MODE: What drew you to Miami and what do you like most about it?
Alexander: Miami is an incredibly vibrant city with a great nightlife, sunny beach days, and a rapidly developing art and fashion community. It is not a New York, a London, or a Paris, but Miami has its own unique flavor of lifestyle. It can take a while to get used to but once you do, you see that Miami provides you with great opportunities to be creative and to meet wonderful people from all over the world.
MODE: You have spoken before about the importance of developing resilience if one is to follow and develop their dreams whether in business, a satisfying career, or achieving important life goals. What has been your biggest business or life challenge?
Alexander: There have been many challenges over the years. It is the nature of the beast, if you are an entrepreneur or goals seeker, that you are most likely to experience challenges from time to time. However, the biggest challenge for me literally changed the trajectory of my life. I had spent some years in real estate development including building luxury properties, and was then working on my largest project to date. I was developing a $200 million 10 buildings 480 units luxury condo development and had just gotten approvals for $107 million construction loan when the market drastically changed. The project began to experience delays and my carrying costs were killing me. I was becoming overextended and was extremely stressed. As often happens, the stress in business began to seep into and affect my home life, and soon my marriage began to fall apart. The thing that really sealed that period of my life as the most difficult was that my father unexpectedly passed away. So I felt like a failure in business, felt like a failure in marriage, felt like a failure as a father, and lost my own father at the same time. I thought I was just in a slump but the truth was that I became depressed. Much of the framework I had built psychologically for my life and identity seemed to have collapsed right then. It took me many many years to rebuild my life and identity from that period and it changed my outlook on life and many things including relationships. Still, I feel blessed to have come through that chapter and to be able to rebuild myself and begin to create a new life and new exciting projects. If you can pull through a period of adversity, you often find that you gain new clarity and can become even stronger than you were before.
MODE: It is clear that you must have your hands full working on various projects but what do you do to relax and have fun?
Alexander: The thing is that I enjoy the different things that I do, most of the time. So even though it’s work it’s also part of my fun and entertainment. I do enjoy spending time and going to restaurants with some very close friends. I also enjoy drawing (pencil and charcoal) and experimenting with music production when I have time. I don’t go to social events outside of work as much as I used to but I do occasionally go to events with friends that come in from out of town when time allows.
MODE: What do you do to stay healthy?
Alexander: I have always been into fitness but I find that as one gets older and hormones change, the things that used to work before no longer work as easily. For example, it used to relatively easy to stay trim through regular exercise but, like most people, I find that I now have to be more creative with my training routines and diet in order to stay healthy and stay in shape. I have been a student of martial arts most of my life and have achieved black belt level. I have trained in Shotokan Karate, Shaolin Kung Fu, and Tae Kwon Do. So I continue to do some form of martial arts training three to five times a week for general health, and weight training three times a week for physical strength and as well as for bone preservation.
Alexander has been putting his energy recently into creating new lifestyle and fashion projects that will start going live from 2023. He continues to be active in the Miami lifestyle scene.
Read more on Alexander Michaels and orther features in this edition of Mode Lifestyle Magazine.
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