I was hardly done patting myself on the back when the requests started to fly in. Was I available for interviews with TV and magazine reporters? Able to shoot video? Write blog posts? Submit pricing spreadsheets? Upload photos?
No problem, I thought. I'll just put you in touch with our marketing department. Wait, I am the marketing department...and the sales department and product design and engineering, too!
After winning The Grommet's Ready for Market category at their 2014 Product Pitch event at the iconic Fenway Park, I was buffeted by a whirlwind of requests and opportunities.
All these tasks would be completely manageable for a big organization with abundant resources. But for our small shop with us all hands-on-board, every extra project meant longer work hours, fewer sit-down meals, and less much-needed beauty sleep.
In "maker mode," you learn fast or fail. What was previously unexplored territory became required work skills. Today? Read balance sheets, give a speech, check engineering drawings, and upload trademark filings. Tomorrow? Edit photos, write a script, evaluate manufacturing materials, and troubleshoot computer problems. Oh, and don't forget to tweet!
Based on this rich experience working with The Grommet, I like to think that I could put together a fun little quiz if you wonder whether you are ready to become a maker and entrepreneur. If you have a great new idea or product blooming in your imagination, answer the following questions!
- Are you ready to risk your reputation as a _____ (fill in the blank) to own your own business?
- Are you prepared to endure the raised eyebrows and increased scrutiny of your family and friends?
- Are you ready to stretch the bounds of your knowledge, competence, and sanity?
- Does your idea wake you up at night? Do you find yourself researching your idea rather than walking the dog? Do your sketches fill up notebooks?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you just might be fit as a competitor in The Grommetís 3rd annual Product Pitch contest next year! And if you do win? Hold on to your hat and prepare for a whirlwind ride with a team of industrious product launch experts.
But are the new gray hairs that accompany this experience worth it? As the proud maker of a winning product poised to launch -- you bet! It's all about the journey and the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single...idea.
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About The GrommetWe launch undiscovered products and help them succeed; we call them Grommets. Grommets aren't just things. Grommets are products with a purpose invented by people with stories. More »
Caroline hails from a tiny tropical island originally, but calls Boston home. A curious bird, she spent a spring trekking all over Ireland, has been an Air Force Junior ROTC cadet, and worked at Disney World as a merchandising intern. With a love for all things interesting, she found herself at The Grommet, where she gets to eat, sleep, and breathe innovative undiscovered products. Say hello to her on Twitter.