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The most recent example comes from one of my coaching clients, Victoria. She runs a company called, Unhidden Clothing – an exceptional startup that creates stylish adaptive clothing for those with disabilities.

A contact within my network was looking for someone to help with the production of masks (in relation to COVID) but with a more personalised angle rather than pure medical supply.

I connected the two but as the real business need became clearer, Victoria started to see that it would be a far larger order than her company could currently supply in its current state.

Rather than simply reply with bad news, it was agreed that Victoria would reach out to her own network to see if there was an opportunity to collaborate or at the very least have someone to pass the order on to.

Here comes that “holy crapola” moment.

What was expected to be a short call became something far more. I received this message from her soon after it concluded:

“Phew- ok- that call went supernova. He’s (this contact of mine) going to look at the mask info. He’s also massively going to help Unhidden – retail contacts, press, manufacturing… The works.”

“And he was impressed I had the data around disabilities and also the market size – think he nearly dropped the phone.”

Victoria – Unhidden Clothing

Within an hour she had gone from no way to fill the order, to not just potentially having a solution but also having an entirely new support mechanism to help with the development and expansion of her own business.

The new support will allow Unhidden Clothing to really ramp up, grow up and more importantly personally impact more people sooner.

All it took was a call that wouldn’t have usually been made.

The recipe for your own serendipity

Serendipity (sometimes referred to as luck) is not as mystical as it may appear at first. While chance encounters are indeed just what they say they are, it’s actually more than possible to manufacture how often these chances appear (you may have seen Derren Browns thought provoking show on creating Luck).

You could boil this down to simply taking chances – and perhaps fewer illusions – but I will share a little more thinking while I have your ear.

Or perhaps that should be while I have your eye.

I often tell people that I get up each day for serendipity. It really is why I get up. For the CHANCE of amazing things happening and for the chance to help amazing things happen for others. The key is to keep creating opportunities… and the best opportunities come from conversations.

  • Ask more questions of NEW people
  • Ask NEW questions of the same people
  • Create new stories about what you want from life and then start telling them to others.
  • Before you say no, ask yourself ‘how might I’
  • Before you limit yourself to your knowledge, skills and connections, ask yourself who else might
  • Look to serve, not to sell

I’m not suggesting you start cold calling. I am strongly suggesting that you stop jumping to your default answers and habit driven positions.

Move yourself to possibility thinking and consider who else, what else, why else, how else (credit to the Go M.A.D framework for those gems, and sure to be the topic of a future Mind Vitamin).

If you can head out and show up in the world with the right stories about yourself, your capabilities, your needs and your plans, those stories will attract the right things.

In this case, instead of saying “no I can’t” Victoria asked “Who might”. Now she has replied with a solution AND opened up new opportunities for herself that literally wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

Have you had any recent “holy crapola” moments that you’d like to share?

For now, what new story might you start to tell about yourself today to create more chances of serendipity for the things you really want?