We had the good fortune of connecting with Darrell Noe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Darrell, how do you think about risk?
Taking risks is scary, no matter your age, skill level, or personal goals in life. Leaving the comfort of a big corporate job with great benefits and salary when you are the sole provider for your family is about as risky as it gets. But the payoff has been worth it x1000.
And it’s been that way for throughout my career; I’ve left jobs that I didn’t need to leave for new challenges, opportunities, and paths that are unknown. I think the unknown scares people, and rightfully so. I view the obstacle as a welcome challenge, something you can climb the proverbial mountain and come out on the top feeling accomplished.
Or, sometimes you fail, and that is just as important of a lesson; how you manage that failure. Years ago, I left an agency job to go client-side, working for a start-up inside a large organization, and 14 months later, the start-up folded. I was scared, and I learned from it and landed a great job on the heels of that.
Every decision is met with a learning lesson in the outcome, and I welcome these challenges, lessons, and rewards.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My history starts with two very long, successful stints at major ad agencies in Atlanta GA. At these agencies, I worked through the ranks in the creative field when digital marketing and advertising were just in their infancy stages. It was exciting, working with new technologies, creating fresh designs, and innovative solutions that were on the cutting edge of digital.
What I remember most about this phase, was the way in which people treated each other with kindness, and that we were “all in” for the greater good of our clients. We all had a passion to be great at what we did, and I watched leaders in these organizations grow other people’s careers in a way that was inspiring. I was inspired to do the same as I worked to advance my career; always remembering to treat people kindly, fairly and be the best creative and leader I could be.
Uniquely to myself, I always enjoyed having a direct relationship with my clients and being able to have the “gift of gab” to make them feel comfortable. I was never one of these creatives that wanted to hide behind my monitor and just design. I liked the client relationship and as I advanced, I liked selling creative and ideas just as much as making them. I think that really helped my transition to entrepreneur more than anything… direct relationships.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Atlanta and the suburbs have no shortage of exciting things to do. In no particular order;
+ A brewery tour is a must, Atlanta has some amazing breweries for almost every style. The outside atmosphere, food truck incorporation, and musical entertainments take Sunday Funday to a whole new level.
+ I am personally fond of our food markets for the foodie tour; Krog Street Market, Ponce City Market, and Marietta Square Market, and three of the best open table concepts around to satisfy any & every taste bud.
+ If it’s spring or summer, a day on Lake Lanier / Lake Allatoona makes for a great time to show the beauty Georgia has to offer. Sweetwater Creek and Roswell Mill make for great hiking if the water isn’t what fancies your guests, but whatever their outdoor adventure of choice is these are amongst the best for outdoor activities.
+ Art on the Beltline is a great way to see the eclectic side of Atlanta, with stretches being perfect for murals, foodies and people watching all along the way
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
A shout-out cannot start without recognizing the support of my family for the push to be an entrepreneur. Specifically, my wife has believed I could go out on my own and succeed 3 years before I ever considered it. For her support and encouragement, I am eternally grateful.
In addition, fellow entrepreneur and small agency owner Jeff Corey, and wise Digital Strategist Geoff Fellows played vital roles in the advice, encouragement and support of pursuing this next chapter in my career.
Marta Noe Photography