Your only competition is who you were yesterday: a Q+A w/ Nicole Tirado

Sinclair: I see that tech intersects with tea more and more lately. What is tea tech and how did you come to be involved with it?

Nicole: I was a Tech Evangelist traveling the UK and EU educating businesses about the Hybrid Cloud. Before each talk, I would sip my tea. Only this ritual became increasingly frustrating and annoying as I had nowhere to place my infuser after I finished infusing, leaving me with bitter tasting tea. It only worsened when I became pregnant and couldn’t have my tea with me when I needed it most. I was fed up and lost focus without my tea in the morning on days when I was in a rush and didn’t have time to make it. Tea + Tech is the answer to the busy person’s problem of never having enough time to tend to their personal and professional goals. It’s the product and practice behind starting each morning with a clear mind and unshakeable focus for a productive day.

Sinclair: On your website you share: “As a single mother and insane health fanatic, being agile is how I balance my business, have fun, and spend QT [quality time] with friends and family.” What was life like when you didn’t prioritize your health?

Nicole: I was all over the place. I was overly optimistic about what I could accomplish on a given day, and then fatigue or self deprecating thoughts would take over my mental and paralyze me. It was as if I was in a mental coma. Dead to the world after a certain time every day. I was down on myself. I was completely unproductive and in a state of self loathing. It was just bad.

 

“Knowing that I get to help bring this creation to fruition fuels me every damn day.” – Nicole Tirado

Sinclair: What advice do you have for other founders and CEOs who struggle to spend quality time with friends and family?

Nicole: Invite them into your world. Then, be honest with yourself. Specifically, about the people in your life that edify your spirit and the ones that drain you. Choose those that edify you ONLY and make quality time with them a non-negotiable. Invite them into your world if you don’t share common interests already. I frequent Farmer’s Markets, so I normally invite friends and family to join me. I also invite my friends and family to work out with me, which is always a riot and loads of fun.

Sinclair: Speaking of quality time, my Love Languages are definitely personal touch and words of affirmation. What are your top two?

Nicole: Quality Time and Physical Touch by far.

Sinclair: I skimmed over this fact, but now it’s hit me: you’ve been to a lot of places in the world. How did you manage to travel so much?

NIcole: First thing I did when I finished my undergrad, was invest. I started investing in the S&P 500 and eventually real estate because I knew I wanted to travel the world and maintain my financial freedom. Then I stopped waiting for people. JetBlue launched an all you can fly sale in September 2010, unlimited flights for the entire month for $500. I asked friends and family to travel with me – and based on schedules and funds most were unable to – and that was when I traveled alone for the first time. It was to San Francisco from Austin to see George Lopez live in SoMA. I was petrified at first, but then it became wildly addicting – the time alone. Catering to my needs in a new city, with new people and cultures. I traveled to Copenhagen to see The Little Mermaid, Dubai to see the tallest building in the world, ride a camel and ski all in the same day and then Hong Kong. It all gave me insight into who I am, what my heart truly values and what inspires and drives me most.

Sinclair: Thinking long-term, what impact do you hope TeaRado will have on the world?

Nicole: My hope is that TeaRado will invigorate the world to live healthier and more productive with loose leaf tea on the go and actionable productivity practices. My hope is that people are motivated, inspired and educated with the AI built into our Smart Tea Cup. My hope is that businesses are more efficient because of our Wellness in the Workplace framework – Pushing the Pace of Productivity.

 

“If we are going to live more productive, we have to really commit to our strategy for automating menial tasks and starving distractions.” – Nicole Tirado

 

Sinclair: What’s the best part about going to work each day?

Nicole: I get to work on the one thing that’s going to catalyze people’s commitment to healthier and more productive living. Knowing that I get to help bring this creation to fruition fuels me every damn day.

Sinclair: What was one challenge you encountered when launching TeaRado?

Nicole: Staying focused. Discerning between the myriad of things I wanted to do versus the things I had time to do was tough. I had to set boundaries with myself and be strict about sticking to them so that I could feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

Sinclair: What is something we often get wrong when talking about productivity?

Nicole: We pile our plate with projects, fill our to do list with tasks and then feel some sort of satisfaction because we think looking and feeling busy is conducive to a productive day. And it’s just not. Busy ≠ productive. I remember the first time I was reprimanded and laughed at professionally for being overly busy and unproductive. I’d just moved to London to pursue my career as a Cloud Specialist. And, for whatever reason, didn’t send an email I meant to send during the day so I finally ended up sending it about 19:00 or 7pm in the evening whilst walking to the tube on the way home from work. No one responded, which I thought was slightly strange. It wasn’t until I walked into the office the next morning, that I realized sending email after a certain time was a big NO NO.

I was greeted by comments like, you know it’s okay to stop working, and this isn’t America. That really woke me up to this American reality – the majority of us are inefficient. I took 12 holidays {vacations} just because my company offered me the paid time off whilst living in London. I saw a sale on Virgin, so I jumped on a red eye to Dubai for the weekend. I saw another sale on British airways so I jumped on a flight after work to Denmark. I realized busy was a choice and productivity was the sum of the habits I kept. So chit chatting at the water cooler, small talk to open a meeting, and making breakfast at work became non-existent.

If we are going to live more productive, we have to really commit to our strategy for automating menial tasks and starving distractions.

Sinclair: I was supposed to try and review your amazing tea by now, but haven’t yet. Anywho, what did you send me and why is it the best tea on the market for busy people?

Nicole: It’s more flavorful than Matcha and will energize you for longer than coffee. Our organically sourced toasted Brazilian Chocolate Mate contains caffeine, antioxidants, potassium and magnesium. It’s the easiest {and healthiest} way to drink your vitamins and energy simultaneously. South American tribes would drink Mate to rejuvenate themselves in the wild for centuries. Similarly, busy people are in the wild, hustling to get goals accomplished everyday. We believe in bio-individuality, so you go ahead and give it a try. Let us know how it makes you feel.

 

Sinclair: Who do you go to when you’re needing support and guidance?

Nicole: God first. Then my accountability 2 partners. They give me actionable, authentic advice. The last thing I need in my life is a Yes person. They see me in ways I wish I could see myself, both for the good and not so good.

Sinclair: When was the last time you practiced self-care? What did you do?

Nicole: This morning during my morning routine. I went for a jog, meditated and listened to The Wellness Mama podcast. Yesterday, I went for my monthly deep tissue massage. I am insanely committed to practicing self – care. I remember what life was like when I didn’t love on myself and I will never neglect myself again. My baby, Phoenix, and my purpose here on earth deserve me at my best.

Sinclair: What’s something that’s been bringing you joy lately?

Nicole: Making cilantro hummus with my baby, Phoenix. She inhales the aroma of the CIlantro so much so that I think her nose is going to swallow the leaves. She submerges her hand into hummus once it’s done and then looks at it as if, this is too much – help me get it all off. Also,. the sound of the food processor used to scare her and now it doesn’t, she sits on the counter with me in amazement as the processor chops and mixes the chickpeas, cilantro and garlic together. Moments like these fill my cup.

Sinclair: What’s something that’s been pissing you off lately?

Nicole: Lack of accountability. I loathe people, businesses, and software that don’t hold themselves accountable. The one book that actually got through to my 20 year old self when I was young, dumb and invincible was QBQ – The Question Behind the Question. It taught me to think of my actions and always ask myself how I couldn’t changed the outcome of a situation versus playing the blame game. The blame game is debilitating to productivity, progress, and just growth in the real world.

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“Moments like these fill my cup.” – Nicole Tirado

Sinclair: When was a time that self-doubt was at its worst for you while on your career and life journey?

Nicole: During my pregnancy. I was off of a 5 year high as a Tech Evangelist, having worked with major Fortune 500 companies and high growth startups in the states and UK, I was now this pregnant, unemployed disgruntled thirty something-year-old. I felt like a stereotype and doubted my every word, aspiration, and capability.

I would go to Meetups, interviews and networking events to connect, share and grow with people only to feel depleted after I left because I lacked the confidence to speak the way I wanted and share the concepts I learned. I remember at one event I just walked off during the speaker’s presentation because the thought of small talk afterwards with complete strangers was frustrating and frightening.

I was scared to speak, but I didn’t feel confident in myself. I lost my sense of self-worth, I lacked the self-esteem and I was just in an extremely dark place. The thing about me is that, I can’t deliver on my promises or accomplish my goals to move the needle if I don’t have peace. I need peace in my soul to get stuff done. I don’t mean I need peace and quiet in my house or in the office, I just need peace in my soul. That’s when my creativity starts flowing and I’m able to make sound decisions for the business.

Sinclair: What are your unshakable values and when did you become clear on them?

Nicole: You have no rivals. Your only competition is who you were yesterday.

Sinclair: Who are a few amazing people that we should follow and why?

Nicole:

  • Joyce Meyer is unapologetically raw – she fills my spiritual economy most mornings.
  • Tim Ferris shares practical and applicable advice for maximizing your time and quality of life.

Sinclair: What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone struggling with self-doubt and feeling like giving up on their dreams?

Nicole: You’re stronger than what you think and you don’t need validation from anyone. Forge forward for the talent you have is needed in this world.

Sinclair: Imagine that all your life’s work disappeared and you only had 1 minute to tell the world what you truly believe to be true. What would you say?

Nicole: I believe Joy is free to all those that are willing to pay with humility and peace.

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Nicole Tirado believes busy ≠ productive. She is a Bronx bred Naturopath and SCRUM Master leading Tearado Tech to solve the busyness problem by democratizing loose leaf tea with the first Smart Tea Cup. She is at the helm of sourcing and and crafting sustainable tea ware for busy people that desire to live healthier and more productive.. When Nicole is not working, she’s cycling, gardening and conocoting new plant based recipes for her toddler, Phoenix.

Learn more about Nicole and connect: Instagram | Twitter | Website

Featured awesomeness: Nicole says, “ You can and you will – so rise up. When your morning drink contains caffeine, antioxidants, potassium and magnesium and you’re ready to make it a productive day. Yup, it’s our organically sourced toasted Brazilian Chocolate Mate. It’s more flavorful than Mate and will energize you for longer than coffee. Take it with you in our vegan, eco-friendly burlap drawstring bags complete with a travel infuser and perfect tea spoon. You deserve natural energy to stay focused on your goals. Anytime. Anywhere. The Tea Travel Collection

 

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