Life is a lesson and whatever path we take is an essential part of our growth.
Samuel Strauch completed his undergraduate degree in business at Hofstra University in New York. He also completed studies at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and Harvard University.
Strauch started his career in banking but eventually joined his family Real Estate business in South Florida. In 2002, Strauch started his own company which he has continued to grow to this day, successfully integrating a platform of complementary enterprises in equity sourcing, acquisitions, development, management, and brokerage of real estate in South Florida and Latin America.
Strauch is an active investor in several other internet and restaurant businesses and is a an avid art and photography enthusiast.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
When I came to Miami, I noticed two things that caught my attention – 1) A wave of new real estate developments and 2) The transformation of the city from a vacation town to a full fledged metropolis on the beach (2). I knew that I could put together international clients and investors together to start my business.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The nice thing about what I do is that my typical days are always different. The key to my business is always meeting new people and strengthening relationships with our clients, investors, partners, brokers and other colleagues in the industry. That is how you find nice new properties, forge new business relationships, spark new ideas, and expand the client base. It also becomes fun and you can establish nice friendships with some of the people you are doing business with.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Being forward thinking and creative is part of our DNA and it clearly sets us apart as leaders in our industry. We make a point to analyze the viability of any and every idea we have, making sure to always keep an open mind. If the idea has potential, we immediately start putting time and resources into it. That is critical. The implementation is where we excel and where a lot of people fall behind. You can have the best idea in the world but if you don’t execute it, the result is zero.
What’s one trend that excites you?
More than one specific trend, I like seeing the overall way of thinking of the new generations and pay close attention to that. From the way people want to live, work, travel socialize and take care of themselves and their communities. I think we are going through a phenomenal transformation in terms of our society which is very exciting. That will have an impact across industries.
What’s one habit of you that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Meditation. I think everyone should do it. By meditating I find that I can give my mind some time off and focus in both my personal and professional life. There are way too many benefits of meditating.
What was the worst job you ever had, and what did you learn from it?
Right out of college, I had a brief stint working in the operational department of a large company. It was the back end work of organizing documents, reports, etc. I found it so boring! My personality is more in the creative and interpersonal side. I felt I was part of a manufacturing line. I quickly learned not to do things that I disliked, to be true to myself and pursue the things that make me happy.
If you would start again what would you do differently?
Life is a lesson and whatever path we take is an essential part of our growth. Sometimes I think about bad relationships and big disappointments that I had with people in business for being too trustworthy and that I wish I hadn’t been like that, but at the same time, by keeping an open mind I have met wonderful people. Looking at the balance, the positive outweighs the negative so I wouldn’t change a thing.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone to do?
I set 5 minutes every morning to remind myself of 3 things – 1) To be grateful for all the things I have in life, 2) To always have a voracious curiosity with an open mind, and 3) To mentally set my goals and intentions for that specific day.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Always think win-win. That is a critical point with your team, partners, investors, and everybody you interact with.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome it?
Many years ago, I had an employee that I trusted and that I kept in the business just because of the trust. The person was not doing the job right and eventually that lead to a lot of troubles in one of the divisions of the company that affected several clients. I had to bring a new team to re-assemble all the damage, implement new systems and establish new employment policies based on performance. It was an important lesson to work only with the right people for the job and keep business as business.
What is a business idea that you are willing to give away to our readers?
There is a great market for services specialized for retirees. There are millions of baby boomers in this sector and that presents a lot of opportunities. At the same time, it can create a positive impact in our society.
What is the best 100 dollars you recently spent?
That had to be sharing a meal with friends and family. I believe to spend money on experiences, not on things.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
We use specifically designed software and several cloud based services. I guess the simplicity of services like Dropbox, Pivotal Tracker and GoToMeeting have made life so simple. I am always out and can work from anywhere! That I love!
What is one book you recommend our community and why?
That would be “100 Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I think people now are way to obsessed with books on business and self-help, and probably many of the people here have recommended thousands of them. This is not only a literary master piece, but it will have your mind wander to places far into the author’s imagination. I get my best ideas during my leisure and creative activities, when my mind wanders. This book opens that window.
- Life is a lesson and whatever path we take is an essential part of our growth.
- Always think win-win. That is a critical point with your team, partners, investors, and everybody you interact with.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.