They burnt the boats (破釜沉舟)

Posted: September 30, 2013 in Uncategorized
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So in 208 B.C. in what is now part of China, a war raged. An army was pinned down and nearly starved to death when reinforcements came across the river.  The forces crossed the river and when the reached the pinned down troops they took all the supplies and destroyed them, then they burned the boats. The message was clear, retreat was not an option, the troops, in order to survive would have to win this battle. Of course they did.

Xiang Yu sent Ying Bu and Zhongli Mo to lead 20,000 men to cross the Yellow River and reinforce Julu, and they won a few skirmishes. In the twelfth lunar month of 208 BC, Xiang Yu personally led an army across the river to meet up with Ying Bu and Zhongli Mo. By the time he arrived on the battlefield, Zhao forces in Julu had been nearly starved under a prolonged siege by Zhang Han‘s deputy Wang Li. Xiang Yu ordered his men to carry only three days worth of supplies and destroy the rest, along with their cauldrons and cooking utensils, and sink the boats they used to cross the river. In doing so, Xiang Yu was sending a clear signal to his troops that they had no chance of survival unless they defeat the enemy and seize their supplies.”



This morning before coming to work I was reading an interesting info graphic about successful entrepreneurs. The graphic outlined traits that were common in successful entrepreneurs and most were expected.  Planning working hard and long and never quitting, but one was interesting and right away I thought about the burning of boats and breaking of cauldrons. Most successful entrepreneurs do not have a plan B.

It is this sense of total commitment to their idea that makes them work harder longer and have more endurance than anyone else. Now that is not to say entrepreneurs do not abandon plans when they realize they are incorrect. But there is usually never a plan B. A product usually succeeds or fails. One thing most investors will say is that companies who resort to plan B’s are simply putting off the inevitable and should let the product or service die and move on to the next.

Maybe this idea of no plan B is the missing ingredient for your success. Because you have always been able to…. you have not really tried to succeed. So today try burning the boats breaking the cauldrons and succeeding. Or   破釜沉舟

I know I will





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