Hunter Lee Soik was a creative consultant for Kanye West and Jay Z’s Watch the Throne tour, and consultant for brands including Stella McCartney, Vitra, the CFDA Awards and Art Basel. He is now an entrepreneur and co-founder of New York based start-up, SHADOW, a mobile application that aims to harness your dreams the moment you wake up, and build a web of global dream behaviours and themes.
My Definition Of Success | To me, success is creating something that lives beyond you. That’s our vision for SHADOW. If we can pull off the kind of community we imagine on a massive scale, we can make something that connects people all over the world, that takes on a life of its own. That’s success.
What Drives Me | A relentless curiosity. I was adopted as a baby, so I’ve always lived with a bit of mystery surrounding my origins. That wonder has translated into a kind of longing—a desire to learn as much as I possibly can about the world and the people in it.
My Highlights | I’m proud of charting my own course, of creating my own myth. I was adopted from Korea, raised in a small town in Wisconsin. I never finished college. I had a fairly ordinary life, and the odds were sort of stacked against me achieving big things. But I realized early on that if you work hard, if you go for the things you want, people are willing to give you a shot. All you have to do is make the most of those opportunities. I’m proud of doing that at a young age, and of being at the point now when I can extend those opportunities to other people.
The Difference Between good And Great | The ability to dream really big. I always took the idea that something was impossible as a challenge, not a limit. People who are great at what they do use things that are discouraging as a motivation, not an excuse to give up. That moment when things seem insurmountable and you just press on, that’s what separates the people who are good from the people who are great.
My One Key Talent | Collaborating, working as part of a team, and generally just asking people for help. In every successful endeavor I’ve had, it’s been because we’ve built a team of people who are the best at what they do and asked them to show us how. People love sharing knowledge, and are more than happy to.
Daily Actions That Lead To Success | It’s actually really simple: keep moving forward. I’m restless by nature, always moving, always looking for new things to try. And that’s allowed me to keep making progress when I should be overwhelmed or exhausted. At that moment when most people overthink, I do. And it’s brought me to where I am today.
My Critical Skills| I’ve focused a lot on personal development, things like self awareness and pushing my boundaries. It’s helped me immensely in building empathy, and that desire to understand others and create experiences where people can connect with one another is a driving force behind all my work.
Dealing With Doubt | My approach to dealing with self-doubt is: Don’t think, just do. Fear and negativity can be paralyzing, and the best way to combat that is to not overthink it. To just keep moving forward, working toward your goal. That’s what I’ve always done, and it’s made an immense difference in my life.
Performing At My Peak | It sounds cliché, but it is all about finding a balance. I tend to stretch that activity/rest cycle over a longer period of time than most people. I’ll spend months or a year focused intensely on a project, and then take some time to recharge and reinvigorate. I think when the time is too short between those inputs, you can lose momentum. But when you push yourself to the brink then take the time to recuperate, you’re ready to tackle the next big thing much sooner than you think.
Building Wealth | Creative people become wealthy by doing what they love, by conquering self-doubt, and by constantly producing in the face of insurmountable odds. Wealth is a pleasant byproduct of finding a thing you can’t live without doing and investing all your energy into doing it. Whether that’s a startup or a café or a book. Of course, certain jobs have greater potential to become wealthy, so if that is your goal you should choose the sector you enter into wisely. But usually the jobs that you can make a lot of money at, particularly the creative ones, come with great risk. There’s no guarantee you’ll make it. You have to pour your heart into it. If you do, and you’re as good as you think you are (or better), the success will follow.
Inspiring Others | By giving them a lot of space and trusting them to make things happen. The people I work with are the best at what they do, and I don’t want to get in the way of that. I just want to create a supportive environment where people feel like they can do interesting work and be part of something great.