Natalie interviews personal development gurus and inspiring people from all over the globe on her super popular online show!
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Natalie: Hi I'm Natalie Ledwell and this is the inspiration show and my special passion peep for today is Zhena Mukyka. Now, in 2007 Zhena was faced with the most difficult challenge with her life, her son Siege was born with a birth defect. Now she's sharing it against me and she got no health insurance to cover Siege's mounting medical costs so she was determined to earn the income necessary to support the natal of his son and to finance the several surgeries to ensure Siege's survival now with her degree in aromatherapy and her love of tea passes a small collection of money from her friends and family, Zhena embraces her Ukraine ancestry and begun peddling her tea on a cup on the California street corners now believing on her sense of tea would alter her faith and become a tropia of hope of fan of gypsy tea. Now, Siege is now a healthy little boy and Zhena has built her gypsy tea company to be consciously aware some of the work that she's doing, the tea work to see, we can actually hear in this interview which is amazing and she has delighting consumers all around the globe. So, I won't hold you up anymore. Enjoy the video. So, hi Zhena welcome to the show.
Zhena: thank you so much for having me.
Natalie: you have a very interesting story and you are someone who lives your life in passion which makes you an excellent person in the passion peep section of the show. Can you share with people your background or your story and the amazing life that you are living right now?
Zhena: yes. It wasn't always amazing my family's a gypsy from the Ukraine and they had endure quite a bit world war II and I was working on a book about then when I was on my early twenties when I had my son Siege and I was living up the grid with a very tight budget going and buying food and solar panels and very humble and when Siege was born he really needed a very major surgery on his kidneys and I didn't have health insurance, so I had a hobby of making herbal medicine and teas and so I started doing that to make money to pay out his surgery which is a 11 year old and totally help people out. Yeah. But I have gotten into my core I was broke, I was a single mom and didn't have resources and so on top of the mountains and said okay guys, show me and I'll do whatever and I tend and have to support that precious, oh he's just a precious kid and so the word gypsy tea answered me and you know not like the sky did apart and all of that but I was like oh I know how make tea and it's my hobby and maybe I should make that my job. So, I started in a little tea cart and Siege in a baby carrier and I wield in a friends store and started selling tea, drinks office tea cart and making little teas and corsage bags and write little gypsy fortunes and dramas and you know crazy clips and putting them on in there and started selling them and after about 10 years of hard work it's taken off. Tend the overnight success.
Natalie: So, now you have this business, what kind of business you have now?
Zhena: okay. We fund health care for tea workers and it takes about a 2000 plucks for a tea worker and it's a 1kilogram of tea.
Natalie: 2000 plucks.
Zhena: 2000 plucks like this of tea. She has to produce 8 kilograms a day and that, about 16000thousand of this to make a dollar of 35 and she had no guaranteed health care and no guaranteed health care, no maternity leave, no retirement, no guaranteed housing and no guaranteed cleaning systems and so I decided to dedicate my life once I found the invert mortality gardens were just extremely high and 70% in some cases. I thought this is really unfair and people don't realize what's happening people they drink tea but they don't stand that as a commodity you know it is on the global market and it's influx and pricing and it's in auction systems in this farmers can't provide anything extra because they never know what they're gonna get for their cap so I decided to create my business to fund the direct model where I work directly with my growers, I give them not only a strong base price like for instance as some competitors might pay 10 or 15 cents of pound we pay 4 dollars a pound. So, that's just the difference of you know wrapping your mind around and then we also give an extra dollar for every kilogram that goes directly to the tea workers and they get to use that for health care and health care and they also guaranteed that in my gardens.
Natalie: So, where, what country we're talking about?
Zhena: primarily Sri Lanka also India, China we work with a couple of operatives in China which is very exciting because Chinese workers need fair trade and Africa, South Africa primarily.
Natalie: So, you know how many families you're helping?
Zhena: well the garden in Sri Lanka we have funded schools and computer lab, learning centers and housing and that house is 500 families and it's 25hundred living in that garden and so not but ourselves, I mean the garden manager is the cap be the time in the tea world but basically through the profit of the sales for our tea we funded to have retirement program solar on their housing and school guaranteed and have pre schools alone in the garden and then it's just an amazing process you know that you're making an impact and only that consumers are only a couple of cap but they're literally changing the world like all it takes is choosing that cup of tea and something that's not the cup of tea and all the sudden you're making a mass of difference in the world.
Natalie: So, you basically here saying that you're not making much profit as much on tea suppliers?
Zhena: no, I welcome it, some day I would love to be but I would give that back because we feel that we're making a profit because we are entrepreneur in bottom line business because of people planet and profits and the profit sometimes are so focus on inner vention and property that you just have to do that because it's not sustainable to have people starving and dying in disease and expose to chemicals and the children not getting educated but it's not sustainable so what I see is I see the profit is a hundred year business plan.
Natalie: yes. It's not sustainable; it's only acceptable I know.
Zhena: it's not acceptable and once you see the truth there is no going back and I spend a lot of time in the tea field a lot of time talking with the workers insuring them that it's really affecting them in a positive way and you know we can't impose our American standards early on the rest of the world we have to see the world for what it is apparently and if you're a very spiritually minded people and really the focus to get them out of poverty is simply is that the other base needs our mess so they can focus on the other things like building infrastructure and loving and spending more time praying or whatever that is you know if you're worried about your next meals where did you come from how can you transform you know and be joyful I can't just imagine taking advantage of the work to the point where they are worried about food or shelter, the basics not proper business.
Natalie: okay. My next question, question number 2 if you find fine threads or maybe a specific event or something that changes the course from where you were then being a single mom, to where you are now. So, what was that event or fine thread for you?
Zhena: well I think it was my first trip to india, I went by myself and I save up the money and siege was just two with my mom and I went over and experience for myself this culture and this meditation practice and I learn to meditate and if I could pin point any one thing in my life that made my more successful it was really going to india, learning to meditate, meeting the workers, being on the ground with them and actually seeing that I could make a difference so that's where I kinda got addicted to making it different and I was like oh my gosh this was many to do this and it's only and I was like ah and then I became a workaholic freak and work around the clock for 8 years and with that birth of my 2nd child Mia whose now 20 months I decided that it was time to delegate some help and I really think it's meditation and also seeing that the mission and feeling that the mission and how motivating the mission is it makes everything worthwhile so I just can't stop.
Natalie: you know, I find the same thing I can relate to that the mind movies journey as well it's the first business where we focus so much on how much we could change and how much we could help and how much, how we can help other people and when we focus more on that then all of the sudden we look around and go wow I have a successful business you know, how did that happen?
Zhena: like I was saying yesterday I never sold a single tin of tea in my life I honestly I always think like how can I delight this person how can I make her feel rested when she's overworked you know when I think of my customer in this very intimate sort of way and this oh she's tired and she's grabbing it and storm in the car we gotta get to work fast you know you start thinking about this what can I give to her and that, it's not about me it's about them and then you're more motivated if you're making about you, you'll be you know, sitting in self piety you know wrapped up in your own drama?
Natalie: look like in the bottom line of it and when you focus so much on that it doesn't worked.
Zhena: and you can hire people to do that sort of thing because it's pretty easy from the bottom line which is harder and still a vision of people.
Natalie: Exactly. And that also the next question in my experience I know that success doesn't just happen. Does require a little bit of work and I know that most successful people that I know they have a daily routine or certain habits that they corporate to help them on track. What are some of those habits that you have?
Zhena: definitely meditation, definitely, definitely, definitely having the space to sit down and to breath and to make spaciousness. I used to be wrapped up of the spell of there's not enough time, I count both worked very hard, fulfill my mission and spend time with my children I use to think that, there wasn't enough time and really meditation teaches you to that time is a malleable that you can really expand time if you simply have the mindfulness to do so. So, sitting down in silence and doing my morning meditation has been the way I have learned to be more on success because it teaches you that there is time and I started at with a timer digital timer house.
Natalie: you know when I started meditating my mistake was I'm using the time in my phone now if it would ring like whoa and if actually we have pre-recorded the show previously which you actually go back in the archives and have a look at and have meditation as well.
Zhena: oh great. Back with a couple of tea. Meditating with a cup of tea in the morning and I keep a journal that help to so.
Natalie: awesome. Now, you are a fantastic person to be able to answer this question because I got a lot of emails of people saying how do I keep going when everything around me seems to be against me, whole life is negative right now, how can I keep positive and how can I move forward?
Zhena: yeah. It really is your perception because it's still come up sometimes and I feel like if you have a daily meditation practice, even if things feel like they're imploding around you, it's almost like you decide and say here's my line in the sand and beyond this line I have the space to breath and to give myself this time in order to be my best self and that is through you know whether it's meditation or run or walking the dog or cuddling your babies, whatever that is just do it now and the other thing is fake it, smile I mean I definitely every time stay and cuts some traffic and some cuts me off and whatever my first reaction is be like ahhhhhhh you know like anyone else and I just I really shouted off and smile and then I do a breathing exercise where I inhale for 12 no wait I inhale for 4 and I exhale for 12 and then it's like an exercise and it really helps to stop time and to let me say you know what things that are including for a reason anytime you see change happening you know it's the gateway to progress you know you can you know look at it with perspective and say okay everything is falling apart and guess what nothing that's real that can never regret and so maybe it's not meant to be anymore and so you just have to be with it and accept it and keep moving.
Natalie: I know my friend Bob Proctor has this awesome saying he said situations don't have a meaning except for the one that you giving.
Zhena: yah. Exactly. Mind is a meaning machine. So yah, basically I mean inspiring Katie say is it true you know that question is it true I definitely would be like you know you start to think like oh competitors done this to me whatever it is does it madder it really does it the only thing that matters is that your continuing to follow that path because the only that separates a successful entrepreneur from an unsuccessful one the successful one just kept going I've fallen down 40 million times I mean I made mistakes every day still constant, I'm you just have to keep going don't be stubborn.
Natalie: exactly. Now I have one more question for you. Might be hard to narrow it down to just one thing but if you could give at least one piece of advice to people watching this video today of something they could implement in there life now that would facilitate a positive change what would that one thing be?
Zhena: it would be to get a digital timer set it for seven minutes sit cross legged in a quiet place and close your eyes inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth have a soft gaze or have your eyes close and just learn to sit in silent for 7minutes and all the answers will come.
Natalie: Excellent. Thank you so much for being with me today, Zhena.
Zhena: thank you Natalie, it's my pleasure.
Natalie: gypsy tea' Where can people find gypsy tea?
Zhena: you can find it at trace whole foods, ralph's market and many grocery markets at and as well as on GypsyTea.com G-Y-P-S-Y-T-E-A.COM
Natalie: and if you wanna know more you just click on the banner on the side there, you can go through Zhena's website find about more the story of the tea and Zhena. So guys, thank you so much for joining me today. Remember there'll be another video coming out in a few days, but in the mean time remember to live large, choose courageously and love without limits. We'll see you soon.