How fortunate we are to have Zhena Muzyka, Founder of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea, sharing how you can be prosperous by doing good in the world. Zhena’s VERY GENEROUS GIVEAWAY is one you won’t want to miss. Three lucky winners will receive a 50-minute consult with “the Gypsy” herself, whose 1 KG of tea a week grew to a multi-million dollar 100% fair trade global corporation! More info about Zhena and details on how to enter to win her consultation following her post. More info about how to enter to win Zhena’s private consult following her post. ***Giveaway Below Ends June 15th***
By Zhena Muzyka
Founder, Zhena’s Gypsy Tea, Inspirational Speaker, Coach & Author
Ojai, CA USA
There is a saying that irks me beyond any other saying, which is “It’s just business.” In my world, there is no such thing as “just business” if you spend any amount of your day, energy or effort working for or on your own business it’s a huge amount of your life and precious life force. A business that is transaction driven vs. mission driven is less fun to run, a bore to work at and fails in the end to leave a legacy for our world.
Let me explain. Founding Zhena’s Gypsy Tea in 2001 was the key to my survival, and that of my son’s. Without the proper health insurance to cover his emergency surgeries, I found myself a single mom, in heaps of debt and with no options to put my son in daycare since he had special needs at the time. No one would hire me with a child in a carrier on my hip, so I did what most women do, I prayed. What I saw was a gathering of women, sipping tea and laughing. There were children running around at their feet and they were sharing stories in a beautiful, supportive environment. When I opened my eyes, I knew that I would take my heritage of Roma Gypsy and create a company that would make products that brought women together.
So, with Sage in a baby carrier on my side, I gathered all of my grandmother’s old recipes, my experience in the herbal medicine realm and started blending teas from my garden to sell. Soon, I bought a tea cart with borrowed dollars of my brothers, best friend and parents and sold my blends, along with tea leaves I purchased, from a cart. I would blend tea at night and get to the cart before the neighborhood hairdressers and school teachers would arrive for a cup of tea.
I poured my heart into each cup and when I started selling the teas to stores in tins, I decided it was time to find out who was plucking the teas all the way on the other side of the world, so I saved up and went to Sri Lanka to meet the tea workers. To the tea workers, there is no such thing as “just business” because they are born, live their whole lives and even pass away in the tea garden they work in.
It takes 2,000 plucks to make one KG of tea, and the average tea worker has to pluck 8KG of tea to make her $1.35 a day. I found that they didn’t have childcare or health care in conventional gardens and decided my mission would be to change it. So, the mission of my company was born and my life as a mission based entrepreneur was made.
What started as a micro-enterprise that bought 1 KG of tea a week has turned into a larger enterprise that buys hundreds of thousands of KG’s and each of those filters money back to the women I met that first trip. When I met my husband, the tea workers threw my wedding in a small Lakshmi temple in the tea fields. When my son was well, I took him to meet their children and share stories and cultures. When I wake up in the morning and sip the tea these women have labored for, and I have blended and marketed, I have a feeling of well-being that fills my heart with gratitude for the fact that it’s not “Just Business” it’s love.
The secret ingredients in a woman’s wiring for business are love, nurturing, collaboration and support. We build infrastructures and we care about the future. We are built for 21st century business in a way that our male counterparts need in order to achieve balance. We are the glue of the world and the key to healing the environment and making trade fair.
So, when someone says to me, “It’s just business,” it’s always a man, and with all due respect I tell him that it’s never just business for me or the women I know, it’s about love and life force and the way we choose to spend our days. The mission of my tea company got me through the days of no money, helped me work past the exhaustion and closed doors and was critical for pushing me past the big failures companies without a mission to truly serve would have folded under. It’s a
woman’s heart and love that makes our businesses thrive. It’s how we are wired that changes the game, and with only 2% of women owned businesses making past $1M in revenue, I say it’s time for us to take the reigns and claim our hearts in our businesses, for us, for our male counterparts, for our kids and for the new realm of possibility in mission driven businesses worldwide.
With $6, a sick baby and a dream, Zhena Muzyka started Zhena’s Gypsy Tea from a tea cart and grew it into a multi-million dollar business whose mission is to end poverty for tea workers and educate the tea workers’ children by providing scholarships. Zhena now keynotes, coaches and consults with women on how to grow mission based businesses that make a difference in the world. Zhena’s mission is to inspire women to take on the issues of poverty, education, the environment and the health and well being of women with their companies to support and grow a global “tribe” of heartfelt, profitable and sustainable companies for the generations to come.
For more information about Zhena and to receive Zhena’s “6 steps to mission driven business success for people, planet and profits” video download, please visit: www.zhenam.com.
Zhena will be giving away a 50-minute consult with her via skype to 3 lucky winners, regarding their business or life changes that require great courage.
The giveaway for a 50-minute consult has the same rules as the other Speakerpalooza giveaways:
4. International submissions accepted!
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I so admire you, your determination, tenacity & heartfelt driven mission to give back. “The Donald” says on The Apprentice, “it’s nothing personal, it’s just business.” His comment always felt rather heartless to me. I so appreciate your perspective & think how there wouldn’t be such a mess in our economy today if companies were more heart driven to those they serve & the employees that devote their blood, sweat & tears to the companies success. I’m reminded of a company years ago in Massachusettes that continued to pay it’s employees when the factory burned down. The grateful heart of the owner was a shining example of his appreciation & gratitude to all who worked for him. You exemplify the value & power of giving back. Your son’s life depended on your heartfelt mission to all the mothers you serve. God bless you Zhena.
Much love, Jo Lyn
“The secret ingredients in a woman’s wiring for business are love, nurturing, collaboration and support.”
This is the world and example I am striving to be for my daughter. And as I move along my path to success, I am inspired to see someone ahead who speaks the same language and ideas in business that I do. There is that hope that things are changing and I am a part of that.
I like to think that our numbers are growing and it is only a matter of knowing that it is possible to be completely authentic in who we are and create a successful business. And you let us know it is possible..