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Life after layoffs, down-sizing and retirement

CarleeMcCullough-160ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY Across the country, whether in the private sector or government, companies are laying people off, downsizing and/or forcing early retirement. In some circumstances it can be devastating to a household.

Immediately after the initial shock of learning your fate, it is easy to become paralyzed by fear. Next comes the scrambling around for a new job to replace the income that will soon be lost.

Some may wait to look for another job until savings or severance packages have been depleted. Still others will pursue unemployment pay as an alternative. However, this is usually only a portion of the lost wages and will not fill the gap.

Beginning the dream

If you have ever thought about entrepreneurship, now may be the opportune time to pursue your dream. With a support from staff at agencies such as the Renaissance Business Center at 555 Beale, starting your own business may become a reality sooner than you think.

But let's be real. Do not go on a search for grant money in the hopes of replacing your income. Grants earmarked for "for profit" businesses are rarely seen around these parts. Loans from various institutions may be available. A safer bet is to reach out to family, friends and your own pocketbook.

Start small

Sometimes our beliefs of how the business should be initially can hold us back. There is nothing wrong with starting off small and expanding the business as you grow. As an entrepreneur, the cost of entry can vary depending upon the type of business you start. Whether you are selling a service or a product, make sure the delivery and appearance is one of professionalism. Don't be afraid to reach out for help or advice from those that you see as successful.

Long hours

There is nothing easy about entrepreneurship. The hours likely will be longer than when you were an employee. Nine to five does not exist in the world of being an entrepreneur. Additionally, the pay may not initially be what you thought it would – or should – be. However, the room for growth is exponential when the business receives your time and money. When you are committed, dedicated and the stars align, the money will far exceed that which you received as an employee.

Doing business with family and friends

Look to do business with those that you know first. Social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn are wonderful networking tools. If your friends and family won't do business with you, then it may be time to reflect on why and make some changes.

Most innovative ideas of 2013

When deciding what type of business to start, look for an opportunity to fill a niche that has not been addressed. Remember that to survive a small business must have a customer base. Let's take a look at some of the most creative ideas of 2013 according to HuffPost.

Squat Monkey

Hallettco, an Oregon-based company, created the Squat Monkey for the outdoor crowd. It is designed to hook around your waist and around a rock or tree to enable you to "squat" when relieving yourself in the woods. The thought process is to keep you elevated so that you are not exposed to bacteria, bugs, poisonous plants, etc.


A Texas-based firm, AquaStorage, created the AquaPodKit to be used in preparation for natural disasters. The kit provides 65 gallons of uncontaminated water in emergency situations. This is a 14-day supply for a family of four. A disaster can occur anywhere, making this product one that can be used by the masses.


According to the designer Lisa Hanson, the SnuggWugg is "an interactive diaper changing pillow that helps parents so their babies don't twist and turn on the changing table."

Remember those rare grants for "for profit" companies we mentioned earlier? Well, the SnuggWugg won the 2012 Huggies MomInspired Grant of $15,000.

Regardless of the business you choose, try to select something you are passionate about. You will be spending a lot of time with promoting and pitching the concept. If you are not sold on the concept, it cannot be sold well to someone else.

While entrepreneurship may not be voluntary in the case of layoffs, downsizing, or involuntary retirement, it may be a blessing in disguise. Keep in mind that we are all "On Our Way to Wealthy."

(Contact Carlee McCullough, Esq., at 5308 Cottonwood Road, Suite 1A, Memphis, TN 38118, or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)


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