‘Cast Away’ is one of my favorite movies ever. I find the struggle of a helpless soul forced to fight the fury of sea, the torment of solitude and the anguish of uncertainty absolutely thrilling. It’s not by chance that drama is one of the most popular genres in the film industry: humans find pleasure in misery, particularly when it falls on someone else. Since going on a cruise has never been part of my bucket list and I don’t work for FedEx, I never considered the risk of sea seclusion worthy of consideration. I’ve felt quite safe and ‘protected’ every time I’ve grabbed a can of Coke and a bag of chips and made myself comfortable on the couch to watch Tom Hanks suffer non-stop for two hours and twenty-three minutes.
But then, 2020 made its appearance.
The harm that the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted to thousands of small business owners in America cannot be measured or even described (and I don’t think there is need to describe it, anyways). As many other microentrepreneurs and owner-operators, my dream of a continuously growing and promising startup suddenly turned into the plot of a Robert Zemeckis film, but with no clap boards, cameras, reflectors, stunts, special effects or makeup artists: real life’s budget doesn't allow for Hollywood’s artifice and glamour. This time the fury of sea, the torment of solitude and the anguish of uncertainty are 100% real. The end of the storm isn’t in sight yet, and the only option at this point seems to be packing the volleyball, getting on the raft and facing the waves like there is no tomorrow. And it probably won’t, if we don’t take the risk to leave the island behind.
Hire a small business if you have a chance.