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Welcoming The Year Of The Dragon: Business Tips From The Far East

Did you know January 23rd 2012 heralds in the year of the Water Dragon? Even if you’re not the superstitious type well-versed in Fengshui, you could draw some business insights from the magical dragon in Chinese folklore. If you are curious about the qualities and forecasts ascribed to the new year of the Water Dragon and wonder if they will apply to the economy and your own business, read on…

The Dragon

The Dragon is the only mythical creature in the Chinese zodiac, so it’s going to be a special year by all standards. We are all familiar with Dragon’s Den; let’s see if Chinese business Dragons are anything like their Western counterparts:

Here are some excellent examples of Dragon qualities ascribed to those born in the year of the Dragon, worth having in any Entrepreneur or business venture starting up this year.

  • Charisma & Leadership – Dragons prefer leading to being led and have a flamboyance or attractive quality to their dealings that make them stand out from the norm or the normal way of doing things.
  • Creativity – Dragons need ventures or professions that allow them to express their creativity such as: inventor, engineer, architect, broker, and sales person. In a business, Creativity has got to be one of the essential qualities at a time of great change and crisis in the economic sphere.
  • Commitment – Dragons enjoy others who are intriguing, and when they find the right partners, they’ll usually commit for life.
  • Hardworking – Dragons get stressed and suffer from periodic tension/headaches, because they take so many risks. Dragons could benefit from incorporating mild healthy exercise & activity into their lives.

The year of the Water Dragon brings with it the cooling effect of water to a Dragon’s fire which is considered a good thing.

What does water teach us?

  • Adapt – The fluidity of water is always worth emulating in business especially as we live in very interesting times and need to react fast to the changing landscape. Being able to adjust our modus operandi, thinking and be quick to respond are worthwhile qualities.
  • Consensus – Rather than create discord by being confrontational, it’s time to pool together your resources, compromise and see things from other points of view. You don’t always have to be right. Your decisions, if well-researched, are usually better and more sustainable since they allow others to become involved and have legitimacy.

What kind of year do they forecast for us in the business world?

By the way, East Asian businesses do take heed of these descriptions. It’s worth bearing in mind then, if you want to impress your Asian business counterparts. Let’s take a look:

  • According to the BBC, it is thought the Year of the Dragon will be characterized by economic & political Uncertainty, Transition, & Change. Witness the potential financial upheaval in the scramble to save the Euro, consider the impending presidential elections in the US and France, as well as leadership change in China. So be Prepared.
  • Tempestuousness is a quality of the Dragon so it is thought there will be flare ups everywhere – globally, politically and in your own dealings. Therefore at a time of big change or crisis, exercise Caution and aim for Reconciliation when things go out of kilter.
  • It is said the year of the Dragon is always a successful year for business due to their Flamboyance & Exuberance. However, it is also thought dragons are not careful with their money and it will also be very easy to splurge in 2012. So time to watch your pennies and save regularly. Sound familiar? But new ventures will mostly flourish.

Take it or leave it, it still is a little nugget of folkloric wisdom to tap into. The great takeaway from this glimpse into Chinese Astrology is that there are universal qualities; be it in our personal and business lives, that’ll stand us in good stead during moments of great change, crisis or upheaval.

Agree or Disagree? What have you learnt about the year of the Dragon and what is your business advice for the year ahead in this uncertain climate? Feel free to drop in a line and add to our Dragon wisdom.

“Image : Golden Dragon sculpture/Shutterstock


Elish Bul-Godley helps brands hone their marketing communications and establish a stronger online presence via Community Management, Copywriting and Content Marketing. Currently the primary marketing consultant for the Snap Ireland Group. She works with various SMEs, the guerrilla festival Bloom Fringe and traders. Her previous experience includes stints with digital and marketing agencies such as ebow and Rothco, as well as providing training sessions in content, social selling and social media. Also Co-Founder and creator of press accredited blog-zine Eurovision Ireland. Elish has also been a B2B Events professional with Retail Management, Visual Merchandising, Project management experience. Born in Singapore, now in Dublin having negotiated the associated cultural changes between east and west. Loves the odd shimmy as a belly-dance teacher and binges on Sc-ifi in her spare time. http://www.elishbulgodley.wordpress.com

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  • Hi Elish, Welcome to Bloggertone & what a great first post! Seeing as I’m getting involved in few new ventures this year, I’m expecting the Dragon to be good to me. It’s worth mentioned that East Asia will continue be one of the places to be for the foreseeable and any smart businesses looking for build relationships there, would do well to read your post and continue to learn more about the culture/s. Thanks for this, it was super interesting! Niall  

  • Elishbul

    Thanks for the comment! I have just returned from recharging my familial batteries in Singapire and reconnected with the far east in the process. The energy in Asia is such a welcome difference I have to confess given the last few yrs here. Nevertheless the general sentiment is one of “bracing for the unknown” as Asian business is currently very conscious of the fact that issues faced in Europe have already affected their projections for growth . So the attitude now is very much dragon- like in this context- one of not testing on one’s laurels and working more creatively to overcome new challenges.

  • This tips are good, but I suggest for a more successful year, it would be better to formulate a good marketing plan this year, basing on which work the past year and which didn’t and the new updates in the online industry and algorithm. 

  • Elishbul

    Agreed – a good marketing plan is essential- being such an uncertain environment It would make sense for a marketing plan to have contingencies built in and the flexibility to adapt to more than one scenario – as our little foray into the Dragon year suggests

  • Debi Harper

    Thank you very much Niall for the opportunity  to blog for
    TYB, I really can’t stress enough how important the planning and execution of a
    good marketing plan is for business. Not implementing a proper plan can lead to
    disastrous results not only financially but on the future of your business. I
    am a great believer in the value aspect rather than cost issues. Oh that could
    be another blog:) The Value an app can bring to your business.

  • Great article. The key, as you say, is standing out in the crowd. So not only does your App have to be unique, differentiated and offer something others do not, then you then need to make sure people in the target are aware of it. The best is through recommendation – either as Apple (for example) has it as one of the featured ones in your category – or by trusted 3rd parties who will shout about it. 

  • Debi Harper

    Hi Gary, thank you very much.What a seriously impressive background you have,I am going to sign up to your blogs:) learn from the greats.

  • I like your pro-active approach to app marketing. I do a lot of work in the tourism sector and there also the most effective way to get online reviews is to ask for them.
    In my own tourism business more than 1 in 3 people asked now leave reviews. Our business didn’t get one review until I asked for it. Asking for reviews is now simply part of the process.  As you know, reviews, (if mainly positive), improve sales.
    Welcome to Tweak Your Biz Debi!

  • *blushes*  Thanks for signing up for my blog! look forward to reading more of your posts and having more interactions on here and on my blog!

  • Debi Harper

    Thank you Helen for taking the time to comment and the welcome, really appreciated. Asking is so hard for many people, myself included:) but so rewarding  and if people like your product they are more than happy to review. If they don’t like it then its a great opportunity to find out why and see if something can be done to help. We have been very fortunate to have been able to turn some negative reviews into positives all it takes is communication. Practice makes perfect:)

  • Debi Harper

    Thank you Debbie, it is such a fast growing area and marketing is such a major part of having an app. Nothing worse than paying out a lot of money to have an app developed and not getting the downloads. Everyone would like the next Angry Birds app but they must remember that the marketing budget for that app was huge and in my opinion the game was only successful because of the fantastic marketing appproach.

  • Congrats! I clicked on the ad and did the What Type Of Business Owner Are You? test. I am the hands on soloist at this moment! 😉

  • Congratulations TYB and Sage. It’s great having Beatrice on board also, as a long standing contributor to and supporter of Tweak Your Biz. Here’s to a great 2013.

  • Thank you for the post – I went from using this resource one year , to contributing in the next . It’s been teaching me in so many ways in the last year . Glad I found it and the community it has developed . A benchmark for any community management I embark on in my own capacity in the future

  • Peter Watson

    Thanks Sian.

  • Liesha Petrovich

    Thanks Sian. Good luck with it!

  • Scan on the Side

    Thanks Sian. Hope your readers get some good information from the article. Really look forward to contributing more in the future as well.




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