John Bonavia, president of Gateway Advantage, is a very well-connected investor and serial entrepreneur with a background in the film and entertainment industry. Attended the University of Maryland, He has a passion for helping people to BREAKTHROUGH and take their lives to another level – no matter how successful they already are – in the areas that matter most: their business, personal finance, intimate relationships, families, careers and health. He is dedicated to businesses in industries as diverse as hospitality, education, media production, and business services. As Entrepreneur and always looking for the next “un fundable business”.
Recently we had an opportunity to interview him and John kindly agreed to answer all our questions.
He excels at marrying problem-solving, ethics, leadership and creativity with sales, profitability and growth. Bonavia has an Intense commitment to revenue growth and creating new business opportunities.
You are switching over from the film industry to become an investor and full time Entrepreneur. What are your personal achievements?
I have been able to start Gateway Advantage to help business get funded. This is a huge honour as I know that in America we have so much untapped potential and unsung heroes who deserve a chance in business. I have donated to St Judes children’s Hospital as well as woman’s charities – which is an issue that is close to my heart.
Could you tell us a little more about Gateway Advantage?
The Gateway Advantage was founded by men of vision to bring together business owners, entrepreneurs, and investors. We aim to facilitate a professional network environment that brings direct business value with a social spin. The Gateway Advantage was created to help companies with Sales and Marketing advice and to create a support network. It soon became obvious that it was equally, if not more, important for business owners and managers to meet regularly with like-minded people who were facing the same problems and issues.
In 5 years from now, what is your prediction and what do you aim for?
In five years i want to be heavily involved in philanthropy, making a difference in the world for the better. I want to be bringing clean water to the entire world and to help our environment. This is an area where more leadership is urgently required.
Which other people do you draw inspiration from?
Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.
My father who is a principal of a school that shapes and molds kids is my mentor.
My mother is a Sunday schooling teacher saving lives daily.
Tell us what do you stand for? Are there any causes you care about?
I stand for anything that is right. Respect. As mentioned, I believe that as custodians of the environment, we need to take a stand on issues like clean water and energy.
What is your advise to people during times of adversity?
I am a fan of letting go and letting GOD.
Please tell us a bit about your background in business and how it slots in with your celebrity life?
I was financially successful at a young age. It was easy for me to become the party boy in the nightlife scene. I managed to amass a very successful portfolio in my Wall Street
ventures. Almost overnight I became a marketing guru orchestrating ad campaigns for Sean John that were broadcast in Times Square.
Because of the long arduous process of reconfiguration of my thinking, I have
begun to see that joy can be obtained through meditation, cognitive therapy and the unconditional love of friends and family. This new way of understanding has renewed my perspective on life.
I saw they called you “Millionaire MatchMaker John Bonavia” – is that correct?
Haha – well yes they did. I was a playboy in my younger years. But we move on in life – it is a journey.
John there was a time that you faced a significant setback and have re-emerged as strong leadership figure. Tell us about this turnaround?
As you know my background… I am looking for a new start with no judgments, we all make mistakes and i am ready to show the world who I really am. In the last few years, I have seen how people can transform their lives and recover from some of their biggest mistakes and be forgiven for sins of the past: how God can transform you if you allow him. We all know that America is one of the countries in the world where prison hosts a disproportionately large part of the population. The good news is regardless of whether a person is in there for fraud, attempted murder, drugs or any of the these issues that are tearing apart the fabric of our society: in many cases our judicial system is fair and provide them with a second chance if they genuinely work hard at pulling themselves together. As for me: yes, I have evolved from being the “Millionaire Matchmaker” to a business adviser who give back to others.
I believe, we are all shaped by our personal experiences, and in the end it all comes down to wanting to be loved. I was confused to learn what love is, and to learn it in a place of violence and hate, I can only attribute to what was needed for my own internal joy.
The biggest turnaround for me was when I decided to follow Jesus Christ. God made me a new man with compassion. My eyes have been opened and I can see that in this world, we all have an opportunity to choose what is right – and to set an example for others.
In my life as-well as-others I have thought long and hard and I’ve decided to continue my education while incarcerated. I took twenty-one credits with a true conviction to be a light to others. I know my journey is not complete but I truly believe I am, in some small way lighting the path for others to follow. I have Come to realize; I am no different then anyone else. Inside or outside the classroom I learned how to love my neighbor, and this understanding has generated true happiness within myself. I believe that with continued education and research in myself and desire to be the best I can be for-myself and others, I can place myself in a position to reach my ultimate goal of internal joy by helping and loving everyone.
What advise do you typically give to entrepreneurs?
Find mentors to help you gain a fresh perspective and make use of professionals. You may be great at coding but need help with negotiation; great at running a hotel but could do well with the help of a tax planner. Keep good advisors near you and follow your passion with a bold vision and don’t aim to be “average”.
Do you have a secret to your happiness and a philosophy that you follow?
Giving back is important. It makes me stronger and happier when I support others. This is why The Gateway Advantage works with entrepreneurs who need support. But I also extend this beyond business to issues I truly care about. Today, I stand with victims of drug abuse, domestic violence to support their cause and make a difference in their lives. I also stand with organizations who rehabilitate offenders to give them a second chance.
Bonavia agreed that in our next interview, he’ll be sharing some more of the success stories that Gateway Advantage supported – certainly an interesting space to watch.