How The Reality TV Show “Survivor” Mirrors Entrepreneurship

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The reality TV show Survivor mirrors entrepreneurship in fascinating ways. This blog post draws parallels between the world of Survivor and the world of entrepreneurship.

Art Imitates Life

We’ve all heard the saying, “life imitates art,” but I would argue that in this case, art imitates life. The reality TV show Survivor, with its castaways on a remote island facing immense challenges, mirrors the life of an entrepreneur. Both must navigate limited resources, intense competition, and the need to outwit others to survive and thrive.

Enduring Appeal of Survivor

Survivor has been captivating audiences for 46 seasons. Despite the repetitive nature of the game, it remains popular because while the format stays largely the same, the dynamics and personalities of the castaways bring fresh intrigue every season. The social element, physical challenges, and gameplay make each season unique and exciting.

The Castaway as an Entrepreneur

As a fan of the show since its early seasons, I noticed the close resemblance between being a castaway on Survivor and being an entrepreneur. I’ve identified eight specific parallels that illuminate the skill sets needed to succeed in business and win the game.

1. Resource Management

On Survivor, contestants are given minimal resources. They must find food, build shelter, and rely on social alliances, all while competing in challenges. Entrepreneurs often find themselves in similar situations with limited financial resources, manpower, and time. Managing these resources effectively is crucial for success.

2. Strategy and Planning

Both Survivor contestants and entrepreneurs must strategize and plan to navigate complex and ever-changing environments. Short-term and long-term planning is required to survive tribal councils and business quarters alike. Balancing immediate needs with future goals is essential.

3. Risk Taking

Survivor is all about taking risks—forming alliances, hunting for immunity idols, and deciding when to play them. Entrepreneurs must also take calculated risks to innovate and grow their businesses. Every decision can either lead to success or failure, making risk-taking both exhilarating and terrifying.

4. Adaptability and Resilience

The ability to adapt to changing circumstances and rebound from setbacks is vital for both Survivor contestants and entrepreneurs. Those who can persevere through challenges and remain flexible are the ones who thrive. The journey demands constant evolution and the resilience to push through difficult times.

5. Networking and Alliances

Building strong alliances is essential in Survivor. Similarly, networking and forming relationships can support and advance business goals. Entrepreneurs benefit greatly from a network of peers who provide insights, opportunities, and a sanity check.

6. Leadership and Influence

Effective leadership and the ability to influence others are important in both fields. On Survivor, likability and respect help build strong alliances. In business, leadership is crucial for setting a vision and guiding a team towards success.

7. Psychological Endurance

Both Survivor contestants and entrepreneurs face high stress, uncertainty, and the need to maintain focus under pressure. The ability to cope with these challenges and stay determined is key to enduring the ups and downs of both the game and the business world.

8. Competition and a Winning Mentality

Intense competition requires a strong desire to win. Whether it’s outlasting opponents on Survivor or outperforming competitors in business, having a winning mentality drives contestants and entrepreneurs to push boundaries and strive for success.


By drawing parallels between the gameplay on Survivor and the challenges of entrepreneurship, we can see how the skills and traits valuable in the show are crucial in the business world. Finding lessons in everyday life and entertainment can be a valuable way to learn about business and entrepreneurship.

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