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The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life Hardcover – January 16, 2014

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The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life + I Will Teach You To Be Rich + Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them: Lessons from the Life-Changing Science of Behavioral Economics
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (January 16, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814432735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814432730
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This breezy, advice-packed book is a valueable road map for those who are looking to do their own thing on the side." --ForeWord Review

Book Description

The biggest trend in business is the microbusiness! Handcrafted jewelry, artisanal eats, life coaching, app development, you name it—entrepreneurial side ventures are everywhere. Weary of pink-slip anxiety and the endless money squeeze, millions of people are taking the leap. They’re adding to their incomes and creating safety nets in case the ax falls at work. In the process, they’re unlocking their creativity and finding a sense of fulfillment they never dreamed possible.

Financial columnist Kimberly Palmer illuminates the everyday faces behind this growing movement, starting with her own journey. Recognizing that journalism offers little job security these days—and with a baby to provide for—she decided to develop a series of financial planners. This supplemental business was soon providing a reliable income stream.

The Economy of You recounts story after story of people who—like Kimberly—are liberating themselves from financial strain. A deli employee who makes custom cakes at night. An instrument repairman who sells voice-overs on his website. A videographer who started a profitable publishing house on the side. Interwoven in the profiles are concrete guidelines for readers looking to launch rewarding businesses of their own, including:

• Tips for figuring out the ideal side gig

• Ideas for keeping start up costs low

• Advice on juggling a fledgling enterprise and a full-time job

• Strategies for finding your “tribe” and building a social network

• Branding and marketing basics that bring results

• When and what to offer for free

• And much more

Companies guarantee nothing but today’s wages. It’s up to YOU to build stability by becoming a money-making engine. It’s empowering, gratifying, and easy to do with The Economy of You.

More About the Author

Kimberly Palmer is the senior money editor and Alpha Consumer blogger at U.S. News & World Report and author of "Generation Earn: The Young Professional's Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back" (Ten Speed Press). She has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CNBC, CNN, and local television and radio shows across the country to talk about making smart money decisions. She has also written for the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Asahi Shimbun/International Herald Tribune in Tokyo as a Henry Luce Scholar. She holds a master's degree in public policy from the University of Chicago and a bachelor's degree in history from Amherst College. Kimberly lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband and their two children. You can connect with her online at

Customer Reviews

The Economy of You will get you pumped up and motivated to succeed!
Diane MacEachern
I enjoy her biographical anecdotes and the occasional personal anecdotes from her own life experience.
Carlton W.
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in starting a business.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Crowley on January 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are thinking of starting a side gig to generate additional income this is a great resource. There are a ton of real life examples of people who have or are trying to start a side business doing something they love, some of which became their primary occupation, very inspiring!

More practically the book:
1) helped me think through my motivation for pursuing a side gig,
2) brainstorm ideas of things I am good at / interested in and people would pay for including ways to fit it into my already busy life / career
3) understand how to prepare and launch my idea including free resources to help me create, market and manage it
4) provided great information on utilizing social media as well as branding and pitching the side gig

The book also has a series of questionnaires and worksheets that are so useful when you start to take action. (e.g., a questionnaire to determine if you are ready, a worksheet to help you brainstorm ideas, another to create a plan, one to help with the pitch, another to help with the financial aspects, etc.).

Lastly, it has an AMAZING appendix of the top fifty side-gigs that includes a description, what type of person(s) each is best for, information and/or example(s) and resources for each.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mary Wendell on January 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I just handed off my first Kim Palmer book "Generation Earn" to my recently graduated sister and now I'm happy to have this new book on my shelf. As someone who really took to heart her message of responsible and frugal financial management for young professionals, I find this specific look at entrepreneurship very enlightening. She mentioned before the benefit of diversifying your income with side-projects and now she really tells you how to get that going.

The Economy of You is smart. It encourages authentic careers that stem from what you love most. She even includes a Top 50 Master List to get your imagination going. The book is organized in chapters that share stories of how other people maintain gratifying side-gig, and the "Top Takeaways" for you, the reader. An example that really hit home for me is the issue of time management, and deciding how to balance job, family, and a new side-gig. Since Palmer is a financial expert, she tells you how to make the money work so you can gain financial freedom.

All in all... Palmer is your go-to-girl for tips on living in today's economic climate. If you were to supplement her fresh ideas with a basic financial planning book like Buy Low, Sell High, Collect Early and Pay Late: The Manager's Guide to Financial Survival you'll have a great understanding of down-to-earth money management. (RC)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By N. Loper on January 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed the Economy of You and found the dozens of well-researched "side-gig" creative and inspiring. This "moonlighting" economy is becoming more and more common, and for good reason. We don't have the job security of previous generations, and we're looking for ways to mitigate our downside risk. Financial advisors will tell you to make sure to diversify your investment holdings, but it's rare to hear one recommend getting a second job or starting a business to diversify your income stream.

Entrepreneurship is seen as a risky endeavor, but is it really any riskier than relying on ONE source of income to take care of all your expenses and needs of your family? Kim paints a diverse picture of the "side-gig" economy. It's a safer brand of entrepreneurship because -- by definition -- it's extra incremental income; you're not necessarily relying on it to put food on the table, but rather to build a little buffer cushion in case the whole day job thing doesn't work out.

This book isn't peddling any sort of get-rich-quick-schemes, but does share the stories of dozens of normal people making a real impact on their lives by running their own businesses in their spare time. It's sure to get your juices flowing on what kind of side-gig you could set up, or how to grow an existing biz idea into a bigger earner.

[Disclosure: I was given an advance copy for review.]
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Joe Saul-Sehy on January 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First of all, let's talk about what this book ISN'T: this isn't a book on how to set up your company. It isn't a book on how to create your product or improve your operation. If you're an entrepreneur now, in fact, you may want to skip this book altogether.

This book is for the person who's worried about their economic future working for someone else. What I liked was that I found over 100 different interviews with people who've made the jump to entrepreneurship. We read why they made the jump, their struggles and their success stories.

I also like Palmer's discussion on how to mesh your new side-gig with your current job. If you do it right, your side gig should enhance your current position, not detract from it. Hopefully your side gig will help you learn new skills be remain relevant at work. If not, you'll have a parachute at the end of your rope.

The tips included with the book are fantastic for the person launching their business. How will you decide what to do? It's covered. How will you market your product? It's covered. How will you network with other pros? It's covered. How will you set up the business so that it has a firm footing? Again, it's covered.

If you're thinking about starting a side gig and are wondering how and where you should "jump in," The Economy of You is a great spot to start. I like this better than The E Myth for people wondering where to begin. I would recommend the E Myth over this book for people already with some side-gig experience and wondering why it isn't working as expected.

(disclosure: I was given a review copy of the book)
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