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Lucy Liu

Episode 140

LA to Taiwan to Coaching

Lucy Liu is a master life coach helping women up-level in business and life to confidently live an epic life! She is an unshakable optimist, wife, mom, entrepreneur, empowerment workshop facilitator, motivational speaker, best selling author and podcast host of The Lucy Liu Show. Entrepreneurs & high achievers hire her to see clarity and take quantum leaps FAST. Because most of them are overthinking, scattered and self-doubting. She’s best at helping you get unstuck, make faster decisions and fulfill higher potential. Bottom line: not only make more money and impact, but have more fun and live an EPIC life by design.

Lucy was born in China and raised in the SGV. She had a deep, ambitious desire for success in life and to finish school sooner. So, Lucy dropped herself out of high school as a straight-A student after her sophomore year. She graduated from UCLA with a BS in Economics and had plans to pursue her dream of becoming a financial adviser.

Lucy was living the life, and courageously chose love over her career and moved to Taiwan. It was a country she had not even visited. In Taiwan Lucy underwent many life transitions – overcoming many different kinds of obstacles. Today, she shares her stories and strategies to help influence women around the world to be more powerful, soulful, and joyful.

The ex-overachiever and recovering perfectionist has been traveling throughout Asia for the past 13 years. She has been living a thriving life as an unshakable optimist. As a loving wife, motivated mother, easy-going entrepreneur, she now makes it her passion to get you from feeling stuck to full clarity. Helping you find your true happiness and rewrite your life story.

She calls both Taiwan and Los Angeles her home, traveling between them. She lives with her husband and her daughter and enjoys spending time with her family and love ones.

Podcast: The Lucy Liu Show

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Lucy Liu Quotes

  • “I never knew coaching was a career at all when I grew up, even when I told my friends here, some of my friends said, “Coaching is for celebrities or only for the rich and famous and, you know, top executives because a lot of people don’t know about coaching.” And for me, that was the case. I did not know. And once I knew, I’m like, that’s for me for the rest of my life because I get excited helping others.”
  • “No matter what challenge you’re going through now, three years, five years down the road, in hindsight, it’s going to be easy.”
  • “I decided on the spot that I was going to start a podcast because everyone says you should start as early as possible, and I launched it in 45 days.”

Lucy Liu has lived an inspiring life of overcoming challenges and finding empowerment. Though she moved frequently as a child and dropped out of high school, Liu was able to adapt to new environments like moving to Taiwan for 20 years to work on her husband’s family business. It was in Taiwan that Liu discovered her innate ability to stay positive through difficulties, which led her to become a coach.

Liu has been coaching women online to overcome tendencies like overthinking, and helping them be the best version of themselves. She helps clients prioritize self-care and set empowering boundaries.

Liu also co-authored two books on women empowerment and started a podcast to inspire confidence in others. Her story highlights key lessons of living authentically, focusing forward during setbacks, and turning adversities into strengths. Liu teaches that self-care, self-belief, and serving others are pathways to confidence.

What is your connection to the San Gabriel Valley?

I love the San Gabriel Valley. I am the person always explaining to others where San Gabriel Valley is because Los Angeles is so big. 

I go to events on the west side or in the valley, and they ask, “Where are you from?” Then I have to explain where the San Gabriel Valley is because a lot of people don’t know. But for people who’ve lived here for a long time, there is that pride in living in this beautiful valley. I have personally lived in El Monte and Rosemead. 

I went to elementary school in San Gabriel down the street. I went to Washington, Jefferson, and then we moved to Temple City. I went to Oak Avenue, and then I moved to Monrovia. We moved quite a bit. I’m still in Arcadia today, but it’s been a journey for me throughout the San Gabriel Valley. 

After I graduated college, we moved to Taiwan because my husband is Tawainese. So, I’ve been in Taiwan for the past 20 years, and we just moved back to Arcadia. We would come back every year for vacation. But just through it all, I think through this journey this is where home is.


You’ve lived in a lot of different cities at a young age. Do you know why you moved around so much?

My parents started with nothing. They came to America two years before I was very young. I stayed with my grandma, and they were actually in New York. They moved around quite a bit in New York, and they moved to Jersey. They felt it wasn’t right to raise their kid there. So they took two suitcases with nothing else and moved to California in search of a better place for me, a better future, and a higher hope for my education. 

We came from a humble background, so I’m very grateful for my parents, who were very well respected in China. My mom was a doctor, and my dad was a businessman, and they gave up everything to provide a better future for me. 

After we landed in the San Gabriel Valley, they wanted a better city, so they kept moving around until they found what they felt was a better school system for me. That’s why we ended up in Arcadia. 

I disappointed them because I dropped out of high school and did not graduate from Arcadia High then. I felt like I was behind. Even though I had straight A’s in every class and had a perfect GPA, I still felt behind. 

I felt like there was more to life. I wanted to rush through life. I was following what society deemed as the shiny object syndrome. I was chasing what’s out there, what’s always ahead, and I always felt behind. So, I took the California proficiency test.

That must have been very difficult to be uprooted so much when you were that young.

I was very fortunate to grow up with a personality. In hindsight, what you see is a lot different than in this situation. After becoming a coach, I went on interviews, and people always say what a bold move it was. But at the time, it didn’t feel that way to me. I didn’t feel like I was making bold moves or that I was special.

That’s the same with challenges we face, right? No matter what challenge you’re going through now, three years, five years down the road, in hindsight, it’s going to be easy. It won’t be as difficult as you think it would be.

Can you go back to when you were in Arcadia High School? You’re getting great grades; what led you to think you were so behind and to eventually drop out?

It was just this constant feeling of being behind. I was looking forward to getting into society. I was making older friends. I was looking forward to having a job, making money, and living the life that society told me about. But I loved school and never had a problem with it. 

How did your parents react?

They thought, “We moved around to get you into a top school, and that was all useless?” But I felt like I disappointed them in some ways. And I think as Asian kids, we feel like we’re disappointing others. And this disappointment stuck with me. But in the end, when I did transfer to UCLA, my parents were proud of me. And they’re there for our best interest and to protect us.

You said you lived in Taiwan 20 years, how did that happen?

So, I came from a very entrepreneurial family. My grandpa did business, my dad was a businessman, and my husband’s whole family owns a business. At the time, their business in Taiwan was really busy, and they needed us, so they wanted us to come back. And that would lead to another whole story because I was going into finance. Having studied economics, I was going into finance. But during my internship, I felt like it wasn’t for me. 

My managers were managing funds for athletes for top Hollywood A-listers. Everyone in the office was making millions of dollars a year. And I know I would be financially set there as well, but it didn’t make me happy. It didn’t align with my life. That was another bold move I made, and I left all that behind and went to Taiwan to work on the family business.

Did you find it rewarding working for your husband’s family business?

I did. It’s my ability to adapt to different environments because I think that’s one of the top reasons I became a coach. When I was in Taiwan, the top question I got was, how do you get through life without friends? Well, I make friends. 

How do you get through life without support? Support is always readily available if you seek it from coaches, groups, and people. People ask me, well, how do you stay positive? So, I started to feel like this wasn’t easy for other people. I saw that it was a natural superpower that I had to see the positive perspectives through negative challenges. And not to say that I don’t have problems or challenges myself, but we, as coaches, have tools.

So you discovered this superpower in Taiwan. did you start thinking about how you can use it to help more people?

Yeah, absolutely. That’s how I started my coaching business. I was following people on social media and met up with a local coach in Pasadena. She was a business coach, and we met up for coffee. I told her I was moving back in a couple of years and would hire her to start my coaching business. She asked, “Why do you have to wait?”

And because I hired my first business coach, that’s when I had my first client. Because when you show up for yourself, other people see that and get inspired, and then they are inspired to work on their dreams. 

I never knew coaching was a career at all when I grew up. Even when I told my friends here, some of them said, “Oh, coaching is for celebrities or only for the rich and famous and top executives,” because a lot of people don’t know about coaching.

So you started your coaching business before you returned?

Yes, I’ve been coaching for four years now, and it’s been. Well, because of the pandemic, it’s been over Zoom. And I’ve worked with clients from Hong Kong, Europe, and all over America.

What was it like working with your first client?

My first client was my best friend from childhood. There were things she wanted in her life. So she hired me on the spot, I’m sure, to show support as well. But she came to me to grow her side hustle. 

Today, she is hosting her workshops. She is speaking. It’s been amazing seeing her succeed.

You’re also an author. Can you tell us about that?

So, during the pandemic, I co-authored two books. Both of these books were about 17 or 18 ladies. One book is The Rising Sisterhood and the other is Asian Women Who Boss Up. It was a really fun project for us because we want to inspire others to live their best lives and boss up for ourselves. When we were younger, we thought of people who were bossy as just bossy, but in reality, bossy can mean just leadership. You’re taking the lead. You have confidence in where you’re going.

And that’s what I am all about: confidence. But I’m not about the loud confidence. I’m all about calm confidence. There’s such a big myth about people who think they have to be loud to be confident, and that’s not true. And that is the myth I want to debunk. You can be quiet.

You also have a podcast. Can you tell us more about that?

So, I was working with my business coach, and she was just interviewed on this podcast. It’s called the Tao of Self-Confidence. It is probably the number one Asian-hosted show right now. It’s hosted by Sheena Yap Chan. I’m giving her a shout-out because I love her.

She just came out with a book called The Tao of Self-Confidence because that was the first podcast interview that I was ever on. And I fell in love. Then I started listening to all these podcasts, and I started guesting on other podcasts and looking into how to start a podcast. And one thing I learned from these successful podcasters is that they wished they started earlier. So, I decided on the spot that I would start a podcast because everyone says you should start as early as possible, and I launched it in 45 days.

What are some of the reasons you continue to do your podcast?

It is my way to provide free content, and I can point to when someone has a specific topic or challenge in their business or life. I can suggest an episode to maybe solve their problem on the spot or at least give them a different perspective. 

I like to keep my shows from anywhere from ten to 20 minutes. I like to keep them as a short dose of inspiration. And I even listen to my own podcast when I need to. I know where certain episodes will give me that dose of inspiration when I need it.

Another reason I keep doing it, besides having fun, is because it inspires me. And because I’m providing this free content, I’m more confident in charging people. I think as a beginner business owner, there’s always this tug of war between are you charging too much or too little? But if I put this out there, I guarantee you will have a better life or business. That’s how confident I am in providing these doses because I know I was inspired by my guests. So that’s why I’m confident in doing the work that I do.

All of your guests are women. Can you share your reasons for that?

I have no problem with men. I felt women have more problems with overthinking, to be honest. There was a Google study that said that men would apply to jobs when they are 60% ready or they feel they fit about 60% of the job description, whereas women only apply once they feel they fit 100% of the job description. 

And I think for female business owners, that’s even worse. From my experience, we don’t go for things until we are, like, 150% sure that everything’s in place. 

We’re always worried. So, there is a point of women empowerment that I want to put out into the world, but when the show gets bigger, I’m open to having male guests in the future.

What has it been like for you coaching and having the podcast? Are you loving it? Are you learning new things all the time?

Absolutely. I am always learning. I started my podcast with my old gaming headset and had nothing. And in the first 30 episodes, a lot of my guests even recorded on their iPhones. So you can start anywhere if you want to, right?

Eventually, you can upgrade to a better mic, and it’s an endless game. There are good mics for $100. There are good mics for $5,000. If someone in our audience is thinking about starting a podcast, get started. Have fun along the way.

Do you have a story from a client that really inspired you?

The first one that came to mind was a client we worked with on her boundaries.

It’s a lot harder to keep those boundaries when it comes to work because you don’t want to lose a client. So, she had problems with her boundaries and her calendar. But one of the first things I work with my client is on their calendar. Because going back to how we want to live our lives, a lot of us have work schedules.

Of course, if you’re working nine to five, that time is inevitably blocked off your calendar. Many make the mistake of putting work on their calendar first. They talk about traveling, going to the gym, and doing everything they want to do, but they don’t get to it because it’s not on their calendars.

That’s one of the first things we worked on together: make room for fun. To schedule your meals, dinner time, and dog walking time is to have all those non-negotiables you want to have in life before anything else. That’s the only way you will keep going for the long run. 

My client, in the end chose to stick to her schedule. So she told her client, I have your work time scheduled on my calendar for this specific time next week, so I’ll get to it for sure.

After she messaged her client, she was messaging me. She was so nervous. What if she gets mad? Or what if I lose this client? But to her surprise, her client replied that she respected her for what she was doing, was very organized, had time scheduled, and really respected that. So she was worried for nothing. 

What do you say to the person who doesn’t set boundaries and feel bad about speaking up?

I think it’s a lot of overthinking that we do. I say I’m an ex-overthinker. It’s who you choose to be because I choose to let go of overthinking. So, I try to tell myself that I’m a recovering overthinker because I’ve decided that that’s no longer a part of me.

Is the antidote to overthinking to focus on moving forward?

I think there’s a lot of different aspects to that, and I’m sure you’re aware of that, too. There are different tools and techniques, and they all add up, like practicing gratitude, because you’re seeing a different perspective in life instead of what you see now. It’s the daily routines that add up. It’s the daily habits. It’s our thoughts. Everything adds up. It’s not a one-day job. It’s a habit.

If someone wants to work with you, what’s the best way they can contact you?

They can search the Lucy Liu show anywhere podcasts are available, and I’m most active on Instagram @mslucyliu.

Picture of Lucy Liu

Lucy Liu

Monrovia street fair. I grew up going there. There’s the petting zoo, farmers market, lots of vendors, and restaurants along both sides. We walk around. I always like to go to Yogurtland and grab yogurt afterward when I’m tired as well.

Lacy Park. There’s just something about Lacy Park and the tall palm trees. When I go, it just really grounds me.


Happy Buddha Kitchen Vegetarian Restaurant. It’s on Rosemead and Broadway next to the Office Depot. It is a Vietnamese restaurant.