UI_logo_002The thought of becoming an entrepreneur and being able to create something that would have a great impact on my environment has been within me for as long as I can remember. But, it’s on an evening in September of 2001, as a system engineer at Nortel Networks, where I decided to officially take the first step towards what would be a very demanding journey in pursuit of my objective. I can recall watching television while my wife, an elementary school teacher, prepared her lesson plan for the following day, when I realized I was wasting my time. I should have been spending it working towards my goal: starting my own company. Having already completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, I structured a 5 year plan where I would assemble most of the pieces I thought were important to obtain before starting my company. My plan consisted of acquiring a legal, financial and marketing background enabling me to be independent and capable of communicating effectively with all stakeholders, which in turn would help me with the development of my future company. At that point, the type of company I would create was not an important factor.

The following day, I went to the University of Montreal and registered for a Law Certificate, which I would start in January of 2002. After completing the majority of my Law Certificate, I decided to register at the University of Quebec for an executive MBA in Finance/Marketing. As I received my acceptance letter for the MBA program, which I would start in September of 2003, I was also accepted to transfer to the Bachelor of Law program at the University of Montreal. That is when the intensity and complication rose, as I understood the value and opportunity of both programs. After discussing with my wife and selling her my 5 year plan, I got her full support to move forward and complete both programs. From September 2003 until June 2005, I was progressing towards my Bachelor’s Degree in Law during the week and my MBA degree on the weekends while working full time and becoming a proud father to my first child, Matthew. After completing my MBA in June of 2005, I went on to complete my Bachelor’s Degree in Law in June of 2008 (Utopia Image was created in 2006).

In retrospect

Picturing myself within the project, even before its realization (i.e. developing a company), and understanding its potential environment and dynamics was key to the project’s success. This let me understand the potential flaws and the necessary resources that were needed. Therefore, I was able to effectively invest my time and efforts in the right places. Furthermore, having the support of my wife during that period was crucial in accomplishing my degrees.

Next: Utopia Image’s Launch