Lemaster recalled the times Carter would speak up in math class to say: “I don’t get it. I don’t learn that way.”
This reaction is unheard of at this age, she emphasized.
“Usually, parents would say something like that about their kids. To learn how an assembly works and the concept of profit and loss — they would scare most adults off,” she quipped.
Lemaster, who’s taught for six years, attributes much of Carter’s success and bravery to a heightened self-confidence. Still, he remains likable to his classmates, who “completely support him,” she said.
Mindful traits among young entrepreneurs
“Some individuals at a very young age have a genius tendency,” said Kathryn Lopez, a Sonoma Family Therapy associate. “It’s a rarity and a stand-out gene.”
Lopez pointed to Mozart as a child, who composed many time-tested piano compositions.
The family therapist believes child entrepreneurs breed a modeling characteristic that helps them keep the momentum of their ideas going through support of the family structure and especially the parents.
“Some parents encourage those (genius) values to get deep and get creative,” she said. “If the parents weren’t in the picture, it’s hard to know what the opportunities would be.”
It also helps for young entrepreneurs to have the space and venue to create and be with their thoughts. From there, having the temperament to be self-assured helps spawn the idea and turn it into reality, she noted.
“There’s not a one-size-fits-all with the genius component. Even with the genius gene, the deal breaker is the family support there on the front lines to keep the ball in the air,” she said.
Another Global Entrepreneurship Monitor finding: one-third of the entrepreneur start-ups were initiated by non-whites, many who were influenced by the need to counter a perceived lack of opportunity on the job front. The study proves the public sees being an entrepreneur as “a viable career choice.”
Political is the personal
Ozzy Jimenez has double-downed on his proud Hispanic heritage and sexual orientation to point out his ambition to better himself and his community.
The founder of the Noble Folk café began his quest to ignore the job market 11 years ago at age 22.
On the first date with his now life and business partner, Christian Sullberg, Jimenez was asked what “I wanted to do with my life.” Hence, the unique cross between a coffeehouse, café and pastry shop was formed out of Healdsburg.
Like Carter, Jimenez’s father shared the entrepreneur spirit in his carpet cleaning operation.
The millennial soon learned that he “needed to survive” and make it “on my own,” he explained.
“Once I saw the (2009 economic) crash, I knew the system isn’t working on behalf of (millennials),” he said.
The stage was set for the duo to start a business together that has thrived and expanded into four Sonoma County locations.
“Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely life. Fortunately for me, I have people around me who support me,” Jimenez said. “People want to support a business with ethos.”
That ethos translates into the altruistic nature of wanting to give back to a community who supports you.
That’s why he stepped in July 7 to fill the Healdsburg City Council seat vacated by former Mayor Leah Gold. She resigned due to a public outcry that she failed to help improve racial relations through the police department.
“I have ties here. I love my city and genuinely care about it,” Jimenez said.
Key to making it big
Chris Stewart is quite familiar with the long, rewarding path to successful entrepreneurship.
Like Carter, the 60-year-old founder and chief operating officer of Pocket Radar Inc. in Santa Rosa started his quest about 40 years ago to create and run his own business at a very young age.
“I started inventing at 10 years old,” he told the Business Journal. “When all the other kids were reading comic books, I was reading the biography of Thomas Edison.”
He followed Edison’s pursuits, along with other great inventors such as Tesla — as in Nikola, the inventor — not the car or its maker Elon Musk. The Serbian-American engineer’s inventions were traced to the AC power system, refrigeration motors and even having a hand in remote control technology.
“Tesla made more of an impact,” he said.
Stewart grew up in a rural Appalachian area where he quickly ruled out any desire to work in the coalmines.
“I always had a plan. I knew that guys who started their own companies could control their own destinies,” he said.
Between his studies in a vocational electronics program and attendance at Ohio State, Stewart pieced together a path that led to pocket size radar guns that pitchers use to gauge the speed of their throws, among other products. During the coronavirus crisis, “many minor league pitchers have called because they feel the need to keep up with their training” regimens.
The self-made design engineer cites luck, drive and creativity as crucial factors to his success. This means to make it has led him to Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies before opening Invention Planet LLC and Pocket Radar. He also works as a volunteer faculty member at Sonoma State where he lectures in courses on electrical engineering and business as a Small Business Entrepreneur in Residence in the university’s hub for enterprise thinking.
His ambition serves as his greatest asset, he insists.
“A lot of people have ideas then sit on the couch and play video games. I’ve tried to build a long-term vision,” Stewart said. “Anyone with the right gumption will make it happen.”
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