Design-Focused Video Interview, at The 21 Convention

video-interview-21-conventionI first heard about the 21 Convention back in 2011, when Richard Nikoley (a very happy owner of our shoes) spoke there. A number of other Paleo luminaries, such as Keith Norris and Mark Sisson (also happy owners of our shoes) have spoken there through the years, which kept the 21 Convention on my radar. You can watch all the health-related talks here.

We finally connected when Founder Anthony Johnson reached out, and I’m so glad he did. I sent him a pair of shoes, and he sent me a ticket to the 21 Convention, where we were able to film this combo shoe review / interview with me. What I loved about doing this interview was how much we got to dive into design details. I put a lot of thought into every part of the shoe, and it’s very rewarding when someone not only notices but appreciates it to the level that Anthony does. Continue reading

Copy Paste: How to Journal Easily

I don't actually write with a flower-petal pen nor drink out of tea cups... I just picked the least intimidating photo of journaling I could find.

I don’t actually write with a flower-petal pen, nor drink out of tea cups… I just picked the least intimidating photo of journaling I could find. ( pc: Carli Jean / Unsplash )

I’m here to share a really easy way to start a journaling habit. It’s literally Copy Paste. But first, have you heard about the benefits of journaling? Continue reading

Mail Merge in Gmail helps me confirm addresses quickly

gmail mail merge address confirm

When I first got shoe inventory in May 2013, I sent a pair of shoes to a customer’s old address. No surprise, they went missing. So now, when I fulfill pre-orders for Chronology, I always make sure to confirm shipping address with my customers.

A few weeks ago, as I was preparing these “confirm address” emails, I found myself copy+pasting data multiple times for each email. Surely there must be a better way! I remembered learning how to run mail merges before. You create a template in Word, then create a spreadsheet in Excel with the data to be merged. Maybe you could do this with Gmail and Google Docs too? A quick Google search proved that yes you can!

Here is my template below.

Hey {{Full Name}},

How’s it going? I have your pair of {{SKU}} inspected, packed, and ready to ship! Is this still the best address to send them to? Thanks!


Best Regards,

Mountain Evan Chang

For detailed instructions on how to do this, check out:

MagicMtn Musical Massage: That Time I Tried to Start a Massage Practice

magicmtn musical massage experience

A MagicMtn Musical Massage will make you go “MMMM”!

Earlier this year, I tried to start a massage practice. My unique selling proposition was that I’d cater it to ravers, mainly by synchronizing the massage to EDM, but with lots of other little details that ravers would appreciate. In this post, I’ll be talking about the background, the process, why I had to stop in the end, and what I learned from it all. Enjoy! Continue reading

My First Talk About Business

I titled this, “Asian-American Accountant, Barefoot Business Beast.” Other potential titles could be:

  • “How to Start a Shoe Company with $7K, While Working Full-Time.”
  • “Mental Barriers to Entrepreneurship, & Why They Didn’t Stop a Schmuck Like Me”
  • and “The Most You Can Learn About Mountain in 30 Minutes.” Just kidding. (Kidding about this being a potential title. Otherwise, I do think this is the most you can learn about me in just 30 minutes.)

This talk is nearly a year old now. So much has happened since then–the big thing being that we are now a real business sending real products to real customers for real money (see But everything I said in the video still remains true. Thank you Multi-Asian Student Association for having me back

The Best Part of a 10 Week Roadtrip Across the USA? The People

This is a guest post by Cherry Duong, VP of Visual Communication at the Primal Professional, owner of Cherry Topping Designs.

I grew up in an area of Sacramento where the word “vacation” was nonexistent. Many families, including my own, had first generation working-class parents who were too busy working, saving money to send back to their families in their homeland. This explains why I’ve never had the travel bug. But it makes it harder to explain how I quit my job of 3.5 years and traveled the country for 10 whole weeks, sometimes staying in strangers’ homes.

Doesn’t show every stop because Google Maps maxes out, but it’s the route we took.

Continue reading

Self-Employed No Income, or The Summer Vacation I Never Had

Beach & Beard, staples of Summer 2012. via Instagram

“What have you been up to, Mountain?”

If you’re my friend (real and/or facebook), you probably know I left my job in March to travel the country for 10 weeks, promoting my startup the Primal Professional. Since returning to San Diego late May, life has been less exciting, but different enough to warrant a blog post. We have enough savings and enough potential for income in the near future to be comfortable without clocking in for paychecks. But we don’t have so much savings nor such a guaranteed future income to really do everything we want to. It’s not quite 4-Hour Workweek status, but it’s undeniably better than working full-time.

I’ve been occupying myself with “cheap/free” activities: reading, fooling on the internet, TV and movies, growing a beard, working out, breaking my pinky, cooking, eating, meeting up with people to chat or catch up, and the beach. But first, let’s start with…

Business Continue reading

Becoming a State Champion Powerlifter, part 3: Lessons and What’s Next

On February 11, 2012, I competed in my first powerlifting meet and became a state champion and current record holder in my division. This is a 3-part series on my adventures in powerlifting from Feb 2009 – Feb 2012. The first post talks about how I got into the sport. The second post covers more details on training and the day of the meet. The third post is on lessons learned and what’s next.

Lesson 8. Find synergies. (Photo: Ryan Chang)

The cool thing about these lessons is that they have carryover into all other parts of life. I’ll keep it short, but each one can probably be a post all by itself. Continue reading