Tudor Teodorescu, Creator of Transylvania Uncharted, Shares the Story of How a Book Shaped His Life Path
Tudor Teodorescu is a 22 year-old Romanian entrepreneur based in Denmark, extreme sports lover, and creator of Transylvania Uncharted.
Tudor was born in Sibiu, a small Romanian town located at the foothills of Carpathian mountains. That’s where he developed the passion for nature and all activities related – including sports such as ski and snowboarding.
Tudor moved to Denmark in 2013, to study for his Bachelor degree. There he discovered rock climbing, another amazing sport. He loved it so much that he became a trainer at the local climbing club.
Since Denmark is flat and all the climbing training is done inside, Tudor took his students to practice in Romania. He showed them all the hidden gems, that are mostly unknown to tourists or travel books. They loved it, and were also amazed by the traditions preserved in the small villages, virgin forests, and how rich the country is in terms of nature and culture.
Together with his Lithuanian girlfriend, Tudor created Uncharted, a travel company that comes with something fresh. They offer adventures, not just trips, while helping groups of people to experience travelling in a new and exciting way.
Transylvania Uncharted is their first project, with an aim to create the best mix of mountain activities and old traditions. Each place and activity included in the adventures was chosen to provide an original way to discover Transylvania’s history and wonders.
Grab a cup of hot chocolate and dig into our extraordinary chat about the books that became Tudor’s mentors in life, gave him the right tools to act towards fulfilling his dream, his struggle with ADHD, and how one can take too many notes.
What’s your favorite book and why? Business and non-business, if possible.
I would first like to start with the non-business book, which actually should be referred to as books because they were 3. I am talking now about Karl Friedrich May’s Trilogy – Winnetou. Those were actually the first books that I read on my own will and not “forced” by the school. If you read them, you know how amazing the story and characters are and if you did not read them so far, I would strongly suggest to do so. But skipping me getting all too excited about this Trilogy and moving to the reason why those books are my favourite. I would have 100 for sure but I will stick to the 2 most relevant ones:
– The first and most important for me is the fact that those books developed my imagination and to be more specific, the visualisation. What I mean by this is that the story-line was so well painted in words that while reading you could easily see the action rolling in front of your eyes. In consequence, even though I realised it many years after, those books shaped my ability to make the words alive and whenever I was reading something or listening to someone, I became able to visualise the words transforming into actions. This is really important for me, as you will later find, because of my ADHD. Hence being able to visualise and create my own “movie” kept me focused and developed my imagination. Because at the end of the day, what is having a dream or an idea good for if you can not visualise it happening and becoming true in your mind before doing so in reality.
– The second reason is that those books shaped my perception about what my actions should be when living in a foreign country. They taught me things such as not judging people based on cultural differences; adapting while constant learning about culture and absorbing as much information as possible; never forget your origins, who you are and what you are; better be one of the few than one of the many (which for me is a bit similar with the phrase “Don’t be another brick in the wall”). And many other lessons that proved to be essential in my life afterwards since I was more abroad rather than at home.
Now moving on to the business-related book, from far it is and will always be my favourite book, The One Thing – Gary W. Keller, Jay Papasan. I will keep it simple and develop more on this book on the 3rd question. But the reason why this book is my favourite business book is because of it I managed to discover who I really am, what I want to do and how I want my future life to look like. Basically, this book opened my mind and showed me how to let my dreams free to become reality.
Was there a moment, specifically, when something you read in a book helped you? Can you tell me about it?
For this question I would like to give 2 quotes that would perfectly illustrate the answer from the author Gary W. Keller. Those 2 quotes helped me shape who I am and how I perceive my life:
“Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls– family, health, friends, integrity– are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”
“Success demands singleness of purpose. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects. It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world. Passion for something leads to disproportionate time practicing or working at it. That time spent eventually translates to skill, and when skill improves, results improve. Better results generally lead to more enjoyment, and more passion and more time is invested. It can be a virtuous cycle all the way to extraordinary results. More than anything else, expertise tracks with hours invested. The pursuit of mastery bears gifts. When people look back on their lives, it is the things they have not done that generate the greatest regret…People’s actions may be troublesome initially; it is their inactions that plague them most with long-term feelings of regret. Make sure every day you do what matters most. When you know what matters most, everything makes sense. When you don’t know what matters most, anything makes sense.”
What books had the biggest impact on you? (perhaps changed the way you see things, dramatically changed your career path)
So coming back to the book mentioned in question one, The One Thing – Gary W. Keller, Jay Papasan, I would say is the book that had the biggest impact on me and showed my life path. The amazing thing about this coaching book, that I did not find in any other book so far, is that it does not try to give you a certain path that you need to follow, quite the opposite. This book gives you the “tools” in order to find by yourself what you are looking for. Each and every person can interpret the information in the own way and adapt it to their own needs at the time being. Whether you want to find your path (which was my case), want to grow your business, develop yourself in your personal life, professional life or both, this book gives you the necessary tools to do so.
WARNING, what you are about to read might be considered as a cliché or an overly dramatized situation. But is the best way I can show the impact of this book and maybe some of you will relate.
For me, summer of 2016 was the worst moment mentally and emotionally. I was down with myself, had a huge negative view towards everything I was doing. I was one semester away from finishing my bachelor and was on the point of quitting everything. I realized that I did not know what I wanted to do afterwards, who I was, or what was my purpose in this life. I felt like a nobody with no future. I could only see what I was bad at, never finding something good about myself. I was doing things I did not like, things that were not bringing me joy or any sense of fulfillment.
In order not to bore you with more details about this, I will skip forward to one day when a neighbour gave me a book which he received as a present but never read it or had any intention to do so. It was a fully black book with a white dot on it. I admit I only started reading it because I liked the first impression it made. This was at 11-12 during the day. The next thing I hear was my stomach crying for food. It was 10pm and I realized that all I did was sitting on my couch reading all this time. Even my trip to the toilet during that time was with the book in my hand (maybe too much info). This book did a very simple thing, it asked the right questions. It was so easy to answer every question from every chapter, the problem that I had was asking myself those questions in the right way and order. For the following weeks this book became my mentor.
In the end, what this book did was helping me find who I am, what I love, what I am good at and opened my eyes to see how I want my future to look like. Then it gave me the right “tools” to combine everything into a plan and act towards fulfilling my dream. At that moment it helped me shape personally. This summer I started reading it again, now with the purpose to adapt the information to the professional life. In this way proving to you that this book can be adapted to you current needs and help you get past any barrier you have at the moment.
What books would you recommend to youngsters interested in your professional path? Why? (no number limit here)
I can say that my area, or my background involves a lot of practical work, traveling, learning and performing a big variety of sports, meeting new people and making contacts. But taking into account that being a young entrepreneur I wish I had known a lot of things before starting everything. Therefore, what I would suggest people to do is invest a lot in themselves professionally and personally, where I put a lot of emphasis on developing an equilibrium between mind, body and spirit. This equilibrium will help a lot in everything you do in your daily life.
So these are the books I would recommend:
I’m interested in finding out more about your reading habits. How often do you read? In what format?
I can say that I read very often, but in small amounts (more reasons about this you can find in my following answer). Therefore, I might read 7-8 times a day, but only accumulate 1-2 chapters in reading. Whereas when it comes to the format, I love books, not text on a screen, but the old “words on a piece of tree” type of book (sorry if I am not that environmental friendly in this case).
Also I would like to add that I can not brag that I read a huge amount of books. What I like to do is read a book and come back on it and read it again after half a year or one year. The reason behind that is the I always absorb that information and interpret it in different ways, so for me is more efficient to come back to the books I read several times. This only applies to books that are for personal and professional development, the other type of books I just read to clear my mind and detach myself, therefore once I finish I don’t return to them (except for Winnetou).
Consequently, I have to admit that I do not have a huge library of books on my “finished reading” list. But the ones that I have I can say 100% that helped me and had lots of positive effects my life, otherwise I would have not come back to them so many times.
How do you make time for reading?
That is a really easy question. Having ADHD in its early stages so to say, I get really fast distracted when I am at work and I lose focus almost as fast. Therefore, a perfect way to get me back into what I was doing is to always have a book that is related to the task that I have at the moment. Hence when I get distracted, I open the book and read a chapter or just few pages and that gets me back into my task right away. The amazing part (which works perfectly for me) is that most of the times I come back to my task with new ideas or new ways to finish it because of what I read in the book. So I can say that reading is the cure for my attention deficit and also the source of my creativity.
And now on a more serious note, even before opening the company I knew I will have to develop in a lot of subjects at the same time in order to be able to “walk the walk “if I “talk the talk”. So reading became also part of my work because all the theory I was putting into practice. Whether there were sports related books, that help me develop as a trainer and a coach, business related books that help me in properly building up the company and growing it, personal development that you can guess what they are good for, or even books related to mystical ways of body healing and spiritual life. For me it became the easiest and cheapest way to access all the mentors that I need in all aspects of my life. Therefore, I consider reading and standing in front of a book more like a conversation with the person who wrote it who tries to teach me his/her secrets. As a consequence, I always find time to “talk” with my objectified mentors because I am in constant need and desire of developing and growing.
Do you take notes or have any other technique for conquering the torrent of information?
If I take notes? I believe I take too many notes since I have at least one notebook for each book that I read. And there are two reasons why I like taking so many notes:
The first reason is that I often find that the language in the book is either too sophisticated / advanced for me or I require further explanations to the subject described. And by the way there is no need to be ashamed of that. Rather than skipping a word or a phrase just because you do not get it, try to find ways to explain it to yourself. So for me it is a good way to make sure I properly understand and have the subject explained in as much details as I require. I create my own schemes and my own ways of understanding which work perfectly for me. And the reason why is so important to have all that information in my way displayed in the notebook is because very often that information I use in my everyday life. Whether it’s a sales pitch, presentation, training session or just a simple talk with people interested in some of those subjects, I need to make sure I am able to understand the principles behind before opening my mouth. And the only way to do it efficiently for me is the old fashion way, with a pen and a piece of paper.
The second reason is because it is less time consuming to go over your notes from the book rather than reading it again only for a specific part. It takes time to find that small piece of information I need at the moment. That is why I take huge amounts of notes at the first read, never skipping an idea, so that when I need I can rely on the notes made. In this ways I come across new ideas or new things I can implement in my life or business that I could not before. So what I am trying to say is that I use my notes as a mean of fast inspiration, when time is a pressure and the need for new ideas and inspiration is high.
How do you choose what books to read next?
As I previously said, I choose books that are relevant for the tasks I have in that specific period of my life. By this I make sure there is nothing unexpected that can happen that I can not find “counseling” within my objectified mentors. But what I always make sure to have is 3 types of books that help me develop: personally, professionally and spiritually. And by spiritually do not think that I read the 2000 versions of the Bible. But what I do read is about how our body work in connection with the persons, events and feelings around our everyday life. And by combining the 3 upper mentioned type of books all the time, I make sure I develop an equilibrium in my life.
Do you prioritize those recommended by certain people? Is there anyone that you consider a book-recommendations guru?
There are 2 book-recommendations gurus in my life, my dad and everyone else. My dad because he grew both me and my sister in an environment where we had more book shelves than clothes shelves. Which sadly for me I only started to appreciate later in my life. But he is the only one that knows what is in that home-made library filled with books dating 1905. So he is my personal librarian so to say.
The reason I said everyone else is that I go and ask a lot of people for different books regarding their field. So if I know someone who really exceeds in marketing, I ask what books did he read to help him develop to that level. Or someone who is such a good climber and trainer at the same time, I ask him/her the same question. Therefore, in my opinion, I get the recommendations from proper sources that tested already the theory in the book and proved it to be efficient.
Last question: what book are you currently reading and what are you expecting to gain from it?
The books that I am reading now are targeting the 3 categories of development mentioned before: personally, professionally and spiritually. The title describes everything that there is to say about them and from my experience the results so far from these books are amazing.
Links where you can follow Tudor Teodorescu or find out more about his projects:
All books mentioned by Tudor in our interview:
- SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham
- Training for Climbing – The Definitive Guide to Improving your Performance by Eric Horst
- Brain Rules – 12 Principles of Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School by John Medina
- Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing by Caroline Myss
- Kiss, Bow, Or Shake Hands: The Bestselling Guide to Doing Business in More Than 60 Countries by Terri Morrison, Wayne A. Conaway
- The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller, Jay Papasan
- Winnetou, the Chief of the Apache: The Full Winnetou Trilogy in One Volume by Karl May