THE BACK-UP PLAN Is working in reverse secretly hurting your career?

The Back-up Plan showcases (Jennifer Lopez) Zoe’s life “in reverse.” After years of dating, she desperately wants a baby and can no longer wait for Mr. Right. On the day she gets artificially inseminated, she unknowingly successfully gets pregnant AND meets the man she will soon fall in love with. In other words, first came baby and the rest, well it all happens in reverse. In the end, she has everything she ever wanted.

But what happens if your back-up plan isn’t your dream come true? What if like so many others, your back-up plan is what happens IF your entertainment career doesn’t work out?

As a coach, there are two stands I can take on back-up plans.

One: it’s responsible to have a plan if you haven’t reached certain milestones by certain time frames.

Two: If you know that back-up plan is there for you as a “safety-net, you may never fully risk everything you must, to make your dream come true.

The later is what this article is about. Zoe’s back-up plan was backfiring on her throughout the movie. Because she got pregnant before she fell in love, she was too afraid to give 100% to her new relationship. She wasn’t willing to risk everything for love because she was no longer alone, she had the unconditional love of her baby-to-be to use as an excuse every time things got confusing with Stan.

Is working in reverse secretly hurting your career? Have you ever considered, daydreamed, or even discussed with someone a back-up plan? If so, knowing it exists could be stopping you from taking the business side of your business as seriously as you MUST, to create the career you want. Think about when you make calls for work. Is it while you’re on a job or once the job is over? If it’s once the job is over, you’ve waited too long. Now what happens if you can’t find another job as your money is running out? You get desperate which makes you less likely to get hired. But, you can always fall back on your back-up plan; working at the Coffee Bean, cashing in stocks, selling your house, or worst-case scenario, leaving the business.

Instead of creating a back-up plan to fall back on, why not create a strategic plan that builds toward your dream? Work forward, take risks, take action as if failure were not an option, as if there was no back-up plan.

Zoe got lucky. Stan fell in love with the whole package, but that’s a romantic comedy, and usually, life is a drama. Don’t take a chance on throwing away your dream for a back-up plan. Treat each day as if it were your last opportunity to make it and see what shifts occur.

And Action!

1.   If you do have a back up plan, what would you be doing differently if you didn’t?

2.   Write down 3 career risks that intimidate you, but if you took them and they paid off, would move your career forward.

3.   Give yourself two weeks to act on each of those career risks.   

As actor, Brad William Henke (interviewed in says, “A NO doesn’t change your life. A YES does.” Start taking risks in your career and work forward!