Los Angeles

Los Angeles. April 25th, 2019

It’s funny, that I’m writing a post about Los Angeles. Los Angeles is basically my home I would say. This blog is all about my travels, but today I was looking at the city by my pool and felt compelled to write this. I guess it’s more about how I feel now after coming back to LA instead of the city in general. I just got back to LA about a year and a half ago after living in Tai

pei, Taiwan for 2 and a half years.

Many people don’t know that I was born in Pittsburgh, PA and then moved to South Africa as a kid. Then, when I was 8 years old I moved to the valley, in Thousand Oaks. I then went on to move around the valley and then San Diego, Baltimore and then South Florida. After high school, I moved back to CA when I was 18 years old. Long story short, I travelled a lot growing up but I lived in California for about 14 years of my life.

Los Angeles, translated in Spanish, to: Lost Angels. As I travelled around the world and been to all these different countries and cities across the globe, I don’t think that translation could be any more actual to the true vibe of the city. It is a melting pot of temptation, opportunity, glam, glitz, beauty, pressure, drive, ambition and saturation that gets most lost. Many different cultures, beliefs, ways of living and different classes of societies all wrapped together. You can be at a 10-million-dollar penthouse downtown with some of the most powerful and wealthiest people, then walk downstairs 3 blocks over and be in the middle of Skid row, surrounded by homeless people fighting for a line at the midnight mission.

I think though that most people in LA are “opportunists.” A person who exploits circumstances to gain immediate advantage rather than being guided by consistent principles or plans. We all are looking for a better opportunity to expand and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just at what cost?

Lost angels. What does it mean to be lost? And what does it mean to be an Angel? I think we are all lost in the clouds, when it comes to reality and our dreams, lost about what we truly want and need. We are all dreamers in this town I believe. The old myth of the Hollywood tree, becoming a celebrity and a superstar overnight. The myth of the Holly Wood (what witches make their wands out of) and that can make all dreams possible. It’s not a circumstance, it’s called Hollywood. We could have everything we want and more than we need, but we keep looking for more abundance and more opportunity, to be seen, to be known. When in fact we just end up alone and unhappy, most likely trying to chase perfection, as opposed to living life with devotion and wholeness for what comes our way and what shows us love, motivation and affirmations that we are valuable and special.

You look at old couples and you think wow, how could they be married for 50 years? When we typically have a relationship attention span of 6 months to 2 years these days. It’s because of our new society and new technology. We are overloaded with Information and options. Which makes us doubt our decisions and our choices because every day we get presented with new choices. We sometimes can’t see the value in just randomly meeting someone at a gym, connecting and sharing valuable times and moments together because we have so many people we interact with and encounter day to day, that things get saturated and overwhelming. Your parents didn’t have Instagram with a bunch of men or women directing messaging offers for dinner, travel, gifts, or “business propositions” like we do now or dating apps.

Our Sacredness is gone, it is Lost. As we all are Angels who start with kind and beautiful hearts but then become lost. Lost from the amounts of temptation we face, and opportunities presented to us every day. We slowly start to sin. We start to see things differently and alter our perception. As a business man and entrepreneur, sinning seems inevitable. Things aren’t always going to be perfect in any industry you work in. One hand rubs the other, you scratch my back, I scratch yours. There is always a little grey. I guess that’s why they call it, 50 shades of grey. In fact, it’s more like 50 million shades of grey.

It’s really funny because I have been all over the world and I feel like LA is the loneliest city I have ever been to. Love is hard to find here and even harder to keep. Because of all the temptation and wealth in this city. Most people want to be a movie star or famous artist etc. So just being a good person with a good heart who is loyal, devoted and smart isn’t good enough. You have to have it all. And even when you do have it all, you are constantly reminded, that there’s someone out there that has more than you do. So, it makes us work harder, aspire for more, and keeps us discontent with our life and our situation.

As an entrepreneur, this is great because it reminds me that I still have a long way to go and that I need to keep working and hustling every day. The problem is that sometimes we can’t separate the business from personal. Honestly, that true devotion, loyalty love and wholeness is all that you need in your personal life and relationships to be happy. Some

one who genuinely has your back and best interests at heart through thick and thin.

But back to LA. The city is beautiful, beaches are amazing and there’s always something to do. The smog sucks, it’s crowded and trendy, diverse, eclectic but I wouldn’t say it’s a wholesome city. I love the city of LA because it made me who I am today. But it’s filled with sin, temptation and people who want to use you and abuse you. You have to be conscious and aware of it or it will chew you up and spit you out. I got a lot of inspiration in this city, music and business wise. It’s a town of hustlers and opportunists, but sometimes you find a needle in a Hay stack. Some days it does get lonely and dark. Even when we have constant sunshine and no rain. There’s a song by Red Hot Chili Peppers, called under the bridge. I think this song goes right on with this blog post. It’s also one of my favorite songs. I have a love, hate relationship with LA, but it is what it is. I dedicate this blog post to Lolo.


Use your Adversity to Inspire you

Today I want to discuss with you about Adversity. Adversity is defined as difficulties or misfortune. Some people come from perfect homes with a white picket fence, 2 dogs, dinner on the table every day at 6:00, some come from divorced homes who only have one parent, some people’s moms or dads walked out on them when they were little because maybe they weren’t ready for kids and felt there was no other way, then just felt too ashamed to ever try to make it up and reconcile.

If you’re like me you might have come from a single-family household. My mom raised me and my older brother after my dad passed away when I was 7 years old in Cape town south Africa. I’m not going to lie, it was tough growing up and not having a father. I would see my friends with their father’s and they would take them to sports games and play baseball together and do all the dad things that I never had. I would get invited from time to time to baseball games with my friend’s dads and thought wow this guy’s dad is so cool. I still remember when my dad would take me to Steelers, Pirates and Penguins games when I was really little. I remember feeling really lost and empty a lot as a kid after he passed, I would go on to smoke a lot of weed as a teenager and never listen to what my mom would say, hang out with the wrong crowd and make stupid mistakes. I was quite rebellious. But one thing I did realize young, was that I always had a conscious and I always knew when I was doing something wrong. I did some things I’m not proud of when I was younger, I have to be honest. The mistakes and lapses of good judgement I made, really taught me the most.

I remember when I was 15 years old and went to the mall in Coral Springs, FL with my friend Jeremy. I had lived in Coral springs briefly before and then my family moved to Boca Raton FL later. I had come down to visit Jeremy for the weekend. So, we were shopping for some clothes at Bloomingdales and this was the era when Mecca, Ecko, Karl Kani, & Enyce brands, were really popular. I didn’t come from a super-rich household, my mom had enough money for us to live in a nice place growing up but we didn’t have extra money to spend on $80 t-shirts. I had an older brother and he influenced me in a lot of things. I would basically copy everything he did because I idolized him growing up. Although we fought a lot, I still looked up to his every move. So, he used to change the tags on the clothes and get it for a cheaper price. He would take a clearance tag for say $17.99 and put it on a pair of jeans that were $50. As silly as it sounds, this actually worked and nobody would really check in most cases. So that was kind of our little hustle, I was this young teenager, I knew no better and my mentality was, hey, these huge corporations like Ross and marshalls are making enough money for me to get a little bit of a break and my brother does it, so why not?

So back to the story, so Jeremy and I were in Bloomingdales, shopping and I saw this Mecca shirt I wanted. It was so ugly when I look back. It was just a short sleeve, button up flannel shirt with some colors, and Mecca embroidered on the pocket, really nothing that special. It was like $80 or something. I had around $35 on me that day. So, I took the tag off the shirt and swapped it for a shirt that was $29.99. So, what I decided to do was take the shirt and go pay in a different department that would have no idea how much the shirt really cost. I took the shirt and went downstairs to the watch department or perfume department I don’t remember exactly, it was just a random area I thought, they won’t know how much the shirt is.Keep in mind, I had done this before and it worked no problem so I thought nothing of it.

I went to the lady at the counter and I said, I want to buy this shirt, she said ok I can help you out. She goes to ring the shirt up and then she says the price isn’t right you will need to go back to the department where you got it from and pay there. I thought, oh no how could this be? So, I said, “ok, I will go back.”

After that I really don’t know what I was thinking inside my head when I look back. I saw the exit door about 150 Feet away from me and it lead outside. I proceeded to look around at some other things making my way toward the exit, pretending I was shopping for something else. I remember I had bought something else earlier from another store and was holding a plastic bag. I then decided to just put the shirt in the bag and Jeremy and I walked out of the store. The alarm didn’t ring or anything. I thought hey i m going to get away with this!

Literally 2-5 seconds after we walked out a big man grabbed my shoulder and said, come with me. I had been caught. I remember as soon as I walked out the guy grabbed me and I didn’t have time to do anything or run. My heart dropped. Keep in mind I was 15 years old. I was a boy.

So, he takes me upstairs to this secret room with all these TV monitors, with another guy watching as well. He tells me, I was watching you the whole time. I knew what you were going to do, before you did it. He basically breaks the game down, and says, all these stores have this same setup and are watching, so be a bit smarter if you want to steal something.

Long story short he couldn’t just release me since I didn’t live in Coral Springs. He had to send me to a Juvenile detention center for holding where my mom had to come pick me up.

So, I got sent to this holding center with a bunch of other kids and they called my mom and told her what happened. Keep in mind Coral springs is about 1 and a half hours away from Boca Raton so my mom had to drive and pick me up at 9PM on a Sunday night. She was pissed to say the least.

So as far as my punishment went with the State of FL, they gave me 150 hours of community service. I had to take a bus to Deerfield beach every weekend because my mom refused to drive me. I had to wash and wax cop cars on Saturday and Sundays for about 3 months straight at the police station. The cops were tough on me, they would nitpick me on the washes and say it’s not clean enough. Needless to say, I hung up my crime career after that happened.

We all make mistakes and nobody is perfect. One of my favorite quotes that I live by, “to err is human to forgive is divine.” When I look back at that shoplifting scenario, it was all a bad judgement and bad decision from the get go. I knew it was wrong, but I did it because I wanted that shirt and I thought I didn’t have another way when the lady at the counter figured out the scam I was running. Instead of asking Jeremy for a loan, or calling my mom, or just choosing another shirt similar, that wasn’t a Mecca shirt but still a nice new shirt within my budget, I made the wrong choice and a choice that I knew was wrong when my conscious was speaking to me. It was because I didn’t have someone to teach me that, to teach me that having a Mecca shirt or name brand shirt didn’t mean shit. You don’t need a name brand shirt to be cool. You are cool on the inside and you are smart. My habits, my values were all out of sync, but I was only 15. I didn’t have a lot of love at home and the love my mom tried to give me I would shun away because inside I didn’t feel good about my life, my upbringing and the fact I didn’t have a father. I felt like a black sheep in the world and I had to learn things from making my own mistakes and from people around me.

They say the best stories come from people with the hardest lives. I believe this as well because it’s the pain that you endure that makes you a stronger person and makes you more optimistic to take risks. I wasn’t always this positive and happy, to be honest. We all fall down and we all are going to fail, but it’s how fast we get up once we fall down that makes or breaks us. Take your adversity and use it as inspiration to be great. Write down one thing you hate about yourself or your life and realize that it can be used to inspire you. Take the hate you get from people and smile, turn it around and know that that is confirmation you are shining your light. Don’t be scared to stand out, to be great, to be grand, you were told your whole life, stay simple, stay off the radar, don’t stand out, but if you don’t stand out how can you make an impact? How can you influence anyone if you look and think the same as everyone else? People pay more attention to you when you make a statement. People listen to you more when you have some money, that’s the truth. People want to be more like you and want to learn from you. You are now in the top 1% and people want to know how can I get there too?

Know that you are someone special and that you are a gift to this world. It starts by knowing your worth and value. Knowing that you are unique and contribute something to society by just being you. Because there is only one YOU! There’s only one Marc illy, there’s only one of you. No matter what you think, if you’re an actor, a nurse, a doctor, engineer, a mother, or father, your DNA and genes are different than anyone else out there. Even if you have a similar career or dream than others. You are you! Everyone is an individual with a different upbringing and story to tell. Whether you tell your story to the world or just at dinner parties, it still makes you who you are.

You have the power to overcome obstacles and objections. I try to help other people and to share my life experiences with the world so you can possibly better your life. Because if your mind isn’t right, you aren’t ready to be successful. Success is a mindset first, and then it takes hard work, passion and devotion. You have to develop good habits, have disciple and practice appreciation. It is a collective process to be successful. To be vulnerable, I just told you a dark secret of mine, that I shoplifted when I was 15. I’m opening up to the world. I’m showing you I’m just a human like you who made mistakes and turned my life around into something better now. You need to open up so you can receive love and receive blessings.

The moral of the story is that through adversity and misfortunate we can turn the pain into inspiration and things that can push us to go further. A lot of my discipline and work ethic came from the fear of failure and the fear that I am not doing good enough. My drive comes from the desire to have abundance, to not have to worry about money and not have to think about stealing an $80 shirt. Now I have expensive shirts because I work hard and can afford it. Knowing that I didn’t have the white picket fence life growing up and that I didn’t have a father to be there for me, pushed me to become a good honest man that can provide for his family and be a good Dad one day. It’s not to prove to anybody else, it’s to prove to myself. To make my family proud, to be able to stand on my own two feet and use my capabilities and talents to propel me further every day. We need to grow first on the inside. After that, we can then focus to grow our business, grow our income and our finances. I can teach you how to be your own boss and how to work online as well. But you have to be strong you have to be ready for it! You must become mentally prepared. Otherwise you will continue going in a circle and repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Success doesn’t come to lazy people. It comes to diligent and persistent people who know that they can do it! Believe in yourself no matter where you come from and how much money you have right now! Every day is a new day and everything is possible!

I will leave you with this quote:

“The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


#success #entrepreneur #socialmedia #illytravels #travel #travelblogger #motivation #inspiration #business #adversity

One way ticket to Bali

So, I guess I should introduce myself a bit and tell you who I am right? Well I have an About section on my Blog for all that, but since this is my first Blog post I will give you an introduction. So, after working in LA, touring and opening up for with some famous music groups, engineering for some Legends in the music game and Producing Freelance since I was 20 years old, I somehow landed a job with a marketing company who represented Chase Bank and their Airline credit cards. After being promoted to Manager and relocated to Chicago and working a 6-3 (similar to a 9-5 but different hours,) managing 20+ Sales guys, I decided to resign after working for them for 2 years straight. After resigning, I went back to what I know best. Producing music, making beats and engineering records in my apartment. Now being in Chicago at the time, I had decided to move back to LA but I was in a lease I could not break so I had to wait it out a couple of months. Chicago is a beautiful city, but I moved from Sunny Hollywood to the South Loop of Chicago in May. This is a big difference. Especially when the Winter came around, it was a rough winter, I’ll tell you that much. I remember waking up and seeing my car covered in snow, thinking, “hmmm, I guess I’m taking the train to work today.” I had made some cool friends in Chicago and had some flings but I didn’t meet anyone who I was really feeling enough to want to be in a relationship with.

At the time, I had a lot of free time to myself and a lot of ideas popping into my mind. I started making a lot of beats every day and really getting back into making music. Even know I was isolated, I was still being creative. I started to buy online courses about how to sell beats online on Soundclick. I realized I had hundreds of quality beats just sitting around I could make money off of. I was making 2-3 new beats every day. I started to Tag my beats and post them on Soundclick. I setup an online store to sell my Beats as Exclusives or leases through PayPal. At the time Twitter was very popular and Instagram had just started out, Facebook was slowly dying, and YouTube was still Thriving. I read more and dug deeper into this world, finding all kinds of things online I never knew existed. I got really big into Social Media marketing, Google AdWords and Search Engine Optimization.

I always had a Technical background growing up since I was 11, my mom’s boyfriend taught me how to build computers. I was fascinated by computers. When I graduated high school, and went to college my Major was computer science. I was also working full time as an Assistant IT director for a T1 internet business at 18 and going to school at night. I realized I liked networking and the hands-on experience of Tech support, but not so much Computer programming. So back to the story, I started getting heavy into Twitter and had a program that would go out and follow Singers and musicians all day on Twitter. I would then message them, “Hey, check out some of my beats on Soundclick,” or something along those lines and it worked. I started getting emails about people interested in my music, building up an email list and started getting sales through PayPal. I had never thought I could make money online from my couch like this and my mindset instantly changed. Now, you can sell a lot of things online, Shirts, Hats, Dresses, phone cases, etc., but selling beats is selling just a service. So, this changed the game and changed my thought process. Seeing the money come in and going to my PayPal account was exciting. I started to spend a lot of time on my phone and messaging people all day on Social media about going to my website and buying my beats. I then decided to take a job my friend referred me. I won’t say the name but it was an Online Sports Merchandise store in Chicago. It was just a part time job but I figured I could learn a lot from it. So, I took the job and it was a piece of cake. It was not a challenge at all for me so it became boring quite fast. All I had to do was answer the phone and process orders. I also discovered they didn’t have Twitter blocked on the computers. I knew they could see what I was doing but I didn’t care because I knew I was moving back to LA soon. So, I would go to the job, work and at the same time be on my Twitter account messaging people to check out my beats. I learned a lot from the job about how to run an online business and it only made my Online Beat store stronger. I eventually got fired for spending too much time on other websites at work lol.

Now, like I said before, I was studying Social Media marketing and learning all kinds of new things. So, I decided to give people an extra incentive when they bought a beat. I would give them 2000 Free Twitter Followers. This is when the game changed. This is about 6 or 7 years ago when nobody was doing this. Beat sales doubled once I started adding these incentives and sales, etc. So, in a nut shell, I saw that the Social Media services were something people sought out and were looking for, so I created a business plan, a website and started to only sell social media services on it. I was still selling beats but I was focused on this new venture! It was exciting and really amazing how the business grew so fast.

I made a little baby and was nourishing it every day. I really felt like a proud Dad watching it grow and grow more and more every day. I used the same approach as selling beats with my company. Sell Social Media through Social Media, hey, that’s where my customers were all at anyway. People needed these services and had no idea how to increase their following online. Businesses, Models, Rappers, Singers, etc., we helped anyone who had a Social Media account and wanted it to flourish. So, I moved back to Hollywood and was working every day from home. Making beats, and working on growing my business. Having conference calls with businesses, going to meetings, creating email blasts, etc., but the core of everything was online. Things were not the same as before though. I thought I could come back to Hollywood and feel the same way I felt before, but I didn’t. I was growing and evolving as a man. I remember I woke up one night and heard a homeless man screaming and crying for help at 4AM, I opened my window and all I could think was, why am I paying $2000 a month for rent to live here? This is paradise? This is worth all this money? Now, $2000 per month might be a lot of money to some and might be a little to some, but to me it didn’t seem worth it anymore. The reason I lived there was because the walls were concrete and you could make as much noise as you wanted when I wanted to make beats. But I just realized, I’m not trying to party every night and I’m not trying to be an Actor, making beats was getting old and my passion was dying, so maybe this isn’t the best place for me.

I was selling Services and Beats online, I could be anywhere. I just started to realize, that the world is huge. I always moved around as a kid growing up and relocating. I got the bug to relocate again, but this time somewhere exotic! There are so many beautiful places that I want to see and experience and I wasn’t getting any younger. I’m single, working online now and I should take advantage of my situation. So, I did some research and decided I was going to see the world. So, I put all my stuff in storage and booked a One-way ticket to Bali, Indonesia. Welcome to iLLYTravels.com!