Vlado Bosanac is the CEO & Founder of MyFiziq, a body scanning app which allows users to measure and track their fitness without scales and body fat calipers.
Vlado is also the Group Chief Executive Officer at Body Composition Technologies and Managing Director at VB Advisory.
Balance the Grind had a conversation with Vlado about his early entrepreneurial journey, investing in the medical and biotechnology sectors, a day in the life of a CEO, and more.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?
I left school at 15 years of age and worked in the health and fitness industry.
This was right in my sweet spot as I was a competitive bodybuilder, winning my first competition, Teenage Mr Perth, still at only 15. I was also a competitive martial artist.
I believe the combination of these disciplines taught me resilience and a “never give up attitude” which helps me keep focused in business today.
Leaving school at such a young age was something that deeply concerned my mother. She had a typical European outlook on life when it comes to job security: she told me if I didn’t have a trade behind me, I would be a failure and have no security to fall back on in my future.
I started my career in security in night clubs throughout the America’s Cup in the late 80’s. My first move in the world of being an entrepreneur was starting a cleaning business with a house mate.
While we made reasonable money, it wasn’t for me. At this point, with a little more experience under my belt, I started dabbling in property development, mainly around the renovation of old state housing flats.
This went well and before I knew it, I was involved in more lucrative and far more complex development of luxury apartment complexes.
As markets turned, as they always do, I started to use my improving skills along with the money I had made to make more aggressive and bolder moves in the capital markets.
I primarily invested into ASX-listed companies in the medical and biotechnology sectors. I eventually teamed up with some great guys and self-developed a company which focused on biotech and biomedical devices.
The core of the partnership lasted 17 years and many memorable successes and of course, some losses too, but that’s how we learn.
2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?
My current role is the CEO of a company I co-founder with my life partner Dr Katherine Iscoe.
The role is complex and an ever-shifting landscape. The best advice I ever received was “deal with the largest, most daunting problems first thing in the morning” so you get them out of the way and get on with the productive positive things required of you.
My day is a combination of staff, shareholder interaction, defining and delivering business goals, and commercial discussions. I pride myself on always returning peoples calls and emails in a 24-hour period.
Running a public company has its draw backs but at the end of the day it’s all about assessing the business goals and achieving them.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always as fast as shareholders would like but that’s a burden you take on when agreeing to stand in front of a company that has external investors in it.
3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I normally rise around 5.30am depending on which part of the world I am in. I like to first deal with any emails and communications that need immediate attention.
I am a little fussy with my suits and shirts so I always re-press my own clothes from the cleaners (OCD I know!). I’m a firm believer in having all of my dominos in a straight line, white shirt starched and a crisp, pressed suit, crease free, and shoes polished every time you wear them.
I apply the same discipline to my work environment and surroundings. I like to be in the office by 7am.
I think it is important to set a good example for my staff whom are a big part of our success to say the least.
I engage with every staff member every morning when I walk around the office as they are all important. I want them to feel I am part of the team with them.
The rest of the day will be a mix of interactions between me and my key management on the outcomes they are driving, as well as understanding where I can be part of the solution.
I don’t micromanage as my team are very capable and I give them ownership of their deliverables.
Then onto the follow up: we currently have over 200 companies engaged with our company on multiple fronts and keeping everything moving and current is in itself a complex part of each day.
There is a very fine line between keeping people engaged and annoying them. This is a skill in itself! Most days I would leave the office around 6-6.30pm subject to doing my duties as a father and keeping a work life-balance.
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you prioritise your workload?
As I mentioned earlier, do the crappy stuff first so it is out of the way and you can focus for the rest of the day.
Make lists of what needs to be done and don’t try to keep it all in your head. You are not going to focus on all things at once, so commit to a list in order of urgency.
It is very satisfying to see things getting ticked off. Furthermore, share the load and try not to own everything. Staff appreciate being trusted and given important tasks. Delegate, motivate and initiate.
5) In between your job, life and all your other responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?
I am fortunate to have a partner that is also working in the business, whom understands the hours, travel and shares the goals I have outlined to our team.
This is a very important part of achieving the end result that we are after. I don’t have to worry that my life partner doesn’t understand what is required from me to drive the company as the CEO, or that my effort equals results when it comes to driving a public company.
We make sure we have time to communicate and touch base every day and make the necessary effort to talk about life, and not only business. Date night is important and while this doesn’t happen as often as it used to, we make up the time together in other ways.
My kids are a super important part of my life. When I am in Perth I make sure I have time with them and I take them to there after school activities and share in their interests and achievements.
I spend time with my daughters on most weekends and take them out as much as I can when I remove their phones from their firm grip! I also love catching up with friends and enjoying a nice whisky over a good conversation.
6) What are some of the things you do to take time out and recharge?
I’m guilty of not doing enough of this, but I do enjoy socializing especially with my partner and friends over a nice meal with some noise around me. Yes, noise it helps me focus on them and not be thinking about tomorrow and what’s needed.
Time with my daughters is my recharge along with just kicking back and watching some trashy TV shows. Mostly reality as I love watching people and the way they conduct themselves when they forget the camera is there.
7) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?
- Communication is key, whether it is your staff, partner or children.
- Say what needs to be said and get things moving.
- Respect the people around you and give them your ear.
- Give people responsibility and watch them shine.
- It’s an oldie but a goodie: don’t do tomorrow what you could have got out of the way today.
- Believe in yourself and trust your gut.
8) Are there any books you’ve read that have helped you with work-life balance?
I can’t say I have read any lately, but I have listened to my partner’s most recent published book: Body Confidence: The Scientific Approach on How to Shine From Within.
Whilst the headline is around body confidence, it’s actually more about the way people think and how doubting ourselves can be incredibly damaging. It’s a good read… well a good listen, thanks to Siri!
9) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
Always check in with my to-do list, add to it, and then check off the things I have done.
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