John Bonavia, President of The Gateway Advantage, spoke to us about the things that he is most passionate about and why he feels that everyone deserves a chance to better themselves.
Our meeting took place in one of the elegant lounges of his new venture. He was a courteous and attentive host.
John, what inspired you to start Gateway Advantage?
We are a group of men with a vision and we know that we can help businesses find funding and inspiration by bringing them together on a business and social level. That is our vision for the Gateway Advantage. The owners and management of companies can reap huge benefits by meeting with other like-minded people, in an environment that is conducive to thought and discussion. Here they can discuss and share problems, and then find inspiration, strength, and solutions through interaction.
You are respected for your business ideas, what areas would you say that you excel in?
Every successful business has a strong mix of leadership, ethics, creativity and problem solving. This is how they achieve growth and profitability. I have the ability to show entrepreneurs how to leverage every aspect of creating a sturdy enterprise. Obviously these backing the right horse is a trait we learn as investors – and making available venture capital to cases where there is merit, is part of this.
Do you have a favorite industry?
No, as you have seen from my career so far, I have respect for people from all walks of life and I like diversity, even in my career. That’s why my interests are not focused on one particular type of business and includes all industries.
What do you foresee for the Gateway Advantage?
We know that it will revolutionize the venture capital market, especially for those industries considered to be “boring” to investors.
You have had an interesting and diverse career so far. As a public figure that has faced adversity, how easy would you say it was for you carve the course that would enable you to make this new beginning?
I have two wonderful parents and Jesus Christ in my life. These three people inspired me to find my true self again. My father, a school principle, has mentored me through this just as he does daily for the hundreds of kids in his school. On the other hand, my mother, a Sunday school teacher, rekindled my faith and continued to offer me her love and support. I also left myself in God’s hands and he took command.
Has your experience changed the way that you perceive life?
I have realized that no matter where any of us come from, we are all actually shaped by personal experiences throughout our lives and that we all just need to be loved.
Over the last few years I learnt that everyone can find joy from within themselves, but it does take determination and some serious soul-searching. This happened for me through meditation, cognitive therapy, and the unconditional love shown to me by my family and friends.
You managed to have financial success from a young age. You also created successful marketing campaigns for Sean John and your numerous TV and feature appearances turned you into a household name. What would you say is the driving force behind your achievements?
My achievements come from my need to improve myself and also my wanting to help others progress in their lives. I am not just talking about their financial status. Even the most successful people out there sometimes need assistance to improve their relationships, careers, and health.
I feel the same about business, and that is why I am always on the lookout to help players from every industry to find support and funding.
What are the causes that you strongly believe in?
Respect for the basic principles that our society is built on. By showing each other respect, we can all stand up and fight against the wrongs in our world.
As 2019 draws to a close, where do you see yourself in the not too distant future?
I am happy to have moved out of what was a very difficult phase for me, and am grateful that I took the opportunity to become a better person. I have now learnt how important it is to love life and to live productively.
I have always supported charities and St Jude’s Children’s Hospital and women’s charities have been on my list for many years. I see myself working as hard as I have up until now, but I also plan to get more involved with philanthropy over the next few years. Besides support for the weak and unprotected, our planet is in dire need, and I plan to concentrate my efforts on environment issues and helping to bring clean water to remote communities across the globe.
We thank you for so generously giving us some time out of your busy schedule.
It was my pleasure.