“Becoming a master is not about doing 4000 different things, it’s about doing 12 things, 4000 times each.” – Chet Holmes, author of the Ultimate Sales Machine

“You begin in karate learning moves that you will practice as a third-degree black belt. A round-house kick or knife-hand block is the same, whether you are just learning it or you are a sensei.” – David Allen, Author of GETTING THINGS DONE: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Developing a new product is a lot like Karate, Golf, or Six Sigma. You never arrive but you get better over time as you learn. You’re not learning any really new concepts; you are just putting to practice what you’re learning. I can’t speak for Karate but I’ve been learning to golf for about 12 years. Same grip on the club, same address at the ball, same positions through the swing. As you get better it becomes more natural and you think less.

I read these quotes and thought about the process of inventing and how some people just need a roadmap, a plan to get where they are going.

To this end, I created the Invention Addict 12 Step Program to Go From Inspiration to Innovation. Note, these are my steps so I welcome any suggestions or discussion. The list is subject to change. I will detail each of the steps in the coming weeks.

Here are the 12 steps to invent a product:
1. Realization
2. Frustration
3. Ideation
4. Exploration
5. Investigation
6. Simulation
7. Productization
8. Confirmation
9. Communication
10. Conversation
11. Negotiation
12. Celebration

More on the black belt theme.

I progressed through Six Sigma training from white, to yellow, to green and through black belt classes. I thought it was strange that the black belt class was nothing new. Then I realized, there are no beginner moves. I needed to repeat the steps and improve my form and execution with each iteration. I don’t know if I will ever reach Six Sigma Master Black Belt status, for now, I am happy in my day job and working to be financially free in the future

I recently experienced a similar process where I honed a particular set of skills. It was over a five month period when I was looking for a job. Each encounter with a recruiter or company followed the same steps. Resume, phone interview, fact-to-face interview. After each experience that did not lead to a job offer I always looked back to see what I learned from the experience. It was tempting to get mad or dejected but I knew that if I kept at it, it would work out. I took those nuggets of what I learned and incorporated them into my process for looking for job. Having a journal helped.

The key is that it’s a process can be learned. Simple to learn … a lifetime to master.

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