Beyond the Lemonade Stand: 7 Kid Entrepreneurs Share Their Secrets of SuccessCarolyn Crummey
Daniel “D” Katz, Founder and CEO
A natural-born serial entrepreneur and fitness fanatic, 18-year-old Daniel “D” Katz has paved a different and uniquely inspired path for himself. Choosing to forego a traditional college career to pursue his dream of “redefining natural”, Daniel founded D’s Naturals, an innovative line of delicious plant-based foods designed to fuel an active lifestyle with clean ingredients and no added sugar or artificial ingredients, in 2014. His vision was to pioneer nutrient-rich foods that would transform the natural food space.
“Being an entrepreneur is the greatest thing in the world, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.” says Daniel. Daniel was born with an inherent drive to innovate and started his first company at 12 years old, selling electronics on eBay. He also launched several other business ventures throughout high school, including buying and selling real estate and automobiles at 15 years old (before he could even drive!). His passion led him to graduate early and attend college at 16. But just three months in, his heart told him he was meant to be an entrepreneur and he chose to leave college to pursue his dreams.
“When I founded D’s Naturals this year, my vision was to pioneer and redefine what natural means in the food space. This all sounds great on paper, but the truth is that I’ve had to fail many times to get to the position I’m at now.” says Daniel.
But failure, including losing capital on bad consultants to throwing out nearly a million unit production run due to mislabeling, is a process that most entrepreneurs embrace and use to fuel their fire, and Daniel is no different. He’s realized that in order to succeed he must fail and he’s used every failure as an opportunity to learn and gain more confidence and motivation to come back stronger than ever. The reward for Daniel is knowing he’s creating his own success and helping people live healthier lives at the same time.
Daniel’s advice to other kid entrepreneurs:
“You have to inherently be driven and aggressive, and be willing to do the things that others aren’t willing to do; for example single-handedly calling every national retailer in the country to set up meetings with buyers, which is a tactic I used to secure national distribution for D’s Naturals in GNC. You have to be laser focused on your end goals, and obliterate anything standing in your way. One of the single greatest pieces of advice I can give is this: in order to succeed you need to learn to get comfortable being uncomfortable.”