Chris Busch has a story to tell. It starts with him, but it’s really about you. Feel free to sit back. Get comfortable. Relax. You’ll like this one, we hope. Here’s how it goes.
Chris is the Founder and CEO of LightQuest. But that comes later, near the end, after 21.083 years of media experience…to be precise.
In the beginning of this story is a frozen custard stand in Pennsylvania and a nine-year-old Chris. Near, around, and in the general vicinity of this custard stand was trash and young Chris took the job of picking it up. By age 10, he had been promoted to the trash around a nearby swimming pool. He was on the rise.
These jobs didn’t propel him into advertising, though the drink cups littering the ground had the Coca-Cola logo printed on their crumpled faces. And he says you can chalk that moment up to his first lesson in branding.
From there, he transitioned through an adolescence of various skill sets and snow-shoveling-grass-mowing-car-detailing-dish-washing-table-waiting-tire-changing employment experiences. They all had their purpose, beyond exhibiting in living color the importance of obtaining his college degree. Those jobs and the people he crossed paths within them taught Chris the intricacies of human nature in changing environments and varying circumstances.
“Making good deals for our clients requires problem solving, creative approaches to win-win, and an understanding of human nature. It is important to be able to formulate effective strategy and to be able to execute it relentlessly and to be able to adapt to changing situations.”
Now back to our story.
Chris had exchanged the snow of Pennsylvania for the tornadoes of Oklahoma, a lateral exchange really. But the move brought with it his eventual degree from Oral Roberts University and his first media job as the assistant to the Vice-President of Operations at Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association (OREA), then eventually to Vice-President of Business Affairs for ORU.
“I wasn’t a production guy. I just did whatever needed to be done – kinda like Robert Duvall in The Godfather,” Chris says about his stint working on the prime-time show, Oral Roberts Contact Specials, with guests like Robert Goulet, Pearl Bailey, Jerry Lewis, and that man in black, Johnny Cash.
Afterward, armed with the intimate knowledge of the guts of media ministry operations, Chris spent his 30s as a successful entrepreneur creating an audio cassette duplication business, with 75 employees; a pick-up truck bed-liner business, with clients throughout the US and Canada; a floppy disk duplication business, for the soon-to-be viral computer software industry; and a direct response TV business, for 1-800 ads selling products through television.
“I believe entrepreneurs represent the soul of American business. Large corporations are important in the equation, but the struggle of the entrepreneur brings life and character to our economy. Each of our clients has a message that matters and media multiplies that message. Our role is to strategically and skillfully use the leverage of media across many platforms to maximize the message, communicate the story, and ultimately help people with needs.”
Chris has never been one to slow down, unless a Steelers game is on. Both his entrepreneurial business experience and time spent gaining an MBA from the University of Tulsa taught him to sleep little – he’s afraid he’ll miss something anyway – and gave him knowledge on the sweat and glory of what running a company or ministry or any endeavor takes.
He understands what his clients want because he’s been there. Still is there.
“My focus is to understand where my clients are trying to go, developing strategies – sometimes on the fly – to get there, then execute obsessively. Every interaction with LightQuest should result in a lighter burden for our client. Until Christmas, that is, when we hope to receive large and expensive presents.”
Our Jack Kerouac of enterprises, or he goes by Chris, eventually worked as a pastor for a church in Tulsa before returning to the media world at the primed starting line of the new century. He reentered media just in time to watch it change from the traditional to the new to the promised.
“The cutting edge might be the bleeding edge, but the adventure out there is worth the occasional splatter.”
Six-plus years ago, Chris combined his love of media with his energy for entrepreneurial vision and created LightQuest Media, a hub of media experience and new talent.
That isn’t the end of his story. It was really just the beginning. Chris’ story continues with the success of each of his clients.
“I don’t like religio-speak, or ad-speak, or media-speak. I don’t think much of what our industry is, but I have great hope for what it could become. We are willing to work with clients of all sizes. We have really big clients, but we also have smaller clients who are relatively new to the world of media. Both are fun, but for different reasons. Larger clients have resources to try ideas that are out of reach of smaller organizations, but there is the entrepreneurial adventure of helping smaller clients to grow and flourish.”
Of all his past experiences, accomplishments, goals – including those in the future – Chris says his greatest success has been his 41-year-marriage to his wife Linda; his children Christina, Kim, and Ryan; his grandchildren Cale, Jackson, Ella, Sam, and Kate; and a dog that loves him when he breaks out the Pupperoni.