Growth5 Blog

Friday, February 20, 2009

Entrepreneur Hall of Fame: Ted Turner

I just finished reading Ted Turner's book, Call Me Ted.

Here are a few takeaways:

1. Follow your instincts and act on them quickly. If Ted felt a deal was worth doing, he didn't take months talking himself out of it, he went after it immediately.

His purchases of the Atlanta Braves and Hanna Barbera (which would become the Cartoon Network) started with verbal agreements put in place within hours/days of him finding out the businesses were for sale.

2. Don't get hung up over price, negotiate favorable terms. Ted felt making deals quickly at a fair price was more important than months of negotiations and wasted time.

When Ted committed to buy the Braves in 1976, he couldn't afford the $10 million agreed upon price, so he negotiated a payment schedule of $1 million a year, plus interest, over ten years. [The Braves sold for $450 million in 2007]

3. Make deals that support your core business. Ted started with billboards, then bought a tv station (which later became TBS) because it was his biggest billboard advertiser client, which led to purchasing the Atlanta Braves because they were his biggest tv advertiser, etc... etc... etc...

If you are an entrepreneur, you should read this book.

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