Doug Elks takes being a fitness influencer to another level through motivational leadership that unites the corners of influencer work and entrepreneurship. Playing basketball for his highschool team in Raleigh, North Carolina, Elks leaned into his entrepreneurial skills by selling his team sneakers. He noticed that his teammates wanted a larger variety of options for different shoes and learned the importance of creating a supply for a demand. Elks was always asking questions and finding ways to grow his business and cater it to a larger audience. He saw the value of experience and exposure while teaching himself how to do business and later, while playing basketball for Western Carolina University, Elks started a new venture he called Ambition In Mind (AIM).
AIM was a digital force that supplied motivational, fitness, health, and wellness content for young adults. Studying marketing and management in college, Elks decided to combine his background in fitness with his immense knowledge of entrepreneurship and marketing. Instead of just posting on his social media account for the multiple brands that contacted him, he went a step further and helped these businesses from a marketing standpoint. Being more involved in the development of campaigns rather than just the advertisements themselves, Elks considers himself more of a “consulting influencer”. He is a source of advice and campaign inspiration for the brands he works with, offering guidance and counsel when needed.
After AIM started taking off and catching the attention of notable fitness influencers and motivational speakers, Elks saw an opportunity to take AIM a step further. The birth of the AIM podcast came shortly after he graduated college and featured several notable leaders including olympians, business owners, fitness influencers, and entrepreneurs. Some notable guests that have spoken on AIM have included Nick Bare, founder of Bare Performance Nutrition, Joe De Sene, founder of Spartan, the world’s leading endurance sports brand, and Nick Simmons, two-time Olympian and CEO of Run Gum. Elks believes the AIM podcast stands out among the sea of producers airing today because it invites a modest, relaxed environment ripe for discussion and focuses on values rooted in self improvement, business, health, and wellness. His biggest focus right now is not just personal relationships but interactions that inspire collective growth and business development. Elks believes in the value of all people as not just being monetary but in the different aspects of personality that everyone possesses. There is value in the perspectives different people bring to the business world, and his podcast’s mission is to showcase these values exemplified within several successful people, all while fostering a healthy discussion.
Following the success of the AIM podcast, Elks began his own supplement company he calls Kaizos. The brand creates clean supplement products that are known for their quality and intentional ingredients. He wanted the genuine aspects of his flourishing image to be the theme of his wellness brand. The flagship product, the Better Sleep Cocoa Mix, is free of melatonin but helps with achieving a full night’s rest, in addition to improving gut health. As a brand, Kaizos is rooted in community. Their tagline, “One Percent Better”, is at the heart of Kaizos as well as the goal of the community that Elks fosters around his positive outlook. The brand stands out as a nutrition company because of their high regard for quality and performance. These values make the brand a movement that is based on the people it serves. Elks believes in investing in the community in order to create a family and the brand is a reflection of this. Kaizos official launch was in November of 2022 but was recently hard launched in January of 2023 where it is already seeing massive success within the health and wellness community. Elks is already in the process of developing more clean nutrition products in order to expand Kaizos to its fullest potential. Everyday he is inspiring the community to be one percent better and achieving the goal at the heart of the brand.
As his childhood set the stage for his notable ambition and drive, these two words ended up shaping the trajectory of his career. Elks believes in the power of a strong network and the ability to surround oneself with amazing people. Creativity is a tool he uses in order to gain experience and exposure. These ideals are all a part of his advice to other blooming entrepreneurs and anyone who wishes to build a genuine community around them. Doug Elks is a pioneer of the influencer-entrepreneurial world. His outlook on the opportunities social media poses to young entrepreneurs has helped him rise to the top within the wellness industry and fitness community.