I recently released the first edition of my e-newletter "Stay FRESH." Each edition I will find a person to interview who is truly living their dream. I will also share that interview on my blog. Today's interview...Ryan Florio, President and TeaEO of Inca Tea.
Ryan Florio is a former model and lifelong entrepreneur. I met Ryan when I signed model contract with an agency in Cleveland, Ohio. Part my contract stated that I had to attend modeling classes to improve my modeling skills and knowledge. My first instructor was Ryan. We hit it off pretty quickly. We worked several jobs together and have stayed in contact even when our modeling careers came to an end.
Ryan is now the owner and TeaEO of Inca Tea. While traveling to Peru with his friends Zach and Phil, their guide Edgar gave them the most amazing tea they had ever tasted. 10 days of hiking on a windy Peruvian mountain trail at 16,000 feet with 28 degree weather made the mixture of boiling water, purple corn and freshly cut apples more than welcomed. The energizing and refreshing tea aided them in the rest of their climb.
This magical tea concoction stayed with Ryan. When he returned to the U.S., he brought home the dream of Inca Tea . The tea is now sold across the United States with online orders from customers around the world.
I feel Ryan’s story is very inspiring. I wanted you to hear his story, so I contacted Ryan during a recent speaking trip to Cleveland, Ohio. Being the great guy that he is, Ryan made time to talk with me about his company and his dreams.
You're known as a serial entrepreneur, why did you choose to start a tea business?
“It’s true, I am a serial entrepreneur, but I wouldn't change my life for anything. I love being able to control my own destiny and starting this tea business felt like the right calling. I'm a true believer that if you never experience failures then you'll never experience and appreciate success! I knew from day one that no matter what I've done in the past that this business was different and was going to be a hit. Knowing that there isn't a product like it on the market really has helped elevate me to the next level in growth! Both on a personal level and a business level.”
Running a business requires a lot of focus, what do you do to stay focused and limit distractions?
“Knowing that there is an end goal in sight. Being an entrepreneur is very difficult and distractions come up on a daily basis. It's critical for me to know that having quit my job, cashing in my 401k and taking a second mortgage on my house and my parents house I need to not allow certain things to come between me and my goals.”
To live a dream you have to be resourceful. What is your dream for Inca Tea? What do you do to be resourceful and obtain the resources you need to turn your dreams for Inca Tea into reality?
“I'm truly living my dream now. It's amazing seeing my product on the shelves of nationally recognized grocery and retail stores like Whole Foods, Bed Bath and Beyond… Even though my one dream is a reality, I still would love to have a tea brand recognized by every tea drinker in this country! I've been a person who has always helped my friends in the past and I've never asked for anything in return, but NOW I'm asking for help. I think it's important to not be afraid to ask for help when you need it. It's amazing on how many free resources there are in this world, if you just ask for it.
Running a business has it's ups and downs. When you're having a tough day, what do you do to stay mentally strong and push through the difficult times?
“I look at the countless emails I receive from customers around the country all of which I've never met. Their words of encouragement and love for my product is what keeps me going no matter what.”
What is the best piece of honest advice that you can share with my readers concerning chasing your dreams?
“I’ve been told that I'm a dreamer and I'm wasting my time doing it.... but without having dreams you'll never be able to live your life to the fullest. If you don't have dreams in life then you'll never be able to achieve those dreams.”
How can my readers learn more about Inca Tea?
Please visit www.incatea.com
You've lived a very interesting life. A life where you've turned many of your dreams into a reality. Is there anything else you'd like to share with my readers to help them with their journeys?
“Never give up on something you believe in and realize that nothing great in life is ever easy. From relationships to work... if you want greatness then realize that you need to put in the hard work. Never give up and never be afraid to try something new and push yourself beyond your comfort zone! We live life on borrowed time, so make the best of it.”
.... After meeting with Ryan, we took the photograph you saw above and said, “goodbye” and wished each other the best in our endeavours. When I asked Ryan what he was up to the rest of the day, he told me he was on his way to speak workshop. He was invited to speak to entrepreneurs about starting a business and living their dreams.