Significant Other - What your business can do to, and for, your relationship

Significant Other - What your business can do to, and for, your relationship

Lifestyle | Posted by YouInc.com - October 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm
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Before he became a contender on CBC's Dragons' Den, and before he sold his startup just months after its launch, Tim Ray had to convince his fiancée, Julia, that the timing was right to leap into the entrepreneurial unknown.

"She was nervous because several people close to her have had entrepreneurial failures. She'd prefer a 9-5 guy, but that's not me."

Since he first manned his own lemonade stand at age five, Tim envisioned becoming an entrepreneur. At age 30, immediately after completing his MBA, he came up with the concept for an online grocery group-buying website. Unfortunately, it was just ten months before his wedding date. And his fiancée had already supported him through business school.

"Her big argument was it's not the right time. My number one argument in return was there is never going to be a good time."

So, as Julia continued to hold down her 9-5 and pay the bills, Tim dove headfirst into his dream of developing his own company. But when he launched Food Scrooge and made his pitch to Dragons' Den just over a week later, he was spending money faster than he was bringing it in. He started to consider contingency plans — like bankruptcy.

"It was eighteen hour days and sleepless nights," says Tim. "But the number one thing I didn't want to do was transfer that stress to Julia."

Then Torstar Digital scooped up Food Scrooge and Tim along with it, making him GM of their new grocery division at WagJag. Closing just six days after his wedding, the deal got him off the hook with his new wife.

It was also a great opportunity to grow his company from within the safety net of a well-established digital media organization with a wide array of resources. Tim was thrilled to make the sale and relishes his new work environment. But his entrepreneurial instinct colors his view of his accomplishment — building and selling a business in just ten months.

"As good and successful as the acquisition was at Torstar, I see it almost as a soft failure. The company ultimately failed, because I had to sell my company. If I'd been successful I'd still be on my own. If I could have been president and CEO of the company for more than six months, obviously I would have loved to have done that."

Now, even as he builds WagJag Grocery, he's considering several new concepts. And next time around, when he wants to develop another company from the ground up, it will probably be easier to convince Mrs. Ray.

"Now I have full range to do future entrepreneurial endeavors with the faith of my wife."

By YouInc Columnist Tiffany Burns

Tags: lifestyle, relationships, spotlight, three, julia ray, entrepreneur, concept, dragons den, opportunity, success

Comments
Barbi G. Petersen
October 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm

My husband fully encouraged me to start my event planning company, The Black Door events in 2011.  I had recently retired from a career in event management and facing empty nest syndrome, I know he likely thought, "get her something to constructive to occupy herself or I will have big to do lists on the fridge after work every night".  It has been a huge leap from the comforts of regular pay checks to making it happen on our own but I have never felt as engaged, motivated and energized in my 35+ working years.  My husband was onto something!

Colin J. Campbell
October 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Tim is very fortunate to have found a buyer for his company, it was a high risk venture which worked out. Owning your own business so you can say you are the CEO is not exactly the right reasons to start a business. However there is nothing better than being your own boss, as long as you realize that means you do it all in most cases. I have been fortunate, my wife is my business partner and for most of the 39 years we have been married we have run our own business together. It has been stressful on occasion but the realization that the road to success is uphill all the way and the difference between success and failure is being willing to do what failures won't do. We are only satisfied with pleasing results not with pleasing methods. Good luck to you all, stay focused and communicate with your spouse.

Ashleigh Ahern
November 4, 2012 at 9:29 pm
Although my husband has been nothing but supportive, I often feel guilty for asking so much from him. I sacrifice time with him for my business sometimes, but he understands and shares my dreams and goals. It's important to sell your vision to your spouse so they can help you when you need it most, and secondly, prove it to them by delivering results from your efforts. How fortunate that you found a buyer - imagine if you hadn't! So happy it all worked out for you :)
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