In “Life by the Cup” Zhena Muzyka tells the story of her own life from a 24 year old single mum that was broke, not able to pay her bills and had just given birth to her son Sage who had a life-threatening kidney defect and would need a lot of medical care to being the owner of a large and well-known fair trade tea company.
She shares how at the broke point in her life she asks God: “God, you have to help me here! Tell me what to do!” And receives in her mind the words “Gypsy” and “tea”. Starting with those simple words, her Gypsy heritage and knowledge in aromatherapy and herbalism pictures start popping up in her mind. Pictures of tea parties. Pictures of her creating unique tea blends. Pictures of people loving and enjoying her tea. Those pictures become her guidelines.
When a bookstore café in her town is being advertised for sale she meets with the owner although her mind tells her that it will be no good and why should he listen to her. She listens to the voice of her calm guidance that says “Just show up” and tells him her ideas of a tea café. He is so enthusiastic about her ideas that he employs her to bring them into reality. Zhena starts to create her own tea blends combining teas with spices, herbs and essential oils. She realises that she is passionate about creating rare tea blends and dreams about her own teahouse. At some point she makes the next step of opening up her first own business, creating teas and selling them.
Throughout the whole book Zhena’s love for tea, plants, nature and Mother Earth are omnipresent. She makes buying fair-trade a priority and goes beyond that to buy biodynamic teas. She shares how she finds the Bio Tea Project in Sri Lanka, a very special tea plantation that is run like a big family and fits perfectly into her philosophy. The people there become her family and she even founds a non-profit organisation to support the education of the tea worker’s children.
Woven into each chapter are the lessons she learns by walking that path. It has not been an easy path and she had a lot to learn. Which is why this book is perfect for anyone who has it’s own business no matter how big or small and for anyone who wants to start a business. And as it is the story of a woman entrepreneur the book is perfect for women. It feels a bit like one of your girl friends is talking to you. There’s a lot of advice in there and some exercises and I have turned some of them into direct actions right after reading them.
Oh, and as a goodie at the end there are recipes for giving your own tea parties. Recipes for tea, cake, cupcakes, macaroons and more.
Enjoy reading. And maybe enjoy baking and giving your own tea party. 🙂