#BYDNCareer adviceCareer tipsNetworking

The Difference Between Serendipity And Ill-Prepared

By November 13, 2019 December 4th, 2019 No Comments
J. Kelly Hoey – Keynote Speaker Networking Expert Author

You never know when life is going to drop something fabulous in lap – however you should always be prepared for it. By prepared, I’m referring to putting yourself in front of serendipity. Which is the exact opposite IMHO of being ill-prepared for opportunity.

Let me give you an example.

I recently caught up with Sandy Cross, Chief People Officer of the PGA in New York City. Sandy and I first met because of blog post I wrote. No, not when the blog post was originally published but thanks to algorithms and search engines and Sandy’s need for a speaker for an event she was planning – we were introduced a few year’s later and the rest is history. I’ve now spoken at a number of PGA events, Sandy agreed to be interviewed for my book – all because of a blog recounting an earlier segment of my career and why I chose to learn how to play golf.

The blog was planned, the topic intentional, the good fortune of it catching Sandy’s eye was not. Pure serendipity. 

Here’s the #BYDN thing: position yourself in life for people you don’t even realize are looking for you based on the subjects and topics you care  – and know a lot about. Put your skills and expertise out there for others to discover and delight when the unexpected comes seemingly from “nowhere”.

From My Network

Yes, I appreciate it when someone takes my advice to heart – and better still when they tell me about how that advice played out. With that in mind, here’s what landed in my inbox this past week:

…I took the networking advice from your book and newsletter and I’m happy to report that I launched my first crowdfunding campaign, and I hit the $10,000 public goal in three days. Indiegogo even selected us as their Team Favorite.” 

If you’re contemplating a crowdfunding campaign to fund your passion project or to test product-market fit with pre-orders, I urge you to read Kathryn Finney’s story at page 81 of Build Your Dream Network (“Tap Into Your Crowd For Success”) as well as the Crowdfunding roadmap at page 176. And I’ll also share this. On the To Do List for creators thinking about launching campaigns on a well-known crowd-funding site are the following to-do’s:

  • Under funding goal, it says “what support can you confirm with your current networks?”
  • Under outreach, it notes “who in your network(s) has a huge social following? Who will help spread your message?”

If you’re chasing strangers versus cultivating your existing network, you’re on the wrong path.

And oh, such a reinforcement of last week’s message: use your signature line to tell a story and build a depth of connection. Here’s the signature line that accompanied the crowdfunding success email:
 My name is Suzanne Sinatra, but people call me Sinatra.
I’m not related to Frank.
I design products to ease private area pain.
The name of my startup is Private Packs
Every day I wake up inspired to improve women’s intimate area health. 
A not so gentle reminder…if you didn’t do it last week, then I exhort you this week to re-imagine how your email signature line can better connect you with your community.

Build Your Dream Network Podcast

This week’s theme is Luck, Chance and Fortune. Not to give it away – as I’d like to carve 10 minutes in your schedule this week to take a listen – but here’s the bottom line: ditch chance and forget fortune, and put your efforts solidly into luck, ‘cause we all make our own luck.

As I share on the podcast:

Luck is about choice. And preparation. And a willingness to put in the work – regardless of the outcome.  You position yourself to get lucky. It’s about trusting – in your own abilities. Luck is about how you show up and contribute.  

J. Kelly Hoey

J. Kelly Hoey

Kelly Hoey is the author of Build Your Dream Network (January 2017 / Tarcher Perigee). She has been lauded from Forbes (“1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship”) to Fast Company (“1 of the 25 Smartest Women On Twitter”) to Business Insider (“1 of the 100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter”) and Inc. (1 of “10 Most Well-Connected People in New York City's Startup Scene”). Empowering A Billion Women By 2020 included her on their list of the “100 Most Influential Global Leaders Empowering Women Worldwide”. Not bad for a former corporate lawyer. She’s a limited partner in two emerging tech funds (Laconia Capital Group and Lattice Ventures) and can frequently be found on Twitter @jkhoey.