Need Motivation? Try the Cup of Tea Challenge

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Cup of tea

Motivation: it isn’t always the easiest thing to find. In this post, Green Cloud’s founder Kamran Maqbool reveals how the humble cuppa helped him take his business from zero customers to one of the UK’s leading cloud hosting providers.

80 cups and counting

When I started the business, I said to my girlfriend at the time (now my wife) that I’d give myself 80 cups of tea – 1 box – to get the business off the ground.

The challenge wasn’t to make a success of the business by the time I’d finished the box. It was to push me to set a realistic target of something within that 80-cup timeframe. The reward for reaching a goal? More teabags and more time.

The 80 cups of tea gave me a timeframe to get the website set up, develop a small AdWords campaign, and a raw excel customer relationship management sheet.

I didn’t know what I was doing looking back (always still learning), but the most important thing was that I wasn’t standing still. I kept moving, kept doing thing, kept believing, and I continued to set goals and work, little by little, at reaching them.

Setting goals

Each time I had a goal and I had a reached the reward at the end of it (more cups of tea), I would look back on the previous 80 cups of tea and think about how far we’d come and what we’d achieved.

I looked at my goals like building blocks. As I hit one goal I’d look back and think, ‘right, we have a building block in place, let’s get another one and kept adding’. Another way I looked at it and kept myself motivated, was that each 80 cups of tea was me starting the business again – but with a better foundation.

For example, I used to look back and say, ‘right, we have nothing, let’s get some leads’. Then, after reaching that goal and moving on to the next 80 tea bags I would say to myself, ‘right now you’re starting a new business, but with the advantage of some good leads. Let’s get our first customer’. When I moved on to the next box of teabags, I’d look back and say, ‘right, now you’re starting a new business with the advantage of not only some leads, but now you have 1 customer,’ and I’d set a goal to get past that point.

Believe it. Achieve it

In my mind, there was always a fresh start and this way of thinking gave me the belief and confidence to go on. For me the 80 teabags represented a timescale to achieve a goal – and also a reward at the end. This was hugely motivational.

I used this tactic moving forward for each challenge and I still do. To this day, it’s known as ‘The Cup of Tea Challenge’ in the business.

Everything and anything can be achieved with a cup of tea.

Green Cloud Hosting

Kamran is the founder of Green Cloud Hosting, a Manchester-based provider of rapid, reliable and secure Tailored Hosted Desktop, Hosted Exchange and Online Backup solutions.

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