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From Classroom to Boardroom: Meet The 23 Year Old Who Went From Mere High School Side-Hustles to Building a Powerhouse Enterprise

From Classroom to Boardroom- Meet The 23 Year Old Who Went From Mere High School Side-Hustles to Building a Powerhouse Enterprise
Photo Courtesy: Ariston Cortes IV

By: Seraphina Quinn

Dubbed by his family, friends, and peers as “The Don” or simply “Don”, Ariston Cortes IV epitomizes the entrepreneurial spirit, carving out a niche for himself in the competitive landscape of business. Hailing from Toronto, Canada, This 23-year-old’s  journey from eCommerce enthusiast to industry trailblazer is a testament to his unwavering determination and visionary leadership.

Cortes’s foray into entrepreneurship commenced during his high school years, at the age of 16, where he ventured into the realm of eCommerce with his first dropshipping store. What began as a mere side-hustle soon blossomed into a full-fledged venture, as Cortes honed his skills in online retail and digital marketing. It was during this time that he discovered his knack for sales and copywriting, securing his first client eight months into the business—a testament to his unwavering persistence, entrepreneurial drive, and constant willingness to learn.

Fuelled by his successes at an early age, Cortes made the decision to transition from a freelance copywriter to the founder of his own marketing agency at the age of 18. Thus, DonMedia was born—a testament to Cortes’s visionary approach and relentless pursuit of excellence. Under his astute leadership, DonMedia experienced exponential growth, generating seven figures in sales within its inaugural year—a feat that catapulted Cortes into the spotlight as a rising star in the industry.

Yet, Cortes’s ambitions extended far beyond the realm of online marketing. Recognizing the power of diversification, he strategically expanded DonMedia’s portfolio to encompass private equity and mergers and acquisitions. This bold move not only diversified the company’s revenue streams but also positioned DonMedia and it’s CEO as a dynamic player in the ever-evolving business landscape. The 23-year-old tycoon credits his unparallel competitiveness for the majority of his successes, citing that he believes, in the cutthroat world of business  you have to be willing to take it all in order to make your mark. 

Cortes’s impact reverberates far beyond the confines of DonMedia’s boardroom. His entrepreneurial prowess has been recognized through a litany of achievements, including facilitating substantial loans for clients and garnering nominations for esteemed awards such as Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Canadian SME Small Business Awards. Moreover, his contributions have been featured in prestigious publications, further cementing his status as an industry luminary.

Cortes’s journey is a testament to the boundless opportunities available to those who dare to dream and work tirelessly to turn those dreams into reality. His entrepreneurial endeavors serve as a blueprint for aspiring business leaders, highlighting the importance of resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to embrace failure as a stepping stone to success. Through his relentless pursuit of excellence, Cortes has not only carved out a niche for himself in the competitive business landscape but has also inspired countless individuals to pursue their own entrepreneurial ambitions with vigor and determination.

Furthermore, Cortes’s commitment to giving back to the community underscores his ethos of paying it forward. As he continues to scale new heights of success, he remains deeply invested in supporting aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds. Whether through mentorship programs, charitable initiatives, or educational outreach, Cortes remains steadfast in his mission to empower the next generation of leaders and change-makers, ensuring that the entrepreneurial spirit continues to thrive for years to come.

In addition to his professional endeavors, Ariston Cortes IV remains dedicated to personal growth and self-improvement. He actively seeks out opportunities for learning and development, whether through books, podcasts, or networking events. Cortes understands that continuous learning is essential for staying ahead in today’s fast-paced business world, and he leads by example.

In essence, Cortes’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of entrepreneurship—a journey marked by resilience, innovation, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. As he continues to push the boundaries of what is possible, Cortes serves as an inspiration to striving entrepreneurs all over, reminding us that with passion, perseverance, and a bold vision for the future, anything is attainable.

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