I burned the boats. I didn’t want an escape route.
I spent four years as a successful blogger. In my final year, I struggled regularly with wanting to change almost everything I had built. It came down to this sentence running through my mind on repeat: If I could start again, this was not what I would create.
I was truly proud of the work I had done, but I had grown and changed so much that I didn’t relate to the site’s audience anymore — an odd realization.
In the end, I decided to get certified as a life coach and combine all that I had learned about productivity and time management as a blogger with coaching concepts to help women grow their dream businesses.
But what to do about that blog? It was making money. It would have continued to make money as long as I put in some effort each week.
My fear was that if I held onto this money-making blog, I wouldn’t go 100% all-in on my life coaching business. The blog was like my escape route. It would be an excuse for me not to do uncomfortable things in my new business. It would be a time and energy drain.
“If you want to take the island, you need to burn the boats.”
This quote has been attributed to Julius Caesar, Hernando Cortez, and Tony Robbins — whoever said it first, it’s the reason I sold my blog and went all in on my new career as a life coach. “If you want to take the island, you need to burn the boats.”
As the story goes, the Roman army was sent to conquer an island. They were solidly outnumbered. After the soldiers landed on the island, the boats were burned. There was no turning back. No going home. The only option was to charge forward and conquer the island.
I imagined my blog as my boat and my new coaching career as the island I wanted to conquer. I knew in my heart that I wouldn’t conquer the island if the boat to take me back to my comfort zone was still an option.
Was it a risky decision to sell my blog? Yup! But in an odd way, it was also risky to keep it. I was able to sell my blog (yeah, you can do that!) for a good chunk of money and went all in on coaching female entrepreneurs.
The decision has led to fear, discomfort, second-guessing and immeasurable personal growth for which I am completely grateful.
What is the island that you want to conquer? What are your boats? It’s certainly not always wise to burn the boats, but I’m willing to bet that you’ll know if it’s the right choice for you. Burn those boats and charge ahead. Conquer your island, my friend!