Plan A – What we want to happen.
Plan B – What happens more often than not.
I often encounter people who are in a state of paralysis.
They can not make a move.
Stuck in the ‘what if’ of decision making.
That place where the clean and solid line between where they are and their Plan A outcome has not yet been drawn.
Or worse, in the place where all of the bridges built from where we stand are to possible Plan B scenarios and we can’t see Plan A for all of the Plan B’s around us.
Worse yet, we are on an island where we have not clearly defined Plan A nor Plan B, but we are so afraid of finding out the Plan B which might accompany a Plan A we really want that we are not even creating Plan A’s anymore.
That was a lot of A’s and B’s…I feel like I am back in calculus class (which I failed twice by the way – but that is a story for another time).
If you are someone who has ever felt like you are having trouble moving forward or making decisions because of any of the scenarios above then you are in luck. Today I will arm you with my secret decision making, fear fighting, opportunity illuminating weapon……
Making a Plan A for your Plan B.
Yes, plan for the worst and decide how you will deal with it.
Make a plan of action for when the ship catches fire in the middle of the sea.
We spend so much time planning for great outcomes (which we know do not always happen) and so very little time planning for the downside of the opportunities which don’t play out as we’d hoped (which we know happens sometimes) and yet, we are surprised that we fear having to deal with a Plan B scenario.
I remember one time when I was looking at a construction job way out in the middle of nowhere in northern British Columbia Canada. I was to set out into the bush on some logging roads and drive about 4 hours to an unmarked location where the government were considering putting in a new culvert (that thing that runs over roads that water goes through). Plan A was to drive out there with no problems. Plan B was to drive out there, get lost, run out of fuel, get a flat tire and have to listen to the same tape over and over again.
What do you think I did?
Got a map, took a Gerry can of fuel, checked my spare tire and jack kit and then tossed a few extra tapes onto the passenger seat. I created a Plan A for all of my Plan B’s.
I was no longer concerned about driving out into nowhere alone. Now all I had were Plan A scenarios.
Think of something in your life you are avoiding or have avoided in the past.
Think of a Plan A that you never move toward for fear of Plan B.
What if you set up a Plan A for Plan B? What if you actually thought through the Plan B scenario to the degree to which it is not longer scary? What if your turn the lights on this monster under the bed?
What if, like me when I started my construction company, you thought, well, if this does not work out I will work at a coffee shop until I can get a job working in marketing in Toronto? Getting that job will take me 4 months and during those 4 months I will take the opportunity to read these 6 marketing books I have been wanting to read. I will stay with my friend X and will go out with her to the following industry events in order to gain greater access to the people I would like to know in the industry. I will work just enough hours at the coffee shop to pay my friend rent and buy food and at least two great outfits to interview in and all of the rest of the time I will be engrossing myself in marketing because that will be my next career.
Does it sound as scary as – “I will fail and have no job and people will judge me for trying to start a construction company and oh my, what will I do if it does not work out?” This is what most Plan B’s sound like.
So, when people ask me how I do so much or how I have accomplished what I have in the short time I have accomplished it in I often think to myself that I avoid losing time to unknowns by making them known.
Lets say you want something – Plan A. But you seem to not be moving forward, making a decision to pursue it….Look, if you find you have a Plan B scenario and every Plan A you come up with to deal with each Plan B outcome is not going to be ok with you, then you can dump the stalled pursuit of the thing you think you want – that original Plan A. If you can not live with any of the plans you could make to address the Plan B outcomes then you know you will likely never get off of the fence and actually decide to try for that thing you wanted in the first place. Although this might sound a bit heavy handed….truth is, you are wasting your time. Move on with life, find another Plan A.
Tweet it: “Avoid losing time to unknowns by making them known.” @kelseyramsden
Tweet it: “If you have a dream, turn on the lights and scare the monsters from under the bed, then dream on.”- @kelseyramsden
Tweet it: “Make a Plan A for your Plan B, trust me, the math works.” – @kelseyramsden
Got a Plan A? B? A?
Gonna make one?
In the spirit of getting on with dreams,
PS – I am planning on taking over the world and I need your help. I need you to forward this email to a friend you know in another country/state who might like my illuminations, contemplations and inspirations on having a career/business and life you love. Ask them to sign up for my newsletter and spread the love. www.kelseyramsden.com
Who doesn’t love a global love-in?
Go on – get in on the love in – pass me on now. Around the world…..
PPS – Have I told you lately that I love you? No, seriously….you are the reason I am able to do what I do and for you I am thankful.
I wasn’t kidding about that love-in.