Lessons From the “Dragon’s Den”!

“If you ever watch ‘Dragon’s Den’ (on Canadian TV) or ‘Shark Tank’ (on U.S.A. TV), then you know that there are some simple rules for success. I had the pleasure of hearing one of the ‘dragons’ speak at a luncheon recently and want to share his tips for success with you. Jim Treliving kept it simple – which is totally in alignment with my own style – and was very inspiring to all of us in the audience.

1) KNOW YOUR NUMBERS! I tell my clients this ALL the time. You have got to know your numbers – your revenue, your sales, your expenses, the cost of doing business, average value per client, etc. You. Must. Know. Your. Numbers!

2) SHARE YOUR STORY. That’s what inspires many other entrepreneurs to either get in the game and/or stay in the game. Being an entrepreneur is tough stuff – if it was easy, then everyone would be doing it. So, be vulnerable. Share your story. It does make a difference.

3) SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY. It’s always so easy, especially in the early stages, to focus totally and solely on your business. That’s a huge mistake. Yes, of course, there will be times when you must throw your whole heart, soul and body into the business – ‘certain ‘times’ – not ALL the time. When most successful entrepreneurs are interviewed and asked what one thing, in retrospect, that they would change – most of them say ‘to spend more time with family’. So, just do it, OK?

4) LEARN FROM YOUR FAILURES. Everyone has them. If you’re not failing, you’re not trying and you’re not growing – and if you’re not growing, you won’t be in the game for a very long time. It’s OK to fail. That is how we learn.

5) HIRE SLOW – FIRE FAST! Yup – not everyone you hire is a perfect fit. Go with your gut – you know when it doesn’t feel right. Make a business decision and do the firing. Everyone will benefit.

6) REWARD AND RECOGNITION. This is a critical step to success – both for you and for your team. Stop – celebrate – acknowledge – reward – have fun – and get back to work.

When you watch ‘The Dragon’s Den’, Jim Treliving is always laughing and celebrating.

Here are some of Jim’s favorite quotes:

Success is about the big picture.

I like simplicity.

I believe that simplicity is the key to success.

I have to love what I do.

I make decisions about work with my heart, about money with my head, and about people with my gut.

The hallmarks of every successful person I know are these: they want what they have, they like what they do, and they love who they are.

Get your opportunities – take them, take a ride and see what happens.

The legacy I’d like to leave back is that persistence works. Hard work works.

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.

How to Incorporate the Feng Shui Dragon in Your Home Decorating

The Feng Shui dragon is one of the most auspicious of all ancient Chinese symbols. It is not only one of the most powerful of the Feng Shui cures but is the embodiment of yang, the strong masculine energy.

The Feng Shui dragon is best known as the traditional cure for wealth and prosperity. If you consult the Bagua, the Feng Shui energy map, you will learn that the financial area of your home is in the southeast.

According to Chinese astrology, the wealth star changes every year. For 2009, southeast is the luckiest sector, with star 8 as the wealth star. Fire colors are recommended in 2009 to decorate your home office. A golden dragon here is the penultimate prosperity cure. If your southeast area is missing or incomplete, you can use a mirror to balance out the space. Chinese coins can also bring good fortune.

Traditionally dragons were believe to be able to control the climate. Wind, clouds and rain, all beyond our control, were thought to be controlled by dragons. This makes the Feng Shui dragon a powerful symbol for agricultural businesses and those businesses that rely on the weather.

Because the dragon is the embodiment of male energy and success, it makes a great housewarming or business gift for the man in your life. Selecting a dragon with a pearl or crystal in its claw symbolizes power, good fortune and a wealth of opportunities.

To strengthen the love and marriage area of your home, consult your Bagua, then be sure to pair the Dragon with the Phoenix. This pairing is the ultimate symbol for marital bliss.

Dragons also symbolize the number 9, the number of luck and good fortune in Chinese tradition… Having a dragon with the number 9 is a good way to bring good luck to those who possess it. Don’t be tempted to place 9 dragons in your home for extra luck, the maximum number of dragons recommended is five.

The dragon carries a strong energy of activity and creativity, so avoid using in low energy areas like the bathroom or garage. Place the dragon around eye level, and not too much higher, and always treat the dragon with respect. Don’t stick it in a closet! Place him in an open space, facing towards the center of the home, but not against a wall or corner. If there is a pearl or crystal in its claw, never face them towards a door or window.

Placed with honor, the Feng Shui dragon can bring success to many areas of your life, and allow you to harness the power of the dragon!

Feng Shui dragon, and to learn how to incorporate these principles into more balanced home decorating, without spending a fortune, visit: http://www.fengshuilight.com