Think HBR

Burning the boats

Paul Siderovski
SiDCOR Chartered Accountants
When you believe that success is yours, it is! It's amazing how many people focus on failure. They think 'what if I fail?' You get what you focus on. When you focus on failure, you are planning on it. When you believe that you will be successful in an endeavour, then you will. I love the "Burn the Boats", story about Cortez. 
In February 1519, Hernando Cortez set sail on the final leg of an ocean voyage that was to take him from Cuba to the distant shores of the Yucatan. He commanded 11 ships with more than 500 soldiers, 100 sailors and 16 horses bound for Mexico, ready to take the world's greatest treasure. The rare jewels, gold, silver and sculptures sheltered on the Yucatan had been hoarded by the same army for 600 years. Cortez had heard of riches of the Yucatan. With his men, they arrived on shore.
They didn’t go and take the treasure immediately; they waited until they were ready. Then Cortez told his men to "Burn the Boats". The men were outraged wondering how they were going to return home. Cortez told them to Burn the Boats and they would conquer the Yucatan army and gain their fortune. They would take the Yucatan's boats home. So go Burn the Boats!
Many people say they want success, yet aren't willing to move forward from their normal way of thinking. If you want different results, it will require a new way of thinking! One must be willing to take the required steps for success to create success.
Paul Siderovski2 Paul Siderovski

The founder and Managing Director of SiDCOR Chartered Accountants, has 21 years experience since starting as a chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1995. Paul started Newcastle-based SiDCOR in 2002. Paul has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Newcastle and is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Taxation Institute of Australia as well as the National Tax and Accountants Association.