How the CEO of Whole Foods Bought Gossamer Gear

I don’t care for the idea of luck.

I prefer Ralph Waldo Emerson’s approach, “Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”

But a recent conversation with the founder and chairman of Gossamer Gear turned to the phenomenon of finding agreeable things not sought for – serendipity.

Some people start businesses and fail. Glen Van Peski didn’t try to start a business but succeeded – serendipity.

In the course of time, he decided to close the business but the co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, offered to buy it – serendipity.

(Glen explains how John Mackey ended up buying 75% of Gossamer Gear – 2:06)

How to make the most of serendipity:

Serendipity can’t be planned or manufactured, but it can be noticed and welcomed.

Serendipity isn’t passivity.

Serendipity won’t come knocking while you’re bingeing Game of Thrones.

Serendipity meets people who are already doing something.

Solve your own problem.

Glen developed ultralight hiking gear for himself.

The need you meet for yourself brings value to others.

Do the next generous thing.

Serendipity is an unexpected opportunity to meet a need.

Life centered on service encounters more serendipity than life centered on self.

The next generous thing might seem small, but it may open a door to bigger opportunities.

Say yes to surprise.

Serendipity is an unexpected interruption. You turn your back on serendipity when you cling to the status quo.

The more tenaciously you grip established patterns, the less likely serendipity will grip you. (Unless your habit is to notice and welcome surprise.)

Serendipity extends joy.

One joy leads to the next.

Serendipity meets you when you’re doing something you love.

Serendipity is an unexpected moment of joy, an idea that comes out of nowhere, a new expression of something in your heart.

You love hiking. How do you craft ultralight hiking gear?

How has serendipity impacted you?

How might leaders make serendipity more likely?

Glen Van Peski on serendipity video: