Entrepreneurship has experienced immense growth over the last two decades. With numerous advancements in technology and a changing economy, more individuals have transitioned away from the traditional nine to five to pursue business opportunities of their own. But the reality is that an estimated 80% of businesses are likely to fail within their first few years of operation. This is a direct result of inexperience, lack of market research, poor team management, and the list goes on. Those that can overcome the numerous barriers are those that will find success.
One entrepreneur who has paved his way to success is John Sauter, Founder, and President of Tower 14 Capital, a real estate investment firm that invests in real property and related operating companies. Through over two decades of relevant experience, Sauter built the foundation necessary to launch Tower 14 Capital. His company recently committed $60 million to Middle Street Partners, a real estate and development company focused on multifamily investments in the Southeastern U.S.
Sauter earned his B.A. in political science from Duke University and his M.B.A. from the Anderson Graduate School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles. He began his professional career working as a financial analyst with LaSalle Partners. In the following years, he made his way into more prominent positions. Sauter’s previous positions include Partner at Investec, Vice President of Acquisitions at Starwood Capital, President of Troon Golf, Managing Director at M.S.D. Capital, L.P., Senior Managing Director at CBRE Global Investors, Managing Director at ICONIQ Capital, and Senior Advisor at Dune Real Estate Partners. Through the years, Sauter facilitated and managed billions in real estate transactions, developing the necessary skills to break out on his own as an entrepreneur.
Building a Foundation for Success
Aspiring entrepreneurs should take note of Sauter’s process. From morning to night, he works to find balance in his day that promotes his success. In a recent interview, Sauter shared about his typical day starting at 4:30 AM with “a light workout, prayer and meditation, inspirational music, a walk, and a quick swim in the ocean.” He then helps his children with breakfast and gets them off to school. By 8 AM, Sauter is working, a time when many individuals around the globe are just waking up. With the belief that “the most important thing you do each day is what you do before you do anything,” Sauter has a developed an advantage over his competitors.
Finding Inspiration Behind Failures
It is a common thought that it takes one thousand failures to find one success, and this belief is one that Sauter promotes. Investment real estate can be a risky business. Outside of personal research and knowledge about the industry, results can be impacted by companies’ financials, market shifts, global pandemics, to name a few. There is no certainty in an investment, only an in-depth analysis of proformas to help paint the future picture. The mistakes made in the industry could be a burden to many; however, Sauter has found inspiration behind his failures. While discussing one failure he had to overcome as an entrepreneur, Sauter disclosed, “…in the beginning, I failed as an entrepreneur because I was too worried about failure. I always took the safe route and did not handle uncertainty well. I am much better now at taking calculated risks when I have a sense that something will work out even if all the pieces of the journey are not clear…I love the saying ‘the road is made by walking…’. When we truly commit, I now see that the probability of success increases dramatically.”
Preparing for the Future
Starting his day by making a to-do list is one additional step John Sauter takes to ensure victory. Every aspect of Sauter’s business is about setting up and preparing for the time ahead. He inspires other entrepreneurs to do the same. Success is not only found by focusing on the present, but by identifying what opportunities lie ahead. In his owner business venture, Sauter stays relevant by reading informative content related to his industry, including trade journals and online sources. He advocates for subscriptions to promote knowledge; his subscriptions include Greenstreet, RE Alert, Trepp, and Co-star. Entrepreneurs should identify resources in their industry and take note of how to continuously stay updated.
As for preparing for his future, Sauter stays up-to-date on trends that may impact his future investments. In a time when real estate trends are experiencing a catastrophic shift, Sauter sees the potential: Success will be found with the companies who have developed a method to aid in the post-pandemic world. For example, “the people who figure out how to create a sense of community and learning in an organization where people work from home 3+ days per week will be big winners.”
Whatever your venture may be, finding what motivates you, staying committed, and building a routine can help influence your success. As Sauter has explained, setbacks are nothing more than events that help build character. So, take inspiration from his path, and create your own empire.