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EXECUTION Dubidu's Execution....Thread :-)

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by Dubidu, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. SteveO
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    SteveO Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    What you are asking is the question that almost everyone has. Throw multiple rocks at a target and see which comes closest or toss one rock multiple times to see if you can hit it.

    All businesses are different. There are some that would benefit from the scatter and others from practice of trying to focus into the bulls eye.

    You are in a unique situation.... You make money now. That puts you at a serious advantage! You have the ability to go many directions. I know you have discussed this before.

    Be careful that you don't go the direction of "action-faking". There are a number of definitions for this but the main idea is that you take steps that don't result in getting to the goal. Don't work on something that will take years to get traction. Work on something that will get you out of your job in the shortest time. This will give you experience and launch you into a world of working on your own schedule. Thus allowing you to work on the "big" project.

    I don't know your product. Nor do I understand much about the business field you are working in. So, I probably should not be the person trying to provide direction
     
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  2. SteveO
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    SteveO Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    @Get Right gave a presentation on this at the last summit. Perhaps he could comment.
     
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  3. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Honestly @SteveO - even though you don't know my exact product (Idea 1/2), your input on this thread and other threads of mine have been invaluable :)

    My reason for focusing on Idea 1/2 was that Idea 1 would give a decent amount in royalties (if I get it right) to supplement the income which would then allow me to focus on Idea 2 (which has by far the biggest financial return; no question).

    I will, for now, keep my focus on Ideas 1/2 & put remaining ideas on the back burner!

    Hopefully I'll have a substantive update on Idea 1 (licensing) after the meeting on Weds.
     
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  4. Get Right
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    Get Right Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Having tried many forms of this, I can without a doubt say - concentrate on 1 business. Your chances of hitting multiple profitable businesses out of the gate is very low. I recommend getting one business RIGHT before expanding to more. It took me a lot of attempts to get it right.

    If you have time, look at examples of successful entrepreneurs. They almost always hit 1 home run before they diversified into several businesses. I'm not sure I have ever seen it done the opposite way.

    Good luck on your journey!
     
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  5. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Update as at Wednesday 5 September 2018:
    --------------
    Shout Outs

    Before I start the substantive update, may I please give a shout out to the following gentlemen (in the truest sense of the word) who have either taken the time to follow/reply and indeed direct message me with motivation/advice and inspiration:

    @FastNAwesome - your words got me through a tough couple of days and gave me hope; thank you :smile2:

    @SteveO - my original cheerleader on different topics both personal and professional :)

    @Get Right - for taking the time to explain I should focus on Idea 1 & 2 rather than Ideas 3-6; consider your advice followed ;)

    @MTEE1985 - a supporter who makes me want to provide him with the success story at the end of all this ;)

    Now that I've stopped sounding like a gushing Oscar winner...

    -----------------------
    Update on Idea 1

    • Second company provided a much more reasonable proposal for CAD file - circa $4000USD but this includes producing prototype rather than the original company who quoted circa $14-$16000USD to produce just the CAD file for someone else to then prototype manufacture!

    • I had a useful initial meeting with the licensing consultant. I had drafted 3 specific questions to form the agenda of the meeting to maximise time. They were:

    1. Please expand on why CAD file/prototype is unnecessary. He said I need to determine interest (he was impressed with my market research so didn't question whether market existed and said my demonstration of the improved product (I have a very rough prototype that I'm cannibalising to demonstrate what I am trying to achieve) was very good. What particularly persuaded me not to produce CAD file is that he said it would be a waste of money if it turns out that the manufacturer (i.e. the company's manufacturer) can't use the CAD file to produce using existing machinery etc. Conclusion: no need for CAD file. I can do a rendering (virtual) to demo the product or provide sell-sheet as teaser for interest & demonstration of the effectiveness/improvement of the product.

    2. Approaching companies: Here I felt I knew more than he did although I don't disagree with the standard approach for other types of industries. In the sector relevant to me, there are essentially 3 big conglomerates that are dominant market players. Think of them as a top co. with a stable of brands that consumers think are 'individual brands' when they are not. There is one conglomerate that basically owns about 30 brands in its stable. In the luxury/fashion example it would be LVMH which has Gucci, Dior, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy etc. all of which the average consumer would assume are 'independent' brands but are in fact all owned by LVMH. So the consultant's approach was: you can't just go to 3 companies; you should aim for 30. I explained that I had no problem with approaching 30 'companies' except they are all owned by 3 companies - just the brand is different!! So I will approach the development departments of 3 companies who can then assign the idea/product to the right brand/company that they see fit. I could not care less which they assign to as long as they pay me the money! I'm not emotionally attached to any of the brands or think the product should go to a particular brand. The one who pays me the most is the one who gets it.

    3. Protecting IP/Filing PPA - He told me what I already knew: file in the UK/USA only. I asked him about worldwide protection and he said big companies rely on distribution (crush the competition by getting first to market with our wider distribution channel) rather than rely on worldwide patent. This makes sense to me and is in line with what I see with clients from my day job.

    Next Steps:

    1. Approach the companies I have in mind (unlikely to happen before Sunday as I'm back to back at work tomorrow and Friday so I will chase on Monday/Tuesday as I have time). I'm going to need to refine my pitch because one client could definitely introduce me to all the right people (she's basically in an adjacent but inter-connected sector and is very high up in all the industry bodies) but I've got to ask a colleague if he would be OK with me approaching her on a personal rather than professional basis.

    2. Refine the design slightly more in terms of explaining the components - I knew more about my product than the licensing guy. I learned the components of the product and their technical names/nomenclature but felt I need to now re-translate it for a lay person to make my 'pitch' more efficient.

    Idea 2 Update

    My change in tack feels right on this front: look at reducing manufacturing costs rather than gaining expertise/working with experts to think about a material that we'd essentially have to invent or if it exists, to invent change in use both of which would be fine if I had all the R&D money/time in the world but I don't! Licensing guy focuses solely on licensing so can't help. Bearing in mind my paranoia about protecting IP - I want to be able to approach a maker of the product and say can we work together to identify reduction of costs and how to make it happen. But I have no idea how to go about that because at the moment only 'artisans' produce the product (partly explaining its high cost) so we'd need to find out how to reduce costs by scale but that is only one component. I need to think on this one further because I don't yet have next steps. I may approach the example I gave in an earlier post (different sector to mine but same principles could apply). They are very wealthy entrepreneurs and I could just do a cold approach to see if they'd be interested in working with me on this one as consultant/partner.

    That's all for this week and realistically until next Wednesday given my diary/work commitments. I hope to have some tentative progress with companies to report next week :clench:

    Your questions/thoughts/advice/"Stop! Don't do that's!" are appreciated as ever :blush:
     
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  6. MTEE1985
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    MTEE1985 There is no opportunity in comfort Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thanks for the shout out!

    Refresh my memory on this point, are you wanting to just sell the patent to Idea 1? Or secure a license deal?

    I ask because the above sentence reminds me of some guys who invented a card game and were given two options: sell for $200,000 or receive 10% of sales. Caveat was the 10% was with Mattel and by picking the royalty over the immediate money it ultimately made them $1,000,000.

    Otherwise just keep at it! As I’ve said, this thread is as educational to everybody here as the feedback is to you.
     
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  7. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    You're welcome - I still feel I don't have much to teach yet...

    In terms of licensing/patent - I always wanted licensing rather than patent; so in your example, I want to do what the guys did with Mattel. The sector I'm in and the product I have tried to improve really is recession proof and the improvement is one that really is an improvement rather than my wishful thinking it's an improvement ;)

    In a lot of ways Idea 1 is designed to give me some breathing room financially to really focus on Idea 2 which is very much FastLane accelerator!

    One potentially very important thing I did not mention in my update today, because I forgot as I was typing, is that he thinks there are two 'licence-able' components to the product! I thought there was only one (i.e. the whole product) but turns out, in his view, there are 2 separate licence-able components of the whole product. I still want to licence the whole kit & caboodle if it makes the most return but it was worth the money to spend on the licensing consultant because he did give me things to think about and seems to know what he's talking about generally.

    Hope that clarifies :)
     
  8. FastNAwesome
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    FastNAwesome Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Thanks for the shoutout:)

    Great to hear about your progress.

    About idea 2 - could part of the saving be achieved by getting whatever goes into product at cheaper price?

    The way this maybe could be achieved is talking with some vendors to see what best price they could give you based on quantity and/or agreement to buy certain quantity over a period of time.

    On the other side, checking with producers what quantities they need.

    And then, if quantity of their joint purchases could achieve a sweet deal with the vendor (including your margin), you could act like some sort of intermediate who makes this happen.

    I've never done such deal so take it with a big grain of salt:)
     
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  9. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Thank you for this FNA! I think the approach you have suggested (economies of scale) is very valid and applies to most businesses (I think this is partly what @MJ DeMarco talks about in CENTS) but the sector is difficult to explain; I've thought about next steps and I think I'm going to reach out to that entrepreneur who has done something similar in the beauty industry; if I'm right they may be willing to assist on this because the market potential is huge. Idea 1 is very female focused but Idea 2 applies to both men and women so is inherently bigger - I just need to refine my thinking on this one.
     
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  10. FastNAwesome
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    FastNAwesome Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Good idea!

    Can't tell you how many times simply reaching out to someone relevant helped me learn and achieve things.
     
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  11. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Hello everyone!

    Nothing new to report on personal front so I'll crack on with update.

    My general feeling today has been the desert of desertion feeling @MJ DeMarco talks about but I'm not sure if that's what I was feeling. I just really struggled throughout the day but there was no obvious cause for struggle. I had some lovely client feedback yesterday; got two referrals for more business in the last 2 days and generally good week so far but I just felt uninspired/going through the motions and feeling flat.

    Idea 1:


    • I've identified the individuals at the companies I'm intending to approach. I am not sure if they are going to take the approach that each brand has their own product developer or whether they will direct me to the ultimate 'owner' of the brand so will report back on that once I find out.
    • Work has picked up again after summer so progress hasn't been brilliant in terms of getting to speak to the companies. I hope to do make initial calls on Friday as I'm at a conference all day tomorrow (see below re: Idea 2).
    • I'm working on a teaser document which should be ready in time for the trade fair in 4 weeks' time.
    • Next update will be next Wednesday as I'm travelling for work early part of next week but should be able to fit in some calls during travel.
    • PPA drafts for US & UK are ready but will need approval/someone who can just check on whether I've drafted it correctly.
    Idea 2:

    • At the conference I've mentioned above, I'm hoping to bump into someone (I've read the speaker bios) who might be able to help bring the idea to market. That is tomorrow. I'll report back as to whether I'll have any success!
    Hope everyone's doing good and thank you for reading this far - all input welcome :)
     
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  12. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Hello everyone!

    I wasn't going to do an update as I feel progress has been slow this week in terms of action taking but a quick update on a couple of things:

    Idea 1
    1. I didn't get a chance to call the companies as work has really picked up in the last week or so (I should have perhaps done more when there was the summer lull; that is my lesson learned) but am happy with the list I've identified. I'm now travelling for work for some of this week so it's going to be difficult to get anything done - where I can make some calls I'll try to do so. PPA is drafted but I keep wanting to change things and am now second guessing myself about whether my draft is accurate and sufficiently protective.

    I've also started drafting the text of my sell sheet which I'm quite happy with! Not sure if I should pay someone to make it more 'marketing' worthy?

    Any thoughts on outsourcing this aspect?

    Idea 2:

    I did go to the conference and was mildly offended when the guy who ran it said I wouldn't qualify to join the 'club' as I had not actually set up my own business yet. What a charmer. I figured life had dealt him a poor hand by being both charmless and unattractive so I rose above it by using that as motivation to continue and therefore show him! He wasn't the guy I wanted to speak to but he was the conference organiser and yes, he really was that charmless.

    The person I wanted to speak to wasn't, on reflection, the person I should speak to so I didn't bother. I asked questions in the forum etc. but not related to Idea 2. Anyway, cut a long story short: I've approached someone else entirely and I'm due to meet with them on Thursday. I think they will have the expertise or can point me to someone who might be able to help identify how to cut costs to offer the artisan product to scale. I'm pretty sure it can be done and the market is *enormous* - much bigger than Idea 1.

    Have a good week and I think realistically th
     
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  13. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Aloha everyone!

    Apologies for the delay in uploading - I was travelling for work and then a bit poorly. Right, things are progressing on track for the trade fair in 2 weeks time (worst case I'll be 80% ready).

    Idea 1

    • Rendering and line drawings for prototype commissioned (not going to make prototype but simply provide illustrations (hence rendering) and line drawings are for the PPA.
    • Teaser sheet is 95% ready - this is basically a one-pager (per Stephen Key's book on licensing) that highlights the product, it's function etc.
    • I've expanded my companies search but keep coming up with subsidiaries of the main players I'd identified at the beginning :clench:. I don't know if this is a stumbling block but I won't know until I approach them. The licensing consultant told me not to approach them until I've got PPA in the US and UK so no progress on that.
    Next Steps

    • On receiving rendering and line drawings finalise PPA
    • Attend licensing conference in 3 weeks time!
    • Slightly more longer term (i.e. I may not have PPA ready in time for conference) on filing PPA and getting approved start making those calls!
    Idea 2
    • I went to another meet up but it wasn't quite right. I'm almost certain the second method I've identified is the way to proceed.
    • I've identified some manufacturing costs but need to drill deeper
    • I'm attending an event in November which is in the industry I want but I'd like to make some progress before then.
    Hope everyone is doing good - any questions, challenges to my thinking/methods etc. all very welcome as always :)

    @SteveO have you identified any other interesting businesses to work your Special Ops magic?! Or is the golf club keeping you out of trouble..? ;)
     
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  14. SteveO
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    SteveO Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    No magic here. Just straight forward "value add"

    Retail Strip Center Almost Sold
     
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  15. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Hello Everyone!

    Slightly slow on updating because things slowed down a bit but I'll set out where I am now.

    Idea 1
    • Companies identified/numbers written down and ready to call
    • Teaser sheet is done!
    • PPA will be filed in the next 10 days; I'm waiting for line drawings to be completed
    • I am due to attend the licensing trade show in which some of the companies I've identified will be showing so I hope to secure meetings and bypass the need to call and go through gatekeepers etc.
    Next Steps: I'm 75% rather than 80% ready before the licensing fair; I want to tweak the PPAs and teaser sheet more still but broadly I'm happy with what I've achieved although in my experience it's been a lot more work than @Vigilante 's quick calls to secure a licensing deal. Maybe next time it'll be easier!
    Assessment of what worked/what didn't: mindset is a big thing for me and I know it's almost entirely related to the lack of progress in my personal life particularly when I am 'executing' i.e. taking action on that front as well & still haven't met anyone. This then feeds into a general feeling of failure and so the vicious cycle begins. On those days the most I can do is read books. I'd like a steady mindset where I simply implement small disciplines daily and hope for the best but I think the total lack of results is really disheartening.

    Idea 2
    • Really no progress on this to report (the mindset I mentioned above definitely has an impact on my ability to focus on both ideas on par with each other although to do that would be ideal).
    I've just got to press on and hope we can close something by the end of the year; I'd like to have an agreement in place from one of the companies to actually go to production etc. on Idea 1. Then this year wouldn't have been a total waste.

    I hope everyone's doing good and so pleased for you @SteveO on the mall deal; amazing! :clap:::)
     
  16. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Hello All,

    Right, it's been a gruelling week or so (emotionally more than professionally but I've just done a very long day at work so will just update briefly on Idea 1 - no substantive report on Idea 2 so will leave that out entirely this week).

    Idea 1: The erratic updates have been partly for the reasons above but partly because everything is in place from my side (companies/approaches to be made etc/lawyers to look at licensing agreement have been determined) however, the designer didn't understand my brief properly the first time so I've had to go back to them to amend the design (this is essentially going to serve as the basis for the line drawings for the PPAs in the UK/US) so is very important to get right.

    Summary: I feel relatively comfortable with where things are going although I've probably lost about 3 working weeks in total with the designer/back and forth etc. and I wish I could get my mindset back to some semblance of acceptance on some personal things.

    I don't know if I'll have a success (i.e. a hugely lucrative licensing agreement) but the whole experience has been worth doing. I still am of the view Idea 2 has enormous market potential but I don't know if I'll be able to get to market first etc.

    In case anyone is interested on how I found the licensing conference I attended: it didn't turn out to be as on point for me but it was very educational nonetheless and I'm glad I attended. The beauty companies didn't show which I found odd because the organisers said some of the big ones I'd identified would be there (my whole reason for going). The show was for 3 days but I could only attend 1 of the 3 days so perhaps they showed on another day?? It was educational because I learnt the dominant licensing markets are (a) sports - there were HUGE English and European soccer clubs showing (b) children's toys/TV programs. I also learnt there are a lot of licensing agents though I don't propose to use any myself for this.

    Idea 1 is my only current licensing idea so even if I do nothing other than get a small licensing fee every quarter, I'd be happy with that as my first entrepreneurial endeavour (thought I'd try and end on a positive note!).

    Hope everyone's doing good and life is treating you kindly :)
     
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  17. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Hello everyone!

    Idea 1

    A bit of an update that feels more exciting than it possibly should.

    I now have the final prototype from the design studio! They took about a month to get the design right (not their fault as one aspect of the design is quite hard to do by CAD file apparently) which is why updates were delayed; I haven't been sitting on my posterior - I've worked on my tennis game instead!

    • Lesson learned: I'm improving in my ability to give feedback and set out what I want. It's good project delegation/management/business experience that I've not had to do before. I have to say also the design studio was very good (it took approaching 3 to finally get it right!).

    • I have also got a 'teaser' sheet ready for licensing companies which I'd already identified. I don't think I'll get to start engaging with the companies yet (and possibly not until New Year) as the next step is to ensure the PPA which I'd started drafting is ready. I'm travelling for work in the next week or so but I'm hopeful that I can get ducks in a row quickly and get a licensing agreement.
    • It's not going to be fast lane money I don't think but just getting something done and a (modest) royalty check coming in will give me a much needed confidence boost that I might still be able to join the fast lane with Idea 2.

    Idea 2 aka The Big One

    No progress on this really - I know Beyonce has the same 24 hours I do in a day but I've definitely struggled with personal issues and lack of progress in that arena and not understanding why.

    I've identified what needs to be done but for this I'm going to have to get an expert (already identified) on board. I can't see how I can do it alone so next step is to file PPAs and then actually approach the expert.
    :)
    Hope everyone is doing good and thank you as always for reading :)
     
  18. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Hello everyone,

    Many apologies for the radio silence. Things slowed down a bit and I struggled with my usual 'end of another year of failure despite trying everything I could think of' mindset which starts to kick in around October time and like clockwork, did so again this year.

    Idea 1

    This seems to have gone slower but smoother in some ways than I thought. I will be submitting PPAs and I have the initial memo ready for companies consideration. I expect to start making those calls in Jan and licensing agreement complete in Q1 (if no-one else goes to market first). Overall I feel even if it all comes to naught, the experience was worth it as I learnt a lot and the financial cost was easily absorbed/minimal.

    Idea 2

    I think I've hit upon something that could work! It involves me purchasing something for $200 which is not a huge outlay. Still early stages but need to think of this a bit more. I have a contact that could help and again - all things being equal I'll start on this on 2nd Jan.

    I have no updates on my personal situation other than to say that I emailed a guy who has coached high profile athletes and also corporate execs; he has been published in highly regarded media. I set out everything I had done and he replied that I had done most of the things that he would have suggested. His only suggestion was that I speak to a therapist but I need results rather than endless analysis so I close off another year having failed in most things that I wanted to achieve & none the wiser as to why. One feeling that has become more consistent and I'm trying to determine whether it's acceptance or resignation but I have more of a 'it is what it is' attitude rather than the emotions I have ever felt previously. I have a good life and things to be grateful for. I'm just not very lucky.

    On luck: I was reading this article and he's one of the few successful people who acknowledges just how much luck has played a part in his success: it's long but good holiday reading (I read it purely from a success perspective rather than make any moral judgement about the 'cost' of that success) A Kingdom from Dust

    I hope you all have a great Christmas/Holiday season and I look forward to talking to you all next year.

    Very best wishes,
    Dubidu
     
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  19. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Hello everyone - I apologise I haven't updated in a long time. Reasons (and some excuses):

    1. I do have a full time occasionally exhausting job
    2. Things just went a lot slower than I anticipated (mainly my fault but I'm broadly happy that if slow and steady still wins the race, it'll all be worth it)

    However, I have some potentially exciting news and would welcome anyone's input who is familiar with this process.

    Idea 1 - The product is officially "patent pending". I submitted an outline to a huge beauty company and much to my amazement they actually replied!!! I asked if I could send them some more detailed information but they are being super cautious and saying that I shouldn't disclose confidential information. The upshot of this is that they have suggested NDAs. I think this is very very early stage but I have changed my mind that if they 'bite' I want to move away from licensing to walking away with a lump sum (I have no idea if it'll be Fast Lane money but even at a conservative estimate it should be a nice cushion). Any thoughts on this would be welcome. I have drafted the NDA and so it's pretty watertight plus the company is so huge that it's unlikely to want any negative feedback if they try to rip me off (though I recall a famous story about FIFA ripping off an inventor who invented something to do with a soccer invention and about 5 years later he's still in litigation; poor guy). I have the licensing agreement drafted as well but as mentioned, I would now prefer to walk away with a lump sum. Next steps: sign NDA and follow up with meetings.

    Does anyone here have any tips on how to determine how much the idea is worth in lump sum terms (I have a better idea of licensing/royalty rates etc.). As mentioned at the start of this thread - the market is worth circa $600m in the US alone and you can replicate similar numbers amongst the other key western markets as well as Asia. The product is also recession-proof. Any input at all would be most welcome :)

    Idea 2

    Honestly no bright spark ignited to see how things would work (the technical material) although conceptually the idea has massive potential; I just don't know how to get the technical knowledge to make it work/execute. In fairness I have probably been hoping for inspiration rather than actively researching. Maybe now that Idea 1 has started traction, I can focus more on Idea 2.

    Personal

    As some of you know who have been following me from the beginning, my personal life has also been on my list of priorities. I've been going out (on average/aggregate) 2 to 3 times per week since the start of the year - zero results or rather the same pattern so I'm increasingly accepting that it won't happen for me. If I go out more than 2/3 times per week, I find myself getting really exhausted and de-motivated particularly when there is no indication of anything positive emerging.

    Thanks to all who've taken the time to read and to my original supporters who've been here since the start!
     
    MTEE1985 and SteveO like this.
  20. SteveO
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    SteveO Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    I might suggest just the opposite. If idea 1 is gaining traction, push full speed ahead with that one.

    As far as your personal life goes, things tend to happen when you don't have expectations. Live your life with what you have. Allow your flow to happen naturally. Stated another way.... quit pushing...
     
    MTEE1985 likes this.

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