Danielle Hu is an NYC corporate escapee and Forbes-featured business mentor with a community of over 100K+ side hustlers, creatives, and entrepreneurs. She is the host of The Wanderlover Podcast, and through her courses and coaching, helps ambitious individuals start and scale profitable online brands. Danielle is also the Co-Founder of ANDA, an ocean-inspired jewelry line.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us today. Please introduce yourself to our readers. They want to know you, some of the background story to bring some context to your interview.
Danielle Hu: Hi everyone! My name is Danielle, Founder of The Wanderlover and Host of The Wanderlover Podcast. I am an NYC Wall Street escapee who has traveled the world full-time for the past 4 years, working on my online business from wherever there is wi-fi. I am a Myers-Briggs personality ENFP (The Idealist), although when I was working in finance I was an ESTJ (The Director), Gemini-Cancer cusp, and Generator by Human Design.
Growing up, I checked off all the boxes that I thought would make me happy: graduate from an Ivy League university, live in New York City, get a prestigious job in finance for a big bank, but after a few months I was already looking for something more. I knew I wanted the freedom to be my own boss and work from anywhere, so I started pursuing entrepreneurship during my lunch breaks, after work, and on weekends. Starting the path of content creation and coaching has changed my life and now I help others build influential and profitable brands online.
You are a successful entrepreneur, so we’d like your viewpoint, do you believe entrepreneurs are born or made? Explain.
Danielle Hu: I truly believe entrepreneurs are made, through surrounding yourself with the right people, learning from the right mentors, and changing your mindset to be set up for entrepreneurial success. The same goes for any profession: teacher, doctor, engineer, dancer, athlete. It can all be done, successfully, by anyone, if they want it bad enough. The first step is changing your subconscious belief from I can’t to I can. The next is taking massive action.
If you were asked to describe yourself as an entrepreneur in a few words, what would you say?
Danielle Hu: Radically authentic, creative, inspirational, and aspirational. When I was working in corporate, I had a select few people who were traveling the world building their online brands that made me think “If they can do it, I can too.” My mission is to inspire others to think outside the box and realize what they’re fully capable of achieving. If you follow me on Instagram or listen to my podcast, you’ll see I hold nothing back from my audience. I am in a constant flow of sharing, creating, and helping. Being in The Wanderlover Community is being expanded by what is possible.
Tell us about what your company does and how did it change over the years?
Danielle Hu: The Wanderlover started as a travel blog, to share my travels around the world. It has grown to so much more than a blog, especially since the pandemic. Today, we help new and aspiring coaches and creatives start their online businesses, optimize their Marketing and growth, and turn their audience into paying clients. By expanding into social media and online business coaching, so many of my clients and students have also been able to quit their corporate jobs, replace their corporate incomes, and travel full-time. You don’t have to have it all figured out to start, done is better than perfect.
Thank you for all that. Now for the main focus of this interview. With close to 11.000 new businesses registered daily in the US, what must an entrepreneur assume when starting a business?
Danielle Hu: You must be committed for the long run. In the beginning, there are going to be things you do wrong, things you don’t know. Entrepreneurship is constant and never-ending learning. If you fail a bunch of times as you’re just starting, or even if your first few ventures fail, you have to realize that it’s never an overnight success. You can’t see the picture when you’re in the frame, but those who are a few steps ahead of you can see the frame you are in and help you out! So be humble, work hard, and seek help when needed.
Did you make any wrong assumptions before starting a business that you ended up paying dearly for?
Danielle Hu: I spent a lot of time on things that I thought were important in the beginning, but in retrospect, I could have focused more on activities that would move my business forward faster. For example, most of my time in the first few months was working IN my business instead of ON. I focused a lot on writing blog posts, posting on Instagram, copywriting on my website, but very few items focused around growth, Marketing, and big vision. These are all lessons I’m grateful to have learned over time through experience!
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what advice would you give yourself and why? Explain
Danielle Hu: Done is better than perfect! I think it took me a while before I started because I was unsure and I didn’t feel ready. You will never feel ready, and it’s ok to take messy, imperfect action. I wish I had started pursuing entrepreneurship or building my brand in college, and I realize now that the only person who held me back was myself.
What is the worst advice you received regarding running a business and what lesson would you like others to learn from your experience?
Danielle Hu: Don’t take advice from anyone whose shoes you wouldn’t want to be in. When I was first sharing my ideas of becoming an entrepreneur with my coworkers, many people doubted me and projected their fears onto my dreams. I received so much unsolicited advice from people who had no idea how to run businesses, who had no brand of their own, and now it’s so clear to me that had I listened to what they said, I would have continued on the corporate path.
In your opinion, how has COVID-19 changed what entrepreneurs should assume before starting a business? What hasn’t changed?
Danielle Hu: COVID-19 has proved how the remote lifestyle is possible, and how there are abundant opportunities online for starting your own business. So many people have done it and are doing it, and you are too. I started an ocean-inspired jewelry line with my best friend in the middle of the pandemic, and it just proves how it can be done even without the background or experience. Whether you can or cannot, you are correct.
What is a common myth about entrepreneurship that aspiring entrepreneurs and would-be business owners believe in? What advice would you give them?
Danielle Hu: A common myth is that you need a completely new invention to be successful, that you don’t have what it takes to get started. This results in paralysis by analysis and having so many ideas you don’t know which one to choose. My advice is to seek out a community of like-minded individuals who help you get started, for you to bounce ideas off of, and hold you accountable. You can tune in to The Wanderlover Podcast for work from anywhere business tips, or join The Wanderlover Community on Facebook!
What traits, qualities, and assumptions do you believe are most important to have before starting a business?
Danielle Hu: Ambition, grit, resilience, and the ability to ask for help.
How can aspiring leaders prepare themselves for the future challenges of entrepreneurship? Are there any books, websites, or even movies to learn from?
Danielle Hu: As the world is constantly evolving, it’s important to continue learning from industry and thought leaders. Tune in to podcasts, read books from the masterminds of the world, and continue surrounding yourself with people who strive to be better. Always be learning!
You have shared quite a bit of your wisdom and our readers thank you for your generosity but would also love to know: If you could choose any job other than being an entrepreneur, what would it be?
Danielle Hu: I would love to be an actress! I’ve never taken an acting class before but it looks like such a fun industry to be in. Maybe in the future because if you think it, you can achieve it 🙂
Thank you so much for your time, I believe I speak for all of our readers when I say that this has been incredibly insightful. We do have one more question: If you could add anyone to Mount Rushmore, but not a politician, who would it be; why?
Danielle Hu: I would add Tim Ferriss, author of the Four Hour Work Week. His book changed my life and was the main reason I quit my corporate job to pursue a life of full-time travel! I gift his book to all of my clients to expand their way of thinking.
Larry Yatch, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Danielle Hu for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Danielle Hu or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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