In today’s episode of The Sweaty Startup, Nick reflects back on a book he read in the last few months. The book, Call Me Ted, is an autobiography of Ted Turner, who is a media mogul, sports team owner, and entrepreneur. Because his story is not widely known, Nick thinks this autobiography is a book you need to read.
Ted Turner grew up working for his father’s billboard business and eventually took over the business at 24 after his father’s mental decline and eventual suicide. After growing the business exponentially, he sold it all to put his efforts into TV broadcasting. He moved to Atlanta, transformed a struggling TV station into a profitable one, and went on to found CNN, TBS, and TNT. He gained rights to broadcast the Atlanta Braves games, and later bought the Braves at the age of 35.
After reading this book, Nick realized several things about himself and learned some lessons from it. He learned that he doesn’t have what it takes to be a multi-billionaire. He doesn’t have the drive or even the desire to do that. Ted was obsessed with business and the next big thing, he rarely spent time with his family, and he often took huge risks for his businesses. The book reflects on ego, and how it can drive businesses and people in a negative direction, but also be a driving force of confidence in the business world.
Because of Ted’s ego and drive, he was also known for his sailing. He would disappear for months at a time to sail, prep, practice, or even race. He was known for competing in huge races and even won the America’s Cup, a prestigious sailing event. He would be in dangerous conditions or uncertain sailing weather, but still did it. Ted’s ego and desire to get uncomfortable was not only found in his love for sailing, but it also drove his business decisions.
Being uncomfortable and taking huge chances can lead to growth and profit for your business. It is not guaranteed, but Nick compares it to his time starting Storage Squad, and being forced to make bold decisions in order for their company to make money. It’s through those decisions that his company is the size that it is now, and that he can choose to be more comfortable and stable now.