Future Business Legends Can Make their Mark at a Young Age per Michael Kmetz
Fortune might favor the bold, but it’s the older entrepreneur who eventually manages to find it. Statistics from the Harvard Business Review show, for example, that the average age of a successful startup founder is 45. People in their forties make up around a third of founders of the top 1% of startups by growth, and the chance of achieving extreme success with a startup rises until the mid-fifties.
Still, there are plenty of reasons that support the benefits of early-life business-mindedness. Around 16% of startup founders are under 30, and just shy of 10% of the highest-growing startup founders belong to this age group. However, it can also lead to life-changing experiences. It did for Michael Kmetz.
“My brothers and I sold custom Nerf darts on eBay in middle school,” Kmetz starts. “That’s what taught me a lot about customer service, marketing, and basic finances.” Being encouraged by his parents, he took those business skills and applied them to various endeavors. “The goal for me was always to start a company, so I wanted to maximize my earnings and save aggressively early on.”
Eventually, however, his business activity would lead Michael Kmetz to be recognized by the Texas Business Hall of Fame. “I was awarded the Future Business Legend Award in 2016 and had the opportunity to interact with Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger as a 21-year-old kid,” Kmetz explains. “When such an institution recognizes your unique background and shows belief in your potential, it can seriously change your life. It did mine, and I serve on the alumni advisory board, hoping to change others’.”
Besides getting the opportunity to hone his business skills, as well as the recognition for his achievements early on, Kmetz’s interest in business also helped him meet his future business partner, Jake Swaney. “Jake is very good with numbers, and you can always count on him to show up and give 100% effort, with utmost efficiency and consistency,” Michael Kmetz explains. “Having him as a business partner and friend has been awesome.”
Kmetz and Swaney have started businesses together and on their own. The latest endeavor, DH Capital, is a joint one. A real estate business, DH Capital will start off focusing on the multifamily commercial real estate space. Speaking about the unique offering of the new endeavor, Michael Kmetz said that real estate is a great hedge against market volatility, but there are plenty of people who don’t do it well.
“Many people want to get involved with real estate and start by renting out houses, and that’s a good start,” Kmetz explains. “However, you only have one tenant, and cash flow is limited compared to your time invested. On the other hand, you can be a part-owner of an apartment complex or storage facility with ten times the upside for a similar time investment.”
The role of Kmetz and his team is to find the right deal at the right time, with the eventual goal of reaching $1 billion in assets. That might seem like a tall order for the young entrepreneur, but he’s confident he’ll be able to do it. “I’ve been known to dream big,” Kmetz says. “But I can also make things happen.”