In the Spotlight: Celebrity personal assistant Tarra Stubbins
Tarra Stubbins has been a personal assistant for over 20 years. After ten years on the road supporting some of the world’s most famous touring musicians and entertainers, including The Rolling Stones, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kenny Rogers, Nickelback and KISS, she’s taken her experience to help others.
Tarra created Take It Easy Personal Concierge Inc. in 2007. Collectively the Take It Easy team have successfully helped thousands of top CEOS, Executives and Entrepreneurs eliminate their ever growing To-Do lists and understand the true meaning of delegation and time management.
Sounds pretty cool, right? We had the chance to ask her a few questions!
Your career includes being on the road with some well-known celebrities in the music industry. It must have been wild keeping their daily lives on track. Can you share a fun story about being on the road?
Tarra: I have so many stories of being on the road, they all kind of blur into each other and I’m also bound by a lot of confidentiality agreements. I don’t want to break any of my contracts, but I’ll be happy to share one of my favourite recent stories that I have permission to tell. Last year, Guns N’ Roses were playing a stadium in Abu Dhabi which had only one highway going in and out from the hotel. Axl’s ride got stuck in the brutal traffic and they were going to be late getting on stage. Now, for those of you who know GNR – you would say that anything that starts less than 3 hours late is a miracle … but the GNR insurance company for this tour has made the band start within 15 minutes of the promised time or else they don’t get paid for the show. So needless to say that Axl was a little stressed in the backseat. The driver decided to take a shortcut across the desert where they got stuck in the sand! Now stranded with a very angry rockstar, the driver was miraculously able to flag down a random Jeep that happened to be driving through the dessert. Axl jumped into the back of the truck and raced to the stadium where they were only a few minutes late for the show. Why do I love this story? Because after getting Axl to the stage, the entire crew thanked the driver who was pretty confused with the VIP treatment, he had no idea who he just transported. The driver had saved the show, and the band and crew gave him the ultimate experience to stay and watch the show. (He’s now a huge fan of Guns N’ Roses.)
That’s an AMAZING story! But it wasn’t all fun we’re sure (even though it sounds like it) what kind of things were you responsible for?
Tarra: I was the liaison between the band and the many vendors and venues in each city. I was solely responsible for all of their personal requests while on the road. I would travel ahead to their hotel rooms, their dressing rooms, anywhere that they would go to ensure that everything was set up exactly to their specific requirements. I would not define all my time as fun. It was a lot of hard work. That being said, I loved every minute of it. I always had to be thinking ahead of my bosses, knowing their needs before they even knew to ask. Being on the road away from family and my own bed for months at a time, is lonely, but being able to help others succeed was and still is my ultimate why. It is what has driven me every day to get up in the morning and to continue to be a personal assistant. I am incredibly honoured that I was able to experience the fast paced life of being on tour and that the overall adventure has set me up for success running my own business and ultimately helping many others in the process. I believe I was born to help people succeed and I have to constantly pinch myself because I am able to do that everyday.
We all hear about celebrity special requests, would you have been the one to arrange all of those? What were a few interesting ones.
Tarra: Yes. That was definitely my job, dealing with the strange and special requests. One of the strangest requests that I can share is that Mick Jagger really likes having dehumidifiers everywhere. And I mean everywhere! Backstage, in the hallways, on the private jet, in the hotel, it was almost a full time job making sure he wasn’t out of range of a dehumidifier. We literally traveled with half a truck full of dehumidifiers so we would never run out!
What would you wish people would know about your “glamorous life”?
Tarra: I worked in the touring industry for about a decade. And the thing I wish people would know is that being on the road with a rock star is not a party. I’ve witnessed and helped to plan parties, but I had to be the sober one in the room, making sure they were safe and in bed at the end of the night. We are not best friends with the celebrity. We don’t sit backstage, sipping champagne, and sharing intimate stories. The only time we hear from them is when they need something. The days are long and there is no time to explore each city. I’ve seen many airports, hotels and venues – with many tour bus bunks in between. People forget that you have to always be on, it takes a lot brain power.
What life rules have learned in your career so far?
Tarra: Great question! On the road, with so many impossibly tight timelines and commitments, I was forced to learn time management skills and strategies and I could go on forever about these lessons, but I think the best life rules I learned were: Always write EVERYTHING down, Laughter gets you through anything and You’re only as good as your network.
You just don’t work with celebrities, who else is your clientele? And can you tell us more about what an accountability and time management coach does?
Tarra: When I came off the road in 2007, I opened Take It Easy Personal Concierge Inc. because I wanted to help as many clients as possible. I help CEOs and entrepreneurs learn and understand important key lessons in time management. The marketplace is littered with so many tips on saving time. It is easy to waste the time you are trying to save navigating all these strategies, especially since a lot seem to contradict each other. I’ve developed the schedules of very successful people who masterfully ensure all of their time is spent well and effectively and now I’m passionate about helping new entrepreneurs understand the tactics of my high-powered clients. The most important role I play is holding my clients accountable to their schedules and goals. I’ve naturally done this throughout my career, but now I hold coaching sessions to formally help clients understand this process.
So, how do you keep yourself organized?
Tarra: I use a physical calendar and planner. I write everything down, personal tasks, client tasks, appointments, everything. I also time block. I’ll have a to do list and insert them into their proper time slots, scheduling errands along with my appointments and meetings. This helps me stay on track in my personal life and managing the requests and schedules of over a thousand clients.
Who can come to you for your services and how can they reach you?
Tarra: Time starved entrepreneurs and CEOs who are looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. If I can organize Mick Jagger’s schedule on tour, I can help you too! My true passion is helping other entrepreneurs understand the true meaning of time management and how to use these skills to fully accomplish their business goals. If you are looking to take one item off of your plate, or many. Or maybe you are looking to do a deep dive into your calendar management and see where you can slot in actionable tasks that will let you accomplish your dreams – please contact me. I would absolutely love to help! I can be reached via my website www.takeiteasyconcierge.com or on social @tarra_concierge
Thanks so much Tarra!