Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Invent it, Sell it, Bank it! … visionaries in Spirit

by Dale Shumaker

Invent It, Sell It, Bank It!  by Lori Greiner is about how to take an idea and make it a reality. It is a nuts and bolts guide on getting a new product or company off the ground and making it a success. Lori is one of the host entrepreneurs on the TV show Shark Tank.

To take an idea and build a product or company around it takes a lot of hard work. A person must have certain personal strengths and characteristics to press through to make it happen.

Six essential characteristics of a successful inventor.
Passion: It’s what sustains you through the journey and draws people to you.
Confidence: How you perceive yourself is how others will perceive you. You stick to the idea to figure out how to make it work, and if someone says it has never been done before, well, that is the whole point.
Drive and Determination: Drive, your inner momentum, fuels your determination which overrides fatigue and stress. You do the work of many to get it done if necessary.
Self-sufficiency and independence: There is no one around you to tell you what to do, or to make you do it. You must take the initiative to learn how and see that it gets done.
Charisma and showmanship: If you want to sell it, you must embrace the limelight, give speeches and not be afraid of approaching people.
One more thing: Money is essential. All of the above are important, but without money these character traits will not get you the bare necessities that you must have… to create a prototype and travel to meet buyers you must meet.

Some things you don’t need are business experience and overhead. Be willing to accept failure and be sure you have fun.

Nine questions to see if you have a winning idea.
What is my product? Does it solve a problem? Is it something people will need or want? Is it demonstrable? How do I make it? Who is your target market? Is it safe? Is it consumable?

If you check off most of these you may have a hero. Then create a prototype of the product, research what you will need to create it, compare with others. Find out from others if they like the product. Social media is a vital tool. Face to face is the best way for accuracy of impressions and what you need to do to make it better. When you price your product consider your costs. Materials + labor + overhead + transportation = total product costs.

Consider your competition and pay attention to your gut. Organize a business plan that’s concise, including main areas. To raise capital start with family, friends and those who know you. Crowdfunding is getting more from many, and the internet is a good place for that. A word of caution. When dealing with people you know, make your expectations clear and be well documented. It is easy to have misunderstandings with those you know because we have more trust, but they need as much detail as possible to avoid future problems if the idea fails. You don’t want to lose friends and family over a business idea. Lori covers other areas of funding from loans, grants, venture capitalists.

Search the market thoroughly to make sure a product like yours doesn’t exist. Get a patent attorney.

When you pitch a product to a potential buyer be precise, concise, and enthusiastic. Explain the products appeal and why consumers can’t live without it. Cover the facts accurately and thoroughly. Think of all the questions the buyer will ask and be prepared to answer. Practice your pitch over and over. Your preparation will help you feel and talk confidently.

To get a buyers attention for making a pitch point out your product is brand new and the people will love it; it’s exciting; you are quick and easy to work with; and you can meet at their convenience.

Find the best manufacturer and best packaging for the product. Trust your judgment and don’t do anything against your better judgment.

When driving your business remember you’re never done. Every relationship matters. In a crisis keep people focused on the gains of success. Be proactive in solving problems. There are never no’s, just “how can I?” Make everyone you work with feel valued and appreciated.

Television is still a good place to demonstrate a product, as well as your website with video features within. Combine social marketing with your traditional marketing.  Set up a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, Google+ hangouts. It’s one of the best ways to hear from your customers and update or change as needed faster in response to feedback. It keeps you up on what’s on their minds and what they are looking for.

Each of the areas above are outlined, with examples, in more detail in Lori Greiner’s book. For more see

Greiner says that some may say of your ideas, “That has never been done before.” Her response is, “That’s the point.”  The inventor goes where others have not thought of.

Jesus is  the great inventor of a new Spirit-powered culture, called the Body of Christ in Love, unity and powered by The Spirit.  An introduction to this new culture came from Ezekiel. The inventor has a vision and sees what can be. He sees details of the product/service/system and clues on how to go about it. The more he ponders this vision, the more details unfolds.
This comes in times of lengthy, highly focused mediation within God’s Spirit.

Ezekiel, in his times of meditation in Spirit, was given in a vision of a new Temple that God was going to build. He saw exact measurements and where things went in it. This is all laid out in Ezekiel. What did this mean? Some say it is a new Temple to be built in Israel the last days, some say it is a place the anti-christ will inhabit, some say it is the New Jerusalem during Christ’s 1000 years reign on earth. The NLT Study Bible sees a theological analogy. We are this Temple, as the Body of Christ, united as One in Christ.

So what does all this mean?  I believe we will see a perfection of the Body of Christ. Like the inventor sees it first, then begins tooling out the details, the same will begin taking place for those who live and believe in Spirit. Here’s what the NLT says in Ezekiel (NLT Study Bible, 2008.)

“God will raise His people to a new level of Holiness so He can once again dwell in their midst. A river of Life flows from this final Temple. As it flows it Transforms death into life. God’s final words are not about abandonment, but the promise of fellowship and life. He will revive people from death into life. His people will return to His Temple, pure and Holy. Through Christ, God’s glory fully dwells in our midst. The Shepherd restores justice for His sheep. He fills us with His Spirit and makes us new creatures in Him. We will be able to approach the throne freely and drink from life-giving water that flows from the throne… it’s all ours in Christ.” (p.1312-1313.)

“Since we have been united to Christ and become part of His Body, the New Temple, the Holy Spirit now dwells in us. Our bodies no longer are our own, but part of this New Temple. A Holy life is the mark of His New Children.” (p. 1373)

“God will dwell with us forever. Jesus’ blood sacrificed on the cross makes us a Holy People to boldly enter the most Holy Place.” (p. 1379)  We will be transformed by His Spirit, connected in Spirit to each other and to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as One. This is available now.

We just need to be like the inventor. We discipline ourselves to times of meditation/prayer/uninterrupted time in Spirit. God will put the components together and show us. His spirit will start the engine, and His Spirit will make what couldn’t soar fly to heights we have never seen before.