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Sitting with a friend over coffee last week, I was struck by two things: the regularity with which he experiences serendipity and the seriousness with which he considers these occasions.

He does not chalk them up to chance. He does not let opportunity slip through his fingers. Instead, he chooses to explore them vigorously with very positive results.

They say that fortune favors the ready man.  My friend and I believe this to be true.

Serendipity.  Chance.  Happenstance.  Whatever you choose to call it, such a moment is noticed by many but leveraged by few.

The next time you meet a moment of fortune, maximize it … using these four simple steps:

 1. Notice the opportunity.  Transform it from an abstract idea to a concrete reality by Speaking Up.  Make your interest known immediately.  Have a discussion.  Ask intelligent questions.  Leave an impression.  This works just as well for a potential love connection as it does for a potential employment opportunity.  And at the end of it all – get contact information.

2. Now that you’ve made a personal connection, discuss this serendipitous moment with a supportive friend or mentor.  This conversation will help you reinforce, vet, and differentiate opportunity from pipe dream.  Be sure to pick a supportive person.  Don’t pick a dream crusher.

3. Make a list (in your head is fine, paper is better).  What skills, attributes, talents and ideas do you have?  How can you make the most of the opportunity?

4.  Follow up, reach out – make your interest (and your handy list of attributes from #3) known.  A clever date idea, a strategy or concept for a new product along with a note of appreciation and a request for a follow up conversation will get you far. Don’t let this opportunity fall through your fingertips.  Follow up immediately.

Have you noticed a moment of serendipity in your life?  A chance meeting, a conversation at the checkout stand, a feeling of connection with a person, concept, or opportunity….

What did you do with that opportunity?  Share your story below!

2 thoughts on “Serendipity, Chance, Happenstance

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