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Jon has been an entrepreneur for more than 10 years and has successfully scaled 8 companies, selling one in 2018 and currently growing a nationally recognized award-winning brand.
While three of these businesses almost killed him, that didn’t stop him…
In fact, over the past decade alone, he has helped scale and consult on over 160 brands across the country, grossing myriad millions of dollars for his clients along the way.
He’s worked with clients like Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Amanda Bucci, Courtney King, Possible Pat, and countless more.
Boles’ latest endeavor, Avintiv Media, is set to do multiple 7 figures in 2019 from simply helping businesses grow through branding, web design, Facebook advertising, and business coaching.
Boles says, “At Avintiv Media, our mission is quite simple: to give our clients their life back, which will allow them to live their ideal life. Avintiv Media doesn’t sell services. People own businesses, no matter the size of the organization. People make decisions based on happiness, life, emotion, and so many other factors. Our client’s businesses grow tremendously when we take the pressure off their plate, help them create their ideal vision and assist in making it come to life. Our individual services that we offer are simply aspects that contribute to their end goals.”
With a mixture of luxury, fitness, canabis, and automotive clients, the Avintiv Media team could be growing a $200 million brand on monday and then shooting a commercial for Ferrari on Tuesday.
Jon’s life mission now is to help give entrepreneurs their life back. He knows all too well the stresses that come from owning and managing your own business. His personal health battles related to stress and long hours have shown him the importance of finding time to live.
Jon, how did you get started as an entrepreneur?
I remember feeling like someone jammed a sharp dagger straight into my heart.
It was the day I decided to become an entrepreneur.
I was leaving my manager’s office when I was 17 years old and I presented a lot of operational issues within the business and offered some solutions to them thinking they’d be so excited.
Boy was I wrong.
Their response… “You don’t need to worry about this things, it’s above your pay grade.”
Those words were like a dagger through my heart because I honestly just wanted to fix things, help people, and make my coworkers lives better at work.
I knew at that point that I never wanted to be trapped in a box by someone or something ever again in my entire life.
Where were you from?
I was born in Racine, WI and lived in Milwaukee, WI until I was 26 years old. I moved to Scottsdale, AZ and haven’t looked back.
What are some tough lessons you’ve learned along the way?
This is a tricky question for me to answer as I’ve learned so many tough lessons along the way.
Let’s just say that I’ve learned that big bank takes little bank. I owned an activewear clothing company from 2014 to 2018 before selling in 2018. I got my second cease and desist letter from a billion dollar holding company in NYC that managed some of the biggest clothing brands in the world. I’ve had my fair share of legal experience, both good and bad, but I had never been involved with something so big and serious. They could have snapped their fingers and taken my entire company down but it taught me to lower my ego, be respectful, and hope for the best while staying focused on work. We ended up settling and it turned out fine but it could have gone a completely different route.
What’s the pivotal moment in your life that changed everything?
I used to chase money!!! I used to be fueled and motivated by being rich. WHY? Because I was broke in my earlier years and was sick of struggling. I made $1 million dollars before 18 and ended up going completely broke before turning 21 years old. So broke that I had to borrow money from family and friends to survive. Going through that stage of my life made me never want to struggle ever again!!!
So what did I do?
I started to think, dream, and obsess over having more money and never having to stress about it or wonder how I was going to pay bills again. I never wanted to go back to seeing the red – sign in my bank account and show that my account had over drafted or was in the negative.
I never wanted to go back to wondering if my credit card had enough on the limit to swipe for a simple sandwich and coffee. I never wanted to let my family and friends down again because that was the worst feeling in the world.
That turned into me wearing a “success” mask and everything I did had to be proper, perfect and geared towards success. I didn’t want people to know about my past or my failures so I thought by chasing money that no one would ever find out.
I went to a coaching event in January 2018 that changed my life forever. I shared my full story for the first time in my life. I hid from it and ran from it because I was ashamed of who I was before hitting “success.” Taking my mask off and becoming 100% authentic and vulnerable was the best decision of my life. I have zero skeletons in my closet and when you’re authentic and vulnerable, there’s not much anyone can do to affect you or hurt your feelings. I know who I am to the core now and that’s something no one can ever take away from me. Since January 2018 and taking my mask off, business and life have skyrocketed and have been life-changing. I’m very blessed to be who I am and do what I do every day.
Tell us about a big failure in your business and how has that shifted your direction in business/life?
In 2016, you could say that I was a “YES” man. My group of friends are all extremely successful entrepreneurs and influencers. The type that makes you want to grow as fast as possible. In 2016, I wanted to grow as much as possible and level up like them. I started saying yes to every meeting that came my way. Investor meetings, real estate meetings, marketing deals, etc. At the end of 2016 and early 2017, I had 3 companies that were all growing very rapidly. Having 3 companies sounded like a cool idea at the time until I couldn’t control the growth anymore and they all started butting heads. I owned an activewear clothing company that was taking off, I owned a white-labeling manufacturing company, and my marketing agency, Avintiv Media. They all needed my time and I had meetings overlapping, employees needing things every second of the day, to the point where I just couldn’t handle it anymore and I ended up in the hospital from stomach ulcers and having too much stress. I almost lost it all.
This taught me that my health and happiness needs to be number one in my life. I now build my businesses around my ideal vision and the life that I want to live. It keeps my health in check and I truly enjoy growing my brands now.
What inspired you to start Avintiv media which has grown to be a 10x award winning agency and what are your top 3 lessons you learned while scaling?
I started Avintiv Media as a side project to be completely honest. I did consulting in the restaurant and nightlife industry for a number of years so I was used to fixing and growing businesses. Week after week, I kept getting emails asking questions about who did the branding, website, and marketing of my clothing company at the time, Modus Apparel. By the fourth or fifth person, I knew that I had something because I was the one that created and managed everything they asked about. I started doing branding and websites for clients on the side for extra cash. I knew it was a home run when the first month in business, Avintiv Media bypassed my clothing company in revenue that month.
The second reason is that I had a really bad experience with past marketing agencies and I was sick of getting screwed over. I wanted to offer a solution for entrepreneurs to actually provide them value with high quality and affordable services. I was sick of watching people get screwed over. I guess you could say, I wanted Avintiv Media to be the white knights to come and save the day.
- Invest in a team that has an amazing culture, not only sees your vision but fights for it, and they follow your company core values
- Focus on systems and processes day one
- Start super niche and with only one or two services. DON’T TRY TO BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE
What do you look for when hiring people and is attitude or talent more important to you when evaluating a candidate?
This is a great question because we’re in the process of hiring 2-3 employees every month or two. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that skills and experience are great but you cannot teach culture or attitude. Our team can always teach someone skills or how to become a better designer or developer. We focus on culture and attitude in the first two steps of our hiring process. I don’t think I’ve looked at what school someone has gone to in almost two years. We get rockstars because our culture at Avintiv Media is phenomenal and the team wants to become better each and every day! It’s 8 pm as I answer this question and one of my salaried team members is still in the office working overtime because she is super invested in the vision and our future together! If that’s not culture or great attitude then I don’t know what is.
What are your top 3 lessons on success that you’d like to share with other entrepreneurs?
- Money does not equal success. I repeat. MONEY DOES NOT EQUAL SUCCESS.
- Progress over perfection. Stop trying to get things perfect because that is never going to happen. Focus on small wins every day and build off of them. You’d be amazed at what type of domino effect of success that will be created.
- Develop a morning ritual that sets you up for success. The morning dictates the mood of your entire day. Here is mine: Wake up 6 am, List what I’m grateful for, go to the gym for 45 minutes, shower, meditate, read a book for an hour, and then begin my day. This grounds me for whatever happens the rest of the day.
What is next for you business-wise? Do you want to scale the agency to have 100’s of employees? Start other businesses?
What’s next for me is staying focused on my agency, Avintiv Media, and my business coaching. Avintiv Media is now working with some pretty large national and international clients, so we will continue to scale our agency to go after larger companies with major market share. We’re on track to having 20 full-time employees by the end of 2019 with a huge market share in the fitness and luxury space. By 2020 we should have another satellite office and team in Los Angeles to work with a number of influencer clients.
Our coaching program, 6-Figure Impact Leaders, is on track to coaching 250-300 fitness coaches in 2019. We offer a 12-week program that helps fitness coaches and personal trainers get back their freedom back and build a $250,000+ coaching business. It’s pretty amazing the results we’ve been able to have this year. In 2018, we helped over 40 fitness coaches break past the 5-figure mark in revenue and cross into multiple 6-figure businesses. Two of these clients are on their way to 7-figures in 2019. Their lives have completely changed.
We’re getting ready to launch a 7-figure mastermind around March 2019 that will help entrepreneurs get to the 7-figure level and will have 4 retreats around the world per year. There’s going to be special guest celebrity/influencer speakers and coaches that share their story, success, and experience of getting to where they’re at. This is going to be a mastermind like no other.
Do I plan on having 100’s of employees? No, that gives me anxiety just hearing haha. I see growing Avintiv media to 50-75 employees which should be a pretty large agency in my eyes. That’s just 25% of the vision though. You’ll have to wait to hear about the other pieces that are getting added in to compliment the agency.