Entering the Dragon’s Den! Live Life~Love Life WK 39

The Dragon’s Den is an interesting programme that many of us are familiar with. People entering the den have a range of ideas (between them) which they believe to be highly innovative and worthy of huge investment. Regardless of the actual products the inventors are confident upon entering the den, ready to face the dragons and inevitably having a great level of self belief. What happens next predominantly depends upon a number of factors including preparation, which can have a major effect upon the outcome.

Once the inventor has made his pitch the questioning begins and it is at this point the preparation, or lack of, becomes evident. Very often huge gaps are revealed in the inventors own knowledge, sometimes pertaining to aspects of the product but more frequently to their inability to estimate spending, sales and profit margins. A lack of knowledge regarding intellectual property rights and patents are quite common, often leading to zero investment. Another huge barrier preventing investment can be the attitude of the people pitching... arrogance or an inability to listen being the forerunners.

The Dragon’s Den can teach us a few little lessons about life and give us some points to consider. This can be from a practical perspective if we have responsibility for a product or project. By listening to the types of questions asked and jotting a few down we can create a basic tick list to work from. Firstly, how well do we know our own product and what is the competition? Do we know production costs for our product/project? -Materials, time, suppliers, the market, resources etc. Who are our consumers? We need a budget, we need a time line, we need to know how to resource at all levels. Once we have the answers we can move ahead with confidence and cope with the questions that may be asked of us.

This principle also applies to individual planning even on a small domestic scale. What do you wish for yourself or your family and how will you go about achieving it? Sometimes we dig deep holes for ourselves, especially financially and may needs some assistance in planning a way to ease our own burdens. Whereas the Dragon’s Den is all about borrowing other people’s money and using their expertise, we may need some basic money management and thankfully there are experts around who are available to help us. Sometimes our friends can come up with excellent suggestions to help streamline our ideas and move our project forwards. The best advice is to be open to guidance, listening and acting on good advice.

Of course, the very words Dragon’s Den conjour up an austere image making it sound as if you will have a job achieving your goal- the dragon is such a fierce animal! You do not enter life's dens lightly and only a fool goes in totally unprepared because they will definitely get burnt! This is a useful analogy when facing any type of scary experience. When you feel the fear you know 100% preparation is required. For example, there is no point taking a driving test after 3 lessons if you have never driven a car! Infact, you need to study the theory alongside the practical and most of us will prefer one aspect or another. This is the case with many situations and we just have to take time to study our subject so that we can do our very best. If you are a leader other people rely on your knowledge and guidance, so you will need to keep your skills up to date as the world is changing constantly. Whatever results we achieve in life they are usually of our own making, however there may be an element of luck swinging things our way or otherwise.

If you think about it, the world is pretty much a Dragon’s Den, so develop as many strategies as you can to cope & work at developing your skills... who knows, you may slay a few dragon’s along your way!

Jaz McKenzie

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