How this 15-year-old 'kidpreneur' makes more than $1 million a year

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Boca Raton student on "Shark Tank" tonight

Key lessons entrepreneurs of any age can learn from some of the most successful kid entrepreneurs.

As someone who started my own business seven years ago, I find myself continuously humbled and eager to learn about the successes of other entrepreneurs and how they do it.

Surprisingly, there is some science out there about entrepreneur DNA profiles -- which are essentially successful entrepreneurial personalities and traits compiled from real entrepreneurs. Some of us may just be built for this gig.

There is also the nurture side of the equation -- the environment in which we were raised. Mark Zuckerberg's dad cites some key tenets of how he helped raise Mark and the impact it may have had on Mark's success as an entrepreneur.

And then there's 15-year-old Rachel Zietz. The high school sophomore honors student and lacrosse player from Boca Raton, Florida, started her own durable line of lacrosse equipment at only 13 years of age in 2013.

See photos of Rachel and her business below:

7 PHOTOS
Young entrepreneur Rachel Zietz
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Young entrepreneur Rachel Zietz
SHARK TANK - Episode 722 A former business analyst from West Hollywood, California, aims to bring back the nostalgic joy of sleep-away camp to adults; two business partners from Smithtown, New York, and Wilmington, North Carolina, pitch a product that will protect your car from extreme weather conditions; a 15-year-old entrepreneur from Boca Raton, Florida, hopes to win over the Sharks with her redesigned lacrosse equipment; and a man from Fairfield, Ohio, presents a revamped video game version of the classic pinball machine for the home. Also, an update from Samantha Meis and Connor Riley and their coffee subscription experience, Misto Box, in which Mark Cuban invested in during season four, on Shark Tank, FRIDAY, MAY 13 (9:0010:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Tyler Golden/ABC via Getty Images) RACHEL ZIETZ (GLADIATOR LACROSSE)
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, left, congratulates Rachel Zietz after she was awarded the Governor's Young Entrepreneur Award at Venture Hive, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, in Miami. Venture Hive is an incubator in Miami that is helping business innovators turn their ideas into successful companies. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
SHARK TANK - Episode 722 A former business analyst from West Hollywood, California, aims to bring back the nostalgic joy of sleep-away camp to adults; two business partners from Smithtown, New York, and Wilmington, North Carolina, pitch a product that will protect your car from extreme weather conditions; a 15-year-old entrepreneur from Boca Raton, Florida, hopes to win over the Sharks with her redesigned lacrosse equipment; and a man from Fairfield, Ohio, presents a revamped video game version of the classic pinball machine for the home. Also, an update from Samantha Meis and Connor Riley and their coffee subscription experience, Misto Box, in which Mark Cuban invested in during season four, on Shark Tank, FRIDAY, MAY 13 (9:0010:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Tyler Golden/ABC via Getty Images) LORI GREINER, ROBERT HERJAVEC, DAYMOND JOHN, RACHEL ZIETZ (GLADIATOR LACROSSE)
Great time speaking at the Ft. Lauderdale Rotary Club today!
Check out September issue of Seventeen! #girlboss #laxlife #howcoolisthat #beagladiator #seventeen
There's a new driver on the road!!Don't need a driver for business meetings anymore! #freedomatlast #summer16
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In her second year of business, she achieved revenues of $1 million. (This is where the "humbling" part joins the eager-to-learn part for me.)

How did she do it? After taking a rigorous 33-week course at the Young Entrepreneur's Academy in Boca Raton, she entered the local competition. Even though she didn't win, it got her started on some initial fundraising to build her business.

And she was smart enough to get some help and watch others close to her who were entrepreneurs themselves -- including her parents, who started their own financial services company and modeled the work ethic, passion, and business savvy required to succeed.

There are a few key things that we can all learn from this 15-year-old -- or at least be reminded of if we've lost sight of them as we battle through some of the daily grind required to run our businesses:

Opportunities present themselves as problems.

Rachel experienced a problem in a sport she loved, but she recognized the problem was also an opportunity.

There was a gap in the market, and instead of complaining about the gap, she filled it.

Judging by her year-two revenues, others saw the gap, too.

Bring passion.

Once I read about Rachel, I started looking at other "Kidpreneurs." I wondered if they had common perspectives that all of us grownup entrepreneurs could learn from.

They did. They all cited incredible passion for what they did -- whether it was making lemonade, computer software, or lacrosse equipment.

It may seem obvious, but this message is refreshing and important because it's easy to feel like we are losing the passion for what we started while pushing through parts of the work we may not particularly like (for me, it is the client invoicing and follow-up process).

As the CEO of a company I consult with recently said to me:

"Working for money is hard. If I didn't have incredible passion for what I do, I don't think I could do this job."

Put another way, Rachel says:

"...passion is the key to success and it is what drives you to work through obstacles and challenges in your way."

Use all of your resources.

Rachel took advantage of the local entrepreneurial competition in her area. She didn't win. Simply by participating, though, it created her opportunity to start building the financial grounding she would need.

She also paid attention to what her parents did as entrepreneurs. Every resource out there can have some payoff for you, even if in unexpected ways -- so pay attention and learn from others.

The other day, when my 15-year-old son told me and my wife he wanted to start his own computer and tech-support company to service the neighborhood, we were enthusiastically supportive. After all, without him in the house, we'd be one router malfunction away from never having internet again.

But before letting him get started, I asked him to reflect on three key questions that I admitted to him had been reinforced for me by a story about someone his own age.

  1. Could he articulate what gap his business was filling in the market?
  2. Did he truly have passion around this?
  3. What resources could he use to make it happen?

If he could make a good case, we'd greenlight him.

So he went off and did his homework. A week later, he presented a compelling case to the board of directors (me and my wife), and was given the go-ahead to get rolling. He's already secured three clients.

Discover recent notable entrepreneurs below:

10 PHOTOS
Notable recent entrepreneurs
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Notable recent entrepreneurs
Co-founders of Birchbox, Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp attend the opening of the Birchbox flagship store on July 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Birchbox)
Rent the Runway co-founders Jennifer Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman attend the 4th Annual Fashion 2.0 Awards at SVA Theater on March 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and chief executive officer of Slack Technologies Inc., smiles during a Bloomberg West television interview at the Vanity Fair 2015 New Establishment Summit in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel speaks onstage during 'Disrupting Information and Communication' at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on October 8, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
Square CEO Jack Dorsey, right, poses with co-founder Jim McKelvey in front of the New York Stock Exchange before opening bell ceremonies, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
In this March 31, 2015 photo, YouTube personality best known for her make-up demonstrations, Michelle Phan poses for a portrait in New York. Phan launched a digital lifestyle network called ICON. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Invision/AP)
Nic Jammet, Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru are the Co-Founders of SweetGreen in Washington, D.C. on October 17, 2011. Jane Black's November column is about SweetGreen and its efforts to stay true to its roots as it grows to be a regional and national chain. Nic Jammet, the young, charismatic co-founder, who is working hard to make sure that they still feature local products from small farms, even in wintertime. They have gone from 1 store in 2007 to 10 today, including several in the Philadelphia area. (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Soylent CEO Rob Rhinehart holds a bag of finished product inside a warehouse in Oakland, California where the company runs its business on September 09, 2013. The 24-year-old software engineer developed Soylent, a homemade nutrient concoction, designed as part meal-replacement drink, part thought experiment, providing every necessary nutrient while challenging societys current perception of nutrition. (Photo credit should read Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)
(L-R) Casper Co-Founders & Chief Executive Officers T. Luke Sherwin, Jeff Chapin, Neil Parikh, and Philip Krim attend Casper's LA celebration at Blind Dragon on July 9, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Casper Sleep Inc.)
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