Blog: Phuong & Viet Le

Grab a cup and sip a while! Let's talk stra-tea-gy with Phuong and Viet Le, the young co-founders of Ono Tea, as they build their creative new business around an ancient drink.

Phuong Le - Post 2: Finding Your Passion in These Tough Times

"What is your passion? What motivates you?"  Many of us wander through life not really knowing what we were meant to do. Without a definite purpose, many of us will fall victim to false beliefs and blindly emulate models for living life.

I, however, was fortunate to find my passion at a very young age. I discovered my passion for creating and helping people as a little girl. I’ve always loved helping Mom create amazing culinary dishes, and she repaid the favor by teaching me the health benefits of the different ingredients. Mom taught me how to poach shrimp with green tea, infuse crystallized ginger into desserts, and even steam fish with black tea. I used those and several other childhood memories as inspiration for my culinary recipes and healthy living articles.

I coupled my childhood experiences and dreams and evolved them into my career.  I’m very blessed to have a job that inspires others to live a healthier life. Yes, I love my job.

My passion is living a life of purpose, being constantly challenged, growing as a person, and inspiring greatness in others. I’ve lived the life that many would define as "paradise." However, being a driven entrepreneur, living in Hawaii with the palm trees, sun, sand, and surf was not fulfilling.

I decided it was time for my next chapter, so I moved back to Michigan in 2007 and started ONO Tea with my brother, Viet Le. Even though business creates many stressful days, I’m always enthusiastic and thankful for the steady flow of new and exciting developments. Passion trumps obstacles and gives you clarity when faced with adversity. When you do what you love, you’ll have the greatest opportunity to prosper when times are tough.   

So how do you find out what you are passionate about?  Here are a few questions you need to answer:

  • Be blatantly honest with yourself. If you had all the money you needed and all the possessions you’ve desired, what would you do with your life?
  • Where would you direct all your love, energy and creativity?
  • Pursuing passion involves taking risks, since it often means letting go of fears and situations you find comfortable.  Are you ready for that?
  • Do you have a talent that the world needs? Don’t underestimate yourself. Talent doesn’t have to mean you make fabulous desserts. Teaching is a talent. Delegating is a talent. Taking care of someone is a talent.

Step out of your comfort zone, follow your heart’s desire, and be smart with your steps. Find what you are passionate about, work out a plan, take action, and pursue your dreams relentlessly. Don’t hold back because you fear what people will say. It is your dream, your passion, your life.