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I’ve been thinking about luck recently, especially when it comes to finding good ideas. My experience is that this kind of luck is right-place-right-time stuff, a confluence of an interesting thought meeting an interested person. Or simply, people engaging with people.

Plans are usually developed by focussing on what is, leading to what can be. But truly creative ideas rarely arise from that kind of focussed thought. They usually come at you sideways. And they often arise when talking with someone else, even someone who knows little about the subject matter.

Many of the big creative companies (Google, Pixar, Apple, etc.) are intentional about having people who don’t usually work together, talk together. They know it works. They know that their bright people shine brighter when they interact with each other.

So, if we want to increase our ability to get lucky, we need to increase our connections. We need to work with others smashing ideas against each other. Not searching for an answer. Just talking and waiting for ideas to appear.

What’s my point? Grow your network, have lots of conversations about lots of subjects, throw your thinking on the table and let people take it where they may. Maybe they’ll have an insight, perhaps they’ll trigger one in you.

Networking isn’t just about sales, marketing or you next job. Rely on your network to trigger your next big thought.

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