Into the Dragon’s Den

When anyone comes up with an invention, the next step is to find someone to give them the financial backing that they can’t supply themselves. To do this, they must have a tangible product for the person or company they are approaching to get a proper feel for. The idea needs to be well thought through in its practicality and monetary feasibility. The inventor needs to have done thorough, provable research to show that there is a niche in the market that this particular product would fill, that it would make a profit.

This type of negotiations have gone on since the beginning of time. Now, however, during our times of economical strain, it has become harder to get people with money to back something that may or may not work. That may or may not prove to be profitable. However, it is still possible and the occurrence of the Dragon’s Den TV programme has got many would-be budding inventors at their desks scribbling away with their plans.

The whole Dragon’s Den format comes from Japan, where it is owned by Sony. Celebrities or high profile company owners that are looking for new investment opportunities sit on a panel and have a designated amount of money in mind that they would like to sink into a new venture.

Trawled in front of them are average Joe’s who are allocated a timed slot to pitch their idea to the dragons and convince them that this is the one deal they cannot afford to miss out on. This is not for the faint hearted. The ones with the money in the Dragons Den are confident and adept at business. They know all the right questions to ask and if you’re not on top of your game and knowing it inside out they will eat you for breakfast.

Those who truly believe in their product, who have fully researched their market, who know their target customers and have the confidence to put this across simply whilst still giving the dragons something they can see or feel, will give them a much better prospect of gaining the backing that they require.

For those that enter the Dragon’s Den trembling with fear, stuttering with nerves and unsure of themselves will come across as unsure of their product. They will be chewed up and spat out in no time by the dragons themselves.

Contestants that have managed to secure finances from the Dragons Den are those that know their product well but do not appear too pushy or cocky. They pitch their idea and hopefully the product will sell itself. Once they have satisfied any doubts the dragons may have and fully sold their product to the best of their ability, then the dragons need to decide whether they want to invest or not.

Negotiations take place. If a dragon would like to invest but is unsure of the products feasibility, they can offer a reduced amount to what the contestant is asking for. While this may be difficult for the person that needs the money, reputation goes a long way and that is what the dragons bring with them, reputation and influence that might just make them successful in their venture.

So what does the dragon get from all this? Well, during negotiations, they can also bargain. The inventor will suggest a reward, usually a stake in the business venture or a cut of the profits, depending on the amount invested. The dragon will then attempt to bring this nearer what he sees as a good deal and eventually an agreement will be reached. One happy inventor, one happy dragon.

Dragons’ Den – Success From Pitch to Profit

The Book entitled “Dragons’ Den: Success from Pitch to Profit” (published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd) 2007 is a terrific read – and a must if you have ever watched, or intend to watch (or better still – intend to take part in) DRAGONS’ DEN.

For those who don’t yet know what the Dragons’ Den is, think X-factor for the business world. With a panel of eminent business judges who are willing to invest their own money (many thousands of Pounds, in fact) sitting in judgement on the would-be new Business kid on the block. Each candidate must do their best to impress some of Britain’s best business brains with a short pitch on their new idea (sometimes an existing, and already successful business which needs some extra cash, or perhaps the expertise that any of the “Dragons” can bring).

Featuring interviews with Peter Jone (aka in this book as “The Visionary”); Deborah Meaden (aka The Marketeer); Theo Paphitis (The Retail Expert); Duncan Bannatyne (The Serial Entrepreneur); James Caan (The People’s Investor) and Richard Farleigh (The Business Angel) with a foreword by Evan Davis (The Economics Expert) – it is an exciting book which is inspirational as well as scary!

Scary, I hear you ask? Well yes – in my opinion it must be completely nerve wracking for many of the intrepid entrepreneurs who have ventured up that long stairway (OK – maybe it just seems long – I’ve never actually walked it myself, of course) into the Dragons Den and onto our TV screens. If you succeed in your pitch possible fame and fortune awaits. If you fail, then with the high coverage viewings that the Dragon’s Den has now enjoyed into it’s Fifth Series (at time of writing), then you are going to be seen as having failed in the Dragon’ Den by a lot of people! The reassuring thing with this book however, is that even for some of those who have “failed” in the Den, there has been some other successes outside. Conversely some of those participants who appeared to get backing and whom we would assume would go onto bigger and better business success, have actually stalled after the programme was viewed.

The Dragon’s all carry out due diligence on their would-be proteges after the programme is aired (or at least before the business proposition can go ahead) and it is not unheard of for some of the business plans and ideas to have fallen short under closer scrutiny. In these cases, the planned investment does not go ahead. This book shows who has faltered and who has succeeded (and why) and gives a good background for anyone who is thinking about going into business even if they are not planning to go into the Dragons’ Den to seek investment for it.

You really need to read the book yourself to get the full facts on what each of the Dragon’s are looking for; the personality traits and ideals that appeal to them most. One commonly recurring theme amongst the dragons was that presentation IS important! Not necessarily being able to stand in front of them with a flip chart or powerpoint and making a good impression in that respect, but certainly personal appearance was important for everyone. A clean, professional image with polished shoes and neat appearance. Now I think I could probably manage the polished shoes, but as for the polished presentation of some million-dollar making business proposal? Well, chance would be a fine thing!

One tip of my own though: polished shoes look good; new shoes look good. The difference being that you must be comfortable in whatever shoes you are wearing at the time. And new shoes are often NOT the most comfortable ones – so don’t make that mistake. Your great overall presentation might be ruined by the look of discomfort on your face when the toes of your new shoes start pinching halfway through your pitch…. Just a thought!

The other recurring theme is this book is the fact that all successful business people agree with the old saying “If you Fail to Plan, then you Plan to Fail”. Don’t try and impress the Dragons (or your Bank Manager!) without a full Business Plan. If you are not sure where to start with writing one, seek advice. It is better to ask and get it right, and then put in in writing, than to think you can just remember all the salient points of your business idea and take it from there. If you ever go into the Dragons’ Den you will need to show that you have done your homework – and if your memory is not what it could be (or was), then arm yourself with a copy of your (professional) business plan and impress the Dragons (and surprise yourself) with what a clear and comprehensive business plan you have produced.

Dragon Games

Dragons are favorite characters for kids and they love to hear stories about Dragons. Dragon Games are in huge numbers so it is impossible to keep record of them. So the best option is to just keep on playing different games each time. Dragon games can be played in almost all the sites which offer games for kids. Online games are especially popular among the kids of age group between 4 to 16 years. Dragons become the role model of the kids and they start imagining the character that is why they enjoy the game.

Avatar games are also very famous and especially these days the release of the movie Avatar made this game popular among all the age group especially in kids. Avatar games can be downloaded from sites. Some can be played free till some extent but not the whole game for free. Kids can be irritating sometimes and demanding too. So letting them play these online games for sometime after studies is the best way to keep them calm and you get some time to yourself. Especially in holidays these games are the best way to keep them entertained and occupied.

Dungeons and Dragons is the most played and most popular game among Dragon Games. Earlier it was on map but now this can be played online on computers. How fun it is when you can really play what you have watched in theatres. Both the Dragon Games and Avatar Games are fun to play and easily accessible to the kids. Animation of these games are pretty good and you can’t say they are not real. Technology can come up with anything and this has been proved by invention of these games.

Dragon games are created in such a way that kids get lost in this game so much that they don’t even realize where they are. I saw my daughter playing it so many times and so many times I have felt like playing. These games are very tempting and addictive I can say. Too much of addiction is also not good for kids. They should be allowed to play only certain times of the day and in holidays only. But a good way to keep their mind busy. Dragons games are very noisy and action involved and so as the avatar games. We all know that kids love to make noise and fight so no doubt they like to play this.

Kids don’t play much with toys these days because of so many internet games. They will rather play on computer instead of toys. Since they start playing on computers they learn everything about computers from very early age. In one way this is a good thing. There is no harm in playing online games in a limited manner. Some games educate the children so let them play it and have fun. Let them enjoy the days because once they get big they will have so many other things to do in life.

Feng Shui Enhancements in The Year of the Water Dragon

On Monday 23rd January we celebrate the Chinese New Year. Many people think the Chinese New Year is when the animal signs change but in actual fact this change always happens on the first day of Spring which this year will be the 4th February. As we move from the year of the Metal Rabbit to the year of the Water Dragon I thought that it would be a good time for me to look forward and see what we can expect to see happening in the world in 2012. From a Feng Shui perspective the movement from one animal sign to another always provides some great opportunities to realign the energies in your home, so in this article I will also share with you some of the actions that you can take to ensure that the year ahead is as positive and as beneficial for you as it possibly can be.

The year of the dragon traditionally is a very auspicious year bringing as it does the four blessings of the east which are wealth, virtue, harmony and longevity. This year in the world in general we can expect a better year financially than the tumultuous times seem in 2011. The worst of the world’s financial crisis seems to be behind us now and many economies are once more likely to see the start of growth and new optimism, although don’t expect fortunes to change overnight. Eastern economies are likely to grow much stronger and quicker than those in the west. Improvement overall will start slowly from around the end of spring 2012 and as we move through the year confidence will grow and we can expect to see the start of a long but sustained period of financial growth.

Though financially we are unlikely to see dramatic changes, a dragon year often signifies momentous change and this year will be no exception. The water dragon is a calmer, quieter animal than some of it’s siblings so even though momentous events are likely to occur expect them to slip under the radar, or happen very quickly with the minimum of fuss. We are certainly unlikely to see the conflicts that we saw in 2011. In saying that, expect some traditional or long serving governments to fall this year, and expect those that replace them to be led by new governments or structures that put the family and traditional values at the heart of everything they do. New governments or rulers that begin this year are likely to be in power for a long time, the last year of the water dragon saw the start of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II which is still going strong 60 years later.

In this year of the water dragon there will be a general sense of optimism and an emphasis that anyone can achieve anything. People power will topple one long standing family ruler in a country but not in the way that was seen in 2011. It is likely to be a very quick process that ends almost before it begins. We are also likely to see the formation of a new major charity or charitable event this year, one which has a global reach and could well start to change the world.

As far as the natural world is concerned in 2012 there is a high likelihood, unfortunately, that we will see more natural disasters. I predict that major flooding will affect two major cities or countries this year and later in the year the world will see ferocious tropical storms that are stronger than many yet experienced. A major relief effort will need to start this year which is likely to be led by a group of people rather than by a government. With the stronger sense of optimism in the financial markets we can also expect to see some of the wealthiest individuals in the world make some major philanthropic gestures to support those most in need.

Turning our attention to an individual level, the year of the water dragon is a good time to start a new business, begin a new relationship, get married or learn a new skill. Businesses, alliances and learning are likely to succeed and have long lasting benefits, providing that careful thought and planning has gone in to them. Dragon years can be rocky years for the unwary so do not try a get rich quick scheme or get married on the spur of the moment. This is definitely a year for slow and steady accumulation not speculation.

To make the most of the opportunities that the year of the water dragon is going to bring, there are a number of Feng Shui enhancements you can make in your own home. When enhancing your home through Feng Shui always make sure that any cure or enhancement you put in place does not negatively affect the existing flow of energy around your home and is placed with intention. My web pages on Intention and Chi will help you understand these practices if you are uncertain.

Feng Shui Enhancements for the Year of the Water Dragon

Welcome in the year of the water dragon by hanging a wooden wind chime in the east or north east of your garden. Other enhancements you can make to this area of your garden are to place a picture or a statue of a dragon or to plant a fruit tree (cherry, plum or peach are best)

If you do not have a garden you can hang a picture of a dragon, or place a small dragon ornament in the east or north east area of your home. If you are placing a dragon ornament it is best if it made out of crystal, wood, stone or ceramic.

If you are starting a new business enhance the career and knowledge areas of your home this year. These areas are in the north and north east of your home. Good enhancements to make in the career area include placing a small indoor fountain, hanging a picture of a stream or waterfall or placing a small crystal dragon in a prominent place. In the knowledge area a stone or ceramic dragon, a small indoor garden or a square bowl filled with carnelian crystals can be beneficial.

If you are getting married this year create a small display in your relationship area filled with plants, candles and crystal dragons. The relationship area is the south west area of your home. A beautiful indoor garden can be created filled with miniature roses, two pink candles and two small crystal dragons. Scatter rose quartz or amethyst crystals across the surface of your indoor garden and after you are married place a small photograph of your wedding day in the centre. Not only will this help your relationship be everlasting but it will also serve as a lovely reminder of your special day for years to come.

If you are beginning a new course, learning a new skill or taking qualifications this year you can help this area of your life by placing a ceramic or stone dragon in the knowledge area of your home (the north east area), or in your study or the room where you learn. Other enhancements you can make to this area this year are buying a pot plant which is displayed in this area of your home or filling a bowl with crystals and placing this on your desk. Excellent plants to buy for this area of your home are indoor plants that flower in the spring and the best crystals to use in this area are Green Fluorite, Carnelian or Amethyst.

I hope that you have found this article useful and are looking forward to the year of the water dragon with positivity and optimism. All that is left for me to do is to wish you a happy new year and to hope that this year brings everything you hope for.