When all you've got is a hammer...

Hammers.jpg

You know the saying: When all you've got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. In this blog post, I invite you to look at the areas in your life and business in which you're using the same approaches again and again, even though another approach may be exactly what's needed to create dramatic and lasting change. Are you stagnating in: 

  • your daily routines? (Then you're in luck! We're sharing two free docs that will totally transform your mornings and evenings to make your work more productive and your life more joyful.)

  • your overall growth? (Our list of 54 books for tea pros and our guide to self-care for tea pros will change all that!)

  • your marketing? (Good, 'cause we're about to give you a peek at the most interesting new marketing tool out there.)

  • your sphere of influence? (Then we have just the community for you.)

Read on to build upon your personal toolkit the 6 tools you need to make major changes starting TODAY!

The tool you need to take the evening off

According to a recent Gallup poll, about 40 percent of Americans are sleep deprived. In my work with tea pros, the numbers are far worse—around 80 percent (double America's national average).

Perhaps it's the Eastern influence. After all, death due to overwork has a name in Japanese (karoshi), Chinese (guolaosi) and in Korean (gwarosa).

Or perhaps, for those of us in the US, it's the American-dream-turned-nightmare of working 'til you drop.

Either way, it's clear:

Working late into the night is a tired cliche for tea entrepreneurs.

Turns out that getting enough sleep makes an enormous difference in how we live, make decisions, work and even make love. (No wonder Arianna Huffington calls getting enough sleep "the new sleeping your way to the top" in her book "The Sleep Revolution"!)

And Cal Newport writes in one of my top-recommended books for tea pros ("Deep Work") that taking the evening off results inadequate sleep, better quality sleep and (this part is key) a scientifically proven reset for the brain, resulting in higher productivity, clearer thinking and better decision making. In fact, the benefits of taking evenings off more than make up for the time you take off!

So unless it's a genuinely urgent issue that couldn't possibly be handled in the morning, it makes far more sense to take the evening off than it does to keep working into the night. It's not lazy—it's smart!

Ask yourself: Are you consistently taking evenings off and getting enough sleep?

If the answer's no, ask yourself: When was the last time you got a TRULY urgent email that you were ABSOLUTELY required to answer after 6 pm? What would have happened if you hadn't answered it? And if you hadn't answered that email, would you have received a call about it so you could handle the issue?

Unless you are a tea pro AND a heavy hitter in high finance, an internationally renowned medical consultant or similar, then let's be honest... not taking evenings off the majority of the time is far more about perceived self-importance than it is about actual urgency or logical prioritization.

This week, I challenge you to take at least one evening off. When you do, observe how you spend your time, how you feel and how well you perform in your business the following day.

Ready? TOOL #1 (the tool you need to make it happen) is located in our closed Facebook group, Tea Pros. Here's how to access it:

  1. If you aren't already a member of the group, join it here.

  2. Click on the "Files" link on the left-hand side of the page.

  3. It's right there ("Evening Routine") for you to read and use. Enjoy!

If you're new to the Tea Pros group, know that it:

  • is TOOL #2 (a thriving community of supportive, knowledgeable tea pros)

  • is closed (meaning that your comments and posts don't show up in your feed or where your Facebook friends can see them)

  • offers frequent prompts for you to share about your business, ask for help and grow as the leader of your business

  • is filled with 180 tea pros who are there to talk about the tea biz

See you in the comments there. In the meantime... TAKE THE EVENING OFF!

And what about the morning???

We've got you covered. Over Facebook, we're sharing TOOL #3,  a morning routine that will automatically make your days higher energy.

When you access it, you'll also get access to 2 more free docs (TOOL #4 and TOOL #5):

  1. how to care for yourself in the ways you deserve
  2. a list of our top 54 books for tea pros

Plus, you'll get a look at TOOL #6, the HOTTEST new marketing tool out there, Facebook Messenger bots. We've completed testing this new tool over at The Tea Mavens and are now ready to offer it to you for your tea biz, so be sure to think about whether it's the right fit for your brand as you interact with the bot.

Get your free docs, plus check out Facebook Messenger bots!

The marketing tool you need to know about NOW!

You pride yourself on being ahead of the curve when it comes to tea. Thanks to what we're about to share, you can now pride yourself on being ahead of the curve when it comes to tea marketing, too!

Recently, Facebook Messenger has become all the rage amongst Generation Y, and companies are struggling to keep up with their shift away from Facebook Pages and toward heavy use of chat functionality. As a result, a tool called a 'Facebook Messenger bot' was developed. This tool allows companies to send private messages to their fans and customers, and to build stronger client relationships through targeted, direct (and even highly customized) communication.

Facebook Messenger bots have the ability to work much like a digital version of a 'choose-your-own-adventure' novel. Plus, you can use them for 'broadcasts,' which are messages that go out to all subscribers at once, usually to announce something time-specific.

In your tea business, you can use Messenger bots to:

  • offer specific recommendations based on tea preferences,
  • share freebies and bonuses,
  • share the news of a flash sale,
  • and much more.
MessengerBot.jpeg

Learn more by testing out The Tea Mavens' current Messenger bot program. In the process, you'll see how Messenger bots work, PLUS you'll get access to 3 free documents:

  1. a morning routine to rock your days
  2. the 54 books we recommend to tea pros
  3. more tips for practicing ample self-care

Get your free docs and see how Messenger bots work in the process.

And if you're ready to implement this powerful new marketing tool in your business, then be sure to contact us. We have the niche expertise you need to do this well and we look forward to partnering with you in creating a fantastic Facebook Messenger bot!

Your Tea Company's Mission & Vision

One of the main failings of too many tea retailers and wholesalers out there could be avoided with only a few hours of work. It's something that can be drawn out too long, is often overly thought out (but still incomplete) and can lead to serious burnout if a company doesn't handle it.

What is it?

A tea company's mission and vision statement.

Company mission statement: A succinct, inspiring statement about what your company does

Company vision statement: A succinct, inspiring statement about what your company aims to do in the long run

Having these two little paragraphs in place makes a world of difference for many businesses. With them written and posted somewhere you’ll see them often:
 

  • decision-making is vastly simplified, especially when it comes to branding, marketing, delegation and product selection / development.
  • your focus is sharpened and extraneous things that used to distract you fall away.
  • prioritizing your tasks becomes almost reflexive.
  • your customer base becomes more known and more accessible.
  • you can plan big AND make your plans happen!

I recently saw this make an enormous difference for a coaching client who was stuck in 'analysis paralysis' around almost every possible decision about their business, from what to carry to whether to change the business name. Once this client got their 'what' and their 'why' clear, everything else fell into place with lightning speed.

Here are our top three tips to get your mission statement and vision statement done FAST:

1. Watch this inspiring video on the ‘why’ behind successful companies and movements

2. Set a timer for ONE MINUTE and brainstorm on your business’s ‘why’. (Keep it at one minute. For now, done is better than perfect!)

3. Purchase the guide to overcoming the top 11 hurdles tea businesses face (including how to write powerful mission & vision statements), PLUS 6 bonuses!

The guidance above is just ONE sample from ONE of the 11 areas featured in our guide to overcoming the most common hurdles that tea business leaders face today. The other 10 areas include:

  • effective time management
  • prioritization
  • delegation
  • automation
  • team motivation
  • and more

Get your instant digital download today!

 

top priority.jpg

FAQs

Your FAQ's, answered:

Here are some of the most common questions I (Lindsey) get asked over at The Tea Mavens, along with their answers.

Q: How'd you get into tea?

A: Like so many other tea professionals in the U.S. and Canada, it was a total accident! I was surprised to find that I fell hopelessly in love with tea in 2005 and have been working with tea professionally ever since.

Q: What's your favorite tea?

A: I'm a real 'seasonal drinker,' so I tend to drink green and white teas in summer, dark roast oolongs in late autumn, shou puerhs in winter and lighter oolongs in spring. Black tea and 'nourishing herbal infusions' (which are intense brews of non-aromatic herbs, such as nettle or linden, drunk for deep nourishment rather than for flavor) are year-round favorites for me. Although I'm generally a tea purist, I do love a good Earl Grey or Jasmine Pearls. I'm oddly fascinated by tea blending trends and I spent six months in search of the perfect cup of chai in India (photo above). In short, I'm a tea lover, and the specific teas I love the most change pretty much moment-to-moment!

Q: How'd you end up doing what you do?

A: After working for a chic tea shop and managing an even chic-er tea bar, I considered starting my own online tea business. This was way back in 2007. I remember doing the market research and finding that there were already a few companies doing a great job with traveling to origin and sourcing teas themselves or marketing tea blends like mad or getting custom teaware made for their clients... and I was happy to leave them to it! After all, I'm much more of a people-person than a web-backend person and a big-picture person than a filling-orders person. So, I started offering tea tours and tea classes in NYC through my first tea business, Vee Tea.

I loved working with tea businesses back then, but since I had a decade less experience than I do now, where I really shone was in SEO and copywriting. My Google rankings were absolutely killing it, and soon enough, tea companies started asking me to get similar results for their websites. Next thing I knew, I was a tea writer. I wrote for numerous companies and publications around the world. In writing for publications, I had the amazing opportunity to interview over 1,000 tea professionals around the globe, which ended up being the perfect basis for moving into consulting over time. After all, once you know all the ins and outs of the tea business from such a variety of companies, it only makes sense, right? Plus, I LOVE empowering tea businesses to succeed!

More recently, I've started coaching tea businesses, too. I find that some tea businesses respond extremely well to consulting. They're able to take the abundance of information I provide and run with it! But for others, there's a lot of infrastructure and inner work that need to be handled before the more technical stuff can really take effect. Often, this has to do with time management, delegation and other issues that (you'd better bet) I've faced as a tea entrepreneur over the years! I'm thrilled to offer coaching as a means for overcoming these obstacles and thriving as a tea pro.

Lindsey2017Window.jpg

Q: I saw that I can schedule a free call with you. What's that all about?

A: Here's what discovery session calls are and how to schedule one with me to discuss your tea business. I look forward to talking with you!

Tea Business Logo Design / Package Design Case Study

Here's a quick 'before and after' look at the logo makeover of one of our clients, Fusion Teas.

Fusion Teas had been a client for several years before the logo update. Their old logo was designed by a non-tea-specific design firm, and in my professional opinion... it showed! Take a look and decide for yourself:

 The old logo

The old logo

The old logo had served Fusion well for years, sure, but it also violated several of the major best practices for a good logo (e.g., scalability and looking good in black-and-white). Worse yet for the logo (and better for the company) Fusion had evolved far beyond its old logo and the aesthetic of a 'just getting started' tea business. It had grown significantly over the years, and it was time for their logo to do the same in order for the look to match the brand now and in the coming years as they continue to expand.

After a few discussions with Fusion Teas' owner, Thomas Egbert, we agreed that it was time to put the old logo to rest and freshen up Fusion's look with a new logo and corresponding packaging. Here's what Thomas had to say about the old logo:

"It didn't convey who we are and what kind of tea company we run.

While I did like the two leaves, the yoga-Zen master did not represent us. We are anything but Zen, lol! We're a modern-day tea company in the US."

We worked with Thomas to answer key questions about the new logo, including what the purpose of the logo is, what kind of message it should convey and who it will appeal to. And then, we set to work on the logo itself. After several revisions, here's what we decided upon:

 The new logo (in one particular colorway)

The new logo (in one particular colorway)

Clean, clear, distinctive. Scalable. Works well in black-and-white as well as in multiple color schemes. In short... simply better for a growing tea business!

Here's what Thomas had to say about the new logo:

"We love the new logo. It's exactly what we envisioned. The new logo reflects our name 'Fusion' a lot better. The definition of Fusion is, 'The process of combining two or more things together to form a single entity.' The two leaves that are designed into the Yin and Yang also help represent that."

Here's how I know Thomas really loved the logo. He sent me a onesie with the logo for my little one. Sweet!

We love to see our clients happy. But even more than that, we loved what happened next. Because we didn't only revise the logo. We updated the packaging! Here's a peek:

 Those colors, though!

Those colors, though!

Oooh. Gorgeous! (If we do say so ourselves, that is...) And what followed was even better.

With a new photoshoot of the package design (courtesy of our Social Media Maven), we posted images across multiple social media profiles, resulting in more likes, shares and social-motivated purchases than the previous package design.

Here are two examples of posts that performed well on Instagram:

 27 likes after one week

27 likes after one week

 17 likes and one comment expressing LOVE

17 likes and one comment expressing LOVE

Furthermore, current customers loved the change in package design! Thomas says:

"We are super happy with our new packaging. In our view, the packaging is almost as important than the tea itself. When our customers love to look at the label and packaging these good feelings can spill over and influence how much they like the tea.

Customer feedback has been very positive and they seem to really like the direction we took.

It's also cleaner and more professional."

YES, love to see our clients' clients happy, too!

Does your current logo look more like a 'before' than an 'after'? Thomas has something to say about the hidden benefits of getting your look updated:

"Re-branding can have a huge impact on a business. It's human nature to go through ups and downs and get stuck in a rut or too comfortable. Re-branding can light the fire again and get you really excited about your brand!"

Ready for your own 'after' pics? Check out our design services and schedule a discovery session call to talk with me about your brand's evolution. I look forward to talking with you soon!

— Lindsey Goodwin-von Trott, Tea Business Mentor at The Tea Mavens

 Note how the lines surrounding the circle motif vary from tea category to tea category.

Note how the lines surrounding the circle motif vary from tea category to tea category.

 Scroll back and looks at the 'before' pick again. See the difference!

Scroll back and looks at the 'before' pick again. See the difference!

Want us to cup? Then line up!

We're still fully booked for our tea cupping and copywriting services. HOWEVER, we anticipate having a few openings in availability in the coming month! So if you'd like us to cup your teas and write site / print copy for your tea business, be sure to go ahead and get on our waitlist now.

Once you're on the list, we'll get you in line for our services and update you on availability. Please note that we may prioritize smaller projects in order to meet more clients' needs. We're a bit egalitarian around here, so we'd rather have one company wait a few more months than make 20 companies wait a few more months! And trust us... it's worth the wait either way.