You’ve probably heard some version of the “burn the boats story.”
One version is that in 1519, eleven ships carrying 600 Spaniards landed on an inland plateau that would one day be known as Mexico. Their goal was to conquer an empire that had amassed a massive fortune.
However, with just 600 men, most of whom were vastly under supplied, the prospect of conquering the vast Aztec empire seemed like an impossible task.
Rather than charge forward, the commander Cortes gathered his men on the beach and ordered them to burn the ships they just arrived on, effectively destroying their only escape route. The only choice left was to push forward and succeed.
It’s easy to see how many entrepreneurs often find themselves in similar (though probably not as life-threatening) circumstances. To be a business is to contend with a constant sense of being outmanned, outgunned, and out planned.
Sometimes, burning your ships and eliminating your safety net is the only way to push forward in the face of daunting odds, and it’s what I talk about in today’s episode.
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