I made a life changing decision last month. I quit my job. I moved out of my apartment in Boston. I decided to move towards a brighter future – literally.
A friend called me with a once in a lifetime opportunity. I could join him in the beautiful St. Maarten to sell vacation ownership. I would learn sales, which I consider a necessary life skill for any aspiring entrepreneur. Moreover, vacation ownership has some of the best sales training and I would have vacation ownership OGs as mentors. I stood to make 2-3x what I was making at my job at the time. Not to mention, housing expenses would be paid. On top of all this, I would be in paradise. The opportunity sounded too good to be true. And it was.
When the opportunity fell through, I wasn’t at a complete loss because I applied ABZ planning before taking the leap of faith.
Reid Hoffman and Ben Cassnocha present the cocept of ABZ planning in their book, The Startup of You. ABZ planning involves three alternative courses of action.
Plan A – best case scenario (this is your dream come true)
Plan B – pivot to this alternative if Plan A doesn’t succeed
Plan Z – worst case scenario (abandon ship and hop in your lifeboat)
Applying the ABZ planning method to my decision, my alternatives were:
Plan A – Go to St. Maarten. Learn sales. Make more money. Cut down expenses. Live in paradise.
Plan B – Go home to Orlando. Learn sales. Make more money. Cut down expenses. Enjoy the warm weather.
Plan Z – Apply for a front desk jobs anywhere. Recoup and recalibrate.
I pivoted to Plan B since Plan A did not work. Fortunately, Orlando is one of the most popular tourist destinations, so vacation ownership (Plan B) and front desk options (Plan Z) are plentiful. Even though Plan A wasn’t a dream come true, life is still good. Plan B was a success. I have accepted a position at Westgate Resorts, which industry insiders regard as one of the best training grounds. While Plan B wasn’t my first choice, it might be a better choice because the more refined training will increase my likelihood for success.
What’s your next play?
Take risks to create breakthrough opportunities for yourself. Make sure to consider your alternatives when doing so. Reduce your risk with the application of ABZ planning.
To ∞ and beyond…