T.J. Tennent is a forensics expert, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur who has channeled negativity for the greater good. He’s a natural-born teacher who uses his longtime passion for all things automotive to create a global tire forensics business, The Tyre Guy, that is building momentum. In this Squeeze the Day, let’s learn how anger management, valuing relationships, and leveraging expertise have created a booming business.
Q. Many folks have reinvented themselves in their “second chapter” at the age of 50 something. Tell us about your encore career and why you are now called the godfather of tire forensics.
Before I retired from Bridgestone, I was training law enforcement in tire forensics. Basically, we discussed why tires fail so they could make the proper call in their reports. This became really, really popular in the law enforcement field. When they found out I had retired, they started asking for training. And, in the process of that training, attorneys started calling me to ask if I could be an expert witness. So, that’s how we started.
Tennent goes on to speak about tire forensics and the need for this expertise across the globe. He also shares shining moments in his life and how he has turned negatives in his life into positives. At one time he was known as Angry TJ. In this podcast learn how that moniker came about and how he made the transition to the self-proclaimed and life-changing “Mostly Sunny” T.J.
Q. What would you tell others about becoming an entrepreneur?
It’s not always known in the U.S. that you can start your own business. And now that I’m older, I’m 59 now, and I’ve had an opportunity to start this business… It kind of just bloomed on its own. It is the most fun, the most aggressive, the most inspiring, the hardest, the most frustrating thing that I’ve ever done in my entire life. But I would never, ever, ever trade it for anything else. The amount of time that I get to spend with my family, the amount of time that I get to spend with the people who work with me… I look at having my own business with employees a little differently because they’re not my employees because I cannot, under any circumstances, do this without them. They all, including their significant others, are my extended family. So, they’re never employees, they’re my extended family and I treat them as such.
Q. You are a keen networker and a facilitator, and how did that come about and why is that so important to you?
I’m going to start out with a statement that I use a lot. “People should be better off having met me than if they had never met me.” So, I try to make sure that I pick everyone up by their bootstraps at every single opportunity because I don’t know when I’m going to see them again or at what level.
Q. Tell us your philosophy about lifting others up, especially the next generation.
Oh, it is so important. You’re [either] lifting people up or bringing them down whether you want to or not … Generation Z and Generation X are watching you.
In this podcast, Tennent touches on how life got in the way of his education and how dropping out of school has taught him empathy for others. In addition, he shares how Toastmasters has impacted his life as a catalyst for public speaking and presentations. Tennent excels at building and valuing relationships with people from all walks of life – including his employees and their families. These efforts have paid him back personally and professionally with most of his business referrals being through word of mouth. In our interview, Tennent shares examples of meeting individuals in professional and personal environments and befriending them. These chance encounters include a janitor who was overwhelmed not only by Tennent’s willingness to acknowledge him but to also speak with and encourage his work. Don’t miss the impactful advice from both his mother and father that still resonates today.
Join us for this podcast to learn how this gentle giant has handled loss and built stronger relationships with his wife and son to navigate rough waters together. This interview may just be the nudge to help you define your next chapter and improve your relationships. We hope by listening to this Squeeze the Day podcast you will gain a fresh perspective on life so you are “mostly Sunny” and can “Be the Obvious Choice,” to live your best life all day, every day.
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