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Entrepreneurs, are you a rat, monkey or dragon?

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Business journals often publish articles outlining the qualities of a successful entrepreneur. They list things such as “a strong belief in themselves”, “competitive by nature”, “open to change”. But there’s another secret to success: astrology.

An incredible number of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders apply some of the techniques of astrology within their business, even though few are ready to admit it.

Astrology and character readings can inject fun into the business, as well as providing valuable insights. I use Chinese astrology in my firm. Instead of using star signs based on the month of birth, Chinese astrology ascribes an animal, based on the year of birth.

Why animals? Legend has it that in ancient times Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one, announcing that people born in each animal’s year would share some of the animal’s personality. The start of the next Chinese New Year falls on 7 February 7 — The Year of the Rat.

In my own firm, Flowcrete, we enjoy analysing the mix of animals in the company and – guess what – most are rats!!! The good news for Flowcrete is that rats "are always busily pursuing a personal goal or ambition, and are known as one of the hardest-working signs in the Chinese zodiac.

For rats in 2008, any recent setbacks or obstacles can be overcome, so they can look forward to a year in which to really shine, either personally or professionally". So there we are: I can look forward to a stunningly successful year.

Can you smell a rat?

Rats are full of charm and they are an object of admiration. Their intellect and foresight bring success with money and work. Rats are constant seekers of new ventures and travel. They are charming, passionate, charismatic, practical and hardworking.

Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, Samuel L Jackson, William Shakespeare, Prince Charles, ice skating champ Sasha Cohen, rapper Eminem, Scarlett Johansson and Mozart were all born in a year of the rat. Those born in rat years tend to be leaders, pioneers and conquerors.

Back to Flowcrete – the company of rats – I must confess that I am a dog (ha!) and my managing director, Mark Greaves, is a Tiger, so we had better keep a watchful eye on all those pioneers and conquering rats!

Chinese New Year celebrations at Flowcrete

We bring “new auspicious energy” into at our UK and Kuala Lumpur factories with an annual Lion Dance on Chinese New Year’s Day, and we will be opening our festivities to local schools, family and friends on Thursday, 7 February.

If any of you entrepreneurs and business folk would like to join us, either in the UK or Kuala Lumpur, do contact my secretary Zena on zena@flowcrete.com.

Entrepreneurs and great business leaders, we have lots to celebrate, so let’s do it with energy.

What Chinese animal are you?

Rat Born: 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996Allies: Dragon, Monkey Secret friend: OxCharacteristics: Full of charm, the rat is the object of admiration. A true sentimentalist. Family and friends remain close to their heart. Their intellect and foresight bring success with money and work. Rats are constant seekers of new ventures and travel.

OxBorn: 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997Allies: Rooster, SnakeSecret friend: RatCharacteristics: The keeper of tradition, the ox maintains a classic and sophisticated style. Iron-willed, they remain true to their beliefs. A strong leader, their hard work and dedication is an inspiration to all. Ox people never stray from their chosen path.

TigerBorn: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998Allies: Dog, HorseSecret friend: BoarCharacteristics: Brave and courageous, the tiger is ready for any challenge. Nothing can tame their adventurous and rebellious spirit. A supreme optimist, they pursue their goals with fierce intensity. Tigers are admired for their vibrant and playful personality.

RabbitBorn: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987 Allies: Boar, SheepSecret friend: DogCharacteristics: Wise and insightful, Rabbit people possess a deep understanding of others. Not one to take risks. Their diplomacy means they seek compromise to all conflicts. Their creativity and style keep them surrounded by beauty.

DragonBorn: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988 Allies: Monkey, RatSecret friend: RoosterCharacteristics: Never cautious, the dragon is not afraid when faced with a challenge. Confident and strong they enter all battles unassisted. Dragons are known for their powerful and majestic spirit.

SnakeBorn: 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989Allies: Ox, RoosterSecret friend: MonkeyCharacteristics: A natural philosopher, the snake is blessed with a profound wisdom, Always on a mission, they are mysterious, and many are blinded by their hypnotic charm. Snakes have an unforgettable elegance and style.

HorseBorn: 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990Allies: Tiger, DogSecret friend: SheepCharacteristics: A free spirit, Horse people cherish their independence. Always on the move it is hard to slow them down. Given the power of persuasion they can obtain whatever they desire. Horses need constant stimulation to appease their wild soul.

SheepBorn: 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991Allies: Boar, RabbitSecret friend: HorseCharacteristics: Gentle and docile, the sheep is sincere and kind-hearted. A pacifist, they are never one to question authority. Fuelled by compassion. they admire all of nature’s beauty. Sheep strive to create a secure and tranquil environment.

MonkeyBorn: 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992Allies: Dragon, RatSecret friend: SnakeCharacteristics: Clever and quick-witted, the monkey is successful in every endeavour. Inquisitive by nature, they are constantly seeking new opportunities and adventure. Their intellect and versatility allow them to adapt to any situation. Many are entertained by the monkey‘s good humour and mischievous spirit.

RoosterBorn: 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993Allies: Snake, OxSecret friend: DragonCharacteristics: Self-reliant and independent, the rooster is not one to seek counsel. They are confident and aggressive and are most at home in a crowd. A perfectionist, they leave no detail undocumented. Roosters will never abandon their dreams.

DogBorn: 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993Allies: Horse, TigerSecret friend: RabbitCharacteristics: Nobel and true, the dog will fight to mend all that is unjust. A loyal and faithful friend, they will make any sacrifice for the sake of another. A hard worker, they will never abandon their post. A genuine listener and confidante, Dog is the keeper of all secrets.

BoarBorn: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995Allies: Rabbit, SheepSecret friend: TigerCharacteristics: Pure of heart, Boar people are generous and kind. Full of inner strengthen and courage, they can take on any task. A friend who listens, the boar is sincere and trustworthy. They are driven by their passion and pleasure for life.

For more information, visit the Feng Shui Association’s website, www.fengshuisociety.org.uk.

To read more of Dawn Gibbins’s articles, click here.

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