It's not a coincidence that I ended 2011 with an unhealthy fascination for dragons. Watching The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, fascinated by the dragons in the HBO series Kingdom of Thrones, and finally this week meeting up with 10 other dragonesses.
Many of them entrepeneurs - female entrepreneurs - with fire in their belly and hope in their hearts as they boldly go where not many men have gone before. Breaking down ceilings of all kinds.
In a week during which there has been lot of discussion about female empowerment and positive discrimation for women, I looked around the table at Child & Co. in the heart of the square mile and felt perhaps there was a quiet history of sorts being made right then to the backdrop of the blue and yellow flames leaping in the fire place.
Our backgrounds couldn't be more different but what united us was that we were all strong confident women who were empowered to follow our own individual visions of making a difference and doing what we truly loved.
From Inma Martinez of OPUS Corporate Finance, who is driven by the vision of chartering new technologies that will transform the world, to the founder of Food Nation Louise Campbell , who shared the excitement of creating a sustainable food system which allows farmers to find new local markets and Sarah McVitie, co-founder of http://dressipi.com/ who is building every woman's dream come true - the perfect personal styling service online for free.
All driven by the spirit of enterprise and as Gabrielle Hase, Director www.soleberry.com, laughingly pointed out perhaps loving our vacation time too much to have to make do with just four weeks of it a year, it seemed we all wanted to be in control of what we did. That's a lot of grit and determination to kick-start 2012.
I have long been fascinated by what drives an entrepreneur. What makes some of us take that risk to become captains of our own ships. To disregard the security of that monthly pay cheque, the comfort of the chatter around the office coffee machine, the security of that well-tred journey to the desk in the office where you can shut out the outside world under the barrage of email and conference calls. To put all behind that big idea, live life a little more vicariously?
It all feels so exciting when you talk about it, but how does it feel to actually be in it? To go through that long yet exuberant struggle, before coming out on the other side, bloody but triumphant.
Perhaps I am a small step closer to understanding a little bit more? I think.
Wishing you the best for 2012 - the year of the Dragon!
Follow Laxmi Hariharan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/laxmi