To succeed in life or forestall unexpected shock and disappointment, individuals and organisations need to have their Plans A and B. Plan A is the plan you will use if things work out as expected, while Plan B is the second plan you can use if things do not work out as expected.
Today, organisations collapse because of lack of an alternative plan should things fail to work out as planned. Most workers too do not have the foresight of having their Plan B in the event of sudden loss of job for instance. The Plan B of a worker with foresight may be self-employment. Lack of Plan B is like having a car key without a spare. What happens if it gets lost? Is it that time you will start looking for a solution? In short, the stress will be overwhelming.
To create awareness about the need to always have a Plan B, I have decided to review this week, this book entitled “The Power of Plan B” with the subtitle “The Secret of Today’s Millionaires”.
The book is written by Sam Asekunowo, MD/CEO, Digital Lifeclinic Ltd, Lagos, Nigeria. Asekunowo holds a Higher Diploma in Accountancy and Finance from Yaba College of Technology, where he graduated in 1998. He also has Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria. Asekunowo qualified as an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in 1998 and has Master of Business Administration (Management) from University of Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State in addition to Master of Science in Finance from Lagos State University, Lagos, Nigeria.
This author submits that the text is an exposition of how individuals can retire early to create wealth to secure the future and become financially independent by starting and running successfully their own mega businesses. Asekunowo discloses that based on his established facts on how today’s millionaires are made, owing a business and running it successfully is the fastest way to get the dream accomplished.
He adds that this text explicitly guides employees to save and retire early and explains that it is only profit that can turn an individual into a millionaire not the monthly paycheque.
Structurally, this text is segmented into four sections of 22 chapters. Section one is eclectically christened Get motivated and covers the first eight chapters. Chapter one is entitled The parable of the parrots and the perches. Here, Asekunowo quotes Alvin Toffler thus: “Change is not merely necessary to life – it is life.”
According to this author, “In my interactions with different people in work places; one of those decisions people find hard to take is leaving their paid jobs and having to face uncertainty. This experience cuts across all cadres including the senior ones.” Asekunowo adds that it is however more common among young executives between the ages of 30 and 40 years. This author stresses that asking them about what their alternative plan of actions would be if they leave their paid jobs is a very taxing question.
Asekunowo illuminates that when you advise people in this category on the need to have an alternative plan while their paid jobs are still running, you really must exercise caution because such advice could look stupid and the feedback you will get may be unpleasant as this could mean to them that you are trying to push them to taking a decision that could bring unnecessary financial difficulties to their family.
In this author’s words, “Some people are not really sure if there is a need for it while some feel the time is not ripe for such an action. Take for instance, an employee with a well-paying job, a job with a good official car and that pays all the bills or such a job with an outstanding social standing in the society, will not find it easy to quit.”
Chapter two is christened Sure! You need a Plan B. According to Asekunowo here, “One of the popular maxims we hear people say almost every time is that those that fail to plan therefore plan to fail. Yes! Planning is good.”
This author adds that many of us would have engaged in one form of planning or another. He says an adult of twenty-five years would have had some plans concerning his family life. “One thing that is not sure is whether that adult understands that having plans alone is not prevention for failure in life. Having alternative plans of action towards achieving a set target in case one fails so that one can turn to others for safety, is the best approach in life,” educates this author.
In chapters three to eight, Asekunowo analytically X-rays concepts such as discovering your potential and moving forward; coping with job loss; need for a mentor; potency of networking; holding onto your dream and the worth of your talent.
Section two is generically labelled Getting Started and contains seven chapters, that is, chapters nine to 15. Chapter nine is entitled Various opportunities in the economy. This author quotes Robert Collier here thus: “As fast as each opportunity presents itself, use it. No matter how tiny an opportunity may be, use it.”
Asekunowo says as you read through this chapter, he wants you to recollect any of the business opportunities you have spotted in the previous chapters. He adds that if you can do this successfully, then you are closer to making your dream business a reality. According to him, “It means you have the right mind to spot opportunities even in real world; this is because being able to spot opportunities is the first requisite in becoming a successful business owner. I have always believed that opportunities exist in every situation and some of these can be converted into one form of business activity or the other. All we need to do is to discover where these opportunities exist and tap into them. These opportunities exist because goods and services, as a matter of necessity, must continue to exchange hands to meet the needs of people and in exchange for money.”
Asekunowo says another reason why business opportunities will continue to exist is because of what is happening in the global market. “Based on the global challenges especially with the high demand for food items, special service providers, technology, and alternative source of energy, some sectors of the economy have become extremely very important and active with increasing business activities,” asserts this author.
In chapters ten to fifteen, Asekunowo beams his intellectual searchlight on concepts such as what to check before deciding what to do; possibility of your idea being profitable; giving your business a good foundation; how best to locate your business; how to survive the first 12 months and good brands implying good profit.
Section three is summarily woven together as Let’s discuss your finance and covers six chapters, that is, chapters 16 to 21. Chapter 16 is based on the interrogative subject matter of Why worry about your start-up capital? According to Asekunowo here, “One of the regularly discussed challenges confronting businessmen and entrepreneurs world wide is how to raise the start-up capital. Really, the issue of capital is not limited to young and ‘aspiring entrepreneurs’ alone. Big- or medium-scale enterprise also experience this challenge often times. The fact is that no other issue poses more challenges to businessmen than that of start-up capital.”
He illuminates that capital has become a key success factor in realising any business dream today, adding that without it, the dream is like a mirage.
In chapters 17 to 21, this author examines concepts such as starting small and growing big; how your bank can help you; two good heads being better than one; learning some bookkeeping and learning some terminologies in finance.
Section four, the last section is christened Avoid the pitfall and contains just a chapter, that is, chapter 22. In Asekunowo’s words, “Business failure is a matter of fact. Though no one likes to associate with failure, this is a reality we have to live with. Failure in business can result from several mistakes due to poor decision or other factors not really in the control of the business owners; whichever way one looks at it, the effect is always devastating. When you struggle to start a business and all of a sudden the business collapses, it will affect your finance, family, and social life.”
As regards presentation mode, this text is okay. For instance, the concepts discussed in this text are brilliantly and logically presented. Asekunowo starts every chapter with one form of allusion or another to achieve analytical reinforcement and ensure easy understanding on readers’ part.
What’s more, this text is embodiment of high aesthetic appeal, especially because the print quality is high and the layout very good.
However, some typographical errors are noticed in the text, which need to be corrected in the next edition. One of these is “Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria” instead of “Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria”.
Conceptually, this text is on the highest rung of intellectual ladder. It is fantastic and highly recommended to anybody that wants to become his or her boss.