Coming to America: I Felt the Wind I Was Breathing Was Not Mine

Two men, generations apart, overcome incredible odds on their way to achieve financial success. Thick skinned, dogged determination, and an unrelenting drive is sometimes what it takes to have financial success in America. Erik Garcia, CFP®, and Jason Cass sit down with Felix Garcia and Ebens Jean as they share their journey to an unfamiliar land, seeking opportunities their motherland’s could not provide.

Episode Highlights:

  • Erik shares what inspired him to interview Felix Garcia and Ebens Jean, both of whom immigrated to America, not speaking the language, and ended up in the insurance industry. (1:47)
  • Ebens shares his experience of immigrating to America from Haiti and the challenges of not speaking the language and adjusting to a new culture and climate. (5:04)
  • Felix shares about his childhood in Cuba and his journey as a teenager from Cuba to Spain and ultimately to New Orleans, and the difficulties and discomfort of being a foreigner in a new country. (10:38)
  • Felix and Ebens recall what it was like going to school as immigrants who spoke with an accent and did not know the language well. (17:51)
  • Ebens shares the story of getting his first paycheck in America and how that felt. (22:48)
  • Felix shares the trajectory of his career and what led him to the insurance business. (29:08)
  • Felix explains that the desire to succeed is ingrained in immigrants. (39:08)
  • Ebens shares why his company looks for and hires people with an entrepreneurial-driven mindset. (44:46)
  • Ebens shares that he is currently reading “The Power of Broke” by Daymond John. (49:55)
  • Felix reads an excerpt from the book he wrote, “Ingredients of Success”, about what success really means to him. (50:26)

Key Quotes:

  • “When I first arrived in the United States, I was afraid. The wind that I was breathing wasn’t mine, the language barrier, new people in a new country. I didn’t feel right about walking in the street, because I just felt like I was a foreigner and I didn’t believe belonged here. And those were my feelings at the very beginning.” – Felix Garcia
  • “If you’re willing to put in that work, and the sky’s the limit, especially in this industry, you could make as much as you want, but it depends on you.” – Ebens Jean
  • “Some people think that success is driving an expensive automobile, buying a big house, being successful in business. Success is more than that. Success to me, is the way you walk the path of life each day. It is the things you do and the things you say.” – Felix Garcia

Resources Mentioned:

About Erik Garcia

Hi there, I'm Erik. How you manage your money and other resources impacts practically every aspect of your life. I help individuals and families invest plan for a more secure and predictable financial future. Thanks for taking time on my site!

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