Strategy : Go For It: Let The Year of The Rooster Wake You Up

Laurel Delaney is a successful entrepreneur, speaker, educator and author with more than twenty years of experience in global business. She runs Chicago, Illinois-based Global TradeSource, Ltd. (online arm is GlobeTrade.com) and LaurelDelaney.com, both focusing on international entrepreneurship.

Ms. Delaney is a member of the International Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of International Entrepreneurship, a recipient of SBA’s “Exporter of the Year” award and has written numerous articles and books, including “Start and Run a Profitable Exporting Business” (Self-Counsel Press Inc.). In addition, she is a contributing author in The Research Handbook For International Entrepreneurship (Edward Elgar Publishing, U.K., April, 2004), a breakthrough guide on global entrepreneurship, and the Chicago chapter facilitator for the Women Presidents’ Organization.

Ms. Delaney writes and publishes a free monthly, 12-page e-newsletter called “Borderbuster,” which is highly regarded in the big as well as small business community for its information on global business. She also oversees The Global Small Business and Escape From Corporate America blogs.


Last year was the Chinese Year of the Monkey – a year filled with movement, discussion and the exchange of ideas. But we are about to turn out the lights on the Monkey. Wake up on February 9, 2005 to the Year of the Rooster! The Eastern zodiac is the oldest known horoscope system in the world, and can reveal amazing insights into your character, lifestyle and emotional makeup. But even if you don’t believe that your destiny is written in the stars, be open to the possibilities that the New Year of the Rooster brings. Wake up to the business potential around you. Let the Year of the Rooster be the year you go for it!

What’s “it”, you ask? Here are a dozen “its” to go for:

1. Forget selling on eBay. Alibaba.com and Global Sources are it.
Ask yourself this: Do you want to sell one item at a time to one customer at a time, or do you want to sell thousands of items to thousands of customers? That’s the difference between selling on eBay and selling through Alibaba.com or Global Sources. According to the company’s website, Alibaba.com is the world's largest marketplace for global trade and is the leading provider of online marketing services for importers and exporters. Likewise, Global Sources provides product and trade information for volume buyers. Use these types of services to help you find a supplier anywhere in the world and to sell your products globally. Go for it!

2. Forget simply updating your Web site. Blogs are it.
According to Merriam-Webster Online, “blog” is the #1 Word of the Year for 2004. Blog hosts, like Blogger.com and TypePad.com, are it, too. Merriam Webster defines blog as “a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.” A blog’s companion, an RSS (Really Simple Syndication), is a Web format that makes it easy for a newsreader program (or another Web site) to grab and manipulate individual postings, giving you a customized online newspaper that tracks the blogs that interest you. A blog helps you to communicate on a very personal level with people worldwide. Go for it!

3. Forget using money orders. PayPal is it.
PayPal enables entrepreneurs and businesses to accept electronic payments without setting up a traditional credit card merchant account. All you need is an email address to safely and quickly send and receive payments online. Go for it!

4. Forget cold calling. eBay is still it.
What’s this you ask? Am I contradicting myself? Okay, eBay is still the way to go for all you folks who just can’t pass up the opportunity to sell your treasured items on the most popular shopping destination on the Internet. Many people do make a living by selling on eBay. Go for it!

5. Forget competitors. The art of noncompete is it.
You heard it here first: The art of war and competing head-on against your competitor is nearly dead. Business doesn’t need to be painful. In fact, it can actually become an art form – like painting or music – depending on how you choose to look at it and operate within it. The practice of feng shui makes room for harmony, collaboration, beauty, inspiration, peace and tranquility in your business life, and rids you of enemies and negative vibes. Enhance your health, wealth, love life and career. Go for it!

6. Forget employees. Contractors are it.
Start with eLance.com, Guru.com, or ContractedWork.com. Each of these sites enables you to find freelancers with a variety of expertises, from writers and voice-over talent to technical professionals and business consultants. Post your project description online and get bids from multiple contractors. You can also view their portfolios and even invite specific people to bid. One of the big benefits of hiring freelancers is not having to pay for their benefits. Go for it!

7. Forget corporate America. Entrepreneurship is it.
You’ll see more and more people starting businesses at all ages – from disgruntled corporate executives leaving jobs that they held for decades to kids fresh out of college. The increase in business startups will be strengthened by a surge in mentoring opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs. People only care about work that matters. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Edward Lowe Foundation and The Entrepreneurship Institute can help get you started. Go for it!

8. Forget lying and cheating. Truth is it (and transparent leadership cannot be far behind).
It can make or break you in business. Places like LeaderValues, the Center for Creative Leadership and The Aspen Institute Seminar on Leadership, Values, and the Global Community are all centered on enhancing the quality of leadership. Go for it!

9. Forget selling in just the U.S.A. alone. Globalization is it.
Ninety-five percent of the world’s population lives outside of the United States. The world is your market, and there are places aplenty that can help you take it on, from GlobeTrade.com to Export.gov to BuyUSA.gov. Go for it!

10. Forget your telephone. VOIP (voice-over-Internet protocol) is it.
It’s already a global phenomenon and it’s going to get even bigger. VOIP uses the Internet (or a network that uses the same standards or protocols) to allow you to talk to others without a traditional phone. Once the infrastructure is installed, it’s cheaper than using a telephone. Plus, the increased use of broadband Internet connections (instead of dial-up) ensures faster and easier connections for VOIP. Where to begin? Verizon and Skype each offer these services. Go for it!

11. Forget traveling to remote places for presentations. Webinars and virtual meeting places are it.
Catwalk Conference is a good example. Click on Get Started and you can take a test drive or set up your meeting. Eliminate travel expenses and large chunks of your time. Webinars allow you to “click” your stuff instead of spending tons of money to strut your stuff. Go for it!

12. Forget Faith Popcorn’s old adage about cocooning. Peer-to-peer mentoring is it.
Why settle for one opinion (which is most likely your own) when you can unleash your powerful potential through the collective genius of a group? One model nonprofit peer-to-peer mentoring organization for successful women business owners is the Women Presidents’ Organization. And for those of you who are seriously wealthy yet lonely at the top, there is always the confidential P2P learning group called Tiger 21 (The Investment Group for Exceptional Returns in the 21st Century). Answers to your questions – whether personal, professional or both – are available. There’s a group to fit everyone’s needs. You just have to look. Go for it!

The Year of the Rooster can – and should – be a wake up call for all of us. Set your business goals high and make this the year you go for it. After all, everyone wants to be “it.”


© Copyright Laurel Delaney 2005

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