The following is a guest post from the inventor I mentioned in my Friendly Good News post: Alan Beckley. We happened to hire into Boeing within six months of each other in 1980 and had almost identical jobs (as seen from the outside, at least). We both left Boeing eventually, though at different times and for different reasons. We, like so many other people, are redefining our work selves, which is why I am posting his story here. Regular readers have witnessed my story. Here’s part III of III of his. (For more of his story, check out his blog for inventors; Ideaworth.
Invention Success: What Happened Six Months Later
In my second post, How I struck it Rich as an Inventor of a Sell On TV Product I described how my strong conviction – that my product should be a successful sell on TV product – paid off.
During a four-year period, I contacted all of the biggest players in the DRTV (Direct Response TV) business not once, but several times.
No one seemed particularly interested and I received countless rejections. With each new no, I felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach: perhaps my conviction that this product was perfect for DRTV was wrong and all of my nay-sayers were right.
Finally, in what I considered my last attempt, I found a champion for my cause, Bob Greenstone. Bob did what it took to put together a deal with Allstar Products, a large DRTV company. Allstar got behind Wonder Wallet in a big way: with tons of TV commercials and a huge push into retail stores across the US and Canada. Wonder Wallet has been a phenomenal success for Allstar Products and for me.
Six Months Later
Now, I want to discuss what has happened since I began collecting large royalty checks; what I have done during the last six months, how my life has been transformed by this financial windfall.
Often such tales of “sudden” success end badly with wasted potential, poor choices, and terrible consequences. Fortunately, that has not been my experience.
I have had many long car trips over the last five years and lots of time to think about what I would do if I ever achieved meaningful success. A very clear vision emerged for me: I would pay off all my debts – personal and business. I would once again set aside money for investments for the future.
Last but not least, I would do what I had longed to do but never could seem to manage: I would devote a significant portion of every royalty check directly to charity. I wanted to do what I could do to help those less fortunate than me. I had always managed to do what had to be done for me and for my children over the years, but, at the end of every month, there never seemed to be anything “left over” to help the neediest in our society. The needy certainly deserve a lot more than what is left over.
So, let’s look at the bottom line: how have I done during the last 6 months on my three key goals:
- Pay off all my debts: business and personal:
- Personal debts were paid off in December, business debts will be paid off in April
- Set aside money for investments for the future:
- Investments will begin in April
- Devote a significant amount of every royalty check directly to charity, those in need:
- Last month, I gave more to charity than my gross income when I was a project manager in telecom, it feels good to help those most in need.
Six months later, my life is transformed.
I no longer work 7 days per week, 16 hours per day. Often, what I do during a day – working out, running errands, dreaming up new products – looks nothing like what most people define as work. I now have the independence to use my time as I choose.
I do now what I only dreamed about for the last 15 years: I use my time and my resources in pursuit of what really matters to me. Naturally I am working on new products to keep my business on track and moving forward.
But now my success directly translates every day into also helping those who are less fortunate than I. That just seems right to me; and, after all these years, it feels very good.
It feels that I am doing something that truly matters.
Life is good.