Currently, I am the Chairman of the Board of a multi-divisional company called RJTIO, Bestselling Young-Adult Fantasy Author, and on the board of several organizations, including Pearit, Indiscribe, and IMX. I tour around the US and Europe doing inspirational talks, book festivals, and business workshops.
Six years ago, while in high school at the age of seventeen, I gave up on one dream. After finding out that there was no point for me to play competitive soccer, something I had trained for almost half my life to do, I had a hole to fill. While struggling to even get up in the morning while at boarding school, I found that I had acquired several hours of detention from skipping the mandatory morning announcement at the crack of dawn. Luckily my web design teacher felt bad for me, so in an effort to help me, she told me that if I made a website for her niece, she would get rid of the hours I had racked up. After designing the site and using a very early stage of Wix, I reached out to them in an effort to help them create a stronger product. Accepting my help, I worked with them while realizing that I could start making revenue from building websites for new clients.
In need of money, and not wanting to ask my grandfather for more beyond the education he had been paying for, I reached out online and found websites that needed to be updated. Contacting their owners, I got my first few clients, making four grand in the first month by designing websites based on their target demographic, my eye for aesthetics, and a few innovative elements of development for that time (e-commerce, video backgrounds, online content marketing). From there, I googled "how to start your own business", and soon after hired several international students from my school. After graduation, my employees went back to their respective countries (Korea, Japan, China, England, Greece) and expanded the company's cliental internationally by seeking business abroad - immediately making the company international and starting what would be an incredible journey.
We're all about bold boss moments, tell us about one of yours!
It’s hard to choose one over the other, so I would say my proudest moments are becoming an author of both a best-selling fantasy series and a japanese manga, selling a large part of my stake in my own company to transition from CEO to Chairman of the Board of Directors of RJTIO, and co-founding Pearit, with our awesome brand InternMagic meant to help youth and people in general find a career path that they will love being in!
What advice or words of encouragement do you have for the Bold Boss Tribe?
Being truly empathetic, in a "put yourself in someone else's shoes" manner is a strength needed for any solid leader. Being genuine, transparent, and appropriately blunt to others has taken me farther than I could have imagined, and as such I suggest doing the same.