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.

Bearded Dragon Breeders – How to Avoid Pitfalls

Plenty of people will tell you that if you’re in the marketplace for a bearded dragon as a pet, you need to avoid heading to the local pet store, and there might be a good reason behind this recommendation. To be truthful, there are lots of breeders out there breeding the bearded dragon, in reality just about all bearded dragons available to the general public, will be captive bred reptiles, supplied by bearded dragon breeders.

One of the problems related to purchasing your pet from a pet store is the incontrovertible fact that the pet store customarily gets their supply from a pet wholesaler who will obtain bearded dragons in bulk from assorted breeders, without first checking the quality of the lizards, or the breeders. You’ve got to remember the issue for the wholesaler is not about pet care or a love for bearded dragons. The wholesaler has just one target and that’s to turn a profit in all sales.

So, like any other market in the world we reside in, there are always going to be bad breeders and great breeders, and the bulk of breeders will fall somewhere between these 2 points. The issue is that without taking care to choose only high quality stock to supply the pet stores, the wholesaler will just obtain the number he has to make his money. He doesn’t care about the quality, because once the pet store takes delivery that’s generally the end of the accountability for the wholesaler.

Being the pet store cannot afford to have each animal it buys in checked by a vet, the possibilities are fairly high the stock may actually have mites, or bugs, or other conditions.

Often this is even picked up by the reptiles as a consequence of being kept and shipped with lots of other animals, some who could be infected. Unless you know what you’re looking for, you won’t always know that your selected dragon is sick. Reptiles tend to cover symptoms, and bearded dragon breeders know this.

On the other hand it creates a lot of sense to look for a breeder in your neighborhood or close by, who has a reputation and a history in providing dragons. A breeder will usually certify the health and well being of reptiles from their grounds, and most good bearded dragon breeders will do whatever they can to be certain you’ve got the right dragon for your situation. They have their business image to guard, and they desire your repeat business. After all there isn’t any middle man concerned in this process, it is just you and the vendor.

Dedicated bearded dragon breeders will pride themselves on not only delivering a better quality reptile to you, they will be the best folks to find recommendation about the breed, and the people to gain from as to how best raise and care for your new pet. They’re folk who spend all of their time breeding, raising, feeding and caring for young and adult bearded dragons, and due to this, they might be considered the best folk to be purchasing from.

Glaringly when working with bearded dragon breeders, you must treat the arrangement as though it were any other business arrangement. Raise questions and expect answers, till you are satisfied the breeder has been about for a very long time, and they know what they are talking about. Get a clear communication channel opened with them, so that when you do purchase from them, you can contact as urgently as you must for the support you could need.

It is a good idea NOT to buy from online sources.

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.