The Backup Plan
Note: this post appeared on my previous blog and was published on 01.24.2018
The NFL crowned its two Conference Champions this past weekend. All eyes, and certainly the drama, were on the AFC Conference Championship Game. To me, the intrigue and curiosity was in the NFC Conference Championship Game.
To set the story, the Eagles raced out to one of the best records in football early in the season, behind strong play from their defense, but also from the incredible play of their budding star quarterback. In early December, with the Eagles leading the way in the NFL and a strong contender for the Super Bowl, their star quarterback and offensive leader was injured. It turned out he would be lost for the season.
Many media pundits declared the Eagles hopes for a Super Bowl to be gone, vanished, declared over.
Enter the backup quarterback.
While the Eagles remained a strong team on both sides of the ball, many questioned whether their new starting QB, arguably the most important position on a pro football team, could lead them to the Super Bowl.
Fast forward to the NFC Championship game this past weekend. The Eagles entered the game as the underdog, supported by the fact they were employing a backup quarterback. Their offense would likely have to lead the way in the NFC Championship game against the NFL's best regular season defense. And as it turned out, their backup quarterback would spearhead this charge, turning in a marvelous performance and propelling the Eagles to the Super Bowl.
Whether it's the regular season or the playoffs, many teams in the NFL have been doomed by a situation like this. Just as many of us would be in trouble if our "financial" starting quarterback suffered a significant injury.
Think about your "financial" starting quarterback. Maybe it's your ability to earn an income. Maybe it's the business you started. Maybe you're retired, or near retirement, so it's all of your savings/investments/retirement accounts. Do you have a backup plan if/when your star financial quarterback gets injured?
The Eagles had a backup plan. They had confidence and were prepared before the season even started. They trusted their backup could be counted on to fill the gap if needed. He may not have had the same qualities as their starting quarterback, he may not have been "as good" as their starting quarterback. And when they needed him most, he was able to step up and lead them to victory.
Our backup plan doesn't have to be sexy. It doesn't have to have the same exciting qualities of the star "financial" quarterback. It doesn't have to be "as good."
It does have to be counted on. It does have to be dependable. And it does have to be there.
For us, our financial "season" is ongoing. We don't know for certain when it will end. Sure, we can roll the dice and hope we don't ever need a backup plan. The risk, though, is far too great. Our family is depending on it. Our retirement is counting on it.
For our financial lives, there is no "next season."