Survivor and Business

May 28, 2014

I have watched every season of Survivor since it began 14 years ago, but as I have been watching this particular season I feel like I’m seeing it through different eyes. Entrepreneur eyes. It has been fascinating for me to see the parallel between Survivor and business; marketing, branding, networking, joint ventures and more. The Survivor contestants have to market themselves so they can ultimately win; most of them have decided on their personal branding before they even begin to play.
It’s funny that when I see something a business puts out as a marketing piece I have the same thoughts when I’m watching Survivor yelling at the television “Don’t do that!” or “Why are you doing that?” This season their branding was essentially done for them with the Beauty, Brains or Brawn teams but it was interesting to see how many didn’t match their brand as the Brains team was almost completely dismantled first and they didn’t appear to be all that smart.
One thing in my opinion most of the Survivor contestants are not very good at is networking. Most of them are like those people who are in a contest of their own at networking events, to see who can hand out the most business cards and they are usually the ones being avoided. Oh and the alliances, this is where I think entrepreneurs can learn the most – for example do your due diligence before joining forces with just anyone. I made the mistake in the beginning of aligning with anyone I thought could help promote my business and learned quickly that I should have had a better vetting process when attaching my name, and ultimately my reputation, to something or someone I really didn’t know that much about.
As an entrepreneur it has been educational to watch through these eyes, being much more aware of how the choices I make to grow my business look different to those watching. The positive side to this is that I can get a lot of advice, solicited or not, that could help to take my business to the next level. But wait, the contestants don’t actually get to hear the advice – maybe that’s why the ones I want to win never do.

I’m sure there are a few people we all wish we could vote off the entrepreneur island for not having the same motivation, drive, commitment or follow through as the rest of us.  However, those are the ones that ultimately will starve where the rest of us find abundance.