Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.

Students

A serious business man

July 21, 2009

Nick Tart will be graduating in spring of 2010 with a degree in business administration, an entrepreneurship certificate, and a certificate for leadership communications. But unlike his peers, Tart will not be preparing a resume and going to interviews, in fact, he might be the person doing the interviewing.

Passing down knowledge

At the age of 12, Nick Tart started his own lawn mowing service and continued his business until college, when he passed down the all rights to a kid who lived down the street.

Tart was awarded the CSU Distinguished Scholar award, a scholarship that provided $2,000 for every year he was in school. Tart wanted to stay in Colorado and compared to other universities, he thought CSU “was just right.”

“Through my education [at CSU] I have realized that I knew nothing about business when I actually had one. I could have been much more successful with my neighborhood lawn care service had I known everything I know today about business,” says Tart.

He means business

With a mission to help teach young people about entrepreneurship and how to turn their freelance work into a legitimate business, Tart started JuniorBiz.

“There’s a severe lack of business and financial literacy education in public schooling, so I’m offering a website and other tools to fill this gap,” says Tart.

Blog for young entrepreneurs

JuniorBiz.com is a blog that takes complex business models and turn them into easy to understand concepts. Advice and tips on how young entrepreneurs can start or improve their business is also available. One of the most successful articles on the blog is “How to network as a young entrepreneur: online.”

“As a young person it can be intimidating talking to business professionals. In the article I gave specific steps for contacting and interacting with these people through LinkedIn, Twitter and other blogs. One person who told me he enjoyed the article was a professional speaker from Singapore. He is teaching a youth entrepreneurship course and he showed the article to his entire class,” says Tart.

Writing, publishing, and selling

The primary method Tart uses to monetize his business is writing, publishing, and selling “how-to” guides that provides a step-by-step process on how people can start and build a variety of businesses.

His most recent book, The Official JuniorBiz Lawn Mowing Guide, was released last spring. The book was co-authored by Emil Motycka, a senior at CU Boulder. The book gives a in depth look into how to start your own lawn mowing business from making the decision to start a business to anticipating and managing your growth.

“This is the first in what will become a series of service-specific JuniorBiz guides. Ideally, I would like it to become the ‘For Dummies’ for young entrepreneurs,” says Tart.

Golden-nuggets of advice

After starting his own business and writing numerous articles and a book about how-to do it right, Tart has three ‘golden-nuggets of advice’ for young entrepreneurs.

  • Get an education. “Dropping out of school to start a business is quickly becoming an idiotic maneuver. The business world is becoming increasingly competitive and having a solid education to back your business is a necessity. Not only that, while in college is the best time to start a business. You're surrounded by some of the smartest people in the country and your resources are endless. Plus, everyone loves to help a student. For instance, you wouldn't be reading about my business if I wasn't a student.”
  • Sell your passion. “If you want to be successful, you have to have passion for your business. Starting a business often involves weeks, months, years of hard work and fruitless labor before you'll start seeing any sort of return. If you don't enjoy that work, if you don't passionately love that work, you're not going to finish it. Additionally, how is someone else supposed to be interested in your product or service if you're not passionate about it yourself?”
  • Surround yourself with people you aspire to be. “I didn't really know what this meant until I tried it. You are what you eat and your personality is developed by the people around you and outside influences of your life. If you want to be successful, find successful people and become friends with them then learn from them.”

Time vs. effort

Tart’s credits his competitive nature for wanting to start his own business. Thinking of entrepreneurship as a game, Tart believes his gets more out of his own business than he could get from a job.

“Everyone starts with an idea. The person who fashions that idea into the most rewarding - both financially and non-financially - business, wins,” says Tart. “When you get a job, you exchange time for money. When you start a business, you exchange effort for money. I think my effort is worth more than my time.”

No money, no problem

Unfortunately, JuniorBiz has not made Tart any money, in fact, he is about $600 in debt. However, Tart still has a year before graduation and looking long-term, he believes that his efforts will eventually pay off.

“The beauty of JuniorBiz is that I'm constantly researching and giving advice on starting businesses. I have a couple ideas of how I can make money when I need to. But that's not my goal right now. This might change when I graduate,” says Tart.


Contact: Anh Ha
E-mail: Anh.Ha@ColoState.edu
Phone: (970) 491-4161