From Dragon Boating to Business Managing

Dragon Boating is one of the sports that when you’re having fun with it, you’ll dedicate your life to it. From there, you and your teammates can read each other’s mind, communicate with each other without verbally saying anything. It’s that amazing!

If our 8 hours a day at the office can be spent as if we are on a dragon boat, making sales numbers at work will be as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.

Here’s how

1. Teamwork to achieve One Goal

Dragon Boat – One goal and that is to win the competition TOGETHER. The front paddlers keep good timing, the middle paddlers serve as the engine, and the rear paddlers stay back to react to unexpected circumstances.

Making Sales – One goal and that is to win the deal TOGETHER. Different teams focus on different tasks. In an IT firm, business development team defines business strategies while system developers contribute speedy and quality of work. All standby for unexpected circumstances that come at anytime.

2. Steersman stays low profile at the back

Steersman is key to lead the Dragon Boat goes straight during the race. However, such an important person stays at the very back of the boat. Business leaders define missions and visions for the group, but he doesn’t need to be a star at the front row seat. Successful leaders stay low profile to coach employees rather than micro managing every single matter.

3. Drummer controls the pace

Drummer needs not be strong and muscular, rather he needs to be small but energetic. Drummer controls the pace, but he’s not setting the pace based on his own will. His responsibility is to maintain the pace with lots of considerations – team strategy, paddler’s strength, competitor’s performance, unexpected circumstances etc. He is there to cheer up, keeping everyone proactive and to maintain a positive mental and emotional condition.

As for the business leaders, they are setting goals not from his own will, they should be defining goals that the team members are willing to achieve even though there are challenges all over the place. His role is to coordinate and coach the team members to a point that they are proactively reaching their own targets in all circumstances and at the end achieving the team’s goal.

4. Not to distract by competitors

During a race, knowing competitor’s position is important, but each team has their own tactics based on their own strength and conditions. Do not distract by others when your team is behind. The others may slow down when it’s your time to switch gear.

– Stick with the tactics that has been communicated before the race started

– Trust and follow the beat set from the drummer, he takes lots of consideration (both external and internal) to set that speed. Trust that the drummer will adjust the beat when experiencing unexpected circumstances.

– Each race lasts only couple minutes, pay attention to the timing. Once the beat is off, it could cause a major destruction to the team performance.

Same concept for business management, just change the word ‘race’ with ‘pitch’, and ‘drummer’ with ‘leader’. Stay focus to the goal, trust your teammates and not rushing the projects. Keep in mind that rush and speed have different meanings, quality tells it all.

5. Practice, practice and practice

Practice makes perfect. The 2-minute dragon boat race takes up months to prepare. During the practicing period, members get to understand each other’s behavior, set expectations, trial and error to optimize paddling skills and at the end getting everyone’s mind in sync.

There is no difference to win a sales pitch. The team could go through couple rounds of failure before winning the first pitch. Those are the times when team members get to know each other to have their minds in sync.

Conclusion

I’m a weekend Dragon Boat paddler at Wu Kai Sha, Hong Kong. I believe each person is unique and no one can live alone without interacting with others. I believe Dragon Boating is one of the sports that connects everyone together regardless of race, age, gender and religious believe. Initially, language could be a temporary barrier for team communication, but once the team is formed, we’ll create our own team ‘language’. Verbal communication takes only 30% of our communications, the rest of the time, we read each other’s mind without saying a word.

I spend 40 hours at work every week, way more than the 5 hours dragon boat training during the weekends. Yet, the 5 hours I spend on the dragon boat has generated positive insights to my 40 hours work.

Feng Shui Dragon Information – The Mighty and Mystical

Feng shui dragon symbols, their power and purpose are enchanting and yes, it is real. Some call it a myth. Some call it nothing more than a useless belief. Is it something that is brought upon from Chinese mythology? Or is it something that does have a reality and has been proven to provide worth, value and acceptance. The results have been seen and successful outcomes have been and will be currently utilized through out the world today. It isn’t fake and it isn’t just a dream from some Chinese prophecy.

Feng Shui is NOT about religion, astrology, philosophy or superstition. It is the Study of ENERGY (Quantum Physics), and how that energy “effects” lives, homes, offices and careers.

Will Feng Shui Interfere with my Religious Beliefs?

No. Feng Shui was developed by the Chinese people who happened to be Buddhists, but it is not related to any religion or spiritual belief system — it is an Earth Science. The foundation of Quantum Physics and Relativity.

More than just the Chinese culture believes that this force is real and does exist. The United States, the western world believes in this practice and philosophy and yes are using it because it is real and it does work. It enchants and stirs the imagination. The Dragon is one of the four celestial animal that is an important yet powerful symbol in feng shui. The other three are the Tortoise, the White Tiger and the Red Bird (the Phoenix). The Dragon represents the ultimate Yang symbol, male vitality, bravery and courage. It is magnanimous and full of strength. The Dragon becomes a very powerful and potent symbol when placed facing the East and in the east sector of any house or room, but not the rooms that are listed below. The dragon image can be placed pointing in other directions as well.

In Chinese culture and perhaps even in the Western culture of feng shui, the dragon is the most favorable, sacred and magnificent of all the other celestial creatures and to be treated with great respect. Through generations, the dragon has been the ultimate symbol of luck, fortune, harmony, well-being and honor. In ancient times, Emperors of China regarded themselves as dragons and the symbol of dragon could only be used by them and no one else.

The Dragon’s cosmic breath is believed to have created the chi of the universe. Chi consists of three phases. These are called Sheng (moving upwards or moving forward), Si (dying or waning), and Sha (indicative and harmful energy). Feng Shui is the positive and helpful chi energy in the Sheng category. It is a positive energy and found in places that are uplifting, bright and refreshing. Living in these places are generally happy and peaceful.

The good energy Sheng Chi, brings good fortune and comfort into our homes and workplaces. Making it an all around bringer of good luck. The Dragons are a powerful tool and enhancer of business luck as well. They bring foresight and wisdom to the elderly, honor to the family and they protect the wearer in the coming years.

The Dragon is the fifth sign of the Chinese zodiac and its internal element is earth. The compass direction is about 98 degrees to around 128 degrees. That is why it likes to face to the east using those bearings. Its allies are the Rat and the Monkey and the Rooster has its secret friend. The Dragon is frequently seen in paintings, statues or sculptures holding a ball or a pearl. This symbolizes success and victory in wealth and career achievement.

Here is how you can use the dragon to feng shui your way to a better life.

1. For career luck and those seeking continuous achievement, place a dragon figurine on the table, cabinet or in the East side of your office or study. Your professional luck will look much better.

2. Activate the dragon by placing it in the eastern location of your home or living room. This brings good health and harmony to the residents of the house.

3. Place your dragon image or statue near your aquarium or a water source such as a fountain for good fortune and advancement in your career. It will also work if you are seeking fame and recognition.

4. Dragons made from metal or decorated metal can be used to fend-off evil influences of the troublesome and volatile #5 yellow star and the #2 black star. The black #2 star is also known as the sickness star at it brings illnesses and ailments. The #5 yellow star is the disaster star and it instigates fights, accidents and death. Placing the metallic Dragon in these affected areas will dissolve these energies. A six-rod wind chime made of brass would be a great feng shui cure.

5. Place the dragon in a northern location to enhance your career luck. By placing it in a northern location, it too will help you up the company ladder.

6. If you were born in the year of the dragon, place the dragon on the east side of your work desk or study desk to promote good wealth.

7. By placing the dragon in the northwest area of your home, this will bring mentors, advisors and powerful friends into your life.

Important things to remember:

Try to place the dragon at eye level or lower. This will help to ensure that they are still under our control. Another mistake that many people make is to place nine dragons throughout the house, as it represents number nine. However, this has to be avoided and the maximum number of dragons that should be kept in the house is five.

Try not to place any representation of the dragon inside the bedroom as the dragon is the ultimate yang symbol and it is not meant to be in place where there is a yin energy present. This will produce a competition effect and the dragons power will cease to work.

Do not place your dragon near the toilet or in the bathroom. The bathroom water is used for washing or flushing and symbolizes the unclean water. And refrain from putting it in the garage or a closet. This is because the dragon represents activity and placing it in rooms which are meant for inactivity may not be wise.

Dragon Slaying in the Dragons Den With Evan Davis

Move over Saint George there’s a new bout of dragon slaying with Evan Davis Dragons Den.

Business owners will no doubt be riveted by the new Dragon’s Den 2010 eighth series. I think the Dragons Den should be compulsive viewing for every new business start up owner.

Who can fail to learn from a multitude of business ideas presented to credible investors like Peter Jones, Duncan Bannatyne, Theo Paphitis, Deborah Meaden & James Caan.

Dragons Den Dragon Slaying With Evan Davis and Peter Jones

Peter Jones is a charismatic investor known to have visionary tendencies.

Given there have been seven prior series of Dragons Den TV, his fellow Dragons Duncan Bannatyne, Theo Paphitis, Deborah Meaden and James Caan appear to have wised up to his tactic of sitting back and letting his associates fight over a deal before coming in late and stealing it out from under their noses.

As the visionary of the investors, Peter Jones appears to listen very carefully to each and every one of the ideas presented to the investors.

He is firm, but fair and has often provided excellent advice and encouragement to aspiring entrepreneurs who have failed in their pitch for financial investment.

Conversely, rub him up the wrong way and his tongue lashing flicks out with the venom of a spitting Cobra.

Despite his somewhat lay back attitude, Peter Jones is very big on presentation, and despite dismissing several previous candidates for pitching their ideas while dressed inappropriately, candidates still appear before the Dragons dressed down in street casual clothing.

The Military use the phrase, ‘Booted & Suited’ which means dressing to impress in your best outfit or uniform. Peter Jones has expressed booted & suited is the option he prefers from people who are looking for him to invest in them.

Peter Jones shares business growth traits with the USA entrepreneur Donald Trump, as they have both stated they believe, if you are thinking anything about business, then you should think big.

After appearing in all seven of The Dragons Den TV series, most fans now search for him online using the key phrase Peter Jones Dragons Den.

Look to the Dragon’s Den 2010 series for more dynamic investments from Peter Jones.

Dragons Den Dragon Slaying With Evan Davis and Duncan Bannatyne

Duncan Bannatyne is one of two remaining original Dragons. He has been described as a tough no nonsense Scotsman, who voices his opinion whether negative or positive in the Dragons Den.

Labelled as the Dragons Den serial entrepreneur, Duncan Bannatyne appears to be the Dragon most entrepreneurs’ presenting business pitches to seem to fear the most.

And rightly so, as Duncan Bannatyne has little time for fools or bluffers. This fact will be borne out by his commanding officer in the British Navy who Duncan tried unceremoniously to throw overboard, resulting in him receiving a dishonourable discharge from Her Majesties Navy.

Duncan Bannatyne places great emphasis on entrepreneur presenters’ getting their financial figures right. He places great emphasis on financials and on people involved in the business.

Viewers of Dragon’s Den 2010, and fans of Duncan Bannatyne will be anxiously watching to see if he retains his investment partnership with James Caan.

Or if he’ll throw the TV audience a curved ball and align himself with Peter Jones to grab the best investment proposals away from Team Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden.

Given his status as a serial entrepreneur, it will be interesting to see which of the Dragons Den ideas excites Duncan Bannatyne in the new series.

Some business owners will be betting he will look to invest in new Dragons Den ideas that will compliment his existing portfolio of business interests.

Either way, Duncan Bannatyne gravelly voiced rendition of, ‘I’m Out,’ will send many aspiring entrepreneurs racing down the stairs crying for their Mommy.

Dragons Den Dragon Slaying With Evan Davis and Theo Paphitis

On The Dragons Den most aspiring business entrepreneurs begin their journey with what they consider to be a fantastic business idea.

They climb The Dragons Den steep staircase, and walk under the spotlight completely out of breath to be faced by a bank of financial investors.

Collectively they are known as the Dragons.

Individually they are Theo Paphitis Dragons Den, Peter Jones, Duncan Bannatyne, Deborah Meaden and James Caan. Collectively as fierce some as any front line of an all American football team.

If ever you want to hear, and see the greatest leveller directed towards an aspiring presenter pitching his or her business ideas, then listen out for the stinging remarks from Theo Paphitis.

“I’d rather stick needles in my eyes than invest in you.” “You are completely un-investable” and “that’s the worst presentation pitch I have ever heard,” are just a few of his dismissive remarks.

Theo Paphitis is recognised as The Dragons Den Retail Expert.

In relation to retail product sales, many aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their ideas in the hope of hooking Theo Paphitis because he is the only Dragon who can offer an almost immediate sales outlet through his core businesses.

This ability to move immediately has been the determining factor in securing investment away from Peter Jones, Duncan Bannatyne, Deborah Meaden and James Caan, despite him requesting a higher equity stake in the business.

This ability to move retail products quickly to market has resulted in a perfect investment partnership between Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden. Her marketing knowledge, and his retail sales skills form an outstanding synergy.

Any aspiring entrepreneur finding investment from this partnership in the Dragon’s Den 2010 series will find they are receiving lots of added value besides the financial investment.

Dragons Den Dragon Slaying With Evan Davis and Deborah Meaden

Watching Deborah Meaden on The Dragons Den as she engages with someone pitching their business idea and screwing up their presentation, is like watching a battle between a Mongoose and a Cobra.

That said, on the face of it, Deborah Meaden seems easy to please. She is on record as stating the following 4 issues are what dictate whether she will invest in a business or not.

Are we getting the right solution?

Can the vendor really do it?

Is it a fair price?

Will it deliver a good return on investment?

Address these issues and you will grab the attention of Deborah Meaden.

However be advised, fail to address these issues or try to bluff, or wing your way through your Dragons Den ideas pitch, and the Mongoose will launch a pre-emptive strike.

Once in attack mode Deborah Meaden never let’s go until she finds the precise answers to her direct and probing questions.

This has left many aspiring entrepreneurs shell shocked and wondering why they ever considered pitching before the Dragons.

It’s not just the entrepreneurs who hunker down when Deborah Meaden is in full flow. Peter Jones, Duncan Bannatyne, Theo Paphitis and James Caan all back off in the face of one of her scathing attacks.

It will be interesting to see if during the new Dragon’s Den 2010 series whether Deborah Meaden continues to partner up with Theo Paphitis on some investments, or whether she will continue to identify environmentally sound investment ideas.

Dragons Den Dragon Slaying With Evan Davis and James Caan

Billed as The Dragons Den’s People Investor, James Caan is a canny investor who seems to place a great deal of emphasis on the people presenting their ideas for investment.

Viewers watching the new series Dragon’s Den 2010 will understand what I mean, when I say James Caan would make a lousy card player.

However James Caan might just be fooling the entire TV audience with his ‘Card Game Tell Habit’ of stroking his beard whenever new ideas seem to excite him.

On the face of it, James knows exactly what he is looking for in an investment proposition and he sticks rigidly to his guns to find out the precise answers to his probing questions.

James Caan has formed a very successful alliance with Duncan Bannatyne and viewers of the new 2010 series will be eager to see if this team partnership is formidable enough to see off challenges from Team Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden.

One thing is certain, James Caan needs to keep a very close eye on rival Peter Jones because he is equally as adept at identifying and closing down a lucrative investment on Dragons Den TV.

Lessons Learned From A Bearded Dragon Owner

We did not know anything about owning a bearded dragon when the thought of buying one came to us. Before plunging into the purchase, I wanted to make sure we at least had some idea of what we were getting into. We read books and did some internet surfing. We thought we were ready. As it turns out there were some things that we did not learn about and had to discover on our own. I am going to share with you 4 very important lessons that we have learned from owning our bearded dragons.

Lesson 1: High Maintenance

You would probably think a lizard would be a simple and easy pet to take care of; however, a bearded dragon is a little different than other lizards. Bearded dragons are social creatures and need to be socialized by their owners. As the parent, you will need to socialize them every day to get them used to you picking them up and handling them. This will help them to not be fearful and will also develop a trusting relationship between you and your pet.

Bearded dragons enjoy being outside of the cage. Ours will often go exploring throughout the house. When they are out of the cage, you will need to watch them like you would a 2 year old child. The dragons get a sense of their surroundings by licking everything. One time we had a damp paper towel on the floor from cleaning the cage and Cessna licked it and began eating it. We had to jump into action and pull it out of his mouth. On another occasion, Hawker was out in the sun room when I left for a second to answer the phone. When I came back I could not fund him anywhere. Right when I was about to give up and look in a different room, I spotted his tail sticking out from behind a bookcase. I had to use the strength of a mom to move it and get him out. He was pretty shaken up because he did not know exactly what had happened. Lesson learned never leave your dragon out unsupervised, not even for a second.

All of this running around is great exercise for them. Just like with us, they need to stretch their legs and run. It helps to get the body moving and working on the inside and out. This also means your dragon is going to have “accidents” outside of the cage. Make sure you are ready with a paper towel and some carpet cleaner. You may be able to paper train them, but I have not really tried yet. One time Cessna was in the sun room basking while I was reading the newspaper on the floor. He ran over to my paper, did his business, and ran off. It has not happened again, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t.

Because bearded dragons spend most of the time in their cages, they will need baths. We bathe our dragons about once a week or on an as needed basis. Some people suggest bathing them more often. A bath is beneficial for them because they are able to absorb the water through their skin for hydration. Not all dragons enjoy their baths. Hawker, in particular, hates bath time and has climbed my husbands arm to his back just to stay out of the water.

Lesson 2: Food

We thought it was great that bearded dragons eat mostly vegetables. This is going to be easy because every week we buy veggies for ourselves, we just need to buy a little extra for the dragons. I also new that they needed protein everyday for about the first year, but it wasn’t forever. We just did not take into consideration how much food 3 dragons would eat in a day.

At some point we thought growing our own vegetables would be cost effective. The only thing we did not take into consideration was the fact that we have not found our green thumbs yet. Our soil is mostly clay and then there are the rodents, bugs, and diseases. If you have ways to discourage the pests and diseases next you have to deal with the weather. In southern Virginia, our summers are hot and wet or dry. When our schedules get busy and we are in a drought, we can often forget to water our plants. Then there are the hurricanes and the plants drown. I just can’t seem to figure it out yet. To those who can successfully grow a garden, my hat goes off to you. Regardless of whether you grow them or buy them, you will still have to chop up and clean food regularly for your dragons.

Now on to protein, bugs (I like to call them wrigglies). My husband thought it would be a great money saver if we bread our own crickets. Between 3 dragons they were eating hundreds of crickets a day. He did some research and set up a container and attempted to breed crickets. I have to admit, we did get some babies; however, they did not live very long after hatching. The mess and the stink were not worth the trouble or the savings. We continued to buy crickets in boxes of 1000 and kept them long enough to be eaten. The worst was when we had to buy large crickets because not only were they stinky, but they were noisy as well. My husband was also curious about breeding dubia roaches because he read that they were not as gross, but I did not want to go through that again.

Lesson 3: Multiple Dragons

Little did we know that male dragons cannot live harmoniously together because of dominance issues. Somehow we have ended up with 3 male dragons. Maybe if we had at least 1 female, things would not be so tense in my house. Needless to say, my house is full of testosterone with 3 male dragons, 2 male cats, a son, and a husband. Yes, I am the only female that manages this crazy house.

I have seen plenty of videos on the internet where bearded dragons are roaming around the house simultaneously or even share a cage. This is not going to happen with my dragons. Piper hates Cessna, Hawker hates Piper, and Cessna doesn’t care for either of them. Only one dragon can be out at a time unless rules are followed. To prevent them from getting close enough to fight, my husband made harnesses for them. The dragons will need to wear their harnesses and keep a good distance from each other if more than one dragon is out at a time. With laminate floors they are not able to get much traction and it can be rather entertaining to see them slide across the floor and run in place.

We have noticed that when they get all worked up at each others cages trying to fight through the glass, they will often leave “presents” at their foes cage. They will also head bob, arm waive, turn their beards black, and glass dance. Some days are more quiet than others. They are in separate cages, but all live in the same room and can see each other and hear each other climbing all around the cage.

Lesson 4: Financial Expense

Not once did we take into consideration the cost of these dragons. Because of their testosterone driven dominance, we needed to buy 3 cages. In those cages are a log, lights, heater, house, outlet timers, and food bowls. All of this can add up quickly and this is just to get the house set up. Thankfully, we are saving some money on the substrate by using newspaper, but if you decide to use sand, that will be an additional cost.

Since their lights and heaters are on during most of the day, we definitely saw an increase in our power bill. We certainly did not think of our electricity bill when we got the 3 dragons. One dragon will probably not make that much of a change in the power bill, however. Don’t forget replacement bulbs! You will always have one burn out when you are not prepared.

Lastly, we go back to the food. The fresh veggies, the crickets, and then whatever extras you may get as treats. It all add up quickly and may take you by surprise. I am hoping to take away the surprise of the financial expense that comes with the ownership of bearded dragons.

Hopefully after reading about the lessons that we have learned, you will be more aware of what you are going to be doing everyday for your new pet. I would not change that was have 3 dragons, I would have like to have known a little bit more of what we were getting ourselves into. I do enjoy and love my 3 dragons! Good luck and enjoy your new pet!