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Of visions, patents and luck.

The woman behind it all. The paradox of life is such that those with great ideas may not be privy to success. It’s about lots of strategy and even more luck. Ask Catherine Hettinger, inventor of the trending fidget spinner. A problem solver, Catherine witnessed youngsters throwing stones at Israeli soldiers and felt compelled to introduce a peaceful distraction to combat boredom. She created the rotating device as a calming, sedentary sport which was stress relieving and relatively easy to use. The end of a vision. When Hasbro declined a licensing offer, Hettinger had no choice but to surrender her patent when she couldn’t afford the paltry $400 for its renewal. She did give up on a revenue stream, yet for Catherine, the reward comes in the form of recognition. Seeing children and adults find a therapeutic outlet in the presence of her brainchild, she is grateful that the world has recognized her intent as an inventor. Who knew? Across the globe, fidget spinners are becoming the next gen new hoola hoop sensation. Kids watch the rigamarole and adults spin their tensions away. Some may go as far as to claim it’s a muscle stimulant. It may be, folks, but not enough of a stimulant to melt the pounds away just yet. Suffice it to say that the general public is satisfied with just the ridiculously random riveting of a spinner. No decoding, no problem solving. Just a whole lot of spinning. And it’s a good thing. Spinning between the fingertips, the circular motions are a source of therapeutic aid for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety or autism. Office trend. Forbes has declared the fidget spinner “the must-have office toy for 2017,” observing that stressed-out executives whose fingers are “a raw, bloody mess” because of “boredom-induced nail-biting” are trading their stress balls for fidget spinners like MD Engineering’s Torq Bars, priced from $129.99 to $259.99 but which begin selling for as much as $400 on eBay, because of their limited availability. Talk about expensive habits. The observation. If you haven’t yet purchased the lot of fidget spinners for your office crew, flip the coin and take the fidget for a spin. Think of what is relevant to your entrepreneurial side.

  • Wait it out: be the inventor that’s there for the long haul, although the daily grind seems difficult and it’s simpler to cash out.

  • Believe in your product: be your biggest advocate.

  • Appeal to your audience: Catherine’s inability to succeed may have been her lack of direct consumer marketing. Getting the word out may be all you need to inform the world of your unique product or service.

Spin to win, Sarah

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