In November 2015, Alex Fasulo had been living in New York City for about a month. One morning, she left her apartment in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, got on the subway and headed to her public relations job. After getting off the subway, she just kept walking.
“The day I quit my job, I felt a funny sense of rebellious freedom that I never felt in my life because I hated that job so much,” Fasulo, now 25, tells CNBC Make It.
She went to four museums that day. But soon the reality of what she had done — and a sense of panic — set in.
“I felt, ‘Oh my gosh, here I am adulting, and I can’t do it.'” It was the fear of failure, she says.
That night, Fasulo logged onto her account on the freelance platform Fiverr. In January 2015, while Fasulo was living in Albany, New York and working at the New York State Assembly fresh out of college, she had signed up for the platform. Fasulo’s mom told her about the site and Fasulo thought it would be a cool way to earn a little extra cash for new clothes or dining out. She offered editing services for articles and blog posts, priced at $5 a pop. At the time, Fasulo devoted only one to two hours a week to her side hustle, bringing in around $100 to $200 per month.
But now after quitting her job, Fasulo didn't just want some extra cash; she needed money to live.
So Fasulo listed nine new $5 services, including press-release writing, which she had experience with from her previous job. She figured why not give it a shot.
The next morning, Fasulo logged on to her account and was utterly shocked at what she saw. It was literal overnight success. The press-release gig took off. She woke up to seven, eight, nine orders rolling in at a time.
“The next morning, seeing that, I was elated,” Fasulo says. “I remember calling my mom, and I was so happy. And I still remember the first day that came when I made $100 in one day from writing, I think I cried. I couldn’t believe that something like that could happen for me, where I could work from home and make my own schedule, and still make that kind of money. And it happened so quick.”
One month later, Fasulo was making enough money from Fiverr to cover her rent and living expenses.
In February of 2016, "I remember actually still seeing the number 35, 'you have 35 orders, for my writing,’" Fasulo says. “And I remember it happened so fast, that I almost wasn’t equipped with the time management skills yet. I was still young and just adjusting to this new lifestyle. So I remember kind of being almost a little freaked by it.”