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Exit Strategy: Front & back strategies in decisions

What is an exit strategy?

An exit strategy is simply a way out. Financial investors and start-ups always have one thing on their mind, their exit strategy.

What about your decisions? You need to be prepared.

What if you change your mind later? You will have a way to exit and move on.

The mere sense that you can leave anything anytime is complete freedom. Freedom makes you practice what you do for love—not what you are forced to do.

Having an exit strategy adds confidence to your decision.

It’s essential to understand that we are human; we’re not in our best shape all the time. We don’t always make the best decisions.

architecture door entrance exit
Photo by Pixabay on

Front and back door strategies

A front door exit strategy is the usual pathway to exit; it’s evident and more or less final.

A back door exit strategy is the back door where you sneak and exit and come back again after a while.

Front door exit strategy

Front door: For small decisions

When I was hiring an e-book cover designer for my book “In or Out,” I looked for the phrase “Moneyback guarantee” and “Unlimited revisions.” It gave me an exit strategy if it went wrong. I then hired the designer with confidence.

Another example is when you sign up for a website. Check out if you may delete your account whenever you want. It’s your right that you may leave the service anytime.

You should have a way to download your data and move to another service—that’s an exit strategy for small life decisions.

Front door: For big life decisions

When getting married, you may want to discuss your exit strategy with your partner. When applying for a job, you need to read the contract thoroughly to understand your rights when you want to quit. What restrictions do they have when you decide to resign or when your contract ends? How much notice do you need to give?

Being aware of your existing exit strategy or preparing one is of utmost importance when deciding.

Back door exit strategy

A pop-off mechanism is a medical term used to describe a condition in which a valve acts as a safe way for high pressure. It’s like the exit fire doors you find at the end of hotel floors that act as safety doors.

When a fire starts, people run through this ugly white-painted door. It’s not fancy like the mahogany doors you see at the hotel reception, nor is it like the metallic elevator doors. Still, these doors always come in handy when needed.

They are functional, practical, and they save the day. They might be temporary solutions. You run through them, stand in the street, brave firemen come and extinguish the fire, and then you go back to the hotel. Everything is fine, thanks to this backdoor exit.

Back door: For big life decisions

Suppose you can’t have a front door exit strategy like the ability to quit your job without losing everything. In that case, you may look for a backdoor exit.

A backdoor exit should provide a way for you to take a rest or a vacation from your job without quitting. Before deciding to apply for the job, look in the job’s contract for the allowed vacation days or ask for flexible working hours.

Before marrying. Ask your future wife for a free day where you can go out with your friends or watch football together at home.

Tell her that she can travel with her friends or that you will leave your home one night every week for her to party with her friends. Having a backdoor exit strategy that acts as a safety valve to ease the pressure in relationships makes entering long-term relationships much more effortless.

Always look for and create backdoor exits, as they are built to save you and make you feel more comfortable and happier. Fire exits do not look very nice, but sometimes they are the only way out.


Whether it’s a small or a big life decision, before making the final decision and start the executing stage of the decision-making process, you need to think of your exit strategy. Front or back, temporary or permanent exit strategies always come in hand when you doubt your decisions.

A. I. Shoukry is the founder of The Decisions Academy and a bestselling author.

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