On Creating Serendipity (in times of Corona)

I am a social person.

I thrive in social interactions and take energy from engaging with others.

Talking. Thinking. Riffing.

Creating serendipitous moments.

Then the lock down happened.

Serendipity has been key to me in so many ways through the years, including been strategic for many wins in my life, so how do you go about creating serendipity in times of corona?

Enter Lunchclub. My catalyst for remote serendipity.

Lunchclub is a networking service that pairs you with others for casual video calls.

I joined the first one with a bit of scepticism and it was interesting. I joined the second one and serendipity sparked, so I’ve kept joining, to date I’ve done over 20 meet ups.

Lunchclub is not for everyone and everyone has different ways to approach it. Some people use it for deal flow, others use it as a way to meet interesting people and others as a research tool. In my case I use for serendipity.

How do you optimise for serendipity?

Everyone has a story to tell but not everyone is primed to tell it, which is why making the right moments is important.

I’ve found that in order to spark serendipity you have to come in unprepared and hope for the best.

I take my Lunchclub meetings different to all other meetings, as in I tried not to do research on my meetings (sorry, not sorry), not because I don’t want to learn of the people I am going to meet, but because I really want to learn of them I try not to predispose my meeting with them to specific subjects; I do it so I don’t steal the thunder of learning something new, being surprised or letting things, that otherwise would not come to life, arise.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the meetings I have had, as well as to the calibre of the people in this network – which makes the non research part more difficult, because people expect you to do “your homework”, but coming none prepared has also showed me that it takes people out of their confort zones and that in itself sparks interesting conversations.

Approaching a meeting without any other goal than to be surprised really changes the way you approach “networking”, it also creates the best opportunity for commonalities to arise and for the interaction to be less artificial or “traded in”.

Serendipity, wether conscious or not, is important to keep ourselves learning, interested and growing; and while the pandemic has impacted many things in many ways you need to remain mindful of how to create opportunities in time of challenges, and this has been one of them for me.

We are a social species and while not everyone is confortable talking to strangers, we need to remain connected, empathic and switched on to others realities as a way to cope with our own.

Hope this post helps to motivate you to take control of your own serendipity and charge on to make it happen.

Stay safe and happy.

Pura vida.