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
The Three Islands
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.