February 2015

Gung Hay Fat Choy

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4713 begins on Feb. 19, 2015. 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. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality.

2015 is the year of the sheep, and people born under this sign (1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, and 2015) are often artistic, kind, sensitive, sweet and polite. They have a tenderness about them and tend to be shy. They love art and are considered the most creative sign in the Chinese zodiac. (To view your personal Chinese zodiac horoscope Click Here)

Many traditions and superstitions ensue around this holiday (more than we can list here)! So I have shortlisted 5 suggestions to help you with your business and personal life.

  • Cleaning: ensure your home/ business is clean before New Year’s Eve as after that no sweeping or removal of dirt is allowed, as this would signify sweeping out all your good luck. Replace any dead houseplants with fresh live plants.
  • Decorations and appearance: add red decorations to your space which are considered to be lucky. In addition wear red clothing (considered happy and to bring a bright future) preferably something new on New Year’s Day. It is believed that the appearance and attitude during the New Year sets the tone for the rest of the year. If your zodiac sign is the sheep you should be given new red underwear by a family member and wear it for additional luck.
  • If at home or at work at midnight on New Year’s Eve be sure to open all windows and doors to let the old year pass and usher the new one in.
  • Gifts: it is customary to give children, and unmarried friends (love this one, finally a benefit to being single) and your employees a little red envelope with crisp bills inserted for good fortune! Some will even go to the bank and exchange old currency for new crisp bills. The practice of giving Mandarin oranges is also a symbol of good luck. They are exchanged in two’s among friends and families, relating to the Chinese saying that “good things come in pairs”.
  • Settling Debt: Our last tip, may be a bit hard for some………

Well now it’s time to by some firecrackers so I can ward off all those evil spirits on New Year’s Eve and plan my offering to the Gods for a happy, healthy, prosperous year! Let the festivities begin. “Gung Hay Fat Choy”.



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A year in the life of an Entrepreneur

Well I can hardly believe this month marks a year since I was either brave or crazy enough to walk into my bosses’ office and give my notice. After all these years I could finally take a leap into this world they call “being an entrepreneur” and what a year it’s been!!!!! So exciting, exhausting, rewarding and did I mention hard work? But I wouldn’t trade a minute of it! This last year I realized I didn’t know as much as I had thought! For instance I never gave past employer’s credit for all the tasks they did behind the scenes. The things I would have to learn, study and understand as a business owner. In the last 365 days I have made decisions regarding branding, graphics (fun stuff), web site design (should it be responsive or not? from scratch or a template? what do you mean I have to hire someone to write our copy?), leasing, tenant improvements, financing, securing projects, negotiations (when to cave or stick to your guns?), and putting on a HR hat (what do you mean someone is calling me their boss?) hardest of all was accounting! This one was the worst: invoicing, paying bills – still trying to wrap my head around the profit and loss and balance sheets. Why did it take us so long to get an accountant, QuickBooks and a bookkeeper? All in all this last year has been a whirlwind and the best ride of my life. I’m so grateful that three other passionate and talented designers agreed to take this journey with me as we have created something that I am very proud of! Every day I get to wake up and look forward to going to work. I am very excited and optimistic going into our second year of business. Happy first birthday Area3!


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