You can’t always get what you want. Sometimes, you have to go with your back-up plan – and sometimes, your back-up plan turns out to be your best-case scenario. Here are five situations where people were forced to go with their second option and got first-class results.

At BCU Bank, we know we might not be your first choice. After all, you probably began banking as a five-year-old with a Dollarmite account and whatever shrapnel you could scrape together from the Tooth Fairy and the cup holder in your mum’s car. And before you knew it, you’d been with the bank your parents picked for you for 20 years.

It’s an arranged marriage, sure, but you feel a sense of loyalty. We get it.

But sometimes, it pays to have a second option up your sleeve when your first option doesn’t come through for you. And sometimes your second option – or your third, or your fourth (we’re not picky) – can be the best thing that ever happened to you.

Much like the Chicago Bulls, who came into the 1984 NBA Draft with the third pick and somehow walked away with Michael Jordan, it pays to keep an open mind. So here are five other situations where someone’s first option didn’t work out – and it ended up working out for everybody.

Margot Robbie's Barbie

Barbie was the biggest blockbuster of 2023, grossing over a billion dollars, picking up eight Oscar noms, and launching a million Barbenheimer memes.

But when Mattel first announced they were making a live-action Barbie film in 2009, Margot Robbie had barely begun her stint as a series regular on Neighbours. She was still years away from breaking out internationally with her role in The Wolf of Wall Street and wasn’t even close to being considered for a role like Barbie.

The rights to the film were passed around Hollywood; multiple writers and directors were attached to the project; and Amy Schumer, of all people, was eventually cast in the lead role. After Schumer dropped out to ‘scheduling conflicts’ (later revealed to be ‘creative differences’ with the film’s producers), she was replaced by Anne Hathaway.

Hathaway’s version of Barbie would have involved her being kicked out of Barbie Land for not being perfect enough, leading to an adventure in the real world. But when the rights to the film changed hands again in 2018, going from Sony to Warner Bros Pictures, Hathaway left the project. She was eventually replaced by Robbie, by now a huge star, with director Greta Gerwig in tow – and a phenomenon was born.

Are we saying you could make a billion-dollar film if you just waited 15 years, like Mattel did? Probably not. But you could certainly get closer to a billion dollars than you are now if you let your savings accrue interest in one of our generous term deposits for a while.

Colonel Sanders’ secret herbs and spices

It’s impossible to imagine a lazy Tuesday night on the couch without the option of ordering KFC – but the path ‘Colonel’ Harland Sanders took to building his fast food empire was extra crispy.

Before coming up with his secret fried chicken recipe, Sanders worked a series of odd jobs that never seemed to stick. He worked as a blacksmith’s helper, a fireman, and a railroad worker, amongst other gigs, and studied law by correspondence.

He eventually got his degree and practiced law for three years, before his career ended with a wild courtroom brawl between Sanders and his own client that cooked his reputation.

He was forced to move back in with his mum, and eventually got a job selling life insurance before he was fired for insubordination. Hot and spicy, indeed.

He started a successful ferry boat company but cashed in his shares to start a lamp manufacturing company, which failed almost immediately. He moved to Kentucky, where he began running a service station; when that station closed, he took another job running another Kentucky service station for Shell where he began serving chicken dishes.

Sanders then got into a literal shootout with a local competitor – yes, really – and when that competitor was convicted of murder for shooting and killing another Shell employee, Sanders was left with no competition in the area.

In 1940, at the ripe old age of 50, Sanders finalised his ‘secret recipe’ for frying chicken. He eventually began selling the franchise rights and expanded to more than 600 locations before selling the business for millions in 1964.

Realistically, KFC wasn’t his first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, or even tenth option, but he got there eventually – and when that Finger Lickin’ urge hits, bet you’re glad he did.

Are we saying you should goad your competitors into a gunfight, so that you can eventually succeed in business when they go down for murder? No. Gosh. Just… just look into opening a Business iSaver Account, maybe.

Vera Wang’s bridal gowns

Fashionista Vera Wang has become an international icon on the back of her elegant wedding dress designs, which have been worn by everyone from Kim Kardashian to Ivanka Trump. But what she really wanted to do was figure skate.

Wang competed in the 1968 US Figure Skating Championships while she was in high school and was featured in Sports Illustrated that same year. It was only when she failed to make the US Olympic team that she gave up on skating and decided to enter the fashion industry.

She eventually became an editor at Vogue, where she worked for 17 years, before leaving to join Ralph Lauren, where she worked for another two. It wasn’t until 1990, when she was 40, that she opened her own design salon featuring her trademark bridal gowns.

Things came full circle for Wang when she designed costumes for figure skater Nancy Kerrigan at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games. She continued designing figure skating costumes for Olympic stars as a side hustle of sorts and was eventually inducted into the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame – the long way ‘round – in 2009.

Saving up for your own Vera Wang gown? (Really? In this economy?) Well, you guessed it – you can get there faster with a Bonus Saver Account, with bonus interest for the first four months from the date you open the account. Nailed it.

Tim Duncan’s basketball career

With five championship rings, two Most Valuable Player trophies, and 15 All-Star selections, San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan is one of the most storied players in NBA history and is widely considered the best power forward of all time.

But growing up in Saint Croix, part of the US Virgin Islands, his athletic ambitions were originally very different. His older sister, Tricia, swam for the US Virgin Islands at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, and Tim wanted to follow in her footsteps. He was a stand-out in the 50-, 100-, and 400-metre freestyle and was determined to go to the 1992 Olympic Games as a member of the US team.

In 1989, however, a hurricane destroyed the only Olympic-sized swimming pool on Saint Croix so he was forced to train in the ocean. Alas, he was terrified of sharks and gave up on his aquatic dreams altogether. Instead, he took up basketball, soon discovering that standing 211 cm tall gave him a significant advantage in that sport.

Are you looking to ‘power forward’ with your savings? Yeah, that’s right – you can hit a bank shot of your own with an iSaver Account, which pays you a higher rate of interest the more you save (We cannot emphasise enough that Tim Duncan has not endorsed this in any way).

Harrison Ford’s most iconic roles

It’s hard to picture anyone other than Harrison Ford as Han Solo or Indiana Jones – but George Lucas certainly tried to.

The Star Wars and Indiana Jones creator didn’t see Ford as his first option for either role. When he was casting for Han Solo, Lucas auditioned the likes of Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell, with Pacino later claiming that he was offered the part but turned it down because he “couldn’t understand” the script.

Ford, a struggling actor, had appeared in a small role in Lucas’ previous film, American Graffiti, but Lucas wanted to bring in an entirely new cast for Star Wars. Casting director Fred Roos was convinced that Ford was right for the part, so he hired Ford – who also dabbled in carpentry – to work as a carpenter at the office where Lucas had scheduled the casting call.

Lucas spotted Ford working and asked him to sit in on auditions reading Han Solo’s lines – not because Lucas had any intention of casting Ford, but just to give the actors auditioning for the roles of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia someone to bounce off.

Eventually, Lucas had to concede that Ford was the right man for the part, and the rest was history – until Lucas and his bestie Steven Spielberg were looking for their Indiana Jones, and Lucas once again wanted a fresh face instead of Ford.

They cast then-unknown Tom Selleck, who you probably remember from a later role as Monica’s sugar daddy in Friends. But when Selleck had to drop out of the film because of his commitment to his new TV series, Magnum, P.I., Lucas was once again forced to reluctantly cast the perfect actor for the role.

Much like *checks notes* Harrison Ford, BCU Bank is the best second choice you’ll ever make. With award-winning products that bring home top gongs year after year, BCU is by your side for financial moments big and small – whether that’s helping you budget through mymo by BCU, providing competitive interest rates, or transaction and savings accounts with great features.

Once you bank with us, you’ll see we’re more than just a back-up plan – we Dollarmite just steal your heart.

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