• What's your story

An Entrepreneur's story by Hayden Craddolph

Updated: Sep 23, 2020


Breinigsville, PA

Executive Director of

Haydenfilms Institute


Hayden tell us about yourself ?


I was born in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. I lived in Philadelphia for 6 to 7 years during my youth. Philly feels like home to me when I visit. My dad lives in Philly; although I don't live there today, it still feels like home. Eventually, we then moved to the Lehigh Valley Allentown area. I appreciated my earlier years when I went to catholic school. It transformed my entire education life from 2nd grade to 9th grade. Observing my peers in this environment and how they interacted with school gave me a better appreciation for my education in real-time.

Eventually, we moved again to Puerto Rico. Initially, I was not fond of the idea, but once I arrived there, I appreciated my 10th-grade year, which was pretty awesome from an educational standpoint. I excelled at math and getting 100s in every single class. It got to the point when the teacher wanted me to teach Algebra class and help my fellow students. Coming back to the states, I hoped to continue my catholic school journey but finished my schooling at Louis E. Dieruff High School.

My earliest business mindset was when I set up a lemonade stand when I was 6 or 7 years old. I recall when I spoke with different friends about where it should be, and I mentioned it should be at a specific spot because that's where the most traffic will come to the table. Real-life occurrences and having something to sell like a service or a product was happening back to my lemonade stand. I remember even buying jawbreakers for 5 cents and selling them for 10 cents in my school. I always had this ability to recognize opportunities in real-time. Looking back at these things was like mini-projects that pushed me to the pop culture's next mindset.

In my teens, I started recognizing pop culture, technology, computer innovation, etc. and looking at this not just as a fan but also as a visionary. I can appreciate the vision of George Lucas, Madonna, Michael Jackson, looking at what they achieved in their own right. So these progressions continued when I was in school full time and working full time. I suggested to a friend back then that we should create an arcade for the community, and so this was my first official business in college, and also, it was the first time I created a $500 scholarship for students to come to play at our arcade. So we were thinking about these givebacks while attending college. I want my ideas and visions one day to live beyond my years and continue.

The biggest challenge in entrepreneurship is presenting your vision to others in your circle, and those individuals not seeing what you see are difficult challenges. The movie I connect with the most from an entrepreneurship standpoint is The Aviator, which portrayed Howard Hughes as having a vision that he wanted to present to the world but was always challenged by someone who did not understand. It was still him who was passionate about what he shared. Entrepreneurs out there who are willing to put everything on the line, this is the movie to watch. 


What inspired you to become an Entrepreneur?



My earliest business mindset was when I set up a lemonade stand when I was 6 or 7 years old. I recall when I spoke with different ones about where it should be and I mentioned it should be at a certain spot because that’s where the most traffic will come to the table. Real life occurrences and having something to sell like a service or a product was happening all the way back to my lemonade stand.

I remember even buying jaw breakers for 5 cents and selling them for 10 cents in my school. I always had this ability to recognize opportunities in real time. Looking back at these things were like mini projects that pushed me to the next mindset which was pop culture.



My teens I started recognizing pop culture, technology, computer innovation etc. Looking at this not just as a fan but as a visionary. I can appreciate the vision of George Lucas, Madonna, Michael Jackson looking at what they achieved in their own right. So these progressions continued when I was in school full time, and working full time. I suggested to a friend back then that we should create an arcade for the community and so this was my first official business in college and also it was the first time I created a $500 scholarship for students to come play at our arcade. So we were thinking about these give backs while attending college. I want my ideas and visions one day to live beyond my years and continue on.




"I want my ideas and visions one day to live beyond my years and continue on..."







What challenges did you face in becoming a business leader and how did you overcome them?


The biggest challenge in entrepreneurship is presenting your vision to others that are in your circle and those individuals not seeing what you see, that is a difficult challenge. The movie I connect with the most from an entrepreneurship standpoint is The Aviator which portrayed Howard Hughes having a vision that he wanted to present to the world but was always being challenged by someone who did not understand. It was always him who was passionate about what he shared. Entrepreneurs out there who are willing to put everything on the line this is the movie to watch.





"Entrepreneurs out there who are willing to put everything on the line this is the movie to watch..."













To overcome challenges in entrepreneurship...

at the very least, you need to surround yourself and be in the company of other entrepreneurs. My brother has an entrepreneurial mindset. When I talk to him, I'm speaking to another entrepreneur that understands to a certain degree. Be more entrepreneurial in front of entrepreneurs because they have the same mindset. However, failure is the best part of entrepreneurship. It helps you grow, refine yourself, and reflect on how you can advance. It is an essential part of your growth that can turn you into a business leader.

What I think young filmmakers, entrepreneurs, and anyone looking to embark on this journey must obsessively study those who came before them, focusing on a particular style of film making. Understanding also their challenges and watching different filmmakers and movies not just as a moviegoer but understanding why they filmed each scene a certain way. In any other business sector, I would strongly recommend studying business leaders who have come before you. It also would go for sports, for example, Kobe Bryant studying Michael Jordan, which helped him be great. I would study history, which can motivate and propel you to build your legacy.

The most significant impact of the Haydenfilms Institute (HFI) can make staying true to their moral compass and passions and evolving its programming to meet the ever-changing community's demands at large. You can't stand still when everyone evolves; we have to evolve as well.


What advice can you give to up and coming film makers, entrepreneurs who are looking to grow and start their own business?

What I think young filmmakers,

entrepreneurs, and any one who is looking to embark on this journey they must obsessively study those who came before them focusing on a certain style of film making. Understanding also their challenges and watching different film makers and movies not just as a movie goer but understanding why they filmed each scene a certain way. Any other business sector I would strongly recommend studying business leaders that have come before you as well. This also would go for sports for example Kobe Bryant studying Michael Jordan which helped him to be great and so on and so forth. I would study the history which can motivate and propel you to build your legacy.


How can Haydenfilms Institute make an impact in the community?



The greatest impact Haydenfilms Institute (HFI) can make is staying true to their moral compass and passions and also by evolving its programming to meet the demands of the ever changing community at large. You can’t stand still when everyone evolves we have to evolve as well.







"You can’t stand still when everyone evolves we have to evolve as well..."






Be sure to visit Haydenfilmsinstitute.org for more info and how you can support today!





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