No Backup Plan — Medium

No Backup Plan

In response to a piece by Theranos CEO

“I think that the minute that you have a backup plan, you’ve admitted that you’re not going to succeed.” — Elizabeth Holmes

Going into the wild is scary and a little crazy. It only makes sense that you as a rational person would have a backup plan. Right?….Wrong.

The reasoning behind the quote above makes sense. When you set up a backup plan it’s a different psychology. You’re not fully invested in the venture, you won’t give it all you’ve got, you won’t strive as hard. You won’t think as clearly and intensely as when you’ve got no backup plan. When you don’t have a backup plan you have to focus, you have to figure out the solution, you have to keep driving forward with full confidence and chutzpah.

How’s this, or more so, why is this?

Well, you’ve placed constraints upon yourself, you set parameters, you’ve set a structure, you’ve defined where you want to be and have a clearer idea of what you have to do to get there. You’re out of your comfort zone, you have to be. If you wan’t to get that specific task or goal completed, you’ve got to go out there and keep moving to get it. You know that there is nothing else to come back to or fall back on. So whatever it is, you’re going to have to somehow make it work.


There’s no other choice, there’s no other option BUT to make it work.

So equip yourself with the skills, believe in yourself, set some tasks and go out there and make it happen. Not just because you want to but because you have to.

A quick anecdote: I was at a conference, a speaker went up and did his part, he spoke for sometime on variety of topics and then asked for questions. A question from one of the audience members was “How do you stay motivated and successful?” (I thought that this was one of the stupidest questions to ask. If you’ve got to ask the question. Then that means your in a zone of comfort, you’re coming from a different background or mentality) The speaker was taken aback, hesitated, and then after a minute or so, said “Fear”. “Fear of loss, fear of not being able to live fully, etc..along those lines.”

Place yourself in position to win by being austere, focus on what matters most and focus intensely on them..because you have to.

Thanks to @jdcarluccio, @charlesjo. @theranos, and everyone else who contributed in some way.

Charles Jo


Your input is welcome