One of the reasons as to why many people don’t succeed is that they always have back-up plans. A back-up plan does nothing to help you reach your main goal and only makes it harder to succeed. The solution is to take no back-up. Burn your bridges and give your main goal everything you got.
Ask any very successful person what his back-up plan was and chances are he will tell you that he had none. It was do-or-die.
The problem with back-up plans is that they give you a perceived sense of insurance and security. Even if your main goal fails at least you will have something to fall back on just in case. Having a back-up plan seems ideal for success right?
The fake security your back-up plan gives you comes at a cost. Once you have that back-up in place you will no longer be giving everything you got towards your main plan.
A back-up plan is an excuse to not give 100%. It’s an excuse to justify failure.
Have An Extreme Focus
To accomplish something great you need to have tunnel vision. You have to dedicate yourself towards that one thing and go after it with no fail-safe or insurance.
Take two young men who are heading into university. Both are going to study health with the goal of becoming a doctor.
One of these men decides to take teaching as a back-up option in case he doesn’t make it into medical school.
The other doesn’t think of a back-up plan at all. It’s med school or bust for him.
Guess who’s more likely to succeed at their main goal.
Back-up Bob won’t be studying harder when the going get’s tough, he’s just going to remember his back-up plan of being a teacher and stick with that.
“Man this work sure is hard, I guess I’ll just stick with becoming a gym teacher”
Meanwhile Do-Or-Die Dan is going to be up until 3am working towards his goal of becoming a doctor because that’s all he has.
“I have to get 100% on this test, I have to get into medical school no matter what”
Entrepreneurship Requires you to Burn your Bridges
This same lesson can be applied to business as well. If you want to start a successful business you better be ready to dedicate all of yourself towards making it work or you won’t make a nickel.
Take Edwin C. Barnes who staked his entire future on going into business with Thomas Edison. Barnes started off by working under Mr. Edison but didn’t settle there. He staked everything he had on becoming Mr. Edison’s partner and didn’t rest until he achieved his goal. He burned his bridges and it payed off for him, literally.
Barnes burned his first bridge when he spent nearly all his cash just to reach Thomas Edison. He burned his second bridge by sticking with his job under him while preparing for an opportunity to fulfill his ambition. He burned his third bridge by having the courage to take advantage of the opportunity he was presented with while others were afraid of it.
Do or Die
There is a saying among the average folk: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”.
That mentality my friends, is why average people stay average while great people become greater and greater.
Average people are never willing to put in 100% effort towards something. They always need back-ups and fail-safes.
That mentality is why most businesses fail.
That mentality is why most people who hope to become doctors and engineers settle for mediocre jobs.
That mentality is why the person who had such big dreams now has nothing.
Great people need no back-up. Great people have a do-or-die attitude. Leave the back-up plans for the average people.
You put all your damn eggs in one basket, and you stick with it.
By dedicating 100% of yourself you can’t fail.