When I was in college, I did take a sideways direction as I realized I was not talented enough to be a professional musician but had the brains to manage bands. I took a course given in NYC about it, and there was so much information it blew my mind. The presenter (I apologize this was 87 I do not remember his name) had some interesting advice, sometimes it was contradictory. 

In the section about working with a band and the band needing to ‘self-fund themselves’ he told the story about one band that took one of the members grandmother’s fudge recipes and started selling it to fund the band. The idea was to give the band enough time to practice full time do chase their dreams. The band did not make it but ended up opening a fudge store as a full-time gig (I had to chase that down later.) Thank God I did not quit my day job…. Well, like George. 

In recent days conversations with my daughters touched on do they have a backup plan if they do not get into Med or PA school. In this case I was the pragmatic father and wanting to make sure they had a plan b. This also could be related to my up brining where my parents wanted to make sure I had a stable job etc. I could chase dreams, but my mom always said have a plan b, c, d….  

Reading what I had written previously, I noticed I wrote about Failing at something you don’t like as a reason to chase your dreams. In a research project the notion of having a fallback plan has some drawbacks. So, the downsides? 

  • Not going ‘All In’ on your dream reduces the effort you can put in 
  • Wasting resources on backup plan that could be used on your primary plan 
  • Apparently just thinking about a backup plan reduces your chance for success 
  • Falling into your backup plan due to the sunk cost fallacy 

Now the studies talk about how people just think about goals, or in some cases have small ‘monetary’ incentives. Looking back at my desire to be in the music business, I did focus a lot on a Plan B (like my mom told me.) Would I have made it with Plan A? I really do not know, but my focus on Plan B took me far. 

Now back to what I told my kids. The first make your mistakes in your 20s (well now) It is much easier to find an alternate path if you make the mistake now. Trust that you have the resources (parents/friends) to help you out, and your own abilities to find your Plan B. So, you will not hit FIRE at 40, finding happiness and your place in this world may be more important than retiring early.  

And now to think about how to do this at work. Many times, I have been asked if there is a Plan B, and now my response should be if we focus on it, it may turn into Plan A. 

This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free. I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them

This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book.  With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path.  I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content.  I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip.  I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog.