Never Doubt Yourself but Always Have a Plan B A side gig can be your treasured second stream of income or your safety net, depending on how Plan A is working out.

By Sheree N. Johnson

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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I love a good mantra. One that I live by is "always have a Plan B."

I worked for a company and gave it my all, but when the company lost a few major clients, they had to let people go -- including me. At that moment, I made the decision to never place myself in that position again and always have a Plan B. With this Plan B, I would have a constant stream of income whether I am working for a company or for myself.

Whether you are working a full time job or trying to launch your own business, if you keep these four tips in mind, you'll always have a Plan B to fall back on or act upon when ready.

1. Clearly define what you want to do.

The first step to putting together a Plan B is to fully understand your options and what you want to do. Then, focus on the one thing that you really want to do and find out as much information on it as possible. Once you have all of the information that you need, create a timeline of To-Do's and a plan of action that can coincide with your current day-to-day.

Related: Eight Questions to Refocus Your Vision and Achieve Success

2. Efficiently manage your time.

Work smarter, not harder. By managing your time efficiently, you can become more successful in your current position and more creative when it comes to your Plan B. Regardless of how busy your workday is, it's important that you do not lose sight of the tasks that you need to complete. Prioritize your tasks, monitor your schedule, keep sight of your goals, and take quick breaks when needed. If you're aware of how you define success, you can then determine whether your goals are being met.

Related: Seven Tips for Managing Your Schedule Like a Pro

3. A stitch in time saves nine.

You may be sacrificing sleep in an effort to accomplish more, but it will do more harm in the long run than good. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night allows your body and mind to function optimally. An appropriate amount of rest can also result in improved memory, lowered stress levels, a healthier body weight and a longer life.

Related: Sleep-in and Make Millions: Why You Don't Need to Wake Up at Five a.m.

4. Be realistic with yourself and others.

When you can use help from your friends and family, ask them for it. It's tough to build a business on your own. Especially as an entrepreneur, you need a good support system. If your initial Plan B doesn't work, there's always the option to change direction. If your Plan B does work, great! Keep your side business going and make the decision to either keep the business on the side or do it full time.

You don't need to use all these ideas, but putting a few into practice here and there will help you become more productive and ultimately, reduce some stress. When it comes to creating a Plan B, changing your routine is often easier said than done. But with practice and determination, you will be able to push past any obstacle and establish a successful Plan B business.

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Sheree N. Johnson

Founder and CEO of Maktub Consulting Inc.

Sheree N. Johnson is founder and CEO of Maktub Consulting Inc, a public relations and social-media management serving individuals and organizations. Johnson has worked previously for industry giants including Scholastic, Lions Gate, 2K Games and BBC Video.

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