The republic of tea doesn't advertise. But it has found a clever way to get the word out about its products. In 2001, chairman Ron Rubin and COO Stuart Avery Gold wrote "Success @ Life: How to Catch and Live Your Dream," a blend of business advice and spiritual teachings. It was no best seller, but it did well enough to spur a series—the latest of which, "Tiger Heart, Tiger Mind: How to Empower Your Dream," comes out this month. The books are guides for "zentrepreneurs" (the duo's term for 21st-century entrepreneurs who have both a business and a life). But the books also serve to enhance the tea brand, which they say is part of a balanced lifestyle. "They're amazing marketing tools," says Brian Keating, founder of Sage Group International, a Seattle market-research group.
It is hard to have a business and a life. Part of the problem stems from that fact that to start a business and be successful, you have to be passionate about what you do, which means you will gladly spend more than 8 hours a day doing it. I always make a point to exercise, and to spend time with Mrs. Businesspundit, but outside of that work is at the top of my list. I don't consider myself a work-a-holic because it rarely seems like work. It is fun. I get to make decisions about complex situations, which is what I love to do. But I do hope that someday when I have children I will be able to strike a better balance. Maybe by then I will have become more of a zentrepreneur.