my CAD guy.  At this point, it’s been 2 weeks and still nothing yet.  I realize that he’s a busy guy, but the lack of attention to my project is really stating to urk me.  I’m paying him good money.   I posted an ad on Craigslist today looking for another CAD designer to complete the final revisions.  I’m sick of waiting.  Sorry, but there are people out there hungry for the business in this economy.

 

My meeting last night really made me think about how important it is to surround yourself with awesome people.   It’s the difference between success and failure.  After being somewhat fuzzy headed from this waiting process, I now have new energy.  One simple meeting with the right person has given me the charge I need.  

 

I continue to grow a following on Twitter & Facebook.  My online friends provide me a wealth of information and are invaluable.

 

Imagine what you could do with an entire A-Team of people on your side?

 

Infinite Possibilities 😉

 

 

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Last Day of February 2009

Yippee!  I’m happy to see I have comments on my new blog.   Your support is motivating!

I’m addressing your questions in this post.

What is Tweakz?    I know, I’ve been somewhat vague.  Until I have the actual product to market, I’ve been reluctant to give out much information.  Reason for this; the product alone is very simple. The key is how the product is used.  Tweakz is a women’s fashion accessory. 

When will Tweakz be available?   I’m hoping in the next few months.  This last week, I ran into an obstacle with the design.   A very helpful manufacturer pointed out a potential flaw.  A quality product is really important to me. Therefore, I would rather wait to ensure the design is suitable.

Foreign manufacturer vs. made in the USA?   I definitely prefer to support my country.  However, I’m finding it’s all interrelated. Most foreign producers have US offices.  For instance, the manufacturer  I’m considering is a US company.  He does work in house, but also partners with companies in China on certain products to remain competitive.  Therefore, I would work with a US company but the product parts would be produced overseas.  Once I receive the parts, I will assemble together myself and with family labor 😉   At least, until I can afford to hire help.

I expect to spend more per piece on my first few runs.  The real cost savings comes when you order in high volume.   Until I get sales to justify the expense, I’ll stick with low volume production.

As for my man Donny Deutsch,  I found this post regarding the show.

CNBC puts “Big Idea with Donny Deutsch” on hiatus.

Given the condition of the economy, it’s hard to find anything positive on tv.  

We need these inspiring shows to give us hope and motivation.

I vote to get an online petition going to bring back the show.

As for now, you can watch previous episodes at the following sites.  

Search under Donny Deutsch or Big Idea

www.hulu.com

www.youtube.com

 

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Progress Report

Months of going back and forth with revisions has finally come to an end. So excited to finally get my 3D CAD drawings on my product finalized.  I guarantee my drawing architect is relieved to have me out of his hair.  I’ve been a bit knit-picky, but I know exactly what I want.  When you have this vision in your head, you can’t settle for anything less.   Now I have drawings to provide to the manufacturers in order to get quotes on producing my product.

 

I searched through Thomas Net for manufacturers, specializing in plastic injection molding parts.  Thomas Net gives you the contact information and website.  Once getting the company website, I then look at the company to see if they produce any similar parts.  After doing this for a few hours, I acquired a hefty list of emails to send quote requests.  Sent out a mass email entailing exactly what I was looking for and attached my drawings.

 

This is a discovery process of getting estimates on costs.   The main cost is the tooling of the machine to make the mold for the parts.  Based on my internet research, I’m expecting somewhere in the ballpark of $5,000 to create the molds and the actual parts less than .50 cents to make.  However, I’m planning on beating that price!

 

Very surprised to have a quote within a few hours. However, also sticker shocked at the estimate of between $8,000-$13,000.  Impressed with response time, but NO WAY on the price.

 

Received several calls and emails for more information.  I’ve been prompt in responding yet, not much urgency to get back to me.   I know that my project is small beans compared to their large potato contracts, but everyone starts somewhere.  I’m a small spud eager to grow!

 

Ever so often, I’m very delighted to find someone who stretches out of their routine box to offer me valuable guidance.  One manufacturer in particular, actually responded to me with concerns about a possible design flaw.  All the other manufacturers that I requested quotes from were just eager to bid on pricing.  

 

Back to the drawing table!  His feedback was dead on.  Just need a minor tweakz 😉

 

Based on the revisions I discussed with this fellow, he gave me an estimate of $3,000 for tooling and .30 cents for parts.  Sounds good to me and response time is impeccable. Not to mention, his attention to detail.  This may be my guy. 

 

Looks like I’m back to harassing my CAD guy again.  Hopefully it will be quick and painless this time.

 

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Baby Steps…..

Don’t get stuck in Analysis Paralysis!  I do this all the time. You over-analyze until you pop a blood vessel and do nothing.  Your mind gets overwhelmed and goes comatose.

 

If you solely focus on the massive big picture, you’ll only see obstacles.

 

It takes one step at a time to climb a mountain.

 

Baby steps, do something everyday to work towards your new business.  As small as the task might be.  This keeps the idea alive and you moving forward to achieve it.

 

You can write the perfect business plan and timeline.  I guarantee, that nothing ever happens as planned. If you get held up during any part of the process, then just work on another.  It doesn’t have to be in perfect sequence. 

 

Take it from me, I planned to have my website up and selling product already.  Unfortunately, I can’t change the response time of the guy doing my 3D CAD drawings nor the time for manufacturing.  No to mention any unforeseen issues that arise. It’s a constant dodge ball match. Therefore, I decided to get my blog going and stay focused on my end result.

 

READ * READ * READ*  The Internet has a wealth of free information. Use your time wisely.

Study about your market and how your going to dominate it. Work efficiently, send emails requesting quotes on goods and services.  

 

Too often it’s easy to get caught up trying to do everything.  Admitting your not good at something doesn’t feel good.  Nobody is a master of all trades.  When we bog ourselves down with tasks were not good at and don’t like, it drains your energy.  Learn how to delegate out your monotonous tasks and exploit your strengths.  This will make you more productive and better at what you do.

 

Suggested Reading:

     “The E-Code” by Joe Vitale –  in-depth knowledge on internet marketing

     Use “Strength Finder” – don’t assume, uncover your natural abilities

      “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne – You must visualize your dreams to make them happen

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Be a Cheap-O!

Time & Cost will be twice the amount estimated.  I’m slowly learning this. People are eager to spend your money.  Quotes will come in a very wide range.

Starting a new business venture in a recession has been very intimidating for me.  It’s been vital to stretch a buck out of ten cents. This comes natural for me with my penny pinching upbringing.

Alot of things can be done on your own to save money.

Corporation, trademark, copyright, tax certificate filings can all be done on your own. All the online applications are self explanatory. Just a little time and effort.

As for patents, a bit tricker and would suggest assistance.  In my case, I posted a free ad on my localCraigslist for help with patent assistance and found an inventor to help at a fraction of the cost.  Do use caution and check for references and completed work.

Shop online, and get multiple bids until you find the bottom…….you can find everything cheaper!

Challenge yourself, push to learn things that you didn’t think possible.  You’d be amazed at what you can do when you stretch the ol’nogen.

I’m not a tech person by any means, yet created my own website and blog.  My MacBook is loaded with software that is elementary to use and great for a starter site.

Save all you can on the little things, it adds up.  You’ll need it for the big ticket items of manufacturing and final patent issuance.

  1.      www.elance.com – Name your price and have freelance professionals bid on your projects. 

 

  1.      Read the “How to Dummies Books” to master virtually anything.  

 

  1.      Shop manufacturers & distributors registered with Thomas Register.

 

 

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Simple Stupid Ideas

It all started with a simple idea.   So simple, that it seemed stupid.  This simplicity lead to doubt.

 

But I began to think about all the other simple ideas on the market;

 

Post-It-Notes;  paper with sticky glue

Hair Scrunchi;  elastic hair tie with fabric around it

Paper Clip;  bent piece of metal

Drinking Straw; plastic tube

The Spork;  spoon & fork in one utensil.

 

Not Einstein inventions by far, but the list is never ending…..

 

The key here is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.  Solve a problem or take a simple everyday product and make it better.  

 

Don’t wait for that big idea that will change all of humanity – it will never happen.

 

Find something realistic. It should appeal to a niche market, be simple and cost effective to develop. If you have deep pockets, then shoot for the stars!

 

Look at it this way,  if your idea only appeals to 1% of the population, that’s still over a million people!

 

My idea hit me and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  I ran it by friends and family who were all in support of it’s marketability and mass appeal.  Plus, I believed in it.

 

Once you get in the inventor mind set, all kinds of stuff will pop into your head.  Brainstorm daily and write everything down.  Next, go through your lists and determine which ideas are most feasible considering market appeal, development costs and advertising.  Most importantly,  which idea strikes your passion.

 

Ways to get your creative juices flowing:

 

  1.      Be curious, learn and read books not on your typical subject of choice.  Expand the mind.

 

  1.      Stimulate yourself to new sounds, sights, conversations and tastes.  Window shopping is a great past time.

 

  1.      Everyone should have a creative outlet. It keeps the brain stimulated.  What did you love to do as a kid?

 

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As Donny Says, There’s Got to Be a Better Way!

Is your work like the Office Space sitcom?  Mine was for awhile.

As Donny says on CNBC “There’s Got to Be A Better Way” and there is.

Everyone wants the American Dream of owning their own business and calling the shots.  It’s not just about money. It’s about the freedom, controlling your own destiny, the challenge.  

Most of us don’t take action, we just talk about it.  

I’m guilty of this. I took a ride on the office drama bandwagon for years, constantly groaning about my corporate job.  It was easier to complain about my circumstance then to make a change.

I watched Donny’s show “The Big Idea” consistently for a year before I decided to take action.  For those who don’t know the show, it’s an entrepreneur encouragement show.  It features every day entrepreneurs making their dreams reality.  Finally, I got to the point where I was sick of watching everyone else make it happen.   This was my turn!  Just what I needed to get off the caboose and take the reins.

Fear, Self Doubt, Finances, Worry — ALL EXCUSES HOLDING US BACK FROM OUR FULL POTENTIAL

I’m not telling you to throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks.  You should only make calculated business moves. An opportunity that you can slowly transition into in a financially responsible way.

Actively seek and find your inspiration wherever you can.  Once you get your mind right, you’ll be amazed at how quickly inspired ideas will come to you.  Get Into the Groove!

Your only as good as the company you keep.  If your the smartest cookie in your group, then widen your circle of friends.  

Here’s a few things that worked for me;

  1.      Start associating with groups of like minded people;  www.meetup.com

 

  1.      Here’s a book that will get you pumped – The 4-Hour Work Week

 

  1.      Inspirational Thoughts of the day – www.tut.com

 

  1.      Make it Happen with Mel Robbins – She will give you straight talk!

 

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