“To take the island, you have to burn the boat.” Tony Robbins
Plan B. The Contingency Plan. The Failsafe. The “If Stuff Doesn’t Work Out” Plan.
THEY ARE ALL BS.
What Is So Wrong With Plan B?
It’s simple. Like it or not, Plan B becomes Plan A for far too many of us. We put far more effort, energy and time into our Plan B’s even though they are not what we really want out of life.
Take me for example. My Plan A is to be a real estate investor. I grew up around real estate because my mom was a broker. I got a masters degree in Real Estate Development from a very prestigious (and expensive) university. I analyze real estate all the time. I am a HGTV junkie.
And I only own one rental property.
My Plan B was to have a successful career in law. While I’ve modified that a bit to focus on a career in financial services, I have actually poured a significant amount of my energy into doing a great job, fostering key relationships and getting promotions and recognition.
I have been very successful in my Plan B and I really like my job. But it is not my first love. It is not my Plan A.
For many of us, what we spend most of our time doing and worrying about is not what we would do if you if asked what our main goal or dream in life would be.
Why do we focus on Plan B more than Plan A?
Fear. Laziness. Pressure to conform. I have noticed that even when we overcome some of these obstacles, Plan B still wins because it has easily measurable targets.
I can get a promotion to Director, VP, EVP, SVP, COO, CFP, CEO and all the other various acronyms. I can increase my bonus by X% or get on a “big project” with my boss’s boss.
Developing measurable targets of success for Plan A can be hard. Using the real estate example, I cannot directly control whether a seller accepts my offer, whether I can close a transaction or whether my tenants start to sell drugs out of my property.
I can set a goal to own a certain number of properties or make a certain amount of money, but how does that translate to a specific measurable goal to track my progress?
Here is a hint. It doesn’t. You have to make it translate.
If you want to be a real estate investor, you have to analyze a certain amount of properties and make a certain amount of offers per month (these are my measurable goals).
If you want to write a book, you can’t control getting published, but you can control how many hours you write or edit and how many words you write a day.
If you want to develop a new product, you don’t know how many sales you can make, but you can control how many people you contact to show your prototype.
In order to achieve Plan A, you have to focus on it using daily measurable goals. There is no easier way.
Should we all quit our Plan B jobs tomorrow?
Maybe. If you have sufficient financial resources to protect yourself, are confident in your ability to focus on daily measureable goals AND your job is getting in your way, then yes you should.
For most of us, our jobs are not in our way, if we wake up early or stay up late. If we write or review properties for 15 minutes (instead of reading People or TMZ), we can ultimately get there.
If we save an extra $10 dollars a day, we could get to a point of having a 6-month emergency fund or pay off the last of our student loans.
When you start focusing more on Plan A, you realize that Plan A and Plan B take about the same level of energy and focus to succeed. Plan A is not that much harder once you have a measurable goal.
You may even decide to keep your Plan B job, but then it is choice. It becomes a part of your Plan A.
We have power to change things. Lets focus on Plan A. Set daily measurable goals today.
Lets “burn the boats!”