Mike Vondruska will be the first to tell you that he has always had the entrepreneurial spirit. After graduating from Western Illinois University with a degree in geography, Mike made the crazy decision to never work for anyone else the rest of his life and to be his own boss. This was gutsy and naïve considering he had absolutely no business background, no business mentors, and had never taken a business, sales, or marketing class. What Mike did have was a determination to succeed and the idea that he would “figure it out” along the way.
Along the way, Mike did gain the knowledge to become successful in business, sales, and marketing from reading dozens of related books, attending multiple seminars, networking with other successful entrepreneurs, and most importantly, learning through trial and error. He became and still is today, a student of business and of what it takes to stay self-motivated.
Mike parlayed his passion of juggling into a business. He started a company called the Illinois Juggling Institute, Inc. back in 1978. His business goals included booking performances and teaching juggling skills combined with all of its positive benefits to students in schools as well as to adults in business and association functions.
To date, Mike has performed in front of more than 5000 audiences throughout the US as well as in Canada, Mexico, China, on cruise ships, and in circuses. His goal to teach juggling skills has also given him the opportunity to visit 2000+ schools and many other places of learning throughout North America. Since 1978, Mike has conducted over 22,000 workshops teaching juggling skills to more than one million students.
Vondruska is the recipient of the 1992 Excellence in Education Award from The International Jugglers Association, a past 2-term elected member to its board of directors, and for 9 years, coordinated all the workshops for its annual international festival. He is also the author of the teacher’s manual entitled, Teaching Juggling Skills and has written, directed, and starred in an educational video called, Fun with Juggling Scarves.
Vondruska’s degree in geography did not go by the wayside. His love for outdoor travel led him to create many excellent exploration experiences throughout the country of México. As a result of his extensive travels throughout this county, Mike has become a leading authority for intrepid travelers who would like to see the “real” México. He has a YouTube travel channel called, Mike’s México Adventures where he posts videos of his experiences in México and showcases great places to visit there. His guided tours are for people who enjoy exploring the cultural diversity, history, geographic beauty, and excellent outdoor adventures throughout México. You can find his tours at MexicoVacationTours.com & DiscoverVeracruzTours.com.
Mike currently travels back and forth between his homes in Veracruz, Mexico and Illinois, United States. When he is not performing, teaching juggling skills, exploring new regions in México, or creating new videos for his YouTube channel, you will find him working out, going for long bike rides, studying success principals, photographing nature, and enjoying the company of his family and friends.