Looking for motivation? Burn your boatsBlog added by Sandy Schussel on August 1, 2012
Sandy Schussel

Sandy Schussel

Princeton, NJ

Joined: December 10, 2011

My Company

Sandy Schussel, LLC

When ancient Greek warriors landed on a shore to conquer an island, their generals motivated them in a powerful way: They ordered the boats that brought them to the island to be burned, so that there would be no way to retreat.

Burning your boats is a good way to motivate yourself to do the important things you need to do that you would otherwise continue to put off.

Here are a few boat-burning ideas:

  • If you've been putting off scheduling a seminar to attract new clients, pick a date, book a location and put a deposit down on the space.

  • If you've been thinking about seeing a client in another state, book the trip.

  • Make five lunch reservations for two over the next five weeks. Then, find five top clients to take to lunch. If you really want to challenge yourself, make those reservations for three and ask your clients to bring someone they know who might be able to use your help.

  • Set a substantial 90-day goal for yourself, with a promise that if you meet that goal, you'll take a wonderful vacation. Now, book that vacation for yourself and your spouse with a nonrefundable deposit.

    Set a deadline for something you've been putting off, and promise it to your client on that date to give the deadline "teeth".

    I publish an article for my blog and e-newsletter every week. Although it's certainly not my utmost priority, I have established the deadline for its publication to be Thursday mornings. I have also convinced myself that if it doesn't come out on a Thursday morning, my readers will notice and my credibility will be destroyed.

    Hopefully, this isn't true, and I do have to be flexible to the other obligations that arise in my practice. But if my commitment is strong enough, the possibility of getting my articles out over the weekend instead, or of taking a week off from writing, is a boat I have completely burned.

    Burning your boats will keep you motivated. Don't let yourself fall back from your plans and goals. Pull the safety net out from under you and commit to the results of your actions, before you even take them.
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