We had the good fortune of connecting with Jordan Larson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jordan, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
If there was one at all, it was that I wanted to find a way that I felt like I could help people in a different way than what I had been in some of my previous roles. Some things in the past just didn’t align with my own values or just felt like there was something missing.
I found myself a bit lost in what I wanted to do with my future, so I started looking into guiding and after doing it for a bit, it clicked that this is such a great way for me to not only help protect the places I love but also meet new people and promote their health. After doing some research and seeing the potential in this idea, I knew I had to pursue it further and so I kind of stumbled into starting my own business more than anything. I really fell in love with the idea of having a really flexible approach to helping people get outdoors and raising awareness around mental health. Honestly felt like it was meant to be as I started to incorporate two of my passions into my own business.
What should our readers know about your business?
I think one of the things that set us apart is that at the core of our business we are trying to accomplish 3 things at once, which includes promoting public health through a non-traditional approach, help diversity the outdoors through accessible and affordable outdoor guides, and protect the environment by creating positive connections with individual’s environment. Our main goal is to have public insurance, like Medicare, help improve access to these kinds of activities and allow our company to generate sustainable lifestyle change for our clients.
Striving to create a model for nature prescriptions that other organizations and ideally states can adopt would be a dream come true and is what we strive to accomplish every day. Ordinarily, our business would be seen under the tourism umbrella, but I see us trying to combine the healthcare and outdoor industry into an incredibly powerful environmental, public health, and economic tool. I bring up the economy because we hire local people, which in the outdoor world can sometimes be in more isolated areas with fewer opportunities, so by putting local people in a position to generate their own revenue and put some money back into their local economy presents another way that this model will have multifaceted impacts on local communities and its members.
Having the opportunity to develop something that can have such widespread impacts on the environment and public health is so amazing because I always felt like I was never doing enough in other pursuits whether it be in research or direct care. We continue to learn and adapt to figure out ways that we can increase our impact, but with these goals and values in mind, I’m really confident we’re going to be able to do something great.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Colorado has an abundance of options and is truly one big playground, regardless of what you’re into. Depending on where we were staying, I would probably want to either go out to the Indian Peaks Wilderness area, in the summer try to catch the sunrise at Mt Flora, or maybe do some more local hikes in the Boulder area. Afterward I think I’d want to grab some wings and beer at the World Famous Dark Horse, or Avery Brewery to cool off and mozy around most of the afternoon to see what could be going on in Boulder. From then on, I would want to check out Pearl Street or catch some live music at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. I often describe to people that the day works a lot like a bell curve, where you can quite literally start by climbing and then sometime in the afternoon it starts to go downhill and it’s just cruise control from then on, whatever that looks like to them, I’d want it to be that way.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I think some of the best support I’ve received, outside of the obvious friends and family, would be the guides that have worked with us now or in the past and how they believed in our mission. Specifically, Josh Miller who was the first trail running guide we had and is just a genuinely incredible person, also has such an fascinating story that we connected instantly. Whitney Doiron and Helen Petty are two other guides that come to mind that have helped diversify the services we offered not only as women but by offering activities like outdoor yoga in Helen’s case or with Whitney having a guide that could make accommodations because they were also a physical therapist. Our guides also do a fantastic job of helping raise awareness around what we do through word of mouth, which is so critical as a small business. We don’t have a huge budget, but are trying to do big things in the healthcare and outdoor space, so having guides like Josh and others helping raise awareness around our mission was a huge part of our success. I couldn’t be anywhere close to where I am today without all of the guides that have joined our journey in creating therapeutic outdoor activities for all walks of life.