Plan B

A few weeks ago we met an interesting guy. He came to our new property to clear trees and help us start building our farm and house. Talking to him, we learned that before he went into land clearing, he played baseball for a team you may have heard of – the New York Yankees.

It’s not every day you meet someone who played pro ball for arguably one of the best teams in the sport…ever. This man is an elite athlete. One percent of the one percent kind of elite.

He and my husband got to talking about work, about sports, and about what it’s like to play at that level. At some point, the idea of “plan B” came up. What would he have done if pro ball hadn’t worked out? Our new friend kind of laughed and said “yeah, plan A was my plan B.”

As we left the property, we talked more about “plan B,” and what it means. My husband spent most of his career in the film business, another arena where having a plan B can be a recipe for failure. In order to succeed at the professional level, in order to have a shot of making a living, there can’t be a plan B. There can’t be a “fall back,” because having one ensures that you will fall back.

For most of us, “plan B” is what we do to have a sense of security. Often times, it’s “plan B” that allows us to even contemplate tackling plan A. So much so that we always have a plan B. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But it got me thinking – are there times in a “normal” life when having a backup plan isn’t a good idea?

Or maybe a better question – is it possible to give oneself wholeheartedly to anything if one has a plan B?

What’s this got to do with collecting? Maybe nothing, maybe everything. One thing I do know is that when we fear failure, we don’t commit. One way to make failure less daunting is by mitigating downside, which we can do with insurance, savings, limiting debt, working on health and well being, etc. But when we get down to it, attempting something – including collecting, but anything – is risky. And usually only successful when we do it with everything we have.




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