Having a backup plan is a Knockout Networking strategy!

Beyond being in the business of business networking, I teach a public speaking class at a large university. The midterm exams are administered through an online platform that the students can access on their laptops.

As I was proctoring the exam, a few of my students shared a concern that their laptop had low battery life – one student was down to 2%!

That means, they were at risk of being unable to complete their work and possibly losing the work they already did.


None of those students had a power cord with them as a backup. I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t have their power source on hand. The class didn’t know it, but I actually had 5 printed copies of the exam with me in case someone forgot their laptop or had a tech issue. (I’m funny like that.)

Luckily, a fellow student had a compatible power cord to loan the 2% student, and all was good in the world. At least until the next exam.

How many situations do we have where a backup plan can save the day?

To a fault, perhaps, I almost always think, “What if?”

  • What if my laptop runs out of power?
  • What if I can’t access the wireless network?
  • What if my slides don’t work?
  • What if that car doesn’t stop at the red light or stop sign?
  • What if they ask a question I can’t answer?
  • What if the speaker doesn’t show up?
  • What if I get hungry or thirsty?
  • What if I run out of gas?
  • What if I get nervous?
  • What if I lose my place?
  • What if I forget their name?
  • What if I make a mistake?
  • What if I embarrass myself?
  • What if I fail?
  • What if I lose?
  • What if she doesn’t say I love you back?

Having a backup plan or “Plan B” helps us feel better prepared, relieves stress, and helps us react in a “what if” situation like a pro.

The next time you’re in a situation where it’s up to you to “do the thing”, consider “What if” something didn’t go as planned? Then think about what you could do now to cover your bets.

Remember, when it comes to any type of backup plan, it’s always better to have it and not need it – than need it and not have it!


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