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Key Idea: Learn To See What's Not There

Frank Jao envisioned a home away from home for immigrants from Viet Nam. After watching this video and reading the Q&A (case study guide), you can go to the homepage  for this episode or click on the key question  for other insightful answers.

Key Question:


Learn to see what's not there. 

Seeing something that no one else can see is always the beginning of leadership.

Q: Who can see what doesn't exist today?

A: Any person who tries can imagine a better world, a better community, and a better neighborhood. The most famous American dreamer might be Walt Disney. As the father of two girls, he dreamed of creating a park where he could take them and have fun without worrying about the riffraff around every bend. It's been said that we all spend our lives making the pictures in our heads come true. We suggest that if you don't actively imagine what you want, you'll be stuck in the reality you are in.

Walt Disney was never stuck in any particular reality, and Frank was never stuck for long. At the age of eleven he told his mother that since the house was so crowded -- he was one of eight children -- and since there wasn't enough food to go around, he would go off on his own. By the time he was 16 years old, he spoke Vietnamese, Chinese, French and English, and he had six boys working for him delivering newspapers in the city of Da Nang.

Willa Cather said, "Desire is the talent." To us this means you have to want to make things different. You have to want to make a change. You have to desire something that you do not presently have. Most people walk through the world assuming it must stay as it is and they must adapt. Leaders walk through the world assuming they are going to leave their special mark and the world will adapt to them.

Think about it

What do you have desire to change?  What would you like to see happening that is not now happening?  What do your customers need that you could supply them?

Clip from: Bridgecreek Development - Frank Jao

Westminster, California:  In 1975 Frank Jao and his family came from Vietnam  in a C-130 (military aircraft) to Camp Pendleton. They had nothing. 

Within a 48 hours of arriving in California, he got a job as a vacuum cleaner salesman. Within a year he had taken the courses to qualify to become a realtor. With three years he was developing property for others. Within four years he became the founder of Bridgecreek Development and he broke ground on his first building of 50,000 square feet.

Today Bridgecreek literally owns millions of square feet in California  and he has inspired the development of even more. California has become his home and the home of over 400K Vietnamese and their de facto capital outside of Vietnam.

Yes, meet the people who started Little Saigon.

Frank Jao has been recognized by the President of the USA and today Frank is the president of the Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce West Coast and he is spending 25% of his time taking US businesses into Asia.

Immigrants to the USA remind us that this land is a light on the hill, a beacon to the world. We know that business works best within a democratic, ethical society.

Bridgecreek Development

Frank Jao, Founder

8907 Warner Avenue
Suite 118
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Visit our web site:

Office: 714.842.8038

Business Classification:
Real Estate

Year Founded: 1975

Learn To See What's Not There

HATTIE: Hi, I'm Hattie Bryant. When Saigon fell, American airplanes rescued many of our loyal Vietnamese friends and our country is better because of what they are doing today. Many started businesses. Some because that's what they knew. Some because they couldn't get a job. Whatever the reason, they are part of the job-creation machine in America -- small business.

The real estate development sector is dominated by visionary individuals. These men and women can look at land or space and paint a mental picture of what could be.

Let's go to Southern California, to Orange County, to Little Saigon.

 Frank Jao, founder of Bridgecreek Development is the man most responsible for prosperity in this place today. He left home when he was eleven and supported himself with a paper route. When the Communist took over Vietnam, he left his home country with his wife and his dream to live in freedom.

They arrived in Camp Pendleton, Southern California, with virtually nothing. Yet within five years, he had begun developing a city within a city -- one building at a time -- an actual exit off the 405 Interstate Highway. This is a story about leaving home, about the power of capital and the power of ideas.

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