A Letter from a Grateful Father to Apple Computer

This one is personal. I have a long habit of mixing business with family. If you have ever taken one of my seminars, you have either heard me speak of my daughters or have met one of them as I very often bring Kati, Emma or Madeline with me.

This blog is about self-confidence and the impact that the right job can have on an employee. The following is the text of an email that I wrote to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Computer.

Good morning, Tim.

My 21-year-old daughter, Kati, started working at your Braintree, MA, retail store just under three years ago. She arrived as a college dropout, both frustrated and frustrating. I remember her screaming at me, “I don’t want this job! The only reason I went to the interview was to appease you!”

That was then. This is now.

This past Friday, on the day of your newest iPad launch, Kati was offered the position of Creative Technician. Tim, the difference in my daughter now vs. my daughter then comes down to two things: self-confidence and Apple Computer.

Kati has long suffered from an image of herself that she lets others dictate. ADD and dyslexic, like her father, her learning style prevented her from gaining knowledge in a traditional school setting. She believed that she was a failure and that she was worthless.

And along came Apple Computer.

I remember being on a business trip in Chicago (I’m a sales trainer and a public speaker, with many Apple products to thank for my own success) when Kati called me on the first break of her first day of training. She said, “Dad, I love this company!”

Talk about drinking the Kool-Aid! I don’t know anyone, anywhere who loves her job more than my daughter. That initial feeling never subsided. Her managers were patient with her, praised her, and probably disciplined her as well (Though she’d never tell her father that!). She became a Family Room Specialist within the last year. You’d think she’d had been elected President of the United States. And now, her hard work and dedication has been rewarded with this new job and, along with it, a significant pay increase.

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
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  • Linda S

    You are a participant, a witness and -if you choose to – you can be a cheerleader in the life of another person. None of us lives in a bubble or on an island – our lives touch the lives of others every day. However, we must be intentional about being a cheerleader in the lives of others. None of us can walk the fence for very long, we either encourage those around us or we discourage them. Unfortunately the default setting is to discourage, we must be intentional (and sincere) about the encouragement. Thanks for sharing!

  • Andrea J

    Not only is Kati lucky to have found her place with Apple, she is fortunate to have a dad like you, whom she honored by keeping her interview appointment! Your Kati-Apple did not fall far from the "tree" (you!) that provided her with a strong foundation for success in life. Congratulations to you both. Apple is lucky to have Kati, who has a dad who cares.

  • Dee

    Brought tears…Thanks for sharing, just goes to show that a company which has as its mission to make the best products in the workd can do for its human counterparts. Imagine if every kid had the opportunity to feel useful, productive and successful…..

  • Bill Farquharson

    Thank you all for the kind words. Kati would probably kill me if she saw this article. I was waiting to see if Mr. Cook wrote me back before admitting to it. In the meantime, I just sit back and listen to her tell me the latest story of how she helped a customer. Fathering is the most important and rewarding job I could have and I love what what I do!

  • Dan Halmar

    This is extraordinary. I’m not an Apple guy, but I’m a dad of daughters, so this hits close to home. Thanks for the reminder of the ripple effect we all have.

  • margiedana

    Terrific story, Bill. Loved it! Who doesn’t love a proud dad story – and a happy child story, to boot!