How I made money off a broken heart.

It’s Valentine’s day today and for the first time ever I am actually going to have a nice dinner with my partner, drink some good wine, and all of this hopefully in glittery-heart-decorated restaurant. How lucky, right?! If you’re single you’re probably thinking I am a bit of an asshole boasting of having Valentines plans. Fear not, I am here to tell a story of a twisted fortune.
 
It was 2014 and I was seeing one of those people who keep you around so they can feel there is always someone out there for them. You know the type – reply late to your messages, flaky and disrespectful, but you stick to them regardless. It almost seems like you like being their doormat. Well, that was me a few years back.
 
So if you are indeed single and feeling miserable, or in one of those toxic relationships (and you are telling yourself and everyone how little you care about the V-day) I am here to repeat what others have told you over and over again. Love yourself, truly. Do not put anyone else on the pedestal. Be your own number one and things WILL come your way.
 
Let’s get back to my story.

So it’s late 2014 and I’m seeing this flaky person. They’re a massive Eurovision fan and one day I ask them to get me a ticket to the next show once they’re out. They don’t. (never planned to go there with me, you get me?). What would you do in my position? Well, I bought the Eurovision tickets myself. At the time it really made sense to me: I’ll go there and just bump into them and get them back. Seriously!?
 
Things go all wrong in January 2015, and I am left with a broken heart, low self-esteem and on the edge of popping a few prescription drugs. ‘Love-hurts’ as you know it.

During one of my meltdowns my doctor begins to type in the happy pill prescription and then looks at me and hesitates. – Let’s give it a month. Here’s the number to the local support group – why don’t you give it a go and come back here in 30 days?
 
That was my turning point. 

I came back home, took my phone out and was just about to call the support group, but instead I rang my grandma (RIP my angel) and she said one sentence I’ll remember forever –
‘Hey, look, life’s a bit shit sometimes but I’ve lived on this planet long enough to learn one thing – Get up early and work hard and you’ll get whatever you want’ 

Grandparents always have a lot of this wisdom in them, don’t they?

If you made it this far, get ready because this is when the fortune changes.

One day in March my Eurovision tickets get delivered to my flat. Not thinking much I go on YouTube and type in 'Eurovision'. Here she is, Conchita Wurst smashes the show big time. Something hits me. I scroll through the show again quickly - so many flags, but all of them different sizes. I’m thinking: ‘where do the fans get them from? I do my research, join Eurovision fan club, make some friends, ask questions... apparently nobody sells flags at Eurovision!
I’m thinking: I’ll get some of eBay and sell them there, maybe it’ll pay for my stay. But I go one step further - I find a Chinese supplier, order 1000 flags and send them to my hotel in Vienna. Soon I’m standing on the square, flags in my hands and dozens of people around me. 5 Euro for 1, or 3 for €10. I paid like 15 cents per flag. Nice.

Hold tight, the best is yet to come.

On the flight back to London I come up with a branded flag design. In June my brand Let’s Flag gets launched at Pride in London. Few months later I get in touch with Eurovision, send samples. ‘We love them, we’d like to sell them next year in Stockholm!’
This is how I got a sales contract with the Eurovision Song Contest. And yes - I made some cash out of it!

And while in Stockholm, I thought that it all started with a broken heart, and the person who broke it is now waving my flag. It sort of made me smile inside.
Valentine’s Day 2018 and I’m living in a nice house with a fabulous, supportive partner, and am working on my new brand - Bunny.Style. Later I’ll go out, have some nice food and good wine. 
If you’re feeling broken, lonely and miserable this Valentine’s Day - don’t. Get up early, work hard, and things will come your way. Focus, love yourself, be your own number one, create your own future. Believe me, you don’t need any assholes in it, so don’t waste your time and start now!
Matt

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