You should know that for 600 years, men with far more resources, thousands more soldiers and who were much better equipped to succeed had failed to successfully conquer this land.
So, Hernan shows up, with 600 poorly equipped soldiers and about 16 horses. But he was determined.
After several nights of what we’d now call “motivational speeches,” Hernan gives the following order:
Burn the ships.
Yep. Essentially, he made RETREAT impossible. There was going to be NO plan B. For he and his 600 ill-equipped soldiers, their options were to DIE fighting or LIVE victorious. Either or, and NO in between.
You know the story. They fought like a group of men who had NO OTHER OPTION but to win. And, they won.
That’s the funny thing about Plan B’s. We think they make us more secure… better able to navigate new territory. We create them as a security blanket, and yet — maybe — we need to make retreat impossible. Maybe we just need to burn the ships… and make FAILURE a non option.
It reminds me of women planning their birth. Some women talk of wanting to go “natural.” But they deliver in a hospital… and allow the option of an epidural to be their “back up plan”… you know- just in case. If you’ve never birthed a kid, TRUST ME… “just in case” will come really quick… lol… right around 7cm. =) =) I digress.
The picture above was taken when I was in active labor with Shelbey Seree. (Look how YOUNG my mister looks!) We labored and delivered in a hot tub, according to our “birth plan.” When I arrived at the birthing center, though, I had to fill out some paper work. One sheet in particular asked me to give permission for a neighboring hospital to give me an epidural in the unlikely event that I’d need an emergency c-section. I refused to sign.
In my mind, I thought, “burn the ships.”
The midwife “assured” me that if the need arose, they WOULD perform a C-section on me without an epidural. (OUCH!!) The goal may have been to scare me into signing.
No go. Burn the ships.
(Looking back, I’m SOO thankful the unlikely c-section didn’t occur, lol…)
In my business, I was like Cortes. I had a pathetic portfolio of resources. $50 and a home computer. I was ill equipped to succeed. But, I had — in fact — burned the ships. I had no savings or job to retreat back to. It was DIE (financially) or LIVE to succeed. No in between. Not a lot of room for error. And NO TIME to entertain or carve out a plan B.
At the time, I was definitely working without a safety net. I would have changed this fact if I could have — back then. But looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know me. A safety net would have kept me playing small, acting timid, and retreating when the battle was tough.
So, what about you? Is the security blanket of YOUR plan B smothering your BOLDEST business self? If so, in what way can YOU burn the ships… and succeed (WILDLY)?