The Serendipity of Success

I love this idea of the Serendipity of Success, that the universe transpires to help you at just the exact moment you need it, bringing you a person or a resource you weren't expecting that moves you closer to something you were trying to accomplish.

Surely this has happened to you? Maybe you needed a sitter and then you run into an old friend who tells you her high school daughter is looking for work. Luck? Chance? Maybe. Or you want to travel to Italy this summer and your next door neighbor tells you their parents just returned from a trip and will tell you all about it. You have a need and, seemingly out of no where, it appears.


I've had what feels like a month of serendipitous encounters, some of which were so perfectly timed that I practically cried (like finding an amazing digital marketing consultant the moment my social marketing load was about to swallow me whole).

Sometimes what you need shows up right when you need it.

It might be accidental, yes. But I choose to believe the universe is constantly working to bring you resources, you've just got to have your mind and your eyes open to see it.

See that digital guy came my way via a random coffee meeting with an equally random past work connection who had reached out to me via LinkedIn. You (and I) have to stay open to what the universe is trying to deliver to us via other people.

See sometimes I prefer to keep to myself (anyone with me?). I'm not a big chatter in the grocery store line or a great conversationalist with the person seated next to me on an airplane. I'm also not normally the person who's greeting folks hello at a networking event, or going out of my way to say hi to strangers.  Yet I can tell you, this practice of keeping to oneself doesn't serve serendipity very well.

When your mind and eyes are open, you create more possibilities. You are more open to the person sitting next to you saying hello. You are more willing to accept an invitation to coffee or lunch. Because friends, do realize that it's not just that one person you are meeting with...It's them and every single person in their network.

That coffee or lunch date has the power to connect you to every person they know, and very well may be a catalyst to help you beyond any expectations.

I heard someone say once, "It's not networking, it's netbuilding." So true. We meet with other people to build up a community of folks who, ideally, are interested in helping one another. It's a fellowship that helps you gets closer to your goals.

I mean, don't we know this is true when you are looking for a new job? You meet one person and tell them you are job searching, then they connect you to someone, who then may also connect you to someone. And 6 degrees later, Kevin Bacon is calling.

How can serendipity work for you?

1. Show Up - You can't tap into the fruits of serendipity if you're sitting on your couch. Show up to the places where connections happen. Say yes to that lunch date, rsvp to that networking event, and join in when co-workers meet up after work. Your presence is required to be able to receive.

2. Listen - You already know the best relationships are built on being a good listener, just ask your spouse. It's not enough to meet new people if you aren't listening closely to the conversation. Maybe they say something about a neighbor who's in the music business and that sparks an idea for an event you're hosting. If you were only half-paying attention, you might have missed this part of the conversation. Listening leads you to opportunities, it helps to tune in.

3.  Be a Giver - I am a firm believer in what goes around comes around. In order to be served by serendipity, you need to give out a few favors first. The more you give, the more you'll receive. What does this look like? Reply to the person who wants to connect with you on LinkedIn. Volunteer at a conference you'd like to attend. Judge a show or competition in your industry. Agree to be on a panel. Give advice to a college grad. Do the thing that requires some effort and energy and trust that it'll come back your way in due time.

Trust that opportunities and resources are making their way to you. Be open to the people you meet. Believe that a random meeting is not really all that random. Know that there is serendipity to success.

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