What it's like to work with ActiveProspect CEO Steve Rafferty

by Kelly O'Halloran
November 15, 2016

CEO Steve Rafferty launched ActiveProspect in Austin in 2004. Now, the marketing lead acquisition and capture platform is home to the careers of over 25 folks and counting. 

Rafferty, a Tulane University alumni and Harvard MBA graduate, has worked for Johnson & Johnson, Accenture, Chipshot.com, and Bang Networks before founding ActiveProspect. We connected with him to learn more about his experience in working in Austin, how he hires and what next year holds for his expanding team. 

What's your morning routine like to ensure you have a good day?
Every morning I drop my son off at elementary school on the way to work. It’s the part of my morning ritual that I love the most. I enjoy chatting with him in the car and it puts me in a good mood to start work. 

What would you identify as some of the biggest challenges you've faced in your career?

Building a company from scratch with no outside funding was the most challenging thing I have ever done in my career.  While every day presents a new set of challenges, the very beginning was the hardest. Those early days taught me the importance of determination and hard work. 

I put everything I had into my business, and I was fully committed to making it a success. I still feel this sense of urgency and responsibility to make the business grow and succeed. Sometimes challenges can also be motivators. 

What are some of your key focuses moving into the next year?
Our company has a proven product offering and profitable business model. Our focus now is scaling the operation. Adding the right people who can help us scale is a top priority.
 
We are looking for people with the right skill sets, but are also very focused on building the right culture. I am proud of the jobs we’ve created in our organization, and I’m committing to making sure my team has a positive, dynamic work environment. I want people to look forward to coming to work.  
 
What are lessons you’ve learned about working in Austin that other local entrepreneurs can learn from?
Use the city to your advantage. We are lucky to live in such a desirable city, and Austin is a great place to visit. Our customers are located all over the country. They consistently say that they love Austin and want to visit — give them a reason to come visit you. 
 
Austin is known for having a large talent pool of thirsty, young workers. What are the top characteristics you look for in a potential hire?
There are a number of characteristics I look for in a candidate. I’d say integrity and a positive attitude are the top. I want people that are passionate about their role or our products/industry. I want people that are motivated to excel at their job, without being told what to do.  
 
How would your team describe working with you?
Dreamy.  
 
Who are you inspired by?
I’m inspired by people with a strong work ethic that take pride in doing things the right way, even if it requires a little more work up front.
 
My grandfather exemplified that characteristic.  He was an inspiration to me and his values and work ethic shaped the way I do business today. I’m also fortunate to be surrounded by a team that also takes pride in their work. 
 

 

Image provided by ActiveProspect. Some answers have been edited for clarity and length.

Want to nominate a CEO for this series? Tell us or tweet @BuiltInAustin.

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