How to switch to plan B when plan A does not work without changing the goal

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

“I think I nailed it this time!” Stephanie said excitedly as she spoke to her husband after the interview was over.  “This might just be the breakthrough I have been waiting for all these years.”

Like many entrepreneurs, Stephanie’s desire was to get a big tender with the State, as a way of making a big win.  But what she did not know was that getting State tenders was not as easy as taking a walk in the park.  For three years, she continuously submitted tender application forms without any positive outcome—not even qualifying to go for an interview.  So when she finally got invited to an interview, she was very optimistic.

However, the joy was short lived because a few days after the interview, to her dismay, she received a letter of regret, informing her that she did not qualify for the State tender to supply medical equipment in three rural hospitals.

One day while having lunch with a friend, he asked her whether she had considered applying for sub-contracts.  Doing this would enable her to provide services on behalf of another company—that had won a State tender—as part of a larger project.  Full of determination, for the next couple of weeks which turned into months, Stephanie focused her energy on networking, which eventually paid off when she met an accomplished entrepreneur who was willing to partner with her, and award her sub-contracts.  The bank checks of sub-contracts may not be as lucrative as those of State tenders, but this is the thing for Stephanie, they are regular, and she smiles all the way to the bank.

Sometimes we miss out on good opportunities in life because of being rigid, coupled with being blinded with some level of voracity—which is only human—but can end up hindering us from attaining our goals.  So, if the plan does not work, change it but do not change the goal by:

  • Being open minded to learn new things.  Although Stephanie wanted to go for the ‘big cake’ (State tenders), she was also willing to learn new ways of doing things.  This enabled her to be open minded when her friend introduced her to new ways of attaining her goal, and she ended up getting the ‘small cake’ (sub-contracts).  Which is better than not getting anything at all.
  • Continuously seek for improved ways of doing things.  On her own, probably because of lack of experience and resources, Stephanie was not able to qualify for State tenders.  However, by expanding her horizons through networking and with a good capital base, she was able to get connected with the right caliber of people who were willing to partner with her.
  • Going back to the drawing board.  Once she learned that she could still get State tenders—but through getting sub-contracts, Stephanie realized that she needed to conduct her business differently, and the first thing on the agenda was to invest on networking, in order to establish relations with the right people who had similar interests like her.  Remember, birds of a feather flock together.