Book Offers A Roadmap To Successful Entrepreneurship 

Welcome back to Build Your Dream. 

I’m building my dream here at American Lending Center, and decided a while back to share my story, with the hope that it might help and inspire others to build their dream. The result was a book I called “Crossing The Swamp.” 

To summarize, the book tells the story of a Chinese student immigrating to America for an education, discovering success in the real estate business, losing everything in the real estate business, then discovering success again with a group of companies – American Lending Center, Sunstone Management Inc., Sunstone Trust and Partake Collective. Along the way, I share the eight personal and business qualities that entrepreneurs must develop in order to achieve their highest goals and dreams. 

About Immigration 

A key to the success of American Lending Center was my discovery of a way to help my fellow Chinese who were interested in coming to America. The program has the dual advantage of helping people immigrate and helping economic development through project development loans. 

So I decided to devote a section in every chapter of “Crossing The Swamp” to tips for first-generation entrepreneurs. These are straight-forward explanations of the special challenges immigrants face, the special strengths they have to deal with those challenges, and the ways I managed to overcome them. 

Keys To Success 

The book is structured around the eight talents, or qualities, I’ve come to believe are the keys to success, especially for those looking to become parallel entrepreneurs, running more than one company at a time. Those qualities are:  

  • Drive and Ambition 
  • Ability to Capitalize on Opportunities 
  • Resilience 
  • Long-term Risk-taking 
  • Strategic Thinking 
  • Financial Savvy 
  • Leadership and Vision 
  • Balance 

While the emphasis is on how these skills are essential to entrepreneurial success, I would argue that they also are key to success in life. That’s true for American natives and immigrants alike. 

People Matter 

I’ve been fortunate to work with and around many people who exhibit these qualities every day – none more important than my life partner, Stella Zhang. You get to meet Stella and several other key figures in the book as well. I couldn’t have crossed the swamp without them. 

I’d like to conclude with the concluding paragraph of the introduction in “Crossing The Swamp.” 

I wish every reader of this book good fortune. May your dreams to start a business, innovate something new, create wealth and jobs for yourself and others, and improve the quality of life in your community or in the world come true. Finally, never let setbacks or failure deter you from achieving success. You can cross the swamp, just as I did. 

“Crossing The Swamp” is available now in paperback and as an ebook on Amazon, and will be released in hardback soon. For more, visit the website,

Now, how are you going to Build Your Dream? 

John Shen 

CEO & co-founder 

American Lending Center 

About American Lending Center: A Financial Times (FT) Americas’ Fastest Growing Company   

American Lending Center (ALC) is a private nonbank lending institution and nationally recognized leader in small business lending. By the end of 2022, ALC has fully financed senior loan products to 83 qualified EB-5 projects in 19 states, contributing to a combined construction and business expansion budget of over 1.2 billion dollars. ALC’s lending practice has successfully created more than 13,000 new jobs nationwide since 2009. In 2022, ALC launched its new rural construction and development fund with capital available for construction of fixed assets of all types in rural areas including manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, hospitality, specialty use, multi-use and other project types.   

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