How saying "no" to Apple changed everything

How saying "no" to Apple changed everything

In summer of 2017 I sat in a hip and trendy hotel in downtown Vienna. I was excited and nervous. So were all the others in our group. All trying to make conversation. All trying to impress a group of people wearing t-shirts with Apple logos on them.

Apple was about to open the first retail store in Austria. And they were looking for staff. Me, a university drop-out, who was struggling to make ends meet with a few WordPress web design gigs, thought that this could be it. A stable job, doing something I love. Helping people with their tech. Working at Apple.

And then, one day, I got a call – the interview went smoothly. They liked me. They actually wanted to hire me to work at the first Apple Store in Austria.

And I said "No".

Why? The short version: love. The long version: my back-then-girlfriend-now-wife had to do an internship in German to finish her studies, yet opportunities in Austria were scarce. So, we moved to Berlin.

And it was probably one of the best decision I ever made.

We turned a relationship into a life together. We adopted two wonderful cats. We made friendships for life.

I worked at two different start-ups. I started five side-businesses. I got to know other entrepreneurs all over the world. I created Magic Pages.

All because I declined to work at Apple and moved to Berlin.

It only dawned on me yesterday how different my life would be, if I said "yes" back then. My wife and I decided to leave Berlin after 6 years and move back to Austria. Not to Vienna, but a small town in the picturesque Salzkammergut.

This weekend, we are visiting Vienna – and I walked past the Apple Store I never worked at.

The shopfront of Vienna's Apple Store, an old light building with dark window and door frames, an Apple logo hanging on the side of the entrance door
The shopfront of Vienna's Apple Store

If I said "yes" back then, we wouldn't have moved to Berlin. I am not even sure if our relationship had turned out the way it is now. We wouldn't have adopted our two beautiful cats. And we wouldn't live in an amazing flat in the city centre of a picturesque spa town.

We would probably have figured out a way for my wife to stay in Vienna. We would probably live in a small stuffy Viennese flat. But with a job that pays significantly less than what I make now. And with less life experiences. But at least, I would work at Apple, right?

The moral of this story is not to decline to work at Apple. But now and then, look back at the past couple of years. What decisions did you make that influenced where you are now? Would you make them again? Would you change anything?

I know that I wouldn't change a thing.