Dan Reeves is only twenty years old but has just launched his third company in May of 2021. He sold his first company at the tender age of 15 and scaled his second to a six-figure income while still at college.
It’s not always been plain sailing for Dan, however, and to get to where he is has taken time, dedication, and incredible grit.
Dan’s entrepreneurial streak started to show itself at a very young age. At only 9 years old he started his first YouTube channel making gaming videos for the world to see.
His videos grew in popularity and by age of 13, he had warranted the notice of a Multi-Channel Network (MCN). With the promise of earning some money from his YouTube channel, Dan promptly signed with the MCN, allowing him to run ads on his videos for the first time.
Little did he know, however, that the deal he’d signed himself up for would leave him with very little at the end of the day, after the huge percentage of the revenue that the MCN would take. Not only that, but they had also locked him into a five-year contract.
Not satisfied with the position Dan now found himself in he decided to do the one thing that made the most sense to him – he started his own YouTube Network!
“It was a crazy time,” Dan said, “it was two years of dodging phone calls and in-person meetings because I didn’t want anyone finding out I was so young and I still had a high-pitched voice at the time.”
Nevertheless, over that two-year period, Dan managed to create the fastest growing YouTube network in the UK, partnering with hundreds of YouTubers and amassing tens of millions of subscribers across the whole network.
At the age of 15, only two years after starting his Network, Dan sold the entire business to an American company. By his mid-teens, Dan had achieved what many only dream of, and had built and sold his first business.
Dan, however, was not infallible, and it didn’t take him long to spend 100% of the money he made from the sale of his business. He’s not shy in admitting that he spent his money on “any purchase that would be considered ‘stupid’”.
A new gaming PC, new gadgets, in-game purchases, anything you would expect a young teenager to waste their money on Dan did it, and before he knew it, the money he had to spend two years working tirelessly to build was gone in a few short months.
Looking back on this time now, Dan is incredibly reflective on the whole experience of having money and wasting it all so quickly, “it was a huge learning curve for me and I’m so happy I learned that lesson so early in life.”
This folly, however, was only the beginning of the harder times for Dan and his family.
Due to personal circumstances, Dan and his mother became registered homeless at this time, having to live in various temporary council accommodations.
The constant moving came at a time when Dan needed a bit of stability the most as he was also in the process of taking his GCSEs.
It is in the face of great adversity that our true spirits are shown, however, and Dan was determined to change his and his family’s fortune again. He decided he needed to start another business.
The only problem was, he didn’t know what.
His time building a YouTube Network had taught him a lot, but to grow it had taken a lot of time, which is something he did not have. What it also gave him, however, was a keen understanding of YouTube influencers.
Dan managed to leverage this experience to land himself a job with a Birmingham based Influencer Agency. “They actually thought I was three or four years older than I actually was, which really helped. If they had known that the first time I’d ever taken the train on my own was the two-and-a-half-hour journey to Birmingham for the interview I don’t think I would have gotten it.”
Dan spent the next six months working at the agency soaking up every tiny bit of experience he could, learning the ins and out of being an agent for some of the biggest influencers in the UK.
After six months, however, Dan’s feet began to get itchy, and he started to notice the areas that could be improved in the agency. It was at this time Dan decided to quit and set up his own influencer agency.
Utilising his experience on YouTube and his new experience of the agency world, and still only 16 years old, Dan began representing YouTubers in various brand deals all over the world.
The speed at which he managed to grow the new company also took Dan by surprise, and before long he was making three and four-figure deals on a daily basis. “I remember being sat by the pool in Ayia Napa when I was seventeen and receiving payment for an £8000 brand deal thinking I was on top of the world.”
Dan was still in college while his company was growing, though it wasn’t long before he decided that college wasn’t for him and that he should be devoting all his time to his new agency.
“It’s ironic, actually, I remember being in a business class at college and the lesson was about Influencer Marketing and how YouTubers monetise their content. By this point, I had already scaled my business to £100k per year and was managing YouTubers and their monetisation for them. They were trying to teach me something I was already doing. By the end of that class, I had closed another £2000 deal for one of my clients and had decided to quit college.”
After dropping out Dan focused all of his attention on scaling the agency. Which he did to great success.
His newfound wealth also allowed Dan to explore his other interest and passions. Specifically, his love of cars.
Now aged 20, Dan has launched a new company, Hydroshine. “It’s a car care product that I spent over half a year developing.”
Car’s were always the one exception he allowed himself when controlling his finances. “I bought my first car when I was sixteen even though I couldn’t drive yet. It was a Mercedes. I absolutely loved it.”
When he was eighteen Dan bought his first performance car, a Mercedes AMG.
“Car’s have always been a passion and I’ve been wanting to shift my focus into businesses I am particularly passionate about, and use my capital in better ways to diversify my portfolio, for a long time. I am lucky enough to be able to do it now, and I’m loving every second of it.”