Why You Should Burn All Your Bridges and Never Have a Backup Plan

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / July 18, 2014

What do you see when you look at a successful human?

I see a determination, definiteness of purpose, and plan that most people are too afraid to ever create for themselves.

Have you ever met anyone who achieved something important in life, something they would consider a dream, by dropping back to a plan B? It just doesn’t work that way.

Backup plans are not for winners. A person with a backup plan is likely to use that backup plan. This automatically means they’ve settled for less than what they initially wanted.

If you want to become a solopreneuer, you become one by deciding once and for all that there is no other route or course of action for you. You decide to push past the bottom-feeders and live out your full potential. You decide to create something that not only adds value to the world, but is in line with your individual purpose. There’s that “purpose” word again. Where are you supposed to find that?


No one ever wins in life with a backup plan.

Here’s the problem: Plan B is the sum of all your worries, fears, and disaster scenarios rolled up into one half-a*sed plan. A plan that you’re allowing yourself to be happy with. Why on earth are you compromising with your fears?

Shouldn’t we be focusing on the prize, not on the obstacles in the way?

There’s no hocus-pocus to this. Analyze any successful person you know, and you’ll see these common traits (whether they realize it or not). It essentially comes down to a fixed vs. growth mindset. People like Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck have dedicated their lives to this. Studies have been performed to understand what creates success.

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If you don’t take action on your goals and desires now, will you regret it when you’re on your deathbed?

Life is a checkerboard, and the player opposite you is time.

– Napoleon Hill

Look around at the people you admire. Think about your role models and heros. Do they negotiate with life? Do they back down when they’re met with defeat or criticism? Do they believe in failure?

We hear these hero stories and learn about people who finally “made it” every day. There’s a constant theme every time: they had a relentless, crazy belief in succeeding and achieving their dreams. Whether they “failed” once or a thousand times, they kept going.

Also, isn’t there always an odd constant theme of them being in the worst possible state, in their most defeated times, when they finally pushed forward and achieved their goals?

If you want something, and you have a relentless desire to make it happen, backed by immediate action and a solid strategy — you will inevitably get it. Why? Because when you only have one possible outcome, the failures along the way can’t stop you.

The best part is — there is no such thing as failure happening to you. Failure is a choice. Failure is something we have to allow. Failure is the moment we choose to give up. For many, this may be hard to swallow. But there’s power in this realization.

In actuality, a failure along the way is nothing more than a temporary hiccup or side-step in your ultimate plan. If you have some big dream about becoming an entrepreneur, bestselling author, or world traveler — the only thing stopping you is…you.

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Not the you you normally identify with. This you is nothing more than a mass accumulation of fears that your mind has created and held onto for years.

Your desires, dreams, and goals are perfectly fine. Now if you feel the plan is not yet ready or complete, that’s okay. But what’s not okay is just floating around wondering why all your plans aren’t coming true.

You must know clearly what it is you want.

Combine that with massive amounts of desire/purpose and your goals will miraculously be met with brilliant plans to help bring them into reality.

The problem (and cycle) starts when you allow yourself to come up with alternate plans that distract from the mission. The alternate plan comes with an alternate end goal, which is never as worthy of your ultimate one.

Burn the bridges, don’t look back, and march forward like there’s no tomorrow.

We’re all human. There will be struggles and moments of extreme doubt. But we can’t allow these fears or backup plans to creep into our minds.

Over time, I’ve developed a reflex to quickly stop these thoughts the moment they occur. Think of it as a game. Monitor the chatter in the skull, rather than identify with it. The moment something outside of your grandiose visions creeps in, snap it out of there like a rubber band slapping against your wrist.

In fact, I actually do that. I use a rubber band on my wrist to break old habits and develop new ones. This was one of them.

I’m not the typical entrepreneur. I don’t have the typical entrepreneur skills, mindset, or business. But I believe in my mission. I believe every single one of us deserves a life of freedom. I believe we all deserve to live the life we want, not the one others want for us.

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I decided the only way I would ever commit to escaping the corporate world, building my dreams for myself, and becoming a solopreneur was by burning the bridges to the ground!

There is no return to a life of mediocrity, being incentivized to produce like a monkey, and falsely believing my daily actions (job) are contributing to the development of mankind. I’m contributing to society now, more than ever before.

If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs.

– Tony Gaskins

With that said, what are you going to do?

Question: If there was one thing you could do for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Note from the author: I began drafting these ideas on a long transpacific plane ride, after a 97 day journey throughout Southeast Asia. At the time, I understood the lessons (in theory), but didn’t fully know how to live these values. Now I do, and I’ve seen a dramatic difference in my business and life.

A version of this post was originally published on WhyILeftGoogle.com 

Arman Assadi is founder and Chief Solopreneur at WhyILeftGoogle.com (WILG). Arman helps solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and wantrepreneurs create more freedom and work more effectively. He is a writer, soccer player, and obsessive world traveler. He is also Board of Directors President for Traveling Stories— a 501c3 nonprofit organization working to outsmart poverty one book at a time. For more articles like this, get access to his Freedom Lifestyle Insider Newsletter.

Image Credit: http://quotes.lifehack.org/

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.