Many of our customers will be delighted to know we convinced a very talented guy to join Tenkara USA full time. It’s a milestone for Tenkara USA, but more importantly, it is a major life decision for the person everyone who calls or emails us knows as TJ. I wanted to write about him joining Tenkara USA full-time this week, so I bluntly (though hesitantly) asked him the question that I’m sure was in his mind all day today and yesterday, the first two days after he left a stable and lucrative job to join Tenkara USA full-time: “TJ, what were you thinking?”
The story of him joining us a bit over a year ago is interesting, and I hope what he has to say about why he joined us full-time will be inspiring. I’ll stop at saying that I’m stoked to have TJ, along with his work-ethics and insights, joining us full-time.
“So, TJ, why did you decide to take the plunge and join Tenkara USA? What were you thinking?”
What was I thinking?” …… …….. …
I think I heard my wife say the same thing when I told her I was closing down MacSociety and going to work for Tenkara USA full time (hehehe).
Michelle probably thought the same thing that your wife Margaret thought when you left your high-paying secure job and told her you were going to open Tenkara USA and sell these sleek carbon fiber fly rods…… are you nuts! 😎
In all reality, I have always been one of those crazy ones, the kind of person that when I make up my mind on something, I do what it takes to make it happen. Going after something and achieving it after hard work has been something I have been doing all my life. One more recent event happened for me 7 years ago when I opened my own one man IT company, MacSociety, and for 7 years grew it into a nice full-time occupation. As much as I enjoyed this experience working for myself and being my own boss, normally the IT field means one is on call 24/7, and I kind of built myself into a corner. The corner meant being on call 24/7 for the rest of my days or hiring someone to help being on call 24/7 and growing my on company to the next level.
I chose to move on because I don’t wish to put that burden on anyone else, being on call 24/7, being tied to a cell phone everywhere you go, and basically missing out on life. So, I decided to cut it off right now and move to the next chapter of my life and not putting someone else in the same boat as I was.
Man, have I missed out on so many years but I finally saw a glimer of hope when I stumbled across this tenkara in 2009 on the Internet. Back then it was a little spark of hope that has turned 180 degrees and is now a big roaring fire in my life, and I plan on stoking this fire for the rest of my time on this place we call earth.
In the end, I choose happiness!
It was time to leave the world of IT and for once do something I truly love! Be in a business that I am truly passionate about, one that I can learn something new everyday, one that I can meet other equally passionate folks, one that I can grow with from the ground up, and one day work with other Tenkara USA employees I can call family.
Add to that, more time to learn about tenkara! Now I can have my weekends back to fish, to practice, to take travels to meet other tenkara folks, and to create a whole live centered around something I digg, tenkara fly fishing.
Not many people will know this, but when you contacted me about helping out because you were going to Japan for 2 months (May 2011), I had my own company to run. So, for the last 1.5 years, I have not only been running my own company that kept me busy 24/7, but took over most of the day to day customer service functions of another growing company, Tenkara USA. So, I have been a very busy guy!
But, all the extra work was worth it for me as I had a dream my friend, and I knew one day I would be working with and for you at Tenkara USA. I figured to make this happen, it was time to jump in with both feet, both arms, and my whole mind.
Therefore, for me, it was an easy decision. Yes it is a crazy one but I am the right kind of crazy for the job. 😎
Therefore on November 1st 2012, I turned off that IT switch in my head and instead turned up the tenkara swich to brighten my days and nights for the rest of my days.
As for your question “why did you decide to take the plunge and join Tenkara USA?”, here are my thoughts…
I consider Tenkara USA the market leader in introducing tenkara to the world. It all starts from the top, and to be successful, the one at the helm needs to be passionate about what they do and create. I see that in you Daniel, and I see tenkara going some great places because of your desire to spread this fly fishing style to those outside of Japan. It does not appear to be about the money for you, but for making fly fishing a simple pleasure that everyone can enjoy. So I have the utmost confidence that tenkara is not a fad and is here to stay, and that Tenkara USA is and will continue to be the market leader in introducing tenkara to those around the globe. I want to and I AM part of this ride we call Tenkara USA.
At 46, I am already getting fairly bald, or fairly thin up top, and what I have left is grey. I am at the age where pulling a muscle here and there means months and months of it healing, or never healing at all. I have aches and pains that I did not have in my 30s. Means in 4 years I get my 1st colonoscopy at 50 and I have so much to look forward to. hehehe.
My belly and beard style has me resembling a short Santa Claus and I am mostly a very jolly guy. I get along with pretty much anyone and have always been a positive person.
Fairly happy in life, but now is the time to put things in motion so soon I wake up every day with a smile on my face, knowing that I am making a difference, and to enjoy what I am doing.
I want to become a life-long student of tenkara and have a desire to improve my fishing abilities every chance I get.
So in the future I see a little more lean but still Santa’esque grey bearded smiling tenkara fisherman that helps others learn tenkara, spreading the joys that tenkara has brought into my life, being that guy that works at Tenkara USA that was one of the first to join the ship and help drive this passion in others and will still be part of this great company when even you Daniel, is grey, thin haired, and has a mini santa belly of your own. 😎
Thomas “TJ” Ferreira
Director Customer Service at Tenkara USA
“the Tenkara Junkie”