02/05/2014 04:31 pm ET Updated Apr 02, 2014

It's Time We Rise From the Sunken Couch

Whether you've been unemployed, one week, one month, one year or even longer, it's time to rise from the sunken couch you've resigned yourself to and engage the world around you, beginning with your neighbors just beyond the front door. You have talents worth exercising, gifts worth giving and priceless wisdom worth sharing, to the deserving masses, within your midst.

Without an immediate resurgence of small business growth in a country based on it's entrepreneurial spirit, long term unemployment will continue to drag down consumer confidence, and in turn small business; along with the jobs we so desperately need to employ us. There are small steps all of us can do, currently employed or not, to begin this resurgence, one kindness at a time.

When I started my first business, I had no clue what all it entailed. But what I did have, was an endless supply of encouragement, assuring me that I could do it. You know what, I did it, some thirty plus years ago and many more times since then. Starting to write my first novel last year was an equally daunting task, where I struggled immeasurably, because it was far outside my comfort zone. Imagine me writing a steamy, romantic, adventure thriller, sprinkled with truth and threaded with the theme, paying it forward no matter what, whew! Yet, there were people who believed in me, thereby empowering me to continue.

Guess what, Ride to Redemption published last month. More amazing, we've designated one dollar from every purchase to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. Those folks know how to stretch a dollar like you wouldn't believe. They'll wrangle almost four meals out of it. I'm proud to tell you, novel two is well underway, why? Because of encouraging and glowing reviews from my peers. I've come to see, first hand, that anything is possible if there are people in our midst who share of themselves, their time and their talents. You too, can be that encourager to another struggling individual who needs a little help to believe, to keep on keeping on. Brain power, coupled with man power can do most anything. You just have to believe and be present.

Confidence breeds confidence, encouragement breeds encouragement, faith breeds faith. That's where you and I come in, by giving ourselves away. We have unique talents and gifts, specific only to us that can be used to make an immediate difference in the lives of others. My businesses have long since gone, swallowed up by a life altering recession and an economic collapse, most of us didn't see coming. Yet my talents remain, along with my heart. I'm doing my best to put them to better use, this time around.

While you're waiting for your next employment opportunity, continue to hone your valuable, marketable skills, by volunteering to serve, to encourage, to inspire. Look around you. We're hurting here. There's relatively few places one can go today without seeing need based service's struggling to meet their ever increasing demands. There are very few, if any community based organizations today that will turn down volunteers, in any shape or form.

Seniors need some type of assistance and or interaction everyday, be it changing a light bulb, reprogramming a remote, trimming some shrubs or just someone to talk to. Young people need mentoring, as well as tutoring, in Boy's Clubs and Girl's Clubs and Y's. Peer's need encouragement, inspiration and hope, if they too are in the throes of financial or emotional distress. Empathy goes a long way when others know you have walked in their shoes.

I can't promise that by venturing off the sunken couch and into the community, sharing your skills and passions with your neighbors, (We're all neighbors here) will get you employed any faster. But what it will do is keep your skill set sharp, your mind engaged and your heart in tune to the world, just beyond your door. I learned long ago, to give whatever you need the most of. So far in my life, I can tell you from my own personal experiences, it works. Many times it comes in unexpected ways, you will never fathom or imagine.

Here's a really kind review of our first novel, along with a link if, after reading it, you'd like to buy it through Amazon. Either way, Thank you. If you've got an extra dollar or two, send it to a Second Harvest Food Bank near you.

Purchase Ride to Redemption Here.