guest post from Byron Fernandez :: From Mozart to Mashable: A Journey into the World of Social Media

Today’s guest post is from a newbie blogger whom is also an old friend. Byron Fernandez and I knew each other way back in our Baldwin-Wallace days. We both started off as Conservatory of Music majors, but both found our passions elsewhere.

Through the wonderful world of social media, Byron and I have reconnected. I’m inspired to see his zeal for all that it encapsulates. I think this post says volumes on what we’ve both learned over the years since we first met. Thanks again Byron for this wonderful piece, exclusive to PIP!


CLEVELAND – “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence, nor creativity nor imagination go toward the making of genius. Love, love. Love. That is the soul of genius” ~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

From crib side, to concert hall 18 years later, to present day blogging, Mozart has been a major influence in my life. So often it is easy to forget that a stage, a captive audience or standing ovation is a gift, an incredible opportunity to inspire, move and challenge others as our lives intersect and diverge.

Because we’re alive. And we are all connected [Why Jennifer Aniston and I are Two Peas in a Pod (And Other Ramblings of a Nostalgic >> ].

In my short 25 years, I’ve learned that love and steadfast principle, truly and unequivocally, is all you need. (Bless you Lennon).

Ah, the loaded L-word. It is something those closest to me and I can’t help but blurt when hanging up or parting ways. It is something that fills you to the brim and rocks you to your core. It is something that can rip your heart out, make it ache and heave involuntarily. Frightening stuff.

But I would rather be pathetic in love than pathetically righteous, wickedly passionate than virtuously mediocre. Save existing for inanimate objects. We’re here to Live.

When loved ones and I say it, we mean it. It takes time, humility, accountability. Selflessness. And we all know where that leads: hurt, risk. Pain. Something we aren’t scientifically inclined to embrace.

In terms of career and life, however, you’re alone. You have to be selfish in survival; selfish in commitment to something beyond yourself. Good intentions are not enough, trust and belief only the beginning.

Love, passion and a deep, unyielding resolve in all you do are built around nothing more than internal fire — the will and vision to be remarkable. You have to see it, do it…and all of a sudden you’ve become it.

Not for your mother or father. Not for your family, or fame or riches. For you, and something bigger and better than anything our feeble, unpredictably predictable minds can grasp. Always challenge yourself and others to be brave, to live with conviction and purpose.

Sometimes you’ll feel like a weary, bludgeoned sojourner from planet Zulu. In fact, it’s a sentiment I’ve grappled with my whole life. The hardest part is learning to embrace the flaws and imperfections, seeking to understand the bizarre idiosyncrasies we have as individuals. Diamonds in the rough.

Others will fret about your health, job security, personal life or finances. Perhaps it’s better that I don’t. I’m too concerned with living, offering services and ideas for free. Some say store up your treasures in the eternal.

But what if this is all we have? Right here. Right now. This very moment of every day we’re given, we have the opportunity to create, to share. To laugh, to weep. To hate. To love, and love deeply. To forgive.

The dawn of social media, blogging, Twitter, trending, Quora, Googling, Facebook and real-time is merely a reflection of who we are in our day-to-day lives. Inquisitive. Seekers. The only difference is that the internet has no borders.

Every day, I marvel at the people, places and time zones I interact with in the social layer –those that offer encouragement, wisdom and insight into our personal and professional lives.

That say please, and thank you. That give time, energy and openly share what’s on their mind and hearts. That’s the power of social media: it is nothing other than cultivating relationships online, as we do in reality.

Determining the quality and nature of those relationships is entirely our responsibility. We must proactively identify and own our name, values and presence online in measurable, meaningful and memorable ways — or someone else will.

10 years ago if you had told me I would:

*Live in five states by the age of 21

*Play the concerto ((Mozart’s No.23 in A Major, K.488) off the Horowitz CD my grandmother gave me (following corrective leg surgery when I was 13) at my swan song high school concert

*Transition from a career path at conservatory in Berea, Ohio for piano and vocal performance to the high-profile ferocity of public relations…

or end up continuing the journey into the realm of blogging and publishing, I might have laughed.

Life has a funny way of happening though, and the choices we make determine the path destiny carves out for us. I’ve learned you can only take ongoing pain, failure and hard work and Grow.

In social media and in life, there’s strength in adversity, humility in harnessing and leveraging lessons taken from our virtual and real-world ecosystems to be better, kinder, to create value and be more useful.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes (I’m a consummate quote quibbler) from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable. To be compassionate. To have it make some difference that you have lived, and lived well.

All You Need Is Love

***For my mothers, grandmothers: Elaine, Karla, Elizabeth and Evelyn. Thank you for showing this illegitimate son, blacksheep and Los†boy how to Love

Visit Byron’s blog at and follow him on Twitter (@byron_fernandez) for just a fraction of his social media awesomeness!

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