Lost and Founded Series - Jacqui Hocking

Jacqui Hocking, Creative Director of Gone Adventurin’ believes that if the job you want doesn't exist, create it.


Author: DBS BusinessClass, Administrator of DBS

Jacqui Hocking, Co-founder and Creative Director of Gone Adventurin' – a collective that aspires to help companies, employees and consumers to #DiscoverPurpose. Hocking, who began her entrepreneurial journey at the age of 21, wants to use Documentary storytelling to help the most powerful brands change the world for the better – through grass roots consulting and a vision towards long-term social impact. Believing in the importance of listening and learning from everyone – from the auntie on the train to the man on the street – Hocking advises you to talk to people and discover new perspectives every single day. She also wants you to learn how to use Twitter – properly – as it could seriously change your life. It has certainly changed hers.

People say you are "Jacqui Hocking, Creative Director of Gone Advernturin’". Who do you say you are?

My twitter name is #Documentary - which I think is most apt. I live and breathe storytelling and have made documentary filmmaking & discovery my life’s purpose. I’m more of an accidental entrepreneur than an intentional one. We needed to create a company because the jobs we wanted didn’t exist yet! 

Best moment in your startup life. 

The best moment in my startup life was probably when we helped to raise over 2million Australian dollars for a new floating hospital in Papua New Guinea - although there are other simpler moments I love, like waking up early in the morning, realizing how lucky I am to be excited to come to work that day!!

What's the most eccentric thing about you? If VCs found out, they wouldn't have signed the term sheet then. But hell with that now. 

Haha, Probably my age. When I started this company with Ashwin I was 21 years old, so it’s always fun when people think I’m a lot older than I really am. I’m now 26, which makes things a little easier, although I’m still mostly the youngest in the room when we meet with clients. I’m also incredibly eccentric, but I like to think that most people are, they just hide it a lot better than me! 

Have you ever cried? Or what was the lowest, crappiest moment in your start-up life. You wanted to give up everything. You wanted to kill someone. (During your startup career of course) Tell us more! 

I’m an incredibly open person, so I cry all the time. Haha. I think it’s healthy. There are a lot of things I’m exposed to in my work that are utterly devastating; poverty, death, disease, heartbreaking environmental destruction...  It’s ok to get upset for a little while, but the inspirational stories of those who rise above these challenges are more than enough to keep me going. 

What are you up to today? What gets you up in the morning? 

Today I’m filming & documenting an innovation boot camp around healthcare and aging in Singapore with scientists & design thinkers. Aside from that, I manage the operations of our company and oversee the creative side of all our projects, so I multi-task 24/7. The technology of ASANA has really changed the way we do business, helping me to oversee everyone else’s tasks to keep on track & monitor & support our newer team mates. 

How do you keep yourself physically and mentally fit for start-up life?

I am a firm believer in being active throughout the day and not just “slotting in gym time”. Take the stairs. Run in the park. Dance. Also, there’s a saying that goes “filmmaking is 10% creativity and 90% carrying heavy things”. This is true. 

My one challenge is making sure to take breaks when I’m editing a film. I use an app called “Pauses” which has been super helpful to make sure I’m not starting at a screen too long. 

Offer a life hack (or two) to a young founder.

I don’t really know if this is a life hack per se, but one piece of advice: 

Listen. Listen to everyone. Learn from everyone. Literally - e v e r y o n e. The auntie on the train, the man on the street. Talk to people and discover new perspectives every single day. 

Oh, and also: 

Get on twitter. Properly. Learn how to use it. Invest time into it. Honestly, it completely changed my life being connected to so many collaborators around the world. 

Movie or song that best describes you. 

Three films: “Across the Universe”, “The Fall” and “Moonrise Kingdom”. One is an arthouse Beatles-inspired film full of music, about the challenge of finding purpose / fighting for what you believe in & having fun in a crazy era … and ultimately realising the importance of love. “The Fall” is a completely overwhelming art piece filmed all over the world, and “Moonrise Kingdom” is a quirky Wes Anderson film that definitely hits some familiarities.

Favourite quote.

“Inspiration is for amateurs - the rest of us just show up and get to work” 

And also:

“Very simply put – one of the great needs, maybe certainly one of the greatest needs in our world – is for us to know one another, to know what’s really going on in the world around us and to feel a commonality of need and purpose with other people.

People from different walks of life, other nations, other ethnic backgrounds, economic statuses, different philosophies, and religions… we need to find a common bond with the rest of humanity and the documentary allows us to do that.”

- Albert Maysles (Director)

Who and what inspires you?

My co-workers. I’m also inspired by most people I cross paths with. Everyone has an amazing story to tell, it’s just that some share it louder than others. 

Tell me about Jacqui Hocking in 2030. 

Fundamentally, I don’t think I will ever really change. I’ve had the same aspirations and attitude as long as I can remember, and I hope to continue documenting important & inspiring stories for the rest of my life. Although fingers crossed by 2030 I’ll have my Singaporean Citizenship and be fluent in a few more Asian languages!

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