Aaron Singerman Philanthropist – I believe for most entrepreneurs the concept of philanthropy and business don’t necessarily go together. Generating revenue is the antithesis of giving money away, right? The idea of entrepreneur philanthropy seems almost oxymoronic to many. But I think differently. In fact, I think by publicly donating to an important cause, maybe other successful entrepreneurs at for-profit companies could be motivated to share the wealth. In other words, maybe what I’m doing here, as the founder of REDCON1, will motivate a venture capitalist or Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur to follow suit.
Believe it or not, when Eric Hart and I started REDCON1, we did so with purpose in mind. The intention was never to just make money and be cool, it was always creating a positive change in the world.
At REDCON1 it’s very easy to gauge progress. We scrutinize each relevant metric (most of which applies to any business, such as): revenue, cart size, conversion percentage, returning customer rate, and many more. We focus on doing good things by providing an excellent product, great customer service, and giving back in the form of charity. That last bit is more difficult to measure, and I’m certainly no Melinda Gates, nor is our charity the Gates Foundation. But we are constantly making forward progress, and that makes me happy.
In the last four years, REDCON1 went from an idea, to a reality, to the fastest growing sports supplement company in history. We did that by creating a strong team, channeling our passions, engaging with our customers, and creating long-lasting relationships with those customers. All of that and much more went into creating REDCON1 and the tremendous unprecedented success we’ve had. Another obvious factor is authenticity.
Both grandfathers fought for America. One in World War II, and the other in Korea. I’ve always had incredible respect for servicemen and women and the dedication and sacrifice they have. From inception, we wanted to support those who have supported us, and REDCON1 has been doing that monthly through charitable donations. This past year we gave to a dozen charities directly related to active duty servicemen, veterans, and their families. We’ve done this by also creating awareness.
To give you an idea, one example of REDCON1 creating social awareness and generating money to donate was last year for the Warrior Health Foundation. The Warrior Health Foundation is a non-profit that provides hormone and vitamin support for Special Forces Operators that were the tip of the spear for the American military. They dedicated their lives to becoming our finest warriors, and during their service many of them experience Traumatic Brain Injury. TBI is now known to cause issues with the endocrine system. Sustain combat releases tremendous amounts of the stress hormone cortisol, and when you combine reduced hormones like testosterone with increased levels of cortisol, there can be disastrous results. Many of our combat veterans come back with these issues undiagnosed and it causes depression, addiction, and sometimes suicide.
Sean Rosario, the founder of The Warrior Health Foundation, was a member of an elite Seal Team 6 unit experienced first hand the devastating effects of extreme hormone and vitamin imbalances. Getting the right care and medicine is what propelled him to start his foundation that provides that same care and medicine he received, to hundreds of Special Operators.
At REDCON1 we knew that supporting Sean’s foundation was the right thing to do. The way we used our platform to create both awareness and financial support was unique. We used Sean’s logo to create a branded REDCON1 shirt with all of the proceeds going to the charity; we didn’t just turn over not the profits, but every dollar. We told his story and shared his mission. Our customers responded by buying the shirts by the thousands. I was very proud to hand Sean his first $10,000 check!
I believe that by doing good things like we are able to do for the warrior health foundation we are cementing in the customer’s minds that REDCON1 is more than a cool supplement company, and you aren’t just buying products that work, you are also making a positive difference in the world! I believe that being a purpose driven company, and combining entrepreneurship and philanthropy, is not only beneficial for the positive changes we can make in the world, but also for the bottom line. People want to support businesses that are making a difference, and through my purpose driven company, REDCON1, I am able to make progress, do good things, and be happy!