March 31, 2023
My husband and I have been looking for a quote for a new deck for a couple of years. We have reached out to contractors to no avail. Either no one responds or when they do show up, they do not provide us with a quote. As the season is changing, our thoughts are once again thinking about replacing our aging deck.
An unlikely source
Earlier this week I was invited to a Meet and Greet by a friend in my local entrepreneur ecosystem. He is a big supporter of me and my business. His organization recently sponsored my monthly coffee break and presented on the bilingual workforce in our province. I thought what better way to support him than to show up at his event.
When I arrived at Le Coin Franco in Corner Brook, NL, I was greeted in French. Turns out, everyone present was either Francophone or bilingual (in some cases, three or four languages!). Now, I took late French Immersion in high school. Let me tell you, that was a long time ago! I was proud of myself for how much I understood of the fast-flowing conversation.
The day before the French Meet and Greet, I was a guest speaker at an Entrepreneur Café for International Students in the Atlantic Study & Stay program. Our discussion was all about networking. I encouraged the students to put themselves out there! Go for coffee. Go to an industry event. Get your pitch ready. So, here I was. At an event which was unlike anything I expected. I fumbled with my pitch in French as I introduced myself. We had a great debate on the right word to use for facilitator! While technically facilitatrice is correct, others felt there is another more familiar word to use; however, no one could think of it! I learned three of the people in attendance are entrepreneurs themselves. Therefore, when the opportunity presented it, I handed over my business card and invited them to my next Pause-Café! One of those entrepreneurs explained he is in the construction industry. I mentioned the challenge my husband and I have been experiencing about our deck situation. He is a tile specialist so no luck there.
The rest of the evening was enjoyable. I ate some food, had some laughs, took a French pastry home to enjoy. I did not anticipate anything further would happen from attending.
Our province is large in geography, small in community
The next day I received an email from the tile specialist. He is currently working on a house on our street! The house my daughter used to babysit at on a regular basis. The owners I consider friends. He gave me the name of the head contractor. I called him and he is coming next week to give us a quote for a new deck!
Serendipity is defined as the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. Turns out for me speaking French is the catalyst! I feel like the events earlier this week came together in a completely unintended way. So as I told the students, put yourself out there. Try something new. You never know just what might come out of it. ~ Carole