By Goke Ilesanmi
It is a truism that anybody that aspires to succeed must have a plan. This is because even though success normally starts with a dream, without a good plan, nothing tangible can be achieved. But with a good plan reinforced with determination and energy that can be constantly available by persistently recharging your inner batteries, you will be able to safely paddle your canoe to the shore of success. In business, for instance, if your desire is to achieve success, you need to have a well-composed business plan that communicates the direction of your business in a bid to accomplish the most important goal, that is, profitability
Naturally, to be able to successfully execute your plan, you need to be flexible. So, flexibility is one of the fundamentals critical to easy execution of your plan through which you can achieve success. If your initial plan does not work, you can always modify it to be able to reach your desired destination of prosperity. This is the efficacy of Plan B. What is Plan B?
Explanation and importance of Plan B
Diversification is very critical to success in all areas of life. That is why countries that cherish fast development diversify their economy. Therefore, to achieve success in time or avoid relying on just a financial source of survival, individuals and organisations need to have Plan B in addition to Plan A. Basically, Plan A is the plan you will use if things work out as expected, while Plan B is the alternative plan you will switch over to if Plan A fails.
Just like I said in my background information to the review of the book “The Power of Plan B”, written by Sam Asekunowo, there is no denying the fact many corporate organisations close down today due to lack of an alternative plan in the event that things fail to go as initially planned. Many workers also lack Plan B with which to cushion themselves against sudden loss of their job(s). Self-employment or entrepreneurship may be the Plan B of workers that have vision. Lack of Plan B is like putting one’s car on the road for a long journey without a spare tyre.
Paradoxical potency of Plan A
Even though it is always stressed that flexibility is critical to successful execution of one’s plan, and Plan B is therefore repeatedly echoed as a powerful alternative means of achieving tremendous success, Plan A is very paradoxically critical to success. As opposed to the general notion that you need to diversify your strategy or planning by having Plans A and B, and even relying on Plan B for enduring success, there are times that you need to rely on Plan A alone to be able to succeed.
Let me clarify the paradox. An employee with a vision normally has Plans A and B. His or her Plan A may be paid employment while Plan B may be self-employment or entrepreneurship. The moment he or she starts his or her business later, the initial Plan B, that is, self-employment or entrepreneurship now becomes his or her Plan A while the former Plan A, that is, paid employment now becomes his or her Plan B.
In the same vein, if somebody is very passionate about self-employment or entrepreneurship right from school, and immediately he or she graduates, he or she starts his or her own business, it means his or her Plan A is self-employment or entrepreneurship, while Plan B is paid employment. To be able to achieve success in these two scenarios of resigning to start your own business and starting your business immediately after graduation from school, one needs to stick to one’s Plan A and discard Plan B, which is paid employment. If not, one’s Plan A, that is, self-employment or entrepreneurship may never work because of the confidence that one has the alternative plan of paid employment.
In the words of ken Gaub, a great motivational speaker, “Early in our planning process,… flexibility is fine, but as we get closer to our goals, it becomes necessary to commit. The time comes when we must get rid of Plan B, or Plan A never will work.”
In the same notional vein, William Matthews, a motivational speaker says the first law of success is concentration, bending all the energies to one point, and going directly to that point without looking to the right or left.
John Mason, a renowned motivational speaker reinforces this assertion by saying the most successful people have always been those of concentration who have struck their blows in one place until they have accomplished their goals. “They are of one specific idea, one steady aim, a single and concentrated purpose,” Mason expatiates.
As a linguist/grammarian, I would like to further justify potency of Plan A by illustrating with Noam Chomsky’s Mentalism theory of language. Why is it that while children (automatically or easily) ACQUIRE languages in the second-language environment by mere exposure to those languages (that are not their mother tongue), adults undergo stress to LEARN those languages that are not their mother tongue or first language? Chomsky establishes in his language theory of Mentalism that the simple reason is that children have a natural Language Acquisition Device (LAD) that makes them speak languages automatically whether their mother tongue or a second language.
Beyond the LAD, children are able to easily acquire all languages in their linguistic environment because they stick to their linguistic Plan A. That is, they will continue to be committed to any target second language by communicating in it alone in that context. But adults will quickly borrow words from their mother tongue or first language, that is, their linguistic Plan B, to replace words of the target language that they do not remember or understand. That is, they resort to what is technically referred to as “Code-mixing” and “Code-switching” (mixture of languages) in Socio-Linguistics. With this style of quickly switching over to their linguistic Plan B when linguistic Plan A seems to pose a little challenge, it is difficult for adults to attain proficiency in the second language.
Even though Plans A and B are necessary to achieve success in life, when it gets to a stage where your Plan A becomes self-employment or entrepreneurship, you need to remain focused and determined on your road to success. Do not behave like a typical Lagos, Nigeria commercial driver that will change from lane to lane on the road to their destination and even get stuck in the process because of impatience. Plan A is indeed paradoxically potent. So if you are determined to board your Plan A plane to destination of success, God will definitely crown your efforts with tremendous prosperity.
GOKE ILESANMI, Editor-in-Chief/CEO of https://www.gokeilesanmi.com.ng and Managing Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is a Certified Public Speaker/Emcee, (Business) Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker, Career Management Coach, Renowned Book Reviewer, Corporate Leadership Expert and Editorial Consultant.
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