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by John Ingrisano

The Freestyle Entrepreneur

Hernando Cortez knew the value of total commitment.  In 1519 – just 27 years after Christopher Columbus discovered the New World – Cortez landed on the coast of Mexico, thousands of miles from home.  He arrived with 11 ships and about 600 men.  Their goal was to conquer the vast Aztec empire.

They did.  Cortez and his men changed the course of history, marching across Mexico and starting what was to become a vast and rich Spanish empire in North and South America, one that dominated world affairs for nearly 400 years.  (Keep in mind that, to this day, Spanish is the dominant language of Mexico, Central and South America, except for Brazil, which speaks Portuguese.)

Failure was not an option:  Cortez and his men accomplished their goal because they were determined.  Mostly, they simply had no choice.  Upon landing on the Yucatan Peninsula, Cortez issued a three-word order that ensured their expedition would either succeed or fail completely, with no middle-ground option.  He totally removed the option of failure with the words: “Burn the ships!”

How about you?  Are you serious about success or just toe-dipping, semi-committed until you see how things work out?  Or do you just go along each day, curious to see how it turns out.  If that describes you, you are destined for one of two outcomes:  so-so mediocrity … or abysmal failure.  (Notice the word “success” is not there.)

So, if you start a business, go all in … completely.  Do your research; knowledge increases the odds of success.  Make sure your mind and heart are committed to something that you believe in, that you want badly … real badly.

Then dedicate yourself, putting in not just the standard 40 hours a week (save that for cubicle-dwelling wage slaves), but 60, 70, even 80 hours, if necessary.  Give yourself no choice.  Don’t tell yourself, “I can always go back to that other job,” or “It’s okay, my spouse makes a good living, so it’s okay if I fail.”  Commit.  And do not allow yourself the option for failure.

The bottom line:  Work hard, make money, have fun … and burn your ships all the way to the waterline.   – JRI

John R. Ingrisano

The Freestyle Entrepreneur


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