Like the actor’s first break, external circumstances are crucial. They are a cog in the wheel, as are the writer, director, cinematographer, promoter and good fortune
‘¡Que suerte!’ my Spanish friend explained. We’d walked up five storeys to a top floor flat in a Notting Hill. The common parts are bland to grim and the stucco exterior peeling giving it the air of a student hostel.
However, the flat itself is an oasis of minimalist cool and volumes with a double height ceiling into the eaves, skylights and a small terrace with enough space for a table, two chairs and a morning macchiato facing over communal gardens.
It’s not big but it’s the perfect one-bedroom, and the contrast from the mouldy carpeted stairway into the wooden-floored, airy and bright space makes it even more appealing.
And because of the walk-up and less than glamorous entrance the flat is comparatively cheap. It is true, we’ve been lucky to stumble across this flat. We’ve seen too much bland dross and grotty properties as, without meaning to sound grand, I’m not used to viewing things at this end of the market.
That's what friends are for</strong>
I’ve been helping my friend out because he’s just that. Like many of our Mediterranean neighbours working in the financial sphere, as the economic climate grows progressively grimmer in their own countries, they’re turning towards London and the hope for job security – or at least a job. They may have to sacrifice their weather and native tongue but for many of them it seems worth it.
Like so much else in life, suerte plays a huge part. I was sitting next to a hugely successful City figure the other night and, always interested in how people arrive in the professions they do, I asked him.
He revealed to me it was pure fluke through a random meeting; at the time he had no idea what he wanted to do. He has drive and determination and street smarts, granted, but he told me that fortune had favoured him throughout his career.
Like the actor’s first break, external circumstances are crucial. They are a cog in the wheel, as are the writer, director, cinematographer, promoter and good fortune. There will be the Steve Jobses, the creative geniuses and visionaries, but even they are susceptible to a lucky break. Would Jobs have created Apple if he were born in a rural village in Bhutan? Circumstances favoured his success.
Last year we sold a house for almost £2 million over the asking price, off-market. I’d like to think that this was due to our incredible skills as agents, and while we did do a good job in managing the sale, the success of the very large premium price was down to luck – two parties in competition who were both determined to have the house.
It was the easiest and most successful sale we’ve ever had, for fate smiled upon us. We can’t create luck but when it comes along, we can the ride the wave all the way home.