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Michael Johnson (Tea with Mike, Founder)

What inspired you to start Tea with Mike?

Several reasons inspired me to start Teawithmike. Each of the reasons mixed to form the idea of Teawithmike. I’ve listed the reasons below:

• Need an idea for a College Communication class and didn’t want to write another essay. Was suggested that you could something in an interview style based format.

• Whilst studying for a Media and Communications Diploma in our Social Media we had a local Entrepreneur come in and speak on the topic of Social Media. I asked him if he was inspired by anyone in the Digital space.

He said Gary Vaynerchuk and the rest is history!

• Always worked in people facing jobs and loved interacting with people of all backgrounds.

• Growing up I’ve always been passionate for Theatre. I’ve been an amateur Actor, taken part in annual school productions, Youth Theatre and worked briefly in the professional Theatre & Events on the Technical side. When I was in England me and my family would always go see shows including the annual Pantomime at our local Georgian Theatre. There is nothing in the world that beats the feeling of seeing a performance live.

• I recognized that we live in a Media and Technology heavy world and that the vast majority of people have lost the ability to communicate face to face or even online without being distracted by the device.

I’ve always loved storytelling through performance so wanted to draw attention to something that goes back to our ancestors.

*(Pantomime is a type of musical comedy stage production designed for family entertainment. It was developed in England and is performed throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland and in other English-speaking countries, especially during the Christmas and New Year season)*

To what do you attribute your success in founding Tea with Mike?

I would attribute my success to hard work, consistency, and the Community support that I’ve built around the show. I have to credit the Guests who appear on the show as, without people willing to step forward to tell their story, Teawithmike would not exist.

Entrepreneurship can be a tough road. In the difficult moments, how do you stay focused on moving forward and making progress?

Great question! In the difficult moments, I remember how far I’ve come in just over two years. When things get tough, I go back to my notebook and brainstorm new ideas to help scale the show.

When lacking inspiration, I turn to people in my network to help generate new ideas. I’m a firm believer in Collaboration.

What problem are you trying to solve? How did you decide to tackle this particular issue?

I’m not trying to solve a problem rather want to increase people’s awareness of the importance of Storytelling, Conversation, and Community and the role each can play in the World.

I decided to tackle this as in my opinion Technology and Media have become so powerful that we’ve forgotten how to hold Conversation without being distracted by a Digital device.

I believe that finding a balance in how we use Media, Technology, Communication and Conversation is the best way forward.

What's the road ahead look like for your company?

At this point in time I’m just looking to keep growing the show to reach and impact as many people as possible around the World. My vision is to use the show to create Professional and Collaboration opportunities with other’s.

Speaking with others every single week is great for my Mental Health especially as we are living in a Pandemic.

Who do you look too for advice or mentorship?

Know who you are and share your uniqueness with the World.

However, you can learn from people who are doing great things in the World. I'm always learning from people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Mark Cuban, watching Shark Tank, and Companies in my local area. I also seek advice from my Network who; share similar values and goals as me.

What are some of the mistakes you wished you could’ve avoided?

All mistakes are made for a reason as you learn more about whatever you're trying to achieve. Making a mistake or receiving some feedback from an audience member allows you to make improvements.

The most rewarding thing in the World is evolving from the mistakes; so people can see that you want to get better at your craft.

Repeating this process over and over again builds credibility and respect amongst your Community for your Work.

What do you want your legacy to be?

At this point, I have no idea. Through my life experiences, perspective gained and, self- reflection exercises I, know what makes me unique.

I can connect with people and ask questions that unlock someone's story.

I want to keep sharing my gift with the World, and if I continue to do this, the rest will happen around me organically.

Did You Experience Failures? If So, What Did You Learn From Them?

Everyone, experiences failures so I’ve definitely experienced failures. Recently, I’ve learned that it’s not about the mistakes you make but rather; asking yourself and answering the question How can I avoid making the same mistake twice.

I would encourage you to build a support network around you of Family, Friends, or Professionals you can trust to help manage situations that come up in your life.

Nobody is perfect so, do not be afraid to reach out for help.


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