Saturday, November 29, 2014

Meet Chicago Sculptor and Scholar Garland Martin Taylor

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
The day after Thanksgiving was no different in my running schedule - yes I am a runner! - even though the temperatures in Chicago held steady at a brisk 25 degrees F.

When I reached my one mile mark near Berger Park in Rogers Park, Illinois, I discovered sculptor and scholar Garland Martin Taylor (as shown).  The photos you see are of his amazing work.  Imagine doing what he does, passionately but in freezing cold weather.  That's a true and dedicated artist entrepreneur!

Here's a snapshot of his bio:
Garland is a sculptor and independent researcher from Chicago where he earned a Masters in Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute. A self-described formalist, in the studio he welds and shapes metal manufacturing industry discards into both, life-sized functional works, and monumental abstract sculptures-heirlooms.
What you see above is a little of Garland's genius in full throttle.  Check out Garland's website and watch a short video of his process here.

Keep up your amazing work Garland and so nice to meet you!

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Path to Doing Business Successfully in Latin America

Albert Costilo | Photo courtesy Lauren Lee Photography.  All rights reserved.
I conducted an interview with Albert Costilo (pictured), CEO and founder of GlobalBusinessFluency (, which specializes in expanding sales for US SMEs in Latin America. What follows is a primer to conducting business successfully in Latin America.  Use it to kick your business up a notch internationally.

An Exporter's Primer to Doing Business in Latin America

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wishing You Peace and Happiness on Thanksgiving and Always

Thank you for your readership.  It makes our world go round.  Have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The State of Washington: A Place of Global Importance

Is Washington failing to realize its potential on the global stage?  That’s the premise of a report, "Improving the Washington Region's Global Competitiveness," released by George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, which criticizes the region’s economic reliance on the federal government and suggests ways it can become a bigger player in the global marketplace.

Interesting comment referenced in the article:
“If you’re not looking globally and you’re not realizing your potential in the global marketplace, you’re not in this century,” said Bob Buchanan, the group’s president [referring to the 2030 Group] and head of the development firm Buchanan Partners.
Read the entire 90-page report:  "Improving the Washington Region's Global Competitiveness"

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How to Spark Global Entrepreneurship

The United States has committed to a big, audacious goal to expand economic opportunity for all, especially women and youth.  The U.S. will spark $1 billion in new private investments over the next three years for entrepreneurs worldwide, including social entrepreneurs. Half of these investments will be generated by women and young entrepreneurs.

What this says is that the Administration has delivered on its commitment to greatly expand and support global entrepreneurship and economic opportunity around the world.

Learn  more about some of the U.S.'s signature entrepreneurial achievements in the past five years:
FACT SHEET:  Global Entrepreneurship Summit | The White House

Monday, November 24, 2014

Today in Global Small Business: Amazon Launches in China

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Mirror to the Sky: Cloud Gate

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
Cloud Gate is a public 110-ton elliptical sculpture designed by British artist Anish Kapoor, that is the centerpiece of the AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois.

The sculpture reflects Chicago's famous skyline and the clouds above. In the case of the lower photo, if you look closely to the left, that is me - Laurel Delaney - taking a closeup of the Cloud Gate.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Global Entrepreneurial Mindset is Always Optimistic

Amy Schultz, instructor of entrepreneurship and project-based learning at Feather River College in Quincy, California says, "I would describe the entrepreneur mindset as – first and foremost – optimism. Because that will drive everything else."  She goes on to say, "“It gives you hope that whatever your challenge is, you will be able to overcome it. Optimism is what attracts other people. People are naturally attracted to optimists and people with great attitudes.”

Read:  Learning entrepreneurship on a global economy scale

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Take It Global in 2015

I wrote the article below originally for's Import and Export site and then decided to feature it on LinkedIn where I am a key influencer.  That's when it went viral.  On my Twitter account @LaurelDelaney, it was the first time I was "trending in Australia!" Even Pulse picked up the article as a special feature.  Have a look:

7 Unexpected Reasons to Take Your Business Global in 2015

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Global Ecommerce Sales Are Expected to Reach $1.4 Trillion by 2016

According to a report from Deloitte Digital, global ecommerce sales are expected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2016.  Retailers are finally recognizing the huge opportunity of going global with their business.

Discover what the four key trends (drivers) are in global ecommerce growth.

Here's one:
Increase in global shipping: International shipping is seeing its growth driven primarily through flexible shipping options and fulfillment services that provide retailers low-cost/low-risk options for gaining exposure in new areas. With the ability to outsource fulfillment, retailers can reach customers beyond their domestic market without having to invest in building a global infrastructure.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How to Juice Up Exports

The Obama administration promised to double exports in five years - from 2009-2014.  But we are far short of that goal.  Still, some products including fossil fuels have surged despite policy barriers at the border.

Read:  Obama Looks to Jump-Start Export Push
Note:  If every small business owner had the opportunity to read Exporting:  The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably, we would have a better chance at doubling exports in the NEXT five years.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Today in Global Small Business: Singles Day, Divorce Day, Pets Day; Can China Teach the World How to Shop?

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Hourglass of Our Life

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it." - Niccolo Machiavelli

Friday, November 14, 2014

Innocent Until Proven Guilty: U.S. Export-Import Bank

How do you define what is a small (vs. BIG) business?  Is it based on the size of revenues?  Number of employees?  Apparently everyone, including Ex-Im Bank, is struggling with that very same question.  The latest on the trials and tribulations of the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

Ex-Im Misleads Congress and the Public About Helping Small Businesses
But an investigation by the Reuters news agency has found that potentially hundreds of the subsidy recipients categorized as “small businesses” by Ex-Im are actually very large enterprises or units of multinational conglomerates.
Exclusive:  Export-Import Bank admits errors in small biz data - Yahoo News
The U.S. Export-Import Bank has mischaracterized potentially hundreds of large companies and units of multinational conglomerates as small businesses, a flaw in its record keeping that could undermine the export lender's survival strategy.
Export-Import Bank's list of 'small' businesses draws fire from conservatives | TribLIVE
A comparison of about 6,000 businesses characterized by Ex-Im as “small” with information supplied by corporate data collector Dun & Bradstreet, which Ex-Im uses to vet applicants, and other sources turns up about 200 companies that appear to be mislabeled and many more whose classification is uncertain.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

How to Build a High-Performing and Truly Entrepreneurial Global Business

Ever heard of organizing a company around a conceptual framework?  That's the way Haier's leader, China philosopher-CEO Zhang Ruimin, describes how he built a winning global company by continually reframing his management philosophy.  Haier is the world's fastest-growing appliance maker.  Other things Haier excels at:

"... the largest market share in “white goods” worldwide—about 14 percent of a market with at least seven other major competitors. It is also a world leader in business innovation and one of the largest non-state-owned enterprises in China."

Art Kleiner, Editor in Chief of strategy+business writes a wonderful spread on Zhang and his success tips for running Haier.  Before we get to it, the following statement encapsulates how Zhang pulled off leading a high-performing and truly entrepreneurial global business:
Zhang has steadily initiated shifts in the company’s structure, moving consistently toward participative management, decentralized decision making, and autonomous but accountable work teams and platforms. 
Read the entire article:  China's Philosopher - CEO Zhang Ruimin

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How South Africa Is Building a Robust Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

With the launch of Startup Nations South Africa (SA), the initiative joins a global network of Startup Nations such as Startup Britain, Startup Chile, Startup Malaysia, Startup China, Startup Norway, Startup Australia and more recently Startup Brazil, Startup Vietnam and Startup Korea.

The Startup Nations South Africa initiative is a collaborative effort by founding partners, The Innovation Hub, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Wits Business School, aimed at contributing towards building a robust entrepreneurship ecosystem and vibrant sustainable entrepreneurship culture.

Global entrepreneurship is crucial to the vitality and growth of a country and its people.

Read more:  SA Small Business Minister Launches Startup Nations South Africa Initiative

Photo:  Capetown, South Africa

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Globally, SMEs Are More Optimistic

Zurich Insurance recently surveyed 3,800 businesses spanning across 19 countries (200 businesses in each country). Participants were asked to identify up to three out of a possible 15 activities and challenges in their business over the previous 12 months - from expanding activities to target new customers in their domestic market.  UAE-based SMEs were found to be more positive than competitors in other countries about reaching out to new customers, the study showed.
About one third of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) believed “acquiring new customers is their biggest opportunity at the present time, indicating high levels of confidence in the strength of the local economy,” Zurich said in its 2014 Global SME Survey yesterday.
The 2014 Global SME Survey results are as follows: 

Related article: Small businesses confident in strength of local economy

News release:  SMEs globally see mixed opportunities for growth

Monday, November 10, 2014

Today in Global Small Business: How to Copy Warren Buffett's Global Success

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
*One of Buffett's fundamentals:  Encourage small businesses to grow and expand one step at a time, even if haphazardly, as the accumulation of individual achievement can add up to huge enterprises, like the many success stories in building Dairy Queen

Saturday, November 08, 2014

A Chicago Pizza Faithful to the Authentic Neapolitan Style

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved. 
©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
I had the wonderful pleasure of eating at Spacca Napoli Pizzeria a couple of weeks ago.  It's a great find (I was turned on to it and treated by my designer at and I recommend it to anyone who loves an authentic Neapolitan style pizza.  For those who don't know, Neapolitan style pizza (Italian: pizza napoletana) is made with tomatoes and Mozzarella cheese.

We ordered the Bufalina pizza, blended San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, basil and extra virgin olive oil (evoo).  It was superb.

As we were leaving the restaurant, the host offered us a plate filled with miniature cannolis.  What a nice way to end a meal.  We each took one for the road and it was outstanding.

When the nights in Chicago get way too long and chilly, pay a visit to Spacca Napoli Pizzeria for a true Italiano pizzeria experience.  It's like visiting Italy.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Are You Based in Tacoma, Washington and Want to Embrace eCommerce in the 21st Century?

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock
Join Chaitra Vedullapalli, former Microsoft senior director of global sales and marketing and a global director for alliance and channels at Oracle, when she speaks November 11th on “Why every business must embrace e-commerce in the 21st century” at the William Factory Incubator.

To make a reservation, email:

While I have you, you might read:  Going Global is Easy - Tips to Make it REAL and check out Meylah, where Chaitra is currently CMO.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

How to Celebrate Your Birthday Perched On Top of the World

Trying to decide how you can have the most awesome birthday ever? Look no further.  All you have to do is get on a plane and fly to Singapore.  What do you get when you arrive?  Take your pick from the Singapore Flyer:

•  The Full Butler Sky Dining -- For a romantic dinner experience like no other, check out the world's first full butler sky dining with awe inspiring views of Singapore.

•  The Flyer Birthday Bash! -- Plan a sky high birthday experience for yourself or that special someone, 165-metre above ground.

•  The Singapore Flyer and Flight Experience Program -- Take a flight on the Singapore Flyer and learn to fly a Boeing 737.

Wait.  There's more.  Explore here.  Oh, in case you didn't know, the Singapore Flyer, launched in 2008, is the world’s largest Giant Observation Wheel and is poised to become one of Asia’s biggest tourist attractions.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Entrepreneurs See the World Differently; It's All About Creating Opportunities

Photo credit:  Pascal Muradian.  All rights reserved.
The 7th Annual World Entrepreneurship Forum, held in Lyon, France October 19-22nd, brought good things to life for anyone who is an entrepreneur or aspires to become one.  Forty countries were represented with more than 200 members attending from five continents!  Ideas and opportunities came from everywhere - speakers, moderators, members, sponsors, workshop presenters and partners.  Here's a sampling on some of the talented people we heard from over a three-day period:
  • Tony Meloto, Founder of Gawad Kalinga, The Philippines on "pitching for social entrepreneurship."
  • Abdallah Absi, Founder and CEO of Zoomaal, Lebanon on "pitching for crowd funding."
  • Atef Alshabrawy, Founder and CEO of the Islamic M&SE's Bank and SME's advisor to the Federation of GCC Chamber of Commerce, Bahrain, on "pitching for Islamic finance."
  • Arnaud Mourot, Co-director of Ashoka Europe, France on "inventing the future of entrepreneurship at the BoP.
  • Aishwarya Mahajan, Regional Head Livelihood Education and Regional Manager of Jaipur Office, Aide & Action International, India on "inventing the future of entrepreneurship at the BoP."
  • Dylan Wilk,  Founder of HumanNature, United Kingdom, on "inventing the future of entrepreneurship at the BoP
  • Colin Jones, Senior lecturer of entrepreneurship at the University of Tasmania, Australia on "Entrepreneurship 3.0:  Critical knowledge and skills for entrepreneurs and how to develop them."
  • Mohammad Reza Dayyani, Founder and Chairmain of the Board - Iran Entrepreneurs Forum, Founder and CEO of Entekhab Investment Development Group, Iran on "doing business in Iran."
Other impressive speakers included:
  • Letizia Molatti introduced the socio-economic enterprises concept to bridge the gap in society. 
  • Richard EU narrated his experience of handling failures in his family business while inducing family values in his organizational hierarchy. 
  • Marita Chang, recipient of the young Australian entrepreneur 2012 award, described her journey from a simple university workshop on robotics to starting-up her company Robogals Global. 
  • Chief Nyamweya, spoke about how he embedded happiness as one of the core values of his business.
And that's not all.  There were more terrific speakers and awardees from The Award Ceremony Gala Dinner - too many to list here.  To learn more on who else participated at the amazing World Entrepreneurship Forum, see pictures from each day and become a member, visit:  World Entrepreneurship Forum.  Press kits and news releases, go here.

In closing, entrepreneurs see the world differently.  We are all about creating opportunities, especially ones that can change the world. Thomas Edison is a great example of an entrepreneur who went on to create thousands of ideas that created value over time.  In their own right, the World Entrepreneurship Forum members and participants are all budding Edisons.

Note:  I am in the photo above with all the other participants at the World Entrepreneurship Forum 2014 in Lyon, France.  Next year's Forum takes places in Hangzhou, China.  Watch for more details soon.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Bringing Internet Access to Everyone in the World

The big, bold solution:  "How to deliver basic internet services to everyone by working to decrease the costs of connectivity, building more efficient services that use less data, and by partnering with mobile operators on new models for access that can help the industry grow while also bringing more people onto the internet." - Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, on the challenges and opportunities of a new generation of connectivity platforms.

Read the paper:  Connecting the World From the Sky


Monday, November 03, 2014

Today in Global Small Business: The World of Global Mobile According to Numbers

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Autumn Is Almost Gone

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"A wind has blown the rain away and blown the sky away and all the leaves away, and the trees stand.  I think, I too, have known autumn too long." - e.e. cummings