Posted by Renee Schmidt

People are always coming up with backup plans, i.e. a ‘Plan B’ just in case Plan A fails. Sure, it’s a prudent way to conduct oneself, but have you ever thought about how having a Plan B may actually hurt you?

I received a newsletter this morning from my friend Tanya Ezekiel of about this very subject.  Tanya paints a picture: You’ve just joined a group of 4 former colleagues to create a new business. It’s October. You know that if it doesn’t come together in the next 2 months, then you’ll start looking for a job in the beginning of the year. You know, like, and trust your partners. But having said that, you’re practical and know that you should have a Plan B.

So the question is: How much of your Plan B contributes to the success of your venture and how much of your Plan B will prevent it from taking off?

Ways it can contribute:
1) Takes the edge off by reminding you how capable you are to move on if need be. This leads you to being less stressed, and less stressful to be around.
2) Keeps you networking so you continue to meet new people which can help this business or the next.
3) Keeps the naysayers in your life at bay knowing that you’re on a timeline and not throwing all caution to the wind.

Ways it hurts:
1) Your partners feel you’re not all-in. In fact, they too may have a Plan B. There’s passive tension in the group because somedays one person shows up gung-ho and on other days it’s another, but rarely all at once.
2) Your employees feel it. You find yourself eavesdropping on their phone calls wondering if they’re looking for a job because, after-all, you’re still answering your phone, aren’t you?
3) Your investors feel it. What you need most to succeed is their commitment. Yet they can’t offer it to you because they don’t feel yours. The post-it note as a company sign on the office door doesn’t help.

This week, think about how your Plan B helps you and how it hurts you.

Tanya Ezekiel is a much sought-after business coach for high-achieving professionals and founder of To learn more about Tanya Ezekiel, visit:

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