George Lucas on the Set of Star Wars (source: Encyclopedia Britannica)

Four scripts and four rewrites — his previous screenplay took only three days. But now it had been three YEARS, and George still wasn’t sure whether he had a dud or a winner on his hands. Once more he contacted his film maker friends. George appreciated the honest opinions of fellow creators, instead of polite or uninformed comments of family or test audiences.

Finally, after what felt like endless sleepness nights and literal pulling of his curly hair, George Lucas began principal photography of what was still called, “The Star Wars.” …


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Reading Unmistakable by Srinivas Rao and his love of surfing made me reflect on my own journey with tango.

While today’s technology has given rise to the indie creative, it’s also harder than ever to rise above the noise. But instead of being a choice of one among many, Srini suggests that you become the only choice by being unmistakable.

He says that art requires us to attempt what hasn’t been proven to work. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why we love Apple products so much — for showing us what we didn’t even know we wanted!

How Shortcuts Can Actually Get In Our Way

When we…


Photo credit: Big Dan Bowe via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Ah, Donkey Kong — that 80’s arcade classic where a gorilla named Donkey Kong rolls barrels at you, trying to save a pixelated princess. Climbing up ladders and jumping to avoid the deadly objects, you gain points plus bonuses for leveling up.

If those barrels are the daily “to do” items that keep coming at us and filling up our schedules, then climbing ladders are the stretch goals that help us to level up to our next plateau of success and achievement.

(Here’s a short humbling demo of me playing Donkey Kong badly! Boy, it’s been a while..)

Donkey Kong…


Girl Underwater by Christopher Campbell via Unsplash

What scares you? Some people talk about doing one thing a day that scares them. Others urge us to push past our comfort zone.

Over the years, I’ve made it a point not to let fear get in my way. There was that time that I took a job and had to learn how to drive stick in an afternoon. Or moments in the cockpit flying by the seat of my pants.

While I’d like to say that things always worked out, the truth is that they don’t always. Sometimes you get a few scrapes and bruises. …


Photo credit: National Library of Scotland / Foter / No known copyright restrictions

“If we let you pass, you’ll be struggling to keep up with your peers. That’s why we think it’s better that you find something else.” Those words stung.

What happened? How did I go from straight A student and top 1% in the country to this - standing in front of the review board and having my fate determined by these instructor pilots?

Yet, as painful as that moment was, it was also the beginning of my new life.

I struggled at my first post as an aircraft maintenance officer in an E-2C squadron (These birds are the Navy’s equivalent…


Superman by juanpablocifuentes20 via Flickr

Ok, I admit it. Before Comic Con became the hip event of the year that attracts A-listers, I was that geek in high school who saved up his hard-earned dollars from delivering pizza to get autographs and shake hands with our heroes.

But what struck me since I was a kid was how the X-men mutants each have a superpower that makes them special — Wolverine has his strength and crazy healing; Professor Xavier has his psychic abilities..

Yet, each is weaker alone. It’s only by combining their forces that they together become unstoppable.

A short while ago I learned…


Photo: Helicopter Pilot by StockSnap via Pixabay

“Valdosta Tower, Tomahawk November Tango Two Five Three Four Bravo, request landing Runway One Seven.”

“Roger, November Tango Two Five Three Four Bravo, you’re cleared to land at your discretion. Cessna at your two o’clock is on final.”

“November Tango Two Five Three Four Bravo, roger clear to land Runway One Seven — traffic in sight.”

With that I pulled back on the throttle and began my descent. Eight hundred feet.. five.. two.. until finally the old Tomahawk airframe creaked a bit as we settled on the runway. Its wheels made their distinctive squeal of rubber meeting asphalt.

I made…


Rainy-day on a train-Shlomit-Wolf via Unsplash

Well, I made it — Day 31 of this #My500words challenge. Unfortunately it’s ending on a bittersweet note, as I’m struggling to bang out a few words before I need to host a talk on Blab. Most likely you’ll read this well after we’ve met, but here’s the link to this talk about building teams for digital nomads.

For some strange reason Steam decided to update itself this morning.. really? During probably the busiest time of day? Who’s the project manager on that one?

In any case, life is what happens while we make plans. Speaking of which..

So, I…


Girl and Cat by ThePixelman via Pixabay

Do you remember a time when anything was possible? Before the cynicism of the world made you jaded.. before ‘yes’ became more no’s.. before what others thought mattered more than your own ideas?

When did it happen? When did we start worrying whether someone would want to sit next to us? When did we start wondering what’s the point of even trying? When did we start doubting more than believing?

Of course, if adults acted like children, it can be funny or maybe downright disturbing.

In the movie Big, Tom Hanks plays a 12-year old who gets his wish granted…


Photo via Unsplash

I don’t often talk about my field inspection work — not because I’m ashamed of it. It’s mostly because I just never think that it’s that interesting to other people. Yet, when I meet building owners or managers, they will often ask questions about what I do.

Let’s face it. This wasn’t exactly my dream job. It reminds me of this hilarious commercial where the kids say things like “when I grow up, one day I’m going to be a field inspector.”

Like many such things I lucked into it during the last real estate boom before it all went…

John Chang

sharing #IndieCreative entrepreneur’s journeys - author, speaker, film maker, part-time world traveller, full-time foodie, poker addict, tango dancer

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