It was organized by Zhi Tea, one of the local tea vendors, as a benefit/community event, bringing together most of the tea vendors in Austin to show, sample, and sell their tea. The event was held in support of Edible Austin, which is a sustainable foods organization that teaches kids to grow food to sell and donate.
To me it was interesting and fun, but also amazing just because all of these companies are competitors, yet they are comfortable or confident enough to come together as a community. You don’t see that kind of thing happen very often in the corporate world, although that’s part of what I like to bring to the table.
But as I walked around and talked to people, some of whom I knew and some of whom I was meeting for the first time, and heard their stories about new things they were trying in their shops, or places they had been (like learning how to make tea in Taiwan), all I could think was, “I have to get my tea business going somehow. I need to really be a part of this.”
I’m sure it wouldn’t be all sunshine and lollipops, but who wouldn’t want to be able to spend a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in early December, in beautiful Austin, Texas, outside hawking your tea, and call it work? Of course, “hawking your tea” somehow sounds like you’re spitting, but you get the idea.
I want to be one of these people, who are brave enough and smart enough and lucky enough to make their dreams work. Work being the operative word–none of it would be possible without a lot of hard work. And even though I’ve taken the first steps toward making my dream a reality, I know it’s going to be a long, hard path, probably with more than a few detours and pauses along the way, based on the state of the economy and my need to support myself.
But just like they say “the first step is admitting you have a problem”; maybe I’ve already taken the first step just by acknowledging I have a dream. And jumping off the cliff into my sabbatical last year was a heck of a first step. As Butch Cassidy said, “Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you!” But it hasn’t yet, so I’m hopeful that it won’t.