Making Money Online: Learning from the Pros

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  This means that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click on a link and make a purchase.

Imagine being able to work from anywhere:  From the comfort of your own home, from the beach, from across the world while visiting family.  Imagine being able to attend your children’s school functions, take a walk during sunny afternoons, working from a coffee shop by you.  Is this possible?  The answer is simple:  Yes it is!  And you can achieve it if you follow the advice of those who have already accomplished it. I learned most of what I know about blogging and making money online through the Blogging Blastoff course!

How did I decide that this was the course for me? I had limited time and wanted practical advice, you know, the one that you can put to use right away. After much searching, trying, discarding, and trying again, I found Blogging Blastoff and I immediately knew that I wanted to enroll.  Blogging Blastoff is taught by Heather and Pete Reese from It’s a Lovely Life, and if you follow their blog, you’ll see that they have mastered the art of enjoying life while making money online.

Blogging Blastoff was created to help online entrepreneurs build the life that they want.  One of the features that I like the most about this course is that it clarifies that even though making money as a blogger is an ideal form of income creation for many online entrepreneurs, it is also necessary to understand that there is a healthy dose of planning, commitment, and hard-work that is necessary for any blog to be successful.

As a matter of fact, Heather and Pete Reese show us their step-by-step plan on building a blog, complete with recommendations on what it should look like, how to use social media, and the different ways to make money online.  They have it all broken down in 30-day lectures and assignments, which are super-easy to follow even if you have a full-time job.  I did it myself while I still had two jobs!

If you are interested in learning what online blogging entails, how to make money while blogging, and are serious about committing and planning, then this course is for you.

Life is full of opportunities to enjoy.  Blogging can help you create the life you want.  If you are interested in learning more about Blogging Blastoff, click here and take advantage of what Heather and Pete Reese can teach you!

Good luck!

Cup of coffee, next to computer with a writing pad and pen on top.
Learn to blog with Heather and Pete Reese @ Blogging Blastoff!

The Art of Being an Inspiring Leader: Three Important Takeaways.

What are the qualities of a true leader?  I get this question very often.  We all have our ideas of what a leader should be, but some of us, who have not only occupied positions of leadership but also have been led by different types of managers, have a pretty good idea of what good leadership should be like.  Most of us would agree that a true leader is a leader who is willing to inspire and teach others and feels no intimidation or fear in doing so.

I remember that one of the topics I was interested in when I was thinking about my dissertation was school leaders’ leadership style.  It had been my observation that the more inspiring, role-model-like a leader was, the more likely staff were to follow their lead and become leaders themselves.  I had observed this in my own practice in schools, school districts, and education departments.  The inspiring leader was a teacher, a guide, a role-model.  The inspiring leader was worthy of a following.

In the past couple of years, I was able to pick up a few tips that I hope will become a mantra in the world of management.  I was able to closely observe what an inspiring leader could build, and what an authoritarian leader could destroy.  I came up with three very important observations that clearly separate the authoritarian leader from the inspiring one.  Being and becoming an inspiring leader is an art that needs to be practiced!

Takeaway #1:  Do Not Confuse Micro-managers with Real Leaders

Micro-managers are the opposite of a team leader.  A real inspiring leader is inclusive, takes into account the opinions and thoughts of others, analyzes what they have to offer.  A micro-manager dictates how an organization is to conduct itself.  The micro-manager may present him/herself as an enlightened leader who comes in with the greatest intentions, but soon enough employees can perceive authoritarian traits.  Hitler, Mussolini, may have been “effective” leaders.  After all, everyone did what they asked, and they took great care in their operations, but they were very far from being true leaders.  Those ranked under them did what they were asked mostly out of fear.  Gandhi, for example, was a great leader, who not only created long-lasting change, but was also inclusive of all creeds and ideologies.

How can you distinguish a micro-manager from an inspiring, true leader?  If your supervisor/leader, makes you feel afraid or incompetent, you probably have an authoritarian leader.  If you can’t wait to tell your boss your latest idea for your business, then you probably have an inspiring leader.  If you feel like you can get “in trouble” for using your own judgement to do what’s best for a client, you probably have an authoritarian leader.  If you are confident every time someone leaves your business that you did the best possible for that person, then you probably have an inspiring leader.

Woman looking at a butterfly that landed on her camera.

Takeaway #2: The Word Teamwork Gets Misused

Team, teamwork, “there is no I in team,” are all very popular words and catch-phrases commonly used in today’s work environment.  I have heard these terms, a version of them, or a combination of them, be used and misused in more ways that I can explain.  I have seen authoritarian leaders use these terms and have absolutely no idea what these terms mean.  I once had a supervisor who praised her team but did not want or allow any of her team members to make any decisions without her approval. I had a supervisor, in the same department, who once berated me for “thinking” a certain way about a decision that needed to be made.  I have read emails from supervisors that did not have a clue they were being impolite, disrespectful, and rude to their employees.  Yet, I knew they referred to these same employees as “family” when talking to other people.  Some of these employees displayed symptoms of PTSD, and others experienced a version of Stockholm Syndrome.  This is no way to treat those who we consider family.  This is no way to treat anyone.

In addition, when employees are not at their best, they do not perform best.  Employees who feel valued, feel strong, and can carry the weight of the organization.  As humans, we have an innate need to belong, to be part of something, rather than just an underling.  As a leader, I had the pleasure of working with team members that gave their all for the organization.  They were considered team members, not merely “staff,” and I made sure that they were thanked, trained, welcomed, and felt like I had their back.  They never hesitated to stay late, come in on weekends, work their lunch, etc. because their input was invaluable.  They felt how important they were to the organization.

Three people standing by a booth at  Christmas Fair.

Takeaway #3:  True Inspiring Leaders Train People to Replace Them

One of the most important aspects of being a true team leader is to make sure that the team can move the organization forward in case of the leader’s absence.  There should be no difference between the leader and the team members in regard to taking over and moving projects along. 

A few years ago I ended up moving on from an organization earlier than I had anticipated.  My assistant was able to carry on all aspects of the operation and was able to take over all responsibilities of the job.  She was trusted by everyone as I had given her enough space to carry on the daily tasks, get to know the important stakeholders, have interactions with all the relevant stakeholders, make decisions, and take over responsibilities of my position.  She learned quickly and efficiently.  When I moved to a different position, she not only took over all responsibilities but also was quickly noticed by other employers who snatched her right away to a much better position within the organization.  This was a win-win situation.

Last weekend, I was proven correct one more time.  As some of you may know, I run a non-profit organization, The Bocha Project, and part of our responsibility is to fund-raise for other organizations around the world so that they can become independent and can build on their mission rather than have to worry about the deficits of their daily operations.  Last Sunday, we had a fundraising event to help two wonderful organizations (Sabores Especiales Madero and Casa de Papel).  Early that morning, due to a medical emergency, I realized that I would not be able to attend this event at all.  It was a huge disappointment for me, but I was certain that the event would go on without a hitch.  After all I have associated with partners who could carry on without me (shout out to Iliana and Ivana, and to Café Argentino Restaurant!). 

Two girls sitting by a table, one of them showing a shirt that says "The Bocha Project."

Hope this helps you grow as an employee, entrepreneur, and leader.

Wishing you peace and freedom!

Dr. Klimek.

Entrepreneurship Chronicles: Month One Reflections

“A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for,” John A. Shedd

I can’t believe that it has already been a month of working for myself.  To be perfectly honest, this past month just flew by.  I have been BUSY.  One of the most common fears (and should I say, widespread myths?) of an employee is that if they leave the employer and work for themselves, there is a chance that that steady flow of income will be gone.  I was not an exception to this type of fear.  After one month of working for myself I can say that this is not entirely untrue, but it is mostly blown out of proportion.  As a matter of fact, in the past month, one of the most challenging aspects of working for myself has been to schedule clients and make time for office hours. I simply feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything that I want to do. 

The biggest question though, as I was preparing to leave my life as an employee and preparing for my life as an entrepreneur was, how will it feel?  I envisioned feeling nervous, anxious about having taken this huge responsibility on my own and leaving the comfort of a secure paycheck.  Will I have enough clients?  Will my income decrease?  I am happy to say that those fears were unfounded.  My income revenue is strong, and I have been expanding on a daily basis.  Life is pretty good on this end.

As I revisit my decision every day, I can say that I have NO REGRETS.  I am the owner of my time.  My income is directly affected by my own efforts and capacity.  I have the immediate possibility of growth.  I dictate the rules and regulations of my business.  And most importantly, I PUT MY CLIENTS FIRST.  I was raised by the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you,” and my previous employer did not live by this rule.  I could no longer bear the agony of having to put my own judgement aside to deliver policies that were not conducive to the principles I live for:  Social Justice and Equity.

Today, I live the life I want to lead.  I am a true professional, a true educator, an advocate and coach for families of special needs.  I no longer feel like a highly paid pencil-pusher.  All I can say is: I wish I had made this decision earlier!

Girl sitting under a tree.

I Did It!

Exactly 2 weeks ago today, I left the world of working for someone to enter the ranks of those who work for themselves.  How does it feel?  Exciting! I think my husband summarized it best when he gave me this card on my last day of employment.  It read:

“Imagine Doing what you Love, and Loving what you do, being happy from the inside out, experiencing your dreams wide awake, being creative, being unique, being you—changing things the way you know they can be—Living the life you always imagined”  He nailed it. As I’m writing this post, this is exactly what it feels like.

My first day as an entrepreneur felt challenging but also exhilarating, full of possibilities.  I moved from a job that as my last days approached I found intolerable, to one that made me excited for Mondays.  What led me here?  Let’s just say that this has been years in the making.  I always had the entrepreneurial bug within me.  I think I inherited this from my dad, whom everyone called “buscavidas” (hustler), as I always had a hard time conforming and allowing the status quo and bureaucracy make things difficult for those people who need help. 

Then, a chain of events started to happen.  Let’s just say that it was as if the universe was telling me it was time to quit was I was doing in favor of what I was always meant to do.  I could say that it was a series of both, unfortunate, and fortunate events that got me there, but in essence, I left a world that felt fake, uncaring, and every-man-for-himself type of world, where everyone spends and unreasonable amount of time covering their butts, for one where not only my butt, but my heart and soul are exposed for everyone to see.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

I decided that from now on I will utilize this platform so that everyone out there can understand and realize that when they think they don’t have a choice, what they are really referring to is that they don’t like the choices they have, and they choose the one at hand because it is the safest, rather than expose themselves and choose what’s right. 

There is always a choice!

work space
My new Work Space!