One thing we all have to be comfortable with today is that tomorrow may bring
an unexpected and different set of economic challenges. The country was freely
spending in 2007, but how were most people feeling at Christmas time in 2008?
Challenging and changing environments are just part of nature, sometimes
literally. Every day is not filled with warm sunshine, pretty flowers, and
fluffy clouds. Pat White, the former Miami Dolphins backup quarterback, learned
this the hard way on January 3, 2010. White’s experience, just like the
recession, taught us that fortunes can change in an instant, and we should have
a Plan B.
Every reason to feel confident and secure
Prior to being drafted into the NFL by the Dolphins two years ago Pat White was
a senior at West Virginia with a spectacular list of accomplishments. He had
been the starter in West Virginia for three years and held the NCAA record for
rushing yardage by a quarterback. White was also the first starting quarterback
to win four bowl games in NCAA history.
He rightly would have had every reason to believe that he would get good job in
the NFL. Sure enough, he was hired during the draft and in his first year served
as the backup quarterback in nearly all the regular season games behind the
starter Chad Henne.
Out for the count
Fast forward to the final game of the 2009 NFL season. The Dolphins were playing
the Pittsburgh Steelers in a last ditch effort to save their chance at a playoff
appearance. During the first half Chad Henne was repeatedly hit and hassled by
the Steelers defense. An eye injury prevented Henne from coming back at the
start of the 2nd half. Pat White was tapped to take over. Just like that Pat
White was thrust into the spotlight during the Dolphins’ most critical regular
season game. This was White’s chance to leverage all of his past successes and
skills into the most meaningful victory of this career up to that point.
Everyone moved a little closer to the edges of their seats.
On the 7th snap Pat White took in the third quarter he was unable to complete
the pass. With the Steelers defenders bearing down on him he tucked the ball
away and ran toward the first down as he had done successfully so many times in
college. At that moment, White’s incredible opportunity to shine was taken away
from him in dramatic fashion. The Steelers’ defender Ike Taylor collided with
White so hard that White was immediately knocked unconscious. For the next 8
minutes the stadium was hushed as doctors flocked together to determine the
severity of Pat White's injury. While White laid motionless, many feared the
worst. He was taken to a hospital and diagnosed with a concussion after much
After the initial concern for his health was calmed one could ask the question
what would Pat White’s next career move be if he was unable to play football
again? Fortunately, he was able to return the following year, but his accident
served as a reminder to all of us that everything can be going great, and yet it
can all be immediately taken away. If we don’t have a backup plan it could mean
Are you prepared for economically impactful problems?
What would you do if you became if you ran into problems that kept you from
work? What if you are unexpectedly laid off and faced a paycheck drought? What
if your car is destroyed, your child’s daycare closes, your neighborhood is
flooded, or your identity is stolen?
Everyone is going to be faced with challenges at some point in their lives.
Those challenges will have an economic impact on individual’s standard of
living. Accepting that fact now and taking precautionary measures will ensure
that the quality of life you and your family have come to enjoy will not be
-Doing well today shouldn’t preclude you from planning for a bad tomorrow.
-We’ve seen care free economic times (2007) quickly deteriorate into horrific
economic trouble (2008).
-Prepare now and have a backup plan in place before potentially disastrous
economic problems occur.
-The Great Recession proved that no one’s lifestyle is completely safe from the
-Planning ahead for economic problems will lessen any negative impact you may
Think about your own situation. Do you feel you are protected against economic
troubles? A casual acquaintance with statistics would suggest that’s probably
not true. What potential threats do you see on the horizon that could hurt your
quality of life? What steps can you take now to ensure you are adequately
prepared to handle it? What happens if you or a family member loses a job, gets
injured or sick, has property stolen or damaged, or is harmed by natural
disaster? What did wise Ben Franklin say? An ounce of prevention is worth a
pound of cure!