"Economic Stress: Harsh Truths and Keys to Empowerment" is a 13 chapter book that captures the personal stories of people who are facing challenges meeting their financial obligations because of job loss, not enough work, job instability or low wages and the impact this can have on their well-being.  Using their own words, stories of economic stress are shared in the first four chapters.  These include some of the experiences of a seasoned professional who wakes up swinging because of the economic stress that he is experiencing, a working class couple that lives paycheck to paycheck with no financial cushion and a single mom who is trying to cope with the prospect of being unemployed for the first time in her career. 


The remainder of the book identifies strategies that could, in some instances, help a person or a family address economic stress more effectively by exploring issues such as:  (1) managing bills and bill collector demands for the mortgage, rent, car note, utilities and credit card payments by being proactive rather than reactive; (2) seeking social support and asking for help; (3) understanding how the job applicant process can work; (4) building relationships rather than networking; (5) attracting mentors and sponsors; (6) changing your mindset to make your life better; and (7) entrepreneurship. 


A major question that is asked in this book is whether or not it may be time to redefine what success and the American Dream mean in the 21st century.  Is it home ownership with big salaries, an abundance of disposable income and tangible items?  Or, is it having a more frugal lifestyle that embraces health, greater peace of mind and autonomy?  Or, is it being a part of a loving, strong, supportive family that has the capacity to endure and thrive?  


"Economic Stress:  Harsh Truths and Keys to Empowerment" encourages the reader to examine these issues in a way that could help to promote a different outlook and also enhance a person’s or family’s quality of living.