I didn’t realise how important a thing like serendipity was in the startup life.
Who you meet. The invitations that come your way. The information that’s exchanged. All of the potentially course changing events like these often happen when we’re on our way somewhere else or find ourselves at a networking event we decided to go to last minute; had we not have gone perhaps so and so would not have come into our circle. Same goes for life in general; it’s often those chance encounters or unexpected happenings that have the most profound effect on our lives.
Take Startup Salon.
Had I not read Silicon Republic that day I wouldn’t have happened on what I thought was a great story about spotting an opportunity and going for it in Niamh McHugh’s founding of Pucker with co-founder Louise Dunn. And had I not attended Startup Weekend back in November 2014 I wouldn’t have heard Leonora O’Brien talk; there’s someone with tons of integrity, I thought at the time. These are the kinds of people I wanted to feature at my future event. Serendipity put them in my path.
But without our own manoeuvres, the kind that feel right to us, any chance encounter would most likely not be the kind that pays fruitful dividends. Trust is what allows us to go with the flow of serendipity. We need to trust that our instincts and actions will lead to the right kind of outcomes. The right kind of outcome happened at Startup Salon last week. Everyone commented how lovely the atmosphere was and how amazing the panel was; it was a diverse group. They spoke with such heart. They each brought something different and had their own nuggets of inspiration to share.
As you can imagine, heavy is the burden of worry which weighs upon the one who brings a panel like this together. Would they gel? Would they talk openly about their experiences? Would they willingly answer (without awkward rephrases, repeats and prodding for what’s beneath the surface – the place where the real revelatory stuff lies) the questions leaning towards the probing?
Be in the places that are right for you
You have to trust your instincts and it’s easier to do this when you’re in the environments you really want to be – the environements in which you feel right – mixing in the circles within which are those people who you admire. So you trust that the people there share your values. The rest? Well, that’s down to serendipitous moments like meeting at The Smart Business Show (where I met Chris and co-founder Carl, AccessoLife); Attending a Drinkabout party (where I met Eleanor, co-founder of Writepushapp). Going to Startup Weekend and an encounter with someone you already knew, who shares your outlook and whom you genuinely like, as was the case with how Riva O’Malley, co-founder of Black Castle Drinks, joined the panel. Serendipity leads you to the kind of people you’d happily spend an evening with. The kind of people working with the same passion and determination as you are.
So here’s to serendipity. If the success of our first Startup Salon is anything to go by I can worry less about the outcome of the next event; provided that is I keep moving according to where feels right and within this space will be other movers doing their bit to shake things up with their ideas and endeavours. I’m not sure who they are yet, but I’m happy to go along with where serendipity takes me.
Have you any interesting stories about serendipitous moments? Why not share them with us on our facebook page, we’d love to hear from you.