The economic crisis in America has touched virtually everone’s life. In 2004 my wife and I decided to start a business that was a dealership for a company that helped manufacturers and other users of commercial electricity. I t appeared to be a good deal, as the company we were purchasing from guaranteed our money back if we didn’t make our investment back in eighteen months.
By year two, both of us were working full time for our business, it was profitable and generating six figures. Then 2006 came along, the economy was weakening quickly and equipment buyers were conserving cash. Two major contracts were canceled due to large layoffs at the client companies. This meant we had no clients, the business was non-sustainable and we had no jobs.Also,we had sunk a lot of money into the business,so there was no substantial cushion either.
We were, and are stunned! It is difficult to put together a plan for coping, but we are trying. Following our some of the things we are doing.
After the realization that we were virtually broke, we were lucky enough to sell our house in a declining market and take our small gain to meet expenses for a short period time.
Being of baby-boomer age, with Masters Degrees and plenty of experience we both thought that at least one of us would find a position rather quickly. That hasn’t happened and we have been out of work for six months.
Thankfully, family members have helped enormously, but you don’t want to go to the well to many times. At this point we are trying the following:
1. Networking2. Checking the job boards daily3. Checking companies in our industry or a similar one4. Spend no extra money whatsoever5.I am writing as much as I can6.Attempt to keep our spirits up – very hard task7.Use family as support group
Although we know that our business failed due to the economic crisis, it is difficult not to feel a sense of shame and responsibility at our failure. We have joined some online support groups to help us through this difficult time.
But having always paid the maximum under Social Security, and being faced with seeking public assistance, is also a painful experience. Because we were self-employed, there is no unemployment benefits for us.
The tenor of this article is bleak. It should be upbeat and optimistic but these are the worst times of our lives. Getting up is an effort, job searching is an effort, worrying how we will make it is an effort. We are trying to correct the negativity, but it seems to be winning. But, we hope, and now we hope that Obama turns the economy quickly.