David Taran – Founder and CEO of Sunstar Capital

You can be successful by helping others be successful.

David Taran is a real estate investor based out of San Francisco, CA. He is the founder and CEO of Sunstar Capital, where he brings over 26 years of professional experience. David and his company work to build strong foundations between investors in the real estate market to bring about exceptional returns. They specialize in acquiring commercial properties in strategic, high-growth areas to create value through targeted capital improvements and leasing programs.

David Taran, with a passion towards high-level strategy, focuses on optimizing operations, increasing cash flow, and maximizing value. His areas of expertise include: investment strategy and sourcing opportunities to structuring, negotiating, acquiring, financing, owning, reporting, entitling, developing, redeveloping, constructing, managing, operating, leasing, and disposition of investments.

David is both an entrepreneur and people-person to his very core, which has equipped him with an irreplaceable skill set in both his professional and personal life.

David Taran sits on the board of Project Happiness, which is a pro-purpose, non-profit organization led by his wife, Randy Taran. The company is dedicated to spreading emotional resilience-building programs for children and people of any age, helping over 2 million people to develop the skill sets to live their happiest life. His role within Project Happiness is to provide strategic advice for forward movement.

David Taran is also an avid reader and writer on all things related to positivity and optimism. He credits the adoption of a positive mindset as one of the cornerstones to his life’s success. To David, positivity is a way of life. It has the power to inspire leaders at all stages of their careers to work together towards a common goal. It also aids individuals in balancing their work and home lives – something that is very important to David and his family.

To help him attain a positive mindset, David Taran has discovered the power of yoga as a tool to help harness inner peace and tranquility, which he couples with daily meditation. In order to give peace to and find peace in the outer world, one must first dedicate time to cultivating long-term happiness and a deeper awareness of oneself.

Where did the idea for Sunstar Capital come from?

The year was 1993. I was sitting in the lobby of a hotel in Budapest, Hungary reading the Wall Street Journal. My friend Ronnie and I were in eastern Europe chasing down opportunities to trade with the newly democratized Eastern Block countries, armed with a couple Department of Commerce Trade Reports and a few of my friend’s cousin’s contacts. After a day of looking at real estate in Hungary’s capital, an article on the sale of distressed real estate in the Silicon Valley caught my eye, and I started laughing. We had to travel halfway across the world to discover that the best opportunities were right back in the U.S.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Mornings are really important for me as they set the tone for the day. Before checking my email, I begin with a gratitude practice. This practice is pretty simple and includes going through a few things that I appreciate about my life. Next, I do my morning meditation and 45 minutes of yoga. This clears my mind and gives me energy and focus for the rest of the day. Then I have breakfast, equipped with bulletproof coffee, and jot down my top 3 objectives for the hours ahead.

Whenever possible, I reserve a block of time for creativity in the morning, a block of time for emails mid-day, and the rest of my day consists of meetings. At the end of the day, I always try to reflect on one thing I learned and jot down what I want to follow up on tomorrow. Then, I leave work behind to be present for my family.

How do you bring ideas to life?

When an idea comes to mind, the first thing I do is write it down. After that, I think of what the end goal of my idea is and whether or not it is actually desirable. Then, I ask myself what the next steps are, including who and what I will need to accomplish it. I invite feedback from my team, looking at the feasibility, time-frame, and the milestones. Then my focus is on execution all the way.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Yoga has been a practice in the art of meditating for quite some time now, but I have loved seeing it grow in popularity over the last few years. Practicing yoga is a practical way to increase mindfulness, which shows itself in both your personal life, as well as your corporate culture. Both yoga and mindfulness create space for creativity, innovation, and, most definitely, increase productivity.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I always make it a point to talk to new people and to be present. I have a drive for excellence, which is combined with my flexibility. I never lose sight of the bottom line, which is not only financial, but personal as well. These habits allow me to forge deals and create meaningful associations within a strong framework.

What advice would you give your younger self?

It’s all about relationships. Surround yourself with good people and always find a way to give back.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?

You can be successful by helping others be successful.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Realize that success is a journey and sometimes you have to pick up additional knowledge, experiences (both good and bad), and resources along the way. It is an advantage to lose your ego and always be open to innovation.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Always surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and who have strengths that complement your own. Choose to be around good people – this includes in your workplace and with personal friendships. One of my favorite quotes is “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” by Jim Rohn. When you have a good team like I do at Sunstar Capital, it is easy to create loyal and lasting relationships with clients that extend far beyond the current deal.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

My biggest failure was that I was caught off guard when a major bank I was working with suddenly went out of business. This was unprecedented but taught me to consider the impossible. My way to overcome it was to re-sync with the market and allow it to guide me to new opportunities.

I also came to realize how important it is to give back to my community and the world at large, and to plant the seeds for a positive future. I am grateful that I could do this alongside my wife Randy through Project Happiness, our nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people with the resources to create greater happiness within themselves and the world.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I just went with my wife to a yoga workshop given by yoga master Dylan Werner. He has a fresh, enthusiastic, and innovative approach that inspires people to bring forth their best and live life fully.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read?

Eckhart Tolle’s “Stillness Speaks.”

What is your favorite quote?

“The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment.” – Eckhart Tolle

Key Learnings

  • You can be successful by helping others be successful.
  • Realize that success is a journey and sometimes you have to pick up additional knowledge, experiences (both good and bad), and resources along the way. It is an advantage to lose your ego and always be open to innovation.
  • Surround yourself with good people and always find a way to give back.