Burning the Ships

Burning the Ships

Cortez, during the Spanish Conquest of the Americas, was said to have burned his ships, so that there was no returning to the Old World – and ensured that his men were 100% invested in the success of their endeavor.

Daily, we read about the latest out-of-this-world valuation on some startup, from someone who isn’t a programmer, or has no formal business training, or has only a partial working brain in their head. Rarely do you hear of the level of commitment that those people have invested in to obtain their “overnight” successes.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t about going to cool parties, or hanging out to make a connection that will make or break you, or getting that killer round of Series A funding.

It’s about creating value where none existed before – and giving 100% of yourself toward reaching that goal.

When I started my company in 1996, my wife and I both quit our “day jobs” in the same week. I triple-booked business to ramp up. And worked my ass off 6 or 7 days a week until the checks started coming in. It wasn’t glamorous – but it was sustainable, and most importantly, profitable.

I wouldn’t have had the level of commitment to my enterprise if I hadn’t metaphorically “burned my ships” (i.e., quit my fallback, my day job).

If you think you’re ready to strike out and create the next Facebook, the next Instagram, the next Twitter, you have to be ready to scuttle the ties that are keeping you close the the shore, and head into the jungle.

Cause that’s where the gold is. Not on the beach.

One thought on “Burning the Ships

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. I have spent several years travelling around the Mid-South assisting would be entrepreneurs and students who think they would like to become one some day. Cancel the club membership and get ready to put your hobbies on hold. I once even had to leave my son’s birthday party just before we were going to light the candles on his cake because of a customer emergency!


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