From Pasta to Personal Development

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

From Pasta to Personal Development (A conversation with a Commercial Real Estate Agent and his Journey to Entrepreneurial Success) Interview by Joanie (Co-written/edited by Raphael Collazo)

Hi friends, I am beyond excited to share this latest post with you. In my journey over the last months I've begun to make some significant changes in my personal and professional life. It has been enlightening to say the least.

     In the beginning of this process I was unsure of which direction to take. I had ideas but I needed to do more research before committing to a path. I put together a few primary goals as for which I would like my life to look like in the bigger picture. Then I started to read, make pro and con lists. Through the helpful assistance of my husband person I was offered the opportunity to attend a meeting consisting of realtors and investors. What a fantastic way to gain and insider’s view on what that career tract looked like! 

    I met several kind and experienced professionals during that meeting. However, one person’s presence stood out. So much so that after that meeting I sent a friend request his way. Over the period of four months I noticed the way this person represented himself and his entrepreneurial endeavors. Not only was I inspired, but I was also curious to learn more. With a few messages and an afternoon phone call, that's exactly what I did.

Raphael Collazo (Co-writer) (Editor)( Entrepreneur)

    Raphael Collazo is a 28-year-old Italian born professional whose experience as an entrepreneur began in his college days. As a student at Arizona State University, Raphael pursued his industrial engineering degree. During this time, he also took a step into the food business. He cooked and catered pasta all over campus and serviced business lunches. I pause here to think about how Raphael noted his being the Italian kid making the pasta. After graduating Raphael kept with the food business and was soon offered an opportunity to work as a restaurant manager in a local restaurant.  

     Fast forward to two years later and Raphael began to feel less in love with food and ready for a change of pace. So, he did just that. In our conversation Raphael mentions that "this wasn't the easiest separation; however, it was necessary." I think that is something that can resonate within each of us. It is harder to walk away from something when you love and respect the people you work with. However, when you’re ready to face the next stages of growth, change becomes necessary.

      Raphael went on to return to his father’s homeland in Puerto Rico after spending some time living and working in Washington D.C where he worked as an implementation consultant. In this role, he consulted and developed software for various government agencies.

       I know this is starting to sound like one of the more adventurous and perhaps emotional resumes you have heard of, but what I want you understand is that this is someone’s journey to becoming an entrepreneur. That this, just like you and I, is a person who was not only goal oriented in a state of constant perseverance towards achieving his goals. He attributed that drive to his family continuously through the duration of our call.

      He mentioned to me "that in a way he was grateful to be giving back to the land his father had called home." I think it’s pretty clear to say along his fast-track to success, it was important for him to honor his relationship to his family. He consistently recognizes how the men in his family before him paved the way for his pursuit of success by setting the example for him to follow.

       What I haven't mentioned yet is that while Raphael was transitioning from one page in his journey to the next, he would go on to take up writing. This was because in all his research and efforts towards personal growth and seeking to forge out a career as a businessman, there wasn't a guidebook to turn to. He saw this as a challenge and an opportunity to solve a problem. So, he took to writing.     

       In all, Raphael has written a series of 4 books on subjects related to personal development, habits of success and financial independence all geared toward the young professional reader. To me, this is praiseworthy. As a member of the entrepreneurial generation, I came across the first of these books when looking for a directional blueprint. I can see where the tools and concepts Raphael has gathered and written within the covers of his books are more than just words, but rather the mold in which he’s poured his life into. 

     These have become the practices that are contributing to the evolution of his daily success as an individual, just as much as they are contributing to his professional endeavors. Raphael works with a coach to help further his personal growth and he also coaches others. He has gone on to take public speaking courses and he hosts a monthly meetup, where local real estate investors are invited to network and share ideas with one another. He is also working as a commercial real estate agent. 

   As I wrap this up, I would like to offer a few observations of my own that came from my conversation with Raphael Collazo. This is a thoughtful and persistent individual with an optimistic perspective regarding the world he is part of. He is well spoken and determined. From Pasta to personal development and commercial real estate, Raphael is committed to maintaining his integrity and his commitment to be the kind of person who leads by living the example he is outlining for others to read.

To learn more about Raphael Collazo and his latest endeavors, head over to

 Look for his latest book “The Millennial Playbook Paving Your Road to Financial Freedom”, coming to shelves in January 2020. Thank you, Raphael, for taking the time to join us here and to you my dear readers stay tuned for more- Joanie

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