Caroline Hannay had never heard the words “affiliate marketing” before September of 2022. 

Her first introduction was seeing a mom talking about it on Instagram one day…

But she didn’t think much of it other than, “eh, probably another internet scam.” 

At the time, Caroline was 7 months pregnant with her second son and finishing up her master’s degree in mental health counseling. 

She had a LOT going on with work, school and her growing family…

But she also had a feeling that something BIG was about to happen. 

Flash forward six months later, and Caroline has earned more than a half-million dollars from her new online business. (No we do not guarantee results, and these results are strictly unique to Caroline and her story.)

Her success has been almost unbelievable – especially to her.

But it hasn’t come without some criticism…

  • “You shouldn’t just quit your job!”
  • “What about your clients?” 
  • “Your work is really important!” 

It begs the question:

How many other counselors—as well as teachers, healthcare workers, police officers, and other frontline, essential workers—are faced with this same dilemma? 

How many people are tired of working crazy hours for low pay and ever-shrinking benefits…but feel guilty knowing their work IS important and serves a bigger purpose?

Caroline loved her job and found fulfillment in helping people…

But she couldn’t shake the feeling that raising her family was just as important.

So how DO you reconcile leaving an “important” job for a more lucrative, flexible and creative one? 

In Caroline’s case, it’s all about what you DO with your newfound skills and resources. 

Starting Fresh

Before starting her online business, Caroline was NOT a “social media person.” 

She didn’t even have a TikTok account before the fall of ’22.

Her first few videos were just “practice ones” to try out the app and see what would happen. 

Much to her surprise, when she checked her account a week later, there were VIEWS!

People had WATCHED! 

And despite her seemingly natural “I’ve got this” exterior, Caroline was just as scared to talk on camera, post content, and put her true self out there as so many others who are just getting started with their online business. 

In fact, she said, “I almost didn’t start because of my own negative self-talk, being self-critical about how I looked, my voice, any mistakes I made.”


Putting yourself “out there” for the world to see on the Internet to see is daunting, and it’s not for everyone. 

But Caroline soon learned that getting over her fear of being judged by strangers was well worth the effort. 

And once she viewed online digital marketing as a business opportunity, she made a mental shift towards doing everything she could to be successful.

Namely, showing her true colors in her content. 

“I gotta be the real Caroline! I’m wild and crazy and animated. I show myself in my videos, the good and the bad. People connect with the actual human on the other end of the phone.” 

Creative outlet

Quick question: How many children do you know that are creative?

Probably ALL of them. 

Kids’ innate curiosity and desire to learn and figure out new things is just part of who they are.

But as for adults, well, creativity is regularly “taught out” of us. 

In fact, our education system is built to produce workers, not thinkers.

Caroline shared this exact sentiment – 

“I feel like I’m a creative person, but it’s been locked away. It was sucked out of me when I went to college, so focused on school, school, school.” 

As an online business owner and content creator, she now gets to let her creativity shine: 

“I love making videos! It’s my favorite part of the whole process.”

REMEMBER! Making significant, life-changing income rarely happens this quickly, and there are NO guarantees that anyone will make even $1 by learning skills or purchasing a course. 

But it can happen, and Caroline is living proof!

So what else has changed since she began her journey into digital marketing?   

“When I say this has changed my life, I’m not referring to the financial side of things. 

I feel like a different person. 

My self-confidence is soaring, and not in a cocky way. 

My self-esteem is there.

To be able to understand the different ways that there are to make money online, to put it into practice, to see it become successful, and then turn around and mentor others, and see them be successful…

I just feel on top of the world with all that!”

If NOTHING else, building an online business has given Caroline OPTIONS in how to spend her time. 

Now she can contribute to her former professional field in new and different ways. 

“What you can do when you have time freedom is support the cause in other ways, either through volunteering or donating time or money.”

One idea she’s toying with is to create an online community dedicated to serving the mental health and substance use community in new ways. 

She and her husband have also recently purchased their dream home and have hopes of becoming foster parents in the future…

Which will be infinitely easier with her income and flexibility. 

The biggest shift for Caroline over the past six months is simply that her mind is now open to every possibility.

So if you are stuck in a job (no matter how important!) and are interested in what an online business could do for you, take note:

  1. Remember your “why” for starting in the first place. What’s driving you? What will keep you motivated to push through during the difficult times? What are you really working for?

  2. Educate yourself on the possibilities of what’s out there! Digital or affiliate marketing is just one of the many ways to earn income online. You might need to get some additional training just like you would with any other new venture, activity or career.

  3. Set your fears and nerves aside, and just show up as yourself. Consistently. Every day. 

At the end of the day, the only person who can choose to stay at or leave a job is you. 

That also means, the only person who can choose to build an online business (or not) is you!

Get crystal clear on what you value, and the path will be revealed just like it was for Caroline.

To hear her full interview, listen to the Wake Up Legendary show with Dave Sharpe. Catch fresh interviews every Monday through Friday at 10am eastern time on Facebook. And, be sure to hit “subscribe” on your favorite podcast platform so you never miss an episode! 

As always, Be Legendary.