August 2020

Men Behind the Business: Tim Singleton

Author: Special to CH2 | Photographer: M.KAT Photography

Tim Singleton
Ruby Lee’s South

What service does your business offer?
Happiness! We’re a restaurant industry, food and beverage industry, entertainment industry. I think we’re a place where America comes and join forces together—a “have a great time” industry.

What is your motto in life?
I have several of them, depends on the day, but one that I choose to live by all the time is that you should never ever sacrifice quality.

What are you passionate about?
Fatherhood—watching my young black boys become young men and understanding the different levels of life, the different issues that come with becoming a man and being a certain color in life. All those things make me passionate, talking to people, leading my community.

To what do you attribute your success?
Success, I think, is fluid. I don’t think anyone who is successful is content and sits back and looks at themselves thinking they’re successful. I think you need to continue to work and get better. I work really hard. I’m very focused, loyal to a fault, and again, we don’t sacrifice quality. I think good things come in the end.

How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
It’s all the above. I think business success comes from and is only as good as your people you are leading; it’s only as good as the financial bottom line; it’s only as good as the community you live in. I think it’s a collective mix of all of those things, because, at the end of the day, I think, again it’s a fluid situation. This is a very difficult industry. Every day is a different day, and success is defined in different ways. It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of prayers and a lot of “want to” if you continue to be successful.

What are your hobbies and how do you relax?
My hobbies are also very fluid. There are times in life when I love cooking, like during the pandemic. It brought the chef out of me when I was home every day. I redid my kitchen in my house several years ago and never really used it, but the pandemic forced me to because my boys were hungry three times a day. I love cooking; I love traveling. But most important, I love being a renaissance man, taking an eclectic view of life and getting involved in a little bit of everything.

What do you think about when you are alone in your car? I think about the many tasks I have to complete. I think about the next book or article I’m going to read; I think about financial issues; I think about my kids. My mind is always rolling. That’s probably why I don’t sleep very well.

Favorite book?
I love The Autobiography of Malcolm X; I love to just get a different perspective on life, I’ll tell you one book I read, and I never read three books so fast in my life: Fifty Shades of Grey. I thought that sh*t was amazing, but it was really provocative and innovative. I read a lot of other books; I like autobiographies.

What do you wish you had known about becoming an entrepreneur?
That people really define you in that they can push your buttons and turn you into a monster or push your buttons and make you think you’re a global success because you’re being nice or what have you not. Every day is different. I wish I had known the financial side of this industry, and I wouldn’t have struggled so early to make things work. Now I’m on the other side, and I’m real proud of it.

What is your favorite local charitable organization?
I have quite a few that I help privately. The one that comes to mind is the Boys and Girls Club of the Lowcountry—Beaufort, Bluffton and of course of Hilton Head. The other one is Mitchellville. Mitchellville is on the rise, and those guys do an outstanding job in our community bringing our history to folks who have no clue.

19 Dunnagans Alley
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 785-7825
rubyleessouth.com

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