Dec. 20, 2021

Ep32 - Connie Inukai Talks Becoming An Inventor After Retirement

Ep32 - Connie Inukai Talks Becoming An Inventor After Retirement

Episode Thirty Two Features Connie Inukai Talking About Becoming An Inventor After Retirement
My Key Takeaways:
Connie was a great guest and another example of someone who invented a product to solve an issue that she herself was having.  She hated not b...

Episode Thirty Two Features Connie Inukai Talking About Becoming An Inventor After Retirement

My Key Takeaways:

Connie was a great guest and another example of someone who invented a product to solve an issue that she herself was having.  She hated not being able to see the receipts in dimly lit restaurants so she invented the Tip&Split to overcome that issue.


In this episode Connie shares:

  • Why she retired from teaching Technical Writing and how it helped her in the creation process. How her ex husband assisted in the Tip&Split's creation with supplying the drawings as well as the algorithms it used. How much prior inventing experience that she had. The benefits of drinking of being in an Inventors Group and how she met Stephen Key. The manufacturing woes that she had and how it almost cost her a chance to have her product on QVC. How much excess inventory she had to have for shows like QVC and The View. That she perceives the market for products geared towards older consumers is underserved.
  • How she wanted to manufacture her product in America but could not find a suitable electronics manufacturer. What her new product, Write Your Selfie, is about and how it can improve your families history. Why she put the Tip&Split on hold during the majority of the Covid-19 pandemic.

To learn more about Connie, her website is Grandmapreneurinventor | Reinventing Yourself in Retirement and she can be found on LinkedIn, FaceBook, and YouTube as well.  

Next week we'll have on April Mitchell talking about  how she has created multiple products and the processes that she uses to license them. I'd also like to take this opportunity to wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas   Be sure to hit subscribe in your podcast app so that you don't miss it or any other episodes.

Show notes and more can be found at

Be sure to hit Subscribe in your podcast app so that you don't miss it or any other episodes.


[00:00:00] Greg Mills: Our guests today retired from teaching technical writing at the university of Maryland and John Hopkins university for almost four decades. Today. She's thriving in her second act as an inventor, a grandma for Noor and author speaker, and the caregiver to two young grandchildren.

[00:00:17] She is living proof that the second act entrepreneur can succeed. If only they focus on what matters most to them, she has found that entrepreneurship is a mindset at any age without further ado, Connie in a guy

[00:00:33] Connie Inukai: Thank you so much, Greg. It's so nice to be on your show 

[00:00:36] Greg Mills: that was great to have you here. So can you take a few moments and fill in the gaps from that intro and bring us up to speed with what's going on in your world.

[00:00:47] Connie Inukai: Sure. So I actually retired from being a teacher. For 40 plus years and who would have known, I would've never thought that this would be my life now. So I retired at age 68. I started becoming an inventor. And I knew nothing about inventing zero. So I had to learn. And I think that one of the great things about growing older is that if you keep learning, you stay younger.

[00:01:16] Actually next week I'm going to be 74 years old. 

[00:01:19] Greg Mills: Oh, wow. 

[00:01:20] Connie Inukai: Yep. So 

[00:01:21] Greg Mills: not believe it.

[00:01:23] Connie Inukai: thank you. I certainly qualify for your show of over 40. So two things keep me young. One is I'm always learning. And the second one is, I have my, two young grandchildren who I watch and I think they keep me very young, 

[00:01:38] Greg Mills: You mentioned that you're retired from teaching technical writing for almost four decades. did you have any idea at all where life was going to take you? What did you have planned.

[00:01:49] Connie Inukai: I had no idea. All I knew is I wanted to retire because anyone who went to college knows that you pull on lighters to get your reports done and to study for exams. Well, they do it for four years. I did it for 40. I used to pull all nighters to grade group.

[00:02:07] Because I taught engineers and computer scientists, how to write reports. So I use to stay up all night doing it. And I was so glad to retire, but now I stay up all night doing businesses, but it's much more fun. 

[00:02:22] Greg Mills: Okay. I guess I didn't think that through, but yeah, , you really, couldn't, skimp on on the technical writing grading aspect, 

[00:02:29] Connie Inukai: Yeah, you have to give them a grade and you have to make comments on why they got their grades. It got a little bit hard for me because students in college nowadays are expecting everything. They expect that if they go to class and if they do their work, why don't they get an a, and I was a pretty easy grader, but , I reserved the A's for those people who deserve it, you know?

[00:02:53] And, a lot of people, felt that they needed an aid just because they did the.

[00:02:58] Greg Mills: I definitely did not expect an a, when I was in college

[00:03:02] Connie Inukai: Students are different now. It was very hard because I want to give everyone an a, but then I would be fired if I give everybody an a, I would be fired, you know, cause those are good schools. I taught. and they have a lot of credibility and an aim means an a when I went to school, I worked really hard for my grades, but students nowadays are more, they feel entitled.

[00:03:27] Greg Mills: Yeah, I think we're just seeing that in all aspects of society.

[00:03:30] Connie Inukai: Right. So I was really glad to retire. one of the things that I did is I got my idea for my invention while I was still working. And because I taught technical writing and I taught engineers how to write reports, one of their assignments was to write, an instruction manual. So while I was doing it, I wrote an instruction manual for my invention.

[00:03:53] I was working right alongside of them, but I loved it. Then I gave them another assignment where they had to, do a product description. So I did that right alongside of them. And every assignment that I gave them, I used to do similar assignments before I became an inventor, but I used that time.

[00:04:12] Well, they were working on it. I was. Right alongside them. They didn't know, but I was doing that. In the end, they had to do a PowerPoint presentation. So I made a PowerPoint presentation for my product. So it was very helpful. Then I realized I needed to focus on my own self.

[00:04:32] So I, I retired. 

[00:04:34] Greg Mills: Okay. And are we talking about the tip and split

[00:04:37] Connie Inukai: Yeah. That's my first invention. 

[00:04:40] Greg Mills: Okay. I'm pretty good with actually figuring out the tips for mounts, but. Being able to see the small print. And I saw where, , you've got not only, a magnifying glass built in, but a light as well.

[00:04:54] Connie Inukai: that's really why I invented it. I ended the tips in the. Afterwards, just to make more fun, but this is actually my invention. 

[00:05:02] So this is my, tip and split and it has the magnifier here. So you can read the small print on the menu and on the bill. And then it has a little light on the base.

[00:05:13] More discreet than the light on your smartphone. So you can actually read, because I used to have a hard time when I would go to the restaurant and go look for a candle because I couldn't see in the dark restaurant. So I said, why doesn't somebody have something that can help us? So I invented this and then I added the tip.

[00:05:35] Just to make it more fun because the magnifier and the light are the main parts of it. This is handheld. And then you can also figure out a tip and split the bill in three seconds. 

[00:05:47] It's all in one.

[00:05:48] I had no idea how to do it. Zero idea how to do it, but I was lucky enough to have been married to an engineer who was brilliant. And he figured out all of the algorithms to make it simple to use. I'm not married to him now, but he still helped me with 

[00:06:07] Greg Mills: Good man.

[00:06:08] Connie Inukai: Yeah. Yeah. I give him all that credit. So I invented it. I had to learn all about not only inventing, but I learned about manufacturing. That was my biggest problem because where do you go? So I actually found the manufacturer at a trade show and they messed it up.

[00:06:29] Terrible. They couldn't do it. So then I found another one and I said, can you figure out how to do this? And he says, oh, this is engineering 1 0 1. They mess it up too. It took me years before I could get a good manufacturer. And each time I was so disappointed and finally I got it right. 

[00:06:50] Greg Mills: Now, how did you find the successful manufacturer?

[00:06:55] Connie Inukai: From a recommendation, 

[00:06:56] from another inventor, I'm an inventor groups. We share a lot and it's actually wonderful to be a part of an inventor group because we're all sharing the same obstacles and, figuring out how to come up with a solution. 

[00:07:11] Greg Mills: Instead of the 12 steps you've got what? The seven.

[00:07:14] Connie Inukai: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:07:16] It was a little bit difficult for me because when I first, invented my product, I went to a trade show for inventors and, my manufacturer had messed up and I didn't even have a product to show, but I had a table. So I just had pictures at the table. That's not really so good.

[00:07:36] And also they had a pitch contest. They had QVC at the trade show to pitch your product to be on QVC. I signed up to do it, but I didn't have a product. So I just talked about it and showed them pictures and they actually loved the idea. But, they said, please come back when you have a problem.

[00:07:56] The next year I went back, I pitched to the same team and I said, do you remember me? And they said, yes. And they said, well, I remember you two. And you said, come back when they have a product. So here's my product.

[00:08:09] And then I got on QVC. 

[00:08:12] Greg Mills: Okay. Now talking about QVC, and this ties in with your manufacturing. how much product did you have to have in reserve for QVC ? 

[00:08:24] Connie Inukai: think I needed 3000 units. 

[00:08:26] Greg Mills: Wow. That can tie up a lot of money.

[00:08:30] Connie Inukai: Yeah. Yeah. It's very expensive to be an inventor. Very expensive. I have 8,000 products now. 

[00:08:39] Actually got on, uh, the TV show, the view. 

[00:08:42] So my product get on the view and they told me I needed the 10,000 units and 10,000 in reserve. 

[00:08:50] Greg Mills: Oh, wow. 

[00:08:50] Connie Inukai: So, I ordered 10,000 units and I actually sold about 6,800 

[00:08:56] in one minute. 

[00:08:59] Greg Mills: Whoa,

[00:09:00] Connie Inukai: It was really fantastic, but I ordered 10,000 more. 

[00:09:04] A lot of people watch the shows and they don't have products for people my age. I think that I'm one of the few inventors that invents products for people who get older. Most products are for young people, like apps or tech things.

[00:09:21] I'm sure a lot of people see a product. And just like you said, boy, I can't see that small print. There are a lot of us like that up. 

[00:09:30] Greg Mills: If I go to a restaurant and I don't have my glasses and the lights dim, I'm functionally illiterate.

[00:09:36] Connie Inukai: Exactly. That's how I am. And that's what inventors do they see a problem and they come up with a solution. And so I was so excited. To come up with a solution. Cause I'm the only product like it out there. 

[00:09:50] So I had 10,000 units in my, garage and then COVID hit and I stopped promoting tip and split because this is for restaurant. 

[00:10:01] Greg Mills: right.

[00:10:02] Connie Inukai: First of all, most of the restaurants we're closed. And second of all, I didn't want to encourage older people to go out to restaurants because I'm an older person. I just don't want to expose people to say, go try this in a restaurant. So I started something else, but now I'm coming back to tip and split again. 

[00:10:21] Greg Mills: When you were coming up with the idea for the tip and split, how did you validate it to make sure both that it was viable as well as to make sure it wasn't already out there and that there was, an actual consumer demand for it,

[00:10:35] Connie Inukai: Well, first of all, when you have an invention, the one thing you have to do is make sure there is nothing that's like. 

[00:10:42] Greg Mills: right?

[00:10:43] Connie Inukai: Unless you make an improvement on something, but there was nothing like it. I did a lot of research on it and I found zero, like it, and so I thought, oh, you know, that's great.

[00:10:55] And how did I find that it was, something that somebody would want? Well, I went on QVC, people bought it. I went on the view. People bought it. I went on the today, show people. 

[00:11:07] Greg Mills: Oh, I don't question that. I'm asking the, like before you had

[00:11:11] Connie Inukai: You have have to do a Google search and find out everything on the market for it. I also had a patent attorney and he also did a search and couldn't find anything like. 

[00:11:24] Greg Mills: Yeah, I'm just thinking that, obviously I can see the value in it. You can see the value in it. And apparently a lot of other people have seen the value in it, but you know sometimes your friends and family will they'll lie to us. 

[00:11:39] Connie Inukai: Exactly. So you have to do a search and luckily the patent on. Has a search options. So you can search everything. You can also Google, like I would do tip calculator, but nobody had a magnifier and a light with it, but they also do have lighted magnifiers, but they don't have the tip calculator on it. 

[00:12:03] Greg Mills: yeah, that was a great marriage of the two.

[00:12:05] Connie Inukai: Yes. Yes. So you have to do a lot of searching because when you apply for a patent, that's also expensive. You have to make sure that you're not infringing on someone else's patent. 

[00:12:20] Greg Mills: Okay. Now, how did you go about creating a prototype?

[00:12:25] Connie Inukai: Well, I used my, my former husband for that. And we came up with drawings, mostly him, he came up with drawings and then we sent them to the manufacturer to do it, 

[00:12:37] Greg Mills: Okay.

[00:12:38] Connie Inukai: and they thought it was easy, but they couldn't get It Right. So many times I was disappointed.

[00:12:47] Greg Mills: It does sound like it would be easy to manufacture, but then again, I've never manufactured anything. 

[00:12:53] Connie Inukai: Well, not only is it difficult to manufacture, but I wanted to manufacture in the United States, but all the electronics are in China. They're all overseas. There are no manufacturers in the United States for electronic equipment that I could find. 

[00:13:10] Greg Mills: So you ultimately ended up having to go overseas for some or all of it. 

[00:13:15] Connie Inukai: Then you get the language barrier and the differences. And I used to actually have my ex-husband talked to them sometimes because they don't like to talk to a woman. 

[00:13:27] Greg Mills: I've heard that as well, actually.

[00:13:30] Connie Inukai: But I did get it done and I'm still so excited with it. I'm still going strong during COVID.

[00:13:38] I put it on hold. I've put my product on hold many times because of manufacturing defects, and then because of COVID, but now I'm, about ready to go into it again. 

[00:13:51] Greg Mills: Okay. Now, did you ever try to license the idea for the tip and split 

[00:13:56] Connie Inukai: I met Stephen Key. Have you heard of him? 

[00:13:58] Greg Mills: Oh yeah. Actually he was gracious enough to be one of my first guests.

[00:14:03] Connie Inukai: He's wonderful. I actually have his book. One simple idea. I love his book. I love him. And I actually met him at an inventors. Group that I belong to in the Washington DC area. He was a speaker there and I so wanted to work with him, but I felt I was too far along, to start licensing it.

[00:14:26] But actually it's still in my mind to license the. 

[00:14:31] Greg Mills: Yeah, I think his books are great. And I think they provide all the steps. It's just for somebody that wants that extra reassurance. I think.

[00:14:41] Connie Inukai: If somebody would actually do it for me, I would do it, but they don't do it for you. They just tell you what to do. So I do have his book, but anyone who's just starting out should get his. And go through the steps and join it. If I had it to do over again, I would've joined his group, but I met him I think right when I was about to be on QVC.

[00:15:04] I still feel like licensing is the best way to go. 

[00:15:08] Greg Mills: Okay. Now has the tip and split been knocked off? 

[00:15:12] Connie Inukai: No, 

[00:15:13] Greg Mills: That's surprising.

[00:15:15] Connie Inukai: I know I'm very surprised because I don't do much advertising. So I don't think that people know 

[00:15:22] Greg Mills: Okay.

[00:15:23] Connie Inukai: about it. Maybe they'll see it on your show and start knocking it off. 

[00:15:28] Greg Mills: Well, I hope that they do see it on the show. I just hope they don't start knocking it 

[00:15:31] Connie Inukai: Right. People knock off. other things. 

[00:15:34] Greg Mills: Our audience is higher and more elevated than that.

[00:15:38] Connie Inukai: thank you for another thing that I did this year I trademarked, my name is grandma. Okay, because of my age and I'm a grandma and I'm a grandma for Noor and everybody loves that name. And now I see grandma from all over the place. I looked it up and I see about 15 people calling themselves, grandma for Noor.

[00:16:03] And I talked to somebody about that because I have the trade. And, they said I can send like a cease and desist letter to them to stop using it or get them to pay me. But I haven't done anything because I really can't see going after grandma's, 

[00:16:19] Greg Mills: Right.

[00:16:20] Connie Inukai: although I paid for the trademark and I paid for the domain name, 

[00:16:24] Greg Mills: Yeah, I think what I would do if I were used, I'd let as many people that wanted to call themselves a grandma preneur, be a grandma preneur, but the second they wanted to put it on a coffee mug or a t-shirt that's when I would enforce your trademark.

[00:16:41] Connie Inukai: How am I supposed to keep track of that? I don't know.

[00:16:43] Greg Mills: Well, that's true that,

[00:16:45] I think I would do a search on Amazon first to see what just popped up. 

[00:16:51] Connie Inukai: Well, that's good advice. And if they're going to use it on products, then I think I have to go after the. Because I'm an inventor, I know the value of trademarks and I trademarked, tip and split. And then I trademark my new, product calibrate your selfie.

[00:17:12] It's also for older people, you realize that once you're gone, nobody's going to know about you or their ancestry. So I wrote during COVID, I decided to write my life story so that I could pass it down. So my grandchildren will know all about me and their children.

[00:17:31] We'll know about me after I'm gone. And, because I'm a former writing teacher, I made it into a course because I was a teacher. So the course is on how they can write their own book, their own life story. 

[00:17:46] Greg Mills: Now backing up just a little bit. You've got another book, how I got my product on QVC, the today show and the view and more in retirement, which chronicled your journey as well as headache, buzz tips, dealing with marketing. 

[00:18:02] I forget which one it was, but be charitable really struck me as one that not a lot of people would include. Could you talk about that a little bit?

[00:18:11] Connie Inukai: I think people like it when you're giving back something. that's not why I did it, when I first made my tip and split, I realized that, everybody donates for canceling. And now Parkinson's disease because they're always in the news.

[00:18:28] I found macular degeneration foundation. They don't have as much money there to do research. So what I did is when I invented my product, I used to send them typically.

[00:18:41] They did their first blog post about my product tipping split and what they did this. Anybody who would make a comment on their blog would receive a tip and split. So I was so happy to do that because, this is not for people who have serious. Macular degeneration, but people who are at the beginning stages 

[00:19:04] Greg Mills: right.

[00:19:05] Connie Inukai: I don't have it, but I thought they might need a spokesperson or somebody to give light on it. So when I become famous, I will talk about macular degeneration because I think that, my product is for people with vision problem.

[00:19:24] Greg Mills: Yeah. I think that, people really identify with a product that, helps others and that is giving back in some way.

[00:19:35] Connie Inukai: Right. And at this stage of my life, I'm not really doing it so much for money. I'm doing it to help people with both of my products. The tip and split, I'm trying to help people because I know how I used to dread going into restaurants that were dark. I hated it. I couldn't see anything. So I thought instead of just struggling, why not make it fun? So my product is actually fun because when I whip it out, everybody looks at it. What's that? Oh my goodness.

[00:20:07] So this is kind of making you the center of attention when you have your tip and split. 

[00:20:13] Greg Mills: Yeah, that's a cool little tool. 

[00:20:15] Connie Inukai: Yeah. Well, I liked. 

[00:20:17] So I wrote a book with them. The reason I wrote my book I'll tell you is because when I first became an inventor, I realized that you need to get out there and have some visibility and publicity.

[00:20:31] So I hired a publicist to promote me. She got me nothing. She charged me a lot and got me nothing. So then I, hired somebody else that I had heard of. She got me nothing. And a lot of times when you're an inventor, you go for things because we want to be known. And, people take advantage of us because we all believe in our product.

[00:20:57] So I got my own publicity. I got my own self on to receive the today, show the view and more I got my own. So I decided why don't I write a book about what I did. So that other people don't have to go spend that money for a publicist and can do it themselves. 

[00:21:16] Greg Mills: Well, thank you for doing that. A lot of inventors too. I think they're focused on. Inventing and they, understand how their product works and how to bring it about, but they don't understand how to sell it 

[00:21:30] Connie Inukai: Yeah. I didn't know any of that. But I still am trying my best to get known. And you're one of the people who's going to help me because being on a podcast is making me visible. so that's wonderful. 

[00:21:47] Greg Mills: You say you're not a podcaster, but on your grandma preneur site, you do have a session where you've talked with other coaches

[00:21:55] Connie Inukai: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:21:57] Greg Mills: those.

[00:21:59] Connie Inukai: I get this idea because I'm an inventor. I have two businesses and I felt it was time to hire a business coach. Before I decided to hire one, I interviewed 17 business coaches to find out what they do, how they are different and how they can help me.

[00:22:20] And I posted those on LinkedIn and on, Facebook and on Instagram, so that other people who are new entrepreneurs like me, can this. If they need a business coach and what kind of business coach they need. I wrote an article for entrepreneur magazine 

[00:22:41] that was published in June and it was called, do I need a business coach?

[00:22:46] One day I will do a podcast one day, but, uh, it's a lot of work. Isn't It 

[00:22:52] Greg Mills: It is. I got inspired by John Lee Dumas on entrepreneurs, on fire, he releases one every day and then there's bonus episodes. And I thought, I could do that.

[00:23:05] And I'm struggling to get out one a week. Of course, I'm still working as well, but yeah, it's a lot of work.

[00:23:12] Connie Inukai: I know because when I did That I actually hired somebody to edit them for me. Cause that's a big job. So I actually paid for each of those episodes. , 

[00:23:23] Greg Mills: racks up. Doesn't it.

[00:23:24] Connie Inukai: oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But I love doing it. It was my first time interviewing people and, I love doing it.

[00:23:33] And I saw out about doing a podcast, but I have a few ideas.

[00:23:39] I'm not going to interview and ventures because Robert Baer. Does it, do you know Robert bear?

[00:23:45] Greg Mills: Yes. I've talked with him and Alan Beckley. They're both, really great guys 

[00:23:49] Connie Inukai: Yeah. They're, they're wonderful. They're both wonderful for, I was on both of their shows, so I wouldn't interview inventors because they have it going. I have a few other ideas for a podcast. Problem is the time. Because I'll tell you my priority is my grandchildren. 

[00:24:09] Greg Mills: Priorities right then.

[00:24:11] Connie Inukai: exactly.

[00:24:12] They need me. I love them and that's my priority now. So anything that I can do that doesn't cut them out would be great 

[00:24:20] Greg Mills: I apologize. I kinda pushed you away from talking about, right. Your selfie. I just wanted to follow up on a couple other things, but let's talk some more about that.

[00:24:33] Connie Inukai: So, this is my new, project. I wrote my life story because I found out a lot of things about my past that nobody will know after I'm gone. One of the incredible things I found out was that, and I didn't know this, my mother died about 15 years ago. And her parents immigrated to the United States for Poland in 1912.

[00:24:54] They had to postpone their trip because my grandma had morning sickness and the trip that they postpone was on the Titanic. Can you believe that? I didn't know that I found that from a cousin of mine. Because it was his father who our grandmother was pregnant with. My mother never told me. So if I didn't write that down in my book, nobody's going to know that once I'm gone. Cause I'm the oldest one around. 

[00:25:26] Greg Mills: that's pretty amazing.

[00:25:28] Connie Inukai: I know. So I think that there are so many other things that, I found out. That I didn't know. For example, I have, three grandchildren in California and they're all in a prestigious tennis academy. The oldest one is nine. Okay. Nine, eight, and six.

[00:25:48] And they all love tennis. And I actually have a zoom call with my family members every week. And just two weeks ago, I found out my mother, went to a summer tennis camp and she played against Bobby Riggs.

[00:26:03] Greg Mills: Okay. I've heard of Bobby.

[00:26:04] Connie Inukai: He's the one who lost to Billy Jean King. 

[00:26:07] Greg Mills: Okay.

[00:26:08] Connie Inukai: My mother played against him and he wrote on the program, to my favorite student, Rebecca. so I'm going to put that in. I'm going to revise my book and put that in because I nobody's going to know about Bobby Riggs, for my grandchildren, but they can look them up. 

[00:26:26] Greg Mills: I very vaguely remember when he challenged her 

[00:26:30] Connie Inukai: uh huh. 

[00:26:31] Greg Mills: I think she beat him pretty sadly. If I remember.

[00:26:33] Connie Inukai: I think so. And he was the first person called the male chauvinist pig. Because he thought no sweat, he can beat her. And she won. I have so many things about my history. My mother was also the first female law student at the university of Minnesota, and this is back in the late 1930s. 

[00:26:55] Greg Mills: Okay.

[00:26:56] Connie Inukai: And so I think that my grandchildren should know about their ancestry. 

[00:27:01] Greg Mills: Yeah, a lot of themes seem to pop back up. Like you mentioned your mother playing tennis and now your grandchildren are playing 

[00:27:10] Connie Inukai: Yes. And by the way, my father was an inventor. 

[00:27:14] Greg Mills: Okay. 

[00:27:14] Connie Inukai: He just never didn't know, knew anything about patents, but he was an inventor because I grew up when I was a little kid, I saw his inventions. 

[00:27:24] Greg Mills: What did he invent? If you don't mind my asking.

[00:27:26] Connie Inukai: Well, one of the things he invented was a curling iron. He was actually in, in world war II. He was a. And when he came back from the war, he took a metal comb and hooked it up to an outlet.

[00:27:39] And so if heated, so when he was drunk, cutting someone's hair, he could, it would be hot and he could curl it. 

[00:27:47] Greg Mills: Okay.

[00:27:48] Connie Inukai: like, uh, I guess about, 70 years ago. Way before they had those products, but he didn't know what to do with it. But I think that somehow I became an inventor because, I had the genes in me. 

[00:28:04] So when I was writing my book, I wrote about my dad. It's not that they have to do anything fantastic. It's that most people, when their parents or their grandparents, when their grandparents die, they they wished they had asked them questions.

[00:28:19] So I'm giving them the chance. So I made it in the form of a, a course so that they can write their book and six. They can have a book of like their grandparent's life story 

[00:28:36] Greg Mills: Is it interactive in that they, they are interviewing kind of their grandma, their grandparents or 

[00:28:42] Connie Inukai: No, what I do is my book is there are a few programs out there that teach you how to write your life story. Mine is very different because most people, when they want to write their life story, it's like a thousand pages and nobody wants to read that. Okay My book is based on pictures. I have them go through their photo albums because I'm sure their grandparents, or even their parents have photo albums.

[00:29:10] And they find the pictures that create some emotion in them. And they base, they put captions around those pictures, for example, in my book. And they ended up after, you know, six weeks or maybe a little bit more, this is my book and it's based on pictures. 

[00:29:31] Greg Mills: Yeah, I'm kind of, I'm thinking back and just wondering how much, how much family history has been lost. Not only just in my own, 

[00:29:41] Connie Inukai: Right. Well, I encourage people. I encourage people to, to search through it and to get it down before it's too late, you know, So I think that.

[00:29:52] what I'm doing, I love this project. I absolutely love it. Um, because I'm helping. 

[00:29:59] Greg Mills: Yeah.

[00:30:00] Connie Inukai: lot of work for me, but, I absolutely love it because, I think so many people want to, tell their life story. 

[00:30:09] Greg Mills: Yeah, I can see where the, this would make a huge difference and kind of bring families together.

[00:30:15] Connie Inukai: Exactly, exactly. That's what I think it does. And. A lot of, what I'm trying to do is, appeal to adult children, like in their forties to go talk to their parents, or if they still have their grand grandparents talk to them, because I can't imagine a better gift to give to somebody that you love and they want to share their history. 

[00:30:40] That's right. Your selfie. So I absolutely love what I'm doing. And so my target market is people my age, because I think that we should not be forgotten. So that's why I invented tip and split because there are so many gifts you can give to young people, but this is a great gift to give to an older person and write your selfie is the best gift I think you could ever give to a person. 

[00:31:07] Greg Mills: Now, do you have any plans for any other products or inventions going 

[00:31:12] Connie Inukai: I have a few that I'm thinking of, but right now I'm kind of busy. 

[00:31:17] Greg Mills: I can see that.

[00:31:19] Connie Inukai: I think if you're an inventor, you're always getting ideas. Right now I'm actually working with somebody who find me on LinkedIn and she likes what I'm doing and she wants to be an inventor. So we're working together on her project. I'm her invention.

[00:31:34] She's only 40 years old and I'm so honored that she found me. She read some of my posts about being an inventor. And so now we talk once a week and we're getting her. To produce her invention and I kind of want her to work with Stephen Key and we'll see if that happens. 

[00:31:56] Greg Mills: Can you talk a little, just a little bit about what inventing has meant for you personally and how it's changed your life?

[00:32:03] Connie Inukai: I love saying I'm an inventor. Okay. I was a teacher, you know, that's fine, but I love being an inventor because it's creative, and it's something that not many people say. Since you know, Robert bear, did you know about his book? I have all these things that I was going to tell you about.

[00:32:21] I have his book, which is, 

[00:32:24] Greg Mills: smoke. If I remember correctly, you're in his book. If I 

[00:32:28] Connie Inukai: Yeah, he quoted me. I love what I said. I was the shortest one. Oh, the shortest quote in this whole book, but this sums up about why I like inventing. 

[00:32:41] Greg Mills: Yeah.

[00:32:42] Connie Inukai: It says when we were children, we were curious about things around us. When does this change? Why does it have to change? I'm proud to be a trailblazer among women in ventures and never lose my sense of curiosity. Does that answer your question? Why do I like it? 

[00:33:04] Greg Mills: Yeah, that does. That's a great quote, by the way.

[00:33:08] Connie Inukai: He wrote in this book to me. Thanks, Connie, for contributing trailblazer, short, sweet. And to the point I love it. Robert. 

[00:33:18] Greg Mills: Yeah, he's a good guy.

[00:33:19] Connie Inukai: He's great. He's great. You know, and so I love what he does.

[00:33:24] He supports and Venters all over. So you said, how has it changed my life? Look at, I get to meet incredible other inventors. I get to meet people like you, who are doing incredible things. I get to meet people all over the place, so I just absolutely love. Uh, what I'm doing. 

[00:33:42] I'm nothing special, but the fact that I'm doing it at my age, I think is good. 

[00:33:48] Greg Mills: Yeah, I'm not going to agree with you on that, about your being nothing special, but I will agree that what you're doing is good.

[00:33:56] Connie Inukai: Thank you. I think people, I think that I want to be an inspiration to other older people knowing that just because of our chronological age, it doesn't mean that we have to stop. And as I said in Robert Behr's book, why do we have to stop in curious, children? They're always asking, curious questions around about everything.

[00:34:17] I ask those questions. You ask those questions. You read something and you ask questions about it. And I think that's a wonderful trait to have. 

[00:34:28] Greg Mills: Yeah, just to never stop, being curious.

[00:34:31] Connie Inukai: So you and I are very similar that we both like that sense of curiosity. So you asked me what how's it changed my life. Well, it's made me feel like I can still be curious.

[00:34:44] and help other people. Through my curiosity. 

[00:34:49] Greg Mills: Okay, let's get ready to wrap this up. What's what's the best way for somebody to contact you or to check you out?

[00:34:57] Connie Inukai: Anybody can check me out on grandma 

[00:35:02] It's like an umbrella. It has, tip and split and write your selfie so they can see about both of my preps. Okay.

[00:35:11] And if anybody wants to, can find my email address on there, Anybody who wants my book, just email me and, foot bus, bus tips. We use easy buzz tips, and I will send you gladly send you the PDF of my book and hope that it helps you. 

[00:35:32] Greg Mills: All right. What's the number one piece of advice that you can give for our listeners?

[00:35:38] Connie Inukai: The number one, please give advice. Okay. This is a quote that I read when I first got started and it's by Aaron Hanson and it says, what if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly? Is that not incredible? 

[00:35:58] Greg Mills: Yeah, that's the other way of looking at it. People overestimate, what they can do in one year, but they underestimate what they can do in five. 

[00:36:05] Connie Inukai: So I think that you should just try things out, especially at my age, I have nothing to lose zero to lose. I'm having fun every bit of the way. 

[00:36:17] Greg Mills: Okay.

[00:36:17] Connie Inukai: say if people have an idea. Go figure out how to do it. If anyone wants to connect with me, I love giving advice to people, send your idea to me.

[00:36:27] I will walk you through it. And I don't charge like as a people do, my advice is always for. 

[00:36:36] Greg Mills: Yeah, the inventors I've talked to. Most of them were like you, they've been very warm and very open they're willing to pay it forward. 

[00:36:44] Connie Inukai: Right, I think that.

[00:36:45] , we are, a breed of, people who like to do things and we're all struggling and I've been through it so I can help people avoid some of the pictures. 

[00:36:56] Greg Mills: Okay, well, that's a wrap. Thank you, Connie, for being a guest on entrepreneurs over 40. 

[00:37:01] Connie Inukai: You've been wonderful. Thank you so much.