7. When an army has penetrated into the heart of a hostile country, leaving a number of fortified cities in its rear, it is serious ground.

入人之地深背城邑多者爲重地

Sun Tzu

When an army has advanced deep into enemy territory, leaving a number of fortified cities behind them, they are in a serious and potentially vulnerable position. This is because they are far from their own base of operations and are potentially surrounded by enemy forces, which makes them more vulnerable to attack and less able to receive support or reinforcements if needed. As a result, the army must be careful and cautious in this situation in order to minimize the risk of defeat and ensure its own survival.

When a business has penetrated into a challenging market, while still maintaining other markets, it is on serious ground.

Serious ground is a challenging market where a business has a significant amount invested and a potential failure could potentially jeopardize the entire business. When a business has entered a new market that is challenging, but has not abandoned its operations in other markets, it is in a serious and potentially risky position. This is because the business is facing the challenges and uncertainties of operating in a new and potentially hostile environment, while also trying to maintain its operations in other markets. This can be a difficult balance to strike, as the business may have limited resources and may need to allocate its time and energy carefully in order to succeed in both places.

In order to be successful in this situation, the business will need to be strategic and adaptable, carefully managing its resources and prioritizing its efforts in order to achieve its goals in both markets. It will also need to be mindful of any potential risks or challenges that may arise, and be prepared to respond to them in a timely and effective manner. Overall, the key to success in this situation will be the ability to navigate the complexities and uncertainties of operating in multiple markets, and to find ways to leverage the strengths and resources of the business to achieve success in each of them.

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