It’s the notion of a plan B, a career path to fall back on incase things don’t work out, when I realize that suddenly my peers have stable careers and my deviation from the traditional career didn’t quite end how Tim Ferris promised it would. I don’t usually focus on the negative, I know it’s bad, but within the confines of this post I will entertain it.
I went to a seminar awhile back and the presenter informed us about his past. He was working in investment when he started the business he was currently running. So initially he had a different path from the one he’s on now, so if his venture didn’t work out for him I guess he’d just keep trying while being stable from his investment banker pay or just continue on with that. I wonder where he’d be if he didn’t have the investment banker job, or even a career. What if he was in and out of transactional jobs while working hard on his own business venture that may never be stable for him.
My concern is a scenario in the future when I’ve given a lot into working for myself and financed several ideas but unfortunately it doesn’t really work out and my options begin to decrease. I would be in a tough spot and conversely my friends would be stable from their careers where they had worked for existing companies, something I wasn’t interested in doing. One resolve is having a plan B, and plan B’s by nature are meant to be more reliable and safer than your plan A, but they aren’t as exciting or fulfilling which is why they’re a second option. I feel that people assume plan B’s are failsafe, and that they always work out, that can’t be the case in reality.
Hypothetically, if an entrepreneur is really meant to succeed at their dream, to live a life where they’re proud of what they do, where their work is their art, they have to give it everything. So far from my experience giving it everything does not afford you time to develop a plan B on the side. Will Smith has a similar sentiment, “don’t have a plan B, it distracts from plan A,” I don’t think that’s a one size fits all statement, but there’s truth there.
The exception to this which includes the investment banker is where the plan B is already setup and running. He went to university, studied, got a stable job and then started an unrelated business. It’s almost like plan A and plan B don’t apply in that situation, if his venture didn’t work out I guess he’d just remain in his initial career, at least it paid his bills.
Anything that provides safety is no walk in the park, it’s a tough hustle building a corporate career, I’m watching some friends do it. Overall I don’t see there being a reasonable way to be an entrepreneur and develop a career as a plan B like my Mother would like me to. This is the one thing that keeps me up at night.