Effort and luck
My wife, Erica, works for herself as an executive communications consultant. She helps executives at organizations focus on their key messages and then helps write speeches, web copy, and other products to help move the needle for those clients.
Recently she has been on a networking push that involves a mix of both cold and warm leads. She sends e-mails to organizations she might want to work with and also asks for referrals from her existing network.
It is slow work and can be frustrating because it takes a while to make tangible progress.
The other day we get an e-mail from our landlord about our lease renewal. Normal stuff. I ask her what she's up to and she mentions she works for a Web3 startup and sends us an article about her company and asks for some feedback.
Erica provides feedback and gets invited to participate in a small focus group about the product. She accepts and provides feedback and makes some suggestions and also mentions that she helps with communications for work.
A few hours later our landlord asks Erica if she'd be interested in working with them.
Erica was making effort to generate business in one particular way with a different industry, but she got results in a totally different, low-effort, serendipitous way.
This is actually more normal than you think.
Sometimes the effort you put in gets results in unexpected ways. You just have to recognize the opportunity when it comes along.
For example, you may be stuck trying to convert your job into a 1099 gig and it's like pulling teeth, but then a recruiter will reach out to you and you end up reaching an aggreement to do 1099 work for an entirely different company.
Or, you may be networking like crazy to get a lead on some 1099 gigs but then you go to a friend's party who works for Deloitte (in DC there are at least 3 people at every party who works for Deloitte) and they offer to put you in touch with their program manager which leads to a gig.
I don't have any proof of this and I don't believe in frou frou stuff like trying to manifest things you want, but I do believe that there is something about putting in consistent effort that opens up random and lucky opportunities in unexpected ways. It's as if you're trying to get through a locked door and then after hours of trying you notice the open window.
So put in the effort, but be open to lucky opportunties that may arise.
Feel free to put that in a fortune cookie.