How many of us have ever been left on a desert island? Meaning in the classic literary and literal sense - against our will and/or through a series of unfortunate circumstances. It's quite rare, but it does offer a few useful ideas for business people.

One of the biggest challenges, especially for someone running a very small business, is a feeling of isolation. It's hard to find another person to help with tasks, share ideas with or simply provide a source of reassurance and moral support. Therefore, the business person has a fairly constant struggle to keep things going, much as the castaway has to find ways to survive - starvation, wild animals, sickness. Every day is a struggle and getting to the end of it is a small, albeit existential, victory.

And yet, not all the effort can simply be directed at survival. In part that's because it becomes a tiring process that eventually can use up all resources. There has to be another goal.

In the case of the shipwrecked castaway, it must be to get away, unless they really take to island life, so that efforts have to be made to bring this about. Regular lookouts, smoke and flags are all part of the strategy, because you never know when a ship may be passing. Similarly, survival is the ongoing work for the small business, but maybe finding a partner or at some point selling and moving on are also important longer term goals. Easier said than done, but always something to keep in mind and plan for.


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