QUESTION: What were the unexpected results of my invention?
ANSWER: My highest values are to make kids and parents happy. The business part is in the brain, the motivational mission comes from the heart. It was when parts of my business truly touched my heart that made all the hard times worthwhile. Of all the highlights of having a successful invention let me share with you a story of what truly made the sacrifices I experienced for BetterBlocks all worthwhile.
Kelvin, the NZ marketer who bought the BetterBlocks patents from me, was running an event in a community hall in Florida. Kids and their parents brought in their Better Block models to enter a competition to see who had the best model in the different classes we had set up. During the event a father came up to Kelvin, and really thanked him for bringing Better Blocks into the marketplace. Kelvin could see by the emotion behind his voice that this was more than just a simple “thanks mate”! So he asked him why he was thanking him. The proud father said, “I bought Better Blocks and it was the first time in 4 years that I’d sat down and play with my son. I sat down and played with him for half a day building these models.”
To touch someone’s life like that, unexpectedly, that was what made the challenge of seeing my idea, my invention, thru to the end. Never giving up even when I really wanted to. It’s what made all the tough times worthwhile. I thought “Wow, I really can make a positive difference in people’s lives.” That was the beginning of my quest… “How can I create products which touch peoples lives?”
I never really know if I’m going to make a difference to someone’s life or how or when. When I was developing Better Blocks, my motivation was to bring smiles on a few kids’ faces and to get out of debt, but there was a bigger picture than just bringing a smile to a few kids faces and earning some money which I never knew at the time. BetterBlocks brought a father and son closer together. That’s what makes inventing exciting for me…..the unexpected results that no business plan can include!
The Bigger Picture
I started with an idea, and was a 100 grand in hock. I desperately needed get out of hock. That was what I thought was the bigger picture! But there was actually a bigger than this. I could positively affect a relationship, a father and his son. I have no idea how many other people’s lives I may have touched with a simple plastic block, but I know I’ve touched one, and that makes all the effort worth it.
We sold over 2 million kits and manufactured more than 600 million blocks, so there are a lot of BetterBlocks out there that kids were playing with. I simply followed something that I enjoyed doing; creating and making toys and learning new skills. So really I just followed my heart and did what I loved doing. The unexpected results were really out of my control!