Author Q&A: The Economy of You by Kimberly Palmer

If you've ever been stressed out trying to make financial ends meet, or worried about losing your job, author Kimberly Palmer's new book, The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life (AMACOM, 2014), will show you how to add a "side-gig" or start a full-time entrepreneurial venture.

Kimberly Palmer is senior money editor and Alpha Consumer blogger at US News & World Report. She is the author of Generation Earn: The Young Professional’s Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back, as well as a series of financial guides, Palmer’s Planners, sold through her Etsy shop.

Kimberly has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CNBC, CNN, and local television and radio shows across the country to talk about smart money decisions. She lives with her husband and two children in the Washington, D.C., area.

Kimberly is stopping by the blog today to discuss her new book.

Deb Bailey: Thanks for joining me, Kimberly. What prompted you to write this book?

Kimberly Palmer: I realized that I, along with most Americans, had no job security, and I needed a way to give myself, and my family, more financial stability. In the event of a lay-off, I didn't want to find myself with no income. So I decided to launch a side business on Etsy to create a second stream of income, and I soon discovered many people doing the same thing. I realized that a lot of people have the goal of building a side business, so I wrote the book to help them do that.


Deb: The title of your book caught my attention right away. Could you elaborate on what you mean by, "the Economy of You?"

Kimberly: We all need to create our own mini-empires based on our skills, interests and passions -- "the economy of you" refers to that mindset, of thinking of yourself as an entrepreneur. For many people, myself included, it involves a shift in thinking. We are all entrepreneurs in the current economy, even if we don't realize it yet.


Deb: Exactly right! So, what do you want readers to come away with?


Kimberly: I want them to feel ready to launch their side business, to have the tools and ideas they need to act on their idea and build a stable, lucrative business. My interviews with 100 other side-giggers help provide inspiration (as well as tales of mistakes to avoid), too, so readers can learn from others.


Deb: "Moonlighting" used to have a negative connotation. Do you think that's changed?

Kimberly: Absolutely! I think we've seen a major shift in how we think about earning a secondary income outside of a full-time job, and our language reflects that shift. Back in the 1950s and 1960s people spoke of "moonlighting," which sounds like something you're doing that you don't want anyone else to know about. Today, we say "side-gigging" and "side-hustling," which I think reflects the more empowering sense that people get from earning extra money. Increasingly, companies themselves see side-gigs as a positive thing, too, because their employees are picking up new skills on their own time that they can then bring back to their day jobs.


Deb: Does someone have to be a full-time business owner to create their own economy?

Kimberly: Not at all -- I'm really focused on people who have full-time jobs they might never want to leave, but who want to also bring in extra money, as well as flex their creative muscles, on the side. The beauty of a side-business is that you don't face the incredible financial pressure that comes from having to pay the mortgage with your proceeds. Instead, you can use your side-business as a place to play around with your ideas and potential, test the market, and see what could really take off.


Deb: What would you say to a woman who wonders if entrepreneurship is for her?

Kimberly: Entrepreneurship is right for almost everyone. Even if you wade in in just a small way at first, it can turn into an incredible satisfying and empowering pursuit.


Deb: What inspires you to do the work you do?

Kimberly: My family! I launched my business when my daughter was born in large part because I wanted to guarantee that I could always provide for her.


Deb: This is a terrific book, and I know readers of the Secrets of Success blog will enjoy it. Where can people find it?

Kimberly: It is available everywhere books are sold, from Amazon to Barnes & Noble to independent bookstores. You can find links on my site, http://www.bykimberlypalmer.com/the-economy-of-you/.


Deb: Thanks again for sharing your book with us. Please share your website and social media URLs.

Kimberly: You're welcome! Here's where you can find me online: my site is http://www.bykimberlypalmer.com and my Twitter account is @alphaconsumer.

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