Joshua Tree National Park offers a glimpse into life on another planet. This sprawling terrain sprawls with angular rocks tossed into haphazard piles from the earth’s deeper layers, Joshua trees leaning like fuzzy aliens into the dusty wind, and sere plants whose scruffy appearance belies an enviable toughness.
It’s a hot, demanding place that forces you to slow down. It demands skills that I, on a recent weekend visit, realized are those that good entrepreneurs need to survive.
Adaptability. The plants and creatures of the desert have evolved to minimize waste and maximize effort in response to the demands of the environment. Every year in the desert is a recession!
Hardiness. Talk about survival of the fittest! The flora and fauna are lean (no obesity in the desert), mean (think of all those thorns!) and resource-wise.
Perseverance. Fire, wind and snow have attempted to destroy or carve away the landscape, and yet (thanks to man’s interventions through National Park creation!) it will persist beyond our life times. Similarly, a well-crafted business can outlive its founders.
Patience. Seeds that lie dormant for years before flowering with adequate rain, succulents that suck up huge quantities of water to keep in reserve for dry spells, lizards that remain motionless waiting for a fly to stop by – all exhibit a profound willingness to stick it out, while waiting for circumstances to favor their odds.
Surprise. If the desert were only dreary and rugged and monotonous, it would fail to attract. It’s that element of the unexpected that keep drawing us back. A vista of craggy rocks and cacti, topped by a snowy peak in the distance; a colorful spring blooming; a new-found native American artifact; even a flash flood.
What are your best techniques for survival?
In what ways does your business or practice need to adapt … or die?