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    Why You Should Have a Backup Plan

    1. Brian @ Debt Discipline

      February 19th, 2015 at 8:41 am

      Great post Stefanie! There are so many people that just have a single plan, a job, but once you open your mind to pursuing other plans it don’t have to be a plan A or plan B game. The more you can diversify the better off you’ll be. The more opportunities of happiness and income will be potentially opened up to you.

    2. Stefanie

      February 19th, 2015 at 10:10 am

      Exactly. It’s a powerful lesson.

    3. Shannyn

      February 19th, 2015 at 8:50 am

      Can I get an amen? Loved this post! I have followed this philosophy a few times and once you get over yourself you realize it’s not that you aren’t giving 100% to a dream or goal, you know that this is better in the long term to ensure success!

    4. Stefanie

      February 19th, 2015 at 10:09 am

      Thanks Shannyn! I just see too many people making themselves miserable in the singular pursuit.

    5. Tonya@Budget and the Beach

      February 19th, 2015 at 9:38 am

      Could not agree more Stefanie! There is the danger of getting pulled TOO many directions and not putting much effort into any, but I’d say that’s like someone drinking too much water is just as much as risk as someone who is dehydrated. You can have many things you’re passionate about and can define your work life any way you see fit, as long as it makes you happy and you can take care of yourself.

    6. Stefanie

      February 19th, 2015 at 10:09 am

      Agreed. There must be focus but there also has to be permission to explore and nurse alternatives.

    7. Elroy

      February 19th, 2015 at 9:47 am

      Of course, Mike Rowe said the opposite, by not doing something you love [and doing a job which pays well and is not glorious] will bring you happiness. It’s very interesting. Psst…more TED talks.

    8. Stefanie

      February 19th, 2015 at 10:08 am

      I’m a TED fanatic and I’ve totally seen that one 🙂 I think happiness lies in the combination of the two. I love Mike’s point about the return to skills. My bf is a carpenter and has found so much happiness (and money) from a a profession that is too often dismissed.

    9. Shannon @ Financially Blonde

      February 19th, 2015 at 10:36 am

      I am someone who only had one stream of income for the first 13 years of my professional life. For the past two years, I have discovered so many other income opportunities and with each one that I develop, the happier I get because it feels better to have multiple “bosses” rather than rely on just one.

    10. Stefanie

      February 19th, 2015 at 10:48 am

      Totally. It’s not just an artists problem it’s a cultural limitation.

    11. Cristina

      February 19th, 2015 at 11:31 am

      This is such a great article and something I’ve tried to tell all my students/friends about. I never majored in theatre and it’s something a lot of people have looked at me twice for. I majored in English Ed. and minored in theatre and I feel it’s given me an even better perspective of my craft and how I approach it. Who knows if I will end up teaching for the rest of my life or continuing in this career, but even though I have a so-called “back-up” plan, it doesn’t mean I HAVE to use it. That’s all it is, a back-up. Regardless though, it’s something I still ENJOY doing and I don’t think that makes me less of an artist. In fact, I think it makes me a better one 🙂 I actually just wrote a post similar to this about staying motivated in this business. I think we share a lot of the same thoughts! Thanks for sharing!

    12. Stefanie

      February 19th, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      Thanks for sharing Cristina. I’m totally with you, if anything “the back up” enriches rather than detracts.

    13. Chonce

      February 19th, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      Diversifying your income is a great way to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. Careers are not very secure these days and that’s okay with me because I always been passionate about multiple different fields anyway. I love how you mention how having an alternate plan doesn’t mean you are setting yourself up for failure. I’d rather prepared 🙂

    14. Stefanie

      February 19th, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      I think that’s true even in more “traditional” careers. Nothing is certain, and so diversification is a great strategy.

    15. Mel

      February 19th, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      I love this post! So many people I’ve spoken with in the arts don’t have any back-up plans. Maybe there’s just something about that phrase that alienates people, but I’ve always felt that knowing where I could find alternative streams of income was part of what gave me so much confidence to chase my dreams.

    16. Stefanie

      February 19th, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      I think you’re right about the language of it. People are averse to the idea of “back up”, maybe we need to find a better word.

    17. Broke Millennial

      February 19th, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      Preach! You’re so dead on in this post. And everyone who things you need to focus exclusively on one craft (be it artistic or otherwise) are fooling themselves. You become more powerful as an artist, entrepreneur, or businessperson by expanding your horizons and opening up to new possibilities and experiences. I NEVER would’ve guessed I’d be doing the work I am when I graduated college nearly four years ago. It was also in college I determined I didn’t have enough singular passion for theatre to go through the starving artist phase of life. Frankly, the “you have to be all in” mentality is what kept me from pursuing acting directly after college because I believed that surely people who were completely burning with a passion for acting would always beat me out in the end. Funny how this mentality kind of works both ways, as a deterrent for getting in and for getting out.

    18. Stefanie

      February 19th, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      I think the all in mentality is probably not all that healthy in the long run.

    19. Liz

      February 19th, 2015 at 8:33 pm

      Wow, does this post sure hit close to home for me. I single-mindedly pursued my professional goal/career at the expense of my creative side. I eventually figured that out and have a pretty good balance now. I’m much happier and have so many more ideas to expand on ways to diversify my income.

    20. Stefanie

      February 19th, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      I found the same to be true in allowing myself to explore and foster my entrepreneurial side. It’s exciting to watch passion grow through diversification.

    21. Andrew

      February 19th, 2015 at 10:32 pm

      Good stuff. So often people get single focused. It’s good to have diversity. Like any good corporation, they don’t depend on one revenue source for their cashflow. They diversify their offerings and it helps to spread the risk.

    22. Stefanie

      February 19th, 2015 at 10:35 pm

      Exactly. An income source could dry up any time. Diversity is always good stuff.

    23. Mrs. Maroon

      February 20th, 2015 at 11:42 am

      I think having an ultra narrow focus can squash all of your creativity. By pursuing multiple activities, you open yourself up for greater creativity in ALL pursuits. You exercise your mind such that it works better for everything!

    24. Stefanie

      February 21st, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Indeed. There’s definitely a middle ground between focused and singularly focused.

    25. Tawcan

      February 20th, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      Great post, having an open mind and have diversified plans allow you to have so many different options. It makes you to be more flexible and adaptable as well.

    26. Stefanie

      February 21st, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Staying adaptable and flexible is something I think too many people undervalue.

    27. Kayla @ Everything Finance

      February 20th, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      Great post! This is what I’m trying to achieve by going full-time with freelancing. Not only do I hope to make more money, but I also want to enjoy life and writing makes me happy. 🙂

    28. Stefanie

      February 21st, 2015 at 8:13 am

      Right on. I have the same goals!

    29. Kate @ Cashville Skyline

      February 20th, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      Love this perspective, Stefanie! I’m dabbling between a few different streams of income right now too and you’re totally right! It totally works as long as you’re willing to put the time in. You’re obviously a super hard worker, and will continue seeing success in both of your careers as a result.

    30. Stefanie

      February 21st, 2015 at 8:13 am

      Thanks Kate, likewise 🙂

    31. Joanne Viola

      February 21st, 2015 at 8:10 am

      I very much enjoyed this post as this week I have been reading, “All The Placed To Go” by John Ortberg. He shares about the fact that each day we face many opportunities but it is we who often miss them. May we have eyes to see all that is open before us each day. Glad to have stopped here from the SITS. Have a great weekend!

    32. Stefanie

      February 21st, 2015 at 8:13 am

      Thanks for stopping by Joanne. Staying open to new opportunities really is so incredibly powerful.

    33. Rosario ZE

      February 21st, 2015 at 11:24 am

      I have to congratulate Stefani for the great job you do by blogging! I believe in the power of having a back up and open your choices. Also, I do consider that plan A and plan B might unified if people actually do what they are passionate about and getting paid or traveling the world and doing an internship. I’ve been able to volunteer in Nepal and Peru and I would like to share my experience with Heysuccess ( a website full of opportunities (conferences, internships, jobs, scholarships,etc) that will allow you to open your plans even more. VISIT AND APPLY. DO NOT MISS THE AMAZING OPPORTUNITIES AWAITING FOR YOU GUYS!

    34. Michelle

      February 21st, 2015 at 11:36 am

      I think that it is always great to have a back up plan. It is better to be prepared then under prepared.

    35. Karen

      February 21st, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      It is mind blowing when you think of people who are singularly focused, say for example professional athletes or musicians. Obviously they had other jobs to make ends meet, but the rest of the time was spent training/practicing. All that time and effort, all those countless hours spent, not even knowing whether or not they would become successful. I wonder if all of them ever had a back up plan. Then there are those who are still on that path, at what point do you take a look and assess your progress, and say to yourself, should I keep going because I’m still not there yet or quit and try to pursue a different path.

      I feel like I’m focusing on several different areas. It wasn’t until I became a fitness instructor part-time that I realized that your passion can bring income and to be honest, what passion really was. I consider travelling to be one of my long-time passions, but I have no desire to turn it into an income stream. However, blogging has turned into a passion, provided me with a bit of income and now seems to be opening up even more interests.

    36. No Nonsense Landlord

      February 21st, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      I am singularly focused on leaving the cube farm and rat race… Of course, I have multiple revenue streams to do it.

    37. Marissa @Thirysixmonths

      February 22nd, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      Great post! While I’m all about the hustle to achieve a goal, not being open to multiple opps is just asking for trouble.

    38. Stefanie

      February 24th, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      Agreed. There’s nothing wrong with strong focus on a goal, but closing yourself off too much is just as dangerous as a lack of focus.

    39. diane @smartmoneysimplelife

      February 23rd, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      The universe had to chuck a bucket of cold water over me before I seriously considered having a back up plan for my current business. A business that allows me to live the lifestyle that makes me happy. The thing is, the business itself doesn’t make me happy, just the work at home lifestyle it enables so… Now I’m actively working on Plan B, and Plan C… and I’m open to other opportunities, too. Opportunities where the ‘do-ing’ will make me happy as well as the ‘be-ing’.

      No more nasty surprises from the universe for me!

    40. Stefanie

      February 24th, 2015 at 8:13 am

      Yes, ideally the do- and the be- should BOTH be in your favor.

    41. This Week’s Links « Timothy Siburg

      February 24th, 2015 at 9:43 am

      […] Stefanie shared about the benefits and importance of having “Diversity of Income, Diversity of Happiness: Why Having a back up plan isn’t resigning yoursel….” […]

    42. Harmony @ creatingmykaleidoscope

      February 24th, 2015 at 10:38 pm

      I’m still trying to help my husband understand this idea: you can make money from sources beyond your primary occupation. Whenever I encourage him to try new ways to make a couple of extra bucks, he often responds that he doesn’t have time to work a second job.
      This traditional mindset is so limiting, believing that you have one job and when you’re not working it’s time to relax. I’m thankful to have finally woke up to realize that there are other options besides the standard career track.

    43. Week End Round Up #70 - Debt Discipline

      March 9th, 2015 at 8:09 am

      […] Diversity of Income, Diversity of Happiness: Why Having a Back Up Plan Isn’t Resigning Yourself To… @ The Broke and Beautiful Life […]

    44. Real artists don't have day jobs (and other crocks of shit)

      May 12th, 2015 at 8:41 am

      […] a great article on A broke beautiful life called Diversified Income, Diversified Happiness. She makes the point that not only does having a few different income streams make you a more […]

    45. Artel

      October 22nd, 2015 at 2:59 am

      […] a great article by Stefanie O’Connell on The Broke and Beautiful Life called Diversified Income, Diversified Happiness. She makes the point that not only does having a few different income streams make you a more […]

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