Dropping Out Of High School Paid Off For Aventus CEO Josh Royal
A little more than a decade ago, the teenage son of a disabled single mother, living in a small house with a big mortgage, found himself in a position no high school student should have to face; drop out of school to provide for himself and his mother, or figure out any other way to make ends meet. Graduating high school did not offer a lot of promise in the charming but small town in the Southern region of the United States. So,15-year-old Josh Royal manifested a plan, got on the Internet looking for an opportunity, and then dropped out of school.
At first it seemed like a bad decision. Sitting at coffee shops for hours a day scouring the web, trying different methods of monetizing web traffic and making money online. However, by the time he was 20 years old, he had figured out some ways to generate enough income through online advertising to pay his mother’s house off. Whatever money he had left he reinvested into growing his business, staying focused, avoiding distractions, and becoming more and more passionate about business.
Josh Royal continued to learn, pivot and grow, until finally founding his latest venture in 2014, an American business customer service operation he named Aventus, which translates to success. In just a few years, Aventus has grown to hundreds of employees, serves a multitude of Fortune 500 clients, and generates millions of dollars in annual revenues. Here are some details about his journey.
There are many rags-to-riches stories out there. What makes yours unique?
Every rags-to-riches story is unique, shaped by circumstances, relationships, attitude, and passion. I think a key to my success has been to look beyond the negative events in my life. I have found it more important to focus on possibilities instead of dwelling on what is working against me. As a result, I’ve been able to nurture and sustain relationships that keep me energized and positive.
You are a self-made millionaire. As someone who made it, how important do you think passion is and what role did it play in your success?
Passion is extremely important. If you love what you do, you'll succeed. I have always been extremely passionate about helping other people succeed. For example, the first person I hired at Aventus started as a customer service rep. Five years later, she’s the Director of Account Management, earning 4 times her starting pay with responsibilities that provide her opportunity for global travel. Seeing people grow energizes me, allowing me to further grow the business.
I think it is also important to recognize what it means to be “self-made.” In my case, I’ve had great relationships with people who believed in me when things were doubtful. I wouldn’t be who I am without these people and I would be remiss in not recognizing their contribution to my success.
Many entrepreneurs and business coaches teach that tenacity is the quality an entrepreneur needs the most. Do you agree?
Tenacity is critical for success. Drive and believing in your own ideas – the building blocks for tenacity - are the two most important ingredients for success. If you have the drive to push yourself to your fullest potential, you will succeed. If you truly believe in your ideas, you will want to put in the hard work to make to make your ideas profitable. I am also a big believer in the law of attraction.
Most people’s biggest fear is public speaking. Having a background in computers, I am guessing you were an introvert. How do you go from an introvert to an extrovert—and in your opinion, is this important to being successful?
I am definitely an introvert. As I have built my business, I have found that honesty, integrity, and genuineness are critical for business success. So, I don’t work on becoming something I’m not. In fact, I think that being an introvert makes me more sensitive to the needs of our clients, allowing me to engage them in a real and genuine way, offering them solutions based on an understanding of their needs and priorities.
The media often frames entrepreneurs and business people as greedy, or selfish. How do you balance selfish and unselfish needs, and where do you draw the line? How important is charity to you?
Building a successful business is a socially beneficial endeavor for which the entrepreneur bears the full risk. A successful business creates jobs for individuals and tax revenues for government. I work to ensure that our employees are compensated, recognized, and rewarded for their efforts. I’m dedicated to complying with all regulations. I’ve been able to build a business that is both professionally and financially rewarding.
Charity is important. Over the years, we’ve invested in several charities, particularly those focusing on the homeless and at-risk teens.
As a busy entrepreneur I am sure you have a hard time balancing work and your personal life. What does your personal life look like?
Being the CEO for a large BPO keeps me extremely busy but living in a resort community in Puerto Rico allows me to slow down. On the weekends I spend time at the beach with my fiancé, Liz, and our French Bulldog, Audric. We've been living here for the last 6 months and it has been amazing. When we're not at the beach, we head over to Old San Juan for some salsa music and mojitos with friends. Some weekends we visit the surrounding Caribbean islands to see what they have to offer, as I've always been interested in travel and experiencing new cultures.