Okay, I used a title that may seem a bit provocative or perhaps “over the top” – but it got your attention, right?
The above post title is actually a double entendre in the best sense of the word – “best time of your life” can mean:
- Truly the ‘best time of your life' when things are going very well for you
- The best (use) of the time of your life
Let's unpack these two different concepts a bit.
License Your Invention for the Best Time of Your Life
First, I must state a disclaimer. Simply licensing your invention (or any invention) will not guarantee a lucrative income – or any income.
You must have a great invention that resonates with consumers (provides a real solution to a problem or issue they contend with frequently). But, let's assume you do indeed have a great invention.
I'll use myself as an example. I worked long and hard for 13 years selling my thin wallet invention anywhere and everywhere I could – on my website, on Amazon, at festivals, flea markets, VA hospitals, military bases, and then on QVC. All of this work and effort resulted in sales of about 30,000 wallets over 8 years. It was always just enough to pay my bills for another week, then another month – not exactly lucrative.
When, at last, I was able to license my wallet as the Wonder Wallet to Allstar Products in 2015, they sold over 1 million wallets in the first year. This was life changing for me. I quit working 7 days per week and I was able to pay off debts and even travel to Australia and Hawaii (twice) and take my family to visit Machu Picchu in Peru. Now I have a degree of time freedom that few people enjoy. As a full-time entrepreneur, I can use my time as I choose.
So, for me, licensing my product has been the best time of my life.
Let's discuss the second meaning.
License Your Invention for the Best (Use) of the Time of Your Life
I was a business consultant for over 14 years, advising thousands of entrepreneurs about business plans, marketing and many other business aspects.
I learned two immutable facts for anyone who operates a product or service based business:
- Your top line (gross income) is much larger than is your bottom line (net income)
- Your most valuable commodity is time – because there are only 24 hours in every day
During the time I worked in telecom, when co-workers would hear about someone who owned a $1 million business, they'd smile wistfully and say “I guess he is on easy street now. I wished I had $1 million.”
My co-workers made a common mistake – confusing top line and bottom line income.
But, the reality is that many business owners of such companies take little or no salary for themselves and pour virtually all of their time, energy, and available capital directly back into growing their business. They work much harder and longer hours (than the smiling employee) to create a business of value that could provide them with a long-term payoff.
Here is my point. The inventor that chooses to venture his/her invention will work many long hours for at least 5 years to establish a solid product sales track in hopes of getting long-term payoff. There will be few vacations and little time off during that period and the inventor will likely be 100% committed to that invention. The inventor invests a huge amount of the time (of their life) hoping for a long-term payoff (wealth).
Money can be lost and later regained – time cannot. Once it is used, it is gone forever.
On the other hand, an inventor, like Stephen Key, who invests some time into an invention and then licenses it, gains a great deal of time leverage. He may collect royalties for many months or years for a relatively small amount of time invested in the beginning. Time leverage is all about doing something once and then being paid many time for it. Then, Stephen can use his available time to create more inventions to be licensed for future royalties.
If time is your most valuable commodity, shouldn't you leverage it?
That is why I believe licensing your invention is the best (use) of the time of your life!