“Sustainability” has become a popular word these days, but to Ted Ning, the concept will always have personal meaning. Having endured a painful period of unsustainability in his own life made it clear to him that sustainability-oriented values must be expressed through everyday action and choice.
Ning recalls spending a confusing year in the late 1990s selling insurance. He’d been through the dot-com boom and burst and, desperate for a job, signed on with a Boulder agency.
It didn’t go well. “It was a really bad move because that’s not my passion,” says Ning, whose dilemma about the job translated, predictably, into a lack of sales. “I was miserable. I had so much anxiety that I would wake up in the middle of the night and stare at the ceiling. I had no money and needed the job. Everyone said, ‘Just wait, you’ll turn the corner, give it some time.’”