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How To Turn Your Hobby Into A Full-time Career

With Lisa Hu

Published on: Aug 10, 2018

If you ever wondered how people start their business doing something even with no schooling or training, one of the answers might be they had a problem then someone showed them the way to solve it and now they want to share it with others. Another answer might be they were looking for this and nothing was available to fit their needs so they created one themselves. Lisa Hu’s company, Lux & Nyx, started as a hobby and grew into a full-time career. She was doing accounting and finance for over a decade, but always had a passion for design and art. Lisa shares how she started her company and the challenges and rewards that she is experienced as an owner and founder of her enterprise.



How To Make Your Hobby Into A Full-Time Career with Lisa Hu

If you ever wondered how people start their business doing something that they did not go to school for or trained for, you will get answers. One of the answers might be, “I had a problem, then someone showed me the way to solve it and now I want to share it with others.” Another answer might be, “I was looking for this and nothing was available to fit my needs, so I created one for myself.” Our guest, Lisa Hu, will share how she started her company, the challenges, and rewards that she is experienced as an Owner and Founder of her enterprise. Lisa Hu worked as a Finance Director for a publicly traded company. She went to college, got her job in accounting and finance, and worked in this field for over a decade. Deep down she knew that it was not the answer for her life’s passion. She started to explore other options and found Lux and Nyx Company. Here is Lisa Hu.

Welcome to the show, Lisa. How old were you when you came to America and what was your life like in China?

Kimchi, thank you for having me on. I came here was when I was about six years old. Then I went back when I was ten years old. Between ten to fourteen, I lived with my grandma in China. When I was fourteen years old, I came back and had been living in the States ever since. The life in China was extremely wholesome in my memory because I grew up there and I was living with my grandma in the countryside. There weren’t a lot of distractions. I could focus very much on my studies and with family in general. That’s the memory I had for China.

What was it like after you came and settled here in America?

In China, there’s a perception that if you had good grades, you were the teacher’s pet. Also, if you were in the marching band, then you were super popular. To my surprise, when I came back here in high school, I was not popular whatsoever. I forgot how to speak the English language. I had straight A’s for the first semester, but I was a disappointment to everybody else because I was the opposite of what people considered popular. That was a disappointment to me as well, being used to everyone loving me but being invisible to others.

You were invisible because of what? 

I had good grades and was so focused on my grades. That’s part of the Asian culture, is being focused on your grades and not caring about extracurricular activities. I didn’t do any extracurricular activities. Back in China when I was popular, people came to me while all of a sudden when I came to the States, I didn’t know anyone. Nobody wanted to be my friend at that time. I quickly had to figure out how to adapt the American culture. I enrolled in ESL until they kicked me out because I had some basic level of experience in English. It was in the back of my head in terms of memory. I had to bring it out and I was able to pick it up quickly, but my grades dropped drastically. Suddenly, I was friends with everyone again. That was an interesting transitional period. After I came back from China, all my life I was constantly trying to figure out how to blend in with the crowd. It wasn’t until when I started my company that I realized that I didn’t want to blend in with the crowd. I wanted to be myself. I wanted to be who I am and what I’m passionate about is beautiful in itself.

Most of us will go through that phase of experience where we seem to recognize that we don’t belong in either culture. In Asia, we’re not 100% Asian because we don’t think and behave like a typical Asian woman. In the Western world, we’re not thinking 100% American in the Western culture. It seems we don’t belong to either of them, so how do we blend in? That’s the reason why I found this podcast. It is to encourage and empower other women to live life out loud and express it the way we want to express it. It could be unique to ourselves because of who we are. We have nothing to be ashamed of or worried about. We do not need to blend in or fit in more of a typical Asian woman to feel great.

A lot of people are so worried about the outward perception of who they are. They forget that being yourself is so liberating and that’s what makes us unique. By embracing that and owning who we are, then we become happier. When you try to be something you’re not, it doesn’t feel natural. I truly believe that when people find their purpose or their passion and enjoy what they’re doing, who they are, they live more fulfilling lives and much happier lives as well. It takes time to get there. It’s not an easy route. When you try to follow that, it becomes one of the more challenging routes, but it’s more fulfilling when you do.

Hobby Into A Full-Time Career: When people find their purpose or their passion and enjoy what they’re doing and who they are, they live more fulfilling and much happier lives as well.

Who was your role model growing up?

I don’t know. I had many different role models at certain points. I even thought about wanting to be an actress. At that point, it was a different role model than now. I was constantly trying to find my own identity growing up therefore, I didn’t have a set role model. A lot of times, people say it’s their family members but in my case, I’m a little different than my family, so it’s hard to say.

When you came here, did you stay with your parents? Did all of your family members come at the same time and are they living in America now?

Yes. When I came back, I traveled with my grandparents to the States. When I lived in China, my parents hid the fact that they went through a divorce and didn’t tell me they got remarried. Coming back to the States, my stepdad came to pick me up. I looked at him and was like, “I have no idea who you are but thanks for picking me up.” Then I realized shortly that my parents were remarried. Now, my family and I are in St. Louis. I moved away for a little bit and now, I’m back with my family.

Do you mind sharing a little bit about that? It’s a bit personal and I don’t know if you are open to sharing that. I’ve noticed that the majority of people especially from China, when the parents have young children, most of the time they send the children back to China. They ask their parents to take care of their child while they are working in America. In your case, was it the same way or was it because your parents didn’t want you to face the difficulty in their marriage?

It was a bit of both. My father presently lives in Vancouver and I’m not very close to him. My mother avoids talking about those topics. I remember traveling back with my father when I was ten years old. I was dropped off at my grandma and my father would go to a different city in China to work there. It was partially because they wanted to start their own career. My father was in investment banking, so he had to travel a lot. My assumption here was that they didn’t want to face the reality of telling their kid that they were divorced. I realized my parents were divorced when I saw pictures of my half-sister. I was with my relatives in China at that time and I was very young. They all looked at me and thought it was funny. They were laughing at me that I didn’t realize my parents were divorced and I have a half-sister. That is an interesting way of being introduced to the fact that your parents are divorced, I suppose. I don’t have a conventional family from that standpoint in terms of thinking of the typical mother and father with a kid. I had my mother, father, and grandma then finding out later that my parents were divorced and trying to come to reality with that fact.

What about your mom?

My mother was in America at that time. She decided to stay here because back then Chinese people thought America was the American dream. She wanted to continue that. My father came here for school initially but he didn’t like it so he went back to China. My mother, on the other hand, loved America. When my father and I went to back to China, my mother stayed by herself here. She worked in restaurants to sustain her life and later became a real estate agent. She had an incredible path there to sustain a life by herself here in America. Four years later, she decided to bring me back and she was already remarried by then.

Did she marry an Asian?

My mother married an American.

What about your father?

My father married someone from China and they live in Vancouver now. It came full circle, so he’s back.

Are you living now with your mom or dad?

I’m living in the same city as my mother.

Do you get along well with your mom?

Yes and no. We didn’t speak about what I’m currently doing. I was a corporate finance director for over a decade and was the model child in terms of the Asian parent perspective. I quit my job to pursue creating a brand that creates handbags for the modern career woman. Going from a six-figure job to making a brand with a ton of capital investment and not seeing the return in terms of my capital investment just yet because brands take a minimum of three years to create, that part has been challenging. From having been this model child where my parents would brag about me to now it’s like, “What do we say about her?” What she tells her parents or friends is, “It’s a shame that my daughter has decided to quit her nice high-level job.” She wouldn’t even say passionate about pursuing and creating handbags essentially. It’s a lot more than what meets the surface. There’s a long-term purpose and meaning behind creating this brand. What you and I are trying to do is inspire other women to follow their passion, to be more authentic, and realize that there’s not one way of living. We don’t have to live in someone else’s perception of who we are or who they want us to be.

The hardest challenge in this process is having to face my family who is against me in trying to be who I am or who I want to be. A lot of Asian females can probably relate to that point considering that a lot of Asians have the same pressure to be the doctor, be the finance person, or be all these different things that Asians want their kids or want to see other people, other Asians become. In their eyes, the definition of success is not starting your own company and trying to not struggle. From my mother’s perspective, that’s her concern. Her intentions are good. She doesn’t want me to struggle but in turn, she said some things that are not necessarily what I wanted to hear.

Every single day she would tell me, “I can’t believe you’re doing this. Are you sure you want to do this? My friends and I think it’s such a pity that you quit your job to do this. Why are you doing this? You’re throwing your life away.” Those are harsh words. I have to take a step back and think that she has the best intentions. It comes off differently because she’s seeing it from her perspective. She wishes her daughter the best. In her eyes, the best is to continue that six-figure job, make enough money, have the white picket fence, have kids, be married. Then you are done with that, so the rest of your life is set. However, that’s not my situation now. She doesn’t know what to do besides saying those things to me.

I see a lot of situations like these between the parent and child. It’s great that you know that she has good intentions. As a parent, we want the best for our child. No matter how old you are, you’re still our child. It’s not like you’re a baby anymore, but as a parent, our intention is to see and hope that our children make the right decision so that they can be safe. As typical Asian people, they overlook the importance of dreams of having a passion and following it. Have you confronted your mom? Have you said, “I know that you have a good intention, but I am like you who stands up for myself to follow my dream.

What’s most important for me is creating this business. I have a vision and passion for my dream like you where one time when you decided to stay in America. That was your dream. Did you not follow the typical Asian role as a woman?” You can say it in such a way that you edify her decision. Remind her that you’re now following your dream and it is your life to make it happen. You no longer need her to make a decision for your life. All you ask of her is a blessing. Once she recognizes and knows that you have been through all of these challenges, it will be a regret for you if you don’t follow your dream. Most people, they regret the thing they did not do in their life. Once you’ll be able to confront her, she will start to recognize it. She’ll start to find a way to support you by not talking about those things anymore and be your ally.

In some situations, that would work. In some situations, particularly with mine, it won’t necessarily work because I confronted her about that. In both situations, it’s okay in terms of whether you’ve confronted someone, and they agreed with it or whether you’ve confronted them, and they don’t agree with it. I’ve spoken to my mother about the situation. She temporarily stopped talking about it, but then a day or two days passed and she’s back on the same track again. It has gotten to a point where I have to be confident in myself and not let what she’s saying to partake in my decision making. I’m at a point where it doesn’t matter about what I do, what I say, and how I prove to her. I’m not successful in her eyes because I don’t have a six-figure job. I’m not in finance anymore.

A case in point, I was in a lot of local press. They did a four-page feature on a print press for me and I showed it to my mother, but she was completely unimpressed. She was like, “Have you made your money back yet?” I’m like, “No.” She’s like, “This is nothing,” and she would move on about her day. This was the same publication that she sees coming into her house every week. She sees other people in it, but the first time her daughter’s in it and she’s like, “Big deal?” In situations like that, I’m sure I’m not the only person that will have to face situations where their parents disagree with what they’re doing regardless of how much to other people they might seem they’re winning. To their own parents, you’re always a disappointment unless you have what they foresee as an ideal Asian. That’s what we’re talking about here. This image of an ideal Asian in their heads.

I’m not sure at what point am I going to be able to convince my mother that I’m doing well. It’s has taken me a while to build up this brand, but I don’t know at what point is she going to be like, “I approve of what you’re doing.” It may never get to that point, but that’s part of the process. I have to admit it, it is challenging being Asian, having an Asian family and all these pressures on you to be this ideal stereotype. Going against that is much harder. It’s already hard doing that as a Westerner, but it’s much harder being an Asian and trying to go against your type.

That’s the reason for this interview, to let all the women out there know that they are not alone. There are millions of women out there facing this similar situation. They want to do something in their life that would make them happy and make them fulfilled with who they are, but because of the Asian culture that holds them back, they are unable to express strong and allow them to confront their parents like you did with your mom. I admire you for your courage, Lisa. It’s great for you to speak the truth, to speak with integrity, and in sense to be authentic of who you are. Yes, it does take time. I’m praying and hoping that eventually, women like your mom or the typical Asian parents will recognize that it is more important for their children or for themselves to follow the dream. It is important to follow their heart and do what they want to do or pursue rather than to look for a stable income or to comply with other people.

I will share my personal story of how I went to be a finance director because people have told me that it’s insightful in terms of me making that transition. I worked in the corporate world for the longest time, of course, going with the stereotype of trying to be that successful Asian. I’ve always worked very diligently in my career and worked a ton to get to. I was a director when I was 30 years of age and my parents were so proud of me. I felt proud of myself at that point too. I was also doing my MBA in the evening as well. I thought all my dreams and hopes of becoming successful would make me happy, then I realized it wasn’t. I got to a point where I was like, “Once I get to a director level, make six figures and do all these things, then I’m going to be happy and won’t have anything to complain about.” I remembered it clearly, sitting there thinking to myself like, “I don’t feel fulfilled.” Right around that same time, I constantly tried to look for things to do. I would work in the morning. I would go to work. At night, I would do my MBA or study. I would go out and network. I was always out because I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t fulfilled.

Hobby Into A Full-Time Career: It is challenging being Asian, having an Asian family and all these pressures on you to be this ideal stereotype.

Coincidentally enough, I realized that I needed a bag to fit that lifestyle. I couldn’t find one on the market, so I got into sewing one myself for fun as a hobby. Slowly I was like, “This bag is not right.” I went and found a seamstress but then that wasn’t the right local seamstress. I went to New York Garment District to find a manufacturer. I couldn’t find one who wanted to make that because it was so complicated. Then one thing led to another. I went through 40 manufacturers. I traveled over to Asia by myself. I went to Guangdong City, which I’ve never been to before and I searching for manufacturers. I went to trade shows to find them. I tried to do my due diligence to find out if they were the right match.

After 40 manufacturers, I finally found one. I traveled the world and during this timeframe, I quit my job. I decided to lead a completely different lifestyle of entrepreneurship from corporate to a solopreneur with a lot of contractors behind me. The reason I said that was because during this process, I realized I was creating something in my own right. I was unfulfilled when I had the career, the income and all these activities filling my life. The brand’s name is Lux and Nyx. It’s Greek for light and night representing a transition in time and life changes. It represents what I was going through where I would work day to night. I was going through a lot of life changes and this change in itself was a life change.

During this process, I was creating a brand which is similar to yours, empowering woman. I’m trying to get females to overcome their fears. A bag is always a powerful tool, that it can get you through so much. It can make you more productive, so you can have more time and spend that with the people that are meaningful to you or spend that time on things that mean more to you. That’s why it’s my passion because I realized I could create something that could not only serve as a function to females but also it can empower females.

I want to use the brand to help females realize that there’s so much that they can do. Don’t be limited by the things that are outward. Own your ambition. It’s what you make of it. During this process of going from corporate finance, doing accounting and finance to doing everything else but accounting and finance, I haven’t done much in a spreadsheet. It’s a completely different lifestyle and I’m learning so much every single day. I went to a boutique and talked about how the retail world works. Those are things which I’ve never done before. Those are the things that would have been so fearful like going to a random boutique and talking to them. I’ve gone through a lot. It has taught me that as long as I set my mind to it, I’m determined about my passion. It fills my purpose going after. It makes me happy.

It seems simple, but even though there are struggles, there are things that I feel like I was meant to do because this is something I created. It feels right. It’s like everybody is, you, yourself, you are a brand. You, yourself, are an entity and identity. To do things that follow that identity of yours would make you so much happier. Maybe temporarily happy because there are days where I run into a problem. At that moment I feel unhappy, but that doesn’t mean I’m unhappy. I ran into some problems that I have to solve. Overall, my life satisfaction is a lot higher than when I was in the corporate world and doing finance. I’m not saying that wasn’t a good job or I wasn’t good at it. I was great at it but now it feels right with what I’m doing. I feel like I’m not doing it for the sake of someone else. I’m not doing it for the sake of making money like I did before. I’m doing it for the sake of wanting to do something that’s meaningful to me and I hope to help others. That’s my purpose and everybody’s purpose is different. Once you find your purpose, you connect the dots to figure out how to get to your purpose, then you’re on the right path. Everyone’s path is different.

Once your action is aligned with who you are, then you feel joy and fulfilled. Happiness is temporary. I can be happy when I buy something new. I’ve got my new phone.

I’m sure you were ecstatic, but then next year when a new phone comes out, then you’re going to have to get that again.

This happiness only lasts for a few minutes or few hours at most. After stuff happening, then we’ll go back to do the state of worries and unhappiness. When you have joy, it lasts for a long time. What you said was that you feel joy when you are living because you are living your goals in life. It’s not about the product that you are designing, the backpack because you never know how big this can go. It is your mission and your message that you want to convey in life.

That’s concurrent with the product.

That makes you feel happy and you are able to identify that that is who I am, just like what I’m doing, too. I am happy to hear that you found that joy and mission in life.

I hope to continue this. It’s a matter of sustaining it as a business and it has its own set of challenges. Any Asian growing up in the States or anywhere, sometimes your family will be against you. It’s a matter of you standing by what you believe in and having the dignity to go against your family in a respectful way. I’m not going to tell my mother she’s wrong. I’m going to understand her situation or perspective and try not to take it to heart. In some ways, it fuels my passion because I’m like, “I’m going to try and prove to my mother that I can make this work.”

Does that mean that you subconsciously are seeking her approval?

All my life I’ve been seeking my family’s approval and that’s one of the reasons why I’ve been a model child. I never went against the grain to do anything more that’s against what the social norm of success is. It was my rebel period in a way because I’m doing everything against what the social norm of being a successful Asian is. That doesn’t mean I don’t want her approval. That doesn’t mean I don’t want other people’s approval. I try not to let that dictate in what I do. Subconsciously, we all want our parents to say, “Good job.” The truth of the matter is you’re not always going to get that if you follow your passion and it probably will be less likely. You don’t ever hear anyone say, I’m passionate about being an accountant. People usually say they’re passionate about something that’s against the social norm.

The basic human need is to be heard, to be seen and to be understood. As a child, we’re always seeking for parent’s approval. It’s up to you to act and respond to their behavior towards approval. You can use it as a fire to ignite your passion even more or some people would use it as a way to hold them back. You’d say, “My parents don’t approve of me to do that. Therefore, I should not do that. I live for my parents and my family. That’s my life purpose.” I feel sad for people who feel that way. 

Everyone is brilliant when they followed their passion. When you hold yourself back it’s giving yourself an excuse not to pursue your passion. If you don’t do it or you don’t go after what’s in your heart, then you’re following everybody else and then you’ll realize you are going to have a normal life, which is fine with some people. That’s what they’re going after but if you want an extraordinary life, you have to find out who you are, what your purpose is, and go after it. You’re going to take a road or a path that’s less taken, but you have to justify it. You can’t rely on other people to give you an opinion. Other opinions could either persuade you not to do it or it could light up your fire, but most of the time it persuades people out of doing something that they want to do.

What is your biggest challenge in starting this brand-new enterprise or brand-new career?

Right before I left the corporate world and I gave my two-week notice, it was very hard. That in itself was even harder than getting the company going because I knew at that point in time how different my life would be. It’s scary and I’ve never in my life had a situation where I didn’t have a backup plan. I’ve always had another job lined up. If I was to switch careers or right before college, I already had a job lined. I never had a gap. In starting my own business, it was not necessarily considered a gap, but it’s going into the unknown. The safety net was no longer there as soon as I quit my job. Although all these different things happened when I quit my job. People came out of the woodwork and started talking to me about how they always had a passion to do things. They never pursued it because they have a mortgage, or they’re scared of all these different things. It always happens like when you say you’re going to leave, that’s when the company decides you’re valuable. Then they gave me a stay-on bonus to stay on for an extra month, which worked out. It then it gave me some time to work on the business because I was waiting for the manufacturing of the prototype at that time.

When I quit, I ended up staying on for another month and a half at the company, then jumped full on into entrepreneurship, which was a challenge. Another challenge was traveling and doing business on my own. I was fearful of it. It’s been so long since I’ve lived in China. I never learned the right language to use for business. I didn’t know if people were going to take me seriously. In China, or even over here, I’ve never done retail before. Jumping into business and dealing with other people, I was afraid I felt like a poser. I went you to these trade shows and all of them would ask for your website, all this information about who you are, what you do.

I didn’t have a website at that time. I had to punt and say, “I do B2B,” even though I’m B2C. I said to B2B so they won’t be able to find my website. I felt such a poser going to these manufacturers. Especially when I went to a manufacturing facility where they asked me to go to lunch, asked me to sit down and have tea, and discuss the business. They want to understand who you are. These are guys that have been doing business for a long time. They can see right through it but I had to be a poser because I had nothing at that point in time. Now, it’s a bit different. I have a website, a business, and products. I could probably go back there now and try to find a manufacturer easy but it’s a chicken and egg problem. When you’re trying to start a business, you’re going to have absolutely nothing. Those businesses won’t trust you because you have nothing. To start, you have to have businesses that are willing to deal with you. Retail is a similar thing again, but not quite as bad. At least in retail space, you can do like consignment or different ways of setting it up where at least you have a product. The hardest thing of starting businesses is when you don’t have anything yet, you’re trying to start something from basically error. No one believes you because you have nothing but, yet you need everyone to believe you otherwise you don’t have anything.

Hobby Into A Full-Time Career: The hardest part of starting businesses is when you don’t have anything yet.


Another challenge is facing the reality of not having that lifestyle. Having a six-figure job allowed for a different lifestyle than not having a six-figure job. It’s a clear difference. My friends are still professional females that want to do brunch, who like to travel, have vacations and all these different things. Now, I don’t do any of that. In fact, to save money now, I’m living with my parents. There’s no shame in that. Granted, that causes the problem of me facing my mother every single day about what I am doing with my life, but it’s a smart move before I can start generating enough revenue to overcome my cost. It’s more of a finance person to understand that it’s a cashflow issue.

That’s the challenge of facing the reality of not having a steady income, trying to figure out what to do with insurance and what to do to pay these bills. I have a car and I have to pay maintenance. I have all these expenses for contractors. All these inventory costs I’m sitting on warehousing are still going out while I’m not making any income or substantiating enough income to cover this at the moment. Those are things that you have to take on and realize that that’s part of this process. You have to be strong-minded about it, that you’re okay with this. You have to realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You have to stay on course to get there.

Are you currently working with a mentor or a coach to guide you through this stage in your business?

I have a lot of unofficial mentors. People that have some bit of a business experience or people who can give me a different perspective on my business. I don’t have an official mentor or advisory group at the moment. St. Louis, where I’m residing, is not a market for a lot of fashion mentors, so that’s a bit harder to come by. I do have one now but again these are unofficial mentors. The other thing that I find very helpful is finding your tribe of people that are in the similar industry or realm. They might not be your mentors, but they’re your peers that you can talk to. I have a group of close girlfriends who are also in the product or retail industry. We gather around and talk once or twice a month, about the issues that we were running into. We then get different perspectives because they know things that I don’t know and in turn, I might be able to offer the perspective that they weren’t aware of.

Regardless of whether you’re trying to follow your passion and doing something or starting a business, always looked and be resourceful. Don’t be afraid of talking to people or asking people. What I realized is when I have an issue, I literally go around and say, “I have this issue. What do you think? Is there any way that you might be able to offer me some insight or is there somebody you can connect me with?” You’ll be surprised at how much people are willing to open up and offer their help when they know you have an issue. Most people keep it to themselves because they’re afraid that other people will see through them that they have issues. Therefore, they don’t want anyone to think that they have issues. When you do that, people won’t know how to help you. If you don’t ask for help, no one’s going to help you.

If you are open for some guidance, I can connect you with somebody who is big in the business expansion.

We’re looking into influencers or that realm as well as retail space. That’s the other thing that I’ve noticed about Asian females in general. We’re afraid of connecting with other females like what you did there was a perfect example. Thank you, Kimchi. There’s this they say like the all-boys club. There’s a reason why men for the longest time were good at what they were doing because they were helping each other out. As females, we need to help each other out. We need to connect with each other and make it okay.

They say 2018 is the year of the female and I believe in it. I started on a side project that I stumbled across. The brand who resonates with my brand are these females who are working on their career and going into these business conferences. I posted something on my social media that said, “If anyone knows of any conferences out there, please let me know.” Within minutes, people started saying, “Here’s a conference but I don’t know of anything else.” I had a lot of people that liked my posts and it was the strangest thing. I realized there were a lot of people that were interested in knowing what’s out there.

I was like, “I’ll create a calendar,” because I was going to do it anyways. “I’m going to create an email calendar and offer it up.” You have no idea how many people wanted my calendar. It is literally a Gmail calendar. The point of that is there are a lot of females who are looking to connect with other females because we’re starting to realize the benefit of networking and offering each other help. It’s like me connecting you with someone else is no cost to me but I know how much that would be helpful for another person. We didn’t use to do that. We were scared of this. This is a realm that we didn’t tap into before until recently and it’s a very interesting phenomenon.

More and more we realized that in order to survive in this century, our business needs to be cooperative and collaborative rather than compete. That’s one of the reasons why I am a member and a club president for CEO Space International. It’s an incredible way to expand your business. It is a way to build connection and relationship because business is based on relationship. It’s not a matter of having a great product or idea, but you are unable to raise funds, sell a product, get things online or get inventory if you don’t have a relationship with people who can help you. We are changing the world by helping all business owners out there to look into a collaborative and cooperative mentality. They have to be a giver rather than a taker.

At the end of the day, there are points where we all need help and there are points where we all can get help. It’s a cycle. A lot of females don’t realize this or perhaps still don’t realize that there’s much power in connecting with other females. If people can take a point from our discussion here, that’s also important too. If you have an issue, not just in business but in life, it’s always good to go to your mentor. Go to someone else to talk to, someone that’s likeminded or another female.

Hire a coach because a coach is somebody who has been. A coach is very different from a therapist. They are the ones who have experienced on what they coached you about. Whereas therapists got their knowledge from their education, they not necessarily have experienced those before. A coach is very close to being as a mentor. A mentor is somebody who has walked that path before and is doing that. They can guide you through to show you the way what they have done. A coach and a mentor are very similar, but a coach is very different from a therapist.

In some ways, it implies that you’re also making sure that they’re on the track of things. My mentors are the ones who check in every once in a while and say, “What are you doing? Here’s what I think.” A coach is probably someone that would also guide you and make sure you’re accountable of your actions. That is different.

Different people interpreted mentoring and coaching slightly different. 

It took me a long time to realize what I’ve realized now had I had more guidance or had I had more people who understood what I’m going through and was around me, I would have arrived to where I am much faster. What you’re doing is amazing because it opens up a realm of getting people to understand themselves and feeling that it’s okay to not be who everybody else wants them to be.

Thank you for saying that. It took me 30 years to figure that out. I almost lost my marriage because of that. That’s the reason why I am passionate about sharing the message to let other women know that they are not alone. I’m here to stand for them, to create a life with power, freedom and choice. I want to let them know that they have a choice, that the freedom is in their hands and that the power is within themselves. Most Asian women are still not putting a value on the power of coaching yet. They don’t know what coaching is about. They related the coach as a therapist but I told them it’s very different. What does power mean to you?

Power to me is different. Power to me means you are doing things outside your comfort zone because you’re choosing to overcome your vulnerable self, therefore, that instills power in you to respond.

What does success mean to you?

Success to me means being happy and joyful in pursuing your purpose and being able to sustain that purpose from a financial and emotional standpoint. I can’t say that I can do this forever if I can’t financially support myself or am not emotionally ready either. There are a lot of trials and turbulence you have to go through.

You are still in a state of startup. You probably wear too many hats and work at least twenty hours a day. Do you allocate time for yourself to enjoy life a little?

I do not.

Did you enjoy this interview so far?

Sometimes I work a lot, but I’m at a point where I don’t view work as entirely work anymore. It’s a life purpose and a life activity. It’s life and it’s part of what I do. It’s not an 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM job where I get off work and I hang out with my friends so therefore, that’s life. Now I’m living life, so I don’t need to seek what else is out there.

What makes you feel at peace, Lisa?

Now, I’m not at peace because there’s so much going on. Right now, the reason that I’m not in peace is that I’m trying to build a company. It’s constantly a lot of different things going on and it’s always going through my mind. There is one thing that I do to make sure that I’m still in balance, I do work out and yoga. That’s my time to let the stress flow over. Sometimes I do my most creative strategy sessions and yoga because that’s when I don’t have to think about anything else.

What do you mean by that? How do you do that?

When you’re so caught up in the day-to-day grind of starting your business, you don’t necessarily take a step back. If you allow yourself to have that one hour per day to unwind, you’re not thinking about anything else and so during that yoga session, I get relaxed. My mind goes to a more creative place or avenue. It automatically looks for its own outlet. At times, I come out of these yoga sessions realizing that there’s another way of doing it. In certain circumstances, I prioritize in my mind during that time I’m saying I’m so worried about this, but yet there are other things that have more priority. It allows me to shift my focus once I get out. It’s more of an open session for me to allow my brain to step outside of what I’m currently doing. When you’re executing it’s different than when you sit back and think. When you’re in that mode of relaxation, sometimes you come up with more creative solutions.

Hobby Into A Full-Time Career: When you’re in that mode of relaxation, sometimes you come up with more creative solutions.

What are the lessons you learned and want to share with other Asian women who want to start a business like yours or who want to start a business that they dream of?

If you have something that you’re passionate about, you want to set your mind on, there’s always a way to get there. It might be unconventional. You have to fight through your fears because your own fears are what’s going to stop you from getting to what you want if you allow it to stop you. Be prepared from a cost perspective because you need to budget it out. Even to this day, I would say take a risk but try to take a calculated risk. Always think that if you have something that is going to cost you $100, it’s probably going to end up costing you three times that too. Make sure that you have enough cushion or capital to allow yourself or prepare yourself for following your passion for starting a business. We always underestimate how much things are going to cost.

If anyone ever wants to start their own business, I would say go for it. Be prepared. Don’t let fear get in your way and don’t let what your family tells you to do get to your head. You have to fight through it. The more you can fight through it with a balanced head and balanced mindset, the more empowered you are going to feel once you get out of it and get to that next stage. Every day you’re building onto your level of confidence in what you’re doing. Each day you allow your fear to take you back, you’re going back a step in that building. Every day build a little bit. You don’t have to go from making small leaps to doing skydiving.

You do a little bit every single day, a little bit something new, a little bit of something that says, “I’m getting over my fear of this today. I’m getting over my fear of that today.” Those small things that will add up and you’ll look back on it and be like, “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” There are many things now that I look back and I’m like, “I wouldn’t have done any of these things a year ago when I used to be in my comfy corporate job. Those are my advice. Hopefully, that helps others because I know everyone thinks that things happen magically overnight but they never do. It’s a buildup over time of people taking calculated risks.

Where do you want our audience to go to and check out your product or contact you?

My website is www.LuxAndNyx.com. My products are listed on the website. I’m working on reaching out to retailers. I will list out retailers who can come and see the products on the website once I have that distribution channel figured out. I have an email that you can reach me at, it’s [email protected].

I encourage all the women out there to come and check it out at LuxAndNyx.com. Thank you for being here, Lisa.

Thank you for having me.

What did you take away from this interview? If you are no longer excited about your work, would you evaluate your current situation and see if there is anything from your work that you can change? If not, would you go out and explore different options? Let us know how we can support you. Until next time. Live life loud.

Links Mentioned:

Episode Quotes

"We don't have to live in someone else's perception of who we are or who they want us to be."

"Everyone is brilliant when they follow their passion."

"I'm creating something of my own."

"When you hold yourself back, you’re giving yourself an excuse not to pursue your passion."

"If you have an issue not just business but in life, it's always good to go to your mentor."

"Your own fears are what's stopping you from getting to what you want."

"Do a little bit everyday to face fear."

About Lisa Hu

Contact [email protected]
Instagram: @LuxandNyx
Facebook: @LuxandNyx
Twitter: @Lux_Nyx
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisa-hu-a3635816/
I’ve been working on this company for over a year now, but officially 8 months since I left my corporate job as Finance Director at a publicly traded company. I was doing accounting and finance for over a decade, but always had a passion for design and art. This company started as a hobby and grew into a full-time career for me. I was born in Haian, China.

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