Sportex Time-saving marketing resources for physical & manual therapists

Doing it differently, but (hopefully) doing it right!

I originally wrote this in 2016 and have tidied it up a little today but everything I said then still stands...

A (short) bit of history

When I ditched my job to set up the sportEX medicine journal, I was 28. I'd spent 6 years in various educational establishments cutting my teeth learning to be a physio at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge (UK) and then a sport and exercise scientist at Birmingham University. During that time I also was lucky enough to travel and play on the USTA tennis satellite circuit.

But when I came home, I spent a year dipping in and out of jobs (marketing ones mostly) until I eventually found the job that would bring everything together. I spent two and a half exciting and happy years as a medical journalist, working with a small but very passionate team, on two weekly newspapers aimed at GPs and hospital doctors respectively and it was this job that led me to launch sportEX.

It's 100% safe to say that I had no idea what I was doing! I didn't know how to run a business and I didn't know how to publish a journal, but 22 years later, it's still going and so am I! I also still have active subscribers who signed up to sportEX in those early days, and it was their commitment, along with long, long, long days and nights and no holidays for several years, that enabled me to get it off the ground.

My infuences

My Dad and a book called Maverick...

...gave me the courage to do things my way.

At the time I left my medical journalism job to set up sportEX, I was reading a book called Maverick, which is an inspiration in so many ways (as anyone who has read it will testify to).

I couldn't sum it up better than one of the reviewers on Amazon who described it like this:

"The way that Ricardo Semler runs his company is impossible; except that it works, and works splendidly for everyone. I relish this book. It revived my faith in human beings and my hope for business everywhere."

The moral code that underpins Co-Kinetic

This isn't therapy, so I'll keep it short! I was brought up in a rigid moral framework of transparency, decency, honour and integrity which was underpinned by an almost obsessive and dogged work ethic. And I would only ever be happy running a business driven by that same moral code and while it's not always been easy, for the past 22 I've for the most part achieved this!

Even before I started this business, I wanted to be a 'maverick', not because I wanted to be disruptive particularly, I just wanted to build a business that was a good honourable business (I wanted to create 'virtuous circle' for want of a better description!) - a business that "works, and works splendidly for everyone", and that's my goal summed up!

I want it to work for you, the reader so that it helps you do your job to the best of your ability; you, the author who spends so much time slaving over creating the content; you, the person who promotes our content to your audiences because you believe in it; and yes to me who builds the platform to deliver the technology and the content.

I want to publish the best, most practical content, that enables everyone consuming it to do their jobs, better, faster and more effectively and in turn add even more value to even more people's lives.

I've always tried to live by the motto 'treat others as you'd like to be treated yourself' and that's how I run my business.

The longer-standing a customer you are, the more you benefit

To me it's essential to respect customers who have been so fundamental to helping me grow this business. That's why there are still over 230 customers paying £26 a year for content that now costs me more to produce than I receive in revenue (and I know the corporate heads and hard-nosed accountants would shudder at that)!

But when we reconcile those standing order payments with the renewing subscription orders, I'm taken back 22 years, and remember how desperately we needed those subscriptions and how excited we were when they popped through the letter box (yes, we were on good old paper forms back in those days). We literally counted them in one by one on a whiteboard!

We were living hand to mouth and those subscriptons were the life blood that literally kept me getting up every morning. Every single one of those people who took that chance all those years ago, helped me to build the foundations of my dream, which is why despite any price changes, if your sub stays active, I will always honour the price you signed up for. I will not be one of those businesses who makes it more appealing for new customers to join up, without offering my existing customers the same deal, it's just wrong. So if you ever catch me doing it, believe me it will be unintentionally, but please call me on it and bring it to my attention!

The last word...for now!

I try every day to live by the words of the genius Albert Einstein, "try not to become a person of success, but try to become a person of value".

I look forward to meeting those who join me on this journey.

Very warm wishes
Tor Davies
Co-Kinetic founder