What’s your back up plan?

If anything can go wrong, it will.
Murphy’s Law

I was working with a businessman some time ago as he prepared a six-month plan for his company. We went over it and it looked good. Then I asked him this question: “What’s your back-up plan?”

His reply was, “What do you mean?”

I reminded him about Murphy and his law: that if something can possibly go wrong, it will. I also noted that many people see Murphy as an optimist; they believe things will not only go wrong but will do so at the worst possible time and in the worst way.

My client cited a number of reasons why his business plan wasn’t subject to Murphy’s law. I suggested that it would be wise to at least consider that something might not go according to plan, but he felt secure.

A few weeks later, the financial markets went into crisis mode, sending the stock market into a tailspin. His business was one of many caught totally unprepared.

The truth is, things don’t always go like we’d planned. And if we aren’t prepared for the unexpected, that’s when snafus are most likely to happen. This lesson applies not just to business but to all the major assumptions you make about your life, including your relationships, your health and your income. Do you have a backup plan? Have you thought about what might happen if your circumstances changed dramatically? Once the worst has happened, it’s often too late to make alternate plans.

Take some time to consider the important things in your life. What are you taking for granted that could fall victim to Murphy’s law?

A little contingency planning now can make a big difference when the unexpected happens — and it usually happens to most people sooner or later. Don’t let yourself get caught without a back-up plan. You’ll be glad you made the extra effort.

Tis the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket.
Miguel de Cervantes
1547 – 1616

Copyright © 2014 John Chancellor

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