Helen Cameron, Property Developer

Building premium residential properties from a very difficult start in life

My family created the original formula for bleach! I come from a line of inventors and I’ve always had the entrepreneurial spark. I just didn’t know what to do with it…

I was bullied relentlessly through primary and secondary school. I’d sit in tears – not wanting to get on the bus. Having lost all self-esteem and confidence, I suffered with severe eating disorders that lasted for around 10 years.

Giving birth to my son on my 31st birthday was my turning point. No matter what goes on in life, I wanted him to see that you can choose a better future.

I believe that you either want to be a boss, or have a boss… It’s always one or the other. In my case, I was determined to become successfully self-employed.

Over the years, I’d been to college, become an agricultural market reporter and then moved into estate agency work. Viewing all the fancy houses gave me a vision of where I wanted to be.

Pooling inheritance money and my savings, I built a seven-bedroomed house on my dad’s farm – relaunching myself as Helen the property developer. I lived in it for a few years; then sold it with a tax-free profit of around £250,000. I used the money to buy a house in Spain to prove to myself and my son what you can do with hard work.

I’m going to earn another tax-free profit of just under £250,000 when I sell my second house, which I’m living in now with my family. Work is soon to start on my third. My time at the estate agents and my own vision has taught me how to get top-end value by spending the least amount of money.

As well as property developing, I do all the paperwork for the family farm and care for my mum full time, who has a brain tumour and heart failure.

My ability to get through my difficult start in life gave me all my ambition, drive and resolve to become a successful entrepreneur.

When you have been at the worst point possible before death, you have all the determination and strength in the world never to go there again.

Helen Cameron