How I Went From Boring Corporate Job To Blissful Boss In Less Than 1 Year

Or, how I quit my corporate job in 2015 at the age of 27 with $7,000 in my bank account, NO clue how to start an online business or make money online and had only 3 months to figure it out until I’d run out of savings.

And figure it out, I did. Read on…

To tell you my whole story, I’d probably have to go back a few years.

It started in college when I studied abroad in Seoul, South Korea. I took a few technology entrepreneurship and international management classes. Inspired by one of my professors, I started a blog.

My goal was to interview entrepreneurs. It quickly turned into a lifestyle blog. I was never able to really figure out how to monetize my efforts though.

So, it was more of a hobby. Regardless, it was back then, when my softly blossoming entrepreneur buds started to originate from.

Fast forward a few years and I found myself in a corporate job as an operations manager at an international corporation.

Okay, it wasn’t my awesome peeps that I worked alongside with that made my corporate job miserable.

Cornelia and fellow AON employees, 2015

Instead, it was the sheer monotony of it.

The fact that I did not use anything at all that I studied and was passionate in (diplomacy and sociology) or, my other creative talents.

You see, I grew up playing the violin professionally all throughout high school.

Cornelia Pauline, 2010

Not only that, I graduated from a special Arts high school before moving to the U.S. to study.

I always thought that there was more to life.

I did not want to get stuck in a corporate job, pretty much having the same routine day in, day out.

I did not want someone else to be in control over my own time.

To me, being the boss of your own time means freedom.

Life is life, though. Plans don’t always work out.

There comes a time when it’s not just about those plans. It’s about your future and it’s about what purpose you decide your life will have (and has).

In other words, how do you want to spend your time?

For me, I knew I wanted to build a legacy.

I wanted to inspire people and wanted to help them break through form the constraints they impose upon themselves and live a life on their terms.

In other words and the only way you can do that is by figuring out what SKILLS and SKILL-SETS you already have (or that you’d love to develop), what innate talents/strengths and figure out how to package them in a way that they become valuable to the overall economy.

Understanding that and figuring that out for yourself will result in – you’ve guessed it, income.

Which, in turn, means you will never have to send out that resume again – hoping someone else will choose you and turn your life around.


Make the choice today to turn your life around.

It all comes down to that, a choice. And that is what I did.

I decided.

So, I started scouting out freelancer websites upon a friend’s recommendation.

My favorite site that I used to experiment with the kind of value I could add to the economy and other businesses was Fiverr.

From when I first used it, it has changed and developed quite a lot.

However, throughout the next six months, I was able to replace the monthly income of my corporate job completely with the kind of money I earned from doing gigs on Fiverr.

First success, right?!

Side note: Yes, I do have a course on Fiverr and even wrote a book on the hacks I used to get those kinds of results. You can find out more about that here:

Now, once you get to a certain point, you quickly realize that you need to leave the mothership. It truly felt like that.

Though, I had hit a wall.

I realized that if I really wanted to start growing a successful business (and not only be a freelancer, which is totally fine if this is what you want. it all depends on what you want), I needed to start to figure out how to position myself outside of Fiverr.

So, that’s what I did next.

Once you start branding yourself and positioning yourself correctly, it is pretty straight-forward how to get new business.

And after a ton of trial and error throughout the next few months, I developed a system for this as well.

Hence, I wanted to share it with other aspiring or beginning business owners and entrepreneurs that still struggled with that stage ;). Born was CONNECT, Facebook Networking For Entrepreneurs.

Throughout the beginning and even nowadays, I get about 90% of my clients from being active on Facebook, without spending any money on paid advertising.

The next success!

Don’t get me wrong.

There was a LOT of trial and error involved. There still is. That never stops.

I had people tell me that I was, for example, crazy for ever offering services on Fiverr.

Though the thing is that if you have never before made real money online before to where you can imagine it completely replacing your regular ‘job income’, it’s hard to find the inner attitude and mentality to get and close new clients.

All in all, you have to figure out what works for you.

Though,most beginning business owners and entrepreneurs are either (or both):

(1) Sabotaging themselves because they do not think they have what it takes to live the laptop lifestyle so to speak.

I was the same.

Not only that, I did not know what to sell. Fiverr helped me figure this out without, for example, hiring an online business coach that would have charged me (rightly so) a few thousand dollars a month.

At that point, I was not ready to make that kind of investment.

Maybe I would have achieved my diverse small successes much faster if I had invested in a coach or program though.

What can I say? I can be a bit stubborn at times and want to figure things out on my own.

Nowadays, I’ve realized to not hold on and let go of my stubbornness much sooner. Thanks goodness ;).

(2) Overthinking things. 

You can figure everything out.

Just take it one new information at a time.


No one has it all figured out at any given step in their journey.

That’s part of the mystery of life ;).

(3) Too slow when it comes to pivoting.

Yes, there is a difference between following every hottest new shiny object AND pivoting if something is truly not working.

I believe that every single person out there (and if you’re reading this you are certainly one of them), can create the life for themselves and their families that they always dreamed of.

You just got to take a chance on yourself.

Try something.

If it does not feel right after you gave it your best shot, pivot and try something else.

Eventually, you’ll get there.

And some things which might be not right for you anymore tomorrow, are important and true and right in this very moment for you.

It is all an experience you have to go through to grow.

Don’t be afraid of trying.

Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there.

After all, what do you have to loose?

You can always go get another job.

If you have a job right now, you can skip going out with friends for Happy Hour and dedicate some hours during the week to start taking action towards your dreams.

Life can change A LOT in one year.

Heck, you CAN change your entire life in just 12 months!

Think about that.

When I first started, I still worked from a cubicle in an office doing the same thing every day.

12 months later, I developed into a business owner, traveled around the world with my husband and two dogs while loving the work I do for my students and awesome clients and intentionally, building my online empire.


Surprise yourself.

You’ve got this!

Oh and don’t forget to spread the love and share this article on your social media if you’ve liked it <3.

Let’s do this!

~ Cornelia Pauline

P.s. For daily hands-on online business and digital marketing tips, be sure to join my free Facebook Group:

P.s.s. You might also enjoy this related article of mine:

10 Simple Ways To Create Content That Breeds Connection – Aka Engaging Content

Writing Engaging Content Is the Swiss Army Knife of Content Marketing.

If you are one of those online business owners who continues to produce content but no one is noticing it, then your content might suck.

I know, I know, that sounds harsh.

But hear me out on this and I’m going to make sure to make this blog post worth your while ;).

However, I needed to say it.

So many entrepreneurs and business owners continuously ask me how to make their content more engaging.

That is why I decided, to put together my 10 BEST WAYS to create content that breeds connection.

Without further ado, here they are:


(1) The headline needs to be an attention grabber.

Your content needs to be attention grabbing.

Especially, the first headline.

You can have the best piece of content but if your first few lines at the beginning of the content are not engaging and grabbing the attention of your reader, no one is going to read the rest.

In case you would like to learn a bit more on how you can improve your content headlines, Copyblogger has a great article full of tips here:

Afterwards, continue to ask yourself – always – if your content:

Would I stop doing what I was doing and click on this post?

Does it communicate the right value to the right kinds of people? 

Does my content serve a clear purpose?

If you make sure you can answer all of these three questions with a big, “YES!” before publishing your next content piece, you are one more step in the right direction of making your content work for you.


(2) Talk TO them.

Have you ever noticed how much content out there just talks AT us instead of TO us?

There is a major difference right there.

Having the writer of a piece of content talk AT me, almost makes me feel like being back in college.

Though, not only that, it also is a bit predictable.

The writer is playing it safe.

How to change that?

Well, you can do it like I am doing it right now. I’m literally imagining you, sitting right across from me, sipping on an Espresso as well (or whatever other type of coffee drink you prefer) while I am having this CONVERSATION with you about content.

I am talking TO you and not at you.

See the difference?

You can find more tips on this particular point, in this article:

The 10 Golden Rules For Creating Ridiculously Good Content Online.


(3) Imperfections are endearing.

Imperfection makes you human.

People can relate to that.

Don’t think you have to appear as if you always have it together.

That actually turns people off.

Instead, work on sharing sometimes the not-so-nice things about your business or day that might be happening to you.

Careful though, you never want to sound negative, whinie or complain. This is just to share a glimpse into your life that might not be all perfect.

Think about any influencer out there that you know and how they do the same?

If it is about missing a flight to get to a conference, having a car tire blow up, a laptop stops working, etc.

This is what makes life, life.

People want to feel this from you so they can relate to your digital persona.


(4) Inject your content with heart.

People can tell if you’re being fake.

They can’t always pinpoint exactly how you might be fake but your audience has an innate sense for it.

The same goes for authenticity and vulnerability.

Your audience can feel it.

Great content has almost like a beating, living heart to it.

An emotion.

The more you improve your skills by writing content daily, the better you get at faster crafting that emotional connection to your audience and getting them to react.


(5) Hello story structure!

You’ve probably heard that every good story that has ever been written has:

A beginning.

A middle.

And an end.

There’s no way around it.

It’s as natural of a progression as life itself is with birth, life and death.

As a result and even, if you decide to break any other rule out there.

You want to follow this one rule at least.

Every piece of content (no matter how long or short) should have a killer intro, a great and catchy body and a smart conclusion.

Start writing ;).



(6) Entertain.

Whenever I write content, I constantly ask myself how to make this more ‘different‘.

How to even make it a bit weird?

Not in a weird sense ;).

But, in a way that makes people stop and get curious.

I like to inspire curiosity through my work online and on different media platforms.

I encourage you to do the same.

There is such a pure joy in entertaining a person through the kind of content you create.

Oh, and don’t think it has to be crazy or over-the-top.

It can be very subtle.

In the way, you structure your sentences (just like I am doing here to get a point across ^^).

Or, in the way you connect an image with your text.

How you switch off locations for your video or try and dance before going on a Facebook Live.

Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to be bold and daring.


(7) Look at the numbers.

Now this one’s going to be a hard one to swallow if you see yourself as a total creative (a bit like me *I admit it*).

But – chances are – that if you’re reading this blog article right now, you are in the content creation business for a reason.

You are either looking to increase your visibility for yourself or for your business online.

You seek to establish yourself as an expert.

You want to share your wealth of knowledge and serve your audience at a larger scale.

Whatever it is, understand that you have to still look at the numbers.

Now, what do I really mean by that?

I am referring to looking at statistics.

For example, if you run a Facebook Group (like I do and you can request free access to join mine here), you want to regularly (I’d recommend even daily at the beginning) to look at ‘GROUP INSIGHTS’.


There, you will find when and on what days your audience engages with your posts the most.

You can find similar analytics and data insight options for all kinds of different other social media distribution channels.

The numbers will teach you what often times your ego wont allow you to accept.

That some posts simply always perform better with your audience than others.

Dissect what works.

Do more of that and you’re going to do just fine.


(8) Stop looking for answers.

There are so many entrepreneurs, business owners and aspiring influencers out there who are trying to get information from other influencers and successful business owners and entrepreneurs about what type of content distribution works for them.

I say, screw that!

Yes, of course, analyze your heroes and sheroes and see, if you can’t find commonalities between the work that they put out there, specifically in terms of the content they publish.

However, at one point, you just have to jump out of the airplane and trust that your parachute will open.

Because, it will!

As long as you follow all of my other steps in this article, you are going to be fine.

At one point, you just have to do it and you can not wait for anyone else to do it for you.

You are in control of how you are being perceived online.

A big part of how you are being perceived online is through the content you produce on a regular basis.

Stop waiting and trying to get answers from coaches, influencers, etc. about when and how and what you should post.

I’ve always been a fan of, “Just do it.”

{Shoedog, anyone?!}


(9) The over-thinker.

You are still with me at this point.

However, a tiny part at the left corner of your heart still whispers to you,

“I just don’t know what to write about most of the time!”

Well, dear reader, at this point I recommend visiting the content sourcing platform,

You can search for any keyword you like.

For example, I love looking for “news,” “small business,” “entrepreneurship,” “marketing,” and a few more.

Depending on your industry, these will vary a bunch.

What is going to stay the same is that you now have access to a database that will show you the most trending and engaging topics on the world wide web as of that moment you hit enter on that search term.

Have fun and don’t forget to create and not just consume.


(10) Serve on a massive level.

Don’t just half-ass it.

Don’t just have that attitude that things are just going to come to you.

Sure, the law of attraction is important.

However, it is not if you let the control over your life go to that believe.

You are the creator of your life.

Just as you are the creator of your content.

Put your whole heart into your content.

Serve people on a massive level that they have never seen from you before.

Then, do it again.

And again.

That’s the kind of attitude I am talking about.


If you are ready to crank up that content game say, “HECK YES!” in the comments down below and let’s disrupt the digital world.