Introducing Jax Davey, Arksen’s latest brand ambassador.
At Arksen we want to tell stories, stories of people pushing boundaries, pushing their limits and achieving great things. If there is one person who is most affected by this, it's Jax, whose story is only just beginning.
Born and bred on the South Coast of England, in his 30 years Jax became a Royal Marine, CEO of the future-facing sustainable creative agency Nuevo, won the Entrepreneur of the Year award and was named one of Forbes 30 under 30 honouree. In February he will take part in one of the world's toughest cold weather challenges, the Ultra Ice Marathon. A 230km self-sufficient endurance race across the Arctic Circle, through snowfields and Arctic tundra facing temperatures of -40 degrees. With only 6 months of training under his belt before race day, this is the first of a handful of tests to see what his mind is truly capable of. Jax looks at life not as a competition, status or anything else, it's about himself and what he can achieve.
The reason why I am doing this is something I have been asked a lot recently, and I jokingly reply with something along the lines of ‘I was just bored' or 'I just like running.’
The truth of the matter is I don’t like running that much, and my god, I would love to have the capacity to be bored. But trying to navigate challenging times for the industry I work in, averaging 2 hours of sleep with a newborn, and chasing my three-year-old around the house… there’s little time for anything.
So what is my why? I guess the closest I can get to a clear, precise answer is distilling it down to three areas of my life that have somehow aligned and created a focal point.
I guess the first area to explore is how I frame things and how my mind works. The point in my life I believe to be the biggest change in mindset is 100% the training I received to become a Royal Marines Commando. Ten years ago, I was a young, scared 66kg 18-year-old stepping foot off the train at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines to embark on what is known as the hardest and longest military course in the world. It was harder than I could have ever imagined... the late nights, the endless thrashings, the fitness, the discipline, the huge learning curve. Over the 8-month course, there wasn’t a single day that I thought I could complete the course and earn my Green Beret, but strangely there wasn’t a single day that I thought about giving up. It is only now when I look back on the journey and my time in the Marines that I understand the happiest and most content I have ever been is when I was working towards something that genuinely scared me, that felt just that little too far out of reach and takes me above and beyond what I ever thought I was capable of achieving. I miss the journey profoundly.
The second thing is having my boys. Nothing changes your perception of the world and what’s important more than having kids. Over the three years since having Freddie, I have wrestled with what makes a good dad, keep him safe, let him fail, see you work hard, prioritize time with him overwork, and so on… I think that's natural and will always be something every dad wrestles with but one of the most important traits I landed on was I hope the boys dare to chase their ambitions, relentlessly and unapologetically. So I started to strategise how I best deliver this lesson. The answer punched me straight in the face. This is not a lesson learned in any other way than living and breathing it. The only way my boys will believe in themselves and push their boundaries is if the people around them the most are doing just that. It made me deeply analyze myself and what I believe I can do in this world. The result? I didn’t have enough evidence of failure to know where my limits were, so it's time to go and find them.
The final piece to the story is stories. In my line of work, we sit there hoping and praying the perfect brief comes to us. A story of hardship, of hope, of human endurance, a story that takes you... the crew on a wild adventure through uncharted land. You very rarely get anything close or that exciting, but the want is always there. As I sat there having just weathered one of the hardest years for the creative industries, I made a passing comment ‘Why can’t someone just decide to run hundreds of miles through some of the harshest landscapes in the world?’ With that… my brain jumped to the point above about finding my limits, and before I could talk myself out of it, the first point about the journey put a stop to it.
So here we are, a dad, an ex-marine, a storyteller… with an overwhelming sense of commitment. To prove to myself and my boys that I have more to give this world than a cool creative agency and some stories from back in the day during my time in the Marines.
The coolest part? Climate change is now falling on deaf ears.. the tone needs to be varied, solutions need to be presented in new ways and have to be anchored in authentic, transparent, inspiring stories.. these challenges.. because of the nature of what they are will build audiences. We then have an opportunity to inspire that audience to change their behaviours for the better.