Manitoban makes a career out of uncertainty by transitioning from military service to become an audio engineer.
After recently retiring from a successful career in the military, Jody Hunter got his start in business, June of 2018. He had enjoyed working security at a music venue and decided to begin the journey to be an audio engineer.
Career highlights for Hunter include helping to create albums for some of his favourite bands and continuing to polish his craft.
While active in the military as a corporal in the Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry, Hunter’s platoon in Afghanistan was number 23. When he returned to civilian life, it as a no-brainer to name his business after that unit.
“Serving in the armed forces is a lot like entrepreneurship. You start out with a lot of unknowns and you need to be comfortable with that,” he said.
For many people the thought of heading back to college in your 30s is a terrifying, but for Hunter it was inspirational.
“It gave me a huge sense of accomplishment to go back to school, re-invent myself and learn a whole different trade,” he added.
There’s No Such Thing as a Typical Day
Studio 23 is located in rural Manitoba in the RM of Ste. Anne, near the Trans-Canada Highway between Paradise Village and Richer. Working from home affords Hunter the flexibility to take care of appointments, have a flexible schedule and focus on family.
“Most days I wake up early, get the kids ready for their day and out the door. From there I take an hour for myself, where I meditate and mentally prepare for the day,” he explained.
When he is not recording or editing music, Hunter spends time researching the industry, learning about best practices and helping drive new business to Studio 23.
The Rural Advantage
Hunter believes there are positives and negatives to running a studio in rural Manitoba, pointing out it takes two turns from Winnipeg to get to his driveway, which is safe, secure and spacious. Living and running Studio 23 from rural Manitoba also allows him to keep his prices low and pass those savings onto his clients.
Studio 23 thrives in rural Manitoba, Hunter said, because the solitude allows him to focus.
“I find isolation enhances my creativity. There are no distractions here,” he said, adding it is easy for a business to lose visibility out of the city, but the internet makes it a lot easier.
The Just Watch ME! Video Contest
During the 2018-19 Just Watch ME! Video Contest, Hunter garnered first place in the Start Up Entrepreneur category, from a video contest that celebrates rural entrepreneurs with a disability.
“Entrepreneurship works for people with a disability because it gives them time to grow on their own timeline. There is no rush, I can build the company as fast or as slow as I want,” he said.
Having paid his dues in the military, Hunter said, Studio 23 is a chance to follow his passion.
A Vision For The Future
After his inaugural year in business, Hunter continues to look to the future and how he can grow his business. He plans to broaden his portfolio of services and branch into video game sound editing, television and radio commercials, plus land gigs outside of Manitoba.
“I love interacting with musicians and the industry to help them share their gift of music to the world. Music has the ability to lift people up to a better place and I’m proud to be part of that process,” he affirmed.
Jody’s Key Takeaways
Hunter feels it is important to get alternative perspectives and take a route with a high chance of success. “Keep working hard at what you’re doing,” he said. “As long as you believe in what you’re doing you’ll find a way to be successful.”
He urged entrepreneurs to set realistic goals, noting the only person that will be discouraged if goals are not met is the entrepreneur.
“So don’t be hard on yourself. Just because one way doesn’t work, doesn’t mean you can’t make it happen. There are always multiple ways of doing something,” he added.
In closing, Hunter reminded entrepreneurs to never give up and keep accomplishing their goals.
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