Photo: Jeffrey Harmon

My business endeavors began when I took my education into my own hands.

After fifth grade (12 years old), I decided I wanted to attend a local private school. As the fifth child of nine, I understood that my parents could not pay for it. Nevertheless, I was a twelve year-old with a business plan: I wanted to sell our Idaho potatoes in Utah.

My dad had agreed to drive me. We went to the potato cellar and stacked five-hundred pounds of potatoes into our old Ford Taurus station wagon.

Upon arriving at my grandparent’s house in Provo, I muscled up some courage and walked over to the neighbor’s door. The large door had amber-patterned glass, the kind that I couldn’t see through. I peeked at the rumpled sales script I had written, took a breath, and knocked. A nice lady answered. I completely forgot my lines. Horrified, I looked down and read the script word for word: “Hi. I am selling fresh Idaho potatoes to earn money for school tuition. Are you interested?” I looked up nervously.

She smiled and asked, “How much are they?”

“They are $0.40 a pound,” I answered. She wanted 20 pounds! I ran back to the garage, weighed the potatoes, put them in a paper bag, carried them back, and exchanged them for $8.00. Tired, I still walked to every house in the neighborhood, selling and delivering heavy bags of potatoes until dark. I earned $110.00 that first day.

Work was hard, and rejection humiliating, but working to fund my own education made me responsible for what I learned. Moreover, my little potato business showed me how much my success depends on those around me. Without the generosity from my dad and grandparents, I couldn’t have sold a single potato.

How hard I work depends on me, but my success will always have a dependence on others, and that’s no small potatoes ;)

CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) at Orabrush

All Appearances (in reverse date order)

  1. Nov 14 2011

    SES Chicago 2011

    The Leading Search & Social Marketing Event

    Marketers and search engine optimization professionals attend SES Chicago each year to network and learn about topics such as PPC management, keyword research, SEO, social media, local, mobile, link building, duplicate content, multiple site…

Additional Info about Jeffrey Harmon

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