The 5 Books That Have Changed My Life

In this episode, I share the 5 books that have made the biggest impact on my corporate finance to entrepreneurship journey, from life design to motivation to money mindset. The books that have completely changed my mindset and outlook on life. If you’re looking for some stocking stuffers this holiday season, or for a good read, tune in to this episode! Wishing all of you a happy holiday season!

Some lessons stick with us for life. In this episode I share the book that started my entrepreneurial journey (2:35) and another four that have completely changed my mindset and outlook on life (12:40). Listen in to hear all about their insightful wisdom!

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Audio Transcript

Intro (5s):
The Wanderlover podcast was created with a mission to enable travel and freedom through entrepreneurship. I’m your host, Danielle Hu business mentor, content creator, and founder of The Wanderlover tune in every week for episodes about travel online business, social media, and mindset that will inspire you to take massive action towards living the life of your dreams. If you’ve been enjoying the Wanderlover podcast, if you’ve been tuning in and finding inspiration and taking away value, it would mean so much to me. If you could take a second to leave us a review on apple podcasts, I continue to record these episodes for you every single week and take all of your comments and feedback to heart.

Danielle (52s):
Thank you guys so, so much. Hi everyone. Welcome back to The Wanderlover podcast. This is my last episode that I am recording in Indonesia before flying back to New York for the holidays. It’s’s going to be such a drastic change in weather and temperature. I’m so looking forward to reuniting with my family and friends. For all of you listeners, I appreciate each and every one of you and I have a very special offer. So if you enroll in Wanderlover business academy, 2.0, by the end of the year, you will get a hundred dollars off using the code merry21podcas. If you’ve been eyeing the academy, if you’ve been on the fence about joining, you’re not sure how to start your online business.

Danielle (1m 37s):
You need a game plan. This is your sign. So if you enroll by the end of the year, you’ll get a hundred dollars off. You’ll get lifetime access, and you’ll go into the new year with a clear roadmap of how to execute on your ideas. Also can not believe that Christmas is this weekend. So that brings me to today’s episode, the five books that have changed my life. And I personally love gifting books. I give books to all of my new clients. I think they’re great stocking stuffers because there’s really no better gift than investing in yourself and your knowledge. And just through years and years and years of reading so many different books in this episode, I want to share my five top books that have completely shifted the way I think, and therefore have completely changed my life.

Danielle (2m 24s):
And for each of these books, I will share one or two main takeaways, but obviously I want you to read them yourself so you can have the full experience and take away and apply the parts that really resonate with you. So the first book on my list is the millionaire Fastlane by M J DeMarco. And I read this book when I was 23, when I was still working at my corporate job. And this book completely made me rethink the corporate path, the stable path, and J DeMarco also runs this forum called the Fastlane forum. And in it, he does these introduction posts, where after you read the book, you introduce yourself and what you’re currently working on.

Danielle (3m 9s):
And so I’m going to share with you my post from when I was 23 years old, this was back in 2017 and it’s just such a clear demonstration on how the book impacted me, how it changed my life and how it really shifted my mindset at such an early age. It’s really funny because when I first posted this, I was still using my work computer and I actually got flagged by HR and tech, and they ended up calling me at work being like you uploaded a profile photo, and that’s how it got flagged. And I don’t know if they ever read the post, but it’s really funny because it’s about quitting my job. And I knew I was handing in my resignation soon anyway, but I literally was freaking out.

Danielle (3m 52s):
So I’ll first share the main takeaway from the book. And then I’ll also share my posts. So you guys can see how exactly it changed the way I looked at corporate and I looked at life. So the main takeaway from this book that I still remember now, and every time I enter into a new business or every time I have a new business idea is this concept that you need to filter out what you dedicate your time to. The first criteria out of five is control. Whether you have full control over your income, over your business, and you need to picture yourself as being either in the driver’s seat or in the passenger seat. So when I was working for the bank, I was clearly in the passenger seat, right?

Danielle (4m 32s):
Because I was reliant on a salary. I was reliant on a business. I was reliant on whether or not the bank does well, whether the bank goes bankrupt and I really had no control over my income. And when you don’t have control. So this also, now, even as an entrepreneur, I asked myself, do I have full control over Instagram? Like if Instagram goes down, will I lose my livelihood? And so every time I think about new ventures, I’m asking myself, do I have full control over this? And if not, I ask how do I make it so that I have full control. So back when I was working at the bank, I was like, okay, I either need to make my own other sources of income.

Danielle (5m 14s):
And now in entrepreneurship, I ask myself, okay, if Instagram goes down, will I lose my business while I lose my income? And the answer is no, because I have my website, that’s self hosted. That’s a big reason why I encourage everyone to get a self hosted website. And also I have my email list and that is completely mine. So always be asking yourself to, I have full control over my income. The next requirement is entry, whether there’s high barriers of entry or low barriers of entry, this can look like an initial capital investment. This can look like an initial time investment, but you need to ask yourself, is it really easy for anyone to enter in this business?

Danielle (5m 54s):
Because the easier it is, the more competition you will have and the less likely it will be for you to succeed. The next criteria is need to people need whatever it is that you’re selling. Because a lot of times you’re going to be so biased about your business, about your business ideas that you really can’t see through your own bias, but you need the market to test whether or not your business idea is viable. So we still do this today. Every time we launched new eBooks, we launch new courses. We test out, is there a need for this? And you really need the data to back it up. The next criteria is time.

Danielle (6m 37s):
Is your income tied to your time? Are you working for an hourly wage? Are you working for a salary? Is it your reality that the more you work, the more you get paid and the less you work, the less you get paid. And at one point in my life, this seems impossible. I really couldn’t fathom how your income was not tied to your time, but knowing, and seeing him go through this, seeing MJ DeMarco, talk about this concept really fascinated me. And a part of me was like, you can do that too, right? And when you read books, you need to be thinking, can I apply this to my life?

Danielle (7m 19s):
Can I see myself doing this? And the first step is always to believe in yourself and believe that it is a reality for you, even if your current reality, doesn’t hint that you can do it out all. You need to have that inner belief that you’re able to. The last criteria is scale is your business scalable. And for example, if you have an auto shop in New York city, you can only have customers that are located in New York city and customers who have vehicles. And you’re limited to that physical location. And what’s amazing about the internet is that it connects people from around the world and with advertising nowadays, you can reach people around the world.

Danielle (8m 8s):
So if your product or service is online, you can scale internationally. And scale is the last criteria. So after I read this book, I was like, oh my gosh, what a great filtering system. Because as you all know, there’s so many business ideas that you could start at that point. I didn’t really have side hustles at all, but after reading this book, I was like, whoa, I want to start my own business. And I want something that is scalable. I want something that follows these five criteria so that I can have the freedom to travel, to become a millionaire, to be financially free, to be location independent, and to have full control over my time.

Danielle (8m 49s):
And so that is the main takeaway. That is still what I operate on today. And I will share with you the post that got flagged by my bank. And yeah, I hope you realize how impactful this book was on my life back then. So the title of the post is 23 and quitting corporate to focus on company written by Danielle Hu may of 2017. Hi guys. My name is Danielle and I’m from New York. A huge, huge thank you to MJ DeMarco for giving me the life and career perception shift. I really needed to commit to quitting my nine to five in two months and focus on my side company. I was raised by the most loving Chinese immigrant parents who preached stability and attaining a life in the slow lane in high school.

Danielle (9m 35s):
I first worked $10 an hour jobs, but then got impatient and started teaching math, reading Viola, piano to 20 students, a glimpse of control, but no freedom. As my time was tied. I attended an Ivy league and continued to trade my time for money in numerous jobs. I experienced quote unquote freedom or so I thought when I studied abroad in Milan and Hong Kong and spent all my money on traveling and even graduated early to couch surf through 50 countries, I was hurted towards finance at a bank because I needed funding for my travels, right. But I knew since day one, I hated my job and was capable of so much more, but I continued to spend everything on travel and continue my lifestyle servitude.

Danielle (10m 18s):
Now I see clearly I am a slave to the system. I became the employee. I used to mock who spent 51 weeks working for three weeks off. I guess you can’t see the picture when you’re inside the frame. I decided I want to change and played with ideas such as working for a startup, but still servitude to becoming a travel blogger possible, but low barriers to entry to starting over and moving to Australia. Finally decided if I create a system for passive income, I don’t need to start over and leave everything behind. I can take a two month vacation to Australia. Whenever I want. Time is so much more important than money. How was I so blind? So last month I started importing and opened an online store.

Danielle (11m 1s):
It’s so exciting. Waking up to see sales made while sleeping and having wealth variables that are unlimited and controllable. After reading this book, the key takeaways I will be applying are one constantly be learning all insecurities stem from self-imposed mental barriers. And I can know everything. If I teach myself how and reach out to experienced individuals, to be more open about sharing my ideas, the owner of an idea is not he who imagines it, but he who executes it three law of affection and branding focus on how my product can help you for offer my own affiliate program.

Danielle (11m 41s):
Instead of joining others, five, surround myself with like-minded inspirational individuals and create accelerative wins. I have always been surrounded by finance and consulting people. So moving up the corporate ladder is all I’ve known. I look at my executives and I think I don’t want to be you in 20 years, but then I see MJ and stories in this forum. And I think, wow, you guys are amazing. I want to adopt your life, outlook and habits. I’m so excited to start on this new path in life with a completely changed mindset from just a year ago, I have a savings goal and giving in my two weeks on July 1st, I still have a long ways to go, but going one step at a time again, thank you, MJ.

Danielle (12m 26s):
And hello, fast laters. I can’t wait to meet and learn from you all Danielle. So clearly this book completely changed my life. And I don’t think I would have reached that realization at such an early age and be able to be where I am today. Had I not made that move when I was 23 years old? Obviously I think eventually I would have let that book really just sped everything along. And so if that’s something you’re looking for, I would really recommend you checking it out. The second book that has shaped me into who I am today is the four hour workweek by Tim Ferriss. The main takeaway I took from this, not that I’m working four hours a week, but the main concept of geo arbitrage and freeing yourself from society’s expectations and from traditional expectations.

Danielle (13m 21s):
And what I find really inspiring about every one of these authors is they show me what’s possible, right? And if you read these books, you’ll know that they’re not, you know, they weren’t born into wealth. They weren’t handed everything for them. I could really relate to all of their struggles, all of their confusion in the early days and humanizes the whole process. You see where they were just a few years ago and it’s like, well, they must have changed something. And if they came from where I come from, then that means if I thought like them, if I acted like them, I would end up where they are and that’s why I want to be right. And so what I took away from four hour work week is you do not need to follow what everyone around you is doing.

Danielle (14m 3s):
It’s completely okay to do your own thing. And I kind of realized this the first time I studied abroad in college because I just loved traveling so so much. I loved exploring new places. I loved going to a new country in Europe and spending like $20 round trip on flights. It was so many cool things that I could do with my time, instead of just going to the same frat parties, the same sorority parties every weekend. And there are other ways of living. So when I went back to college and when I went back to that lifestyle, I was like, I would rather be traveling. And it’s really hard to explain to other people what the experience is like when they’ve never gone through it themselves.

Danielle (14m 46s):
Right? And so at that point, I was like, well, I know this makes me happy. So even if that means doing another studying abroad and leaving my friends in college or graduating early to backpack by myself, it was really unheard of for people to, you know, spend almost two years out of their undergraduate to spend time abroad. But I knew that’s what I wanted to do. And so taking the path less traveled and really following your intuition of what makes you happy. That is what I learned to live by. There are going to be so many people who just don’t understand, and it’s not your job to convince them like, Hey, this is what makes me happy. Like maybe you think differently and that’s okay.

Danielle (15m 27s):
And that’s the beauty of this world, but don’t let them convince you to live how they’re living. If it doesn’t make you happy. So free yourself from traditional expectations, this comes from anything. Your parents might say anything. Your coworkers might say anything, your closest friends that you’ve grown up with might say only you can pave your own path and learning to trust yourself, learning to listen to yourself and be like, you know what, I’m just going to go for it. It will do amazing things. So what Tim Ferris did was he first started as I think, like a sales rep and he was doing calls at a call center and then started his own business, but then realized, Hey, if I can make money online, I can, you know, spend months in Argentina and learn how to dance and just have so much free time.

Danielle (16m 17s):
And I’m living on a fraction of what I would normally spend in the states. I got a taste of that when I studied in Hong Kong and was able to travel to Thailand and Southeast Asia and was like, holy shit, everything here. The exchange rate is just so favorable. And I have the opportunity, obviously it was so, so grateful, but I have the opportunity to make my income in us dollars. And if I can free up my time, it was all coming together. Right? All of these thoughts in my mind, if I can free up my time, if I can start an online business and have income coming in online, I don’t need to be paying $1,600 a month in New York city spending hundreds of dollars on taxis.

Danielle (16m 60s):
I don’t need to sustain this lifestyle and be based here. I can do what I want when I want and where I want. So having that time and location freedom is ultimately going to give you financial freedom. And it’s so crazy because you know, when I read these books, I’m like, oh, I can do that. And you know what? I did it. So back last year when we were in Argentina, I was like, this is what Tim Ferris was talking about. I can get amazing, like best steaks in the world for $1, I can get amazing bottles of wine for a dollar. And when you have this location, freedom, you realize how much more is possible with the favorable exchange rates.

Danielle (17m 41s):
So four hour work week, it’s totally going to expand what you think is possible with your current reality. Okay. The next is the only fiction book I have on my list. I love fiction books, but in terms of changing my mindset completely, this is the one that has made the biggest impact. So the alchemists by Paulo Kelo, it is a really like heartwarming. I need to reread it again, but it’s a really heartwarming book about a boy who basically finds his life purpose. And my quote that I paste everywhere on my branding, on my website, on each of my eBooks, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

Danielle (18m 26s):
And so this touches me on a really deep level, because when you internalize the fact, the proven fact, like what I’ve proved in my life, that when you want something and you truly believe you can have it, and you have that unwavering desire to make it happen, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. I don’t know why I can’t explain it. Right? Like, I don’t know the science behind it. I don’t know why the universe works this way, but truly believing that anything you want, you can create. This is the most powerful frequency that you can be radiating.

Danielle (19m 8s):
So even now I have dreams for my future. I have so many thoughts and ideas and I don’t know exactly how I’m going to get there. Everything around me says, otherwise, it’s like, oh, but you’ve never taken an acting course before. You know nothing about crypto, you know, nothing about real estate, right? But all of these things do not matter because I truly believe that when I want to do something, I’m going to figure it out. The universe is going to help me. And I’m going to get there back when I was working in corporate, I had no idea how I was going to make income online. I had no idea how I was going to travel full-time, but that’s what I wanted.

Danielle (19m 49s):
And I made it happen. I had no idea how I was going to start surfing and learn how to do all of these cool things in the water, but that’s what I wanted and I made it happen. And so you really need to firmly believe in the fact that you are capable of doing whatever you set your mind to, and if you have trouble believing in yourself right now, I really, really recommend the alchemist’s amazing, amazing stocking stuffer. And I really hope you get to also experience this message, the next book or the next two books I have are on money mindset. I’ve done a lot of work on money mindset as an entrepreneur.

Danielle (20m 33s):
When your income reflects the work that you put into your own business, you need to work on this. You need to make sure that you’re allowing all the income and all the money to flow into your business without any blockages, any fear without any limiting beliefs or scarcity beliefs that may come up without you knowing about it. So the first book was recommended to me by one of my mentors, the science of getting rich by Wallace D Wattles. And this book was written more than a hundred years ago. And I always really cherished those books that just withstand the test of time, because for it to still be applicable more than a hundred years later about breaking down how to get rich to an exact science, there must be truth behind it.

Danielle (21m 22s):
So of course, I want you to read this book so you can understand the whole science and not just a summary, but what I took away, the main practices that I have in my business and what I practice every day is gratitude. And also focusing on the things that will get me to where I want to be in terms of gratitude, the whole concept behind it is the more gratefully you fix your minds on the Supreme, on the good, when good things come to us, the more good things we will receive and the more rapidly they will come. So this is another law of the universe that I do not know why, but it is just how it works.

Danielle (22m 5s):
And I’m so grateful that it works this way, but when you fix your mind on good things, more good things come. And the moment you let your mind think about things that are going wrong, you start losing ground and being able to make this distinction and always bring your mind back to gratitude. It takes practice. It’s probably going to mess up a bunch of your habits and a bunch of your reactions, but the more you are able to, the more good things come to you. So I started keeping a gratitude journal. I journal about everything that I am grateful for instead of, you know, complaining about things that are going wrong and what I don’t have.

Danielle (22m 45s):
And this has made such a difference and focusing on where I want to be. So this is a clear distinction between spending every hour and moment. You spend giving heed to doubts and fears every hour you spend in worry every hour in which your soul is possessed by unbelief. It sets a current away from you in the whole domain of intelligence substance. So if you want to become rich, you cannot study poverty. You can’t talk about it. Things are not brought into being by thinking about their opposites. Health is never to be attained by studying disease and thinking about disease, right? So if you know where you want to be, and you have a goal, you can’t worry about what happens.

Danielle (23m 28s):
If things go wrong, what happens if I lose all my money and I become homeless, like giving attention and giving energy to the worst case scenario and what I call praying for what you don’t want. It repels all that success. Right? And so really being able to shape and form your day to be the most conducive to success. One thing that I’ve practice is not really caring about the news. And you know, when people are freaking out about what’s going on in the world, I’m like, okay, I understand, and I know that’s happening, but how does that serve you? Right? Like what difference is it actually making then inducing stress and anxiety.

Danielle (24m 11s):
And if you’re working on a business, then you start becoming really stressed and anxious because you watch something really traumatic on the news. And because I know I’m really emotional and I get really triggered by certain things. I just, you know, say whatever, like I don’t watch the news. When people talk about really depressing things, I don’t buy into it. I’m just like, it’s a lot of fear-mongering. It really doesn’t make a difference and it’s just not worth my energy. So really, instead of focusing on these things, focusing on, what’s going to bring you success, focusing on your goals and everything that helps you get there. Being able to distinguish that and then filter out what gets to enter your mind.

Danielle (24m 54s):
You will feel so much better last but not least. One of my 2021 reads also on money mindset is secrets of the millionaire mind by T Harv, Eker. He studies millionaires and concludes that they all think a certain way and no one is taught this in school. And so everyone thinks a certain way, but if you really want to become a millionaire and really welcomed that wealth into your life, you need to adopt these quote unquote wealth files. So he gives 17 wealth files. And as an example of how not everyone has these wealth files ingrained into them, he says, for instance, let’s say my wife is in the mall.

Danielle (25m 35s):
That shouldn’t be too hard for me to imagine. She sees this green purse it’s on sale for 25% off. She immediately goes to her mind files with the question. Should I get this purse in a nanosecond? Her mind files, come back with the answer. Well, you’ve been looking for a green purse to go with those green shoes you bought last week. Plus it’s just the right size. Buy it as you rush it to the checkout counter. Her mind is not only thrilled that she’s going to have this beautiful purse, but glowing with pride that she got it. First 25% off to her mind, this purchase makes perfect sense. She wants it. She believes she needs it. And it is quote unquote, such a great deal. However, at no point, did her mind come up with the thought true.

Danielle (26m 17s):
This is a really nice purse and true. This is a great deal, but right now I’m $3,000 in debt. So I’d better hold off. She didn’t come up with that information because no file in her head contains that the file of when you’re in debt don’t buy anymore, it was never installed in her and doesn’t exist. Which means that particular choice is not an option. Do you catch my drift? If you got the files in your that are non-supportive to financial success, those will be the only choices you can make. They’re natural, they’re automatic and make perfect sense to you. So in this book, the 17 wildfires that he shares, honestly, I probably only had a fraction of them, maybe half of them and the other half, I just never really paid attention to.

Danielle (27m 5s):
And some of them I didn’t have at all. And I want to share with you one that I have implemented into my life, and it’s made the biggest change because now my focus is directed differently. One of the wealth files is rich. People focus on their net worth poor people, focus on working income. And he doesn’t mean to cause he has this disclaimer, like I’m not talking about rich people and poor people and defining them. It’s not about how much money they make. It’s about their mindset. Focusing on your net worth. In one part of the book, he simply says, just focus on it, write it down, calculate it. So your assets minus your liabilities. That’s your net worth.

Danielle (27m 45s):
Get rid of all your debt, your credit card, your mortgage, whatever your loans and calculate your net worth, put attention to it. And it will grow to not only focus on what your salary is, what your yearly income is. Comparing yearly income. People can make so much income and be working for someone else, but have no financial sense and end up having the lowest net worth a few other wealth files that I want to share. The rich people are willing to promote themselves and their value. Poor people think negatively about selling and promotion. Rich people associate with positive successful people, poor people associate with negative or unsuccessful people.

Danielle (28m 25s):
Rich people are grateful that others have succeeded before them so that they now have a blueprint to follow. That will make it easier to attain their own success. Why reinvent the wheel? There are proven methods for success that work for virtually everyone who applies them, consequently, the fastest and easiest way to create wealth is to learn exactly how rich people who are masters of money. Play the game. The goal is to simply model their inner and outer strategies. It just makes sense. If you take the exact same actions and have the exact same mindset, chances are good that you will get the exact same results. That’s what I did. And that’s what this entire book is about.

Danielle (29m 6s):
And that brings me to the first book I talked about where every single time when I read these books, I’m like, holy shit, they did it. And I can too. So I hope that if you’re looking at me and you’re like, how did she create this life? Where she can run her own business, travel the world full time. She didn’t come from this creative background. This is what I did. So if you’re looking for that same kick in the butt for that same mindset shift to be like, oh my gosh. Instead of being like, how did you do it? But realize, Hey, I can do it too. I hope that they help you. I would love to hear your thoughts on what you think if you end up buying them for anybody, but guys honestly cannot recommend these books enough.

Danielle (29m 52s):
I hope you all have such a joyful, happy holiday season with your loved ones. I am wishing you the merriest Christmas and the happiest new year. I will see you in the next episode. Love you guys.


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