The 31st of January marked the beginning of the new year in the Chinese horoscope, ushering out the Year of the Dragon – and bringing in the Year of the Horse.
What does this mean? Well, probably not a great deal if you aren’t a follower of the zodiac; but if you look at it objectively, perhaps the Year of the Horse is a sign that it’s time for you to challenge yourself and work out whether you are in it to win it – or be an also-ran.
The horse is a symbol of strength and power. This is reflected in the predictions for the Year of the Horse in business terms; it is going to be a year for those who want to challenge the status quo – not for those who sit on their hands.
2014 is all about being prepared to break away from the herd, and make those gamechanging decisions. It may mean breaking existing business relationships; it may mean a realignment of priorities which you thought were rock solid and unchangeable. It should definitely mean standing up and deciding exactly where you want to position yourself – and if you aren’t there yet, how you are going to get there.
But this is what being at the front of the herd is all about. The quote from Henry Ford is particularly apt, because in many ways it was the Model T which spelled the ‘death’ of the horse as transportation. Imagine if Ford had listened to the naysayers who said that the Tin Lizzie would never be affordable to the man in the street. Imagine if Kevin Systrom had agreed with everyone who scoffed when he and Mike Kreiger decided to focus their energies on a platform with a name comprised of ‘instant camera’ and ‘telegram’. $400 million later, and several thousand hashtags down the line, Instagram was listed in Time’s 50 Best Android Apps for 2013.
Take the Year of the Horse as a basis for your personal business journey in 2014. See yourself as the one willing to take the bit between their teeth. To take a few swipes of the whip down your flank; to feel the ground thunder beneath your hooves as you race towards the finish line. Don’t be content with second, or third, or not finishing.
You may stumble; you may, ultimately, not finish the race. But imagine if it was for lack of giving one hundred percent, and being willing to see yourself as the best in your business.
Bet on yourself.