317. Success Over Rejection & Introversion
His two top college picks, both in his native California, had turned him down…twice. Notre Dame in Indiana was a fine school, too, but it felt like a consolation prize. He could not have imagined the horizons that would open to him in the wake of those two rejections.
John Bodrozic is a co-founder of HomeZada, a startup which is a digital home management internet platform that empowers consumers to manage their largest financial asset, their home. Previously he had a successful startup by first boot-strapping a software company, getting it to profitability, raising venture capital, globally growing the business and eventually having a successful multi-million dollar sale to a public company. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in mechanical engineering.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“The business world was a foreign concept to me because my parents were not in the business world. They were blue collar workers.” Through John’s project management work at major commercial construction companies, he started educating himself about the business side of the industry. When the opportunity arose to launch a startup to serve the construction industry, he had already begun to create the knowledge base he would need to take a big risk.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
Born to parents who fled Communist Yugoslavia in 1960, John benefited from their commitment to hard work and giving their children a good education. John experienced rejection along the way, unable to get into the two colleges he wanted, so he learned to make practical choices to keep moving forward, starting with earning his degree as a mechanical engineer A crucial turning point came when he chose to leave a career at a large national construction company and take a chance on a tech startup, creating and marketing software for that industry. He carefully considered the downside risks, then opted to bet on the upside potential. His decision paid off.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
Starting out as in introvert, John found that his start-ups forced him to get outside of himself and be a life-long learner. He’s proud of the courage and accomplishments. In his first business, “We saved millions of dollars for our customers managing construction projects. We created 250 direct jobs and probably 10,000 indirect jobs because we had people learning our software and becoming consultants. Twenty new businesses were created based on our platform. To create a product that creates value for your customers, creates jobs and businesses, and make an impact in your little niche of the world is probably one of the things I’m proudest of.”
Steps to Success from John Bodrozic
1. Learn to deal with rejection and maintain forward momentum.
2. Be a life-long learner, taking advantage of books, online classes and opportunities to learn.
3. Think strategically about the risks you take. Whenever possible, start learning about your next step while you have the security of a job.
4. Find ways to help other entrepreneurs avoid the pitfalls you have experienced. Give back.
On His Bookshelf
Crossing The Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers, by Geoffrey A. Moore
Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant, by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
Connecting With John Bodrozic
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