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What Drives People To Dive Into the Fray of Entrepreneurship?

It's not genius, creativity, nor money that sets inventors apart, but rather sheer willpower says Damian Skinner

bag bug

ISABEL FERNANDEZ ISN’T JUST ANOTHER SUCCESS STORY — YET


We’ve heard the stories. The blood, sweat, and tears that go into getting your invention to market. We’ve watched the TV shows and heard the pitches and maybe thought to ourselves “That doesn’t sound too difficult” or “Oh, I never would have made that mistake.”

Then again, how many of you have actually succeeded … much less even tried?

Bag Bug_564_-Rache Photography c2016 - HighRes-5360

Isabel Fernandez with her Bag Bug invention. [Photo: Rache Photography]

It was while speaking with Isabel Fernandez that I remembered why I hadn’t taken this journey myself. So many friends and family have been down this path and I have only seen one or two of them succeed. I had flashbacks of Cheri Garcia sitting on boxes in her living room learning how to fulfill orders and building her website. I immediately remembered friends who had assumed it would be a “sure thing” needing loans to pay their rent just two years later.

So what spurs people like Fernandez into the fray? What is it that makes a multilingual aviation professional with a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington decide to develop something like the Bag Bug, which is an accessory that prevents a handbag from slipping off a person’s shoulder?

While we all have our own ideas, I decided to interview Fernandez to discover what it was for her. What was that motivation that drove her to follow this path as it winds through crooked consultants, failed prototypes, and even trips to factories in China?

DETERMINATION DRIVES SUCCESS

Fernandez isn’t another success story or at least not yet. She’s actually in the trenches right now fighting for the survival of her invention.

What I discovered is simple. The Bag Bug is just an idea. What Fernandez and many inventors are fighting for is an idea.

To millions of Americans “inventing” is the holy grail of success. It’s not enough to climb a corporate ladder or to even be an entrepreneur and run their own business. There is a drive deep within their psyche to build everything their way. To have their DNA in every single part of what they do.

Fernandez’s journey has run the gamut. From a great job with savings to support her while working on her invention, to unemployment, lost in China, and working on the floor of her home because she has sold most of her furniture.

If you are reading this and are in a similar fight for your dream then I believe you can learn a few things about resourcefulness and determination from Fernandez.

A deep, almost psychotic determination to bring their idea to life is what drives these people.

For example, she was laid off on in 2014 after she had just completed the patent search. Instead of putting Bag Bug on the “back burner” while she looked to replace her income, she doubled down and flew to China via Vietnam to personally visit the factories she had been referred to by their American representatives. 

Fernandez discovered that one of the companies she was working with was giving her the runaround and taking advantage of her as “just a young girl who doesn’t know anything” mentality. But that didn’t stop her. Instead, she continued looking for a solution.

[Photo via Damian Skinner]

Fernandez visited Vietnamese and Chinese factories she was referred to by their American representatives. [Courtesy photo via Damian Skinner]

Whether the problem was fair or not, whether the terms were agreeable or not, Fernandez moved forward.

While there is no massive revelation to what I learned, it deserves repeating.

A deep, almost psychotic determination to bring their idea to life is what drives many of these people. Always aware that at any moment they may stumble into financial ruin and failure, these inventors climb cliffs with a perceived grace that comes from one core tactic that I have seen all of them live by. I’m not even sure if they are aware of the tactic they’re using.

‘BURN THE SHIPS,’ LEAVE NO SCAPEGOATS

As some of you will remember from history, Caesar sailed the Roman armada to England to conquer the Celts. Once there, he established a beachhead, though entirely surrounded by Celtic soldiers.

According to legend, Caesar then made an incredibly daring move. He knew his men were tired and he questioned their commitment and resolve. As long as the Roman ships remained along the coast, there would be thoughts of retreat. Caesar ordered the ships to be burned. This way, there would be no escape. Either fight or be killed.

People such as Fernandez and Garcia burn their ships. They are aware that there are easier paths and retreat plans, but instead of ignoring them until they need them, they literally remove them as options.

Fernandez doesn’t stop and doesn’t look back. I believe that is what sets inventors apart from the rest. Not genius, not creativity, and not money (or lack thereof).

In today’s marketplace, there are thousands of new strategies and tactics that inventors and entrepreneurs can utilize to fight their good fight. Whether you are micro-funding or crowdfunding, you have options and yet there seems to be no replacement for burning the ships.

Right now, Fernandez is raising funds via a Kickstarter campaign to secure her first shipment of Bag Bugs, for which she already has pre-sales. She also recently received official notice that her company can donate funds and care packs for the kids at Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Fernandez doesn’t stop and doesn’t look back. I believe that is what sets inventors apart from the rest. Not genius, not creativity, and not money (or lack thereof). It’s sheer willpower and belief in their selves and in their chosen path.

You can learn more about Fernandez and her Bag Bug at bag-bug.com.


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Damian Skinner is an international speaker, author, film director/producer, innovation/creativity, and marketing consultant. As a fifth-generation entrepreneur, he has lived the startup game many ti(...)

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