Nearly two years ago to this date, I was perched atop the reddish-brown remains of a Koa tree log half buried in the Kauai beach sand, staring out into the massive expanse of the Pacific ocean. I'd been on the beach for four hours now – walking, journaling, thinking, introspecting, and asking myself and my Creator the same question over and over again: is it time to move on?
Is it time to simply do what my heart seems to be tugging me towards: a quiet, introverted life in my forest home in Spokane, Washington, writing fantasy fiction, strumming ukulele, bowhunting and foraging for plants?
Should I simply take two decades of time spent immersed in the fitness trenches, over 4,000 health books consumed, a Master's degree in physiology and biomechanics, voracious studying of every nutrition, digestion and diet tactic in existence, hardcore lessons learned from subjecting my body and brain to the most masochistic events on the face of the planet, ten years of researching and answering podcast questions on everything from muscle gain to memory to migraines…
…and simply walk away?
After all, at 33 years old, I'd written a successful New York Times bestselling book on health, I'd been voted America's top personal trainer, I'd been named as one of the most influential people in health and fitness worldwide, I'd invested in a portfolio of nutrition and wellness companies, I'd socked away some sizable savings, I was a poster boy, affiliate, and ambassador for over a dozen different companies in the exercise and sports fields, and I knew I could theoretically just stop and walk away.
…was it time to take my years of “dabbling” in the fitness industry and actually do something that helped people on a much more massive scale than me writing exercise programs, making naked YouTube videos of cold showers, running around in the forest throwing spears at hay bales and hacking together superfood smoothies in my kitchen?
Was I placed upon this planet to actually do something greater with my life, something bold, edgy and brave; something that touched the lives of millions of people around the globe; something that gave people what they truly need to be a complete and happy human, fully capable of living an adventurous, fulfilling, joyful and limitless life with distinct purpose and meaning, something that taught people how to tap into the full potential of not just their bodies and minds, but also their spirits?
Then, as I stared at the dark, red orb of sunlight slowly sinking into the ocean, the answer came to me in the silence, whispering in a still, small voice…
…”Be open to greatness.”
Be open to greatness.
Be open to being big.
Be open to bringing to this world on a much more massive scale everything you've learned traveling the globe interviewing the world’s longest living, happiest, hard-charging, high-achievers, everything you've learned reading thousands of books and research papers on longevity, happiness, fulfillment, human potential, and everything you've learned immersing yourself as a devoted student of the human body, mind, and spirit. Take that creativity, that curiosity, that thirst for knowledge, that education, that experience and that intuition and give it back to the world in a much, much bigger way than you ever have.
This was, for me, what I call a goosebump moment. A moment when you know the answer without a single doubt. A “hell yes” moment. A moment in which I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had to create something big, something great, something epic and something far more meaningful and life-changing than I'd ever created before.
So, as the last rays of sun disappeared into the Pacific, I stepped down from the log and turned to follow my barefoot prints back down the beach and to the parking lot. I had my answer.
The Building Of Something Big
The two years since that experience on the beach have involved a flurry of activity happening behind-the-scenes that I really haven't spoken to many people about – a slow but focused construction of this next big thing.
You've already read, in the first three parts of this series, much of my personal philosophy that inspired what was about to ensue.
For example, in Part 1 of this series, I introduced the concept of becoming a complete human by achieving full body, mind and spirit optimization. What if you and I could leap out of bed each morning and tackle the day with the extreme ferocity of an electrified tiger? What if our performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, brain, sleep, hormones, and spirits were fully optimized and firing on all cylinders? What if we all walked around as superheroes with a body like Batman, a mind like the heroes of the smart drug movies “Limitless” and “Lucy” and a spirit like an enlightened yogi? What if you could speed-read, memorize cards, remember the names of everyone at the cocktail party, wear any jeans you want, step onto a beach with your chest out and abs in, age gracefully with zero Botox and liposuction required and have an intense inner feeling of peace, love, joy, happiness and true spiritual satisfaction?
What if this ability to look, feel and perform to the human body’s full capacity wasn’t the stuff of lore, but was instead status quo? Sure, there are UFC and NFL gladiators fighting for glory on television with an optimized body, random monks, and meditators wandering the planet with an optimized spirit, and professional poker players, computer programmers and race car drivers hunched over a card game, a keyboard and a steering wheel with an optimized mind. But in a perfect world – a world that is fully attainable – you would have it all: complete optimization of mind, body, and spirit.
Then in Part 2, you read about how all the push-ups and pull-ups and squats in the world don’t matter unless you are able to live an adventurous, fulfilling, joyful and limitless life with distinct purpose and meaning – to die having left your distinct mark on the world, and having experienced everything our grand universe has to offer. In other words, being “fit” or being “healthy” just isn't enough to be…happy.
Next, in Part 3 you learned about the word “Ki” – the same Japanese Kanji symbol tattooed on my shoulder – and what this ancient word means. Ki is the flow of energy that permeates and sustains all living beings. Ki allows you to accomplish things that would be impossible without it. Ki is a massive reserve of power, a great resource inside everyone. Ki is what you tap into to live a bold and daring life. To have mental and physical strength. To have the determination to live a disciplined lifestyle. Ki is enabling. It is energizing. By tapping into your Ki, you access the swelling potential within yourself. Ki is everything you need, inside and out, to live a bold, limitless life. To achieve every dream that you’ve ever had for your mind, your body and your spirit.
But now it's time to slip away from the ethereal and the woo-woo and vague definitions and instead to dive into how I've been quietly and persistently weaving these concepts together to create a company that will truly change the world – a company far, far bigger than just me and my humble blog and podcast.
The Creation of Kion
So over the next several months after that moment on the beach, I created the blueprint and foundation for a new company that would tap into a blend of ancestral wisdom and modern science to offer three specific solutions to optimize mind, body, and spirit:
Solution 1: Coaching and consulting from not just little ol' me (let's face it, I can only personally help a very limited number of folks), but also an entire army of trained experts, coaches, physicians, chiropractors, nutritionists and personal trainers who I certify and endorse, and who are available to you via a robust online community also chock full of like-minded health-seekers who want to tap into not just these coaches and consultants, but also easy-to-follow modules on optimizing variables such as air, light, water, electricity, nutrition, movement, lifestyle and spirituality.
Solution 2: “Edutainment” in the form of extremely high-quality and well-researched, cutting-edge, non-run-of-the-mill content in the form of videos, podcasts, and articles – the kind of content I can personally produce perhaps just once a week, instead brought to you every freakin' day by some of the smartest cookies on the planet.
Solution 3: Products in the form of supplements and superfoods that have actually been tested in the trenches, hunted down by yours truly in my global adventures, and discovered and research by the dizzying number of connections I've built in the wellness industry, including ketogenic blends, superfood meals, anti-aging nutrients, health bars, safe fat loss compounds, complete gut support concoctions, essential oils and much more; health-enhancing and biohacking items you'll find around my house and in my gym bag, in their highest quality, most rigorously tested forms, such as infrared and EMF blocking clothing, unique travel fitness gear, beautiful diffusers, energetic pendants, life-changing journals and beyond – in other words, everything that I personally do to optimize mind, body, and spirit, now made available to everyone in the highest imaginable quality.
Surrounding myself with a rag-tag team of health enthusiasts, hard-working writers, savvy business professionals, operations and management masters, medical experts, consultants, formulators, a board of advisors and beyond, I began to bring these concepts to life. My vision and my big ideas I passed on to an amazing group of executors who went to action along with me behind the scenes for the past two years to make the vision a reality. Scattered across the globe and working virtually via Slack, Voxer, and Skype, and also through face-to-face masterminds at my home in Spokane, Washington, and via team meetings and video shoots in our burgeoning Boulder, Colorado offices, we've poured our blood, sweat, tears, and brainpower into building what will be a global fitness and health phenomenon.
And we call that reality, that vision, that company we have created…
What Is Kion?
So what exactly is the purpose of Kion? What do we stand for? What are we creating for you? What kind of company are we? Let's address a few of your burning questions, shall we?
First, the entire blueprint you are about to see is currently being built and implemented between now and October of 2020. Yeah, you don't slap this stuff up like a pop-up tent by ordering cheap stuff from China and selling it on a slick website – instead, the work to go into mind-blowingly high and unparalleled quality is a long process! But over the next three years, we'll be introducing new solutions, new products, new features, and even the brand spankin' new headquarters you're going to read about below.
OK, that being said, here we go…
First, here's our official mission statement: Kion empowers all human beings who want to live life to the fullest with every solution necessary for complete mind, body and spirit optimization. By blending ancient wisdom with modern science to create cutting-edge, research-proven, trench-tested solutions, we empower the world’s high achievers, health seekers, and life enthusiasts to live an adventurous, fulfilling, joyful and limitless life at the pinnacle of health, performance, and longevity.
It's also important to define our core purpose, so here it is…
…we are the ultimate source for everything a human being needs to achieve peak performance, look amazing, defy aging and live an adventurous, fulfilling, joyful, and limitless life.
Furthermore, our core values – the values we hold dear and refuse to compromise on while building Kion and creating solutions – are as follows: Adventure, Authenticity, Transparency, Integrity, Love, Joy, Health, Humility and Gratitude.
We've also discovered that a company like Kion must have what is called a vivid vision. In a vivid vision document, certain key questions are answered, and while this may seem too much like “inside baseball”, we truly believe it's important for you to know exactly what kind of company we are building, so allow me to share some of those key questions with you…
What does the Kion community say about us?
We are the Zappos of health. Our customer service is beyond compare. When customers like you have an order question, we call you on the phone and ask you how your day is going. You never sit on hold. You never visit a website for a product and don’t have the opportunity to get all your questions answered by a helpful FAQ or live chat support. Kion provides a complete and balanced mind-body-spirit approach to living life to the fullest, built upon a unique blend of ancient wisdom, modern science, and rigorous, real-life testing. We create and deliver products, information, entertainment, coaching, consulting, and a global community for anyone who wants to discover and experience the pinnacle of health, performance, and longevity, and to live an adventurous, fulfilling, joyful and limitless life as a fully optimized human, and you run to the mailbox when your package from Kion arrives. Orders are fast. Shipping is not a barrier to entry. You can find and use Kion products anywhere in the world because the tribe and language and message of Kion are spread across the globe. If you go to the grocery store or supplement outlet because you forgot something while traveling, you can easily find your favorite Kion product right there on the shelves.
We are your trusted, one-stop-shop source for consulting and coaching with a trusted and trained expert, for being entertained and educated by our articles, audios and videos, for finding supplements tailor-made to your specific needs, tested in the trenches and proven by science, and for interacting and communicating with a tribe of people who want to live a limitless life just like you.
Whenever something isn’t working in your body or your brain, we are your go-to source to discover what's not working and how to fix it. We solve things for people when everything else isn’t working for them. Our clients and customers want to friggin’ come work for us because you love us so much and are so passionate about our products. You open your refrigerator, step into your pantry, or look on your counter and it is plastered with Kion logos on Kion products. You speak Kion. Live Kion. Love Kion. Kion is your tribe, not in a creepy cult sort of way, but in a socially supportive, identity-bestowing, fun and interactive sort of way that ensures your entire life becomes one big adventure.
When you walk into the Kion headquarters, what do you see and hear?
At Kion headquarters, you find exactly what Kion stands for: a blend of ancestral wisdom, modern science, and complete mind, body and spirit optimization. Everything is designed to support the human machine for ultimate health, comfort and productivity, including air, light, water, electricity, workstation ergonomics, nutrients and movement “enablers” like treadmill workstations, hanging rings, pelvic-supporting stools, balance boards and other alternatives to sitting.
The art and design are very similar to the style you find at my home in the forest – an ancestral and modern blend of distressed wood, polished steel, and wrought iron with a rustic yet modern feel. It is a beautiful eye-striking combination of house plants and HEPA air filters, natural sunlight and optimized biological LED light, and pure, clean spring water with structured minerals and hydrogenated water machines – all perfect examples of nature and science blending together. Unlike many modern corporations, Kion does not pride itself on creating a culture surrounded by the “Internet of things”, but instead a culture where the human body can live and thrive in as natural and native a setting as possible.
We don’t buy art. We make art. Our walls are full of murals and whiteboards and easels and canvases where employees can scratch the itch of making art or brainstorming ideas and employees write and share what’s inspiring them at the moment.
The music is not merely music, but rather healing frequencies like Wholetones, artificial intelligence algorithms like Brain.fm and binaural beats and creativity and focus enhancing deep house tunes. When you walk into Kion, even the sound streaming into your ears and vibrating your bones is healing your body. At workstations, there is quiet, intense focus, and in company public areas, happy and joyful chatter.
How is communication within the company? How to be people talk to each other and what do they talk about?
Kion is a smart company. We optimize and hack both productivity and creativity by allowing employees to work hours based on their personal circadian type and morningness-eveningness questionnaire. We also ensure techniques such as Pomodoro breaks, active nervous system, eye, ear, hip and body stretching, and encourage activity and movement “snacks” throughout the day.
To ensure extreme productivity and focus, rather than vocal chatter and distracting noises in and between workplaces, employees communicate via internal platforms like Slack, Voxer and Skype, and delve into social conversations or spoken communication in separate rooms, meeting rooms and a central gathering area. Our employees not only chat about “work”, but about life, adventure, happiness and the limitless existence that Kion produces – and they weave these personal passions into our products.
What’s the culture of the company like?
We are casual, hip and progressive, very open to new ideas, and very cutting-edge yet outside-the-box. We are fearless and bold, the first-to-act and to embrace tactics and techniques like guerilla marketing, viral videos, and creative content. Just like our cherished community members and customers, we are the ones in the airport bounding up the stairs instead of slouching on the escalator, the ones parking as far away as possible in the grocery store parking lot and the ones riding our bicycles through blizzards to work.
At Kion, we meditate together. Train together. Make music together. Play in sports leagues together. Walk together. We are not just co-workers, but friends and family and teammates.
Like Kion, we are unselfish and give to and serve others. We volunteer. We are at the soup kitchens, the poor schools, and the needy neighborhoods. Kion gives back and our generosity radiates into our culture and wherever we go and whoever we interact with, both gratitude and love are freely expressed.
We love to travel and adventure. Kion supports this, and we often travel around the world to the very same type of events our founder Ben Greenfield uses to fuel his extreme passion for living limitlessly – yoga retreats, adventure races, exotic beach triathlons, plant medicine journeys, silent meditation getaways, mind-blowing concerts, grueling fights and steep mountains. Even when we vacation, we live life to the fullest.
We all speak the tribal language of Kion. We are decked out in fashionable, organic Kion shirts, trendy Kion caps and eye-catching Kion jewelry and pendants and stones. We all know how to get our Ki on. We all have the life force, energy, chakra, prana, and spirit: 24-7, 365.
What do our employees say to each other about the company off hours?
The people who work at Kion want to be there. They practically need to be kicked out from being at Kion when it’s time to leave work because it is such a healthy, flourishing place to be. Even their loved ones, families and children are welcome there to come visit and see what they are doing. Our employees are not workhorses – they are instead a flourishing valued part of Kion and highly incentivized because they and their wealth and their knowledge grow as the company grows. While we embrace and encourage amazing vacations, overseas travel, and balance of many hobbies in life, we also allow employees who simply want to work their asses off to do so, and because the whole team meditates and practices gratitude together, working one's ass off is not stressful, but an enlightening, low-stress exercise in creating and bringing extreme value to the world. Kion founder Ben Greenfield really, really likes to work almost all the time because he really, really likes what he does and considers his work to be his passion and his play too, and every Kion employee should be allowed to do the same if they feel like it.
Because of this, even sometimes in the complete off-hours, the only things the employees talk about concerning Kion are their excitement for new products we’re developing, funny, heart-warming stories from the workplace, and the latest developments in the realms of anti-aging, biohacking, nutrition, performance, cognitive optimization, sports, spirituality and beyond. These are the things our employees are fascinated by and passionate about and play in.
What does the media write about you?
The media loves us. They are constantly wondering: what will Kion think of next? What are they testing with their guinea-pig team of relentless self-experimenters? What crazy video will they release next? How are they going to respond to the latest fat and cholesterol, or interval training, or blue light for sleep or acupuncture study? What amazing video are they going to produce or compelling article are they going to release or podcast guest are they going to host next? A video featuring superfood hunting in Finland or Thailand? Featuring a guest post from Tony Robbins? Releasing a video interview with Oprah? Richard Simmons? The President?
Why? Because just like they’re obsessed with progressive thinkers like Elon Musk and Peter Thiel and Peter Diamandis and Craig Venter, teams like the Navy SEALs, celebrities like Jamie Foxx and Lady GaGa, and events like Burning Man and Apple announcements, the media is obsessed by Kion.
We simply can’t be ignored. It’s impossible. We are that unique.
What is your marketing like?
We are the “party booth” and place to be at every expo and conference we are at. We make viral videos that shock people and make people laugh. We ship out products that enchant and amaze people. We are never easy-to-forget. We don’t do cheesy slogans or catchphrases. We don’t do commercial “reads” on podcasts. We don’t spend money on magazine ads – we write the articles and we own the content. We don’t hesitate about being embarrassed or embracing the bleeding-edge to get some extra eyeballs. We’ll rip off our shirts and run through the forest and shoot flaming arrows and jump into icy lakes to get people to notice us. We are the grocery store and supplement outlet display stand that catches your eye every time and enchants you, the unique business card you never throw away, the hilarious and entertaining and edgy video you bookmark (think Dollar Shave Club, Dollar Beard Club, JP Sears and Squatty Potty), and the website you visit every day to be educated, entertained, enchanted.
What are systems and organization like? How is the company running day to day?
We work as peers and partners. There is no black and white pinstripe suit at the top office, claustrophobic cubicles or a strict management hierarchy reminiscent of “The Office” or “Office Space”. Instead, we at Kion work as a family – and while specific people do indeed have specific, clearly defined roles that (just as Gary Keller says in the book “The One Thing”) allow them to absolutely crush the One Thing that is their role – we are free of judgement and envy and jealousy and workplace conflicts. Instead, we have a smooth running, global organization with a core team at the Kion main office headquarters and a team of well-coordinated, smoothly-functioning coaches, consultants and employees spread across the planet.
What kind of activities am I, Ben Greenfield, doing personally every day in Kion? What’s my role in the company?
I am still doing Ben Greenfield things. I explore the world, speaking, educating, interviewing and hunting down crazy, fringe and cutting-edge biohacks, training tactics, superfoods, plant medicines, tools, tests, techniques and toys that I then bring back to the amazing and highly capable team built around me at Kion. With that team, I share my journeys, my visions, my adventures and my learnings – and the Kion team then goes on to transform that knowledge and those discoveries into amazing products, videos, audios, articles and educational modules for our coaches, our community, and our customers.
Each month at Kion, I assemble the virtual and in-person team of Kion certified coaches and teach them techniques and tactics that enable them and allow them to do the same kind of things that I currently do – produce article, audio and video content, help people with a balanced blend of ancestral wisdom and modern science, and discover complete mind, body and spirit optimization. The Kion Inner Circle community and all Kion employees are also welcome to be part of these monthly fireside chats and Q&A’s but have no requirement to complete the challenging quizzes and tests each coach must undergo to become certified. Because of our robust and cutting-edge coaching platform, all graduated Kion certified coaches are better coaches than me, better writers than me, and better speakers than me. They will eventually build and grow Kion at an exponentially faster rate than I ever could.
But until we have mobilized our army of coaches, on my own site at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, I still podcast each week with an absolutely mind-blowing guest or to answer burning questions from fans and followers. I continue to write one article each week. I continue to review cutting-edge products and biohacks and things that can make your life better. At the same time, everything I do on my own drives traffic to and builds Kion. Four extremely hard and focused hours each day are poured into these efforts. And the rest of the day? I bow hunt. Spearfish. Garden. Forage. Teach my boys. Compete on the field of sporting battle in obstacle course racing and bow shooting and tennis and triathlon. Write fiction. Make music. Travel the world speaking and writing and quest-completing and – just like Marco Polo – coming back to Kion with pockets and arms and a brain full of new ideas for Kion to become even better. Engage in the perfect day.
What's the financial situation of Kion?
We are proud of having bootstrapped our launch and brought Kion to life thus far using our own sweat equity and zero debt. Though we optimize health and appreciate and enjoy workplace comforts, we don’t live a lavish existence at Kion, but instead, embrace a combination of Stoicism with occasional doses of healthy hedonism. If we reach a point where we need investors or outside capital to fulfill our vision, we’ll only take on investors who share our vision and really “get” the concept of Kion and what we’re trying to provide to the world. We strike a balance between financial savviness and healthy growth that allows us to bring our solutions and visions to market in a timely fashion.
How are our core values being realized among Kion employees?
Our employees know what makes humans happy: elements such as social connections, adventures, the outdoors, movement, meditation, mindfulness, love, joy and peace. They all make it a point to practice these every day of their life. They value honesty, integrity and creativity. Like our customers, they are hackers, hard-charging, high-achievers and health seekers. Kion scratches the itch of everything our employees crave in life.
Ultimately, with a bold, edgy, fierce, daring, brave, loving, soulful, raw, real, and humble approach, this company Kion – a culmination of nearly two decades of my own personal experience living life with one foot in the realm of modern biohacking science and the other foot in the realm of ancestral living, will radically change the health, the happiness and the entire existence of any person who seeks optimized health, performance and longevity for mind, body and spirit.
Imagine an optimized body. From gut to muscles to joints, everything works the way it is supposed to.
Imagine an optimized mind. You think clearly, with no brain fog, and a sharp, keen ability to learn and communicate.
Imagine an optimized spirit. You have the invisible elements necessary for happiness, longevity, meaning, purpose and direction in life.
This complete mind, body and spirt optimization and new health revolution are exactly what we envision and what we are now creating – what we have already created – in the form of Kion.
Summary & The Good News
If this all seems as exciting to you as it is to our team at Kion, then I have very, very good news.
Beginning today, Kion officially exists.
It is live.
Today is just our humble beginning, and there’s much more to come over the coming weeks, months, and years. From the robust community to the killer content to the amazing new products you'll discover when you click on the link above, over the next three years, we'll be introducing a host of the most beneficial, effective and unique mind, body and spirit optimizing creations you'll ever see, including…
…functional foods of the highest quality, including mind-blowing, pure, raw chocolate infused with superfoods, rigorously tested coffees and coffee blends, and stem-cell supporting, longevity-enhancing, done-for-you meals that tickle the taste buds like nothing else…
…beautiful elements that turn your environment into a wellness haven, including rigorously tested fitness gear, engraved essential oil diffusers, natural, non-toxic clothing that simultaneously heals and protects the body and the same sleep-enhancing biohacks I personally implement while globe-trotting….
…an online community and platform that allows you to easily keep track of all your blood and biomarkers, create actionable exercise and diet recommendations based on that platform, and interact with a team of coaches and group of like-minded peers to maximize your health and vitality and stay motivated to continue to optimize your Ki…
…and much, much more.
Finally, I'd be remiss not to include resources that I've found quite helpful for even critical, scientific minds like mine to embrace oft-neglected concepts that we've woven into Kion such as energy medicine, spirituality, life force, emotions, and, of course, Ki:
So that's it.
It’s high time people possessed a blueprint for tapping their own natural, internal power. That is exactly why we have created that very blueprint: a guidebook, a map and a compass for achieving complete optimization and balance of body, mind and spirit, and the world’s new go-to source for optimizing the body and brain, living a long time, and achieving true health and happiness.
Inside Kion, the world’s health seekers, hard-charging, high-achievers, hackers and beyond – including you – can now discover how to connect with Ki, nourish Ki, feel Ki, taste Ki and experience Ki for the rest of your long and fulfilled life. You can consider Kion your new, go-to guide for optimizing life force, achieving a plane of higher existence and realizing the full potential of the human machine in a way that becomes almost effortless – including increasing intelligence, decoding sleep and sleep cycles, maximizing symmetry and beauty, building muscle and burning fat, experiencing mind-blowing sex, defying aging, and acquiring true and lasting love, longevity and happiness.
Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback about my journey, the new company Kion, or anything else I've written above? Leave your comments, questions and thoughts below and I will reply.