Putting a project together like Project UNITED takes a lot of time, money, and essentially requires the right people. The right skill-set is important, but what is more critical is for them to have genuine excitement for the project itself. Without this enthusiasm, the project is doomed before it even gets off the ground.
One of the things that makes Will a great person to work with is that he is not only big-picture capable, but he constantly asks why things are being done the way they are: are they being done for a purpose, or are they being done because they just are? If the reason is the latter, then we need to find a purpose or discontinue the task.
Before we started looking into manufacturers for the UNITED shoe v1.0, Will and I had a discussion about what the community investment element looked like. Would it work? Would it actually make a difference? Could it be done?
Whilst the finer details did not need to be locked in at this point, we did need a blueprint to determine the likelihood of success.
After a robust chat and some sidebar discussions with our training friends, we established the investment blueprint:
Why do it at all?
This could be an entire category in itself.
At the risk of getting philosophical, the reality is that we are here (on Earth) for a limited time. We have the choice to be consumed by our own immediate needs and wants and exist with a purpose to address only those, and ensure we are individually satisfied with what we have, or, consider putting our energy into a purpose that may enrich the lives of those around us and fulfill us in a longer lasting more genuine manner.
The UNITED team is made up of individuals who like to do things – projects, challenges, inventions, innovations. Project UNITED combines these individuals with similar values and a similar outlook to bring a combined effort to every community we can reach.
The philosophy underpins our efforts, but an objective approach is critical in actually achieving what we set out to achieve – investing in athletic communities and community athletes.
Project UNITED will concentrate on investing in independent health and fitness providers and fitness start-ups that require business expertise and funding in order to become sustainable. These entities include:
- Independent personal training businesses
- Boot-camps and group fitness businesses
- Single location private gyms and CrossFit boxes; and
- Dietitians and nutritionists
As a periodic promotional mechanism, Project UNITED will provide funding for individuals to patronise various establishments that are part of the UNITED community.
Methods of investment
The long-term view is that Project UNITED will provide financial investment to athletic communities as the primary method of assistance. As our community grows, we will be offering further assistance such as business expertise, strategy, time management, marketing and promotion, communication, strategic planning, lead generation, and reputation management.
As mentioned above, the objective of Project UNITED investments is sustainability. Whilst cash injections will be beneficial, basic business structures and planning will be critical to ensure the longevity of the businesses that Project UNITED invest in to enable them to continue to provide quality healthy-lifestyle services to their immediate communities.
The next stage
Satisfied with our investment blueprint, it was time to research how the UNITED shoe v1.0 was going to come together. We had a set idea on how it needed to look and wear, and how to develop the style and fit, but we needed to find a manufacturer. We needed to find a supplier that understood our position as new-comers to the market, but could deliver for us like we were a big-brand. It was time for us to design a shoe and see if someone could help turn it into a reality…