As I have recently continued laying the foundation for our exciting new startup, iON Performance, I found myself contemplating what the true spirit of the brand is...with the realization that in order for new team members, and consumers, to be as passionate about the brand as I am, it would be important to communicate the essence of what we are about...what we stand for. This led me to thinking even more broadly about the current day and the opportunity I see in myself, our brand, our community, in taking a note out of those cliche 80's era corporate playbooks where more time was spent on Value and Mission Statements than an MVP and Pitch Deck.
So...excuse me for a moment while I share my two cents on what we are about and why it matters...
Trusting each other, treasuring the trust of our customers and our society. Never risking this trust for gain.
Something as simple as Trust seems like a rare commodity these days. It's hard to trust the intentions of a colleague, politicians, even the news. One thing that athletes practice day in and day out is trust. My favorite sport and event of all is the Track 400m Relay. In this event to be great, team members must master the art of the "blind exchange". Regardless of their individual talent, they must trust each other and when it is time for a runner to receive the baton, explosively launch without hesitation knowing that the runner coming in will find a way to get it to them. In our day to day lives, with whom in our work or family life do we have that type of trust? That trust where you don't have to read the tea leaves to decipher their intentions? Let's Trust.
Speaking openly, honestly and thoughtfully to each other and our customers. Unwavering integrity.
I have a major pet peeve these days...rudeness. Maybe it's due to the fact that I was raised by parents from the South, who demanded respect. My Dad always said "Think before you speak" (a sharp warning sometimes for the slick tongue little kid that I once was! eek! lol). These days, people confuse being "political correct" with just good old fashioned politeness, manners. The Word, A Word, is one of the most powerful elements in the universe. One Word literally has the power to manifest emotions, good or bad..and these emotions impact reality. The first thought that may come to my mind, right or not, may not be the best approach. We don't have to lie to each other or be overly "correct" so to speak, but we can at least be thoughtful and speak in a way that will uplift someone whether they are right or wrong. We should act like we Care about each other...That brings me to...
A.D. doing what he loves at the National Masters Championships 60m
Caring for each other and our customers before all other objectives. In order to care, you must understand
Care is truly at the heart of our brand. It's not about a bath salt, a face soap, a muscle rub...well ours are pretty awesome but...these are all manifestations of our caring to help our consumer athletes pursue the lifestyles they love. If we care about them, we will seek to understand them and through that understanding, solutions to help them will come.
I have a funny inside joke...with myself I guess...that what the world really needs to come together in peace is for the "Human Eating Space Aliens" to finally come knocking one day. You know those "V" cats? Maybe then we'd realize the value of humanity, the silliness of our in-fighting and finally just CARE about each other. Let's Care.
Walk boldly in Faith and boldly pursue a path to reach our individual potential and strengthen our brands ability to empower others.
I would argue that every true athlete gets this and lives this day in and day out. This defines the lifestyle of the athlete. In my own race as a sprinter, some might it call the definition of insanity to train for days, weeks, months for a race that can last as little as 7 seconds. When a sprinter steps into the blocks, if they think anything less than they have the potential to win for even a blink of an eye, they will likely perform under their potential.
The challenging path of the startup has also reinforced the value of boldness. There are so many matters, situations that are impacted by so many variables that one has to stay bold and faith, not make too much of the daily ups and downs but keep striving steadfast towards the dream. It is interesting that while the business model, value proposition, business traction are all key measures, I can literally feel that the single most important quality that I'm tested on by myself and others are my own confidence, commitment and passion towards my dream. It's All in or All out. Let's Be Bold.
So through iON, I hope to establish a culture that promotes each of these values: Trust, Sincerity, Care and Boldness in a way that can help support our team, our customers and the community at large. This will help fulfill a dream I have of not just merely selling products, but positively impacting the lives of the people I care about...Athletes, People...All People.
Let's Care for People.
Anthony Davis is the Founder of iON Performance, LLC.
He holds a BS in Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA in Marketing form Indiana University. (BIG10 Guy!)
A.D. is a lifelong athlete who was inspired to leverage his experience in healthcare and product innovation to address the unique personal care issues of the athlete.
"I found that as I aged, I could maintain a high level of performance and the lifestyle I loved, if I prioritized care of my body. There are many trends these days that push young to old athletes to pursue maximum gains at all costs. But who is caring for these people?
iON is the brand that cares."
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