The Authentic Guy - Cameron Kauffman
Updated: Mar 28, 2022
I am Cameron and my Top Strength is being a Maximizer. I love to work towards always doing my best, being my best and bringing out the best in others. My brand: Being Present and Authentic. Bringing myself fully to may relationships and activities.
Top Gear Coach - Tell me about someone who had a big impact on you as a young man.
Cameron - After graduation from High School I worked in a Fine Arts and Collectibles store in Glendale, California. I was uncertain what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I worked for a Father and Son named Eric and Daniel. The store had a lot of old and rare books. Daniel worked in the store and his dad Eric was always available for assistance by phone. When I was alone in the store, I would call Eric about particular items and their values when customers had questions.
Towards the end of the summer I had decided to go away to college. Eric asked me to select a few special books and then invited me to visit him. I selected an old book and made my way to his home. His wife opened the front door and I heard that strong voice of a confident and successful man that I had heard so many times on the phone. As I entered the living room of his gorgeous home, I approached a frail man lying on a hospital bed. Eric extended his hand out to mine and asked me to show him the books I had selected. I only had one; "Friendship" by Hugh Black. We talked about friendship. He asked me questions about my next steps in life and gave me some fatherly advice. He took an interest in me. These were his last hours in life. He taught me something about character, courage and what it is to be a real man. It's a day I will always remember.
Top Gear Coach - What fear do you grapple with and how have you learned to deal with it?
Cameron - For most of my life I have struggled with the fear of failure. I think this goes way back to the uncertainty and insecurity I felt as a young boy when my father left. My mom did the best she could in raising three children. We moved and changed schools many times. I staked a more stable future on being the best I could and performing at the highest level in school and life. But that pain and visceral feeling stays with me today. I still have recurring dreams about not showing up, not doing the work and failing in life activities. Accepting that I am enough, that I do not need to always be good, or have the right solutions for everything has been a challenge for me. And yet I am beginning to feel more freedom and at peace as I am learning to let go of outcomes and embrace my weaknesses.
Top Gear Coach - Tell me about a special interest or hobby you have.
Cameron - At the age of about 10 I started flying kites over the vineyards in the back of my house in Napa Valley. I grew up with a lot of the "Wine Kids" in St. Helena. I have loved kites and have cultivated this interest as an adult. I also developed a great appreciation for wine ! I have a large collection of single, dual and quad line kites that are both fun and sometimes challenging. About 10 years ago, I was invited to a fly my kites at an annual kite and wind festival in Minden, Nevada. My wife and I have been invited back every year and enjoy returning to share our kites and enthusiasm with other kids young and old. For more information please visit coolkiter.com. I always love to teach people about kites and how to fly them.
Top Gear Coach - Describe the qualities of a best friend you have. What makes the friendship authentic?
Cameron - He is like a brother and a buddy to me. He understands me at a deep level, cares about my life and listens from his heart. We have fun together and laugh a lot. And sometimes cry and share our pain. He is a guy who I can completely trust. We share our joy and disappointments in life. I can be my most authentic self around him and that is something I treasure. I am fortunate to have a him as a friend.