Gut(God) instincts October 23 2013
This may not be what you would consider "normal" business advice, but so far it has served me very well: trust your gut. You know that little voice telling you something isn't quite right, or maybe – just maybe – they don't have my best interests in mind?
A few days after my patent issued, the letters and emails began pouring in from companies insisting I must work with them in order to be a success. These are actual snippets out of a few of these letters:
"After a brief review of your patent, I believe it has potential to be a successful As Seen On TV product!"
"This month, we started working with a $30 billion distributor to help us sell more inventions into more stores!"
"We will get your innovation reviewed by the right decision makers through our personalized one-on-one marketing campaign!"
"Right now, a number of corporations and investors are seeking out products and technologies within your industry, and we have proprietary access to these parties through our affiliates. Contact us immediately to discuss this important opportunity!"
"We are writing to you about a limited opportunity – we have been asked by a leading product company to find their next big hit. Your invention could be available for sale within 7-8 months, and you can earn an advance on royalties at signing!"
About a week after I started receiving all of this, my phone began ringing. Most of these companies followed up with urgent phone calls telling me that I needed to act fast so I didn't miss out on this exclusive opportunity with them. I was a newbie at this, so I'm a little sad to say I actually took their phone calls and gave them a chance to pitch. Each pitch was exactly the same – they could do great things for me and I would be an instant success!
Me: And what will this cost me?
And the sidestepping began. Most offered "bargains" – my cost would only be $7500 (or other numbers and percentages that always seemed like giving away my right arm and my firstborn child). When I explained to them that I didn't need their services, they became angry. Most told me that I couldn't succeed without them. They asked what my background and experience was, and "You don't actually think you can do this on your own, do you?".
I'm a praying person, so when something seems fishy I pray about it. Not all of my prayer questions are answered quickly, but this sure was. Trust your gut.
I quickly realized that I don't owe them a thing – I don't have to open every piece of mail I get, I don't have to reply to every email, I don't have to answer my phone every time it rings, and I certainly don't owe them an explanation about why I can and will do this without paying them to "help" me.
Could any of these companies have actually helped my business? And if their sales tactic involves belittling me, who cares? Not who I want to partner with.