The California-based venture capitalist started his first successful business just after graduating college.
John Douglas Steuart is a venture capitalist and successful entrepreneur, but he didn’t become one overnight. He attributes much of his success to his education and experience through decades of hard work.
Countless hours building teams and perfecting his business strategies led him to become an expert on entrepreneurship. He recently discussed seven habits he believes helped him succeed and can help others too.
1. Research, Research, Research
When interviewers asked Steuart how he brings ideas to life, he commented that research is an absolute must. He explained that all entrepreneurs already have passion and knowledge, but they must research extensively to support their ideas also. Research leads to well-thought-out decisions.
2. Create a Passionate and Collaborative Team
Steuart explained that his team is one of his greatest assets. He emphasized the importance of ensuring everyone has space to contribute and nobody is afraid to share ideas. Partnering with fellow great minds can quickly turn ideas into reality.
“There’s nothing more exciting than when my team comes up with a new solution to improve healthcare services and technologies,” he said. “They create real answers to problems and make people’s lives easier when they are most vulnerable.”
He stated that a great leader should know and collaborate with everyone on the team. All team members have different skill sets, and a combination of everyone’s best assets creates an unstoppable force. Entrepreneurs can never do everything independently, and acknowledging that is a significant step toward success.
3. Always Stay Up-to-Date
Steuart keeps himself updated on the latest technologies, business trends, and what’s happening in other parts of the world. He encourages entrepreneurs to commit themselves to lifelong learning and constantly bettering themselves. He added that it doesn’t always have to be through schooling, but improving oneself can be as simple as reading a book about leadership or productivity.
4. Believe in Oneself
There is a solution to every problem, and Steuart believes solutions are in every individual. He expressed the importance of not giving up on oneself even when the hurdles of entrepreneurship seem too large.
“Never be afraid to go for a goal that you think is worth the risk,” he said. “You never know the difference a single leap of faith can make on your future.”
5. Persevere With Passion
John Douglas Steuart helps entrepreneurs reach their business and personal goals. He believes he couldn’t have achieved his current level of success without steadfast perseverance and continuous passion.
He explained that being smart, a great leader and an excellent communicator are traits that help individuals create successful businesses, but passion and perseverance are even more important than book smarts.
6. Be Okay With Failure
All entrepreneurs will face some failure, but all setbacks can be less catastrophic with an excellent support system. Steuart emphasized the importance of an entrepreneur ensuring they have enough knowledge, resources, and support to deal with setbacks like failed products or even bankruptcy.
One of his most significant failures was in 1993 when he filed for bankruptcy for a healthcare product that never took off. He explained that he learned an important lesson about researching the potential market and creating products or services that appeal to a large class of consumers. His support system, knowledge, and extensive research allowed him to pull through the setback and onto bigger and better business options.
7. Always Prioritize Health
John Steuart explained that a person could not successfully run a business if they’re not in good health. He wakes up early each day to exercise and eat a healthy breakfast before sitting down to work. He firmly believes that health is wealth, and a healthy lifestyle with sufficient rest is a critical factor in success.
John Steuart and Entrepreneurial Success
Steuart co-founded his first company, Savvy Properties, after graduating college in 1988. What started as a small company providing affordable housing options to students grew into a major real estate company serving Berkeley, Albany, North Oakland, Pinole, East Bay, and Emeryville.
He then moved on to invest in the Alafi Capital Company, leading the company into profitable investments as the Chief Finance Officer. Following Alafi, he helped co-found Cybergold, then Claremont Creek Ventures.
Steuart remains a part of Savvy Properties and is now enjoying life as a semi-retired businessman, overseeing the work of his well-established teams. He prides himself on providing hundreds of job opportunities for the community of Berkeley, California, and far beyond.
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