Do you have a plan A, a plan B, and a plan Z? You need to. You should have all three, all of the time.
Plan A is your best shot.
Plan B is how you could pivot if A doesn’t go exactly as planned.
Plan Z is the emergency contingency plan that ensures your survival.
Ben Casnocha and Reid Hoffman explain in their book, The Start-Up of You, that if we always have all three plans handy, we can survive anything.
As we get older, plan Z may evolve from a move back in with mom and dad to making sure the mortgage is paid and the kids have dinner – but we still need to have it.
If we don’t know our Plan Z, how will we continue to take risks? How else will we avoid complacency?
50 years ago it was an expectation that we could spend our entire careers with one company, get a pension, and retire. Those options exist less and less frequently today if at all. Worse, if no Plan B or Z exists because our Plan A is the 50-year career/pension/retire, what will we do if the rug is pulled out from under us – then what? Wouldn’t it be better to have a Plan B and Z already in mind?
Consider the auto-workers in Detroit. Keep them in mind. Nobody wants to get snared in that trap.
A, B, and Z. Always.