We had the good fortune of connecting with Carlyle Grant and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carlyle, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I had to first assess my position in life and weigh the opportunity cost. I always had an ‘itch’ for entrepreneurship but never fully pursued it due to the risks associated and my humble background. Over time, as I was progressing in my career and job, more and more people started reaching out to me with opportunities on the side. I said to myself: if all these people want to work with me, why not take a chance on myself and see how it goes. I thought perhaps my 20’s should ideally be the years I take the most risks because if I make mistakes or fail I can bounce back much quicker and I’d receive help. As I age it would be more difficult to bounce back and people would less likely help as they’d think I should have had my life together by now. With that thought process in mind I decided to take the leap and I resigned from my Agency job to explore the world of Entrepreneurship. I have yet to regret the decision.
What should our readers know about your business?
The name of my business is Digital Danes and we’re a solutions-driven creative agency applying global standards to solving content creation and digital marketing challenges regionally. The name is derived from the dog (man’s best friend), Great Dane which towers over most dogs. We aim to be giants in our own right and our mantra is ‘Your Brands Best Friend’ (Dogs are man’s best friend). We’re on a mission to help brands thrive in an age of digital transformation: fuelled by the talents of the region’s top creatives who maximize digital technology for brand and business development.
Digital Danes simply put, started from a belief in oneself and abilities to provide value to others in the marketing space. We knew there were gaps in terms of content, storytelling and overall management of brands online and wanted to help. Our growth has been met with many challenges, sleepless nights and setbacks but there has not been a day of regret as I still get up everyday grateful to God for where I am currently and rearing to meet the next challenge. I don’t even think about what could be or could’ve been had I stayed in my agency job.
Growing up and watching Saturday morning cartoons, I used to picture myself in a meeting room coming up with the concept for the next new toy or cereal and those thoughts really stuck with me and ignited my curiosity and creativity. At the time however I had no idea this was marketing. I used to sell candy, phones, CD’s with pirated music and buy lunches for people in high school for a service fee to fund myself as my mother was struggling financially to support me and my sister. These hustles sparked the entrepreneurial ‘itch’. As I was matriculating from high school to college I started to realize Marketing is what excites me and it is what I wish to pursue.
The journey has not been easy, there have been a lot of hard times to get here but I have learnt that my current circumstances don’t dictate my future outcome. It starts in the mind; it starts with a decision to try to change your circumstances and actively educating yourself on ways to progress. That’s the difference between the people who make it in life and the people who don’t; action and consistency in whatever it is you wish to pursue. Every loss, failure or setback is a lesson and a second chance to do better than before. No matter how hard it gets, a positive mindset and an attitude of gratitude yields positive outcomes for your life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’d definitely say let’s hit all the food spots in Kingston especially street food such as Jerk Chicken & Pork, Festival, Soup and seafood.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have to give a shout-out to God firstly as there have been so many moments of grace and favor towards me in this journey. I’d also like to shoutout my extended family, friends and mentors who have all contributed to my growth over the years. It’s their belief, support and assistance which has kept me elevating. I couldn’t have gotten to this point without them.
Adrian Doyley (Headshot Photo)