Over the weekend, I went to see the movie Joy, a story about the down-on-her-luck housewife turned entrepreneur turned QVC sensation. Joy Mangano started her career with the self-wringing Miracle Mop and later added Huggable Hangers to her portfolio.

The movie depicts how Joy got inspiration for the mop as she cut her hand while cleaning up broken glass, and follows her trials through drawing a sketch with her daughter’s crayons, creating a prototype by hand and talking her way onto the QVC stage to demonstrate the product herself. There were many, many stages in the story where the weak hearted would have given up, but Joy persisted and believed in herself. Ultimately, great success followed.

All of us have had product ideas — something that we wished was available or we thought we could improve what existed — but most of us do not act on these ideas. The same is true for ideas at work or simple changes that we could make in our personal life. It can be easier to leave the closet as it is or continue to utilize the same process at work.  As Joy makes clear, creating something new is not for the meek.

Millions of people bought a Powerball ticket last week hoping for an easy way to strike it rich. Except for the few lucky winners, the path to fame and fortune may look like Joy Mangano’s and require a lot more work. Best to pick up the crayon and get started.

— beth triplett

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