A Man on the Move
“I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, and going to college killed me because it put me in this sort of box,” says Joe Boutin, entrepreneur, investor, and principal and owner of 321 The Agency. “My limitations are always higher than what I set them as.” This spirit has allowed Boutin to not only start, maintain and expand a thriving digital agency—with a new satellite office now open in Atlanta—but also to dip his hands into many, many pots. He’s an investor in multiple software products in the health and sports tech industries, and he’s an investor and mentor to the whiskey and cigar brand Hooten Young, which sold out of its initial inventory in record time.
“I mentor and/or invest in startups, either in A-round, B-round or final seed-round funding. I love mentoring,” he says, noting that his contribution is usually on brand positioning and data aggregation for overall strategy in the U.S. market. Boutin is extremely qualified to be offering such advice, having worked with brands like Disney, Tavistock, NBC Sports and TopGolf over his career, to name just a few. His agency takes a hypertargeted, proprietary approach to digital advertising, with successes built on technology, creative processes and its access to data. “Our advertising is more hyperfocused into you as a person and what you are doing rather than the websites you’ve been to,” he says. Boutin’s Atlanta arm of 321 The Agency got up and running this year. However, “investing really carries my passion as a person and as an entrepreneur,” he says. “It’s what carries me forward; it’s what makes me happy on a daily basis. It gets me really excited.” He’s got a “really amazing real estate product” in the pike that he can’t talk too much about, as well as a golf product and an environmental one. “I love connecting dots either with other brands or other people in my network.” While it seems like he’s juggling a lot, Boutin acknowledges that “I need to do more and I want to do more. I’m not really proving it to anyone else besides myself,” he says. “It’s never about the buyout or financial gain. It’s about the clout that comes with winning.” When asked about the road to success, he says, “I still feel like I’m on that road now. I’ve always been somewhat of a hustler. A lot of people say I’m impatient, but I’m always looking at what’s next. Nothing is ever good enough.”
Photography by: by Jeannie Albers