An Open Letter to My Event Industry Friends:

It’s okay if you are struggling. 

It’s been over 6 months since events disappeared, literally from the face of the earth. Our entire industry screeched to a halt. Massive events that took weeks, months and years of planning just disappeared into thin air. And it’s okay if you haven’t recovered, or even begun to recover from this. 

  • It’s okay if you haven’t pivoted to virtual event offerings.
  • It’s okay if you haven’t started a clever and quirky podcast. 
  • It’s okay if you haven’t started blogging or vlogging.
  • It’s okay if you haven’t started your own side business.
  • It’s okay if you haven’t updated your resume or put yourself out there on LinkedIn.
  • It’s okay if you have declined offers from parents to “join the family business”. 
  • It’s okay if the thought of jumping into a different industry scares the shit out of you. 
  • It’s okay if you feel too old or tired to reinvent yourself.
  • It’s okay if you don’t even have the energy to network with your connections. 
  • It’s okay if producing and catering your own day has been a full-time job. 
  • It’s okay if your financial stress holds you back from fixing your financial stress. 
  • It’s okay if the thought of taking an entry level position makes you feel deflated.
  • It’s okay if you have been too ashamed to accept help from family and friends. 
  • It’s okay if the entire interview process seems too daunting right now. 
  • It’s okay if you are depressed.
  • It’s okay if you have thought of giving up

I have felt so many of these things. In Q4 2019 I decided to leave a comfortable 9-5 position to dive into the event contract world. I was excited and doing well! 2020 began and I moved from my first “cozy” LA apartment into a new place I could really call home. I got a puppy. I got a brand new BBQ. Everything was looking up. COVID-19 hit me like a sack of bricks. Projects stopped in their tracks. Delays. Cancelled. Postponed. Rescheduled. Cancelled. Rescheduled. Tentative. 

This morning was actually the first morning that I woke up feeling optimistic. I worked on a pitch for the first time in a LONG time. I actually put on REAL clothes and felt like writing something! It has taken me a very long time to stop being hard on myself for everything and admit to myself that it’s okay

If this article helps even one person feel like it’s okay too, I’m good with that.

Anthony Was Great, But Let’s Stop Celebrating the Quitters

Firstly, this is not a put down to anyone who has posted about how Anthony Bourdain has positively effected their lives, or how much they will miss his candidly clever content. No matter how someone dies, everyone has the right to mourn the loss. I am just tired of seeing everyone celebrate those who lose the battle with mental illness. Those who give up. The quitters.

I’d like to honor the people that fight a range of mental illnesses every day and get’er done. They show up to work. They pick their kids up from school. They do the housework. They take care of family and friends needs as well as their own. They are the winners.

Whenever a celebrity commits suicide, everyone honors them and their battle with depression and other mental illnesses. It bothers me. And no, this doesn’t mean I am heartless. I just don’t think it sets a good example for those battling their symptoms every day. Nobody should ever think for a moment that giving up is okay. When it comes to life, you must never, ever, ever, ever give up.

Our world is filled with external and internal stresses. Those with mental illness have a much tougher time dealing with these day-to-day struggles. It doesn’t matter how much success, money or fame you have. No amount of love from friends and family can fix your illness. Mental illness is like battling an incurable virus or addiction. It’s always there, even when you don’t feel it.

To be clear, I am not suggesting that we openly shame those that have taken their own life. I just feel that when we see someone who has quit, we should remember those who continue to fight through their pain and see the value in life. We should honor their strength and commitment to life.

I’m sure everyone knows someone that suffers from depression. Again, I have nothing against the posting of Bourdain quotes today. I just ask that you also take the time to thank a loved one who fights hard every day to stay in this world and not be a quitter.

Being the Bigger Person, Not the Bigger Asshole.

In the three decades I have lived on this earth, I have definitely had many situations where I was not the bigger person. I have lost my temper, said things I regret, and of course, taken someone’s actions as a disrespect to myself and lashed out accordingly.

In the last few years I have grown to appreciate my inner peace and sanity. As the world around me grows more noisy every day, I strive to keep my own mind quiet and calm. I haven’t joined the buddhist monks or anything… I have just not allowed the assholes to turn me into an asshole. Continue reading “Being the Bigger Person, Not the Bigger Asshole.”

Using my iPhone to Increase Patience, Memory and Cognitive Ability

I have heard a great deal of talk about how technology is causing a downward shift in our patience, short-term memory, and overall cognitive ability. (Can anyone calculate the tip for their check in their head anymore?) However, I have several great tricks that everyone can use on their smartphone to help keep their brain firing on all cylinders.


Short Term Memory Snap

If you don’t send Snapchat messages, you might have to sit this one out. This challenge requires you to open Snapchat and send a different question to 3-5 friends on your list. Then wait. When each of them answers you (which could be in 30sec or 7hrs) try to remember what the hell you even asked them and make sense of their answer. **Bonus points if you try to execute this challenge after 2 glasses of wine.

Continue reading “Using my iPhone to Increase Patience, Memory and Cognitive Ability”

Replacing Driving Music with Podcasts Has Changed My Life

Turbo also enjoys the podcasts en route to the office.

Like most Atlantans, I have quite the schlep to work. Maybe it’s due to our Un-rapid transit system, the 1 million people moving here in the last decade, or let’s just blame #UrbanSprawl.  I am fortunate to be traveling against traffic, but it’s still a good 45-50min drive, twice daily.

I have always listened to music on the way into work, but after some motivation from my Marketing Coordinator (now promoted to Marketing Specialist… because she is awesome) I tried a podcast during one morning commute. And as cliché as it sounds, it really was life changing.

I arrived at work with my wheels already turning. I was inspired by the ideas discussed in the podcast. I had a fire lit inside me from the moment
I walked in the door. Listening to brand marketers discuss trends, successes, failures and ideas was extremely motivating. A podcast was better than coffee, adderall and nootropics combined. I felt alert with a purpose.

The key message here is that of motivation. As most people with jobs, careers and businesses do, I struggle with the consistent motivation. How can I stay motivated for each day and each task, always? The answer for me is Continue reading “Replacing Driving Music with Podcasts Has Changed My Life”

How Your Relationship Can Make or Break Your Life

couple shutterstock_233925079We have all heard the horror stories of relationship gone wrong. People are attacked, abused , cheated on, essential body parts are chopped off in fits of rage… things can get pretty ugly. The effect of these larger Bravo-TV-Style moments are easy to see in your life. You lose focus on work or school. The emotional toll is obvious. They usually end in a break-up – albeit sometimes drawn out and painful.

There are other ways that relationships can alter your life path that are not as visible on the surface. There are subconscious changes that you make to your career, lifestyle, – even your Tuesday evening plans, that can have a lasting effect on your life. I have experienced plenty of these, as well as watched friends suffer through them.

Being in a relationship means making someone else a priority in your life. Putting another persons’ needs ahead of your own.  But, how can you make the right choices in your life, if you are putting someone else first? Ideally, your partner is making you the same priority in their lives, and things would balance out… however, the majority of our early relationships lack this symbiotic flow. Here are three major parts of your life that can be helped or hurt by your relationship:

Career: This one is huge. Being in a relationship means making the choice to stay in one city, choosing not to take that position with 40% travel time, not taking certain career risks that are only feasible when you are young. Continue reading “How Your Relationship Can Make or Break Your Life”

What Does Your Car Say About You?


I love my car. I recently purchased a used BMW. It’s manual, e46 body, black-on-black, an absolutely beautiful car. It’s not new, not even close. But for the first time in my life, I am overcome with automotive pride. I look back every time I press the lock button.

This sensation has made me wonder, what is it about a car that gives me that feeling? Why do some people have the drive (no pun intended) to purchase a vehicle for reasons that others would deem impractical? How does someone become a petrolhead/gearhead? Continue reading “What Does Your Car Say About You?”

Before I turn 30, I will…

56050422As I grow closer to my dirty thirties, I have started to realize that there are many “life goals” that have time limits. I have put off learning and exploring so many things due to lack of time, lack of money, etc. I have decided to make some concrete goals and stick with them. And, if I put it on the internet…I have to do it.

1. Learn to drive a manual car like a boss. – I made the first steps towards this achievement by selling my automatic car and purchasing a manual BMW 330Ci. It has been 5 days. My stick-shift driving is nowhere near boss-status. I can’t tell if my car is leaking oil, or if it’s just my clutch/transmission crying every night on the driveway. There are a few hills on my way to work that are absolutely terrifying. Driving has become an adventure instead of a mundane Point-A-to-Point-B commute. But, every trip is another chance to practice, and sooner or later I will be checking this one off the to-do list. Continue reading “Before I turn 30, I will…”

How Every Gas Station Could Be Like QuikTrip


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Actual bathroom at Chevron. 7320 Roswell Rd in Sandy Springs, GA.

If you have ever used a gas station bathroom, you know exactly what I am talking about. The sticky floors, toilet paper hanging from a mangled coat-hanger, no soap, cracked mirror, no paper towels, “Joanie loves Chachi” scrawled in Sharpie across the stall door. It’s a mess. A lavatory nightmare.

From what I understand, most gas stations are franchised locations  or privately owned stations with exclusive contracts with one brand of gasoline. If they are receiving any marketing assistance from these Gasoline Giants, it definitely doesn’t show. It blows my mind that large companies like Shell, Chevron, and BP will put their name on something so clearly devoid of standards. My internal marketer is crying in the corner. Continue reading “How Every Gas Station Could Be Like QuikTrip”

“Oh, Won’t You Be My Thirty-Eight?”

Through-out my time in college, I had the pleasure of working 37 different jobs, gigs, projects and internships. I wrote this poem as it was nearly impossible to highlight my diverse array of experience in a resume! I have now translated those experiences and my marketing BBA into my career-launching number 38 at Arylessence, Inc.

I have made cardboard fruit baskets on an assembly line,
Served breakfast, lunch, dinner, and poured the wine.

I planned the grandest of openings for a Fro-Yo franchise,
Sold fuzzy animal hats with big googly eyes.

I worked in daycare with screaming toddlers in terrible-twos,
I worked in bars with screaming adults hopped up on booze. Continue reading ““Oh, Won’t You Be My Thirty-Eight?””