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Growing the Old Way in a New Category

David Rabjohns, President and Founder, MotiveQuest LLC

Bootstrapping often is a necessity for entrepreneurs who can't raise enough cash from others to start and operate their businesses. Many rely on internally generated profits to grow primarily because they have no other options. Fortunately, I had other options to grow MotiveQuest but chose to invest only the money we earned for two basic reasons.

First, I wanted to maintain quality. By that I mean preservation of our culture through the people we hire, the strategic insights and services we deliver, and a consistent focus on long-term goals as opposed to short-term profits.

Second, I wanted to ensure fiscal responsibility. After twenty years in marketing, most recently as executive vice president for Leo Burnett Chicago, I had seen too many companies raise millions of dollars, blow through money, and fail.

I always expected I would start an ad agency, but the right opportunity didn't come along until 2003 when I had a revelation about social media and how it would change marketing. By then, too, I had the experience, confidence, and list of contacts I knew it would take to build a business.

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