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  • How a $40 investment changed Luke Cook’s life and the 5 things his new startup, Cuppa, taught him

How a $40 investment changed Luke Cook’s life and the 5 things his new startup, Cuppa, taught him

It’s not often I sit back and acknowledge how far I’ve come in the past 2.5 years.

I’ve grown as a person, met some incredible people and wake up every day with an ATTITUDE of what I do.

The story

Prior to the conversation and purchase of said $40 poster, I had spent the past 2.5 years developing an app and idea that I thought would be the next big thing.

I was 100% committed to this idea, working day and night on it, selling my apartment and using the assets to build the app (and stay alive while doing it) and faced a mental strain that nearly knocked me out. in a huge mental spiral.

Enter 2020 and COVID! The app I built ($200,000+ in personal capital) was based on experiences with hundreds of vendors closing their doors overnight and monetizing that customer.

I was left with nothing but a bruised ego, 1 month’s worth of money to pay rent and a lot of anger at myself for doing this to my young family.

I reached the lowest level I had ever been… crying most days!

A walk to my local coffee shop, a conversation with my business partner Jill (who tragically passed away earlier this year), and a quick purchase of a $40 poster would absolutely change my life.

The idea was to launch a virtual cafe, have conversations with experts and personalities and help people start their day with positivity and inspiration. The community needed it…but the real reason was that so did I.

So I went online and downloaded a licensed image from a cafe, logged into the Office Works website because I couldn’t leave the house, bought a wallpaper/poster (because I hated the virtual backgrounds and still do) and just got it delivered in time for my first broadcast with media personality Gus Worland who is also the founder of the incredible mental health charity Gotcha4life.

Since that day, and over the course of the past 2.5 years, that $40 background has paid off

  • Conversations with 400 experts, world champions, storytellers and personalities
  • created over 30,000 minutes of content
  • worked with 130 different companies (Google, Atlassian, Mirvac, NEC to name a few)
  • more than 60,000 unique individuals affected
  • and even saved a life.

The poster is still at my house where I mainly broadcast from! However, Cuppa’s growth continues to affect people in more places and spaces. Even the poster has evolved into a version for the studio and pop-up events. You never know, maybe my dream of owning a cafe, studio and event space will come true one day.

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However, the real thing I wanted to share is what the past 2.5 years have taught me!

1) Making a difference makes you happier

After the first month of conversations, we received hundreds of thank you emails from those who tuned in each morning. We realized in that moment that we were making a difference and it felt good and it still does!

It has nothing to do with money, status or possessions, no way! Don’t get me wrong, there are days I still hate myself for the money I spent and the position I left my family in when I lost everything. But that’s in the past and I wouldn’t be as strong as I am if I didn’t go through the pain.

I know exactly who I am now, what I stand for and what I want my legacy to be! And all of this has come about by making a difference

2) Growth comes from conversations, especially if it’s with people who are different from you

I’ve said this before and I’m very honest about it. Prior to the launch of cuppa, I never sat down and never had a proper conversation with a First Nations person, a person who had a spinal cord injury, someone who is transgender, or even a world champion.

I can say this with absolute truth…. Having difficult conversations with people who are different from me has changed my life. I am a better person overall and now know that in order to come together as a society and grow together, we all need to listen to each other’s story.


Beware of the conversation thief in your life…. AKA technology! Take the time to discover the incredible people and their stories around you by having more personal conversations. #life changer

3) Always keep evolving, but never lose track of where you started

I feel I am blessed with the ability to create ideas from scratch. Maybe it has to do with growing up as an only child and figuring out ways to stay entertained.

Cuppa gives me the opportunity to be creative all the time and I am SO excited about what lies ahead in 2023 as we continue to develop our business.

As our company enters an exciting phase, I will never lose sight of the humble place where we started and who helped us get there.

I’ll never forget the thank you emails, the laughter shared with the experts in the pre-show, the great advice given every time we press live, and the incredible customers who have been with us since day one.

4) Show up with a smile, even if you don’t feel like giving one

During the early stages of Cuppa, when I lost all my money and livelihood, there were days when I just didn’t want to do the show because I was in a real mental battle.

Some days it took all my energy to do the show with a smile and send out positive vibes.

More often than not, the person I’d be interviewing would pull me out of the funk I was in, or if they didn’t, someone who was watching sent me a thank you email, which lifted my spirits.

I’m not saying you should hide how you feel, I’m just saying that sometimes you can get value out of it too if we make the effort.

5) Your story is all that matters

I am so grateful now to be able to share my story through posts like this, on the Cuppa show, with companies that bring me in and with my friends and family.

It’s something I never thought about until I started hearing other people’s incredible stories and how they’ve changed me and our community. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again!

While no one will ever be in my shoes, I truly hope they follow in my footsteps on their journey to find their own path

Thanks for taking the time to read this! Comment below what appealed to you the most and why.

Also feel free to share it with others who may need to hear this.


Click here to visit Cuppa or Click here to learn more about me


Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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