We had the good fortune of connecting with John Hunt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I attempted to launch several startups in the past that never really got off the ground despite countless hours of planning. Although it’s helpful and recommended to have thought things out, it’s important to remember that no amount of planning will result in a perfect or fail proof design. Getting hung up in the planning stage is the primary reason every “failed” startup didn’t work for me before. Changes to the blueprints are going to happen once you get started no matter what, so diving in and starting “the doing” was what I found to ultimately lead me to a successful startup.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I chose to answer this from an Artist’s perspective rather than a Businessman’s because I truly see my work as Art, and because I want other Artists to feel encouraged that their work is their Art, regardless of genre, and it can earn them a living. I can’t see it was easy to fumble and stumble my way towards self-sustainability, but I will say the accumulated experiences have slowly turned into the ever-growing source of life-learned wisdom that is so hard for us to grasp without said experience. And the old saying is probably true- if you’re really paying attention and listening to those with wisdom (and a history of credibility), many struggles can be avoided. It comes back to the foundational question for all of us, I believe: what is your purpose? For me, it is storytelling. I love the reaction I get from a friend or a crowd when I’m recounting a history or telling a joke. And I found that through filmmaking, I am able to tell stories very creatively and share them with a lot more people! Because I love it in my heart, people love the stories and films I make-whether they are for me or for them. It is valuable to them, and a worthy investment. Until I realized my own passion and purpose, it was hard to understand why other projects that I was simply good at (but not necessarily passionate about) never became sustainable. The storytelling business I’ve built, Arcadian Pictures, is all about connection through content creation. My tag line is “Content is King.” Although I always strive for technical achievement visually, audibly, etc., it’s the impact and value of the message itself that really matters. This is proven by the simple truth that so many of us have laughed, cried, and shared content that perhaps had zero technical capability but was nevertheless incredibly moving. My filmmaking company is designed around this understanding- that the impression it makes in the viewer is paramount to its value. And, hopefully, using that as a beacon, we can impact more and more people with memorable, shareable, and impactful content. I’d like to tie those ideas back to the beginning when I mentioned encouraging other Artists. Although it may seem challenging or confusing how to make a living doing what you love, if your heart is in the right place, and you stay true to your passion and continue to seek out ways you can make it valuable for others, doing what you love for a living can and will happen.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If a friend was visiting me here in Northern Colorado, I would first take them on a drive around Horsetooth Reservoir. It stunned me with its beauty when I first moved here and it always has the same reaction in the friends and family I show it to. But there are so many amazing places like that here in Colorado. The Street Art in Denver’s Rino District and The Great Sand Dunes are two other contrasting favorites of mine. For food, there are increasingly great options in NoCO. Social is a Fort Collins favorite, and the food truck scene is as lively as Austin’s almost! For drinks, there are almost too many options! There are countless breweries and distilleries to visit, although I’m somewhat of a fish out of water in that arena because I prefer wine! The people here are incredibly friendly. Coming from the New England area, it took me a bit off guard when I first visited. I couldn’t believe people who didn’t know me had a genuine interest in who I was and what I was up to, but I quickly came to learn and appreciate that it’s very much a supportive community here- an extended family almost, which is a contagious attitude to have. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It’s hard to narrow this down to one person, place, or thing that led me to where I am today, but a few stand out as especially influential at the right time to stick with me in my mind as turning points. Juan Rodriguez, my dear friend and “older brother,” gave me some very encouraging words when I needed it most: to follow my heart. It sounds cliché and is incredibly fundamental, but that’s just it- it’s so easy to get lost in this world and forget how to check in with ourselves. But when we truly seek and follow what is in our hearts, and learn how to listen to what it is telling us, we remember that it always tells us the truth. Choosing to follow it is all that is required to heading down the path towards purpose and contentment. As for an incredibly influential read, I always go back to books by Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich) and Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People) for continued inspiration and valuable reminders. The titles are deceiving; the books are not obtaining material wealth or manipulating people, but rather, obtaining richness in life and real, impactful connections with people.
Website: arcadianpictures.com and hiffco.com
Instagram: @arcadianpictures and @hiffco
Twitter: @arcadianpics and @horsetoothff
Facebook: @arcadianpictures and @hiffco
Alex Curry Amie Burgess Austin Trenholm Stephanie Francois John Robson Corey Davis