Ted McGrath’s mission is to inspire, and he certainly does. As a speaker and best-selling author, McGrath has created a multi-million dollar business teaching coaches, speakers, and service-based business owners how to turn their life experience into lucrative businesses that impact millions, which in turn makes millions.
But it wasn’t always easy. Growing up, Ted struggled with self-confidence. He struggled with drugs. And he struggled to find a purpose that was even remotely meaningful or fulfilling. At 22, believing he’d finally found some financial success by cracking the 6-figure mark, he promptly OD’ed. He’s since cleaned up and found his calling by helping others with their own lives. And at this, he’s not only found true success but true happiness.
We caught up with this force of nature to discuss the pitfalls, successes, and the one burning question that plagued his life for so many years: “Am I good enough?”
“Good Enough,” your one-man show, is in its 5-week run in Los Angeles. Can you talk about how it all came about?
I had never acted in my life up until 6 years ago. I’m a speaker and I coach for a living; my brand is called “Message to Millions.” I saw someone at a business conference do a one-man play one time. I was so moved emotionally that I wanted to connect with people in the same way, to help change their life with my own story. So I hired a coach who took me to London to watch his one-man play. I went every night to see it and then wrote my own play during the day with him. I immediately set the date 4 months out to do my first play and invited all my high-level friends, speakers, entrepreneurs, and peers. I performed it in front of 200 people at Oceanside theater near San Diego. Afterwards, I walked backstage, looked at myself in the mirror, and knew that it had the impact I wanted to make on the world.
Can you tell us more about the original concept for the “Good Enough Movement” and its name?
We are collecting stories of people in the world who don’t feel good enough or have had moments of not feeling good enough. When you hear someone being “human” – even big celebrities – about their feelings and challenges, you realize that we are all in this together, and that sharing our stories can inspire one another and, as a result, change the world.
Is there a specific demographic you’re trying to reach with your business coaching?
We are targeting people who want to get their message to hundreds, thousands, or millions. Coaches, entrepreneurs, service businesses, consultants, speakers, and influencers. We all have something to say in the world. It may be what you say in the morning to your spouse, your family, or your co-workers. Whatever it is that you have to say, it’s time to start saying it. The message comes before products and selling.
What do you think would be the most important message you could give to the Millennial generation?
Find your purpose and your path. Because even at a young age, you have a responsibility to the world to make it better, and to make others better by making yourself better. When you develop your skills and ability, you put yourself into a position to impact others. I felt entitled to my success when I cracked six figures at 22 years old. But entitlement isn’t the game. Responsibility is, and without it, there’s no great purpose for you in the world.
Have you thought about partnering with some of the colleges and universities around the country and integrating your teaching into human development classes?
Yes, we are talking to several universities here in California about doing my play for them. And connected to my play, “Good Enough,” is the movie “Good Enough”; the boom “Good Enough,” the seminars “Good Enough,” and the online products “Good Enough.” My goal is for this movement to change the world. The movie and book are currently being worked on and produced. And the seminar is scheduled for next year to be delivered to 2,200 people.
Looking back on your time living in your friend’s closet, what was the most important lesson you learned from it?
I had a choice to make. I could go back to waiting tables, or I could go forward into the unknown. The lesson I’ve learned is that retreating to what’s safe doesn’t exist for me. I’ve learned to always go forward into the unknown. The reward for that is far greater, and that’s called “living.”
How were you able to adjust to being famous at such as young age?
I wanted to be famous when I was younger. And even though within my company and office, I was “well known,” I never felt “famous.” All the drugs, drinking and partying, I did at night was to try to “feel the fame” that I didn’t feel during the day. And we know how that turned out – by me overdosing.
Has financial success changed you? If so, how?
Yes, of course. Having money allows me to expand. Money isn’t much different than having an ability, because they both help you expand; however, the ability is far more important than money. Because if you have an ability, you can always go out and make more money. This whole idea of doing just one thing is bogus. Entrepreneurs can be artists, and artists can make money. I think the biggest joke pulled off on the artist in the last century is the fact that artists have to be broke. Money goes where attention goes. Get attention and you can monetize it. And with money and ability, you can paint your future.
Finally, are you still fueled by the possibility of going bankrupt at this point in your life?
Not at all. The only bankruptcy I would ever fear, if I didn’t know who I was, would be spiritual bankruptcy. An individual who doesn’t know who they are faces that daily. In my play, “Good Enough,” I go up there on stage to make sure that the audience takes a look at this question of who they are, and as a result, they have realizations about who they are. That’s why I’m doing this show. Yes, I love it, yes, it fills me up personally, and yes, I love hearing about people’s realizations after seeing my show. A highly paid speaker was at my play last night, and he told me that he has times where he doesn’t feel good enough, and you could see the freedom he felt by sharing that.
Now, that’s a noble cause, to free people from not being able to share their truth or their disappointments, and not be judged. A veteran who led men in the army told me that he now realized he is good enough because he accomplished something by being a leader – and he had never looked at it like that before. This play is simply about helping others have a realization about their own life by listening to my story. It’s really that simple.
“Good Enough” is playing at the Lounge Theatre 2 in Los Angeles, July 26 through August 25, 2019. For more information and tickets, please visit https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/OS1/4260825.
About “Good Enough”
“Good Enough” is the true journey of world-renowned author and storyteller, Ted McGrath. Playing 15 characters, McGrath takes us on an emotional roller coaster ride through addiction as he sabotages his family, his career, and ultimately his life in the attempt to answer one question lifelong, burning question: Am I good enough? Now, having reclaimed his life and at the pinnacle of success, McGrath’s play asks each of us that same question: Are you “Good Enough?”
Ted McGrath Brands: https://tedmcgrathbrands.com.
Originally posted on The Hype Magazine.