Last week I flew to Las Vegas to attend the world's largest tea expo, an event that I've been wanting to go to for the past 4 years. I had envisioned the expo to have innovative products and was looking forward to coming back with lots of new ideas. I was excited to sample teas from all over the world and be surrounded by like-minded people. After all, that's what an expo is for.... right?
As I explored the expo, sampling several (amazing!) teas, this wave of regret hit me. I wanted to go to gain clarity about what my next step was - not change what I was doing. I had high expectations, that I'd walk away with a whole new vision about the future of my business. But, I already had a solid foundation, built on quality, with great relationships with the farms in Japan... why was I even here, if I wasn't looking to change anything at all?
After the expo was over, I got back to the hotel and cried. I felt like the entire reason I went on this trip was a complete waste. I wouldn't have even ended up in Vegas if it wasn't for this expo, and, at that moment, I felt like nothing positive could've come from that situation.
Luckily, that feeling didn't last long (and I ended up having a wonderful time!). This experience taught me a lot about myself, and how expectations don't always mirror reality.
In the end, I did find the clarity I was seeking. I learned that matcha, for me, goes much deeper than just the business. Tea helped bring me the focus I needed - whether it was for 5 minutes, or 20. The moments that I spent preparing it, I couldn't think of anything else - I was swept up in the sight, smell, taste, and sound. I didn't know it then, but I opened 3 Leaf Tea in order to share that same feeling with others. I wanted to share something that made me feel good; all while connecting with others through their own personal mental health struggles.
Would I have been better suited as a vendor there? Definitely. Do I have regrets? Nope. If I had posted this photo without this caption would you think this expo was everything I ever dreamed of? Probably.
Just remember, photos don't tell the whole story 😉
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