The show Survivor is a sociology geeks dream. Not only do they throw people into an extenuating environment, but they also mix things up by artificially creating tribes based on age or gender or race (a very un-PC but interesting season). The new season starts this week with a new twist; contestants will be divided into tribes by the type of work they do–white collar tribe, blue collar and a no collar or entrepreneur tribe. Not only does this excite the sociology geek in me, it calls to me as an entrepreneur too.
I’ve written before about tribe and ways this social construct is changing and ways it effects our lives. Tribe was a huge theme in my first novel, Burnouts, Geeks & Jesus Freaks: a love story (hence the title). We are naturally drawn to like people with shared interests and form tribes or social groups. It’s a combination of who someone is as well as mutual benefit that forms a tribe and determines how effective they are at meeting goals. If your goal is to win Survivor the no-collar group might have the advantage.
So what skill sets are we looking at here? What differentiates an entrepreneur from a white or blue collar worker?
1) Risk taking – the no-collar worker is the only one who is not counting of the safety and security of an already existing company for pay and benefits. They would rather sink or swim on their own than work by another’s rules. And although many sink, they also tend to pop back up and try again, using lessons from their first try to do a better job the second (or third) time around.
2) Resourcefulness – Working from your own shoestring budget or seeing where every penny is being spent in a business forces entrepreneurs to make do and find creative ways to make things happen. This is a skill that white collar and blue collar workers don’t develop when they are given the funds they need to do the work they are assigned.
3) Planning – poor planning is what sinks most first endeavors for entrepreneurs, so they learn the value quickly. And when creating the big-picture plan is completely on your plate, you take the time to look at all the factors: outside and inside forces that can impact your game plan.
4) Learning – owning a business is not only about creating something to sell, but also about marketing and finance. Successful entrepreneurs naturally search for more information; the best way to do something.
5) Passion – TGIF is the moniker of those who might like their jobs on some days, but they will never love their jobs the way an owner does. Even if they aren’t at work, they are often thinking about work and ways they can make it better. And they bring this passion to anything they commit to. It’s part of their nature.
Does this guarantee that someone from the no-collar tribe will win this season of Survivor? Not really. Entrepreneurs are also solitary by nature. They like to do things alone, their own way. If you’ve watched the game before this can equal disaster for a player. The one who steps up as leader first is often the first shot down because he or she is seen as too much of a threat. The one on the outside of the groups, bonded to no one is seen a suspicious and possibly untrustworthy. And the social element isn’t the only factor. Personally, I would be a whining ball of jangled nerves after maybe a week of sleeping with bugs and creepy-crawly things and subsisting on half-cooked rice. And then there’s the challenges…horrible memories of grade school gym class surface anytime I think of me competing in one. The final wild card that keeps me from predicting a winner is that while these people are supposed to represent each business type, they were all actually chosen for their TVQ ratings or how much a TV audience will react to them, good or bad. Survivor, after all, is a business too, one that survives on ratings.
For past posts on tribe see: Finding Your Tribe or What Your Tribe Says About You
Who is your money on to win this season of Survivor? Comment below and make your predictions now.