Inventrix's Blog

Just another weblog

I love Napoleon Hill and the Buddha

I love to think BIG thoughts. I think a lot and have been trained for years to do so…in my schooling and in my employment as a social scientist. Thinking! It’s fun.

But what I think, what I think about, and what my thoughts create in me–leading to behavior–varies, and that leads to varying results. You know?!

It’s only those thoughts that are focused on what I experience right now (mindfulness) are the ones that are productive…avoiding thinking (much) about the past or the future are critical for the attainment of happiness (IMPORTANT), contentment, and satisfaction.

The Buddha doesn’t worry too much about thinking big thoughts…really NO thoughts (or no attachment to thoughts) is the goal.

However, since I’m not that spiritually evolved (yet), I do still think thoughts. So while I’m still bothering to do that I might as well think BIG.

That’s what I’m doing. I love that Napoleon Hill for thinking big. His work (check out his videos on YouTube! Awesome! Do you have the stamina to get through all of them…most people stop at the first or second one…and that’s why most people are STUCK!) is all about thinking BIG, but also ties it to behavior–which is key of course.

The beautiful synergy between the Buddha and Napoleon Hill are the “control of your own mind” and it will take you where you want to go. It is the ultimate gift we all can benefit from with some effort. Do it! I want you to do you. I’m doing me.


September 29, 2009 Posted by | Branding, Buddha, Business Woman, Entrepreneur, Female, Inventing, Invention, Napoleon Hill, Uncategorized, Woman, Work Life Balance | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


The hardest thing about what I do is finding time and claiming time to do it. I have an almost 4 year old son, a dad who lives with me, a full time gig, a second gig, this, and am married and like to take care of myself by making regular gym visits. So how to carve out time to think, write, create, manage and ORGANIZE?

It’s hard.

I used to say when I was a younger person, I don’t want a husband, I want a wife, so I can do all the things I want to do in my life. Well I ended up being the wife and although I can’t say my marriage is so traditional, it’s not untraditional either. And mothering ended up being very traditional. My son is very attached to me–which I want and is great, but parenting is just plain time consuming.

Rough but true.

Anyway, I am taking advantage of this moment to blog to you all and to get some organization work done on the invention business. The business of the invention.

I am about to go back to a Word table shell with column headings: Website, Marketing, Manufacturing and Packaging, Inventory and Order Processing, and Company. Bringing together all my DISPARATE ideas from multiple notebooks into one place.

I am GREATFUL for the time. I am GREATFUL for the time. And am taking advantage of it.

Back to it!

See ya!


September 26, 2009 Posted by | Branding, Business Woman, Entrepreneur, Female, Inventing, Invention, Uncategorized, Woman, Work Life Balance | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Branding? What’s that?

So I hear a lot about branding. I read about it and I talk about it as I have been going through this process of moving from idea to product.

I’m not convinced. I’m the type of do your own thing, learn what works for you, individuality type woman. And my product works. It solves a problem that is really annoying. It’s attractive and effective. So why should I brand it? Duh.

I want to be the unbrand brand. Fortunately the people I work with are a lot smarter than me. When I proposed the genius idea of an unbranded brand, they immediately stomped on the idea. “Alissa, brands are what convey quality and identity of a product.” “They are the thing that people connect to emotionally and develop loyalty for.” “They work to communicate ideas in symbols–logos, typefaces, colors–without the need for too many words.” “You have a GREAT product, but being the unbrand is dumb. Sorry.”

Don’t be sorry. You’re right and I’m wrong.

It is dumb for me to say brands are unimportant as I had been thinking of the ideas behind the name of the product and thought up stories that convey meaning along with the use of the product. It’s silly to say brands are unimportant, but I think I have a fear of branding because it feels like a high stakes thing. I think it is. It’s ridiculous for me to say brands don’t matter when I’m totally loyal to Dove, Lubriderm, Asics, Smart Balance, etc. The things I like are fully branded. Duh, again.

Anyway, I’m grateful for my team to keep ME on the right path.

“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.” -Andrew Carnegie

September 25, 2009 Posted by | Branding, Business Woman, Entrepreneur, Female, Inventing, Invention, Uncategorized, Woman | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

the inventrix

Girl inventor. That’s me.

Alissa Gardenhire-Crooks, Ph.D.

I have been inventing since I was a kid, but didn’t learn I could be an inventor until I was a grownup. My mom told me to be a Renaissance woman and my dad told me to “go for it” as I grew up.

But I still went down the prescribed path. School and more school then work…for someone else. Which is fine…for what it is, but I can’t be “all I can be” in someone else’s frame. Can you?

Actually, inventing is pretty easy. Figuring out how to be an entrepreneur…now that is the hard part.

I have a full-time career as a social policy qualitative researcher. I am a wife, mother, and daughter–full time too.

I also have a bug to fix problems and now am finally bringing one fix to market. Not my first invention, but the first one (and simplest one) I have actually worked to get to market.

The prototypes have been vetted, tested, focus grouped, proof of concept-ed, graphic designed, and now patented.

The products have been ordered, the packaging figured out, the market analyzed, a marketing plan is being finalized, logo designed, a website is being designed, and a small team of friends assembled to work on the business with me. Let’s do this ish!

September 25, 2009 Posted by | Business Woman, Entrepreneur, Female, Inventing, Invention, Uncategorized, Woman | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment