A question that we get a lot at Insanitek is about how inventors can gain financial stability through their work. You shouldn’t be surprised by our response of bootstrapping, intelligent investments, and making sure you make more than you spend. Here are the common things that have worked for our inventors as they work through the minefield of life and uncommon jobs.
Bootstrapping until you make it.
Even if you’re one of the lucky ones that receive a lot of money from relatives or live off a trust fun, you want to look at ways to get the most of every day and every dollar you can. The secret? Find part-time or seasonal jobs that teach you the skills you want or need to learn. This could be anything from helping in a law office to interning at a business to striking out after a few classes in welding.
When you bootstrap any adventure it takes time. During that time you’ll be trying to figure out not just technical aspects of your invention, but also marketing, sales, legal, and even graphic design. So why shouldn’t you get some hands on education that pays you, rather than you paying for it. During this time you get to keep 100% of your equity and report to no one but yourself.
Lawyer up smartly.
Patents, trademarks, copyrights, licenses… all these sound great until you get to filing for them. If you do it on your own there is a chance you might mess up and waste money. If you use a lawyer, it’s staggeringly expensive. I was absolutely surprised to find out that you can DIY your legal stuff, then take it to a lawyer to have them double check it and do touchups. This saves them time, and thus you some money.
To do this, you’ll need to educate yourself on the ins and outs of creating the patent and licensing AND to find a lawyer in your area that is willing to double check you. Not all advice is good, and not all lawyers will work with you in this capacity. We recommend starting with the patent office in your country. As you go through the rules and regulations, you’ll get a feel for how much you’ll need to rely on a lawyer and be able to ask accordingly.
Make money work.
This comes with investing smartly with a little extra money. Before you balk about that, keep in mind I’m from the working poor class. That means that I make just enough money that I don’t get any financial assistant via government programmes, but I also don’t make enough to make ends meet. As a perspective, it took me 7 years to save enough money to buy a new winter coat at $140. Let that sink in: Seven Years.
I want you to understand that even at this baseline, you can, and should, find ways to make your money work for you. That could be stowing away $5 a month in an interesting bearing savings account or opening up a Roth IRA and investing smartly there.