Your Rapid Fire Founder Questions With Yvonne Tocquigny, CEO Of Tocquigny

Founding a company is difficult and often extremely lonely. Questions pop-up all the time and the only person with the answer is, well, you.

To shed some light on the process of those first founding steps, I sat down with Yvonne Tocquigny. Yvonne is an experienced businesswoman and founder of Tocquigny, successful digital advertising agency.

During our discussion, she answers many of the most frequently asked questions by our Startup Slingshot audience.

Invest in yourself by listening to integral wisdom Yvonne has to share.

Have comments, questions, ideas, or feedback? I want to hear it. Tweet me at william_griggs.


Topics Covered In This Episode

  • How do I know whether to stick with a business idea or not?
  • What do I do? My business was once profitable & looked promising, but the market has changed.
  • If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 22-year-old self?
  • What lesson did you have to learn “the hard way”? How can you help others avoid your mistake?
  • Do you do goal setting around your business? If so, how?
  • If you could snap your fingers and have founded another business, what would it be?
  • If you got 3 business-related wishes from a genie, what would wish for that would help a young entrepreneur starting out?
  • Should startups avoid working with agencies?
  • What is your favorite business book, and why?
  • What skills/traits do I need to acquire to build a successful company?
  • Who is the first person that comes to mind when you hear the word “successful entrepreneur” and why?


Interview Transcript:

William: In this episode I talk with Yvonne Tocquigny. Yvonne is an experienced businesswoman and the founder of Tocquigny, a successful digital advertising agency. During our discussion, she answers many of the most frequently asked questions by you, the audience. Without further adieu, here’s my interview with Yvonne Tocquigny. Enjoy.

William: Alright Yvonne, thanks for joining us today.

Yvonne: My pleasure, I’m thrilled to be here. I’m so excited about this. I’m gonna forward it to my kids and my clients and my employees and all those startups I’m working with.

WIlliam: Perfect. We really appreciate your time. We’re glad we can get you on board. The goal for this episode is very simple. I want you to help our founders  listening to this episode by answering some of the most frequently asked questions they submitted over the last several months. I gets lots of emails from different people in the audience or tweets asking various questions. I kind of summarized some of them. We’re gonna tackle them today but before we do, tell us briefly about your experience and what you’re up to currently.

Yvonne: Tocquigny is a digital marketing company that helps businesses transform the way they do business with their existing customers, helps them transform the way they market and helps transform the way they sell.

William: Got it. So that sounds like a really valuable service with lots of our start up can either use currently or use in the future and I know you have a lot of experience with that company cause when I did some research that i dug from your past, it looks like you’ve been working on that ever since you’ve got out of college. Is that correct?

Yvonne: Almost. I have a brief stint in Houston working for Augodies ??? and then came back to Austin and started working for a small agency, went on a ski trip and when I  got back from my ski trip the agency had gone bankrupt and so I had no job and spent all my money and Austin was in a recession so I just started winging it on my own.

William: Yeah. Very cool so that’s an experience I know I’ve had a bunch of friends that have had similar experience. I’m sure there are people in the audience right now that can relate where it’s kind of you know, as you’re an employee of another company you can only control so much and therefore, you know, when you take the entrepreneurial leap for better and for worst, you’re in full control so I think that kind of experience of building up your agency and grinding it out in a positive sense for the last 30 so years has really ties in to nicely to the first question. One of the questions I get a lot and its around whether or not to kind of stick with that business idea. Some people, you know, if they don’t hit immediate success or if everything is not going as they planned, they’re questioning is this the right idea? Should I bail? Knowing that you’ve been working on your current company for so long, how would you respond? How did you think about it? How did you face those issues that were simply seemed to be inevitable?

Yvonne: Well, fewer than 1% of all ad agencies last 20 years and we have lasted for more than 30 years. I think we’ve survived because we’re flexible and eager to move on to the next thing. We’ve had a lot of times when things weren’t going well and we had to examine what we were doing and we had to think about it in terms of let’s stick with what’s working but have an eye out for what we think we can do better. And there’s just been so much change and disruption in our industry that we have had to have a real appetite for change and for listening to what other people think. We should be offering and doing while at the same time remaining stubborn enough to keep doing this. It’s easy to give up but its kind of a magical combination I believe and I see this with start ups, a combination of stubbornness to stick with your dream but also the flexibility to listen and to change. Its a combination of those two things that I think helps a company keep going for a long period.

William: Yeah. That’s very interesting. So some of the stuff that you’ve talked about fits in nicely with a little bit of a piece of interview we had with a guy named Steve Sanderson. Steve is an lea expert, lean start up expert at ???Rax Face and he talks about that as well where its having the flexibility to be kind of proven wrong by the market but the stubbornness that you said is kind of the nice complement to that of saying, OK you  may have some hypothesis or maybe testing them, you may think that this is what you should offer, you should have some hypothesis that you could test, the stubbornness is around becoming successful and adapting to that. Not necessarily the stubbornness around the very specific ideas. Is that correct?

Yvonne: Correct. Yeah. The stubbornness to stick with it. The stubbornness to not give up and the determination to do whatever it takes to survive.

William: Do you have any examples around, you know, some stubbornness or some examples of stubbornness that you’ve had in your career?

Yvonne: I’ve had many near death experiences in my business and there have been times when I would have walked away or given up if I’ve had the option but i think but as a single mother of 2 children, it just wasn’t an option for me to fail and you know one example I guess is a few years back we were doing all the reseller marketing for Dell and we had a hundred and twenty five people on staff and we couldn’t hire people fast enough to suit them. We couldn’t grow quickly enough to suite this client and so in the process of growing to accommodate this behemoth client, we ignored all of our other opportunities for business development because it was just too overwhelming. We signed a lease in a new building so we could double the amount of space that we had so that we can continue to grow as quickly as they needed for us to grow and then one 24 hour period, Dell decided not to market to resellers anymore and all of the business that we had with them was gone and we had just signed a lease to take on double the amount of space,double the amount of financial outflow and we had to lay off about 75 percent of our team and I think that’s a kind of situation where a lot of people would have just said well I don’t see how I could make this work but we just, out of sheer determination, shrunk back down again and started looking for other opportunities as a result of that and learning that same lesson the hard way maybe a couple more times. We are very diversified company now so, but there are nights, very lonely long nights where you lie awake and think. Gosh I just wish someone would take this off my hands, I have no idea how to solve this problem.

William: Yeah so seems like the output or outflow of that stubbornness like you’re saying is kind of working harder, diversifying you know, it seems like the diversification is kind of a response to something that’s happened in the past where  you’ve maybe put all your eggs in one basket, not necessarily but you might have and then you know, learning from that is hey we needed to diversify so it sounds like, you know, its working harder, its learning from those mistakes like the diversification. Are there any other kind of results or like actions that you take that kind of flow out of that stubbornness?

Yvonne: Yeah. One of the most important lessons from me when things got very bad is to ask for help and I tend to think that I need to solve all my own problems myself. One of the things I learned over and over again is that if you take care of your relationships with people along the way, there will be a lot of people that will care, that will care how you’re doing and would want to help you and if you could just sit down and ask for what you need that you find that you will get the help that will get you over that hump. I have a great story about that. I had a relationship once with a printer vendor when we were doing a lot of print and my client didn’t pay their bills to me so therefore I couldn’t pay my bills to the printer and the printer became a good friend of mine. He was a vendor and as I was just staring bankruptcy in the face I finally just took him to lunch one day and I said, look, Truck, I just don’t know what I’m gonna do about this but I am gonna pay you and he took, he actually at that request went to his banker, took out a loan so that he could prove to his banker that he owned money on the printing presses that he was doing due diligence. Anyway he worked out a financial arrangement that kept my business afloat just because we had that great personal relationship and because he wanted to help me and because I asked for the help.

William: Yeah that’s a good piece of advice that something people, you know, most guests don’t talk about. Most guests when they come on the show they talk about you know, they’re able to speak to specifically the questions that we ask around, how could you do this, how could you do that but that’s one that definitely no guest really touched or talked, touched on the interview so I really appreciate you sharing that with the audience. As far as the next popular question or you know, as far as I ordered this, we kind of already touched on and that was a little bit about, you know, having businesses. The first question was about whether to stick with the business idea or not and the next question that we often get was about you know,entrepreneurs or founders that basically had a good business and it was looking promising but the kind of market had changed, so whether someone had come and undercut them or competition has flooded the market or something had become popular. We kind of already touched on that. Is there any other stuff that you want to talk about with that question before we move on?

Yvonne: Well I think its important to just to look ahead and not expect that as you innovate and as you look ahead at what the market is going to be hungry for that you have to be perfect at offering it. I find that a lot of companies will anticipate market demand for something and then just expect, well they probably can’t meet that demand because they’ve never done it before. If you have a wonderful appetite for change, for trying new things you could lever that, leverage that to your advantage and do it imperfectly at first because when you’re just getting started nobody’s great at it. I just remember when we first started doing websites, nobody was very good at doing websites at that early 90s you know, and we just  tried and you do the best you can and you learn and then you’re one step ahead of all the people who are too afraid to start, who are too afraid to try and I think that’s helpful to just know that you don’t have to be perfect at something.

William. Yeah its very empowering to just kind of go out there and have that nugget of an idea, start executing on it as opposed to you know, setting back, trying to perfect it over time then kind of coming out and you know, either successful or flops but you could have potentially wasted a lot of time or you could have gone in the wrong direction altogether. So as far as the theme of kind of rapid fire questions, the next one’s a little bit different in theme but the people, lots of people try to think through how do I kind of get to the crux of things, you know there’s lots of business information out there, lots of books being published everyday so people like to ask very specific questions that kind of try to cut through it, cut through all the clutter and try to get some essential or principle content that they can consume and kind of internalize and act upon and so one of this questions or this questions specifically is along those lines which is you know, knowing what you know now about starting a successful company, going through the ups and downs and continuing to fight the fight. If you could go back in time and tell yourself, you know, go back in time and talk to your 22 year old self or your self when you’re just starting out, what would you say to yourself and why?

Yvonne: I think there’s three main things I would tell myself to keep track of all the wonderful people I met from the beginning of my company. All of the people that helped me, the people I worked for and the people that worked with me. I failed to understand upfront how important it would be later on to just be able to remember and go back to those people, to keep track of them and to nurture those relationships. The concept of a database was totally foreign to me when I got started and I had no idea the power of human relationships and having history in common with someone else when I got started in my company.`I thought it was all about my work,it was all about doing the best job, which is important but I fail to appreciate the power of great relationships. Second thing I would educate myself on this is the reality that keeping a business alive is a matter of constant vigilance. The fantasy that you can as a CEO just step back and live some kind of special, better, relaxed life at least in marketing ad is just a fantasy. It takes constant vigilance on multiple fronts and there’s just no way around it. You can never stop worrying, you could never stop wondering what’s surprises around the corner and when things are going well, its good to appreciate that but know that its mostly luck and even though its more appealing to believe its because you’re smart or you’re good, bad things happen to good, smart people all the time and I think you have to be humble enough to know that you’re just lucky and when things are going well, you got that luck and you’re luck will eventually turn at some point in time and you have to be ready for it. You just, you can’t ever relax. And the third thing I wish I’d realize is the importance of good sales and marketing from my own business was just kind of ironic because I’m in a marketing business, but I skated by on my reputation for so many years, winning awards, you know the spread of my work was good but I think I could have done a better job early on and taking advantage of the awards we were winning and recognition we got to scale my business and i just, I made a mistake of not leveraging that. I just let growth happen organically and on hindsight I wish I had focused more on growing the business than just focusing on the work itself. I spent too much time working in the business rather than on the business.

William: I got you. Yeah now that’s  really good stuff for the audience to hear. Like you said, the network, the relationships, constant vigilance, sales and marketing. As far as the kind of the network and the relationships go, what would you have done differently? You said a little bit about database. You might have a list of these individuals, is there like a communication strategy that you might have implemented  where you’ve reached out to people ever so often or anything like that?

Yvonne: Yeah, well today we have marketing automation and that’s perfect. Back then, we didn’t. We had Rolodex and I just didn’t keep track of who I’ve met, where I’ve met them or didn’t think about how I could leverage those relationships in the future. I think that even for startups today they tend to focus too much on what they are doing and their own work so I see this very thing that I did the mistakes that I made in a lot of these startups. They’re just absorbed  in their thing and to keep track of who you met and how you might be able to help them and how they might be able to help you and to just stay in touch. I think that’s really it.

William: Yeah that sounds like you know, the little bit of all these. I guess all three kind of seem like, you know, kind of picking your head out from the business. Its like you know, you’re kind of head’s down, you’re working on it, you’re building it like for example for the sales and marketing, you were focused on the quality of the work which is great but like you’ve said you need to work on building the business, not necessarily in the business doing the work. The same with constant vigilance, just having your head up, looking around, seeing how you can help different areas, seems like that’s a big takeaway for the audience.

Yvonne:  It’s like you’re the lighthouse and your beam is going across your business and you’re looking for things that can go wrong. What can go wrong next? And then you just focus that beam on that problem or that risk.

William: Yeah and as far as the kind of the networking piece I know that linked in keeps adding these different things around they’ build it to kind of serve a little bit as your CERM because it has you know, when you first connected with them and has their contact information and also starting to add like notes where you can add in specifically oh where I met them, that kind of stuff and there’s a few others like Contactually, I believe which is kind of that automated networking and the people really love online which is basically a way to kind of automate the outreach and the ping strategy, communication cadence of your network so you’re staying in touch but it really does take some time that you kind of pause when you meet somebody  to think what do they care about, what are they interested in, how can you help them and then think bigger picture of how they can help you now or in the future as well. As far as the kind of next question we have which is similar to the last one which is kind of what lessons did you learn the hard way and how can you help others avoid similar mistakes?

Yvonne: Yeah. I learned so many lessons the hard way in fact working on a book called Everything I Know I Learned By Screwing Up. The main thing is I think that most people are optimists and they think that things are gonna work out. They think that they can get things on time. I learned early on that something is always  going to go wrong or going gonna be less than optimal and the only way that I can avoid the consequences of that is to stay ahead of schedule and to look for what mistakes we might make instead of believe that everything’s gonna be fine. As the data may say it will but just know that’s something will always go wrong. I always anticipate problems. I think if you don’t, you’ll miss deadlines or you’ll let people down. Even you know, just without even meaning to. So if you could do something tonight instead of doing it in the morning, do it tonight and get everyone working in that very same way around you and that way you’re prepared to exceed expectations rather than make excuses. I think that is a sort of the core of the one of the things I learned over and over the hard way.

William: Yeah it seems like the stuff you can do specifically I would love to hear how you do it but I know in projects I’ve worked on with different clients or different startups we kind of start with a premortem, basically saying three months from now William has completely fumbled this whole project, why right? and thinking through these are the four reasons that you know could go wrong or these are the four things that could go wrong and this is how we potentially would address  them to ensure, right? So you’re one, making sure that you’re thinking through the things that are most important and then two, you are thinking, you’re kind of looking for those blind spots. Is that similar to what you do or its kind of built in your thought process?

Yvonne: Yeah I do. I do that. First I do it in my own head and then I enlist other people to think it through. I find that a lot of my team and other people that I work with don’t have an appetite for fantasizing about everything that can go wrong. It makes people uncomfortable but its really healthy and if you can surround yourself with people who don’t have a problem thinking about that then you’ve found people who have a realistic and healthy imagination and I think that’s important.

William: Yes, starting with that premortem, doing the project, having a postmortem and then being able to document these learnings in either in your mind or in a google docs or something will definitely help you kind of avoid them mistakes that you would have otherwise make because you just didn’t think through the you know, the whole problem, the whole situation.It makes a lot of sense. And as far as the next question goes, one that we get a lot is you know, talking about goal setting. We got this a lot during the beginning of 2015 which is you know around, do you set goals for your business? If so, how? I’d love your take on that.

Yvonne: Well my style of goal setting frustrates a lot of people because I don’t approach it the same way as a lot people do or they set a revenue goal or a percentage growth goal or that type of thing. What I do is that I identify the barriers to growth and profitability and I just set out to knock out these barriers. I don’t fixate on a revenue or growth goal, I focus on getting the obstacles out of the way and when they are out of the way then I apply maximum pressure to succeed and take advantage of the situation. I know for someone with an MBA, that sounds crazy but I have a degree in fine arts and I operate with an instinct that worked for me so far. In our business we just don’t have enough predictability in what’s the market’s doing, what technology’s doing, our client’s situations are and all of those things really drive my business so much that by setting goals the same way other companies do it just doesn’t work cause we have  no control over our, a lot of the variables so I try to just identify what those variables are, what the barriers are and just work on isolating myself so that they, so that those things that might impact us negatively won’t.

William: Can you give the audience like an example of that kind of barrier that you’re thinking through?

Yvonne: Yeah. So one of the kind of barriers would be for us, one of our customers isn’t doing, isn’t meeting their goals, their not successful and they like I said was Dell, you know, they may cut their marketing budget or there may be a political upheaval within a company that’s a customer of ours and the people who hire us end up leaving. So those are things that are not predictable that we may have growth goals but it doesn’t really help to have growth goals if two or three of your customers have something like that happen and the rug gets pulled out from under you so you think about how can we create more predictability in our business. How can we isolate ourselves from those things that, the roller coaster. And so one of the ways we’ve done is to diversify our client base, move into multiple channels, move into offering multiple types of products, diverse way of selling so don’t just focus on selling in a specific way. Move out and start experimenting with different ways of selling what you’re offering. So using a marketing automation platform but also using advance and also using a personal network. I think just diversification all around is the way to isolate a company especially a small company from the kind of risk that will take you down.

William: Yeah as far as kind of the goal setting front, your talking about specifically targeting or tackling certain issues that kind of hold you back or limit you. It’s pretty interesting on a more product-centered business, I was listening to a gentleman speak who works or helps start a company called TwitchTV which they recently acquired and one of the things that they thought about was when they were looking at feedback from their clients, from their current customers or user base, they’re thinking that, they’re weighing that against some other stuff and so the way you were thinking about it instead of saying ok, we have these users, they’re using it very well but we also have limited resources. So to maximize the business instead of going to them and saying hey what don’t you like about the system, its going to the people who should be using the system aren’t even using the system and saying, why aren’t you using the system, right? So you think, he was trying to think about it in a way of like how do you maximize the market in general so its kind of an interesting kind of parallel thought process in addition to kind of what you’re talking about.

Yvonne: Yeah.

William: Cause you know his example was, you know, these people already like it enough and they are using it enough, adding this small little feature’s not’s gonna make or break it but being able to open it up to a whole new market of people or for your example being able to solve this problem that keeps the customer on a much longer time and keeps all customers on a much longer period of time or retain them. It has a much bigger impact than just solving this one specific problem for this one customer.It is more systematic. Really cool. Ok so that kind of tackles that and then the next question’s kind of more a fun question that we like to get. This is a fairly unique but I kind of bucketed a bunch of different, similar questions into this which was if you could snap your fingers and have founded another company, like another type of company, maybe in another industry, what would it be and why?

Yvonne: I would have started a liquor store. I think it’s a much better business, predictable. You’ve always have a good market. You have steady profits. I got my business started here in Austin right when there was the first twin liquors on 6th Street and now now I’ve seen in every town that I go to. Nobody ever brings back a bottle of Bombay Sapphire saying I just didn’t think it would taste quite like this so I envy the liquor store.

William: Yes. Yes seems like a lot of product businesses maybe you know, sort of extent their commodity but they can offer some additional services or offerings that make them unique but you know, kind of puts the burden approve for the quality on the manufacturer as opposed to the store and that for service businesses I can see will be beneficial or something that you would want.

Yvonne:  I love the predictability of it.

William: Yup, people will always, there’s always a SuperBowl party, there’s always a New Year, there’s always these day temple events where people need their booze to make it even better.

Yvonne: Yeah they’re not at the mercy of their last great idea. They just show up everyday.

William: Very interesting. So let’s see, the next one kind of fits into that bucket, the same bucket as the previous wherein I kind of lumped in to some questions, added a fun twist to it but it goes, if you have three business related wishes from a genie, what would you wish for that would help a young entrepreneur? So imagine you’re a young entrepreneur, probably to rephrase the question, imagine you’re a young entrepreneur, you  ran into a bottle, you rubbed it, a genie came out and it was a business-related genie. Business only. What would you have wished for, what would you have wished for others that are kind of starting out?

Yvonne: I would ask that genie to tell me about the future. I would want to know foresight, I would want to know the economic market is going. I would want the foresight to know where the tech trends will be in three years and then the foresight to know what to change about my business to make it more competitive and different shaded. I think that’s what I want.

William: Yeah, seems like all that, I mean obviously you get a perfect answer with a genie but seems like a lot of that you know people can, people at home listening to this can work on, right. Thinking about what are the tech trends  and I know that there’s a lady at Kleiner Perkins named Mary Meeker who kind of release annual report or releases annual reports around tech trends that she’s seen globally. You said tech trends, what was the other one that you’ve talked about?

Yvonne: Market. Let’s see. Where the economic market is going. Because that, this is sometimes it doesn’t matter how good your idea is if the market is gonna crash. You know, get out now. We saw that you know right after 9-11. And then the tech trends and then the foresight to know what about your business to make more competitive or different shade.How to look at your business and make it better suited for the future.

William: Yeah seems like the economic one of those three is kind of the most puzzling. Obviously with the genie you get the right answer but as far as looking at the market you could do some competitive analysis but its not gonna be as good as getting a genie. So we need to go ahead and find a genie. Does anyone know a genie?

Yvonne: Can we have one?

William: E-mail us, don’t use the wishes yet unless you wishing for more business wishes, that’s the first wish always and then you can contact us after you get your other wishes answered. So another question we get is you know, agencies, there’s lots of them in town, there’s lots of them around the country. People think or startups think they should avoid them. What is your experience with startups and when is it right to kind of talk to an agency like yourself?

Yvonne: Well most startups can’t afford to work with an agency and then the problem is if they can afford it, they don’t know how to work with an agency. So an agency really can’t be successful if its trying to educate its client on how to do business with an agency and do business at the same time, you know. Setting all those expectations, it just creates a difficult situation but we have had successful relationships with startups and I personally love working with startups because I love the stimulation of working with the smart people who come up with the idea and I think you know, that’s really fun and interesting. It’s not something you get a chance to do when you’re working with a Fortune 500 company. But the problem is that startups just really aren’t good at getting outside of themselves and understanding how to create a compelling brand. I love the phrase, you can’t, “It’s hard to read the label if you’re in the bottle”. And the service that the agency can bring is to get up, be outside the bottle and tell the company what they need to do in order to create success. It just breaks my heart to see people who have a really good idea and a great business model and they’re trying to reinvent how to do marketing on their own inside their little bottle. Its a slow, expensive process. A good brand, good messaging and good customer acquisition strategy can really move the needle but it does take an investment. So I don’t know what the answer is, I think you know, if you could start small and just get some outside advice and at least validate that you’re going in the right direction, doing it on your own, that would be the first place to start.

William: Perfect. So next question is what is your favorite business book and why?

Yvonne: I like Leadership On The Line. It helped me understand the dynamics of power as a leader and the things that you can, that you need to get out of your way in order to be an effective leader.

William: Got you. I have not heard that one. Will definitely check that out and add it to my Amazon wishlist. Couple more questions before we wrap up. I know you’re busy so we’re gonna let you go. Let’s see, what are three traits you believe a founder needs to kind of build a successful company? Thinking about your experience, maybe its traits you wished you have, maybe its traits that you have, maybe its traits you’ve seen in other founders. What do you think those three traits would be?

Yvonne: Well, for first I think the founder has to have a strong vision and that stubborn determination. So its the stubbornness and the vision. The second is the flexibility to adjust the vision that would make, so that the company can be successful.It’s that balance we talked about in the very beginning of the interview. And the third is to have a humble, grateful attitude. People want to help you if you exhibit those traits but if they don’t see that, you’re gonna be doing it by yourself. That’s a lot harder.

William: Yeah, that’s good. There’s definitely a trend or a theme that people like to talk about out in the valley around kind of the jerks, the jerk mentality and people thinking you know, to be successful they have to have to be a jerk and they kind of mixing signals up and people are kind of revolting against some of those new entrepreneurs that really haven’t accomplished much but feel like they need to be jerks to others. So I think that humble attitude is definitely something that would get you a lot further in life. If they see someone like Steve Jobs and they hear about how he would rant and rave and berate his employees and they kind of mix up the good and the bad , right? He was probably great despite those things not because of those things so that’s a good thing to kind of drive home. And then the kind of you know the final question of the interview is how or let’s see, we have a few questions here, let’s pick the last one. You know, who’s the first person that comes to mind when you think of the words successful entrepreneur and why do you feel that works?

Yvonne: Well one of my first clients was Don Craven and he’s still here in Austin. He’s at the Capital Factory now as a mentor. He was one of my clients for a company, he owned the company called ?? Data in the 1990s and he sold it for a lot of money a few years later, but I got to work side by side with him handling his marketing when he just started the company and I got to see and be a part of that wild success. Don has just the right combination of intelligence, great judgement, human relationship skills and then he’s got this little bit of gambler spirit that has I think paid off really well for him that he’s a good person to get to know and somebody that comes to mind just on a personal level for me.

William: Very cool. I have to look him up and maybe get him in the show for the audience. This interview’s been great. Really appreciate your time. I know the audience really appreciate you answering some of their most frequently asked questions. If people wanna connect with you or the agency, how can they do that?

Yvonne: The best way to find me is on LinkedIn. My  name is really hard to spell so, that would be the easiest way- it’s T-O-C-Q-U-I-G-N-Y. So Yvonne Tocquiny, you can find me on LinkedIn.

William:Perfect. I’ll put a link to that and the show notes. Really appreciate your time and thanks for joining us today.

Yvonne: Thanks I had a great time, I really appreciate it.


Yvonne Tocquigny’s Bio

Yvonne Tocquigny is the founder and CEO of Tocquigny, a leading digital marketing firm, Tocquigny is recognized by B-to-B Magazine as one of the top 3 digital marketing firms in the country. Clients include Jeep, Dell Computer Corporation, Regent University, Coinstar, Hitachi, AT&T, and Momentum Telecom.

Yvonne is a frequent speaker for groups of CEOs across the country, international Six Sigma organizations and banking CEOs. She also serves as a mentor for The Capital Factory, an incubator for startup companies that draws business talent from across the country. She is an inaugural member of the Advisory Council for the School of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Texas and a member of the Advisory Board of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas.

Yvonne is the proud parent of two children. She is an avid cook, painter and traveler.


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About William Griggs

William Griggs

William Griggs is a product and customer acquisition strategist who has helped numerous startups including companies backed by Andreessen Horowitz, FLOODGATE, & 500 Startups. In addition to his consulting work, he has written for Mashable, VentureBeat, & ReadWrite. You can check out his podcast on iTunes (The Startup Slingshot TV) or follow him on Twitter @william_griggs for Tweets chock-full of delicious knowledge nuggets.

In addition to everything tech startups, William loves breakfast tacos, dogs, short emails, and Amazon Prime. He currently resides in Austin, Texas with his beautiful wife Elizabeth.

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