Macedonia 2025 – Not many people are aware that early on in your career you worked as an advisor to senior members of the government. What lessons did you learn working in Ottawa that have been valuable when you returned to the private sector?
John Bitove – I learned that it’s not what you ask for, its how you ask for it. At the end of the day, people have to trust you and you have to have a reputation of honesty. That is how my parents raised my family.
Macedonia 2025 – You have a proven track record of introducing new business be it bringing the NBA to Toronto or bringing Satellite Radio to Canada. What factors do you put value on when moving from a great idea into action?
John Bitove – When I look at an opportunity the factor that I put value on is whether I believe in the business or not. Once you can sell yourself on something, it’s much easier to sell it others. Then you need to hire a good management team and trust them to execute against the plan.
Macedonia 2025 – The Bitove family is a big one, you have one sister and three brothers. What are the advantages and challenges of going into business with your family?
John Bitove – One advantage is that I know I can trust my family. One disadvantage is that sometimes when you mix family and business things can get cloudy. At the end of the day you have to insure that the love for your family is more important than business issues.
Macedonia 2025 – Even those who have casually followed your career know that you are an avid sports fan. What parallels can you draw from competing in the sports arena and competing in the business world?
John Bitove – Both professional sports and the business world are highly competitive. They require you to learn how to work together with people to achieve your goals. They also require you to act quickly when your competitor does something or unexpected changes arise.
Macedonia 2025 – If you were giving advice to someone who was about to launch their own business. What would you tell them is most important before they launch?
John Bitove – Learn the nuts and bolts of the business you’re trying to get into. How the business really makes money. Then, figure out a way to do it better than your competition. Also make sure your spouse/partner is supportive because if I didn’t have that I couldn’t do what I do.
Macedonia 2025 – Tell us some thing not too many people know about John Bitove
John Bitove – I love to laugh and hang with people who are full of positive energy and make us all smile. Life is too short any other way!
If you are interested in learning more about John Bitove you can read this story that was published in the Report on Business Magazine