I considered making this lesson number one, if only because the right partner—or certainly the wrong one—will inform every stage of your journey as an entrepreneur. In Tiger 21, as part of each member’s annual Portfolio Defense, they are asked to share their list of the top 10 lessons they have learned so far. A common denominator is some version of the following exhortation: Marry the right person; it makes all the difference. “It wouldn’t have happened,” recalled one member who left a successful job to start a business with a very large personal loan, “if I hadn’t married a woman willing to take a risk. I know so many people who won’t let their husbands or wives take a risk to get ahead.”
Linda and Magid Abraham are a particularly inspiring example of marriage working well. Linda and Magid met in 1985 through work. Linda was a marketing analyst at Procter & Gamble, and Magid, who had recently gotten a PhD from MIT, was working for a consulting company that Procter & Gamble had hired. As Linda puts it: “Ours is a relationship steeped in very geeky data.”1
By 1992 they were married, and three years later they started Paragren, their first company together. It provided software for customer relationship management, and Linda and Magid sold it within two years. Then they moved on to their next venture, ComScore, which is where their entrepreneurial efforts paid off.
Partnership in love and business worked for the Abrahams ...