How We Got Started
I founded Outdoor Action in 1993, however in the beginning it was Fishing with Teddy. The first 5-years Fishing with Teddy worked under Ken Penrod’s Life Outdoors Unlimited™. Those 5-years were awesome, I brought youth and swagger to Ken’s stable, Ken brought intelligence to a brainless good ol’boy. I needed no one to teach me how to catch fish I had started fishing bass tournaments at 19 right out of high school and I knew my stuff. But I had no conception of marketing, branding, or promoting, but Ken fixed that. At our first meeting he conveyed to me that he already knew I could fish, Brian Lancaster (owner of Mare Marine) had vouched for that; he further stated, however if you’re not of sound character and can’t promote LOU and our/your industry sponsors you can’t work for me. Needless to say I put my cocky attitude to the side and adsorbed everything Ken had to say. He then hooked me up with Gene Mueller the award winning outdoor writer of the Washington Times, I took Gene fishing at Lake Anna and the article in the Times that resulted from that trip put the train in motion Teddy Carr was now on the map and in the public’s eye. These events were coinciding with the demise of my construction company due to the recession of the early 90’s. I was sitting in my kitchen at 2:30am drinking coffee my stomach in knots, I had two little boys and a wife who were depending on me and I literally had $42 to my name and a mountain of debt. I made a decision that night that I was no longer in the construction business but in the guide business and that night the train picked up speed. An up start guide service and tournament bass fishing fed my family that year, one of my most vivid memories was when my brother in-law Ronnie Rollins and I paid the last bit of money we had to enter one of the Tuesday night tournaments at Lake Anna. The looks on our faces said it all loosing was not an option, we won it running away, the shear emotion from something like that is immeasurable. After 5-years working under Ken came a very difficult decision, given my popularity and success the urge to break out on my own was pulling at me on one side and my loyalty and love for Ken pulling me on the other side. But the urge to be on my own won the day; just as Ken said it would the day I went to work for him. Another pivotal moment came 4-years later when this fella Eric Peterson booked a Lake Anna trip for the sole purpose of talking me into introducing waterfowl hunting into my guide service. I had already started doing turkey hunts, but hunting was reserved for my time with the boys who now were teenagers. But a conversation with them that started from a off the cuff comment about what Eric wanted me to do promoted this response, “what the heck are we waiting for”. Wow we just became a family business. I needed a name for the company that reflected hunting as well as fishing. That was established on the upper Susquehanna River in a brain storming session with client Jimmy Lynn who blurted out “Outdoor Action”, I liked it so we ran with it. The present day is a far cry from and so distant from that 2:30am heart to heart with myself, I now have my family working side by side with me, we went from a small 18ft Ranger Bass Boat to state of the art 21-footers, 7 duck boats, full blown kennel, encompassing the entire state for guided bass trips, more waterfowl gear than a small sporting goods store, massive amounts of hunting real estate both on the Potomac and in central Virginia and we are set to expand again. We went from that $42 to earning 6-figures in a business that most endeavor in to pay a boat payment. I have folks who want to break into this business ask me all the time how they should proceed to do so. Never before have I really answered that question entirely so here it is. First you have to have natural talent in this field. You have to instill the core values of hard work, honesty, and loyalty to and for your clients (my clients are the best in the world), sponsors, and the people who work for you. A wife that was willing to work 3 jobs plus take care of her family so you could chase your dream. But most important putting your trust in God, develop a personal relationship with him through prayer, put yourself in his will and let him work in your life.
Teddy Carr, Owner of “Outdoor Action with Teddy Carr™”