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Ted Clouser – Lead, Don’t Manage Your Business
3rd November 2021 • My Worst Investment Ever Podcast • Andrew Stotz
00:00:00 00:21:40

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BIO: Ted Clouser started in technology at the age of 16 when he formed his own computer business. In 1996, he joined PC Assistance of Little Rock, and he and his wife purchased the company in 2018.

STORY: When Ted bought his company, he continued managing it instead of being a leader, leading to a couple of challenges, including a huge debt.

LEARNING: Seek counsel when entering a new venture. To succeed, you must put your doubts and fears aside.

 

“Go win today. Make it successful. Don’t worry about tomorrow. You’re going to get out of this one day at a time.”
Ted Clouser

 

Guest profile

Ted Clouser started in technology at the age of 16 when he formed his own computer business. In 1996, he joined PC Assistance of Little Rock, and he and his wife purchased the business in 2018. Within a year, Ted rebranded to PCA Technology Solutions and has expanded to a total of three locations.

Passionate about both people and technology, his firm focuses on Cybersecurity, IT Consulting, and Professional Services, Managed IT services, and Voice-Over-IP (VoIP).

Married in 1998 to Stephanie, Ted has a daughter at the University of Alabama and a son at Scotland Prep in Pennslyvania.

Worst investment ever

Ironically, Ted’s worst investment ever is the company that he’s the CEO of today. He joined PC assistance in 1996 and was fortunate enough to spend his entire career at that organization. Somewhere around 2018, the founder and CEO decided that he was ready for an exit strategy. So they began the conversation. Ted was the executive vice president at the time, had over 20 employees, things were very successful, and he figured it would be a slam dunk to buy the company. This seemed like a perfect transition. It made complete sense.

Ted’s advisors warned him that there would be challenges during the transition and changes as he went from VP to President and CEO, and he needed to prepare for them. He was, however, adamant that nothing would change because he’d acted like a president and CEO anyway. He believed it was going to be a smooth transition.

So fast forward to January 1, 2018, when Ted took over ownership, it was great. He was on a high, and things were really beginning to fall together. He felt like it was a dream come true, and it was for about six months. Then the nightmare began.

For about 20 months after Ted took over, an identity crisis started to unfold. He was in a state of depression, and the process completely changed who he was as a person. He came to realize that he had built a company, over 20 years, that was entirely dependent on him. It did not have any foundation and no processes. He also learned that he had an unhealthy identity with the organization. Ted had always seen himself as PC Assistance, and when he moved into a president and CEO role, he tried to be the vision caster instead of the guy that did it. He was simply managing and not leading his company, and this brought so many challenges, including debts.

Lessons learned

  • Seek the counsel that you need to really think through and plan a new venture.

Andrew’s takeaways

  • Whenever we make a big move in our lives, there are doubts and fears. These can motivate us at times, but ultimately, we have to put doubts and fears aside to be successful.
  • Master the art of listening. Get a piece of paper and a pen and when other people speak, shut up and write down what they’re saying. Challenge yourself only to ask questions and write answers down.
  • When you take over a business or build a new one, start with building cash flow.

Actionable advice

Truly seek wise counsel.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Ted’s number one professional goal for the next 12 months is to make sure he doesn’t get in the way of what his team is doing. On a personal front, Ted’s goal is to be the best husband and father that he can be.

Parting words

 

“Go for it. Dream big, seek counsel, and go win the day, every day.”
Ted Clouser

 

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