I like to read, and the summer is when I can really get my teeth into a book.
And when I read, I love to read William Boyd.
The man is a sensational writer, with this uncanny ability to write about life and the random nature of the existence we have.
And last Friday, I felt like I’d been dropped into a Boyd plot.
My wife and I had arranged to meet friends for lunch in Soho.
We’d chosen the delightful Italian restaurant Linas Stores (if you’ve never been and you like fresh pasta and great flavours, I’d heartily recommend it).
We usually see these friends every September in Corfu, but as we’re not going this year, we thought we’d head into the big smoke instead.
Anyway, we had a lovely time catching up, and just as we left the restaurant and were saying our goodbyes, a cyclist suddenly stopped in front of us and greeted me.
As it turned out, it was Jonny – another friend who we see in Corfu every year.
He was off to the café next door to meet someone to talk about the play that he hopes to put on this year.
Jonny was early and fancied a catch-up, so we sat down for a coffee as the random events just kept unfurling.
We got chatting, and the conversation inevitably turned to football – we’re both Spurs fans – and I asked him if he was off to the Fulham game the following day.
As it turned out he was – his son had called that very morning having managed to get some tickets, but the only way he’d managed to get the batch he wanted was to buy two additional senior tickets.
And, in a beautiful twist of fate, Jonny hadn’t found another senior for the additional ticket yet.
I gladly took it off his hands, so we headed to Wembley the following day, enjoyed a cracker of a game and witnessed Harry Kane scoring in August for the very first time.
Just think: imagine if we’d left the restaurant five minutes earlier or later, none of it would have happened – who knows if Kane would still have scored?!
The randomness of the whole situation got me thinking about business, and the importance of not waiting for random events to shape your future.
I mean sure, there’s a lot of unknown in the world of business – the economy, Brexit, changing tastes and cultures – but there’s a whole lot you can be in control of too.
Like making sure that that all-important call from that prospect is answered.
Like ensuring that your best customer is treated correctly during every communication with your business.
Don’t leave these things to chance – there’s every chance they might turn out less favourably than my Wembley day out!
P.S. If you fancy any book recommendations for a summer read, just let me know!