Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, a pivotal event in English history that saw Harold, King of England defeated and power go to the invading Norman forces and their leader, William the Conqueror.
There are a number of memorable aspects related to the events leading up to the battle and to the story of how King Harold died. The appearance of a comet (later shown to be Halley’s comet, probably the most well-known of them all) was seen as a portent of doom, how Harold was shot in the eye with an arrow on the battlefield, and how William showed his determination by ordering the burning of his boats after arriving in England.
This is not the only account of boats being burnt upon arrival at these shores. There is a story that Caesar also had his boats destroyed when the Romans invaded.
Whether the stories are based on fact is not certain, but they symbolise an attitude that could have determined the success of both invading armies.
In a foreign land with no possibility of retreat the only way to survive was to go forward and conquer.
In business we face many challenges. Rarely life threatening or with power over a kingdom as a reward, but some can seem daunting and insurmountable. If you are a solopreneur you may face those challenges alone and, because you have no one to answer to, you may be tempted to avoid the challenge rather than meet it head on.
However when some challenges are avoided they don’t disappear forever, particularly if their solution is crucial to your business. You’ll find yourself in a similar position months or years later and if you want to progress you’ll have to meet the challenge eventually.
You may even avoid the challenge until you reach the point where you feel your back is against the wall and there’s nothing to do but succeed or fail.
Surely it would be better to meet the challenge head on before this situation arises. In this case it would be best to create the wall yourself. Set light to your boats.
If you know what you have to do, make doing it unavoidable. Make a public announcement, recruit someone to help, abandon anything that will offer an alternative. Leave yourself no retreat or alternative path and just get on with overcoming the challenge.