With millions of dollars in sales and over 35,000 possitive feedback on ebay by the age of 24, Corey Kossack is the top man to come and see if you want to retire very early from a ebay business!
What inspired you to create Koss DVD?
I was sitting in my college dorm room shopping for a digital camera memory card that I was going to give as a Christmas gift. At the time, I was unaware that anyone operated a real business on eBay. I noticed a seller who sold hundreds of these memory cards every week, and was clearly doing more than getting rid of his old junk. Knowing that this must have been a business for him, I grew curious and wanted to find out what it would take to start an eBay business of my own. I began the research, got stuck many times along the way, but eventually broke through and was one of the earlier sellers to scale a business in the DVD/video game space.
What challenges did you face when starting Koss DVD?
It is difficult to make money in an industry dominated by giant retailers (Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Amazon, etc.). Starting out, you are insignificant in the market, and there is little reason for suppliers to want to work with you unless you are going to pump out huge volume for them. Securing my first supplier was difficult, but what was even more difficult was securing pricing terms that would leave enough room for me to earn a profit on each unit sold. I had to pump up my volume instantly to prove I was worth my supplier’s time.
What single factor would you say helped you the most to get to where you are today?
Networking, mentor–ship and an intense desire to succeed – A major turning point in my life was taking an entrepreneurship class in school taught by a “non-academic” entrepreneur who had founded a wide array of companies, teaching pro-bono. I had already been in business for a year and done $500,000 in sales, but I wanted something bigger. He opened my eyes to a world if possibilities, and now that I knew I truly could do anything, the only thing that could stop me was me. The summer after I took the class, I wrote “eBay Millionaire or Bust” and began the publishing process (I published myself) and started creating ProfitBuilderSoftware.com.
Did you ever think you would be so successful?
I always knew I was different than most people in the world and that I had the power to achieve anything I wanted to. I did not know, however, that I would get interested at all in entrepreneurship.
If you could go back in a time machine to when you first started in business, what business related advice would you give yourself?
I would have told myself to find advisers, mentors and surround myself with other entrepreneurs instantly. Had I known what I know now, mostly learned from other people, not my own experience, I would have scaled Koss DVD much faster and taken advantage of the market when it was really hot.
Corey Speaking Infront of 2000 People at Ebay Live
Do you think that entrepreneurialism is in your blood? Or can it be learned?
You need one thing before you begin as an entrepreneur: the desire to do it!
If you have the desire (intense desire) to do it, the rest can be learned. If you choose to be an apathetic person and want to coast through life, entrepreneurship won’t work for you. If you want something more significant, challenging and unique, entrepreneurship is the way to go.
Is there anyone you look up to and model yourself after?
As part of my work with The Club E Network and a documentary on entrepreneurship I am beginning this coming summer, I have done significant research on the great entrepreneurs of the world. I admire Howard Schultz’s (Starbucks) passion and dedication to what he believes in. He took something ordinary and reinvented it. I also look up to Richard Branson (Virgin) because he has started companies in virtually every industry and seems to be having a lot of fun doing it. Last but not least, I’d say Steve Jobs. Apple has redefined so many things, again and again. Without Jobs, I wouldn’t be typing the answers to this interview on my iPhone during my flight back from Philadelphia to Phoenix.
Take bits and pieces from the great ones, and mold them all in together to something that suits your personality and vision for what you want to do.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
“Always share”. This means, don’t hog all the limelight, don’t try and retain 100% of your company, and ALWAYS reach out to other entrepreneurs for help. This might be people who will give you advice, become your strategic partner or possibly an equity partner in your company. You can’t do it alone, so don’t try. “We are stronger together than we are apart”. Don’t be worried that people are going to steal your idea, simply be prepared to do it bigger, better and faster than anyone else in the world.
What is the best thing about being a successful young entrepreneur?
Knowing that I have at least 50 years or so left to change the world. And in my case, having the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the top entrepreneurship experts in the world.
Corey – Most people will know you as the founder of ProfitBuilderSoftware.com, Koss DVD and author of “eBay Millionaire or Bust”, but are there any new projects you are working on that would be of interest to our readers?
Absolutely. My latest and greatest venture is called The Club E Network (www.ClubENetwork.com), which I co-founded with some of the World’s top entrepreneurship experts, including World-renowned author of “The E-Myth Revisited”, Michael Gerber, and host of CNBC’s “American Made”, Ingrid Vanderveldt. The Club E Network connects and empowers entrepreneurs all over the world. We do this through 3 primary things:
1) An online social network for entrepreneurs (www.ClubENetwork.com) – This is THE PLACE to go to get connected, get answers, buy and sell products and get inspiration from new, aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs.
2) Live “on-ground” Club E chapter meetings – meet in person with entrepreneurs from all walks of life, in the most diverse setting you will ever experience. At Club E meetings, you will see entrepreneurs in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, college students, high school students, stay-at-home Mom’s, corporate workers looking to break free, private investors, venture capitalists, journalists, and community leaders. This is NOT business networking, it is about spreading the entrepreneurial culture, helping each other and combining our collective resources to take businesses to success as quickly as possible. We have chapters in multiple cities and will be coming to a city near you! We are currently in Tempe and Phoenix Arizona, as well as Denver and Boulder Colorado. Coming soon will be Austin Texas, Atlanta, Philadelphia and New York City, among others.
3) Online TV programming for entrepreneurs –
We are creating the first television network fully dedicated to the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Watch how-to shows, reality shows, profiles on great entrepreneurs. Some of our shows will be hosted by entrepreneurial superstars such as Guy Kawasaki of Garage Technology Ventures, The Maloof Brothers of the Vegas Palms Casino and the Sacramento Kings, and more!
Every single person who reads this interview should go right now to www.ClubENetwork.com and register to join The Club E Network. It is absolutely 100% free and you will meet amazing entrepreneurs who will help transform your business. When you register, search for my name (Corey Kossack) and add me to your “People”. If you send me a message, I promise to respond.
And if you want to help start a Club E chapter in your city, let me know that too and I’ll connect you to the right people.
What are your plans for the future? Do you believe in goals (for example anything that you want to do before age 30)?
I want Club E Network to build the World’s largest online and on-ground community of entrepreneurs in the World – within 2 years. A very ambitious feat, but very do-able in my mind.
My second goal is to give my parents a very comfortable retirement in 2-3 years.
I do believe in goals, but also understand that nothing works out the way you think it will. If you keep the big dream alive, you will get there, but it likely won’t happen the way you planned