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Last Update: Monday June 21, 2021

Key Idea: Move Yourself Up and Out

Cathie Jao is in charge of office happiness and Frank is busy on global projects. More...

Key Question:


Move over to make room for new leadership and Frank has done this.   Now he is spending 25% of his time helping American companies do business in China and another 25% working on business-friendly public policy.  The only way he could move on to these goals was to replace himself at the top of Bridgecreek. 

Q: Why is it so difficult for owners to replace themselves?

A: Let us count the ways! Most owners never replace themselves and simply die in the saddle or close their doors when they are too tired to keep them open. Reasons for this include:
1. They don't earn enough profits to attract and retain a quality leader.
2. They are arrogant enough to think they can't be replaced.
3. The think there are going to live forever.
4. They can't think of anything else they would rather do.

Really! Bonnie Brown, a family business consultant told us that the number one reason a founder doesn't leave the day-to-day operation of their company is they would have nothing to do with their time if they didn't go to the office. By being physically present, it is almost impossible for another person to be in charge.

Frank's new president lives and works out of the San Jose office. Do you remember the episode with Linda Opici who now runs the company her parents started. One of the reasons that she can be successful that she runs the business is in New Jersey and her parents live in Florida. They visit her and the three are often on the phone with each other. But the people who report to Linda can't go running to her parents for marching orders.

Frank has moved himself up and out of Bridgecreek because he has new goals. At the time of this writing, he is building a multi-million square foot commercial building in Bejing.

Think about it

When will you begin to replace yourself? What will you do when you are no longer needed in the day-to-day operation?

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

Move Yourself Up and Out

HATTIE: This is Catherine Jao, Frank's wife, who is responsible for human resources and bookkeeping.

CATHERINE JAO: You have to listen to what other people are feeling too. Not only one way. You have two or three ways to listen to people. They always give me some advice. I go home and think about it and say, "It's good."

HATTIE: And these are the people of Bridgecreek. Just like Frank, they all left home.

MICHAEL JAO (nephew): Everything is changing every day and his vision changes. So you have to keep pace with Mr. Frank Jao all of the time. Everybody at the office knows and we work as a team to reach that goal.

HATTIE: Frank is mentoring the next generation, this is Ryan Hubris. He came from Vietnam at age 8, unable to speak a word of English -- today he is President of Bridgecreek.

RYAN HUBRIS: I really didn't learn the true meaning of integrity until I worked with Frank. Because, while there are opportunities to get ahead – but Frank – never at a cost for somebody else. And I found that the success of his business was really all about doing the right thing all of the time, not just for the one deal or something short term. It's a long term. That is reflected in a lot of his philosophy. He believes in the Karmic forces. Do the right thing – be a good person. If somebody wants to do you wrong, that is their business and they will get what is coming to them. And all you can do is do the right thing.

HATTIE: So one of the secrets to building your business is that you have hired people who like managing.

FRANK: I need to get people who are good in certain areas that I am not good at – so that we both arrive at the highest place possible.

HATTIE: So, I don't get it. You are managing 1,100 tenants but you don't like managing.

FRANK: I can create a formula of management, but I don't like routine daily work. But I really enjoy coming back to help when there is a problem. I am really good in trouble shooting, but not good in doing daily repeated work. I think management is extremely important. I have seen it over and over -- buying an automobile is not as difficult as keeping it in the top shape over a long time.

KATHY B: This is some special tea that is $96 a pound – so this is very special tea and it comes from what country? Taiwan.

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