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The Entrepreneurial Brain At Work

Hi gang,

Life is funny.  I mean, it’s just a laugh out loud riot, isn’t it?

As an entrepreneur, I share the same DNA as you have.  Recite with me:  1) luck is the residue of persistence 2) make the best of any situation   3) keep both eyes on your goals.

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I’ve been repeating those three things to myself all year, because, like many of you, it’s been a rough one.  For 8 years I’ve been the CEO of Inflatable Madness, an online seller of dvd’s, books, video games, and cd’s.  My company grew very quickly to be one of the largest sellers on eBay, and later Amazon.  Alas, this year saw the triple-witching of tightening credit, shrinking product offerings, and lower used resale prices in the media category, which just crushed us.  Inflatable Madness is shutting off the lights at the end of the year.

But, like I said, life is funny.   I have been very fortunate to have met a lot of great people and companies in the past 8 years, and I was immediately offered a position with one of my friendly competitors when they found out I was in trouble.  So, I am now the VP of Business Development at Noram International. They are a huge Amazon and eBay seller, and the company behind Amazons trade-in program. You’ll be hearing a lot more about them, believe me.

Can entrepreneurs work for the man again?  Yes, under the right conditions.  What’s great for me is that the guy I work for knows exactly who I am and what I do, and so he lets me own my responsibilities for them as if it were my own business, which is just awesome.  The moral here for me is that 1) luck is the residue of persistence – if I had not spent years meeting the competition, going to trade shows to introduce myself to everybody, learning about the industry, even blogging for Startupnation, I would never have known Noram and would never had been given this great opportunity. Am I lucky? nope.

Life is funny.

The other big change this year for me is that I finally took Rich Sloan’s (aka Mr. Startupnation) advice and started down the road of becoming more healthy.  Ironically,  the stress of what was happening to my business is what pushed me to try to distract myself from it.   In other words, 2) make the best of any situation.

I’m a big fella, and have been fighting a losing battle with my weight since high school, which was many moons ago.   This year, I got serious.  I hired a personal trainer to hold me accountable.  I began to work out 5 days a week.  I designed a diet based on the successful parts of the many diets I have tried in the last 10 years.  Turns out, losing weight really ISN’T rocket science!  I just take it a day at a time, because thats all I can handle anyway.

In the past 9 months I have lost 75 pounds.  It would probably surprise you to know that I actually get annoyed when people congratulate me on my weight loss.  For me, that is only halfway to my goal, and I am 3) keeping both eyes on my goal.  Can you imagine someone climbing Mt. Everest and being told halfway up how great he/she was doing?  Or running a marathon and being clapped on the back at mile 13?  Oh, hell no.  The goal is to climb this mountain once and for all, and then turn around and pull others up.

I am very excited to be back blogging at Startupnation.com.  I will certainly still blog about important E-Commerce developments, and I will also focus on Lifeplanning.  I feel it’s important to have a balanced, healthy life, and my goal is to prove to you why that is so.

-Kevin Harmon

About the Author: Kevin Harmon

Kevin Harmon is a freelance e-commerce business consultant and blogger. He is the former CEO of Inflatable Madness, LLC, one of the largest DVD and CD sellers on eBay and Amazon, and Red Shorts Media, LLC, which operated multiple e-commerce media buyback websites.

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