The Risk Takers

April 12, 2013

From the beginning of the downturn economy until now, I have seen a steady pattern of people looking for work and too few jobs to meet the needs of the unemployed.

For every job listed there are hundreds of applicants.  There are more people who have stopped looking for work than at any time in my memory.

So, what does this mean?  Do people live on unemployment checks until they stop coming and then switch over to welfare checks?

This has to be the scariest time in a person’s life.  No matter how qualified a person is and how many diplomas decorate his walls, when there is no money coming in and the bills keep piling up, it is so easy to get discouraged and give up the fight.

This, probably, most of all, explains why there are so many homeless people who used to command high salaries.  It also explains why people are living underneath bridges and in abandoned houses or warehouses after their homes are foreclosed.

We have all grown up hearing the expression, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”  But what does it mean?

I think it means that we have to reevaluate our lives, our talents, our skill sets, and our finances while at the same time taking a wider perspective of the world around us.

For one thing, we no longer do much manufacturing.  I remember a time when the credo used to be that you can either make it, sell it, or repair it.  And for those who couldn’t do any of those things, you could teach it.

Our country has changed enormously and we have to change with it.  We have to look at what our country has become.

What I see is that our country has become a service industry and this means that we are going to have to take big risks and go into business for ourselves.

We’re going to have to get over the idea that we need a regular paycheck and figure out how we can find something that we love to do, that we feel passionate about, and then figure out a way to make money doing it.

It’s a huge risk but if nothing else is on the table, the services we could provide could feed a family.  It doesn’t matter if it’s babysitting, carpentry, being a handyman, sewing clothes, driving people to appointments with their doctor, or any number of things.

Most of us have some kind of service we could charge a fee for or barter for goods.  We don’t have to live under a bridge or go hungry.  But we do have to take some big risks.

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