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Monday, August 02, 2010

BLUE THING #5: Featured Company of the Week

Featured Company of the Week is brought to you by The National Networker, CEO Space Northeast and Rob Adams (pictured here).


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The Making of a Millennial Entrepreneur

The highlighted Company of this Week is focused on a member of the millennial generation. Born in March of 1990 Joshua is a “poster child” for the millennials. According to the Pew Research Center this generation is confident, connected and open to change. Many believe that as these young people mature they will change and become more like their predecessors. On the other hand there are those who have studied them deeply and have come to the conclusion that as they grew up their minds were actually hard wired differently and therefore think differently than any generation before them. With that understanding it is not expected that they will be changing in the way they think any time in the near future.

I believe the best way to help you understand this millennial is to obtain an awareness of how he grew up. From that, you can make up your own mind.

Let’s look at the various things that could have an external affect on this young man. First, he grew up with his home intact. His father and mother were both teachers and are still happily married. They raised him in a Christian environment yet he was not sheltered from the influence of how others believed. At present time, he is working out his own path for what he personally believes but he would be the first to tell you that he has a solid foundation of what he accepts as his basic value system.

His parents chose to place him in a private Christian school for grade school after being involved in a preschool that allowed him to creatively express himself and have fun. This actually caused him great embarrassment in that he could only sing his ABC’s while the others in his school were already reading. To say the least he came home crying because he felt he was so far behind all the other kids. First grade was a most difficult time for him.

He and his parents were determined to change this deficiency by continuing to work with him through the summer after his horrendous education beginning. It wasn’t that he was made to do “school” all summer but his parents did continue to work with his reading skills to assist him with the hopes that he could catch up as he entered the second grade.

Upon the first day in grade 2 his teacher had each child read aloud. When all were finished, to everyone’s surprise, the teacher exclaimed to the class that Joshua was the best reader of all. That was the beginning of a new future for this young man for without realizing it that affirmation created a “winning” attitude within him. He came to realize that by placing that extra effort in what you do, you will see the rewards. From that day forward Joshua was one of the top students in his class so much so that at the end of 5th grade he won the award for top student in all 4 major subject areas; English, Social Studies, Math and Science.

It was also in 5th grade that Joshua began making decisions as to the direction of his future. One evening after dinner he stood up, pushed his chair in at the table, cleared his throat and said: “I’d like to make an announcement. I’m going to go to MIT and become an inventor, no, I going to be a famous inventor.” It was at that point in time that his parents determined that they would support him in every way they could to assist him in his learning process. One of the first big moves to support him was to work with him when wanted to buy a laptop computer. They explored for months only to purchase a $250 used laptop. This was the beginning of the next phase of Joshua’s life for this was more than a toy to him. This was a learning tool and he spent countless hours learning with this small computer.

It was at the end of 5th grade that there was a family decision made to change schools. Joshua was going to a new middle school. As fate would have it, he was selected through an open lottery to become part of a new charter middle school.

In sixth grade he had become so computer savvy that his teachers asked him to assist in developing the class website. With this, he was asked to take part in a school display at the end of the year as the state charter schools were exhibiting their “best” during a state charter school fair. In seventh grade he won the talent contest for juggling. As he began eight grade he had already outgrown his second computer and worked a deal with his parents to be able to purchase a laptop that he had researched and determined all the components before it was constructed. By the middle of his 8th grade he had already determined that he wished to focus on learning more about computers. He applied for a special technical school that was offering computer engineering and was quickly accepted.

For the four years of high school he concentrated his studies with computer engineering. He would come home with his two inch thick books on A+ Certification and various Windows certifications but what was just as amazing was the other two inch thick books he brought home: HTML Codes and Linux Certification. Why was this so amazing? These were not required school texts for his computer engineering. These were books he bought to learn on his own.

In his junior year he believed he was good enough to take on the state competition for Web Design only to be crushed and to be sent home with no awards. But this only made him more determined and in his senior year, he took the honor of winning first place.

All of this would seem to be the beginning of a great future for any student but this was only one part of what was taking place in his life as he attended high school.

At the age of 14 he began attending a teen entrepreneurial program each summer. This program had many outstanding components. Besides assisting him to learn the skills and mindsets of being an entrepreneur he also learned much about himself and how to communicate with others. Each year as he attended you could watch him grow in his ability to communicate with adults. This became an invaluable asset to him when, in his junior year he was selected from his computer engineering class to work after school at the state department of transportation in their computer department.

At first, Josh was hired to assist with the computer repairs. But, it was soon learned that he had great skills in web work. He spent the best of one year working in two departments being paid to do what he would have spent his own time learning. He came away from this experience with two major lessons. A major appreciation for those who had assisted him in his personal and professional growth along with learning that he could never spend his life working in that type of environment. You see, they would assign him major projects. Projects that were designed to take several months he would accomplish in weeks. But that wasn’t the biggest lesson. What really caught his attention was the pace at which the average adult worked. In his own words: “I can’t imagine continuing to work in this environment as a job. The people work like snails. When I have a task at hand I want to work hard and get the job done, not see how long I can stretch the job out.”

The day after Josh graduated from high school ( top ten in his class with a Masters of Technology Diploma) he started his own company, “Bluebot Web Design”. He had organized the business according to needed talents and hired 4 other computer engineering students from his high school to work with him. He worked through the summer developing his business.

When fall came, he began his freshman year of college. Yes, he continued in his computer engineering. But what developed was not expected. He was more focused on his business developing web pages. He would often stay up through the night working on projects only to struggle going to his 8 am classes. To say the least, college was getting in his way of developing his business.

Through his many summers of entrepreneurial school he had developed relationships with adults from across the country. He found that to him there was a concentration of computer and internet gurus all located in Southern California. So, at the end of his freshman year of college, he announced that he was packing his bags and moving to Escondido, CA. It took him two weeks to put all in order and at that point he loaded his car with his computers and what else he could stuff into his Toyota Camry and spent the next 4 days driving across the country on his own, an adventure of a lifetime.

Did his parents want to see him go? Not really, but we gave him room to make his own decision and spread his wings.

It has been a little over one year now. He has learned how to “survive” on his own. He has taken on the many lessons of growing a business and has grown into a self directed entrepreneur. He has rebranded himself. He is now known as The Web Rock Star ( He has developed a team of mentors through the entrepreneurial organization that he had grown up with. He is learning how to price his work to be competitive and make a good living. With only one year behind him he is probably ten years plus ahead of others his age. He has set major goals in his life and there is no doubt that he is accomplishing them.

Behind it all, as parents we have pledged to be there to support him in any way we can. He comes back to the East Coast to visit during holidays but what is just as important is that he has the opportunity to grow his business while visiting us five times each year as we all attend the same entrepreneurial forums.

The reason I, Rob Adams, know so much about this millennial is because he is my son, Josh Adams of San Diego, CA. His mother, Cheryl, and I are very proud to see how he has become his own self directed, self reliant man. He has his challenges, just like any entrepreneur. But, he knows that no matter what we are there to support him. We have watched our son, Josh, develop his own business. You can decide for yourself if he is a “poster child” for the millennials.

If you ever have a need for a web designer who has extreme expertise in cutting edge technology, an expert in social media and SEO technologies, who has a unique creativity as a designer, and who adds that millennial flair where he positions a website first when doing a search; you may just want to consider checking out Josh Adams, The Web Rock Star at Moving from interruption marketing to attraction marketing!

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The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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