Put your eggs in one basket
I am currently reading Stephen Bartlett’s “Diary of a CEO: 33 laws of something (I have forgotten and lazy to check it up)” and there is a chapter that says Plan B is bad for Plan A.
That whole chapter resonated with me. Imagine you were living in a shack and you had one opportunity to free yourself and your family from poverty. You’d work hard to make that opportunity worthwhile and if you don’t succeed as much, you will be close to some definition of success. However, if you have an alternative path to follow, you won’t work as hard on Plan A because Plan B is a safety net for. Hence the commitment, the almost deluded belief in Plan A will not be there as you have comfort of having another way to go.
Hence you won’t execute plan A well or fail miserably at it.
I have seen this in myself. My plan A is to make something with my coding skills and have that sustain me. My plan B is doing this medicine thingy. But because medicine is a safe bet and comforting, I am putting nowhere enough effort in plan A that would make me succeed at the very least. I suppose that if I wasn’t enrolled into medical school and sitting at home (of course not with African parents), plan A would probably be all there is and I would put all my being and effort into it.
But because plan B exists, I am calm when I am not supposed to be.
This is Zimbabwe
But that is the Zimbabwean story isn’t it? One thing can’t sustain you. You have to have a job, a side hustle, a farm and three Visa applications to go to the UK, Australia and/or Poland (in that order) to help old white people bath.
So realistically speaking, it’s not bad for plan B to exist. In Zimbabwe, it’s a necessity even. But there is a need to be conscious of your priorities and what you want to achieve most so that side-plans do not derail the first one.