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Crossroad: When Plan B becomes Plan A

Updated: May 28

On a recent trip to S.E. Asia, I encountered a scene that took me by surprise. I was so astounded that I had to snap a picture. It was the bizarre accumulation of hundreds of wires over the sidewalk and street.

It resulted from years of unplanned growth.

The scene reminded me of the tangled decisions that entrepreneurs make when life doesn’t turn out the way they thought.

When plan A doesn’t work out and forces us to accept another plan, we are at a major crossroad. This crossroad can be the catalyst for many overlapped and tangled decisions that produce a life of chaos.

When we face this crossroad of confusion and disappointment repeatedly, we eventually come to a situation that our education, skills, money, network, or hard work cannot fix. It is this crossroad that prepares us to consider healthier and more productive ways of thinking.

Entrepreneurs who are looking for an excuse to hate, be angry, or avoid responsibility will use this crossroad to justify their tangled lives. When leaders experience physical, financial, emotional, relational, or other breaking circumstances and respond wrongly, everyone suffers.

By refusing to be responsible and peel through the mess of decisions that have produced chaos in our lives,we make ourselves powerless victims.

Many years ago, Pastor Frank Harrington gave four guidelines for handling life when plan A fails.

1. Avoid becoming a cynic.

Cynical people open the door for a suspicion that fuels anger and outrage. Once the door opens, that suspicion powers a divisive attitude that will kill all your relationships. Growing entrepreneurs cannot allow cynicism to dominate their thinking. Remember, success is when those that know you the best love you the most.

2. Don’t quit just before a breakthrough.

When your life is a confusing mess of tangled decisions, you can be simultaneously frantic and bored and burdened by low self-esteem and broken relationships. At this place, when we desperately want a better life, we can feel powerless to make it happen, and it becomes easy to quit just before a breakthrough. It is human nature to quit when it hurts. Be careful. To face the disappointment crossroad and quit puts you at risk of becoming a serial quitter. Serial quitters never finish well.

3. Face the change to Plan B: It can be a golden opportunity.

Sometimes progress happens when we abandon asking “why?” There are many things that you may never figure out, understand, or know the answers to. There are some things that you may only understand later. The key is to press forward with your trusted friends and advisors to determine the wise path and take it. No horse gets anywhere until it is harnessed. Smart entrepreneurs harness Plan B and find the golden opportunity in it.

4. God is at work in and through us to make something good of the situation.

Vance Havner, a Baptist evangelist, related the story of an elderly lady who was disturbed by her many troubles, both real and imaginary. Finally she was told in a kindly way by her family, “Grandma, we’ve done all we can do for you. You’ll just have to trust God for the rest.” A look of utter despair spread over her face as she replied, “Oh, dear, has it come to that?”

Sometimes we just have to trust that God is at work in our situation to make something good happen.

We have begun to successfully navigate the crossroad of disappointment when we go from seeing life as a series of unrelated struggles and pains to seeing life as a series of events that God wants to work in. This is the teaching of Romans 8:28.

When life happens the way you weren’t expecting, sometimes Plan B becomes Plan A. Successful entrepreneurs who continually make a profit, bless their community and advance their purpose navigate this crossroad well.

To help you in your succession planning, I have created a free asset, The Seven Pitfalls To Avoid In Succession Planning. It is my gift to you, free. DOWNLOAD HERE.

I have faith in you.

Harry T. Jones

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