Jeff Badovick, business advisor, founder, and executive is more than qualified to help entrepreneurs develop the mindset and acquire the skills needed to win in business. Since working for the family business from age 13, to founding, growing and exiting several of his own successful ventures, Badovick is in a prime position to help other entrepreneurs as they push boundaries and take their own businesses beyond the next level. Badovick shared the story behind his journey and how his most recent project is allowing him to do what he enjoys most.
"I feel like I was born into the family business," Badovick said. "At an early age, I had the opportunity to learn a highly skilled trade but was also exposed to the business side of our operation. That included designing and building plastic injection molds, quoting projects, dealing with customers, managing staff, and participating in financial strategies. I completely dove into every aspect of our business with my heart and soul."
Badovick worked for the family business until relocating to Ormond Beach in 1984 to pursue his vision of owning his own business and creating a new lifestyle. "I started an independent engineering and design business," he said. "It was an opportunity to put into practice the business skills I had acquired up to that point. I was a one-man team so I did everything from the technical work on projects to the sales, marketing, and finances. From day one, I had to do my own networking, knock on doors, and close the deals. It was a great lesson on what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur”.
Eventually, Badovick and his wife Cathy decided it was the right time to start a family. “When we found out our first kid was on the way, I thought it would be a good move to pursue a more traditional career path." Badovick put his name in the hat for a leadership position with Florida Production Engineering, a leader in the design, development & manufacturing of plastic injection molded components and innovative value-added assemblies. After a grueling 20-hour interview process, he was hired to help lead, transform and rapidly grow the business. From 1992 to 1998, Badovick served as Director of Engineering for the company's North American locations.
In late 1998, Badovick chose to get back to doing what he wanted most: being an entrepreneur. "I started a new business called APTEC, Inc.," he said. "It started out as a nuts and bolts engineering firm, but we pivoted to become one of the premier product development firms in the country. We created man of the products you see in stores for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) brands like Sunbeam, Elkay, Electrolux, and Harley-Davidson. Our unique differentiator was engineering and implementing the manufacturing systems for the innovative products we developed. That business grew to 23 people in a short couple of years until it was acquired in 2005 by a large firm in Orlando."
After his APTEC exit, Badovick spent two years as a partner and chief executive of an IP holding company. “That firm targeted large companies such as Hunter Fans, and other big OEMs, on intellectual property licensing deals," he said. Unfortunately, as Badovick shared, the pace of a licensing business model was slow and frustrating. As a result, he decided in 2007 to take his own IP and start a new consumer products business called Auramist.
"We designed and manufactured innovative cooling products with a proprietary technology inside," he said. "We distributed to most major retailers in the U.S. and exported to markets that included China, Europe, and Australia. The company was originally founded in Ormond Beach, FL, but we moved the headquarters and most operations to Nashville, TN, after partnering with a venture capital group. Research and Development remained in Ormond though, because we had incredibly talented people there. From 2010 through 2016, I kept a residence in both Nashville and Ormond Beach."
Badovick orchestrated a unique exit strategy of that business in 2016. “We sold the business, but still to this day make and sell the key propriety component to the acquirer. This approach allows our stakeholders to keep control of our IP and generate long-term income too," said Badovick. Badovick maintains an active role overseeing the interests of his fellow investors but was also in a position to pursue new opportunities. That's when he decided his future would involve using his scope of knowledge and first-hand experience to help other entrepreneurs become highly successful
In September of 2016, Badovick officially launched his current venture powered by the philosophy that, in order to succeed as an entrepreneur, it takes more than book smart knowledge. It’s most important to have an assertive mindset and highly-proficient skills of business. "When I engage with a client, I do bring them coaching, guidance, and serve in an advisory role to help them build their businesses," he said. "but I have a core focus of stimulating their mindset and honing their skills as an entrepreneur. I want them to have the ability to act in their leadership role with superior performance and be the catalyst for serious business growth.”
Badovick’s approach involves dedicating time to his clients and looking at the elements of their entrepreneurial ability. He implements a structured plan for each client to help them step up their game to achieve their personal and business objectives. Entrepreneurs get to experience deep and meaningful improvement of their skills through a method of practical application that’s relevant to their own business situation. Badovick also shares his wisdom to help entrepreneurs align their attitudes with their ambitions. He added “There are no shortcuts to becoming a successful entrepreneur. It takes a hard-nosed commitment and the right kind of support to get winning results.”
What Badovick enjoys most is what ultimately drives him to continue doing what he's doing. "I love helping people," he said. "My greatest reward is seeing others accomplish what they set out to do. I’m fortunate to have achieved a ton of success and made a heck of a lot of money in my own entrepreneurial career. I’ve played in some big-league business environments and dealt with some serious players around the globe. Now, I'm more interested in seeing the 'ah ha' moment on my client's faces when they realize what they’re truly capable of.” He added, “I feel like my accumulated credentials have made me into a very capable teacher of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur and how to win in business.”
Looking ahead, Badovick is focused on gaining broader exposure for his business. He's set to release a new book about the skills needed to thrive in the fast-paced and unforgiving world of business. His plans include more speaking engagements and training opportunities on a larger platform. Ultimately, he wants to have a positive impact on as many entrepreneurs as possible.
What advice does Badovick have for aspiring entrepreneurs? "Well, there’s two things I like to tell entrepreneurs. First, to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to act like one. That means you must have the ability to take charge, make big things happen, and handle whatever comes your way. The second thing is to make sure you build your business on a foundation of these three core strategies. Planning strategies define the journey and destination of your business. Funding strategies provide the fuel to build and grow. Execution strategies drive superior performance and create exceptional results. That’s how the winners do it.”
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