Do You Have what it Takes to Own a Private Island?

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The challenges of island ownership often require a certain kind of personality; driven, entrepreneurial and capable of doing what it takes to survive away from civilization. Do you measure up?

As you’ll see in the print edition of Private Islands Magazine, it takes a certain kind of person to own a private island. From the ranks of A-list celebrities and CEOs, to outdoor enthusiasts, families and retirees, there are certain things that they’ll virtually all have in common. So what skills make for a successful private island owner?

1. Entrepreneurial Drive

It’s no coincidence that many private island owners are found among the ranks of the entrepreneur and business owner. But it’s not just about money. The traits needed as the founder or head of a corporation – executive thinking, problem solving and leadership– all come into play when buying, developing and living on an island. And for those buying in unfamiliar countries or places where a comprehensive development plan is a requirement for purchase, these skills are even more important.

2. Independence

Unusual challenges are just a part of island life, and unlike on the mainland, you’ll have to deal with many of them on your own. Seclusion and privacy are two of the top benefits of island ownership – and why many celebrities like Johnny Depp and David Copperfield choose to maroon themselves on their isles – but of course, there can be a down side. You’ve got to be comfortable spending a significant amount of time alone, and above all, confident in your ability to solve problems without outside help.

3. Adaptability

From the moment you first begin searching for an island to call your own, the process calls for flexible, creative thinking and the ability to go with the flow (even in times of rapids). You’ve got to quickly adapt to the requisites of island life; getting comfortable with solitude, possibly taking on new skill sets like carpentry or driving a boat, and for those buying in foreign lands, maybe even learning unfamiliar culture, customs and language. Those who come into island ownership expecting life to be just like on the mainland are destined for a rough time.

4. Love of Nature

As an island owner, you have a unique opportunity to protect and foster your island’s special ecosystem. And since your property is fairly small and self-contained, you have an equally rare chance to see the immediate results of your efforts. A boom in popularity for eco-tourism has brought much attention to the potential offered by private islands, with even film stars like Leonardo DiCaprio starting earth-friendly island resorts. Above all, many owners just find stewardship immensely satisfying and enjoyable. While you may not be able to have big impact in the pollution and habitat destruction in the outside world, you’ll make all the difference for your island’s environment.

5. Sense of Adventure

Of all of the qualities you’ll find in successful island owners, a love of adventure is probably the most important. Everything about private islands – from choosing a location, to travelling to exotic places to view properties, to making a purchase and taking on a whole new way of life – requires a courageous spirit and willingness to throw yourself into the world. If you find yourself excited by the unknown and thrive on new, interesting challenges, island ownership could indeed be right for you.

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