When we first thought about starting a new digital agency in Atlanta, it was rooted in a desire to do something unique and new. Not to suggest this was somehow a cutting-edge idea that no one had ever thought of before; in fact, quite the opposite. The belief that the world does not need another ad agency was the first bullet in an AdAge article from 2013 and that certainly still holds true today.
However, we didn’t just start another agency, we started something that runs deeper than that. We wanted to have a business that we’re proud of, one that will help our clients do what they do better. Because once we put our name on it, it becomes part of who we are and what we want to represent as a company.
Starting an agency allows us to engage with the people and clients that we want to work with on a day-to-day basis. We can surround ourselves with people who know who we are and what we do and appreciate the work they get in return. There is a freedom that comes with starting something new, along with plenty of anxiety, but the combination of those feelings forces us to focus on the work. Projects and ideas that we feel strongly about are going to be more successful than the ones that are driven by someone else’s motives. We’re not just getting hired to build someone else’s dream; we’re building our own.
Of course there will be obstacles to starting something new, but that’s true of anything worthy of a big risk. We know there will be pitfalls, but we followed a few tips as we were preparing to open, so we feel good about what we have to offer and what the future holds.
And we’re going to make mistakes along the way, everyone does, but we’ll follow the path laid out by a Southern icon and one of the world’s best football coaches, Bear Bryant: “When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: 1. Admit it. 2. Learn from it, and 3. Don’t repeat it.”
One of the things I’ve always liked about this team is that I knew that no matter what the situation was or where they were, that if I called and needed help on a project they wouldn’t hesitate to help me. Not just because we are great friends and they’re doing me a favor, or because they were required to because of a job description. The reason they’d help is the same reason I would: we take pride in the work and regardless of the reason – if something isn’t right, we want to make it right. Our name is on it, which means its success is a reflection of us. That attitude and dedication is contagious and it is the work ethic we bring to any project or client. We’re excited about what the future holds for Southern DNA and we’re looking forward to what lies ahead.
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Also published on Medium.