Idea to Invention: What You Need to Know to Cash In on Your Inspiration

Idea to Invention: What You Need to Know to Cash In on Your Inspiration

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by Patricia Nolan-Brown

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You don’t have to be a mechanical genius to be an inventor. Anyone can invent—a parent wrestling with a baby sling . . . a coach frustrated with slick-soled running shoes . . . an office worker determined to keep the computer cords untangled. Inventing is simply finding clever solutions to everyday challenges.

Author and inventor Patricia Nolan-Brown


You don’t have to be a mechanical genius to be an inventor. Anyone can invent—a parent wrestling with a baby sling . . . a coach frustrated with slick-soled running shoes . . . an office worker determined to keep the computer cords untangled. Inventing is simply finding clever solutions to everyday challenges.

Author and inventor Patricia Nolan-Brown has turned common annoyances into ingenious and money-making products. She shares the tricks of her trade in Idea to Invention, a practical guide that helps ordinary people look at their world with the eyes of an inventor. Readers will learn six simple steps to invention—and discover:

• How they rate on six crucial personality traits

• Creativity habits that spark invention

• The power of tape-and-paper prototypes to refine their vision

• How to navigate the ins and outs of licensing and patenting their product

• The pros and cons of finding a licensed manufacturer vs. running a home-based assembly line

• How to promote their invention—from perfecting the pitch and finding store buyers to trade-show shortcuts and strategies for creating buzz online

• Product enhancements that add years to shelf life

From initial concept to thriving business, this handy guide simplifies the invention process and gives creative thinkers the competitive edge they need to achieve success.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her informative and accessible first book, motivational speaker and consultant Nolan-Brown—the inventor of the rear-facing carseat mirror—offers step-by-step instructions for turning abstract ideas into real products. After guiding would-be inventors through a quiz designed to uncover their creative style, she enumerates her I.N.V.E.N.T. principles: (being) inquisitive, (having) nerve, voice, and energy, nourish (dreams), and tenacity. Next, she tackles everything from designing a prototype, obtaining patents and trademarks, and utilizing nondisclosure agreements to creating a sell sheet, explaining how to write a press release and how to obtain meetings with potential retailers. Nolan-Brown also explains the pros and cons of licensing one’s idea to a larger company and how critical social media and Internet presence are for launching new products. The author helpfully offers tips on how to avoid being scammed by unethical people looking to benefit off the dreams of others. “Most people will pay anybody who claims to be able to help them,” she notes before relating the example of a trade-show acquaintance who was bilked out of $10,000 for a provisional patent that should have cost $100. The author’s friendly tone eliminates much of the intimidation surrounding the creation, patenting, and marketing of a new product, and her encouragement will inspire wannabe inventors.Agent: Sheree Bykofsky, Sheree Bykofsky Associates. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"…great book to read as you start down the path of moving from dreaming about your great idea to actually bringing that idea to life." —Portland Book Review

“Devour an excellent new book … opens a big wide door for waves of imaginative women inventors.” —Joyce Lain Kennedy, Syndicated Careers Columnist, Tribune Media

“With overflowing enthusiasm, Nolan-Brown helps readers take their creative notions from mind to market…like someone holding your hand during the process.” —The Bookworm Sez

“…love this book and have gained a lot of insight and ideas that I can directly apply to my current needs…I am inspired by Patricia Nolan-Brown." —BlogFace

“This comprehensive go-to book is a great resource guide for any new inventor shy or scared to take the first leap into a venture.” —Bookpleasures

"A fertile hybrid of how-to handbook and can-do motivator." —New Equipment Digest

“…an excellent guidebook to help you navigate through the important steps needed by a successful inventor." —

Product Details

Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Read an Excerpt


If the state of the economy is making you lose sleep, take heart: you could probably come up with at least two great ideas right now to turn into a thriving business or the source of abundant royalty checks. So what's stopping you? Maybe you think inventors are either really rich or really special and you're just an ordinary person, so there's no way. Or maybe you're scared you'd have to quit your day job or go into serious hock to get a product off the ground.

Well, there's good news: none of that is true. My message in a nutshell is that anyone can become a successful inventor. Just think "six-plus-six"—six personality traits for success and six simple steps to invention. You don't need a trust fund, a corner office, or a second mortgage to do it. All you need is your own imagination and this book.

Think of Idea to Invention as a kind of fertile hybrid of how-to handbook, self-help manual, and motivational inspiration designed to help you to convert your brainwaves into lucrative products—and I've got lots of effective (and cheap!) secrets for creating the independent life you want to live.

Idea to Invention will help you to:

Take charge of your life with empowering tips and easy instructions for creating money with your ideas.

Follow the six simple steps to bring your inventions to fruition.

Harness the power of the Internet to make money and promote your ideas.

Navigate the ins and outs of licensing and patenting your products.

Take the Success Quiz and receive helpful hints to boost your confidence and your success potential.

Stack the deck of luck in your favor.

Ride the waves of inspiration into a more independent and abundant new life.

I've learned the hard way about a lot of stuff you need to know—including the patent process, licensing, manufacturing, social media, and more. And I'm still learning. Surfing the learning curve by myself was challenging, but you won't have to do that; this book makes all of it easy to understand. Because I know some of you are visual learners like me, I made sure to include some eye-catching graphics as well as fun quizzes, fact-filled sidebars, inspirational quotes, often-humorous true stories, helpful exercises, and links to great how-to instructional videos.

I want reading this book to be as much fun as learning how to be an inventor—because it really is an exciting adventure. I designed Idea to Invention to inspire and empower you, so you can grab your ideas and run with them all the way to the bank.

If you're wondering why I developed my six simple steps to invention in the first place, the answer is as simple as the steps. It just drives me crazy when I see people who could and should be successful getting overwhelmed and giving up instead. By breaking down the journey to invention into six steps, I've been able to help lots of people make the right moves to convert their ideas into hot, must-have merchandise without getting stuck in the swamps that often lurk on either side of the road to prosperity. I also don't like it when good people get ripped off by con artists.

So why should you listen to me? Because I've sold millions of products, hold multiple patents and trademarks, and for years I've been lighting "You can do it!" motivational fires under groups as different as Fortune 500 CEOs and grade-school kids and have brought my message to radio, television, and the Internet.

Now let's take a look at what you'll find in the coming chapters.

You Have What It Takes to Succeed!

Most people are afraid they lack some mysterious "success gene," but anyone can develop the traits that predict success. I've identified six basic personality traits that appear to be shared by most successful individuals, and I've given them a snappy acronym to make them easy to remember. Take my fun Success Quiz to find out how you rate, then use my great advice for getting those important traits super-buff and toned, so you can get your Idea to Invention off the ground and on its way to making profits.

The Six Simple Steps to Invention

I know exactly what it takes to turn ideas into products, and I'll lead you through the process step by fascinating step. You'll master the habits of creative thinkers, seeing everyday problems as opportunities. You'll find out how to get free money to promote your ideas. You'll learn how to make simple mock-up prototypes of your idea so you can start to visualize it displayed at your favorite store. Then you'll find out how to keep your ideas safe from pirates, including how to get a free initial consultation with a patent attorney, and how to register a trademark on your own—all according to your budget and plan for profit. Next you'll learn my secrets for grabbing attention for your product, building buzz with social media, finding store buyers, taking tradeshow shortcuts, and much more. Should you manufacture your product yourself or not? We'll explore the pros and cons of finding a licensed manufacturer or setting up an assembly line in your basement. And finally, you'll add dazzle to your product by thinking like a buyer, dreaming up some bells-and-whistles enhancements that will add shelf life to your product and keep it a hot, must-have item for years to come, giving you multiple streams of income.

I'll show you how to use the (mostly free) power of the Internet to build a platform for your brainchild. And I'll offer my proven helpful hints for living a healthy, happy inventor's life, helping you to embrace the process of being an inventor.

Your own journey will be as unique as your ideas, but the six-plus-six secrets apply to everyone. It's all here. It's all easy. It's all Idea to Invention.

Meet the Author

PATRICIA NOLAN-BROWN, popular motivational speaker, consultant, and noted inventor of the original rear-facing carseat mirror, has sold millions of products, and has built businesses around numerous patents and trademarks.

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Idea to Invention: What You Need to Know to Cash In on Your Inspiration 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“Idea to Invention” is inspirational, motivational and functional.  In a witty, entertaining and personal way, the author clearly demonstrates  how she came up with solutions for everyday situations in her life and how she successfully turned her ideas into profit, at a minimal cost. Whether you have a concept that you dream about or already have an invention in the works, this book outlines an easy to follow  “do-it- yourself” approach and inspires and motivates its readers to pursue their dreams.