What's Your Backup?

September 28, 2020

One thing that baffles me about the COVID-19 crisis is how few businesses have an emergency fund or backup plan. No one seems to have any 'In Case of Emergency' plans for when they aren't able to operate at a capacity they're used to.

Simon Sinek said recently in a podcast¹ that we shouldn't save companies that are in debt, or don't have an emergency fund right now because, "they've obviously built bad businesses." Although I can't comment on the health of a business or organization due to lack of experience, we can all learn something about this weird time that has seemed to shed light on the darkest areas of our culture.

A backup plan is not a common thing to have.

Unless, of course, you're Elon Musk, who's building his own spacecraft and sending it into orbit all on his own name. Good thing he did too, or else we would have lost precious astronauts and crew in October of 2012².

During a launch of the Falcon 9 spacecraft in 2012, one of the engine's failed. Because Musk and his SpaceX crew thought outside the box and in a worst case scenario mindset when designing the space craft, they had a backup plan; a safety measure built on the shuttle incase something went wrong with one of the nine engines. The shuttle's mainframe computer shutdown the broken engine and recalculated velocity to the destination using the remaining eight engines. The aircraft successfully delivered its product to orbit. No one the wiser.

Granted, Musk had a lot more on the line than you do in your normal day-to-day life, but what do you do 'In case of Emergency'? Break the glass? Reach into retirement? Get a pawn shop loan?

Those are all bad backup plans.

Question to Ask Yourself

What can I do today to prepare for a bad tomorrow?

  1. Sinek, Simon. "What You Will Learn". Audio Blog Post. Long Term Thinking During a Global Crisis. What You Will Learn. March 31, 2020.
  2. Tim Fernholz, Rocket Billionaires: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the New Space Race (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018); Dan Leaone, "SpaceX Discovers Cause of October Falcon 9 Engine Failure," SpaceNews, December 12, 2012, https://spacenews.com/32775spacex-discovers-cause-of-october-falcon-9-engine-failure/