Things They Don’t Tell You is a weekly online column that dives deep into the lives of Prestige 40 Under 40 class of 2020 laureates, where they share little-known stories and offer insights on things that go under-the-radar. This week, we get candid with Joan Chang, Co-Founder of Lloyd’s Inn and Ove.
I’ve been interested in design and architecture for as long as I can remember and my first job was in real estate so I guess the interest in the hotel business progressed naturally.
I’m proud that I’m able to instil life in Singapore’s boutique hotel scene and change things up a little from the conventional ways things are being done.
I enjoy travelling and my personal goal was to finish key countries and continents on my checklist by 30. Covid-19 derailed my plans a little (was going to finish up my checklist with South America, Cyprus & Beirut), but I’m glad I executed my plan to travel when I was younger — even though it burned a hole in the bank — so I’m still on track.
Besides travelling, I’m passionate about discovering new ideas and things, beauty (spaces), architecture, and design.
My dad built what we have today from scratch. His tenacity and determination is admirable. We are similar yet also very different from one another. So we learn from one another on different things.
I’d rather be shot than to live a life without my family.
In general, I’m quite a rational and principled person, even if it sacrifices personal feelings or happiness. I’ve never been one who “lives for the moment” or “follow my heart”, so even in my personal life I normally plan ahead and conceive rational steps to achieve goals. If I make a commitment, I would make sure it is fulfilled. If I set my heart to execute something, I would follow through to completion.
I’m saliva-phobic so I can’t share food with anyone other than my husband. I used to be too embarrassed to admit it but I guess I’ve come to embrace it.
Obviously I know myself, so I wouldn’t think this way, but it’s flattering when some close friends have told me that they’d want my kid to grow up to be like me.
Trump. I’m almost sick of hearing about him.
God forgive me, but I have a secret adventurous side — which is different from what the media reports write about me. The stupidest thing I’ve ever done was to stand on the edge of a mountain for a photo.
I’m an adrenaline junkie, so I’m up for any extreme sports with heights. I love and chase the feeling of vertigo.
Fear is more often than not, worse than reality.
Everyone, even the worst person, is someone else’s child/sibling/parent. We can be more compassionate by putting ourselves into someone else’s shoes and not judge or write people off too quickly.
I’d tell young Joan to just be authentic and own who she is. Friends who accept you are the ones worthy of friendship. You shouldn’t have to change who you are to conform or be accepted and I wouldn’t waste my time chasing for friendship that is not meant to be.
Failures are part of life. We can hope for the best but be prepared for the worst, but what’s important is to emerge stronger and grow each time as individuals.
Humans fight and squabble on many matters but the only certainty is life and death. Life is short. I do feel it’s important to ask ourselves what makes us fulfilled with the time we have, then reach for it as best as we can. Not everyone chases money; some chase passion (doing what they love), some chase creating and inventing, some chase simple contentment with loved ones.
It is so important to be able to appreciate simple moments in life and treasure the smallest things we often take for granted.
(Main and featured image: Joan Chang)