A Really Different Panda Update

Panda UpdateI’ve probably lured you here under false pretences.

Did you see the words panda update and automatically think of Google?

Actually, I don’t want to think or talk about Google at all.

I want to write about the pandas I saw with my family at Edinburgh Zoo.

Tian Tian, meaning “sweetie” and Yang Guang, meaning “sunshine” arrived in Scotland almost a year ago.

There was a huge buzz about their arrival back in December last year.

Touted as a “gift” from the Chinese government, the pandas will stay in Edinburgh for over 10 years.

For the privilege of receiving such a gift, the zoo are paying the Chinese government a hefty $1 million (about £620,000) a year.

The price of keeping the pandas happy with their staple diet of bamboo will cost around £70,000 a year, shipped in from a bamboo forest in the Netherlands.

But is it all worth it for an animal that spends up to 14 hours a day sleeping?

Let’s get to the crux of that question.

Investing in your own business

There’s been some criticism directed towards Edinburgh Zoo for taking on the pandas.

I see it as a bold move by the zoo however. They are investing in their own business for the future.

Yes, the Chinese government are shrewd; these pandas are probably just a commodity to them.

However, if Edinburgh Zoo doesn’t invest in their own business, why would anyone else want to?

Prior to the pandas arriving, the zoo had closed one exhibit and started charging people for parking. Things weren’t looking too rosy.

By renting the pandas from the Chinese government, Edinburgh Zoo is capitalizing on their cuddliness.

Panda fever came to Edinburgh when they first arrived and the queues to see the pandas are still huge each time we go back.

With this investment, visitors are flocking back to the zoo but how long it will last is another matter.

What they really need to happen now is for a panda cub to come along but that’s notoriously difficult to achieve!

It would certainly help in consolidating the zoo’s investment though.

Edinburgh Zoo have always stated that the gift from the Chinese government was for conservation purposes.

I’m not so sure. But equally, I’m not writing about whether you agree with pandas being in zoos or not, or any other animals for that matter.

It’s about the importance of investing money in your own business. How can you grow a business if you’re unwilling to invest in it?

It isn’t necessarily all about money. Investments in time, networking and education are also important.

However, without an investment of money, is it likely that your business will grow?

Now, being a stay at home dad, I don’t have the largest budget in the world to splash out with.

But I do  have a budget and my investments, though small, are strategic for my business.

So, over to you, do you invest in your business? Do you think it’s important? If not, why not?

I’d love to hear what you think about my panda update and I’d appreciate it if you’d share this post on all your favourite social networks :-)

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  1. says

    I love animals, and how you relate this to business is awesome. I’ve been thinking a lot about investments lately, and especially that I keep investing in my business without having a budget.

    I’ve just bought a new laptop, and I’ll probably going to buy a new 27″ Cinema Display from Apple. It’s all because I need it to be the best I can be. It might be just a feeling, but I’m sure that I’m more productive with new equipment :)

  2. says

    Hey Tim, I really resonated with this part of your article:

    “But I do have a budget and my investments, though small, are strategic for my business.”

    I keep hearing about people complaining for not having money to invest in their business and my first thought really is, well do it strategically then!

    I’ve just heard about this story (still needs research) but it was about Los Angeles and keeping the “Hollywood” sign visible at any costs (the one we see in the mountains).

    The idea was that the Los Angeles city (maybe the government?) had to paid a really high amount for the acres in front of the sign just to keep it visible because it is THAT important for the branding of the city.

    Here’s the kicker though… LA couldn’t afford the full amount and even hollywood stars offered to contribute with money to keep the sign visible no matter what.

    This story is more about the importance of branding but as you can see, it’s also highly related to investing in your own business.

    Thanks for linking to my site man, it’s an honor for such a talented writer like you Tim.

    Speak soon man and thanks for all the feedback on my blog!


    PS. I’ve never seen a Panda in real life before and the one in your picture looks awesome! 😉

    • says

      Hey Sergio

      I hope you didn’t mind me linking to your site.

      I had planned to write a post about investing in your own business and after I read your latest post it really fit with what I was trying to say.

      That’s a great story about the “Hollywood” sign. I’ve not heard that before but it does show the importance of investing in your own business as you say.

      That sign is an icon; imagine if it got demolished!

      At the moment, I really must only buy things that I need rather than things that I want.

      It’s my fault for not moving things on more with my business. I have many ideas to generate money but never get around to doing most of them.

      I have decided from next week I will plan my time much more aggressively so I don’t waste any more of it!

      Pandas are great by the way Sergio. I’d much rather see them in the wild but how long they have left to survive out there I really don’t know.

      Anyway, have a great week Sergio and thank you for some great comments.


  3. Theodore Nwangene says

    Happy new week Tim,
    I can you guys really enjoyed yourself over the weekend, its good sometimes though.

    Prior to your quastion, It’s obvious that any business owner that is not ready to invest some money that will necessarily grow his business is not really in business, this is because you can only make money with money.

    In other words, how do you plan on growing your business if you’re not ready to put some money down?

    Therefore, in other to make money on any business, you must be willing to first of all drop some money.

    Thanks for sharing man and do have a great and fulfilled week.

    BTW: Do you have wp touch and W3 total catch plugins on your blog? your blog consumes much bandwidth on mobiles.

    • says

      Hey Theodore

      Great to see you. I’ve not had another chance to get over to your blog yet but I will do in the next couple of days.

      You’re so right. If you don’t invest money into your business there is very little chance for growth.

      I don’t splash the cash around too much. As I said in my post, it’s more strategic, such as AWeber subscription and buying CommentLuv premium for example.

      I did think that my responsive theme, Pagelines, may be a little heavy on the bandwith.

      I do have W3 Total Cache installed, although I had removed Cloudflare and WPtouch.

      I’ve put them back on now though. Would you mind letting me know if that makes any different please?

      Many thanks Theodore.


      • Theodore Nwangene says

        Sure Tim,
        You should look more into it. As i type this, it takes 521kb for me to enter your home page. It takes 58kb to enter my own home page with my smart phone and 61kb to enter that of Adrienne.

        You know most web surfers browse with mobile just like my self, i use mine to read blog posts since I’m not always at home. And if your blog consumes more bandwidth, it might be scaring some of your readers away.

        Just look more into it friend.

        I have skype but i don’t always use it, but i will send you my i.d via email.

        Have a blissful week friend.

        • says

          Hi Theodore

          Thanks for letting me know.

          I’ve spent most of the day looking at the plugins on my blog and found out that there were some that didn’t work together very well.

          It was making the site take a very long time to load.

          I’ve got the load time down to only a few seconds now so hopefully it may also have reduced the bandwith!

          Thank you for pointing this out to me Theodore. Much appreciated.


  4. says

    Well heck Tim, you got me by just writing a new post. Panda in the headline or not, I’m always curious to read what you have to share.

    I love your story though and sharing with us about the Panda’s. I would think that they wouldn’t want to keep them for an entire ten years but you’re right, investing in their growth is the only way to keep people coming back for more.

    I can also relate to people who have little funds to invest in their business but the bottom line is it takes money to make money. No matter how little you have, it’s important that you take the right steps to grow you business whether that’s through your education or other means. We have to keep moving forward if we ever want to get anywhere with our business.

    I love what you shared here and it’s really a very important topic. We all have to ask ourselves why are we really here.


    • says

      Hi Adrienne

      That’s very kind of you to say, thank you. I really appreciate you coming over to my blog.

      Ten years to keep the pandas does seem a long time when they cost so much doesn’t it. With visitor numbers up 200% in the first year it may pay off for them. Although I’m sure that will decrease as the novelty wears off. They definitely need a panda cub to come along!

      Things are a little complicated with investing in my business at times with me being at home with the kids. Still, once our flat is sold, hopefully by the end of November, there will be more scope to move things forward.

      You are certainly an inspiration to me Adrienne! I had a look back through your archive the other day and what an amazing journey you have come through. And there’s always more to learn…

      I hope you’re having a great week Adrienne and thank you for your comments.


  5. says

    Hi Tim, Wow, you sure fooled me! But this is even better than I was expecting.

    I have been to Edinburgh twice (love that city!), but I hadn’t heard about that zoo. I think it’s a great idea to bring attention to the zoo.

    I hope they get the return on investment they’re hoping for.

    My big question is, what happens when and if the pandas have a baby? Does the Edinburgh Zoo get to keep the new panda cub? Does China get it and Edinburgh get a refund of part of the price?

    Very interesting development, Tim!

    • says

      Hi Carolyn

      I’m sure not many things fool you Carolyn 😉 but thank you for your kind comments!

      Edinburgh is a great place to be. With my wife’s work, we live about five miles out of the city centre along the coast in Musselburgh.

      Last year we became members of the zoo. It’s quite expensive to get in each time without membership so when a special offer came up we jumped at the chance. Now we get in free for 15 months so it will pay for itself I’m sure.

      The zoo is built on a hill on the western edge of Edinburgh and has some really great views across the city to the Pentland Hills. It’s quite breathtaking when you get to the top.

      I really hope they get the investment return they are looking for too.

      With regard to the panda cubs, the Edinburgh Zoo website suggests that they only get to remain at the zoo for two or three years. After that time, they will return to China to participate in reintroduction programmes back into the wild. That surprised me actually. I thought they would get to keep them with the amount of the investment they are making.

      You should definitely take a visit to the zoo the next time you come to Edinburgh Carolyn, I would recommend it!

      Enjoy the rest of your week.


  6. says

    Hi Tim.

    Well, I don’t own my own business but I can correlate this to working hard at a personal venture. You get out of it what you put into it. Pretty cliche but basically true.

    I haven’t been here much lately and I see you are doing well. Great! Cheers sir.

    • says

      Hi Ralph

      I couldn’t agree more. You definitely get out of it what you put into it.

      Thank you for your kind comments Ralph. I have had a few days off visiting blogs but I’ll be sure to come and visit yours in the next couple of days!


  7. Khaja moin says

    Oh! I was surprised not when I read post but when I saw title of the post.

    Because I never expected post on panda from this blog. As every blog is writing same.

    Glad I was wrong. BTW nice post.


    • says

      Hey Khaja

      I was a bit sneeky with the title, I know :-)!

      It was great to write about pandas in a context that didn’t involve Google.

      Thank you for your comments Khaja and I hope you’re having a great weekend.


  8. says

    Agreed with your point here Tim, especially in blogging niche investing in your blog is must. A blogger shouldn’t hesitate to invest to grow their blog which is worth it.

    Thank you,

    • says

      Hi Ehsan

      Welcome to my blog. I really appreciate your visit.

      Investing money in your blog is really something everyone needs to do as you say. Whether you have a huge budget or you need to be more strategic with a small budget, the only way to grow your blog is to put some money into it.

      Thank you for your comments Ehsan and I hope to see you again soon.


  9. says

    Hi Tim
    You are able to guys very enjoyed yourself over the weekend, its smart generally sometimes.
    Prior to your quastion, It’s obvious that any business owner that’s not able to invest some cash that may essentially grow his business isn’t very in business, this can be as a result of you’ll solely create cash with cash.
    In alternative words, however does one set up on growing your business if you’re not able to place some cash down?
    Therefore, in alternative to create cash on any business, you need to be willing to 1st of all drop some cash.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • says

      Hi Shan

      Thank you for visiting my blog. It’s great to see you here.

      Without cash, a business isn’t going to go very far as you can’t do anything to grow it.

      Even with a small amount of cash though, you need to be strategic in your thinking. I’m not flush with cash in my business so that is where I’m at currently. I really have to be careful where I invest money in my business but invest I will.

      Many thanks for your comments Shan and I hope to see you again soon.


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