Luck. Money. Ambition. Initiative. Success.
Who wouldn’t want all that? Well, if Chinese astrology is right, they’re coming your way as we enter the lunar – or Chinese – New Year. It’s the Year of the Dragon – considered the luckiest year in the Chinese zodiac, and it should be a great year for entrepreneurs and small business owners!
The Chinese New Year began on January 23 and festivities continue for two weeks. So “Gung hay fat choy!” (Loosely translated, that’s “happy new year.”) It’s time for my annual Chinese New Year’s column – giving you a glimpse of what’s predicted to affect you and your small business in the coming year.
Now, I’m not a believer in astrology, but why not have some fun with this tradition that more than a billion people around the globe share? Of course, it’s a great time time to have a delicious Chinese meal with colleagues or friends; we have an annual Chinese New Year lunch in my company.
Moreover, it’s an opportunity to reflect on how you can choose to embody some of the traits that are associated with the coming year as you plan to grow your business in 2012
Chinese astrology is based on a 12 year cycle – each year named for one of the animals that supposedly responded when Buddha called. Each animal is associated with certain traits, generally ones you can figure out: the ox for hard work, the tiger for aggressiveness. In a large part of the world, personal and business decisions are influenced by which year it is in the Chinese zodiac.
We’re now entering the year of the Dragon – an incredibly auspicious year, the most fortunate of all, according to tradition. Dragon years are associated with good luck, money, accomplishment, celebrations, longevity, success. If, in fact, that’s what this year brings, it should be a terrific time for business owners or to start a new business! People born in the year of the dragon are likely to be leaders, active, powerful, who take initiative and are creative. Good traits for entrepreneurs!
The Dragon is considered the most special of all the symbols and the most powerful. It’s the only symbol that is not a real animal and has mystical qualities. In China, many people want children who embody Dragon traits, and births in China rise by about 5% in Dragon years. Likewise, it is a good year to give “birth” to a new business.
According to the “Economist” magazine, the stock market likes Dragon years too. From 1900-2011, the Dow Jones Index has increased an average of 7.7% in Dragon Years – the second best record of any animal of the Chinese zodiac.
So what is forecasted for this coming Dragon year and what does that mean for you and your business?
* Wealth – It should be a good year for making money, and hopefully this means an increasingly strong overall economy. So don’t be afraid to aggressively pursue financial goals this year – you’re more likely to succeed. But as the cash rolls in, be sure to put some aside for a rainy day.
* Ambition – Have you been afraid to live your dreams, follow your passion? Now’s the time to go for it!
* Innovativeness – A good year for trying new approaches, introducing new products or services, reinvigorating your company with creative ideas.
* Virtue - As you grow your business this year, remember your social responsibility to others – your employees, society, environment.
* Harmony – Find ways to communicate better with your employees and customers and create a harmonious workplace.
* Big changes – Dragon years can be tumultuous, so be prepared for the unexpected. But it can be a time to shake yourself up too, so it can be a terrific year to try new things, take big chances, make significant change.
As you grow your company this year, remember to harness the strength and power of a dragon and try to attract the good luck dragons bring. Dragon years are associated with people who take initiatives – “do-ers.” So don’t wait for good fortune to come to you, go out and make your own fortune. Be bold, be brave. Make your mark. After all, a fire-breathing, tail-wagging dragon would likely carve quite a path wherever it goes. Happy new year!
Copyright Rhonda Abrams, 2012
Rhonda Abrams is the author of “Successful Business Plan: Secrets and Strategies.” Rhonda is the President of PlanningShop, creator of content for entrepreneurs. Register for her free business tips newsletter at www.PlanningShop.com, “like” PlanningShop's Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter @RhondaAbrams.