You've probably seen Peter Tunney's work but didn't know he was the brains behind it. Tunney's billboards, with inspirational phrases such as "The Time Is Always Now" and "City of Dreams" greet people as they enter New York City, and have started appearing in places like Starbucks and the Long Island Expressway. He's also famous for his "Grattitude" surf boards. Jason met him at Art Basel Miami and was blown away by his powerful message of positivity.
We had the good fortune to talk with Tunney last month, and hope you enjoy his insights as much as we did!
MindBodyGreen: How did you go from Wall Street to where you are today?
PT: I’ve kind of been selling the whole time. When I was in Boy Scouts, we had to sell light bulbs door-to-door. I think I sold more light bulbs than anyone in America. I worked 12 hours a day. I had a great pitch. I said, “This is a product you’re always going to use. You’re never going to throw one of them out. They cost $3 in the store. You can buy them from me for $2, and you help the Boy Scouts. How many packages would you like?”
So it sounds like you combine inspiration and perspiration.
That’s why it’s working for me now. Because I’ve grown up, I’m organized, I don’t get stoned every day. I love what I’m doing. I’ve got a schedule.
Many of our readers want to make big changes in their lives. It sounds like you were looking for something similar.
I went to a party when I was 13 and I came home when I was 43. I was running, trying to get stuff, accomplish things. When I got sober, I gave up all that. I just let the whole world come to me. And once I surrendered and let go of everything, good stuff happened to me.
Was there a specific moment that made you want to give up that life?
I would say it was the moment when my family said, “You better go to rehab.” But I never had that moment. I never knew anything was wrong. I just thought life was hard and that’s the way it is.