We had the good fortune of connecting with Machel Morgan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Machel, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?

I have been a single mom since my youngest daughter was 3 years old, my twin sons were 4, and my oldest son was 5 years old. Over the years it has been a challenge to have a work-life balance. In order to secure my family’s sense of financial freedom, I worked as a licensed real estate Broker as a mortgage banker. Though my position was lucrative, it didn’t allow for quality time with my family. I, therefore, decided to align my work with my passion for art and became an instructor for Mission Renaissance Fine Art Studios. Though I enjoyed the financial benefits of working as a mortgage broker, I didn’t want school systems and nannies to be the primary influence in my children’s upbringing. As an instructor with Mission Renaissance, I was able to have a more flexible work schedule. Thankfully, the company had fine art studios located all across the southland. During the summer and on weekends, I would travel to different store locations promoting new studios. My kids were able to tag along and even got to learn new drawing and painting techniques complementary by their mom who was trained in a proven method from their Instructor Academy on how to teach anyone! Being able to cultivate their dormant creative talents was far more rewarding than working long hours for a larger paycheck ever was. Now, they have all graduated from college with advanced degrees and are growing in their individual giftings! I can see now how being a part of their formative years was the best decision to make. Despite the pandemic, I continue to maintain a work-life balance that prioritizes extended family. We all jump on a zoom call once a month. I’m even able to pass along the knowledge I’ve gained from the real estate industry to my sons by giving them investment tips to flip property once a week on zoom calls.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The beginning of my journey started with a challenge. I had worked for 17 years as a real estate broker in the mortgage loan industry. My decision to leave that industry was a financial risk. My position was secure and allowed me to provide for my family comfortably. That all changed when I decided to leave and become an art instructor with Mission Renaissance Fine Art Studios. As a single mother, it wasn’t a decision made lightly. I wanted to prioritize quality time with my four young children. Had I not made the decision to switch careers it would have been impossible to do so. It was a painful sacrifice. I went from earning a six figure salary to needing assistance from the local food bank to feed my children. Between balancing work and raising kids, I had to make the personal decision to no longer date. These personal and professional challenges would have been impossible to overcome had it not been for the grace of God and the support of the local church. It was an incredible comfort and source of energy for me to be able to reflect on Bible verses. I would concentrate daily on God’s goodness and his provision never failed me. At the end of the day, there was always food on the table and clothes on my children’s back, despite the inadequate paychecks. It was a true honor to be able to work with Mission Renaissance. Art had always been my first passion and I considered it a privilege to be able to learn new methods and in turn teach aspiring artists how to draw and paint. It was a moment that required me to step out on faith to switch from mortgage broker to art instructor. I went back to college to study graphic design and learned new software programs like adobe photoshop and illustrator. At first, it was strange. The professor and my fellow classmates were all younger than me. Upon learning critical graphic design skills, I began to build my company, Goal Graphics. My fellow classmates seemed to struggle in marketing their skill sets for their independent businesses. Thankfully, I had already earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing from CSULB and had experience with sales as a previous Subway Restaurant franchise owner. Additionally, I worked as a marketing director with Circus Vargas (a career that yielded cocktail stories for the rest of my life). Now that I have developed the skill sets necessary to be a graphic designer, my company team at Goal Graphics has a natural appeal for assisting others in helping businesses one at a time SHINE online with our quality social media management division. Any professional challenges I have encountered along the way, I have had the support of other professionals to seek counsel from. A special out to my business partner, Gabby Chaidez of DSODIA, who assisted me with the social media campaign for our major client ArtBattle.com. Art Battle is a live competitive painting event hosted in major cities all over the world. It was an amazing project where I served as the event coordinator. However, had it not been for Gabby’s intuitive sense of strategy, the project would have never come to fruition. Art Battle allowed me to promote local artists with a live-painting platform, giving them the recognition they’ve worked so hard to earn. My career has evolved over the years. It has been infinitely rewarding to now be in a position to help people realize their creative passions. I have the opportunity of working with people online and developing strategic marketing campaigns that illuminate their projects. In an otherwise crowded, and often competitive space, their work is able to receive a spotlight through Goal Graphic’s creative graphic designs, social media campaigns and in-person marketing coordination. Unfortunately, Covid has restricted our in-person services. However, my mission is still the same to help someone else realize their dreams and shine online. What makes both me and my business unique is that we truly understand how hard it is to share your business dreams with the world.  We take care in being discreet before you are ready to launch your business. We want to help make a good impression and let the value of your business be known. We want to do everything within our power to bring visibility to your product or service. We are also a company that seeks to create social impact. Goal Graphics is partnered with non-profit organizations that are seeking to end homelessness. I am a business owner who is constantly seeking to choose empathy for those less fortunate. Our website, launching our partnership with local nonprofits, is still developing (artsaveshomeless.org). However, on a daily basis, I’m constantly looking for ways in which I can make an impact. Currently, that is purchasing emergency backpacks stocked with food, socks, blankets, flashlights, survival essentials, etc., and giving them to those currently facing homelessness. I love to dream and I think the opportunity for both Goal Graphics, and for me personally, to make a difference on the planet is ripe! Since my last client, Art Battle International ceased due to Covid, I have been supplementing my income by working part-time with Micheal’s as a Support Specialist. I love being able to work at Micheal’s and still be surrounded by a creative-minded, team environment. My position enables me to wear many hats to support the whole operation and help it run smoothly. I enjoy the flexibility of this role, but the highlight is perhaps the employee discount deals! The pandemic has forced many things to close, but my passion for the arts is not one of them. Working at Michael’s has given me access to my passions of jewelry making, crocheting, painting, sketching, scrapbooking, sewing, and craft-making, etc. And when I’m not working there, I’m able to further develop my online platform as a graphic designer. Goal Graphics is now entirely seeking to help facilitate social media marketing campaigns for entrepreneurs looking to build their brand online. Thanks to my flexible hours at Michael’s and my independent company, I’m able to travel the country in my RV and Jeep Wrangler. I haven’t entirely abandoned my real estate hat either. Traveling from state to state, I’m able to seek out investment property and flip land and houses. You can follow my traveling adventures on www.facebook.com/rvlifestyle4me. Goal Graphics helps new business owners in private sector, non-profit organizations, and  political campaigns. I design logos, custom memes, tee-shirt designs, digital flyers, etc. Our in-person services include murals, and paint & sip fundraisers.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This itinerary is based on a very real plan I have created for my dear friend Anna-Lena for when she comes to visit me all the way from Sweden. We met 25 years ago, when I was searching for an AuPair to help me with my kids. We have remained friends and she has come back to visit me several times over the years. When she comes again, I would definitely take her cross country from the beaches of California to the plains of Texas in my 2018 Four Winds Thor RV. During our week-long road trip, I will make stops at the following locations to do the following activities: Day 1: Playa Del Rey/Coastline Beaches. Since all the museums are closed, a sightseeing Tour of LA’s City Art Murals in Venice, Echo Park and Olvera Street. Eat a picnic lunch on the lawn of the museums while listening to live park music or at Balboa Lake Park and a get plate from Hot Wings Restaurant where I used to paint holiday window art on their businesses and have paint & sip parties. Day 2: Get a cup of your favorite signature coffee from Awesome Cafe on Wilshire where my artwork hangs and my student’s paintings. Spend a few hours shopping in the garment district to get all the cool deals on anything! Eat elotes (street corn) and hot dogs wrapped in bacon. Then, we are on the road to Palm Springs to relax in the natural spring waters or mud pools. We can stop for dinner at one of the buffet restaurants in the Casinos along the way. Day 3: Stop at make your own pizza joint at the border heading to Phoenix AZ while watching a good movie with a fridge full of yummy snacks and treats! There’s a hole in the wall restaurant in Avondale that makes the best soul food ever. We would go there for dinner. Then we’d go to Desert Ridge Marketplace. There they have chef-driven restaurants and Artscapes inside the District. To end the day, I’d park my RV overnight here, where we could watch the sunset go down on the desert city lights. Day 4: Ride to Sedona – Breakfast at Lolo’s Chicken and Waffle. Visit the Energy Vortexes to rejuvenate and feel more alive. Find a trail to take Jeep off-roading through a shallow stream. Drive to Las Cruces, NM spend the night at the Roadrunner statue scenic overview. Day 5: El Paso, TX There’s an Extravagant Chinese Buffet to enjoy. This restaurant is so large you will want to spend half the day just eating and enjoying the decor. We’d then shop at authentic Native American shops and local flea markets. Day 6: Arrive in Lewisville, TX and visit Glory of Zion to see all the latest art collections. We will take breaks along the way to Austin, TX, and cook our favorite meals along the way. Once we arrived in Austin, we would enjoy the awesome art district, where they close off the streets to make way for festivities, including dancing, music, and delicious food and drink! Day 7: Revel in our adventures, sleep until late, and get my friend a one-way ticket back home. While I will stay put for a while seeking new lands to explore and invest in.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am incredibly grateful to both God and my family and recognize that had it not been for them I would not be where I’m at today. There were so many moments along my journey where I felt discouraged or alienated. But the promises I found in God’s Word, the encouragement, and support of His ever-present Love, strengthened me and enabled me to persevere. I’d like to give special recognition to my mom and family. When I decided to step out on faith and leave the mortgage loan industry to become an art instructor and go back to college to train as a graphic designer, they supported me throughout the process. My parents who guided me to get a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing from CSULB, then my mom who helped me pursue my goals of getting advanced skills as a graphic designer, my children helped me load the car up with supplies on weekends as I traveled to different Mission Renaissance art studios, and my business partner Gabriela Chaidez of DSODIA – a social media marketing agency who helped me further establish my now growing business, Goal Graphics. It has been a joy to share both my trials and triumphs with the people who are a part of my tribe.

Website: http://goalgraphics.com
Instagram: http://instagram.com/goalgraphics143
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/machelstudios/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/machelizabeth
Facebook: https://facebook.com/goalgraphics
Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/goal-graphics-los-angeles
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/Goalgraphics/featured
Other: www.facebook.com/jeepout143 www.paintpartyfundraisers.com www.realtyworldinvestments.com www.facebook.com/prayers4u www.facebook.com/rvlifestyle4me https://www.pinterest.com/goalgraphics/jeepin-out/ www.artsaveshomeless.org facebook.com/taxoveragerecoveryagents www.twitter.com/goalgraphics https://www.redbubble.com/people/Machelizabeth/shop?asc=u https://goalgraphics-blog.tumblr.com

Image Credits
Elena & Jim Thornton, Brandon Marshall, David Chatwood, Derrick Washington, Dora Basaca.

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