The Coffee Pot Of Destiny

Storytelling is huge, not only in aesthetics but business in general. By showcasing great storytelling amongst your target audience, you are able to really connect, start conversations, build relationships and convert those relationships into sales.

Recently, Facebook’s memories feature played an absolute blinder regarding a story of my own, The Coffee Pot Of Destiny.

The Coffee Pot Of Destiny

10 years ago, back in 2010, a certain stovetop coffee pot changed my life.

At the time, I was working as the Key Account Manager for a leading aesthetics company and despite the economic downturn, we had enjoyed a great year in sales but it was tough and I had been without a bonus or pay rise for quite some time.

As a growing family, with two children and our third on the way, we started to struggle a little financially. Although I had a great job and was genuinely good at it, I had become a tad disillusioned, feeling trapped, underappreciated, undervalued and used.

Being unhappy as I was, I began looking into options elsewhere. However, having applied for a number of different jobs and attending a few interviews with other companies, as I was working for a market leader at the time, I felt that anywhere and everywhere else would be a step-down.

Not wanting to take a step backwards, as it would have been, I got my head down and pushed on where I was, working harder to bring in bigger deals and hit “the number”, our target.  

I had nearly doubled the value of my own accounts and it was looking good… then the number changed.

Midway through the year, the sales target went up and I missed it. No bonus. What I did receive from my employer, however, was my loyalty present for five years’ service – this coffee pot and with it, a certificate that had my name spelt wrong on it:

I took this photo during what was undoubtedly a pivotal moment for me and I remember exactly what went through my head at the time:

“All that work, all that stress, time and energy for a fucking coffee pot.”

The emotion that I felt was exactly the same as I did when I made the decision to leave the Navy.

Back then, I had worked through the night to get a system working, overslept and received a very public bollocking during which, whilst being told how useless I was, I decided to leave.

At both of these times in my life, I arrived at the same point, telling myself:

“I’m worth more than this.”

The gifted coffee pot made a grand total of three cups of coffee before the handle broke as I picked it up, spilling coffee all over the counter.

So, I chucked the broken, cheap-ass coffee pot and the shitty, misspelt certificate and made a decision:

“Time to go. Time to start my own business. No more stupid, unachievable bonuses. No more bullshit.”

It took me a further eighteen months to get my shit together, but I did and in November 2011, I left. 

Never allow anyone to set your value

There is one massive lesson that this taught me, aside from the fact that I liked a stovetop coffee pot (I bought a £10 replacement from ASDA which I still use every day). It taught me to never allow anyone to set your value. Otherwise, you might give the best of yourself away and get nothing in return.

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