Updated: May 29, 2019
We were stuck on Synergy Island with nothing more than a list of make-believe items and instructions on figuring out what we needed as a team to survive. I laughed diabolically in my head. I’m known for blurting random facts at the weirdest times. My proclivity for YouTube surfing was about to pay off.
We were placed in groups with less than 4 minutes to independently rank, then collaboratively rank the items. Much to the disbelief of the other groups in the class, my team had most of the items in the order that the National Guard suggests for survival. After all, who knew that a mirror, rum and a water-proof sheet would be the keys to survival? (Spoiler – We did. Thanks Scott.)
In management, we cut portfolio budgets based on what’s important to the company. We choose based on what’s most necessary, then what we’d like but is not as important. Hence, while my partners and I were in the process of individual assessments, I peeped at their papers and soon realized that their objective was going back out to sea and hoping for rescue. My objective was to survive on that island with hopes of rescue. When it comes to business, you must be intimately knowledgeable of your goals.
In surviving the oft-times treacherous landscape of entrepreneurship, especially in the Arts, one must be aware of what is valuable to the brand and the team and what can be placed lower on the list. On Synergy Island we began to deliberate, we concluded that going directly out to sea via raft or floaty would not be best because we did not know where we were or if the raft/floaty would survive the expedition. We cut what was unnecessary based on our collective objective.
When I wanted to increase my international promotional reach, I looked at where I could cut budgets in order to reroute resources to a self-funded international tour. What was most important to me? Music videos are important, they can be used in multiple ways to promote a brand image and hold the second most value as they generate product placement opportunities and residual income.
What was most valuable? Stage performances, but I soon realized that I could cut an element from them that I loved; but was not necessary, especially for smaller shows. This was a difficult decision to make but I needed to meet the goal of international promotion, so I did. In the end, I managed to grow a network of International DJs and Promoters that would help me to promote my brand. I reflected on this when my team and I decided to cut the sextant and the map from the list of priorities.
As an entrepreneur, especially an artist, difficult decisions must be made. Your business must either thrive where it’s placed or stay afloat.
The question is, what matters most to you? Which things do you cut? How do you prepare for the rainy season? On Synergy Island we used the rope, waterproof blanket and a water jug. How does your business generate income when things are slow? Grab your mirror, reflect and refract sunlight until you start a fire. Send signals with the tools you have and don’t be afraid to ration what little you do have to sustain yourself. We can all survive, but we must make decisions that suit our end goals.