Today we’d like to introduce you to Kim Eley.
Hi Kim, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I graduated from college with a degree in English, so I pursued a career in IT! While I jokingly shared my choice, candidly, I felt compelled to accept a job as a computer technician. When I couldn’t find a job as a writer after graduation, I settled so I could pay my bills. I accepted what I assumed was my destiny:
-Suck it up, buttercup.
-Put my head down.
-Work like hell, whether I liked what I did or not.
During my nearly twenty years in IT, with moderate success, I climbed from computer technician to becoming project manager. My paycheck was good, I liked my coworkers, and I loved my small team of employees. Any yearning for more was numbed by comfortable repetition. And so it went on.
Then, in 2014, we had layoffs. My position was spared, but most of my team members were laid off. It was shocking because it was unexpected. I had grown close to my team and had mentored several of them. Their leaving was upsetting. Jolted from my complacency, I realized I had been sleepwalking through my life. I had to break my mindset. It was the greatest obstacle I had ever faced. I had to leave my comfort zone—it stung me. But also scared the crap out of me.
I wrote and self-published a book to process my feelings and figure out my next steps. After self-publishing, my book in 2016, my experience turned me inside out. While interviewing the people featured in my book, I started recognizing the spark I saw in them in myself. The experience of writing my book was cathartic. That’s when I realized a terrifying and thrilling truth: there was no way I could continue to work in a job that fed my bank account but drained my soul.
I realized my real passion was writing, sharing stories, and publishing books. I knew I wanted to change careers, but how? Preparing for my transition, I turned once more to books. I read books about how books are published. With this knowledge, plus my experience from self-publishing my book, I was ready to start. I was still afraid, however. Who would work with an inexperienced publisher?
My chance arrived when a one of a kind woman with whom I consulted shared that she always wanted to write her book but never knew how to start. We formed a partnership. I charged her a tiny amount, and she and I learned together as we wrote and published her book. She took a chance on me and became my first client. There was no way I was going to let her down.
When my first client’s book was published, she was delighted. She shared our achievement with her many friends and colleagues, helping me create my reputation. I put in many hours of hard work and was often frustrated. After working in publishing as a side hustle for two years, I was ready to make the leap and become a full-time publisher.
Turning away from an established career and steady paycheck was seriously scary. Six years later, as I enjoy a career my team and I have built with love and care from scratch, I know there is no way I could love doing anything else but what I do now.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been fairly smooth?
Not smooth. For the first six months, I was scammed by a supposed mentor and also worked with the client from hell.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I stand apart because I wear two hats—writing coach and publisher. As a writing coach and publishing consultant, I give clients six steps to make their books a reality. As a result, I can take clients from ideas to published books. Specializing in personal development books and thoughtful children’s books is the mission of my company, KWE Publishing; the common thread of both is to help people see what’s possible and shift to a more enjoyable, fulfilled life. In addition, I have a wonderful partnership with Morgan James Publishing, an NYC-based publisher! I’m grateful to have an imprint with Morgan James and also to serve as their kid’s publisher.
Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc.?
Martha Beck, Finding Your Own North Star Jenna Kutcher’s podcast Goal Digger, The Four Agreements.
- Website: www.kwepub.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kwepub
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCogc6vvfGu535le4pL_5wxA