Like any entrepreneur, which I sometimes have hesitated to call myself, but for the sake of this article I will, we start with a passion, and it grows into an idea, which then starts to take over our brainwaves and, no matter day or night, it becomes so real, growing inside of our thoughts, our hearts, and then it becomes.
But then what happens? We all know that working for ourselves is much more demanding than holding down a regular job for a paycheck. Why is that? There are many thoughts regarding this, but, for me, I feel it is because it is ours, just like birthing a child, it envelopes our lives and we work around the clock in hopes of seeing it grow and become a force to be reckoned with. Being our sole responsibility, we take this dream of ours, that no other person is attached to, and we run and sometimes trudge forward, knowing that one day the possibilities exist that we could soar. The trick here is to not lose track of your goal and your passion in the process, and this is something that so many of us discover too late that we have done.
There are a lot of options for growth in any business and a lot of chatter about how each way is the way you should pick. I think of them as 'orbits' as I am really into the studies of the universe. And, it is overwhelming to see all these 'orbits' that are available to grow these new businesses. We have to stay true to our dreams and passions and not let others' thoughts lead us astray. The orbit we choose can make or break our business, so it deserves a lot of deep contemplation. Our personal orbits that we design can certainly take us into uncharted territories so we have to be solid in our resolve. It is totally up to us. I started Thunder Mountain Tea a few years ago with my online presence. Then, last year, I set up my booth at the Capital City Public Market.
For eight months, from April 15th through December 16th, I showed up just like so many others, no matter the weather - rain or shine, wind or snow. I gave away samples, sold a lot of tea, and got to meet so many wonderful people. I loved it. I loved the people. I also sold product wholesale to some local retailers. I had spent about 99% of my working lifetime in the hospitality industry and this eight months just showed me how much I missed the people contact and that people loved what I was creating. But, I also noticed that I was so busy with just busy stuff that I was loosing track of my goal. I knew there was something about what I had created that was bigger than what I was doing.
After the market closed in December, I took the downtime to refocus on what my tea was telling me. What was the bigger picture? The only way to see it is to step back and take a good long look at where you were, where you are, and where you want to go. I have been meditating and centering myself daily. I am one person, what can I do to make the biggest difference for my community, how can I build my orbit so WE become a force to be reckoned with, and, how can this business help our Earth? And, at the same time maintaining a sense of peace for myself and sending that feeling of peace forward to those who are attracted to this orbit we are creating. I began to see my teas reaching people who needed a reason to smile.
Not because I felt I had to, but because it was what meant so much to me, that all last year I donated teas to every cause that pulled at my heart. I also gave tea to people I thought just needed 'a lift' - a reason to smile. But, again, I am just one person, how much can I help, just being one? Then came this idea. To start an Initiative - The name first was Reaching Out - One Bag of Tea at A Time; then came, Building Community - One Bag of Tea at a Time; and now finally, it has grown into: Embracing Community Through Tea.
I feel strong neighborhoods and communities are the strength of our nation, and so many of us live where we have never reached out to our neighbors. Maybe they are from different countries or cultures, or an elderly couple down the street, or a young mother trying to balance kids, work, and home, whomever you care to reach out to, remember Tea is universal and it knows no borders. If we reach out to neighbors and friends, or just someone in need of assurance that life will get better, then we are helping to build a strong community which makes for a strong country. We are stronger together.
Beginning January 1st, I started the process with each order of $30 or more I 'gifted' the buyer a bag of tea to 'gift' to another. There has been an amazing response. Just reading notes of gratitude from those who have received these unexpected gifts has been worth all of this. And, for those whom I have 'gifted' the tea to, they have been expressing the deep gratification of giving.
With all of this in mind, I wanted to let everyone know, I will not be at the Market on Saturdays this year. I have gone 'back to my roots' of selling teas and tea accessories online, along with a dose of love and compassion for all neighbors and neighborhoods everywhere, so that I can accomplish my deepest desires, that of spreading goodwill through tea across our nation, giving to others and bringing smiles to others' faces.
I'm excited about creating my own orbit, one that allows the Thunder Mountain Teas to soar. My online presence will be greatly enhanced over the next couple of months. I'm working on new blends of many different teas, lots of herbals to go with the delicious mainstays that we have grown to love. Soon, I will be launching my 'crowd-funding' page with lots of rewards for becoming an 'ambassador' to help catapult this Initiative into Orbit. I hope you will watch for it, join in, and share with your online communities. It's a project worth our time!