Tough twelve interview with successful ‘Wizards Business’ CEO Phillip Fernandez

 

1. Tell us your name and something about yourself.

My name is Phillip Fernandez, I have a beautiful wife, Denise and I have been blissfully married for 37 years with bringing 4 children into this world. We got married in Kempsey NSW where my wife was born. I am a Portuguese Eurasian, born in Singapore and came out here at 16 years of age back in 1970. I then completed my year 12 and moved into retail management where I met my beautiful wife, we were both Management trainees at the time. I was 21 years old and my wife was 20 years old when we got married and we never looked back. I have also since tertiary educated myself along my successful journey.

We started life with very little but we both had drive and ambition with mutual goals and vision. We travelled overseas because of my overseas positions, and of course we took our children with us so they had the opportunity to study in various schools overseas. This gave them a very open–minded view of the world, and even though they are all very successful now in their chosen careers we are still a very tight and close family.

My career span was over 30 successful years with international giants like Schwarzkopf, Revlon, L`Oreal and Redken to name a few. I started my first job in Sydney as a Sales Representative and then very quickly moved up the ranks and finally held various senior management roles such as National Sales Manager, General Manager and Human Resource Director that extended over Australia and New Zealand with exposure to Europe, Asia and USA.

I actually lost my passion back in 2006 when I was a National Sales Manager role where I also then moved up to a GM role, but then I just felt I needed to re-invent myself. It was extremely difficult to give up a highly paid position and the so-call security of being in paid employment. I was also already in my 50`s and also understood that to start a new dream from nothing was a pretty daunting and scary proposition. However, after doing my research and getting positive feedback from other entrepreneurs whom I have known for years, I left the corporate world at the end of 2006 and in February 2007 I started my own company.

Unfortunately I fell very ill with an auto immune skin disease though and I ended up in Royal Melbourne Hospital back in July of 2007 for two months. I also discovered that what I had was very rare and the ratio was actually one in one million so I was special! When I was finally released in September of that year I knew that I had nothing to lose as my life was already threatened and I had conquered it! I came out with regained insight and a fire in my belly, my disease was still with me at the time but I can control and manage it with a close discipline of steroids and auto immune medication, healthy diet, exercise and a very positive mental attitude.

I then slowly got myself back into the rhythm of things and in October 2008, I founded Wizards Business Consulting and branded it as a Business Coaching and Training Company. I realised my talents was in people performance and engagement and so I created a niche for myself in the hair & beauty industry, by writing management & staff development programmes and then went out to promote and sell the concept in the marketplace. It was successfully received and I started to recruit new clients. From then I knew that my mission in life was to assist people in raising their self-esteem, being the best they can be and contribute positively to society.

Through various networks and associations, I then wrote my first article which was accepted by one of the leading magazines in the industry in 2009. I survived the 2009 GFC and my business took a beating as I was still trying to find my feet and make a name for myself. It was a very scary, disheartening time in my life and one that tested my vision, purpose, focus and passion. I now write for around 5 to 6 magazines and this has certainly got my name out there as the people performance expert-the Human Strategist. I have worked very hard to get to my current status and most of my business has been through word of mouth and my credibility and integrity. I now travel Australia, Business Coaching, Training and doing keynote speaking engagements.

In early 2011, I created 5 training Staff Development DVD`s and a few management CD`s as well. They are currently being sold through my website and my speaking engagements. I have made a signature name for myself because of my passion and enthusiasm hinged on practicality and humour in my speaking engagements, training workshop and keynote presentations. I certainly engage the audience and take them through a journey based on my vast knowledge and experience. Now 20% of my work comes from outside the industry as well.

My professional corporate background was in Management and Human Resources but I recently have also strategically become a NLP Coach and Practitioner which has given me a further edge in the understanding of human behaviour to drive personal performance. So much so I have become a sought after speaker and trainer with forward thinking companies who really place value on their people.

I am now also a full member of the American Board of Neuro Linguistic Programming (ABNLP), International Institute of Complimentary Therapy (IICT) and the National Speakers Association of Australia. (NSAA) and hold a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment. I grew my business by 80% in 2011 over 2010 and I’m projecting a 60% growth in 2012. My aim is to also expand in New Zealand and Asia over the next two years. I am currently attracting more and more successful clients and I’m expecting to complete my first book in the next 12 months.

Based on all my experiences I can honestly say that it is not about how old you are, it’s about how you look at life and how you tackle your own fears and anxieties and how strong is your self-belief. We are in control of our own destiny and we get the proportionate return we deserve based on the degree of investment that we are prepared to put into our mental state.

My 4P`s of success stands for People, Passion, Performance & Profit.

2. Give us a brief description of what your business is all about and tell us what makes your business unique from all the other businesses out there.

In today`s business environment, it is becoming increasingly more difficult and challenging to market yourself, your business and even tougher when it comes to attracting, developing and then retaining good staff who buy into the culture and passionately promote your business. This covers a whole lot of different skills that many business owners and managers find challenging and at times daunting.

Did you know that surveys show that 57% of clients say that the main reason why they don`t return to a business to purchase product or have a service, is because of the indifference of staff? What is even scarier is that each of these clients will tell at least 10 people they meet, why they should not go there.

Yes it is alarming but TRUE!

Then there are different type of bosses and also staff that bring different personalities and values to the business. The integrated network of human behaviour adds more complexity to what seemed very simple when we all had the initial idea of wanting to own a business that employed staff that did what we wanted them to do.

Wizards Business Consulting specialises in identifying the real people issues and obstacles through NLP and Time Line Therapy and therefore makes it easier to develop and execute simple people systems and strategies that produce results. I ask for Excellence in the Self and this varies from person to person. This in turn empowers and up skills both Business Owner and staff.

I work on the Causes rather than the Symptom. The causes are the obstacles that prevent us from being the best we can be and the Symptoms are the KPI`s that we strive to achieve but sometimes find it difficult, because we haven`t addressed the Causes.

This thinking model relates to Sales Training, Management Development, Staff Development, Leadership coaching, Effective communication and engagement in the workplace and above all personal development. It is all about People Performance through Excellence in the Self! Feel free to visit my website ‘www.businesswizards.com.au’ if you want further information.

3. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?

Good friends are hard to come by. According to my upcoming book, a good friend shares the same values, understands your successes and your pains in life, maybe even shares the same likes and dislikes in sport, cars, food and so on.

If a good friend does not live close to you, you obviously don`t get to see them that often. However, if you have a good friend that lives near you or even you’re neighbour, it would be harder when they leave due to your familiarity with them and even their family. In some cases their partners can also become good friends with your partner and this make it even more difficult when they move away.

I was the good friend that moved away back then because I had to go overseas with my family. Both our families still kept in touch for years even after we left and we still do to a degree now. But I feel that it was probably equally hard on both families as we both had to adjust to new neighbours at the time. Probably harder for us as we had to also adjust to a new country.

4. What are you most grateful for in life?

My family, children and my grandchildren.

5. Why do you think your blog resonate with so many people?

Firstly I talk about everyday humans that experience fears, anxieties and about just accepting themselves as they are. Life and society puts a lot of pressure on us to maybe become something or someone else that we are not. It is about identifying with the self, rather than the label we wear which is usually our occupation that creates a brand that some of us like and many of us don`t like.

6. Has your greatest fear ever come true?

My greatest fear was that my business would fail, I would have to sell my home and that I would be scrimping and scraping for the next dollar. In 2009 it came true and I had to face my own demons and re-look and my whole business plan, branding and strategy of my business. I could not get any lower in my personal motivation and was looking at gaining employment again. I tried with no success and this only added to my despair. I however managed to re-focus, and with a lot of self-talk and prayers I pulled my mental state out of the depths of despair to where I am today. My debts incurred back then are now nearly all paid up.

7. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?

I have been very lucky as I have always enjoyed what I did and always worked long hours but never felt it. I would sometimes say in jest that “My work is like a holiday, the weekends are an interruption to my holiday”. The days flew and I would take on the next day with vigour to achieve more. There is an old saying that “If you wanted something done in a hurry give it to a busy person”. The less work you do only leads to boredom and very little personal growth. Humans need personal stimulation and that does not come from doing less.

8. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?

I would visit my Dad, sister and my children, with my wife of course.

9. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?

Not really, life is too precious and I believe that what you are on the inside and what you contribute on earth is far more important than the vanity of being extremely attractive. Being famous also comes with a price of not having your own life, bodyguards and the uncertainty of who you can really trust. So I vote for life! That is the real beauty!

10. What do you think is the difference between being alive and truly living?

If you are breathing, you are alive. That`s pretty simple. But truly living is all about what you do with your life and finding that balance between a sustainable lifestyle and doing what you love and contributing positively to the world we live in.

11. When do you feel it’s the right time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?

There is no black and white answer on this. In fact it is prudent to calculate risks and rewards; however it is what you do with the information that is the critical factor. Do you dwell on it or do you take action and make a decision? There are many people in life that are afraid to make the wrong decision. What they don`t know is that the most successful people in life are also ones that have had the most failures. They made decisions, thrived on the good ones and learnt from the bad ones. The question is that, “Are you ready to make a decision and if so, it is usually the right one”.

In Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) we say “Everyone behaves the best they can with the resources they have available and present behaviour that is the best choice available. Every behaviour is motivated by a positive outcome”.

12. What has been one of the most profound “hard questions” you have encountered in your life and how did you deal with it?

Have I got the courage to leave the secure corporate life of working for an international company and start my own coaching and training company this late in life? Am I willing to put my family’s financial security at great risk? Is my ego clouding my thinking?

I contemplated and researched for about a year prior to my exit from corporate life. I spoke to various successful entrepreneurs who came from similar situations. But in most cases they started a lot younger in life and had been doing it for quite a few years. They gave me positive feedback and encouraged me by indentifying my talents and my ability to do even better in life and even make a positive contribution to others, then what I was doing at present.

I learnt very early in life that if you want to be an entrepreneur you should talk to entrepreneurs that are doing it. I actually employed some people before who have advised me that it is not safe to pursue my dream, very few make it so I shouldn’t try it as they have thought about it themselves and it is not a wise decision. They even gave me a long list of reasons why I would fail. In reality though, they actually just lacked the courage to succeed and pursue their dreams.

With my passion, and determination and thank God, my optimistic positive attitude (which I had all my life) I took the plunge. Life is too short and precious. You should make the best of it. You only have one shot at it and I did not want to die wandering if I could have done it.

5 comments
  1. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my weblog thus i got here to “return the choose”.I am trying to in finding issues to improve my site!I assume its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like