Those who spend time selecting the ideal cup for their tea and coffee are onto something. Here’s how this practice will help you in business…
Every morning I walk downstairs, open the draw and pull out my favourite coffee mug.
I fill it with instant coffee and a splash of oat milk.
And I sit on the light pink sofa in my sitting room, drinking my coffee.
This is probably the best part of my day.
I talk to my husband, or read, while the caffeine courses through my body.
It’s a calm time, but also creative.
It’s when the ideas start to land.
I then make (and drink) two more instant coffees, in quick succession.
In the same mug,
Before going for a run, stretching, showering and getting the kids ready.
Later in the day, I’ll have a cup of tea.
I don’t have a favourite tea cup, so I’ll look at all the mugs before deciding which one I’d like to drink from.
While performing this ritual earlier on, I reflected on Chinese tea culture (中國茶文化 zhōngguó chá wénhuà).
In China, tea-drinking is ceremonial.
It may be part of a weeding ceremony, or used as a sign of generational respect (younger people make tea for older relatives).
The ceremony can become quite complex – for instance, with finger-tapping to informally thank the tea master for providing the tea.
But essentially, tea-drinking isn’t about dunking in a tea bag, sloshing in milk, downing it and moving on.
Instead, it’s slow and considered.
The cup matters, and how it’s poured.
The spoon doesn’t touch the edges when stirring.
Tea-making and consuming becomes a mindful activity.
So, what can this teach you in business?
Well, three things.
1. Using your intuition
When selecting your coffee of tea mug each day, whether it’s the same on or a different one depending on how you feel, you’re following your intuition.
Listening to your body, and respecting its desires.
In business, your gut instinct will be powerful when it comes to decision-making. That potential client that makes you stiffen when an email from then pops up? Not your ideal client.
The hunch you have about trying a new marketing strategy? Good one to follow. Your instinct is based on past experience and inner knowing.
It’s not rash; it’s very much considered – even when the idea has just landed. It has come from knowledge stored in your subconscious mind.
So these instincts you have can guide you to working more intuitively.
2. An insight into your customers’ minds
In the same way that you have preferences that may change depending on the hot drink you’re about to have, or how you’re feeling that day – so will your customers.
Our moods change, and our needs.
This might be based on external factors (world issues, family situation) or internal (mental health, hormones).
Bringing this into your product, service or marketing copy will help your customers to feel more seen and heard.
It’s about acknowledging that we all have different needs on different days (or months, seasons, years).
3. Respecting your work day and balance
Allowing yourself to slow down, select the mug, decide what you’d like to put in it and enjoy drinking it is a sign of self-respect.
You’re gifting yourself a calm, mindful moment, or period.
Rather than jumping out of bed and checking emails, you’re allowing yourself to ease into the day.
Or perhaps you drink a hot drink in the afternoon, when energy levels are low and you need a change of scene.
Either way, it’s important to keep a balance between work, rest, time a the desk and time away.
And to nourish our bodies, however they need.
Tell me about your favourite cup/mug?