I love this recent blog from Colleen Jolly! She is spot on about how difficult entrepreneurship is. I must say all of these things ran through my mind at one point or another when creating Polebuff. Several times, some of these thoughts almost stopped me from moving forward. Almost.
Aside from being a pole-preneur, I am also an inventor which adds another layer of complexity when creating something that just didn’t exist in the world before. When inventing a brand new product, there’s no true benchmarks that tell you where to start, how hard and (very) expensive it’s going to be, or if anyone will even want it in the end. I’ve heard at least 5 times since launching Polebuff in May that others have had this very same idea and that they love it or wish they had created it themselves. I’ve also been told it’s hated…to my face or otherwise. And although I learn something from everyone I talk to, I choose to focus on the positive because not one company in the universe has a product that EVERYONE loves, wants or needs. And that’s OK. Those that love and see the value in it make this venture worthwhile.
My Own Pole-preneur Journey
Due to working 40 hours a week, being a wife, a mom of two kids and two dogs, endless rides to and from hockey rinks and soccer fields, and my own non-negotiable pole time, actually getting Polebuff to this point has taken 2 long years. My family has been amazingly supportive and helpful throughout it all. We’ve had endless brainstorming sessions and revisions on design for best fit and functionality, numerous visits and interviews with design engineers and injection mold companies, meetings and phone calls with patent lawyers trying to understand THAT whole side of things, and then finding suppliers for all the other components (stickers, connection joints, screws, choosing the right extension pole and length, cloth material and endless design revisions, seamstresses, labels…and so on). This was a crash course for me to say the least, but in the end I’m so excited and thankful that I even had the opportunity to do something like this in my lifetime.
Now I get to attend conventions and meet some of the most cool, nice, amazingly talented performers and people that I otherwise never would have. And while all of that is a complete blast, helping people see why they may need or want a brand new product is no easy task. In fact, in some ways it’s more difficult than actually building it. Being a new Pole-preneur on the block in this amazing industry is fun and hard all at the same time, but I know it takes time and it’ll be worth it.
Polebuff was created from the place where all inventions come from…a place where there is an opportunity for improvement, big or small, and you create a solution for it that didn’t exist before. It’s been an amazingly cool experience and feeling to actually invent something and share it with the world. However, Colleen nailed it…this sh*t is hard!