There is a saying out there that I am sure all of you are familiar with. It goes like this:

"You should never put all of your eggs in one basket".

These so-called words of wisdom have led many of us, including myself, to believe that you should: 

  1. Always have a back up plan.

  2. Multi-task.

  3. Work on multiple projects.

Believe it or not having several eggs in different baskets is most likely the main reason why people can't get anything done or become successful in any business venture they start. 

How A Back Up Plan Can Hurt You

Back Up Plan
Credit: Let's Graph

The one quality that you will find in highly successful individuals is focus. This is especially true when they are first starting out. If you take a look at all of the great inventors, businessmen, athletes, and entertainers you will clearly see that they had one goal and they were going to do everything in their power to accomplish that goal. The other thing that you will notice is that there was no back up or contingency plan because failure was not an option.

When you have a back up plan you are planting that seed of failure. Having a second option can psychological kill your potential success before you even get started. If you have a back up or contingency plan, then how much effort will you really put into your initial plan.

How much effort and focus would put into a business or project if you knew that you had no other options? You would do whatever you have to do to make it happen, right? Why? Because in this case failure is not an option.  

You will notice that many successful entrepreneurs were essentially on their last leg before their businesses started making money. You will hear that a lot of entrepreneurs say, when they talk about their successes, that their business had to succeed or else. 

The Alternative To Back Up And Contingency Plans

Basically you need to develop a "failure is not an option" attitude. If you don't have a second option or contingency plan, then you are most likely going to focus more on making your business or venture work because there is no other option. Ultimately, you are forced to think about success instead of potential failure. 

Will Smith Says, "Plan B Distracts From Plan A."

Fast Forward To Minute 2:51 Or Listen To Entire Video

Can You Really Multi-Task?

Multitasking

Have you ever tried to text and drive? Ladies have you ever tried to put on make-up while you are driving on the highway? Chances are that if you text or put on make up while you drive, then you have nearly had a wreck at one or another. It is obvious that trying to multi-task while driving on a highway can possibly lead to loss of your life or another.

How has multi-tasking worked out on your job? Unless you are working around heavy machinery or hazardous chemicals, then chances are you will not lose your life if you try to do too many things at once. Nevertheless, when you try to take on too many tasks at one time you run the risk of producing low quality work or not completing any tasks at all.

What usually happened with me when I tried to multi-task was that I would start several different tasks and all of the tasks that I started were not completed. Basically, it was a complete disaster or what some may call a cluster "f-bomb".

How Many Multiple Projects Have You Started And Completed?

Multiple Projects

Personally, I have launched four different websites. Of the four websites, two are about 50% done, while the other two are at about 10%, if that much. So basically I have 4 projects and none of them completed.

How many major projects have you started? How many business start-ups do you have? Are the projects that you started complete? Are your businesses established and generating sales?

If you have multiple projects started and not complete, then there is a problem. If you have several businesses started and all of the businesses are not established, then, obviously, there is a problem.

The Alternative To Multi-Tasking And Multiple Projects

As opposed to multi-tasking and having multiple projects you need to focus on one thing at a time. Once that project or task is complete, then, and only then, should you move on to the next project or task.

You Can't Dig 100 Holes 1 Foot Deep To Strike Oil

A couple of weeks back I was listening to a podcast by Natalie Sisson of the Suitcase Entrepreneur. She was interviewing Derek Halpern of Social Triggers. During the interview she asked Derek why is he so successful online. Derek said that the reason why he is so successful is because he focuses on one thing at a time.

Derek brilliantly used the idea of drilling for oil as an analogy for becoming successful. He says, "You can't dig 100 holes 1 foot deep to strike oil, you have to dig 1 hole 100 feet deep." He goes on to mention that the primary reason why so  many people are failing to make money online and offline is because they are digging too many holes 1 foot deep. Derek contends that in order for you to be successful you should dig one hole 100 feet deep, then you can move on to the next hole.

If you cannot make sense of the analogy "You can't dig 100 holes 1 foot deep to strike oil, you have to dig 1 hole 100 feet deep" here is what the key words or expressions dig, hole, 1 foot deep, 100 feet deep mean.

  • Dig = Start
  • Hole(s) = Project(s)
  • 1 Foot Deep = Not Complete or Not Finished 
  • 100 Feet Deep = Complete or Finished
  • Strike Oil = To be successful

What Do You Think?

What are your thoughts on mult-tasking, tackling multiple projects, and having a back up plan? Also what type of solutions or tools do you use to manage multiple tasks and assignments?

Leave your suggestions and thoughts in the comments section below.