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From Corporate Life to Online Freedom: How One Millennial Woman Overcame Self-Doubt and Built a Remote Empire

Today, we’re sitting down with our student Courtney Davis, Certified Online Business Manager and Founder of Novus Collective! Originally from Boonville, Missouri, Courtney gives us a glimpse into her girl boss journey...

Ever wondered what it takes to ditch the cubicle and become a full-time girl boss? Our Student Spotlight Series interviews our students who have made the transition from 9-5 to remote CEOs! 

From what inspired them to start their own business, their favorite podcasts, go-to morning routine, advice to aspiring girl bosses, and so much more! 

Today, we’re sitting down with our student Courtney Davis, Founder & CEO of Novus Collective! Originally from Boonville, Missouri, Courtney gives us a glimpse into her girl boss journey…

Q: What type of online business do you own and what services do you offer?

I am a Certified Online Business Manager and Founder of Novus Collective, an online business management agency. I help remote CEOs and entrepreneurs move back into the visionary role of their business by taking them out of the day-to-day operations. 

I help implement systems and processes, manage projects and teams, run and manage launches, as well as hire and onboard team members!

Q: What inspired you to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy?

I worked for an online company a year or two prior to taking the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy courses, but certain life circumstances forced me to leave that job and go back to the corporate world. Going from an online tech startup to a corporate insurance job was quite the change. I spent the better part of a year applying to remote jobs with no luck. 

“I finally decided that I wasn’t going to wait around for somebody to hire me and recognize my worth and talent.” 

So, I decided to figure it out by myself and start my own business. I began looking for courses to help me learn the fundamentals of starting an online business and that’s how I found the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy!

Q: How have the courses helped you to become an online business owner?

The Design Skills Course, The Tech Skills Course, and The Work Online and Travel The World Course were extremely instrumental in helping me develop my business. I had taken courses and worked with coaches in the past, but so much of what I was taught was just “fluff” and not really helping me. 

I have a very “Type A” personality and need specific steps that I can walk away with and implement. With Bucketlist Bombshells, I always walked away with specific steps to set up my business, learned and implemented a new skill, and packaged it all up ready to go. The Bucketlist Bombshells Academy was my saving grace!

Q: What type of job were you working in prior to running your own online business?

I was working as an executive assistant at an insurance brokerage firm in Kansas City, Missouri. Prior to that, I worked in business development for an online tech startup based out of San Francisco, California.

Q: How long did it take you to ditch your 9-5, and how much time did you dedicate in order to make it happen?

Less than six months! In June of 2017, I started taking the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy courses! After work each day, I would spend an hour or two on them. I tried to set a realistic goal for myself to tackle at least one lesson every evening, however, I would often get so excited about what I was learning that I’d work on them into the evening! After I finished the courses and built my website in September of 2017, I started marketing myself to clients while still working my 9-5. 

After getting a little more comfortable with my skills, I decided to pursue my online business as a full-time opportunity in November of 2017. I gave myself a deadline that whether I was ready or not, I was going to quit my 9-5 job by January 1, 2018. I busted my butt trying to land clients, and on December 8, 2017, I put in my two weeks’ notice at my 9-5. 

“A little over a week before my goal date, I officially walked out of the corporate world with contracts landed earning me more than my 9-5!”

Q: How long was it until you landed your first client online?

I landed my first client within two weeks of really networking and putting myself out there in Facebook groups and emailing family and friends. 

“Networking is key! Talk to anyone and everyone about what you do. You never know who they know or what support they may need!”

Q: What has been your biggest setback, and how did you overcome it?

The biggest setback I ran into was myself! I really struggled with imposter syndrome when I started my business. I felt like a fraud and often thought, “Who is going to believe and pay this 25-year-old girl running her own business?” When I finally adjusted my mindset and believed in myself, so did everyone else. 

One of my biggest pieces of advice is to get out of your own head. You are completely capable of accomplishing anything and the right people will support you along the way, including yourself!

Q: What was the final push in your story to get you to ditch that 9-5 job?

I hadn’t taken a vacation in almost a year and I was going a little stir-crazy. I wanted to go camping and hiking in Colorado, but I only had a small amount of vacation time left. So, I drove 13 hours straight to Colorado and slept in my car. 

I woke up three hours later to get to the trailhead I wanted to hike so I could summit before afternoon. I came down from my hike, turned around, and drove 13 hours all the way back! I was absolutely exhausted. I knew I had to make a change, and the only person that was going to be able to make that happen was myself.

“I didn’t want to live to work anymore. I wanted to work to live!” 

Q: Tell us what a “day in the life” looks like for you now that you’re running your own online business!

I thrive off of a routine and a schedule! I’m normally sitting down at my desk every day by 9 a.m. The beauty of it is that if there are days when I’m just not feeling it and I’m tired, I can give myself the morning to sleep in, go to yoga, or have a nice breakfast. 

I always address emails and Slack messages first before really diving into work. I also try to do one thing for my business before diving into client work so I have a sense of accomplishment for myself!

Q: What’s the most challenging part about running your online business?

My biggest challenge has been knowing when to slow down and say no. I was an athlete my entire life, so I have this really strong internal competition with myself. It’s good for some things, but it bit me in the butt because in this industry, my output determines my input. So, I said yes to everything that walked in the door and took on way too much and burnt myself out. I lost my passion and motivation and was feeling uninspired! 

Things started slipping through the cracks and I realized I had to make a shift. Learning how to say no, setting boundaries, and walking away from projects that weren’t the best fit helped me grow my business and made me feel more confident in myself. 

“The more I said no, the more empowered I felt because I was respecting the boundaries I had set for myself.” 

Q: How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online business?

There are days when I think, “What the heck did I get myself into? This is so hard. It would be so much easier to just go back to a normal job.” During those moments, I force myself to pause, take a breath, and really think about how I felt when I quit my 9-5 and how hard I’ve worked to get myself where I’m at now. Give yourself some grace and take a day off every once in a while. 

“If you’re not taking care of yourself, then you’re not going to be at your best for your clients.”

Q: What is your process for finding and landing clients online? 

Networking, relationship building, and referrals are key! Providing genuine, authentic value and showing that you are invested in other people speaks volumes to your character. Clients are entrusting you with their businesses, so they must trust you as a person. Give value without always expecting something in return, take care of your clients and yourself, offer a killer referral program, and show up every single day! 

“The more you show up, the more people will start to recognize you and what you have to offer.” 

Q: What do you love most about the work you do and the clients you work with?

I learn something new every single day! I get to work with amazing people with incredible talent and am always learning a new skill, platform, or industry trend. I never feel stagnant.

Q: What’s the best part about being your own boss?

I have the ability to structure my day how I need to. If I’m not feeling it and need to recharge, I can honor that and allow myself the space and time to do so! The naps are pretty great, too! 😉

Q: What is your favorite destination to work remotely from?

I love Leysin, Switzerland! It’s a quiet village in the Alps and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for some fresh mountain air! When I’m working in Florida, I like to go to Black Bear Bread Co. in Santa Rosa Beach.

Q: What is one travel item you can’t live without when you’re working and traveling?

Headphones! I have to be able to get in the zone when I’m working!

Q: What’s your go-to favorite podcast that you’d recommend to other girl bosses?

I really love the Breakthrough Brand Podcast hosted by Elizabeth McCravy. She’s so down-to-earth and relatable. I enjoy learning how she continues to run and grow her business!

Q: What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?

Don’t let the fear of failing or the fear of what other people will think hold you back! You can always go back to a 9-5 if you really need to.

“Don’t go through life wondering how it could have been if you had just taken a leap of faith and believed in yourself!”

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Meet The Bucketlist Bombshells

Hey! We're Cassie & Shay - we're obsessed with helping millennial women build an online service-based business giving them the freedom to travel the world!

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hi there!

We’re Cassie & Shay
– we’re obsessed with helping millennial women build an online service-based business giving them the freedom to travel the world!

Free Masterclass

3 Steps To Build A Wildly Successful Service-Based Online Business

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Today, we’re sitting down with our student Courtney Davis, Certified Online Business Manager and Founder of Novus Collective! Originally from Boonville, Missouri, Courtney gives us a glimpse into her girl boss journey...

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