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Always Have A Plan B

2020 has taught us that things don’t always go as we plan. It has made us have to think about really weird possibilities being a reality.

One thing that I realized was it is possible I would be unable to record a new episode in time on a random week.

You see I try to be ahead on these recordings. In my perfect world, I’d be multiple weeks ahead for Sunday Distinctions videos. In most cases, I’m about a week ahead. This is being recorded in June 2020.

Last week I needed to get even more ahead because I was going to be out of town for a week because I bought a new car in Florida and had to drive it back to Texas.

On that trip I realized something could happen and I might be stuck and unable to make a new video. What would happen then?

That’s when I decided I needed a Plan B.

Really this is probably more of a Plan C or D, but the point is I needed to do something now to prepare to a surprise in the future. So I wrote this video.

Because I was doing this when the pressure wasn’t high, I was able to think through what it should be. If I’m going to prepare a video to be used when I’m unable to make one, how can I still give you value? How can I still deliver a distinction?

Maybe by making the video about having a Plan B. This is all very meta. Here are a few points about developing a Plan B. Having a plan B means you have a plan A.

If you aren’t planning at all, then you can’t have contingency plans. I know that seems obvious, but a lot of times when we are caught off guard, it isn’t because something we planned for didn’t happen. It is because we’ve got no plan at all for what happen.

For instance most of us had no plan for dealing with a government shutdown of almost all work and being ordered to stay home. It wasn’t that we had this plan for a pandemic that involved HazMat suits, and now have to come up with a Plan B because we can’t leave the house.

There were people who had a Plan A for a pandemic. And I bet most of us do now on some level.

The beginning of a Plan B is realizing Plan A can go wrong.

It seems to me lots of people just assume things are going to go according to plan. But so often they don’t. You have to assume something will go wrong.

Let me give an example.

That new car I bought in Florida was a Tesla Model S. On my return trip I had to stop at Tesla Superchargers to charge my car regularly. Luckily the car has a navigation system that will route you through Superchargers as you go. That is plan A.

What could go wrong?

Well the supercharger could be full and I’d have to wait to charge. Luckily the car’s navsystem gives you real time information on the status of the charger you are heading to.

The Supercharger could be down completely. Nav should tell you this in advance, but I always try to have a Plan B if it is. Can I get to another charger with the charge I have? Should I stop at one sooner, so I’ve got enough charge to keep going if something goes wrong?

Which brings us to my last point on having a Plan B

Sometimes Plan B fails too.

Early on my trip in Florida, there were lots and lots of Superchargers. Way more than there used to be when I made a similar trip 4 years ago. If I missed a charger, I could get to the next one.

But as I got into the panhandle and beyond, I had to stop at each one because they were spaced further apart. If one was down? Well there was no Plan B for supercharging.

To reiterate about having a Plan B:

You need to first have a Plan A.

You need to realize things can and will go wrong.

Sometimes Plan Bs fail too, or just aren’t possible.

Question of the Day: What do you need a Plan B for?

Leave you answer below in the comments.

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