Thursday, March 27, 2008


Beginning in 1999, I decided that instead of trying to market the product into every possible channel that I needed to focus. After being involved in so many business opportunities, I began formulating plans for my own business opportunity. I wanted to know if other entrepreneurs saw similar opportunities in tea, so in 2000 I decided to run an ad to see if there were other entrepreneurs interested in tea. I was inundated with so many requests that I did not know how to respond. I put the ad in only as a test. I had no idea I would get so many requests. But this test told me that there was truly an opportunity here, and I must pursue it. So I began formulating the “Opportunity is Brewing” program. But, I was tapped financially. I needed capital.

I made presentations to venture capitalists in April, 2000. No one wanted to give me money. So I tried the bank. The lending gods heeded my request. With a loan from the bank, I set out to create my tea empire. From my small 200 square foot office in 2001, I began developing the first marketing materials to send out to information requests. My theory at this time was that people did not need to know I was in a 200 square foot office. I wanted viewers of the ad to believe I was this huge all-encompassing tea company, so I decided that the key was the creation of a very comprehensive professionally created information kit to recruit Distributors, backed up with a solid web foundation and 24/7 answering service so that we appeared as if lots of people worked at our firm. In fact, Tea Connexions at the time had one full time employee, me, because my wife, Suruchi was attending University. I worked with a contract web designer, graphic designer, and copy editor. These individuals not only became intrigued with the project, but my most vocal supporters.

2001 was perhaps the hardest year because no money was coming in, but all money was going out. June, 2001, I gambled and moved into 1000 square feet, in anticipation of growing the business. I was using my AMEX Airmiles to pay off the MBNA Platinum which was paying off the Capital One, which in turn was paying off the AMEX Corporate. I had negotiated payment terms with everyone I could, and basically put my last penny into this. On a wing and a prayer, July, 2001, we sent out 150 information kits to people that had requested information as far back as 1999. My comment to Suruchi, “I will be happy if we get one sale, then it is a success. If it doesn’t work, I guess I will have to get a job.”

Well, it worked. The first Distribution partners began to join in July, 2001. I was elated, excited, and actually totally stressed out because I had not really thought the program through beyond the recruitment. In July, I should have been working on the online training, but as I was not sure if it was going to work, decided to take a bit of a holiday. August 2nd to 10th, I worked on four hours of sleep per night, working from 11am to 7am the next day because I had to get the online training done. During the day, I did sales, marketing, answered phones, and did other admin work, then once 7pm hit, brewed up a pot of coffee, pretty much drank it all and wrote at a frenzied pace. Then at 7am the next day, forwarded my writing to the copy editor, who would then forward it on to the web designer. I needed to get the training done, so I could process the applications. Talk about motivation. I had over $10,000 worth of business to transact, but could not until the online training was complete.

Click Here to read DOUBLE DIGIT GROWTH (2002-2004)

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