On the Rise: Jason Paul
Sales manager | Take Off Tire LLC | Age: 27
What was your first job in the industry?
My current job at Take Off Tire. I have been working here full time since Oct. 2021. I have however been working on the Take Off Tire digital profile since 2019.
What attracted you to the industry?
The opportunity to work in a small business atmosphere where the work I put in has a direct effect on the business. Also, the ability to truly become an expert in tires instead of knowing a little about a lot of items. It makes me a more effective salesman.
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
The lack of good opportunities for professionals under 30 years of age. In Lincoln, Neb. where I live, it's starting to feel like you're better off doing your own thing. Make a career for yourself rather than attempting to climb the corporate ladder.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
The man who's always influenced me the most, whether we're talking about work or life in general, will always be my grandfather, Roger. He's helped me in more ways than I'll ever be able to thank him for. However, in this case I'll give the nod to Riley Kentfield, the owner of Take Off Tire. I have an extremely high level of respect for what he's created at the age of 25. I think his hard work and success story would inspire and influence most people. I am glad to be on his team.
What’s your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
My biggest accomplishment is the amount of knowledge I've gained and retained in a relatively short amount of time. This applies to both business knowledge and tire industry knowledge. It is enjoyable to inform customers what I know to be true. Tires are expensive, so I do what is right for the customer. I have come a long way since day one and I will continue to learn. My clients trust me and the result has been major customer retention. I want to be there for them now and far into the future.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?
My current job titles are sales and operations manager. My job on a daily basis is to make sure our day-to-day operation runs as smoothly as possible and that Take Off Tire is profitable on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis. I sell tires and wheels of all sizes, manage incoming calls, manage accounts, manage our accounts receivable, manage inventory and manage employees on a daily basis. I also try to stay on top of our social media accounts when I have time.
What’s one thing you wish someone would have told you before you took your current job?
How many hours a week it takes to run a small business!
Tell us about your family.
My family is relatively small on both my mother and father's sides but one cool thing is that it is made up of a lot of musicians. I unfortunately was too "cool" to follow in my father and uncles' footsteps and never wanted to learn how to play when I was younger. It's never too late though, so maybe I'll pick an instrument up one of these days.
How do you recover from a bad or stressful day?
I leave my work at work and don't take it home with me. Some days are harder than others but I've always thought that it was important that when I leave the building for the day, I leave whatever problems I have there and don't take it home to my loved ones and affect their lives with my burdens. Then the next day I do my best to fix the stressful situation and leave that day in a better mood!
Name one thing you wish the average American better understood about the tire industry.
The amount of labor that goes into changing tires of all sizes.
If you could have lunch with a celebrity, who would it be, and why?
I like sports of all kinds so an easy answer for me would be to sit down with someone like Tom Brady, Lebron James or Tiger Woods just to say that I got the opportunity to do that.
Name a talent you wish you had.
A photographic memory would be pretty useful.
What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?
Huge companies making it continually more difficult for small businesses to thrive in the industry.
Tell us your biggest pet peeve.
Not cleaning up after yourself.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
I like reading sports news and more non-fiction type articles but the best book I've started and finished lately was The Terminal List.
If a tire dealer asked you for advice to find good employees, what would you suggest?
I think finding employees that fit your mold is very important. Employees have to work with each other eight to10 hours a day and sometimes more, and having people that get along and enjoy each other's company can make those long days and weeks a lot easier. Building the culture and atmosphere is on the owner and managers but finding people who fit that culture is just as important.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
I'd like to be managing multiple tire shops and growing Take Off Tire into one of the biggest and best tire shops in the Midwest and nation.