Who Knew You Could Learn So Much from Fruit

By: SheilaMielcarek
At the early age of five years old, Cameron started his first business selling tomatoes door-to-door for a hefty price of $1 each. He received just as many No-es as he did Yes-es but unlike most people, he took the rejection as a challenge. When he received a ‘No", he asked why and many times got to a ‘yes’. He learned early on to “believe in yourself, trust your instincts and very importantly, learn to sell yourself".

From Home Alone to Home at The Plaza Hotel
At eight years old, Cameron saw the movie Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. A great deal of the movie had been filmed at the Plaza Hotel owned by Donald Trump in New York City. After seeing the movie, he struck up a deal with his dad. The deal included a trade of straight A’s for a trip to New York with a stay at the Plaza Hotel. Without his parents knowing, Cameron wrote Donald Trump to tell him he would be coming to Manhattan. He did not get a response in the mail, however, Donald had a surprise for Cameron when they arrived at the Plaza – a stay in the same room the movie was filmed and an exclusive shopping spree at FAO Schwartz. His parents were stunned. Cameron sent Donald a thank you note and enclosed a card telling him to keep watch because he will be the next “Donald Trump".

Cheers & Tears
A few lemonade stands and commissioned yard sales later, Cameron started his first real business. At the age of nine, his parents gave him his first computer and printer and from it he created Cheers & Tears – a customized stationary company that also sold greeting and business cards. He sold his products to relatives and neighbors. Everyone loved his products and told their friends and soon his business grew. From it’s success he learned the power of word of mouth marketing.

The Power of the Internet
By age eleven, Cameron learned the power of the Internet and eBay and began his next venture in selling his sister’s Beanie Baby Collection. Before long, Cameron grew Cheers & Tears Beanie Babies to become the second largest Beanie Baby retailer on the Internet, profiting $50K in one year From this experience, he learned to start small - find and start businesses that are low-cost to operate and can easily generate word of mouth marketing.

His next business was also an Internet based business offering free email accounts which blocked junk mail. From it, he created tens of thousands of users and later sold the business. Looking for something new to do, Cameron started MyEZMail which was a company that would provide an e-mail forwarding service where subscribers could keep their email addresses confidential.

The Next Michael Dell
All of these successful businesses brought Cameron much deserved notoriety. As a result, he was nominated to receive the Junior Achievement “Young Entrepreneur of the Year" Award. At age 14, he became 1 of 3 finalists from over 100,000 applicants. They were looking for a teenage Michael Dell and Cameron had all the qualifications.

Although he didn’t win, there were many more good things in store for this young entrepreneur. We’ll follow Cameron’s story in part two of this article.

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