Teachers, Lessons and Paying It Forward

I've tried my hands at Entrepreneurship several times, and I've learned a lot in the process - much of it from super mentors like Amilya, DoñaAnthony and Jeff. I'll let their Bios speak to what's so great about them, but if at all possible, it's a good idea to seek mentors of your own.

Learning my strengths and weaknesses took some time, and overcoming stage-fright took a really long while, but I'm learning to manage. Here's one thing that always came naturally: putting forth my best effort while helping others.

I once had a thriving battery business that was looking to expand.
Unfortunately, it went bust due to the Credit Freeze of 2008...
... but while it lasted, I worked with a great Norfolk,
Virginia based sub-contractor, and I always paid on time.

One of the many things I learned was that I really don't like selling. I guess you have to, but I'm a builder, not a hustler. I've found however, that when you actively seek partners that already support worthy causes, you always receive unexpected rewards = Gravy.

I spent a lot of time and money working to patent and sell this tong and food protector

And I was supported by a workforce of superheros.
(You've seen at least part of this image before = Gravy)

Unfortunately, one of the other lessons I've learned is that government can really be a hindrance to the little guy. My battery business died on the vine waiting for SBA-managed proceeds from the Economic Stimulus acts of 2008-9.

But wait, there's more. I wasted more time and money at the US Patent Office - trying to patent a multi-source electric generator that's easy to manufacture and maintain.

After spending years and thousands of dollars on original design, development and testing...
USPTO said there was nothing novel in my final design - "absolutely nothing" in fact! 
Not the wire channels or mounting holes or modular plates - to say nothing of the ventilation chambers!

The take-away from this final lesson is to know every inch of the pond in which you swim - and make sure you're perfectly suited for it. I know software, so that's where I will innovate going forward.

My goal is to provide value to end-users and to those with whom I work. Reach out to me if you're working on something interesting and you need a great engineer to join you...

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