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Plan B

Posted by on September 29, 2016

Successful people are unanimous: if you want to succeed, especially as an entrepreneur or culture-industry something-or-other, don’t have a back-up plan.

“Because you will NEVER succeed when you have a back up plan.

Plan B’s are for losers. Winners have only a Plan A and work their butts off to make their Plan A work.

Do you want to be a winner or a loser?”

Pros, D. (2015, August 26). Why Having a Back Up Plan Should Be 1 of the 7 Deadly Sins. Retrieved April 23, 2016, from

“8 Things Remarkably Successful People Do

  1. They don’t create back-up plans.”

Haden, J. (n.d.). 8 Things Remarkably Successful People Do. Retrieved April 23, 2016, from

Every time you have failed in life, it was because you had a back-up plan.

What is a back-up plan anyways? Is it some kind of permission to fail?

A back-up plan is a killer for aspiring entrepreneurs.

You would never hear Howard Schultz saying, “If Starbucks doesn’t work out, I’ll just be a car salesman.” Nor would you hear Mark Zuckerberg say, “Man, if Facebook flops, I’ll just go back to Harvard.” Oprah would never say, “Well, I’ll just sell jewelry if people don’t like me on television.”

If you have a back-up plan, you’re basically expecting to fail.

Go anywhere and talk to as many failures as you can meet. They’ll all tell you that they have a back-up plan. Go anywhere and talk to as many successful people as you can meet. They’ll all tell you that they didn’t even think of a back-up plan. Failure wasn’t even an option for them.

Ally, D. (2015, September 09). Successful Entrepreneurs Never Commit This Crime. Retrieved April 23, 2016, from

“I decided I wasn’t going to have a backup plan, so I said yes to most everything and just did as much as I could. ” —Aubrey Plaza,

George [Carlin] early on hatched what Kelly refers to as the “Danny Kaye plan”: to become an entertainer. “There was never a plan B.””

“People ask me, “You’re doing comedy. Do you have a Plan B?” And I’m like, “No, I don’t have a Plan B. I’m doing comedy. Besides, my plans are numbered. I have a Plan 2.” It’s so stupid and it’s kind of a lie because I don’t even have a Plan 2 ” Demetri Martin,

“The first time Dane Cook got paid to perform comedy was in 1990. He was given $35 to perform in the corner of a chain restaurant called The 99s. It was unclear at that point whether any other money in comedy would follow, but Cook had long decided not to leave himself any alternative. “I never had a Plan B,” he says. “I knew from junior high school when I proudly announced to my family that I was not going to college and that I would be pursuing stand up comedy.” —Dane Cook,

“Probably the worst advice I ever got from my father—may he rest in peace and not come back to haunt me—was, “You need to have a backup plan.” Of course, this was in response to my desire to go to a great liberal arts college to major in writing.” —Jo Lindsell,

Anna Kendrick never had ”a backup plan.” The 30-year-old actress admits she has no idea what she would be doing if she hadn’t carved out a successful career in Hollywood because she never even thought about getting another job.

I don’t doubt these stories and, in fact, I’m certain they’re true. Many successful writers, actors, comedians, etc., probably never had the plan or intention to do anything else. (The others were people who intended to do something else before discovering they could make much more money more easily as a culture-industry something-or-other: Wallace Shawn, Michael Crichton, Ken Jeong.) And then, people attribute their success to “persistence.” Not having a Plan B made them more “persistent.” Well, I didn’t have a back-up plan either when I was 23. When I was 33 and had failed, I got one. “Persistence” just means these guys got successful enough, quickly enough, that they never had to do that. What would Anna Kendrick have done if after 10 years of trying to be an actor, her lifetime earning were $250? Persist some more? “Persistence” is a quality we attribute to people who become successful quickly, and only to them.  Because on the other hand if one is a total failure, persistence ceases to be a positive quality and becomes a negative. A writer who persists for decades and never becomes successful isn’t admired but, rather, pitied—persistence then becomes sad, pathetic, a symptom of delusion. That person isn’t persistent, but a fool, an idiot, a loser. Such foolishness can be redeemed by money later in life—everyone loves the story of the lone genius whom everybody laughed at until he made a shitload of money—but until he makes that money he is not persistent. He becomes persistent after he becomes successful, but if he dies first and is forgotten then it wasn’t persistence he was demonstrating, it was stupidity. Thus we come to the conclusion that everyone who had persistence didn’t need it, and no one who needed it had it.

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