In any endeavor, there is always risk. How you act on and react to the inevitability of a risk can lead to paths you never would have taken otherwise.
Such is the journey of Carl Rydlund who had the courage to pursue his dreams and ended up experiencing what he calls a “serendipity”—a happy result of finding the right connections and fostering lifelong personal-turned-business relationships.
Networking can provide the same sort of storyline: taking risks, meeting people, finding connections, furthering careers. But amidst it all, the most important thing to do is have an open and curious attitude. You are more likable, you’re more genuine, and you don’t cause any problems that you weren’t intending to. The connections you make are often more important than the projects you take on. Building a career newly out of college is hard enough, and when you add not having friends to network with, it becomes even more so.
“There is not enough time or money for a bad attitude.”
So don’t be that guy.
And while networking is important, so is knowing how to do your art, whatever it may be, effectively and consistently. Networking is no good if you can’t produce products for your clients. Carl’s advice? Have a strict work structure. When you do tasks a certain way and you do them repetitively, you build a groundwork for effectiveness, providing you with a pattern that encourages consistency and personal style to your work.
Now that you have connections and structure, how do you make yourself known in the world? Two words: Take risks. Do one or two new things each time you try to put yourself out there. Strive to be better at what you do.
“There is always room at the top; there is always room at the bottom. It’s the middle that is harder to get into, and even harder to get out of. Might as well aim for the top!”
So if you’re feeling stagnant in your job, in your art, go for your dreams. Just do it. *Cue Shia LaBeouf* You just might have your own serendipity and find yourself in the right place with the right people.
Watch Carl’s full interview below!