As a hobby I enjoy learning about the bushcraft community as well as overall preparedness. One of the sayings in these communities, that I’ve come across that really resonated with me is “Two is one and one is none. In bushcraft this refers to the kit that you carry, but this concept can apply to many aspects of life in general.
The general meaning of this saying boils down to having redundancies, “back up plans”, if you will, even a plan C or plan D when plan A and plan B fail. One example that I personally promote is having an emergency fund. You should have at least a $1000.00 emergency fund for when life happens to hit you hard. I would even say you should have an emergency fund that amounts to at least 3 to 6 months of expensive in case anything catastrophic happens. And typically with life, stuff happens.
Another simple, yet practical example, is to have more than one route to your job. Let’s say an accident happened on your normal route to work. Are you trapped in traffic until the wreck is cleared? Or have you planned out multiple contingency routes in case something like that happens so you aren’t late for work. So in this case, having one route to work is a kin to having all your eggs in one basket. Having multiple routes gives you options.
In business having a “two is one and one is none” mentality is paramount to survival. Let’s say you sell a certain type of widget and the widget is sourced from a single manufacturer. This is your most popular widget. Well if that manufacturer suddenly closes down (for any number of reasons – natural disaster, government overthrow, bankruptcy), what are you going to do? What if you had 3 or 4 different manufactures that you could source this widget from. Would that not make you sleep better as a business owner? Let me give you a prime example where a company only had “one”, which essentially meant they had nothing… which eventually happened. The Kodak company hedged it’s bet on film. They freaking invented the digital camera in 1975… and basically said to the inventor, cool story bro, but we’re going to stick with film. Had Kodak capitalized and seen the potential of the digital disruptive invention it had built, and had it diversified a little, it would not have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012.
I hope these examples helped to unpack the saying, two is one and one is none. In the woods you should always carry two knives, one as your primary and one as a backup. In life you should always have income set aside for emergency while living off your primary income. In business you should always have a back up strategy, in case your main strategy fails.
Thanks for tagging along,