Hello, I am Marla

The girl, the writer, & the dreamer in the spotlight

I was always the girl with the smile and positive attitude. I was born with the happy chip in me.

I learned to be the peace-maker (middle child) in the family. Being in the spotlight was not my thing but I sure loved encouraging others to be brilliant in their own spotlight. I was a dreamer then and still am. One of my favorite activities now is being in my imagination and dreaming “what if…”

My passion as a young girl was writing poems, journaling, and dreaming about my adult life as a well-known writer, speaker, innovator, and inspirationalist. Writing came easy for me. I soon learned that was my art. It’s where I would find my solace.

I’d write from the heart and feel so connected to my spirit. I didn’t understand what all that meant then; just that it felt natural to me to express my thoughts and feelings through writing. I grew up in an artistic family and learned to love the arts, personal growth, and culture. It fed my spirit and creativity like crazy!

I graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in PR, Journalism eager to impact the world with my love of writing, creativity and people. Two years outside of college on one serendipitous day in 1986, I met someone in the entertainment industry that changed the trajectory of my life – I found my purpose and passion that led to an incredibly fun and highly creative 22-year career as an entertainment publicist living the dream life.

My daily work required me to position my celebrity, visual and performing artist clients in the spotlight. I loved it! I was in heaven! I was the girl behind the scenes being the cheerleader and creative strategist for my clients. Red carpet events, film premieres, press events, Hollywood affluent parties with famous people, magazine shoots with celebs, famous fashion designers and photographers filled my days.

I was truly monetizing my passions in one career – writing, entertainment, arts, culture, trend-setting, people, creativity, and supporting others in their brilliant talents. In the midst of that amazing career – I got married, had a beautiful baby boy (He’s 31 now in a thriving career), got divorced, became a single Mom and for 13 years ran my own entertainment PR agency.

I struggled at times with being both the mother and father to my son given his father was not present much. Financially I was challenged during that time period, but my perseverance, positivity, and faith led the way.

2003 threw me another curveball when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I found the gift in the challenge by becoming the speaker chair for the Los Angeles chapter of Susan G. Komen Foundation. I so enjoyed inspiring women to be proactive about their health. I served two terms on their board and supported Race for the Cure® events. I found my true spiritual core through my then spiritual community during early 2000. That became my saving grace through all of these challenging life events. It was an incredibly trying time for me; but my optimism and spirituality pulled me through.

Then it happened.

The spotlight was ready, but was i?

That intuitive nudge kept whispering to me – “Time to move on, innovate, re-invent, and move front and center away from your role behind the scenes. It’s time to affect more lives on a bigger platform – your platform; not someone else’s.”
(Gulp) It was time I embraced my own spotlight. THAT was not comfortable at all. The Universe was calling me to step into my own spotlight to grow, evolve, and become the leader I was meant to be.

In 2007, I was led to a few powerful business mentors that walked me through the transformation of building myself into a mentor and coach teaching entrepreneurs how to embrace their spotlight through online personal branding. That’s how I parlayed my 22 years of publicity for entertainers and artists into personal branding for the new social media platform.

In 2008, I was one of several early adopter experts in the personal branding space who knew how to build an online presence and monetize Facebook as a publicity channel. THAT was so exciting.

The first six years of my now 14-year-old mentoring business was called “Embrace Your Spotlight.” Through personal and professional evolution, I turned into a success coach and business strategist for creatives. Marla Diann Mentoring International, Stand for Your Worth & Dignity, became the new platform to transform lives and businesses.

And, another transformation was one the way….

June 1, 2017 was the day my life expanded in ways I would have never imagined. After 20 years of denying my long-held desire to live and work in both USA and Italy (laptop lifestyle), I hit a wall in March 2017 that required deep soul searching for answers.

I hired my coach for a private intensive to recover my dreams and desires. They were lost in the harried-ness of life far too long. I felt like a manufactured version of myself after nine years of running my coaching business.

She pulled out of me that long-held desire and helped me plan a first-time month-long stay in Florence, Italy. I was a woman on a mission to make it happen. 45 days later I took off for Rome and Florence, Italy in August 2017 and transformed from the inside out.

That desire was the seed that launched my new life.

So, in 2017 – my goals were to make money with joy, feel deeply authentic and happy in my business changing lives, and let go of anyone or anything that was not aligned with this new high frequency life.

Everything changed from that incredible “transformational travel” experience. I came home as a new Renaissance Woman.

Today, my brand reflects that re-birth. I was living for a month in the epicenter of Renaissance, art, culture, wine, food, architecture, and more. Remarkable experience.

When we give our loyalty to our desires, have faith and trust these desires can and will happen, they lead in the pursuit of our goals. Our desires in that formula help withstand the demands of our focus and actions to see the goal complete. I learned desires are the fuel to keep the fire lit in my heart to see it through to manifest.

What long-held desire have you been holding off?
I know you are completely capable and powerful to take the leap of faith and begin the process.

Clients Say…

"The most profound change I have felt from being mentored by Marla and how it’s changed my decision-making abilities in business is the feeling of constant and ever-present gratitude."

Brianne Cohen

"I needed the most help and guidance was having a proven ‘sales system’ in place where I am in complete control of the sales process. Marla did that for me."

Veronica Puleo

"Working with Marla has helped me move past my fear/reluctance to make change, take some risks and invest back into myself and my company so that in 2019 and beyond I’ll be “running my business” more efficiently and with greater results."

Lee Dyson

"It was a complete 180 for me, I was able to truly understand what the real purpose of money is. Money at its purist form is energy."

Juan Castro

Work with Marla

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speaking & media

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