Our names are Max and Elena Emma. We live in a beautiful San Diego, California, and are blessed to have wonderful three year old son Alec. Though our background may be different from some people,  our story is similar to millions of others in this country.

We both emigrated from the former Soviet Union in our late teen years. When we came to the United States, we had the warmth of our families, but absolutely no financial support to back up our living. Several years later, we obtained university degrees in Finance, while busing tables, tutoring college students, and working three part-time jobs simultaneously to cover tuitions and utilities. Later, after paying dues to the corporate world, we moved to a very exciting, but challenging phase of our lives – world of entrepreneurship. Within 5 years, we’ve grown the small landscape maintenance company from two to seventy five employees’ enterprise with $3.5 million dollar revenue and three main departments: design, construction, and maintenance.  Three years ago, right before our son was born, we bought a beautiful four-bedroom house in a quiet and peaceful neighborhood, 3 miles away from the ocean.

We achieved our American dream: to become successful and independent in the country where nationality or family background makes no difference on the road to ultimate happiness; to have mental ability and financial means to give our children anything their hearts desire. We earned this dream; we walked this dream; we pet this dream. We proudly lived our American dream, up until 10 months ago.

As you can guess, the current economic situation hit us hard (so it did to almost everybody in the US and around the globe, for that matter). When fourteen banks refused to extend our business or personal credit for long-term working capital for our business, we had no other choice but to put up our dream house for sale. Our plan was to pour the money out of this beautiful house to the business and help it survive hard times that way. Little did we know back then, that the downturn in the economy would worsen every minute.  10 months later, the house has been sold. The money that we got from sales proceeds is barely enough for 2 months worth of living expenses. Moreover, all our investments were already poured into our company, so we were forced to lay off all 50 employees we had and shut the doors of the business. Both of us are in the process of filing for bankruptcy right now and at least one of us is strained to look for a full-time employment (which for an entrepreneur equates to a death sentence!).

Stories like ours paint the front pages of all newspapers nowadays. It has grown to be OK to dismiss the bills, foreclose houses, miss payments, shop discount stores for holiday gifts, refuse kids to have occasional treats, and powerlessly blame everything on recession.

What makes us different is the fact that we decided to take action! We refuse to give up! We want our dreams back! Of course, world economy slowdown is what got us to this hole; however we are the ones that will get us out of it. We prefer to control our lives rather than obediently follow somebody else’s rules.

In doing so, we created the portal - www.GetOutOfRecession.com -that would unite people like us and help them overcome their financial or emotional recession.

Somebody once said that the difference between smart and wise person is that the smart one learns from his or her own mistakes, and the wise one learns from somebody else’s. So let’s all be wise and generous, by sharing with each other the things we have done, the choices we have made, and the steps we have taken to move forward with our lives!

Go ahead! Read! Ask!  Learn!  Suggest! Participate! Share your stories! Register on www.GetOutofRecession.com !


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1 Response Feb 23, 2009