Tea industry influencers were asked: If you could go back in time and share advice with yourself as you started in this industry, what would you tell yourself?
Here are their responses.
When faced with an important decision, do your homework and due diligence, but always listen to your gut. If you’re trying to make something work that doesn’t feel good, it will almost always turns out to not be the right way to proceed! Surround yourself with the right people. They’re there for you, in droves, more talented and able than you could ever be. Just clear the space for them, and welcome them in!
Founder and CEO of The Tea Spot, author of Cancer Hates Tea
Perfection is not always required. The old 80/20 rule applies to most things in business and perfection often stops a company in its tracks. This can be applied to just about everything you do in your business. Pull others in quickly to help support you. It’s impossible for anyone to know everything about running their business. Instead of taking the lengthy time to learn it all; hirer consultants, mentors, supply partners, etc. to help you build and grow faster. Concentrate on what you do best and leave the rest to others who excel in those areas. With your guidance your vision will become a reality quicker.
Owner of Hula Consulting
Some of my assumptions about the industry were completely uninformed. For example, I assumed that the tea “themes” in foodservice provided opportunities that would give much more financial security because of the multiple streams of income. I saw strength in that. What other foodservice has strong potential for retail? And events? And thrives on originality and creativity? And the opportunity to connect meaningfully with various cultural communities? And is popular cross-generationally? I didn’t ask enough questions and assumed that more retail products and products for this market would be in demand. I would tell myself to do A LOT more research. And I’d still like to figure out why my original assumption isn’t true.
President of the International Tea Sipper’s Society, author, tea educator
Wow, I ask myself this a lot!
I’m marking my 15 year anniversary this year, so I’ve been deep in self-discovery mode lately. What comes up over and over again is, stop comparing. Just stop. You will be enough, you ARE enough now, even if it rarely feels that way. No one else will have the same path – you can choose to view this as a freedom, not as a handicap. And despite the surface similarities, no one else you’re self-comparing to had the same as anyone they looked to, either. There is simply no One Way. Keep asking yourself “why?” Where does this dream or aspiration come from? Why does it need to look like this? Who said so??? There is far more room than the jobs boards of LinkedIn or careers pages on company websites let on. But you must believe in you first before anyone else can learn how to, as well.
Founder of Being Tea, tea trainer and consultant
Expect delays. There are always bumps in the road in getting tea out of origin and to it’s final destination.
Tea Buyer at Allegro Coffee