Building a Company to Compete with Larger, More Established Entities, With John Cerasani

Filed in Podcasts, Previous Episodes on December 27, 2022

John Cerasani is a serial entrepreneur, business expert, and venture capitalist.

John shares his top three tips to build a well-established company:

Number One: Get Your Hands Dirty — There is not one function of my current company or any of my former companies that I could not tell you the inner workings of. I am a firm believer that you can’t lead a team if you are not familiar with their occupation. Now, I am not saying that you need to be the best at each function; you shouldn’t be, but you should understand the job function intimately so you can find and hire a person that can do it as good or better than you, and then effectively lead him/her.

Number Two: Inflate Your Company, Not Your Head — Take phrases like “my employee” out of your vocabulary and replace them with “my colleagues.” Go to an initial prospective client meeting as someone that is looking to help and serve that client. Do not go as the company President that is looking to impress them.

Number Three: Be Concise, Be Succinct, Be Detail-Oriented in All Communications — In 2011, I wrote a book called “Paid Training” and one of the chapters is named “Speak the Language, but don’t BS.” I cringe when I hear BS and I have greater respect for clients that recognize when someone else is doing it too. Every industry has its share of buzz words or phrases that simply are what I think of as space fillers when there is nothing intelligent to add or say. In the book, I was comparing this kind of jargon coming from the mouth of someone from a smaller organization not having the same impact as from someone at a larger more established place of employment. The reality is though, that there isn’t a place for it anywhere.

Tune in and listen to John’s answers to questions such as:

  • What is the transition like from working for someone to starting your own business?
  • What do you look for as a venture capitalist?
  • What are some lessons you’ve learned from sports that you look for in founders?
  • Why do you think that society has not caught up with the times in terms of career paths?
  • What is your book, “The 2000 Percent Raise” about?
  • And much, much more!


About This Guest: ()

John Cerasani is a serial entrepreneur, business expert and Venture Capitalist. He has been featured on FOX, NBC, WGN, and CBS. Notably, he was featured in Crain's Business 40 Under 40 for one of his early companies at the age of 27. More recently, John sold an insurance business that he started from his kitchen table to a large private equity backed player. This put him in a position to retire at the age of 42. A few months later, he unretired, changed his professional direction, and started Glencrest Global. Glencrest Global has quickly earned a name for itself as one of the premier early-stage venture capital firms in the United States and is currently involved in more than 30 deals. During this time, John has become business partners with some high profile founders, including: Aaron Rodgers, Kevin Garnett, Ashley Greene, and Jaleel White. Additionally, he is part of some very recognizable acquisitions including apartment complexes in Los Angeles and Minneapolis, as well as The Vea Hotel (formerly the Newport Beach Marriott). John will also be releasing his second book "2000 Percent Raise" which gives readers guidance on leaving their employers to go into business for themselves. He is very active on social media as a business influencer on Instagram @JohnCerasani. John splits his time between Los Angeles and Chicago and is a former scholarship Division 1 football player at the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University. He sits on multiple boards for non-profits and focuses much of his philanthropic efforts toward making higher education available to underserved communities. He has also served as a Trustee for universities in both Indiana and South Carolina.