Today I had the honor of sitting down with Raul E Machuca Jr. He is one of the creative minds in Dallas I admire greatly. Raul is the founder of Machuca Design Marketing Services, is a creative and successful professional with 9 + years of experience directing high-impact PR, marketing, and general communications initiatives, serving small businesses. Like any great superhero, we have to start with an origin story. Here is our fireside chat
What’s it like growing up for you? What lessons did you learn from your childhood?
As an immigrant kid from El Salvador, my parents were always working. One of the biggest challenges for immigrant parents is being able to not only provide for a family in a new world with language barriers and cultural differences but also raise a family. As time progressed, my sisters and I kept moving through school and in 2007 I graduated high school. With little to no direction as to where to go, I was in and out of college. Dropped out twice and in 2009, my son was born. Facing a new set of challenges and limited income, I soon began to realize the importance of education. Son after my daughter was born in 2011 and the economic challenges only grew bigger.
It was winter of 2011 in the depth of poverty living in a rehab motel apartment complex when I realized this was not the life I wanted for myself and much less for my children. My wife and I took a leap of faith in relocating to Dallas, TX, and renew our lives, our marriage, and our circumstances. I immediately enrolled in school to obtain my degree and do everything possible to bring my family out of poverty.
Fast forward to 2021 after all those early mornings of hard work and sleepless nights, both my wife and I hold our college degrees with pride. Our lives were entirely transformed through faith and education. The biggest lesson was that everything truly is possible. With God at the forefront and the will to see your family succeed, nothing can stop you.
What was your first real job and what did it teach you?
My first real job was as a communications assistant at New Benefits in Dallas, TX. I was fortunate to be in a company that helped build their young professionals. They started a program “Emerging Leaders” that taught employees soft skills to help them be successful in the professional world. Through the process, I was taught meaningful communication skills, problem-solving skills as well as management skills to be outstanding leaders in the business world. I’m extremely thankful for New Benefits in building a solid foundation in my professional career.
What was the problem you set out to solve when you started your company/venture?
One of the problems that plagues our creative industry is the lack of work ethic and business acumen among creatives. Many times clients would complain about the lack of communication, irresponsibility from freelancers, and poor account management. Machuca Design was established putting customer service at the forefront of our mission. We want to make sure clients are always involved in the process of their projects. After all, we’re building their dreams. You dream it and we build it.
What was your biggest challenge when starting your business?
The biggest challenge in building a freelance business is always managing your work-life balance. Being a husband and a father of two wonderful children, it was always hard being able to manage time being a good family man while not compromising client experience. This is something many entrepreneurs struggle with today. One key to solving this is prioritizing work, scheduling tasks accordingly, and committing to timelines. Of course, it goes without saying that flexibility is important. Communicating with family is imperative to achieve a good balance and ensuring your happiness at home. My wife and I even learned the importance of scheduling our intimacy thanks to the One Extraordinary Marriage podcast from time to time to ensure our marriage doesn’t suffer. Its done wonders for us!
What has been your biggest success or failure in recent memory? How did that make you feel?
I made it into the 2019 Dallas Ad2 32 Under 32 Ad Professionals
Ad 2 Dallas aims to shine a spotlight on the rising stars who are continuously making a difference in our advertising community here in Dallas (media link).
What’re you most excited about for your company in the next few years?
Our business has grown from small business accounts to larger projects for Fortune 500 companies. We’ve built a model that allows sustainability and we look forward to continued growth.
In what ways do you give back to the community? Why is it important for you?
Machuca Design gives back to local sports in the Waxahachie, TX area. Venom FC being one of the local recreation teams that helps build young men into great athletes. Coach Mike Zambrano, one of the best coaches in the area, has built and development program that helps youth, and Machuca Design is a great part of that.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would advise my younger self to always listed and always ask questions. Learn to control your pride and allow yourself to fail without fear and fail often so you can reach your successes.
Anyone you want to thank through your journey as an entrepreneur?
What’s the best way for others to learn more about you and your company?
Learn more at www.machucadesign.com