By Sunny Simon

Hanging up the phone I felt a little blue. A dear friend, and the host of our Thanksgiving get together, came down with a bug. Consequently, the planned feast was canceled. I whispered up a little prayer for healing and comfort and hoped he would soon recover.

I had looked forward to spending the holiday in his cozy mountain cabin surrounded by loving friends, a roaring fire, hot toddies and pumpkin pie. While pondering the situation I glanced around my office. Looking down at my mouse pad I smiled. It read: Life is all about how you handle Plan B.  And there it was. My philosophy spelled out on a colorful graphic. For years I coached clients on pivoting to a backup arrangement when the primo plan goes awry. I began crafting Plan B. If that didn’t work, I still had 24 letters left.

A backup plan can be a safety net, a contingency route to accomplishing a career, business or personal goal; however, it is important to note a Plan B can sometimes emerge far superior to your original goal path.

For example, when my friend Lisa was new to the real estate business she invested considerable energy into making a go of it. Her passion was finding the ideal dream house for her clients, but after months of working for a boutique firm, her commissions were few and far between. About the time she was ready to quit, we met for coffee. I reminded her of one of my favorite quotes: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” (We have Milton Berle, a famous comedian from days gone by to thank for that pearl of wisdom.) After some discussion Lisa admitted everything she did was trial and error. The answer became obvious. She needed a mentor. At her present firm there was no senior agent to help her along. Changing agencies and connecting with a seasoned agent who recognized her potential was a successful Plan B pivot.  

Consider your current annual goals. If progress has stalled and you’re not hitting the planned milestones, perhaps it’s time to start creating and hypothesizing various alternative plans. It may require a dose of agility but altering your Plan A, or at least changing things up, may yield success as in Lisa’s real estate career.    

As for my holiday pivot, I sat in front of a tantalizing turkey dinner in a local venue with my one and only. Raising a glass to toast the unknown chef in the kitchen, I gave thanks for creating a Plan B.

Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching and the author of the blog,