Pivot Profile: Darrell Darnell
Darrell Darnell is founder of Pro Podcast Solutions, a boutique agency providing top-notch production to some of today’s most influential podcasts.
Darrell, you had a successful corporate career. What was your journey like?
I worked for a regional book store chain based in Oklahoma City for nearly nineteen years. I started out as a part-time cashier, and after six years I was managing my own store with over thirty employees and one million dollars in inventory.
Some time later, the company decided to enter the e-commerce space and I was selected to lead the initiative. After seven years of leading the e-commerce division, I was in the second tier of leaders in the company. My direct supervisor was the president.
That’s an impressive career arc, so why the pivot?
My pivot happened because it became painfully clear that the vision I had for the company did not match the vision of the top leadership. I submitted over one hundred ideas of ways we could improve, including using new media such as blogging and podcasting. Eventually it became clear we had to part ways.
Leaving a company after nearly two decades must have been hard. What was your mindset like at the time?
The most important mindset shift was realizing I deserved something better. The company I worked for was great; we shared a core set of beliefs, and nearly all the people I worked with were diligent and ethical. I felt guilty for wanting a job that was more fulfilling.
Then over the course of a few days of prayer and random encounters that I can only attribute as God’s providence in my life, I realized that I was not wrong in my desire to have something better, and that I was not being selfish or greedy.
Within 48 hours of that shift in mindset, I received an email that allowed me to take the first step and forever change my life.
The email I received was from someone who was starting a podcast network and wanted to talk with me about being a host. However, I identified a bigger need.
Seeing he needed an audio editor, I asked if I could be considered for that position. He was my first client, and this arrangement allowed me to quit my job six months later.
Asking is only half of the success factor. The other half is that what I was asking for would also directly benefit the client. Asking for something may or may not get you want you want, but it usually doesn’t hurt to ask.[clickToTweet tweet=”Asking for something may or may not get you want you want, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. @Mardarrell” quote=”Asking for something may or may not get you want you want, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. @Mardarrell” ] What took you by surprise as you set out on your own?
I was surprised at how unpredictable things are. There were days when I could easily manage my workload, followed by days that felt like I was trying to drink from a firehose.
Life as an entrepreneur is unpredictable. It only takes one random email to completely change the landscape of my day or even my week.
What I would say to anyone looking to make a pivot is this: you will reach a point, at least once, where you think you can’t go on; that you’ve reached the end of your strength, money, ideas, or patience.
Don’t believe it. Push harder. Keep believing. Keep building relationships. Eventually, you’ll reach the tipping point.[clickToTweet tweet=”Keep believing. Keep building relationships. Eventually, you’ll reach the tipping point. @Mardarrell” quote=”Keep believing. Keep building relationships. Eventually, you’ll reach the tipping point. @Mardarrell” ]
Introducing The Pivot Profiles, a ‘magazine’ featuring 18 real-life pivot success stories, just like Darrell’s. It’s yours, absolutely free.
The singular goal of this magazine is to give you a wide array of people, personalities, and pivots for you to identify with. This is a powerhouse group. The folks inside hail from a variety of industries: huge corporations, small business, radio, military, ministry, government, academia; the list goes on. We even have a former park ranger!
Some of them launched into solopreneur ventures; others started companies. One left business to enter the ministry, while others left the ministry to go into business. It’s all here.