Saturday, 3 September 2011

The Three Islands concept – which island are you?

Three Islands concept
The Three Islands concept below is a metaphor that can benefit anyone, from those who are just starting out in their careers, or have recently launched a business, right through to those who are managing a successful company.  

The Three Islands concept
Visualize three islands (A, B and C), each with the exact same resources (e.g. people, water, minerals, trees, etc.)

  • The people on Island A consume all of their resources and throw a giant party – conditions on the island are fantastic!
  • The people on Island B consume most of their resources and use the rest to maintain their island – conditions on the island are pretty good.
  • The people on Island C consume some of their resources and invest the majority in improving their island (establishing running water, supplying heat etc.) – conditions on the island are okay.
 --- time passes… ---

  • Sadly, almost all the people on Island A are now deceased and life is hard for those that remain – conditions on the island are horrible.
  • Life on Island B is exactly the same as it was years ago – conditions on the island are pretty good.
  • The people on Island C are celebrating, as they are now reaping the benefits of their earlier investment – conditions on the island are fantastic!
Obviously no one wants to live their life like the people on Island A, but I encourage you to find the right balance between Island B and Island C for you. Be sure to think more broadly than just how you use your income; also consider how you use your time (both inside and outside of business), as well as how and when you will retire.

I first learned about the Three Islands concept when studying my undergraduate degree in business and am very grateful, as I feel that the application of its lessons has contributed immensely to my success.

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