Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Going from $1 million in debt to the top of industry

Made a million dollars by the time she was 25. Lost a million, and owed a million more, by the time she was 28. Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year.” Bought a car from a 16-year-old for $250 when the bank seized her car.

Jacque Butler, CEO and founder of MedQuest Solutions
I’m talking about Jacque Butler, the remarkable entrepreneur who was the most recent featured speaker of the Huntsman School’s “Lectures in Entrepreneurship” series. Butler, who founded MedQuest Solutions and was its CEO until last month, described her numerous entrepreneurial experiences. At times, things were a little rocky. Those times appear to be in the distant past, as her last few ventures have been home runs.

Butler started out in real estate. She worked with her father after she finished college, and she had great success at first. She said she made a $1 million by the time she was 25. Around this time, however, the economy took a turn for the worse, and Butler’s bank account followed suit.

“I didn’t know what I would lose first: my house or my car,” Butler said.

She decided to become a waitress to pay off her debts. Then she realized she needed a graduate degree to become more marketable. While she was attending school during the day and working during the night, she realized she needed someone to help with her six children. After a frustrating experience trying to find a nanny agency that could deal with her situation, she decided she could do it better: she started her own nanny agency. Within the first year, it became the largest nanny agency in the U.S.

When her father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, she said it was difficult to watch him go through the downward slide of the disease. That fueled her desire to start her next successful venture, MedQuest Solutions. The company specializes in bio identical hormone replacement therapy and provides physicians and patients with pharmaceutical services, lab work and supplement manufacturing.

Butler said entrepreneurship is in her blood. She said she didn’t think there were any other options when it came to picking a career. And it doesn’t sound like she will be getting out of the game any time soon. During the question and answer session at the end of her lecture, a student asked what she saw herself doing in 10 years.

“I will have started two or three more companies.”

- Connor Child

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