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Creative entrepreneurship

To better our position in the community from a wealth perspective, we need to make sure that our kids at least consider the business side of any career they are interested in pursuing.
 
 Carlee McCullough

Over the years, I have had the great fortune of meeting some wonderful young people while speaking at local schools. I have read stories to kids at Oakhaven Elementary, served as principal for a day at Cummings Elementary, presented during career day at Whitehaven High School, and discussed being a lawyer and a former CPA at the New Consortium of Law and Business Charter School.

Regardless of the school, when asked what they want to be when they grow up, the children’s responses are all similar. They want to be ballplayers, entertainers, policemen, firemen, doctors, lawyers, and/or nurses. Their focus is 100 percent on being a great employee. No matter their career path, there is an opportunity for an entrepreneurial component along the way.

To better our position in the community from a wealth perspective, we need to make sure that our kids at least consider the business side of any career they are interested in pursuing. But first we have to broaden their view of potential careers and businesses. Over the next few weeks, our focus will be on businesses that are creative. If we look around, we see the traditional businesses such as grocery stores, gas stations, clothing stores and restaurants.  Even the most traditional businesses can have a Unique Selling Position (USP).

According to Jay Abraham, a “USP is that distinct and appealing idea that sets you and your business, or practice, favorably apart from every other generic competitor.” While some may think that imitation is the highest form of flattery, in business you will fade into oblivion without distinguishing your business from those that are similar.



Doctor



Even a career as traditional as medicine has some unique aspects for entrepreneurs.  Technology has been a part of the medical field for years. But with improved medical imaging techniques the field is wide open for inventions that can be drastically improved.



Lawyer



Contrary to the television images of lawyers as prosecutors, which are employees, most lawyers are in private practice. As owner of a private practice, a lawyer is essentially running a business, which requires marketing, contracting and accounting, to name a few areas of concern for an entrepreneur. So as many go through law school, few are thoroughly prepared to run a business.

But for those in business that have interfaced technology with law, the results and opportunities are astounding. Similar to the medical profession, the legal profession is considered traditional. Innovative lawyers, however, have created methods of communicating with clients via Skype or video conferencing that allow clients to stay in the comforts of their own homes or offices. Other business-minded attorneys have developed various Web sites that, although heavily labeled with disclaimers, provide standard agreements for download.



Policeman



The natural progression for a policeman interested in being an entrepreneur would be the ownership of a security training company. By coupling the security function with that of technology, a new scope of services has evolved called cyber-security, which encompasses a focus on anti-virus software and secure encryption for confidential information.

Another emerging area of joining computers with police work is computer forensics, which involves experts gathering electronic evidence for legal cases or for corporate purposes. This area is fast growing and is flush with opportunities for the design of new product offerings. Once the new product is protected via patent and there is demand for it, your traditional business has potentially increased revenues many times over for a few generations.



Computer programmer or engineer



With the expansion of technology, opportunities abound for computer programmers or engineers. From the ipad to iPhone, G3 to G4, Xbox Kinect to Wii, Facebook to Twitter, information technology shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.   Software engineers design and develop programs to make computers function more efficiently.

Designers and developers are in high demand because so much of the current and emerging markets are either converting to computerized systems or increasing their overall use of technology. A business created around the creation of new software, programs, and systems can be truly successful as long as the company can deliver on innovation.  Every industry is interfacing with technology in some way from improved graphics on games and telephones to automation in manufacturing to advance medical imaging.

With so many opportunities available, let’s be creative and unique On Our Way to Wealthy.

(Please send your questions to Carlee McCullough, Esq., Contract Compliance Officer, City of Memphis-Office of Contract Compliance, 125 N. Main St., Suite 546, Memphis, TN 38103 or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

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