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

Hi Raziel, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I started my business almost 16 years ago when my son was 2 years old. I had left my corporate job to take care of my son, who at that time had a medical condition so I had to stay home and find another way to have a second stream of income. I have started a home business doing small run promotional items. As a new business owner, a mom with a child to take care of and the household, it was a struggle at first. I never ran a business before let alone with a child that needs caring almost 24/7. It was something I had to do at that time for us to make ends meet. Everything became a “learning opportunity” instead of saying challenges. Using positivity helped a lot.

Luckily we also had mentors who had the same business and they gave us the tools and tricks of the trade. I also had to learn the art of networking and it didn’t come easy at first because I wasn’t keen on public speaking then. I remember having to sit out from my 30 sec commercial one of the meetings so I can just observe. Over time, I got used to it. But I had to carry on so I can build something that eventually my kids can be a part of and that I would not have to go back to a 9-5 job. I was loving the time freedom and time with my kids and loving the lifestyle of a “mom-preneur”. I learned to do networking events, business meetings. I joined chambers, associations, networking groups to meet people, create events and most of the time I had my kids in tow. I made sure the events I go to are kid friendly at times so they can learn from it and discover their heritage – may it be arts, culture and entertainment with multi ethnic backgrounds, entrepreneurial or political in nature or charitable work. People know them as part the “chamber” kids. Funny to think of it now that they are now almost adults. They were exposed to high level board rooms, VIP events, exclusive events, multi cultural events, beautiful venues, parks and recreation that I wouldn’t dream possible if I were just an employee at a company or working for someone else. As I had flexible time, I was able to volunteer at their schools so I can get more involved in their education and help them with their studies. I had to create a schedule that works for me, for them, the household and the business. It was part of my journey to show them that anything is possible if you put your mind into it.

As they grew older, I served on several boards as well but that took a toll on my business and my personal life especially the fall of 2008 during the economic downturn and we lost our main source of income. It added pressure on me to keep the business running. It was great to do volunteer work, help the community grow and be a part of the voice for the Asian American community but I had to cut back on some activities and concentrate on myself, get the business back on track and deal with my marriage.

I made sure I took care of myself as I was facing a future as a single mom. I realized that I cannot do much for my kids nor everyone else if I have no strength to carry on and if my body weakens with all the physical and emotional stress. I took time to learn whatever I could about having a healthier lifestyle and all possible health alternatives so I don’t have to depend on drugs nor alcohol because that was never an option for me. I made sure I strengthened my body, mind and spirit, deepened my faith and relationship to God because He became my main source of strength and confidence to keep going. I became an advocate for health, wellness and fitness and was able to create events that involves a health lifestyle and businesses.

I felt so renewed and ready for a revival I kept on the business and it started to flourish 2018 and in 2019. I had high hopes for 2020 and was planning for the biggest comeback ever but you know how that went. My business was put on pause because of all the events that wasn’t happening. I believe my past experience gave me the strength and wisdom to deal with last year and I went on more self-care and self-mastery mode and achieved my TAS/CAS certifications for our promotional products industry plus started my MAS certification. With everything going virtual and having some extra time, I went back to do more volunteer work as I continue to expand my network, keep in touch with clients while having my kids doing virtual schools at home. Life is never perfect but it is perfectly imperfect. I love the “learning opportunities” now. It just makes running a business so much interesting and life worth living.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Ironically, my marketing and promotions business involves being in front of many people. As I mentioned before, I was never the public speaker. I have learned through the years to overcome that fear and learned to be comfortable enough to speak in public. I learned to network well, create a great business community and be an advocate for small businesses. I love working with diverse people and have a diverse book of business. I love having the “learning opportunities” instead of overcoming challenges. It is what makes us grow.

I want the world to know that we have a responsibility to become the best human beings possible and to fully express ourselves with our gifts and talents and not look at others as competition because we have access to the full kingdom of God where we are abundantly provided for. We must Love, Nurture and Respect (LNR) ourselves first so we can do so for those around us and ultimately for the whole world.

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?
I would drive down the coast and hit the beach cities and check out the local spots in the area. I would go for the fresh food and some unique fares that you cannot get anywhere else. From walking the pier and surfing in Huntington Beach, the shops near Crystal Cove in Newport Beach, the Arts Fair near Laguna Beach and down south towards the Mission in San Diego or the trails in Torrey Pines perhaps a stop in the beautiful wineries in Temecula going north towards north to Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to thank the following: My fellow past and present officers and board members from Filipino American Chamber of Commerce in Orange County, Asian Business Associations of IE, OC, LA, SD, Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce, the multi-ethic chambers of OC and Inland Empire. Special mention to all Christian Business Partners, Toastmasters International, Rotary International, Boys and Girls Scouts of America. I would be remiss if I missed to mention people already in a long list but I would say everyone who I have met along the way, they made me who I am today. They would know who they are. Last but not least, All Glory to God because through Him, all things are possible!

Website: LNRPROMOTIONS.COM

Instagram: @razielarcega

Linkedin: @razielarcega

Twitter: @lnrpromotions

Facebook: @lnrpromotions

Image Credits
Deanna Margaritha

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