Laurens De Lanoeye in a nutshell? 35 years old, living in Lebbeke, father of two energetic children, handball enthusiast, Marketing Director and co-owner of All Colors of Communication. In more than a nutshell? A poor student who spent a long time looking for the right career. But once he found his path, he became unstoppable. Thanks to a solid portion of perseverance and enthusiasm, he joined the helm of All Colors as a 30-year old. He now instills that same drive in others. “What matters is how you use your talents, not what degree you have under your belt. Show what you have to offer.”
“At university I chose history, but I didn’t like studying, so I dropped out soon. I only passed on one subject, and it didn’t even have anything to do with history.” Laurens laughs. Indeed, his track record was anything but flawless. “After history, I tried to become a physical education trainer. But that was also rather disappointing during my internship. So at the age of 20, I started working at Delhaize as a student. In the evenings, I took a Photoshop course and finally discovered a field that I was interested in. Later I studied graphic design at Syntra. It was an extension of something I also enjoyed during my youth: designing websites, posters and flyers for Chiro and handball.”
At the same time, he was working as a first-line IT support at BASE. “The job was well paid for someone without a degree. Because of my bumpy track at school, I thought for a long time that this position was the highest I was ever going to achieve. Until I realized that some people with more skills showed no motivation at all. Motivation was something I did have, because I felt like I had to prove myself. I got the taste of hard work and continued to train during the weekends.”
Laurens took more courses in web design, e-commerce and marketing. His commitment stood out and that’s how he ended up as a graphic designer at The Phone House. “The previous designer had been making the same brochure for three years. From my first day I started to radically change things. They were not used to that input and that opened doors for me. Soon after, we were taken over and I joined the marketing team of a start-up. There I was at the controls of the entire marketing wheel. I sat next to experienced top managers from whom I learned a lot in a short time. But also how not to do it.”
In his search for work-life balance, he found Out Of The Crowd (today All Colors of Communication). Laurens started as an account manager and continued to grow. Again, he was not the most educated person, but his drive and approach made the difference. After a few years, he was asked to join Elke De Ridder and Kristof De Roeck in the new management team. “I have a lot of confidence in Elke and Kristof. Our skills are very complementary. We had the idea of taking over the agency together and in the end we just jumped. If you had told me all this during my first job, I would have had a good laugh.”
The B2C component was developed, the design and digital teams were created, the first steps in Amazon advertising were taken, and All Colors became a champion of meeting short deadlines. In the meantime, the agency has grown tremendously. There is a rock-solid team, the atmosphere is good and revenue is rising. “Today I mainly do operational things. They sometimes call that the Chief Operating Officer”, Laurens laughs.
When the team grows, so does the company. That’s why we invest a lot in training and wellbeing. Growth is a ponderous beast but once you get it moving, it moves forward quickly.
“For me, it’s really all about the team, not the individual. How can we ensure that everyone has a framework in which they are happy and can do their job well? How can we help people grow? Because when the team grows, so does the company. That’s why we invest a lot in training and wellbeing. Growth is a ponderous beast but once you get it moving, it moves forward quickly.” What is striking is how solution-oriented Laurens is. Decisive and a bit Machiavellian. Empathic, but not extreme. “The colleagues know: if something has to change quickly, Laurens is the person you need.”
“I have to force myself to take rest. Doing nothing for a whole day is hard for me. I’m always busy with something.” During the day, Laurens races like a tornado. Occasionally he finds peace in trips with the children, handball, travel, food and wine. “Food and drink are very important to me. Whether I dare to get up at night to prepare slow cooking for the day after? You bet I do. I am a critical foodie. Which is a good thing. As a result, the food at our team building is events is always top notch!”Is your drive also stronger than your degree? And do you have a passion for communication? Then come knock on our door. We are always looking for new talent. Check out our vacancies here.