The President of the new Gateway Advantage business club, John Bonavia, is an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. The process of starting a new business, the hard work entailed, and the risks involved are challenges that don’t scare him off. He is aware that by leaving a regular job, the burden of success rests entirely on his shoulders, but that is a chance that he is willing to take. John’s exciting career has so far included acting, modeling, event planning, marketing, and investing.
What made you decide to become the owner of a business club?
I have worked in various industries and have friends in others. As diverse as they all are, whether they are in hospitality, media production, health, technologies, education or sales, they all have the same needs and concerns. A business club can offer business executives the opportunity to build a support network through meetings with like-minded people.
As an entrepreneur myself, I know that advice at many levels can be as important as finding funds to get projects off the ground.
Do businessmen share advice or do they keep the secret to their success close to their chest?
The most successful businessmen are usually the ones who are least fearful of giving advice and mentoring younger people. I for one, like to see people advance and know that sharing information with them may help them overcome gnawing issues in business, their careers and even their relationships. Even the most successful people may find themselves in a difficult position once in a while.
What types of facilities does the Gateway Advantage offer?
It provides the perfect environment where our club members can network and share ideas. Investors can meet in the relaxing atmosphere with creators of great business ideas to discuss and plan. The club has conference room facilities for meetings and presentations can be made in a professional and quiet environment. The 3-star Michelin Restaurant is the ideal place to entertain special guests. Events will be planned from time-to-time, the guest-speakers invited will give inspiring talks on new developments and challenges faced by entrepreneurs today.
Your flagship club is in San Diego, California. Where else do you plan to expand the business?
As a group of visionaries, we will obviously want to look at expansions down the line, but we are currently concentrating our efforts at reaching our initial goals before setting the next lot.
How do you compare this to your previous endeavors?
Every bit of my career so far has been exciting and every step has been unforgettable. One of my favorite moments was when I worked as a social media marketer for Hope for the Children. That was where I learnt the importance of helping others in need and where I made the commitment to become a philanthropist.
What are your favorites charities?
Definitely to help those that are in a weaker position than me. Up until now I have mostly donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and to women’s charities but I have developed a deep interest our water resources and the environment, and am planning to branch out my efforts in that direction too.
Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?
I learnt the hard way that success can sometimes change us and lead us astray from the principles that we were brought up with. They must look for inspiration from the people around them and must follow their example closely.
Who do you consider to be your mentor?
My mentor is a school principal who also happens to be my father. He has shaped and molded many kids in his life and is very proud of all of them when he meets them at school reunions.
You said earlier that you learnt the hard way. You fought back and came out a winner, but where did you draw the necessary strength from?
I now know how anyone can overcome difficulties – let go and let God in. Our ability to give and accept love is one of the greatest weapons we all have. The two people who know how to give and take love best are our mothers and God, and that’s who I turned to. I now spend my days improving myself at every opportunity. I am filled with the desire to be joyful and to pass this on to others by offering my help wherever I can.
One final message for our readers as we approach the festive season, the time of giving.
Every single person deserves to be shown respect and love; the most precious of gifts.
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