Keys to Success Young Entrepreneurs

3 Keys to Success for Young Entrepreneurs

by Nicholas Tart on December 14, 2011 · 58 comments

This three-step process is the foundation of everything I do.

When I write, when I speak, and when I teach classes, I start with these three keys.

If you want to be successful, or encourage others to be successful, you need to unlock your potential with these three keys to success (corny, I know, but I couldn’t pass on the pun).

1st Key to Success: Inspiration

Before you do anything, ANYTHING, you need to be inspired to do it.

So, how do you get inspired? Lots of ways. Here are my favorites:

  • Read stories of other successful young entrepreneurs.
  • Watch motivational movies and entrepreneurial TED Talks.
  • Drive through a rich neighborhood and imagine what it’d be like to own one of those houses.
  • Drive through a big city and imagine what it’d be like to own one of those skyscrapers.
  • Look at the world’s problems and ask yourself, “Why am I not spending my time trying to solve them?”

One major problem with entrepreneurial education, and education in general, is that they skip this step. They don’t understand that before we want to learn something, we need to be inspired to learn it.

2nd Key to Success: Know-How

Now that you’re inspired, you need to know how you’re going to become successful.

You need to figure out two things:

  1. What do you want to do?
    Start with a product, service, or problem that you’re passionate about. I know, “start with your passion” is totally cliché. But when those I-don’t-want-to-get-out-of-bed days come, it’s going to be nearly impossible to motivate yourself to work on something that you’re not passionate about.
  2. How are you going to do it?
    Learn, learn, learn, and learn some more. Every entrepreneur will attribute part of their success to their love of learning. Frankly, the best way to learn is to do. So your next step is to sell. If you start by selling, you’ll know exactly what to provide or create.

Once you know how you’re going to become successful, it’s only a matter of getting it done. Harder than it sounds. Hence, the third key.

3rd Key to Success: Support

As an entrepreneur, there are going to be days when you doubt the very purpose of your existence.

To get through those days, you need a group of people to constantly encourage you and hold you accountable when you “just don’t feel like it.”

Where do you find a support system?

  • Friends
    Since I enjoy entrepreneurship, I naturally gravitate towards other entrepreneurs. Over the past three years I’ve built up a sturdy group of entrepreneurial friends, including the people I live with.
  • Parents
    Perhaps nobody has more influence over your life than your parents. If they don’t support your entrepreneurial musings, you need to tell them how important it is to have their support.
  • Teachers and Professors
    If you’re in school, find a teacher or professor who you can go to to ask questions that are more important than the subjects they teach.
  • Mentors
    Find someone who is doing what you want to do and ask if they’ll mentor you through becoming successful.
  • Other Entrepreneurs
    Going back to inspiration, read up on other entrepreneurs to remind yoursel that success never comes easy. You don’t necessarily have to know someone for their thoughts and advice to support you.

How to Use the 3 Keys to Success

Like I said, these three tools are the foundation of everything I do.

  • Blogging
    Inspire through blog posts > show how with inexpensive products > support through more expensive mentoring and training programs (coming soon).
  • Teaching
    Inspire through success stories > show how with step-by-step advice > support by making them do it.
  • Speaking
    Inspire with personal stories > show how through specific advice > support by giving them the slides or selling the books.
  • Sales Meetings
    Inspire with the benefits > show them how it’ll work > support them by handling their objections.

Got it? Good.

Are there any other keys to success? Can you think of anything else that these three keys don’t cover? Let me know. You know where..

Post image by: Julienne!


Derek Jensen December 14, 2011 at 1:13 am

In response to #1: the biggest mistake I’ve made is too much inspiration. We all love being inspired, but there comes a point when you need to shut down the gathering aspect of inspiring and start farming.

Nicholas Tart December 14, 2011 at 1:20 am

Hey Derek! Do you always craft metaphors in your comments? Well done.

I agree that too much learning and inspiration can almost become addictive which ultimately delays you from getting started. I also think that we need to be inspired regularly when our day-to-days start to get monotonous and challenging.

Arthur December 14, 2011 at 3:38 am

I think a mentor in this area (action/how VERSUS why/inspiration) can help (at least for me it does)

Arthur December 14, 2011 at 3:36 am

Very good article Nicholas, I personally get a lot of support and entrepreneurial skills out of this information, I’ve created a page where you can download 14 cd’s for free:

Let me know what you think about this, I highly respect your work and time,

Kind regards,

Arthur. (

Nicholas Tart December 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Hey thanks, Arthur! I listened to about 12 seconds of the intro audio and got bored. Why should I keep listening?

Asad Ur Rehman December 14, 2011 at 10:46 am

Nice Article….Nicholas.

Hey, I have a question? Please Answer me with great logic OR You Can say with satisfaction.

Question is “If Someone has no investment OR Enough Money” Then How He/She can start their own Business Related to “Services”?

And By the way the Article was very Nice.

Nicholas Tart December 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Hey Asad… Let’s say you want to build a website for somebody. Convince somebody to hire you to build a site. Then tell them you need 50% upfront to cover your costs (50% is standard). Use that money to buy any software or information you need to build the site. Presto!

JAYAKANTHAN December 14, 2011 at 10:51 am

Hey Nicholas this is nice article.
can you suggest me some inspirational movies.

Daniel December 14, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Me too!

Nicholas Tart December 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Certainly! I like The Social Network, Wall Street (original), Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Slumdog Millionaire, Catch Me if You Can, Pirates of Silicon Valley, and Pursuit of Happyness (my favorite). Perhaps I’ll write a post about this.

Daniel Hoang December 16, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I love the social network and pursuit of happiness

Cheri December 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Here’s My List:

Movies that will Inspire you to get off the couch!
Julie and Julia
The Pursuit of Happyness
Temple Grandin
Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
Upside, It’s all How You Look At It by Randall Bentley
Rocket Boys

Read Biographies of Entrepreneurs or companies (Salvation Army) that have great people at the helm:
Do Hard Things by Brett and Alex Harris
College Without High School by Blake Boles
The New Global Student: Skip the SAT, Save Thousands on Tuition, and Get a Truly International Education
The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens and their website
Real World Careers, Why College is NOT the Only Path to Becoming Rich by Betsy Cummings
The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You Will Ever Need by Daniel Pink (written in comic book style)
Girls and Young Women Entrepreneurs (great ideas, not just for girls!)

Great Books to Develop Leadership Skills — (Be a student of Leadership):
John Maxwell, the author of 21 books on Leadership, started with:
The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, and the great classic –
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy
The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John Maxwell

Character books that exemplify leadership qualities:
Three Cups of Tea
Little Britches, Man of the Family and other books by Ralph Moody
October Sky

Nicholas Tart December 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Hey Cheri! Thanks for that comprehensive list. I’m going to spend a lot more time reading next year. How to Win Friends and Influence People has been on my reading list for quite some time. I’m looking forward to reading that and Tipping Point.

I’ll have to check out some of those movies as well.

ssekatawa Isaac December 27, 2011 at 7:54 am

Can any one send me these movies in Uganda i really need to be inspired.

Nicholas Tart December 27, 2011 at 10:09 am

Hey Isaac… I can’t send you those movies but I can send you to this article I wrote for IncomeDiary:

Asad Ur Rehman December 14, 2011 at 11:01 am

I am sorry, I am writing an other comment to complete my question.

I mean “What should He/She does to start a profitable Business with Enough Money”?

Nicholas Tart December 14, 2011 at 5:53 pm

If you have money, it’s a little bit easier to start a business… I believe that if you want something badly enough, you’ll find a way to get it.

Does that answer your question, Asad?

Asad Ur Rehman December 16, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Thanks…For giving me the answer.

Daniel December 14, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Hey, I live in a rich neighborhood. Everyone where I live has parents that are like all CEO’s. It’s pretty cool.

Nicholas Tart December 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Yeah, I’m sure it’s motivating. I drove by a mansion the other day and my uncle told me that two doctors live there. I’m not that interested in being rich, but it is nice to be reminded of what’s possible.

Renelda M December 14, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Hello Nicholas,

Thanks for the free e-book which I download! In reference to the 3 Keys to Success for Young Entrepreneurs, I agree however finding mentors is quite difficult because majority dont have the time to mentor you. In the past, I volunteer my service for free to mentors such as assisting them and I did not learn anything that will enhance my career path. My ultimate goal is to be a speaker and author which I am sure majority of people would like that:-) I really would like to have a mentor but many programs are very pricy. any advice? Thanks.

Nicholas Tart December 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Hey Renelda,

A good friend of mine is a young speaker. And one of his mentors is the top young speaker in the world. In order to land that mentor, my friend buys all of his products and it’s a paid mentorship. In order to afford this, my friend works like a dog. But, ultimately, he’s getting the best advice he could possibly get. So it will all be worth it as his career moves forward.

In my case, I have a few mentors who aren’t aware that I consider them to be mentors. It’s informal. We don’t meet regularly, but when I have a question for them, I know I can count on them to meet with me or simply answer it over an email.

My suggestion, if you feel like you truly need those mentorships or programs, then find a way to pay for them. It’ll save you a lot of time.

Does that help?

JAYAKANTHAN December 15, 2011 at 7:20 am

Hai Nicholas,
Your post is very nice.
I have a pour family background but when i travel around the rich areas, households i get inspired to be rich and therefore i’m more passionate to to a business.

Nicholas Tart December 15, 2011 at 10:16 am

Hey Jayakanthan! That’ll make it all the sweeter of a story when you’re a big shot. Just remember, it’s important to enjoy your life no matter what state it’s in.

JAYAKANTHAN December 15, 2011 at 10:39 am

you are right Nicholas, thanks.

Renelda M December 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Hi Nicholas,

Thanks for the information. I can defintely do overtime at work and strive to get a mentorship program, their are so many out there and it is hard to choose from. By any chance do you know the mentorship program that your friend chose? Thanks.

Nicholas Tart December 17, 2011 at 11:50 am

Hey Renelda… Yeah, he went through this program: I encourage you to sign up and learn as much as you can from Josh.

Martin December 15, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Hey Nick, I like the part that you spoke about doing what inspires you. I have for years known that our passion (what inspires us) have the potential to make us money. I thank you for confirming that in this beautiful writing.

Will really want to read more on the subject so definitely I am coming back.

Thank you very much Nick!

Nicholas Tart December 17, 2011 at 11:51 am

Hey there Martin! Yeah, as I’ve mentioned before, the biggest benefit to entrepreneurship is the freedom to work on something you believe is important. If you’re not working on something you’re passionate about, then you might as well get a job.

See you around!

Daniel Hoang December 17, 2011 at 8:11 am

Christmas is coming!

Nicholas Tart December 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

Yep… Which means I have a lot to do in the next week or so.

Daniel Hoang December 17, 2011 at 12:11 pm

like what?

Nicholas Tart December 18, 2011 at 11:20 pm

I’m working on a big project with Michael and Nick. And I’m pulling together a sweet site for Student Success Academy. How are you going to use your break from school, Daniel?

Daniel December 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm

idk, but i want to make it last

Daniel December 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm

So what do you want for christmas?

Nicholas Tart December 18, 2011 at 11:22 pm

I want to find the perfect gift for each of my family members.

Daniel December 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Today is my mom’s b day

Nicholas Tart December 20, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Well… Tell her happy birthday from me!

Renelda M December 20, 2011 at 8:00 pm

@ Daniel today is my mothers bday:-)

ssekatawa Isaac December 27, 2011 at 7:50 am

Thank you for these great keys to success. What do you think about us the youth in Africa. We have a lot of ideas but we lack funding. May i send my business plan and you help me fund it or you solicit funding for me there. I need 6000 Dollars to start a Lawn maintenance business in Uganda and i study at Makerere University. You inspire me and i love your Website.

Nicholas Tart December 27, 2011 at 10:11 am

Hey Isaac! I can’t help you get funding, but I can challenge your start-up costs for the lawn maintenance company. Why do you need $6000? Is there anyway you can get it started with the money you have?

Isaac December 28, 2011 at 5:30 am

Nicholas it is very possible in Uganda $ 6000 is even more than enough. I will start with five second-hand grass trimmers which will cost me around $ 800 (around 2,240,000million Ugandan shillings). I will start with my neighbors’ lawns then as i grow big i will get mowers to start commercial lawn care. Please advice me on how to raise capital here life is not so easy as for you guys down there

Nicholas Tart December 29, 2011 at 11:32 am

Hey Isaac! Can you start with one trimmer for $200?

If funding is your challenge, then you have two options. One, find a way to come up with the money. Two, find a way to get started on less money.

Maybe you can land a few customers before you get the trimmers and offer them a great deal if they pay upfront. For instance, tell them you’ll cut their grass for the first month at half off if they pay first.

Isaac December 29, 2011 at 9:18 am

Hello Nicholas ,i dream of making a blog on aquaculture supplies . What advice do you give me?. I have little computer skills.

Nicholas Tart December 29, 2011 at 11:34 am

Start with research. Go to the Google Keyword Tool ( and look up aquaculture-related keywords to see if that’s a topic people are researching. If so, come back here and I’ll give you the next step.

Isaac December 30, 2011 at 4:29 am

THe competition is medium. Global monthly serches are 1,900. Local monthlly serches are 140. Which niche do you propose for me in a Third world country like Uganda. Could you please elaborate more about how blogs work. Because have just heard about how you guys make alot of money blogging. I dont have any idea about blogs. THank you for the help so far

Nicholas Tart January 8, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Hey Isaac! That’s not a lot of searches for a medium competition keyword. Maybe you can broaden the base-topic to reach more people. Here are a few articles on how blogging works:

Comment on those articles if you have any questions.

Build EDU Backlinks March 11, 2012 at 12:12 am

Yes Nicholas !! The first step should be awakening the hidden Entrepreneur within you and that can only be done if you will start spending time for some inner improvement. Stories and movies are the best source for getting inspiration, and from my point of view once you will get inspired then nothing can stop you…

Nicholas Tart March 14, 2012 at 10:40 am

I’m not so sure nothing can stop you, EDU. But it certainly helps to have a source of inspiration as you’re working towards your goals.

Warren Kuan March 24, 2012 at 10:59 am

Thanks for the post Nick!
In my entrepreneurship, i face problem where i find my self
knowing too few on certain topics..where then I read blogs and articles to overcome my doubts and problems.
Inspired by you too Nick, wish to be as successful as you do in future 🙂

John April 25, 2012 at 3:41 am

How about old farts can they join in all the fun you younger upstarts are having making the world a new haven for entrepreneurs? lol

Nicholas Tart April 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Haha… Age is just a number, John. I just so happens that I enjoy teaching entrepreneurship to people who are hearing about it for the first time.

Raj May 16, 2012 at 8:02 am

Getting inspired does no harm but it should be limited to that phase and one should be strong enough and determined for not following the person blindly.. following people just makes us go in a wrong path..

chike orji October 28, 2012 at 10:45 am

You are really a golden learning so much from you.Now on a move to setup a blog about how 12yrs to 30yrs plus can make money on their own through blog ”simplest method” .Most newbie find it’s difficult to understand the grammatical language terms use on internet. my main focus is to get these audience and use the words they will understand.What do you think? your advice will highly appreciate.

Peter Nigeria.

swapnil kharkar December 5, 2012 at 8:04 am

Thanks for giving us information for our project.

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