Thomas Edison had only a few months of formal education. After being told by his headmaster that he was unmanageable, his mother, a teacher, home-schooled him. Passionately curious, Edison sought answers for why things happened. He tried hatching eggs by sitting on them. He accidentally burned down his father’s barn attempting an experiment, and he gave a friend some gas-producing potion to drink to see if the gas would make him fly. He drove adults crazy with the constant questions of why, how, and if. His bedroom was a minefield that no person would dare enter without fear of harm. In truth, his headmaster was right: Edison was unmanageable. But he was also brilliant.
Edison viewed the world as a place of strange and wonderful things, and he wanted to know about everything. He became the most prolific inventor of our time by pushing questions into discovery. It was best known to him as the analogy: If you want to make a sculpture, take a block of stone and carve away what doesn’t need to be there…all while he learned that he was an inventor, Edison took the opposite direction…by taking pieces and putting them together to create something new and useful. Hence, one of his infamous quotes: “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”
Inventing is the purest form of entrepreneurship. Yet many good ideas for inventions are never completed because people are intimidated by the process: not only must your idea come fruition, you also need to patent it, make it in large numbers, and sell it. The type of entrepreneur who seeks to market or produce an invention of his or her own creation is known as an “Inventrepreneur”. Inventreprenuers can exist in any industry that moves forward from new inventions or discoveries, such as technology, communications, transportation or heavy industry.
We need to be reminded that so much to be learned in life isn’t learnt in school. Each day presents a chance to figure out a way to view your life. Look for the opportunity to learn new things about yourself and you business that no graduate school course could possibly teach.