Ethan Esparza has had a thirst for entrepreneurship from a young age.
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade—and make your dreams come true. In April 2007, Edina native Ethan Esparza was featured in this magazine as a young entrepreneur selling lemonade. Esparza was dressed to impress, wearing a suit and a tie and stationed on the side of the road near 50th & France when he was only 12 years old. His brand? Keeping Edina residents refreshed and hydrated with fresh lemonade on a hot summer day.
At the time, Esparza also wanted to fund his lifestyle of toys, baseball cards and video games, but his dad instilled his work ethic in him at a young age. Esparza notes that his dad always told him that if he wanted something, he must work for it—so he did, making a business out of it.
From there, Esparza’s entrepreneurial spirit set sail. But lemonade wasn’t going to quench his thirst for success for too long. Now, 15 years later, Esparza owns his own real estate business and is still determined as ever.
In his current business, he works on the lead management side of real estate. “I have a team of four inside sales agents, and we go into Realtor CRMs [customer relationship management systems] and help [real estate brokerages] grow, really taking the time to find [individuals who] are looking to buy and looking to sell houses,” Esparza says. “We really utilize our technology to help millions of dollars of revenue come through the door for them.”
Esparza has agents based out of Hawaii, California, New York and Virginia, but he works out of his office in Edina. Besides the nitty-gritty side of real estate, Esparza says his favorite part of his job is receiving pictures of his agents’ clients in their new homes, keys in hand and big smiles on their faces.
“Since owning that lemonade stand, everything I’ve done has been in [the] form of owning my own business,” Esparza says. Prior to his current business, he says he also owned his own car detailing business and window cleaning business. “The lemonade stand really made me realize what I wanted to do,” he says. “I think what’s really most important to me, though, is the fact that I’ve helped people create income for themselves.”
While Esparza’s success and dreams of creating his own schedule and helping others are a reality, he mentions he wouldn’t be where he was without his parents’ motivation and support. (After all, it was his mother who actually made the lemonade all those years ago.) Esparza says his dad, “has always been the person that inspired me to do whatever I want to do and to never stop believing [in] myself. He really showed me that, no matter the outcome and no matter if my [endeavors] succeed or fail, I should never give up. He’s the one person I really aspire to be.”