Words of Wisdom with Mike Fernandez
By Ernesto Poblacion
Mike Fernandez is best known for his entrepreneurial ventures around Miami. However, most of us forget to acknowledge where he came from and how he became one of the most successful men in the Magic City. Inspiring, tearjerking, and motivating are just a few words to describe the journey that humbled him. In Humbled by the Journey: Life Lessons For My Family…And Yours, Fernandez allows outsiders to take a sneak peek of his life growing up and the moments which changed his life.
The book launched in January 2015, but had already pre-sold 20,000 copies. Ironically enough, it was actually an idea planted by his wife, Constance, who encouraged him to write a book about his success and tribulations for his children, grandchildren, and those who follow to read and learn his life lessons. While his business ventures have developed him into a high profile figure in our city, his philanthropic work is what sets him apart from all the others. Humbled by the Journey: Life Lessons For My Family…And Yours shares his intimate life challenges and triumphs through a 508- mile pilgrimage from France to Spain for which he will be partaking in for the third time this May. The walk raises money for Miami Children’s Hospital.
Fernandez moved to Miami in 1975, and having not known anyone here, was forced to pave his own path to success. Thankfully, he is grateful to those who showed him encouragement, “Miami is full of people who have gone through what every new arrival is going through and if you ask for help or advice, you may be surprised as to how many people will go out of their way to help you.”
Humbled by the Journey: Life Lessons For My Family… And Yours proves to be a lesson handbook for those inter- ested in the entrepreneurial field. “Failure is a necessary companion on the road to success,” says Fernandez when asked to give advice to those who fail time and time again. “I encourage all entrepreneurs to push themselves to the point of failure, and to always learn from it. The road to success is not linear and we must be ready to constantly adjust to market forces and customer demands.”
One of those roadblocks may be racial or ethnic discrimination in a world where some find them- selves constantly having to prove their validity in the business world while pursuing their dreams. Fernandez was born in Cuba and moved to the United States when he was twelve years old. He offered his best ad- vice to those still facing this social issue, “You have a choice, you have the option of allowing someone the power over you to put you down or you can take the high road and use their words as a vehicle to motivate you to do better.”
In January, The Related Group celebrated Fernandez’s condominium purchases in The Residences at Park Grove. He was excited to share his new neighbors will consist of close friends while his views will include the spectacular skyline and city lights Miami is made of. While he and his family will be living in Coconut Grove, which he described as one of Miami’s most sophisticated and interesting locations, you can find him enjoying Biscayne Bay or hiking somewhere in Spain with his loved ones.
When asked what are the most important lessons readers can take away from his book, Fernandez simply replied: “Life and business are not as complicated as books and theory would lead you to believe. Life is about listening to your instincts and core values and business is about the smallest details because by focusing on the micro, the macro is almost guaranteed.” Well said, Fernandez, well said.
Click here to view post on the 2015 March/April issue.