I was hip deep into the process of trying to figure out everything that needed to be accomplished before I would announce to the world the existence of the Tac-Tote product line. It dawned on me that what I needed to do was to get some sort of validation of my product idea. The best way to do this, so I thought, was obvious, ask someone in the Nuclear Security Industry if they thought that there was a need for such products. Would they see the vision or value in the concept? At the time I had also been designing a shoulder bag that would only carry specific items that we carried as armed responders at my facility. Not only was the bag limited in what it would carry, but it carried those items in such a way that would make them easily retrieved separately from one another. Its design allowed the security officers using it to be more efficient by presenting the items more intelligently and also eliminated them from having to rummage through a single cavernous bag losing precious time.
I ended my shift one day and decided head over to my security managers office to ask if he saw a need for a site specific officer bag and if he thought that it would be something that the company that we worked for would invest in. I briefly discussed the attributes that the bag would have, perhaps too briefly, and asked the question. “Do you think that there would be any interest?” The answer that I received was quick, lacked emotion, and was not at all what I had expected. No.
As I stood there in the center of his office not really knowing where to go from there I began to justify its design and why I felt that it would be a great tool for the overall scope of what we do. What I was actually doing was simply talking in circles rambling on in an unprepared daze of product justification. Thankfully it took only a few of my almost incoherent sentences to realize that I was just standing there grovelling away to a man who had already made his mind up and I did not have the time nor enough of his interest to change that.
I walked out of his office and drove home. I am almost ashamed to admit that I felt completely defeated. I had such high subconscious expectations of acceptance that I was not prepared to hear the word no. How could he not see this products potential? Could he not understand how this product would change how the guard force operated in ways that no other product on the market could? Of course he couldn’t. He hadn’t spent the better part of six months designing a bag for a specific purpose that would be based on the challenges identified by a focused investigation for the soul purpose of identifying them. That being said, the “No” that I had received that day did manage to beat me down emotionally.
The concept of building a business based on my product designs seemed to leave my soul that day. It took about six months for me to fully recover from that seed which was planted into my head. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have a six month pity party nor did I ever actually stop thinking about more and more product ideas to develop. What I had done however, which I self discovered thankfully, was effectively given way too much credit to one man’s opinion. So, about six months later and after a few more product designs I said what I have said many times in my life before……….. “Screw it, I’m doing it anyway.”