Exotic cars, classic cars, low riders, muscle cars, custom cars, auto accessories... YOU NAME IT! T J Loftin has applied his expertise to it and created revenue that has allowed him to diversify his entrepreneurial endeavors. Now he wants to teach you to do the same. He shares with Minority Report featuring Black Owned Businesses the in's an out's of the auto industry and gave some insight into his mentorship programs.
MRTV: You are the CEO of Express Gold Plating, Compton Wire Wheels
nd Molded Suspension. When were they founded and what services do you provide?
TJL: I am the former founder and CEO, started in 1991 sold in 2009. Current owner of LOF10 Productions where I coach, train, offer consultations, webinars, and travel speaking on business ownership topics.
MRTV: Describe the moment you knew you’d be successful in automotive design and manufacturing?
TJL: When people started calling and flying in from all around the world to purchase or order cars and car parts.
MRTV: What is it like for a Black man in the auto parts industry? Is it intimidating?
TJL: Black men lead the auto industry. It’s very intimidating knowing people are watching and waiting on your next product release so they can copy it and make millions off your idea.
MRTV: Your specialty is Low Riding and Classic Cars. How did you find yourself creating parts for these kinds of cars in particular and what makes them special?
TJL: After restoring them for years it became to expensive to buy replacement parts so I started making them.
Thomas "TJ" Loftin in Pomona 2016 via YouTube
MRTV: You are a manufacturer, distributor and exclusive dealer of dozens of auto parts and accessories, supplying over 100 stores around the world. How did you attract and maintain these contracts and relationships?
TJL: I helped to start a lot of the businesses that sold my products. I coached and helped most to grow. I spent a small fortune on advertising monthly in global magazines. By releasing so many products people kept good relationships with me.
MRTV: You grew up in Compton, California. Are you still living in Compton and how has living here prepared you for entrepreneurship?
TJL: I currently live in Los Angeles, CA. When I was younger I was raised by friends who were all business owners of some sort. I got to be a part of construction projects to opening of small business chains.
MRTV: Is there anything you’d like to design that you haven’t had the chance to?
TJL: I am currently working on several apps.
MRTV: Since starting in the automotive industry, you have now ventured into real estate. You also host Business Boot Camps, instructing others how to start businesses for themselves through another business you own, LOF10 Productions. How did you make that transition?
TJL: I needed land to store the old cars I had then people starting buying up the land which inspired me to build on the land I had. After realizing that millions of people were loosing jobs even with degree’s and my industry didn’t have enough welders, auto body, mechanics, painters etc. I decided to teach and become the advocate to continue to help grow my industry.
MRTV: You also serve youth. What is unique about your youth entrepreneur curriculum?
TJL: I teach youth how to harness the power of an idea and intellectual property.
MRTV: What specific challenges have you had as an entrepreneur and how did you step up to meet them?
TJL: Keeping up with technology. Start listening to young people more.
MRTV: What advice would you give someone considering entrepreneurship?
TJL: Higher me as a wealth coach. Network more with others. Always advertise and never stop advertising.
MRTV: How can someone get in contact with you for more information about your services?
TJL: 310.619.3954 ThomasTJLoftin.com
MRTV: Favorite hangout spot in Compton?
TJL: Tomorrow’s Aero Nautical Museum
MRTV: If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be?
TJL: Warren Buffett to pick his brain about real estate.
MRTV: I wish I knew how to ______.
TJL: End Poverty!
Starting a business, watching it grow, then selling to transition into a new direction is no easy accomplishment. TJ Loftin made the switch and is now helping others. Have you left one business behind to start another? Tell me all about it below.