This week on Bucket Talk, we chat with the world’s best roofer, Colorado-based TJ McCormack, who also happens to be our first roofer we’ve had on the show. After serving four years overseas as a torpedo man in the Navy, he came back to Washington, D.C. and became a police officer. He was with the police for 14 years, but eventually decided to head a different direction. He saw a Craigslist ad looking for folks to sell roofing and the rest is history. Listen in as he chats with our hosts about navigating his early career, the ins and outs of the storm chasing roof industry and what he’s up to after a couple of decades in the roofing trade.
Eric Girouard 0:00
This is bucket talk weekly podcast where people who work in the trades and construction that aren't just trying to survive but have the ambition and desire to thrive. The opportunity to trade and construction is absolutely ridiculous right now. So if you're hungry, it's time to eat. We discussed what it takes to rise from the bottom to the top with people who are well on their way and roll up their sleeves every single day.
Jeremy Perkins 0:29
This is Jeremy and Eric here with bucket talk powered by BRUNT. On this episode of bucket talk. We have TJ McCormack goes by the name the world's greatest roofer. But before we jump in, Eric, what's been going on?
Eric Girouard 0:40
All right, so for those you that don't know, we just spent the past few weeks getting ready for our one of our biggest launches today. It's called our Torah work pant. Obviously, the work where the apparel side is is a category that we tested into last year and saw a lot of success. So we brought in this incredible work pants really like an everyday work pant that you can obviously wear on the job site. It's got reinforcements and materials incredible. But most importantly, it's got a clean look to it. And it is really sharply priced at 60 bucks. And so that's been kind of all the energy and effort for myself and the team but Jeremy why don't you share a little bit more about our buddy that we named and worked with the pain on
Jeremy Perkins 1:20
shout out to Tony one of our good friends. Tony is a fellow veteran fellow tradesman, but spent time in the Army as a combat engineer blowing stuff up and then move to the excavation operation also while driving trucks really is just a over the road trucker and all around good guy, father and definitely fun to crack a couple cold ones with
Eric Girouard 1:44
Absolutely. All right, let's dig in.
Jeremy Perkins 1:50
Welcome we're here with TJ McCormack TJ McCormiack goes by The World's Greatest Roofer. TJ welcome.
TJ McCormack 1:56
What's going on BRUNT and Eric and everybody else. So how's it going today? Awesome. Jeremy as well. Sorry, forgot Jeremy there. Hey, it's easy. It's easy to know, man. He's got gray hats.
Jeremy Perkins 2:09
That's all I wear. So TJ, thanks for being on the podcast. You're our first roofer by trade. So I'm super pumped to do this. And I want to dive into how you got your start and the trade itself. Let's start off by going back as far as you want. I mean, I want to hear how you got your start and why you were a roofer.
TJ McCormack 2:27
So thank you guys so much for having me on your podcast. I love Brunt construction where so I'm gonna go ahead and throw that out there now. Thank you guys for being a huge supporter of mine. I grew up in the 90s. I went into the military in the late 90s. I served four years overseas on an Aegis cruiser as a torpedo man. And let me tell you in the Navy, yep, I was a Navy. So I got out of the Navy. And I was a torpedo man in the Navy. So there really wasn't any other jobs out there in the real world. That was similar to torpedoes. So I became a cop. So I was a police officer in some capacity for roughly 14 years in the area of Washington, DC. And after I was a police officer, I did some odd jobs, you know, trying to find what was best for me to do in a new world and my middle 30s And I stumbled across a Craigslist ad and became a recruiter for a insurance program that basically would send roofs directly to roofers, from the insurance company. And that's how I got started in this industry.
Jeremy Perkins 3:40
Awesome. Awesome. So are you out there on the roof swinging hammers, doing all that stuff or walk me through a day in the life?
TJ McCormack 3:48
Yeah, so typically, nowadays, I'm a trainer and educator, right? I own a company that is called one industry one model, where we teach people how to sell more roofs, using a finance model. But back throughout my career, yes, I have swung a hammer. Back in the early 2000s. I was married to somebody who her father was kind of like a general contractor. Moving forward up till now I typically just sell roofs and then project manage jobs, either commercial or residential with the crew.
Eric Girouard 4:19
This is cool for me because my first construction job ever was a roofer when I was 14 years old, my dad worked at Pratt and Whitney building airplane engines, coincidentally, the assembly line third shift and then during the day and weekends, I was working for his friends roofing company. And so when I was 14, they hired me illegally because you could do construction work then yeah, to be the go for they'd ship the roofs and then I'd pick up all the shingles off the ground, get them to roller off and then I actually started stripping the roofs. I was kind of funny. I'm actually terrified of heights. So it was like the worst I've ever because I hated going up on the roof and I weighed like 90 pounds and they started making me bring bundles up on my shoulder if we were running the power ladder and that was even scarier because I was afraid of heights also carrying, you know, 40 pound bundles and I weighed 90 pounds. So it was a summer. I never forget it's actually the inspiration for bucket talk is how it all came about
Jeremy Perkins 5:11
how many bundles did you get up to carrying at one time?
Eric Girouard 5:14
The most I've ever tried was two and eight about what I weighed. I think I did those two and never did two again. You know, they
TJ McCormack 5:21
weighed anywhere from 80 to 100 pounds a bundle and I've seen guys three and four at a time and scared for him on that ladder.
Jeremy Perkins 5:28
Yeah. And that's before they had tie offs. Nobody tied
Eric Girouard 5:32
and I was 14 No nothing dude, it was
TJ McCormack 5:37
you know, one of my biggest fears is not heights. It's it is the ladder. I'm scared of the ladder. A lot a lot of roofers are like that. And the tie off is huge now I mean, I see so many people's with splits down their head from falling off and I'm scared to death of
Jeremy Perkins 5:52
it's amazing actually because I had a roofing story. I watched my father and his brothers roof their parents house, and they use the old wooden extension ladders. Oh, watch my Uncle Bobby snapper rung and half and literally, like just get wedged in the ladder. And I was like, now they have aluminum ladders and everything's a little bit better. But it wasn't too long ago that they had they have wooden extension ladders.
TJ McCormack 6:15
We still have a problem in this industry with trying to choose the best ladder and a lot of people's when they first started they seem to get this one type of ladder and and I'm like no go get the more sturdy one. But now whenever I'm recruiting guys, I'm like don't get that collapsible ladder get the one that swings open.
Jeremy Perkins 6:32
So what made you make the shift from being a roofer to just doing sales? Was it too tough on the body? Was it you know, more money? Was it a business model? Take us through all that.
TJ McCormack 6:42
I mean, I live in Colorado, it's a little bit different demographic than roofing and say the Northeast like where you guys are from right. If you know anything about New York, Boston or that Northeastern corridor, and roofing is retailed, typically, you might not have to go knock on doors or maybe you do knock on doors. But typically it's somebody paying out of pocket for that roof. I'm getting older, I'm in my mid 40s, almost 45. And, and yes, my body does hurt from just carrying a ladder most days. But here in Colorado, we have hailstorm after hailstorm or windstorm or tornadoes. And we have an insurance program. You know insurance pays for most everything. So whenever there's that type of event, there's a lot of money to be made real quick. If you go sell roofs. Yeah,
Eric Girouard 7:27
my A buddy of mine actually, that I grew up with was in actually in a paper feature. And this may not be a good term, but it's a money making term. But could they coin him a storm chaser so he was literally going to like Texas when there was a and then he moved everything. And literally he what's funny is he actually never worked construction, his life never knew how to put a roof on there. It'd be devastation, he'd show up and literally make like an absolute killing and just just getting roofs back on house. This is just,
TJ McCormack 7:54
that's what we do. I'm a storm chaser by trade, because that's where I grew up in this industry was storm chasing. Even when I was working for the insurance company, I was working with only storm chasers. So since I've been a partner in this new deal, it's strictly based off of going after those storm chasers and teaching them how to do retail sales, or financing roofing jobs in that's where it's different. And I get to meet so many new characters, if you will, because there's a lot of character sheets out there. Yeah, you're right.
Jeremy Perkins 8:25
That's interesting. So take me through a little bit of the education process. So what made you go from doing all of this and getting in the sales part to now being a leader in the roofing community, and essentially, taking the knowledge that you've learned and passing it down? Like, what was that pivotal point for you that you're like, you know what, I can improve the younger generation or I can make them better.
TJ McCormack 8:49
When I started with the company that I worked for. First, I had to teach myself everything that there was to know about the roofing trade, from roofing sales, even down to the insurance type that you have for your business, to the accounting to learning how to read estimates or write proper estimates or bids, if you will, and there was nobody to teach me. So when I started recruiting these companies to come work for my program. In the very beginning, we were at like a 40% close rate. And then once I started educating young roofers at 2122 23 years old, on how to do a proper inspection, how to get the roof bought, how to properly inspect the house, or the building that they were on to get more money, I became pretty good at making that sales rate go up from 40% to about 63 to 65%. And then I went out on my own, not on my own right, I went to work for roofing companies, where there was no training like you get there to your roofing job on day one, and that roofing company owner is oh man, you're so great that you're here. Sign this 16 page contract. And let's go door knocking. That was your training. It wasn't like, Hey, here's a shingle This is how many inches apart it needs to be, you need to have six nails and a shingle. This is why it doesn't leak it was nothing like that was hey, let's go knock on some doors and see if somebody wants a new roof. So now I'm so interested in helping the sales guy or the sales girls sales people excuse me if you will be more successful by understanding the trade and full versus just understanding how to knock on a door.
Jeremy Perkins 10:28
Now you know what's interesting about that I see it with paving and hot topping. And I see it with roofing and I don't actually see it with any other trade and you know, correct me if I'm wrong, we'll probably in the comments. But what I've noticed with when it comes to like bulk rates, like so I have a whole bunch of hot top you see a lot of companies, they'll say I'm in the area, I'm doing your driveway. I'll do the driveway to the next you know, and just continue down the road because they got hot material. They got the crew it takes a lot to unload everything. So if they can hit 1234 houses.
Eric Girouard 11:00
Well, the worst of that though, which my father and I get hit with is yeah, they come to town. Do roofs give you a lifetime warranty? And then they're literally you know, if there's a New England there and Midwest, you never hear from him again. Well, we
TJ McCormack 11:13
call that the taillight warranty. Yeah, you only that warranty only goes as far as those roofers taillights.
Jeremy Perkins 11:22
But I mean, a lot of people have kind of caught on to that. So how are you combating that? Or how are you teaching your young roofing companies to say hey, you know what, obviously take pride in your product. But then how do you handle warranties? I mean, I've seen it before, where you have a roofer blame the siding, guy aside and Guy blame the roofer and it's back and forth, and back and forth. And you're sitting there going, there's no recourse, right?
TJ McCormack 11:46
No, there's no like there is a bad thing with what we call Chuck's in a truck in this industry, right. The chuck will pull up in front of the house, in other Chuck will stay in the truck. And he'll say, oh, I can fix your roof. I can fix your siding, I can fix that downspout and that soffit and all you got to do is pay me a check today for $5,000 and and then again that tail I warranty now becomes a taillight thief because that money just drove away after you handed that man that check. In this industry. Now we're having a shift to where more education, more vetting processes of salespeople or roofing company owners. We're making sure that there's policies and procedures that are being followed are handled by each company because each roofing company owner can literally open a business today with a million dollars in general liability, and a license in an area and never have been a roofer in their life. And it's the Wild West, there are some locations that have codes and things that roofers have to follow. But you take an open book test to be a roofer. There's nobody out there policing, the roofers of the world, other than the insurance companies. So
Jeremy Perkins 12:54
I'm actually I'm really intrigued. So how does this partnership work? Do you partner with local distributors to then guarantee the product? I mean, because you know how it is everybody passes the buck. Yeah, the distributor says, Oh, you damage the shingle due to escalation. So now, the roofer doesn't want to warranty it to the customer? And, you know, so on and so forth. How are you combating that.
TJ McCormack 13:15
So, whenever we do a contract with a homeowner, now, we will typically use a program called company cam. And company cam will allow us to basically document everything from before, during and after the entire process. And then even in our contracts, we say, Hey, we've started our documentation process to make sure that there's nothing damaged. And now if the material comes in the materials damaged, then we either have one of two ways we're going about it, we're going after the supplier to say, hey, this material is no good, or to the manufacturer that we also have our relationships with, because now most roofers are either Owens Corning platinum preferred, they're either GF Master Elite, or they're a CertainTeed shingle master. Now, if I forgot a particular roofing brand, I'm not doing that on purpose. I just named the top three, but they have programs that you have to go and get trained in order to be named by them as a good roofer. And I'm a CertainTeed shingle master. And then I also work together with Atlas and GF.
Jeremy Perkins 14:22
Interesting, interesting. So the industry as a whole is becoming more intertwined in how they sell their product, how they install their product and how they warranty their product. I mean, are you seeing educational platforms or are you spearheading some of this stuff like teaching proper ways of roofing and good common practices and stuff along those lines?
TJ McCormack 14:42
Yeah, there's there's a ton of education programs out there coaching programs for roofing company owners like the one that I that I have is one industry one model right? Then there's others like Storm ventures group or blue collar media, right? There's a so many different types of programs for roofing companies. either virtually or in person to roofing Academy, right, or commercial roofing Academy. And all of those people have been in the trades for a while. And they've seen all of the failures. And they're really trying to make more ethical roofers or roofing company owners in business and 2022. It's totally different than what it was pre COVID and 2020. And so we're trying to make changes immediately to how things are done throughout the United States, because nothing is as what it was before them.
Jeremy Perkins 15:33
Other than chuck in the truck. What's the biggest stigma that comes with roofers that you guys are trying to combat.
TJ McCormack 15:39
So there has always been a horrible drug and alcohol problem in our country, no matter what trade you're in, typically, in trades, people get a lot of fast money quick, and then they go blow it, you know, forgive my analogy, but blow it up their nose, or they drink it until they fall asleep. And they do that daily, right. And in a lot of times, in the past those chucking trucks or people similar to those types of people, would only be around until they needed money for their next Hi, the bad stigma of the construction workers that do drugs and alcohol. It's not just construction workers, it's in every trade. But it just seems to be that construction workers have taken the brunt of that. We do have programs out there. There's a program called roofers and recovery. I think I actually got a video from the good boss. Yeah. And that was a Paul read that was talking about that, you know, Paul Reed is a great guy, he runs that organization. But there are people that have seen that, hey, maybe if we take this by the horns and try to clean this up, we'll get a better outlook to the people that are watching us and, and one of the things that I do on tick tock is I'm really upset with the people that are still promoting drugs, alcohol, prostitution, all of the bad, unethical things that are out there, and putting them on video for other people to see because I'm trying to promote a positive light or make it better. And then we still have these people out there that are promoting the negative.
Jeremy Perkins 17:07
Yeah, it's actually Victor's a good friend of ours. And he also goes by the good boss. It's amazing, because his story with Kevin right now, it's been unbelievable. So Kevin, he's been going around and trying to empower local people who are who are downtrodden and or down on their luck. And he found this man, Kevin, who he's been working through, found out he has substance issues. And then through Paul Reed, and through that program, good boss flew down with them to I think it was in Florida, correct?
TJ McCormack 17:38
Because when the bosses Yeah, I think the good bosses in Florida, I could be wrong. I thought, Indiana?
Jeremy Perkins 17:44
No, they flew down to Florida for the rehab. And
Eric Girouard 17:47
yeah, oh, sure. Yes, yeah. 20 minutes for me. Yeah. That was,
Jeremy Perkins 17:51
that was pretty cool to see that there's people stepping up in the trades and, and helping other individuals. That's kind of funny, because that leads me to my next question is what would you tell a young person looking to get into the trades? And I think that that's a big one is is you know, stay away from all the junk, don't worry about drinking your sorrows away or whatever. But what would you tell a young person coming into the trades? Well,
Eric Girouard 18:13
I'd say into roofing
TJ McCormack 18:14
70 Yeah, a young person coming into the roofing trades needs to understand every side of it, they don't need to just come to be a roofing salesperson, because that's not going to help them in the long run, right? Anybody can make sales. But sometimes people don't understand what it is that they sell. In order to have longevity, you have to understand what it takes from day one. From the first time you knock on the door to the first time you do an inspection, to writing that bid to completing the job, and then closing that job out with the final payment. That also goes with safety and everything else. In my view, I feel as if the younger guys 2122 and 23 need to go through some sort of money program where they learn how to deal with their money at a young age, there's nothing in schools anymore. Like we used to have what's called Home Economics. If you guys remember, people learned how to sign the cheque you remember, you'd learn how to write a check. But nobody ever told us what to do with our money once we had some. And a lot of times these guys come for that quick money, they get 1020 30 $40,000 a month in their first month, and then they go blow it or they ruin their lives by doing something that they shouldn't have done. I really feel that life lessons do occur while at work most days, but I feel as if it's easy for a roofing salesperson or a trade salesperson to get caught up in Fast Money.
Jeremy Perkins 19:40
We've had a few guests on here that have said that their first business was profitable, but it failed. And I think that that's a true testament to money management. And I think that that's a good key point to hone in on and you know, I was never good with money growing up. And I think that you know, you hit the nail on the head with the fact that you know, I get full at Grantham, going out and buying an old body style truck putting rims on it and calling it a day and then yeah, then I don't have enough money to, to supply the next job or, you know, pay the crew or what have you. And I think that's a good takeaway.
Eric Girouard 20:13
Yeah, I've seen that. I mean, you see that a ton. If you don't have a really concrete plan, your best bet is just keep it in the bank. Keep building, keep stacking until you have someone that can help you say, Okay, you can pull, you know, maybe that roofer has been doing it for two years. You got 100 grand, you got enough to cover payroll for the next six months, maybe you could pull a little bit out, put it to the side, but mixing your business finances with your personal finances because you're the owner of roofing companies dangerous because the business requires some of that to run into stuff that stuff gets mixed. And it's a can be messy real fast. If it's not run, well,
Jeremy Perkins 20:50
then comes tax season, and then you're like shit,
Eric Girouard 20:53
TJ McCormack 20:55
Taxes season overall. As a matter of fact, I'm working on some tax stuff right now. Because I do own a business called World's Greatest roofer. And we've been on the phone with the sales tax people. It's sales, thank goodness, we don't owe any right this minute. But if you don't understand basic money principles, or in business, how to pay your taxes, you're gonna get in trouble,
Eric Girouard 21:15
death and taxes to things you can't avoid. Yeah, everyone's gonna get it one way or the other. So you better figure out how to do it right? Or at least at least try your best to do it, honestly. So one thing we always like to ask everyone. So obviously, you're super deep into the space and from the business you have in the business you run, when you're actually able to disconnect from all things internet and all things, social media and all things your business, which is probably, you know, absorbs most of your life based on where you're at. Yeah, what some of the stuff that you like to do completely unrelated to anything remotely related to roofing.
TJ McCormack 21:51
Yeah, so I have four kids, and a lot of people. A lot of people don't know that, that I have that many kids. But I do. I have three that live here at home with me. And then I've got a 15 year old that lives in Virginia. And whenever I'm not doing the social media or the roofing or the traveling, we're always going going going either, you know soccer lessons football, we're getting ready to start swim lessons. Now I have a four month old little girl, she just turned four months on Sunday. So now I get to start that all over again here in the next year. So when she gets old enough to walk and run, I know that the boys are going to be such a huge part of her life and making her run faster when she's at age. The two eight year olds keep us going constantly. So
Eric Girouard 22:43
Are they twins,
TJ McCormack 22:45
no one turned eight in April and the other one is about to turn nine in November. So
Jeremy Perkins 22:50
Irish twins today.
TJ McCormack 22:52
Back to back for sure, man. But they their mom is a she's a beautiful lady. She's an emigrant here from Paraguay. We'd love that she's here with us. Of course, you know, we've had some scares in the past with immigration. But we're glad that everybody's here safe and sound.
Eric Girouard 23:10
That's awesome. That's awesome. No, nothing better than spending your downtime with your family. It makes all the business stuff take a backseat while you can and then switch the flips and go back over. But it's always nice to unplug in see them growing up? Yeah, no
TJ McCormack 23:22
doubt. I love my kids. And I do everything of course, just like most parents do for their families. And if it wasn't for roofing, I'd probably I probably would be doing something else. But I don't think my life would be like it is today. Because I wouldn't be able to afford certain things that Roofing has been able to make me have helped me have.
Eric Girouard 23:41
Awesome, awesome now I feel the same way 14 years old. That's why. So I'll share a little bit of the story about bucket talk, which is the reason it's called bucket talk is I you know, when I was 14, I was sitting at lunch with those guys and the roof from the roof. There's just one guy I'll never forget for the rest of my life because I'll never it's kind of funny as I think about him. But those guys were, you know, the stereotypical roofer that we talked about before, come down and I was I was like bright eyed. I was like, Man, I'm making 10 bucks now or like, I'm gonna work 40 hours a week. I'm like, 400 bucks. I'm 14. I'm like, What am I going to do with that? Like, go buy some clothes at Abercrombie? A pair of Nikes at footlocker I'm like, Man, I'm rich. And they'd come down and they would be just complaining and moaning and dude life sucks my girlfriend this and this guy and he was so negative I mean literally like he was just Negative Nelly I literally but what happened we were sitting on upside down touring buckets for lunch. I just remember him being like, dude, go to college man. Don't ever go into the trades. This you know, this is like the worst. And so part of the inspiration for bucket talk was like Dude, that was such a bad experience. Like, be you know, someone in the trades who's doing it like negative telling you not to go into it. And so part is Jeremy and I were starting to think about marketing. It's like, dude, how do we tap positive conversations about the trades and show that like, it's not all this misery and all this angst and all this stuff and actually flip the script because that was how I was kind of first introduced into it. And I mean, actually kind of funny.
Jeremy Perkins 25:13
Yeah, I mean to piggyback on that, that is, that is the reason why we have the labor shortage that we have today is because there was so many people that were moaning and complaining, go to college, Do this, do that. And obviously, there's a time and a place for it. However, you can't just give somebody one path and say this, this is the path for you. There's, there's all different avenues and not two people are alike. So everybody's journey is different. And, you know, there is a lot of money to be made. And it's it's not about money, but it's about passion. It's about you know, working with your hands, I mean, I was never really good at school and and I excelled in the trades and the classroom was at your fingertips versus, you know, in front of you on a chalkboard. So, for me, the trades helped me get to where I am today, and I want to continue to essentially stand on a soapbox and preach
TJ McCormack 26:01
it. Yeah, no doubt, man, working with your hands, getting outside at least seeing things from the angle that we get to do which is on top of the world, right? It's definitely invigorating and fun. And especially when I get to help a homeowner or business owner that's had a traumatic event such as a hail or wind or a tornado event and or hurricane. You know, I've been working the hurricanes for years as well. So I love being able to have the satisfaction of making sure somebody's whole after going through the rewarding, isn't it? It is man.
Jeremy Perkins 26:35
All right. So at the end of the podcasts, which we're at right now, we're super pumped. This was super enlightening in the roofing trades, but anything that you want to plug right now any, any resources or anybody that wants to dive further into the roofing industry, or
Eric Girouard 26:53
reach out to you what's the best avenues or channels to get to you and all that stuff? Sure.
TJ McCormack 26:59
So if anybody ever really wants to talk to me, they can go to my Tik Tok or my my Instagram, World's Greatest roofer on the on all the platforms, if you will, and TJ at World's Greatest roofer.com. And if I don't have the ability to help you, I know somebody that does, and I'll make sure to make it a point at that moment that you message me to, to get you whatever help you need. If it's either sales training, if it's learning about the trade, if it's learning something about life, maybe I can help you with or even go as far as drug and alcohol treatment, which a lot of people in this world really need and they're scared to ask for it. You have no judgment from me. I'll be glad to hand you a phone number of somebody that can help.
Eric Girouard 27:50
Oh, yeah, brother. Awesome.
Jeremy Perkins 27:52
Well, thanks for being on the podcast. TJ.
TJ McCormack 27:55
I'm glad that you guys are here. Thank you guys so much for for jumping into the trades with Bryant. Man, I was so excited the other day talking with you guys to find out that you guys are in every trade. That's really cool.
Eric Girouard 28:07
Oh, yeah. That's the goal. And we like to go in specifically and highlight them all so that people can listen in and if they have an interest in roofing, but they don't want to, you know, historically you have to go and do it for two years to determine if it's something you absolutely love, or you absolutely hate. And so hopefully conversations like this will help folks, get them into the trade if it's something that interests them, or if they're like, Well, you know, and I know that sounds like something let's look at a different one. So that's the
TJ McCormack 28:34
goal. No doubt. Well, guys, thank you so much for the podcast today. And if you need anything from me, you knows how to reach out but I've been pumping the brunt for quite a while actually warrior shoes are the boots that Jeremy sent me. I was wearing them at my last event and people were asking me what kind of boots are those? So I really appreciate those. Oh yeah.
A child of the 90s, TJ joined up with the Navy just before the turn of the century, serving as a torpedo man on an Aegis cruiser. After his time in the military, he joined the police force in the Washington, D.C. area. After 14 years, he decided to move on, getting into the roofing industry after taking a job with an insurance company that sold roofing directly to roofers, cutting out the middle man.
“I did some odd jobs, you know, trying to find what was best for me to do in a new world. In my middle 30s I stumbled across a Craigslist ad and became a recruiter for a insurance program that basically would send roofs directly to roofers, from the insurance company. And that's how I got started in this industry.”
These days, TJ works for himself — he owns a company called One Industry, One Model, where he helps educate and train folks on how to sell roofs from a financial point of view. Outside of sales, his main responsibility is project management, with both residential and commercial crews. Residing in Colorado, he sees a lot of damage from hail and other inclement weather, which makes the insurance model make sense, as opposed to selling roofs door to door.
“Now I'm so interested in helping the sales guy or the sales girls, sales people, be more successful by understanding the trade and full versus just understanding how to knock on a door.”
Now he’s not only thriving in the sales world and spending time with his big family, but he’s thriving on social media, where he is working to educate the masses — and it’s working. On his TikTok account @WorldsGreatestRoofer, he has millions of views and over 250,000 followers that he interacts with, helping them make their next steps in the world of sales, roofing and beyond.