||Greenleaf Book Group Press
Don’t yearn for lucky breaks; build a good-fortune skill set!
Barnes & Noble.com
For some people, success seems fated or shrouded in mystery. But in Earning Serendipity, Glenn Llopis will show you that most positive changes in fortune— in careers or in corporate ventures— are no mystery at all. We all have control over the path to prosperity. Progression along that path is the result of a rare combination of skills that you can develop and apply in your career, business, and life. These four skills are:
• Seeing with circular vision: Broaden your observation beyond what you seek and beyond the obvious details before you, and enlarge your field of opportunities; search within conversations and adverse circumstances for possibilities.
• Sowing entrepreneurial seeds: When good vision is met with consistent, hand-dirtying execution every day, the result is a stable, growing fortune; focus on proper timing and proper depth.
• Growing seeds of greatest potential: Learn how to recognize the most promising opportunities and give them the right amount of attention; don’t let the best opportunities wilt and don’t waste energy on opportunities with limited potential.
• Sharing the harvest: Focus on meeting others’ needs to improve personal good fortune; make generosity part of your purpose, an integral part of the DNA of your career or company.
Those who master this quartet tap into a power most never reach: the power to create and sustain a momentum of good fortune. This ability to earn serendipity can elevate your career or company quicker than any single force. And with the skills explored in this book, you will be catapulted onto the path of prosperity.
Creating and Sustaining Good Fortune in Your Work
“Only learn to seize good fortune, for good fortune is always here.”
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I make only one promise: your life will not be the same. What I offer is more than advice, more than hope. I offer you a mirror. In it you will see you are more powerful than you know. I offer you a map. With it you will discover you are closer than you know to a career of good fortune.
You’ve heard it said that chance governs us all, but I tell you that fortune is not arbitrary. There are the lucky: the lottery winners filing for bankruptcy, the gamblers betting away their winnings, the trust fund babies trapped in apathy. They know nothing of good 4 Earning serendipity fortune. Their lives are grains of sand slave to the ebbing and flowing tide, sand castles for only an hour.
Then there are the flourishing: those who outlive, outwork, and out love—to whom good things always seem to come. They inhabit a foundation from which positive happenstance seems to grow in abundance. Yet their good fortune springs not from mere chance but from the rare abilities to see what the majority miss and to exploit what most think uncontrollable. They are not lucky, and their fortune is no accident.
It is said that misfortune chases us all, but I tell you that fortune pursues you more swiftly. It reaches for you. You must learn only to seize it where it dwells—in the obvious and obscure places all around you—and to sow its seeds wherever you go. I will give you the eyes to see good fortune and the tools to keep it on your side from this day forward.
All You Have Not Yet Seen
There is more happening around you than you might realize. It is said that you find what you are looking for, but I tell you that if you learn to look around and beyond what you seek, you will discover things more valuable, timely, and true. Perhaps I am being too mystical. Or perhaps I am confirming something you’ve sensed all along.
I am speaking of serendipity— what some call “positive happenstance.” Most believe it comes capriciously, without hint of how, when, or why. The jobless woman takes lunch alone in Central Park on a cool autumn day. As she picks at her bland leftovers, a businesswoman approaches to ask for directions, and in an instant, a connection is made and her dream job is found.
We like to say she was lucky . . . or that the universe had mercy on her . . . or that it was a matter of finally being in the right place at the right time.
But what if it was more than a chance occurrence? What if I told you she’d been undervalued by her former employer for years . . . and that she’d finally left the company and moved to Manhattan to forge a new path . . . and that she’d always loved autumn in New York and especially in Central Park? Perhaps such observations would expand your notion about what happened and whether she had some control over her good fortune.
With a rare combination of four skills, you will begin to see and seize the momentous opportunities around you before they have passed you by. Opportunities of which you were not previously aware—often, the only opportunities that will enlarge your career path and increase your propensity for success and fulfillment every day. Most are blind to these opportunities, and this is the primary reason so many workers are uninspired, merely putting in time to meet unremarkable goals.
It has been said that self-knowledge is the mother of success, but success is first born of something else. Self-knowledge is the offspring of experience—we learn of ourselves through that which our senses take in—and experience is the offspring of the opportunities we have pursued.
Can Good Luck Be Earned?
What is the root of good fortune? Why do some people seem destined for success, while others, no matter how hard they try, seem never to advance? Can good luck be coerced from life, or are we subject to the whims of chance and circumstances that are beyond our control?
In his debut book, Earning Serendipity: 4 Skills for Creating and Sustaining Good Fortune in Your Work, author Glenn Llopis demonstrates that the key to creating and sustaining a momentum of good fortune is as simple as applying a methodology he calls the ‘four leaves of Earning Serendipity': learning to See, Sow, Grow and Share opportunity. Good fortune, he argues, is not shrouded in mystery. It is foreseeable, controllable and sustainable with a unique combination of four distinct skills.
It is a timely message, written in an accessible style that belies the wisdom it imparts. Earning Serendipity combines the wisdom Mr. Llopis learned at the knee of his father— a Cuban immigrant who fled at the dawn of Castro’s regime, and who notably went on to found the international music sensation, Los Llopis— with two decades as a top corporate executive and serial entrepreneur. Llopis wields the experience of having spearheaded the launch of seven different ventures, in industries as varied as pre-packaged gourmet foods to urban wireless network deployment.
Each of his ‘leaves’ represents a skill set that, Llopis argues, when employed together create the whole of an entrepreneurial mindset. He presents them not only as a progression, but rather as interconnected; like the leaves of the shamrock gracing the cover, the successful application of each being dependent upon the health of the plant as a whole. It is a fascinating idea: that success is not necessarily predicated upon great talent, but the opportunity one takes to cultivate that talent, and the critical importance of making opportunity matter.
The tenets are each supported with illustrative examples, ranging from anecdotes of Cuban farmers, to the ‘immigrant’s perspective, to specific instances of success. Thomas Edison is considered the ultimate ‘serendipiter,’ and his life is chronicled as an allegory of the application of each of the four leaves. More practically, Llopis punctuates the lessons of each of the leaves with modern parallels, ranging from Amazon.com to IKEA.
Perhaps the most compelling “leaf” of Earning Serendipity is the last, Generous Purpose: Sharing the Harvest. In this chapter, Llopis eschews the traditional notion of corporate competition and in-fighting as the path toward achieving success in work (or in life) in favor of a more egalitarian model heralding mutual cooperation. He approaches this—as he does each of the leaves—from both an individual and institutional perspective, and makes a strong argument for the idea that companies that do not espouse a sense of generous purpose put themselves at a long-term competitive disadvantage. The ethos of those now entering the workforce, the argument goes, is very different from that of their parents. This new generation cares deeply about affecting positive change in their communities through their work (and, in a global economy, ‘community’ can mean down the street or around the world). Companies that fail to provide an outlet for this energy will, in turn, fail to attract the best minds of the future.
The message of Earning Serendipity is powerful, succinct and simply told; unusual traits for a book of this type. It is amply accessorized with an ‘Additional Resources’ section that includes both a ‘Workplace Serendipity Quiz’ and a ‘Serendipiter’s Quiz,’ allowing readers to test their own propensity for good fortune. It is further supported by an excellent and in-depth website, EarningSerendipity.com, which allows the reader access to further study materials.
If I had to find fault with any one thing, it would be in how the book has been categorized. As a ‘Business Motivational’ book, Earning Serendipity is going to find itself in front of a more limited audience than had the publisher chosen a more general interest genre. Though the lessons taught in this book are certainly germane to a business audience— both women and men, of large companies and small— it is a message that resonates more broadly.
In today’s uncertain times, as many people are attempting to navigate a largely uncertain future, Mr. Llopis’s message and methodology are sure to be a huge success. Even with storm clouds looming over us, there is optimism on the horizon and a sea of possibilities await. Good fortune is ours for the reaping.
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