For me, when it comes to product design, there is so much confusion around the right path. Even though I work to clarify this through this column, through my podcasts, and through the work I do, I don't feel this message has been covered deep enough or wide enough just yet. Which is why I was thrilled to both interview and observe Forbes Riley, the astoundingly successful inventor, unparalleled product pitch queen, and all-around fit entrepreneur. We talked about the important aspects that inventors and entrepreneurs need to get right if they expect to create sustainable success, so let's dig right in.
The recurring theme that keeps many people from being successful is the language they use about and with themselves. That internal dialogue is constantly deciding, for us, what we believe we're capable of. If inventors and entrepreneurs cannot get out of their own way, they inhibit growth for themselves, which is something I see really often. Forbes also had this realization and her extreme events (see below) are designed to break down these walls of self-doubt.
Deep Understanding of What You're Doing
Forbes has first hand experience growing up with a father who was an inventor. He was unsuccessful, and as Forbes put it, "He died with all of this ideas because nobody cared. And nobody cared because he had no mechanism for distribution and very poor articulation of what he did." The solution to letting great ideas and brilliant products shine is a one-two punch sure to, well, pack a punch.
- Articulation of the product. And even more than that, articulation of the problem it solves - the core benefit. If you cannot articulate what exactly you're doing in one sentence, you need to go back to the drawing board. Simplicity exists in expertise. The ability to completely understand and articulate what you're doing will show your level of expertise and commitment. If you can't do this, nobody will care what you're trying to sell.
- Understand the audience. In my experience, oftentimes, inventors invent what they want, not what the market needs. Huge companies even miss the mark when it comes to speaking to their audience, so you definitely won't be immune, and it might not be as obvious as it seems. Refer to #1 for this. Once you can clearly articulate exactly what you're doing and what problem you're solving, it will be much easier to identify who suffers from this problem, i.e.: your audience.
The Third Aspect Is Overall Fitness
"You can't get it off your ass if you can't get it off your chest." Forbes' extreme events I mentioned above are designed to help entrepreneurs break barriers, and it works! Her events see huge success with their attendees because her approach is based on total overall fitness, something most people want and something most people don't have.
Emotionally: Forbes breaks them down and rebuilds them more powerful than they ever imagined. (Side note: There are a lot of tears, mine included. It was impossible to stay an observer, especially with power partners like results Coach Marc Feinberg in your corner.)
Physically: First of all, the events are located in a kick-butt gym in Long Beach, CA, on some of the hottest days of summer, and they don't slow down for the heat. In fact, they don't slow down for much. Forbes' September event in Clearwater, FL kept going through the hurricane.
Let's Do This
As in, doing the right things in the right order with the right resources. These are the keys to getting everything done, from getting your idea to market to launching and everything in between. But this only works if you start with the right mindset, free of those limiting beliefs.
3 Fit Entrepreneur Tips to Doing Everything Right:
- Begin with the end in mind.
- Know your audience.
- Understand that today is not yesterday. Whatever worked yesterday won't work today and it won't work tomorrow.