Top 7 Things I Know About Business Success I Learned By Watching "Survivor"
By Bob Baker
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I admit it. I was hooked. By about the fifth week, my Wednesday nights were always planned around "Survivor." Even if you didn't watch it yourself, you've no doubt heard of this TV blockbuster in which 16 people try to survive 39 days on a remote island in the South China Sea. On every episode, the castaways had to participate in various challenges and then vote each other off the island one at a time.
So what does all this have to do with you and your business success potential? Plenty. Here are some lessons about human nature, marketing and getting ahead that I gleaned from watching the show. Use these observations to increase your chances of surviving the wilds of your chosen field.
- Nice People Don't Always Win
Most people will admit that the final four survivors were not necessarily the friendliest or most deserving of the bunch. How often have you known entrepreneurs who were nice people and cranked out top-notch work...but they never made it anywhere? There are many factors that contribute to a winner's success. Don't count on your sparkling personality alone to get you through.
- The Vast Majority of People Don't End Up on Top
Only oneout of the original 16 castaways could win the million dollar first prize. The odds with small business endeavors are much worse. For example, only about one in a 100 (or in many fields, one in 1,000) artists or writers ever reach even a modest level of success. What are you doing to increase your odds.
- Going Along for the Ride Might Be Fun, But It Doesn't Always Get You Where You Want
Many people are drawn to Gervase. He's personable and fun and repeatedly said he was on the island to have a good time. He wasn't interested in scheming or planning ahead. He made it pretty far, but when he got ejected, there were still about six people between him and the million dollars. Which brings me to the next point...
- Keeping the End in Mind from the Beginning Increases Your Chances of Success
Winner Richard Hatch revealed his strategy all along. He took the game seriously and tried to figure out from Day One how to "outwit and outlast" the other castaways. Many people were turned off by his approach so early on. But look who ended up winning?
- Random Events Can Derail You
It was Sean's silly alphabetical voting method that most likely got Jenna kicked off the island so early. She had no control over that circumstance. I made no plans to break my leg three years ago, but when I did, my life took an ugly turn that continued to affect me long after I was back on my feet. $#%! happens! So figure out how you'll deal with unforeseen obstacles.
- Offering Something of Value to Others Strengthens Your Worth
Rich was the only one on the island who seemed to be able to catch fish. He provided a benefit to the others, which made him a valuable member of the tribe. How are you contributing to your tribe? Also, how expendable are you?
- Forming an Alliance with the Right People Creates Power in Numbers
You can't operate in a vacuum and expect to win. The alliance formed by Rich, Rudy, Sue and sometimes Kelly ensured they'd rise to the top. Observe the people in the creative circles you travel in. Form partnerships with like minded artists, organizations, Web sites, publications, etc. Working together, you all move up the ladder.
Bob Baker is a music marketing consultant and creativity coach who offers inspiration and low-cost promotion ideas to musicians,
artists, writers and others pursuing a creative passion. He's author of "The Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook" and "Ignite
Your Creative Passion." Get a FREE subscription to his weekly newsletters by visiting http://www.bob-baker.com/
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Article Submitted On: October 18, 2000