I have previously posted how I meet some amazing people at the Superconference 2007. (where I also met tim). One of the most amazing and upcoming entrepreneurs that I had followed was Cameron Johnson. Cameron has an amazing success story as well as even more potential for growth. Looking back at his accomplishments throughout this book it is just amazing. Starting with a computer, a printer, and Print Shop Deluxe he formed Cheers & Tears printing Co, which was the stepping stone for more to come. Cameron built over 12 successful business all before he was 21! He made his first million before graduating high school, and has done it by starting businesses that require little to no money and have high profits.
Unlike most of the web today, Cameron explains in his book that it doesn’t take a million dollars to start a business. You SHOULD start small around $50 or what you can afford. This book is filled with some amazing stories and makes you think, hey I can do that.
I got to hear Cameron speak a couple of weeks ago and not only enjoyed it, but he has inspired me to focus on the small businesses in a niche market that I can build now. I always have idea about a car company as well as a large business, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, so start small and go up.
I really enjoyed reading this book and have 2 stories that just blew me away. Cameron is only a year younger then me and well, there is a lot of history that I remember that they discuss in the book. (like beanie babies and Home Alone 2). So the first story is what Cameron did, he wrote a letter to Donald Trump when he was 8 years old basically talking about how he was going to be going to NYC and staying at the Plaza Hotel (which Trump owned at the time). Most people don’t know this but Trump made a cameo movie appearance in Home Alone 2. I remember this because when I went to see it, I was up in Vermont at the time and other then myself and my dad, no one got the joke.
Anyway, Cameron wrote the letter and Trump upgraded their stay (for FREE) to the exact room where Kevin stayed in the movie. He also set them up with a tour of FAO Schwartz and gave Cameron a Talkboy. (the recording device used in the movie, yea I had one of those) Most people would think twice of mailing a letter to someone important (Trump), but Cameron didn’t and it worked. I remember doing this activity in the 7th and 8th grade. I mailed a letter to John DeLorean and another to a VP at Sony. I received a letter from Sony, but unfortunately not from Mr. DeLorean. Thinking positive will get you far in life, and I too will be looking up to Cameron trying to be successful.
The second amazing story that I found is he has built so much on the web, yet knows little to no HTML. Here is someone who understands hiring good people and managing the work rather then doing it himself. To me this is very important because I do know a lot about the web, but there is even more out there I don’t know. I know that my time is important, but I also need to start to think bigger and hire a developer to work with me rather then do it myself. This might sound strange to people, but I have a technology background, but I want to build a business, not code for the rest of my life. Cameron launched a email forwarding service called MyEZMail. With a $2,500 investment and hiring a developer to build it, once it was launched, the only cost was only a $15 hosting charge, so the profit margin was huge.
This is what I am trying to do in life, build something (a service) that offers a variety of features and would be useful for the next couple of years, but does not require the “upkeep” or need to “fix it”. For me this is a great concept for a source of passive income. Build something or invest into 1 thing, and then each day/month/year get paid doing nothing, is just awesome. Expect to see a lot of this type of thinking and discussions on my blog in the next couple of months.
So if your an entrepreneur or a young kid who wants to start something, take a look at this book, it really can help. I know the Appendix has a lot of great information, check it out. You can also take a look at cameron’s website.