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The Missed Boat

February 6, 2011

Several years ago when I was freed from constraints of a job (that would mean – laid off). I found myself entertaining some of the most creative ideas I’ve ever had in my life. Without the constant drum-beat of my job in my head I found myself thinking of things I have never thought of before.

One morning I woke-up with a blueprint in my head. I’m not an architect or designer, but there it was, a blueprint for a recycling idea. I just knew it would work. With my mind buzzing around this concept I quickly put the idea on paper. Then I asked my husband to help me design it. And the idea came alive. My son was home from California and he worked on the design to develop the first prototype (it was a family affair). And sure enough, the invention worked! It did just want my dream-blueprint said it would! Now, I’m really on fire, I begin putting together a business plan, and then I researched, spoke with a lawyer, spoke with the local S.C.O.R.E., came up with a name and began looking into how and where the product would sell. Another person, a wood-craftsman designed a beautiful prototype for the product and I was ready to meet with an investor!  I couldn’t believe it was happening, it was all so exciting!

I met with the investor, who asked me to complete a few more things that I worked on, they made sense.   And then, the investor wouldn’t return my calls or my e-mails. I knew I couldn’t get this product moving without some start-up funds. I was at the end of my unemployment and had begun some consulting work, but money was tight and I couldn’t swing it by myself. I knew time was running out for me.

And then, finally, I was able to reach the investor, they  didn’t completely back out, but they backed out enough that I knew I wasn’t going to be able to push this product through. The Great Recession was in full-force and my great idea became a casualty.

I know it turned out for the best. Yes, I mourned the lost opportunity. I grieved for the idea I had given birth to, and the dreams that I had built in my mind that went along with a successful invention.

Also,  hindsight gives you an opportunity to look at the gifts of the moment as well. The product I designed would be practically defunct now, since it was a recycling product that is now replaced by single-stream recycling.

I think that having missed the boat with my first venture  my initial reaction was to back away from all of these ideas I had.   But now, I can look at it as a great learning experience, I learned things about myself and my family.  I found amazing people along the way who believed in me and my idea, who put forth their best work to help me with my idea.   I learned that if I really want something to happen, not to rely on someone else to pull you through. I learned that in time, with some patience, things will show themselves, in a way that you never thought possible.

So, yeah, I missed the boat.  But I’m okay with that.  I’ve got a whole boat-load of ideas just waiting to sail.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2011 6:54 pm

    Nice one, Lori! You got me thinking. I have occasional “brainstorms” and sometimes sketch out ideas for making/marketing a product, starting a business or even writing a novel or screenplay. The ideas themselves rarely get past the first few sheets of paper. BUT perhaps the most important part is trying to answer the question, “could this work?” I often get the answer just by writing it down and mulling it over. I wonder if that’s the point? Maybe its the *process* that matters most, because it keeps our minds agile and our creative juices flowing. That way, those tools are always sharp and at the ready when we need them most!

    • Lori permalink
      February 6, 2011 9:40 pm

      JK ~ Yes! That is what is so valuable about continuing to go through the process. Each time we learn and hopefully get better at it right? It took me a while not to get sad about these “missed boats”, maybe that’s part of the process too? LKK

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