Over the past few years there is often a reference in blogs and articles to “Burn the Ships” or “Burn the Boats.” This is in reference to Alexander the Great commanding his small (and vastly outnumbered army) to get rid of his ships once they landed in Persia. A lot of disagreement as to whether they just let the ships sink or if actual burning was involved. Regardless, they had to make do with what they had because there was no turning back at that point. It demonstrated full commitment to the purpose at hand.
Jim Collins (Good to Great) referenced this story in talking about CEO Darwin E. Smith of Kimberly-Clark (paper products company). Smith made the difficult decision to “Sell the Mills” – the core of their business for years. He sold the mills and instead started investing more in brands like Huggies and Kleenex. It was shocking to many that he would make such a drastic move, but it paid off.
Last night as I was talking to a referral and I remembered this story when the person was asking me to clarify what was going on with my website. They couldn’t figure out my core business.
But, I agreed.
My clarity has not yet hit my website and I’m in the process of narrowing down WAY too many interests. Luckily, my day job brings in the big bucks. Not Nudge Village.
Perhaps this is one reason why. Yikes!
It took a bit of humility, but I deleted 5-6 key website pages that were confusing people when they visited my site. I have a few more changes in the works to simplify, refine and clarify. I’m one step more focused and clear on what I will and will not be.
Sometimes in the quest to find the right thing we can appear to be all over the place. But, little nudges from others can help us get back on track if we are open to receive them.
We are forced to re-focus.
We are compelled to select a few personal “burn the ships” items. Delete extraneous products or blogposts, refrain from partnering with an unrelated affiliate, discovering misguided priorities, trying to be everything to everyone.
So, the angst of the last week is now turning into a way forward, at least for a few more steps.
Thanks to someone I don’t know, but said something that nudged me to start a bit of a “fire.”
Nudge Nudge – burn some personal ships, sell some mills, get focused!