Ever feel like the weight of the world rests solely on your shoulders? I think we can all relate to this feeling at times during our lives. I hear so many stories from my friends and family who are struggling with these feelings. Last week as I walked my daughter to the bus stop, I saw a “for sale” sign in the yard of one of my neighbors.

Yesterday, I visited with these neighbors to inquire about their plans. The gentleman had worked for years with the same construction company, and had been laid off last fall. After struggling for months to find a job, he went to work in his wife’s families business. Working for his father-in-law has really been difficult for this guy. I found out during my visit that his wife just lost her “Corporate America” job of 10+ years. I also found out she is two months pregnant. They are definitely relating to the weight of the world.

Like so many people I work with in franchising, they have gone through their 401(k) and savings and now are at a loss. As much as I can counsel someone about preparation for the future, convincing people that finding a job may not be the answer is not always an easy task. If people would step back for a moment, realize that what has happened really is a shame, and then look at ways to avoid having this happen again, they would realize that owning your business may be the answer. Before you utilize every penny you have saved to live the American Dream simply to survive, consider investing in yourself.

Invest in a franchise business – the opportunities are plentiful, but if you wait until you have exhausted your ability to invest, the weight may be unbearable. Take control of your future, and begin removing that excess weight. Franchising can be the best way to lose weight fast, keep it off, and also keep what is left of your sanity.