With unemployment on the rise, many Americans still,  are finding reasons to be thankful.  Many times you just never know what you're made of until you find yourself in a changed position.  New places, new people, new things also can offer new opportunities if you are on the look out and expecting them.

I wonder if Americans are finally discovering what Europeans have known all along, maybe so.

I was reading an article about the "New American Happiness."  It reminded me of something my best friend Lisa, who spent a lot of time in Italy, always said to me.  It was something she saw as so glaring ,that the words became burned into my mind.  She said, "Kim, you know what the main difference is between Europeans and Americans?  Europeans work to live; while Americans live to work."  She said those words to me probably 20 years ago, and today, they may never be truer.  I guess it all depends on what you want out of life.  What your prioities are, where your faith lies.  I'll tell you this!  You can't be afraid of change if you want new things to happen.  I know a lot of people have places their self worth in things.  If that is you, you will soon come to realize that when those things go, your self esteem may go right along with them.   In talking to people, their main fear seems to be that things could get worse for them.  But don't forget, change can make things get better too.

Circumstances have a way of correcting themselves over time.  Maybe the economy, and the crash, and the loss of jobs, will ultimately turn out to be a good thing.  My hope is that it breeds more entrepreneurs!  Maybe it will also help us realize, as Americans, what is really important in life.  Maybe our lives may change and simplify, but is that really a bad thing?

Now is a good time to create the reality you desire.  You have nothing to lose when you're unemployed or laid off or downsized.  You can take more risks now.  Think about doing what your forefathers and immigrants did years ago.  Get together with like minded people, who have time, or money, or other God Given Gifts, and start to do something with them!  Everybody knows somebody, and each somebody knows somebody else.  That's the way it works and that's the way it begins.  Social media has opened up many doors of opportunity for people to work and play together and that might be a good place to start.

Here's a new dream for you!  Find people with like goals to your own and start talking about starting your own local business and work for yourself instead of waiting for someone to give you a job.  It may be a lot of hours but you can structure it accordingly to your schedule.

I had the opportunity to interview entrepreneur after entrepreneur for about a year for grNow.com and WZZM 13's Early Morning Weekend News.  I noticed the same recurring theme in each and every entrepreneur.  They wanted a better and more balanced life for themselves, their families and their kids.  WGVU offers a program for someone wanting to start their own business.  Some of the details include how to create a mission or goal statement, loans, how to prepare a business plan to help ensure your success.  It is free.   Call ( 616) 331-6666 or (800) 442-2771 for more information.  Business hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Goei Entrepreneurial Center also helped me do the same.  You start small and you control how little or how much it grows globally.  It's up to you!  Some people want to rule the world.  While others just want to have their own little piece of it.  Good Luck to you in dreaming your new dream.