Dragon Slayers

BBC Television in the UK has a surprise hit: Dragons’ Den. In this show, entrepreneurs pitch to a panel of 5 successful business men and women, with the prize being investment by the ‘Dragons’ in the fledgling business.

It’s compelling viewing, partly because of the sheer diversity of inventions and new business ideas on display, but principally because the Dragons are so rude and aggressive with entrepreneurs.

If a Dragon likes a proposition, they will offer a sum of money in exchange for an equity share – sometimes asking for as much as 50% of a business. These people are strong negotiators, in a position of strength, dealing with often inexperienced negotiators who may be in front of a TV camera for the first time.

These negotiations are compelling, and highly revealing. There are many lessons to be learned from observing the ways in which people handle this pressure, but the one I wish to focus on here is the nature of dominance. Time after time, Dragons show a surprising failure to understand the mindset of people who are different to them.

A recent show had an entrepreneur with a truly wonderful product – a seatbelt adjustor to keep children comfortable and safe – which all the Dragons loved. However, one Dragon simply could not understand why this entrepreneur hadn’t succeeded in setting up a distribution deal – he actually accused the man of laziness. I think most people would have looked at this entrepreneur and said to themselves ‘he isn’t really a salesman, he’s an inventor. Respect his skills – don’t expect him to excel in salesmanship’. Yet this Dragon persisted in tearing a strip off the poor man, who responded with calmness and dignity (and yes, he did eventually close his deal).

Why did a successful businessman have so much difficulty understanding that we are not all born salesmen? I believe that this is a kind of ‘mind blindness’, a difficulty which I have observed in many dominant personalities. Natural leaders often have difficulty understanding submissive behaviours. Sometimes they will accuse gentle people of a kind of dishonesty – they simply cannot accept that a person can be unassuming, lacking in ego or have little desire to dominate. Freudians might describe this as a form of ‘projection’ – the dominant individual unconsciously believes that everybody shares his wishes and aspirations, and is sometimes genuinely baffled by the decisions other people make.

It is commonplace to hear natural leaders described as ‘confident’, but I would like to differ. That is a very narrow view of confidence. It is my belief that the truly confident person is able to be modest, unassuming and open to other people, if this is their preference. Expressing your beliefs candidly and calmly, and accepting that others may have different beliefs, is a hallmark of true confidence. Dominance traits may help you to succeed in business, but business is only a small part of the much greater enterprise of life.

And the truly confident people on Dragons’ Den? They are the handful of entrepreneurs who maintain their dignity and calmness in an atmosphere of intimidation and challenge. We all encounter dragons in our daily lives – maybe people who are very senior at work, or perhaps those who appear to have been born to rule. How we deal with dragons says a great deal about us; we know that we are truly adult when we can respond firmly and gently, without resentment, and stand our ground. This is an example of Status Confidence in action – the ability to deal with people appropriately regardless of their status. For further information on this topic, please consult http://www.confidenceclub.net/content/statusconfidence.php

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.