UI student determined to start his own business


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John Blough is a sophomore at the University of Iowa studying entrepreneurial management. But unlike most UI students, after he graduates, he hopes to never have a job interview.

The Davenport native dreams of becoming a serial entrepreneur. His goal is to start numerous companies in the future and one day end up in the real-estate business.

"A life goal I've come up with in the last couple of years is that I never want to interview for a job," he said. "I never want my career to be in the hands of someone else; I want to be in control of my future."

His passion for business ideas began at a young age.

"I've always been an entrepreneur at heart," he said. "Growing up, I was always wanted to create the Snuggie, or whatever the next huge product was."

The 20-year-old has started one business. Along with being a full-time student, he balances managing his company Homestyle LLC., which specializes in home improvement.

Blough said he views school and education differently from most students, and he believes success is based on growth and accomplishments.

"My focus is not to get a 4.0," he said. "I don't want to just memorize and recite answers. I want to learn as much about the business world as I possibly can — that's why I started Homestyle."

The young business was launched in August, and Blough says he found his niche in the home-improvement market with a product called gutter guards, which he installs on homes with the help of his single employee, Mark Steinhauser.

The company does offer more than just gutter guards — Blough said everything from installing drywall to painting is common.

"He is establishing great relationship with the customers we have and ensuring that the services are top quality," Steinhauser said. "And he is also doing his best to get his name out there with a bunch of different ways. He wants his company to grow."

Homestyle is growing. Blough said he plans to hire more employees as the weather gets warmer and people begin thinking about home projects for the summer.

Steinhouser said that Blough's work ethic has lead to Homestyle's success.

"He is one of the most motivated individuals I have ever met," Steinhouser said.

His customers agree.

"John has the ability to do whatever it takes to keep his customers happy," said Matt Adam, a Homestyle client.

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