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Meet Marla Diann

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marla Diann.

Marla, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
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 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.

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 the girl behind the scenes being the 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 29 now in a thriving career), got divorced, became a single Mom and brought my PR gig home to run my own entertainment PR agency while I raised my son happily for the next 13 years. I was a full-fledged entrepreneur working with visual and performing artists.

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 the positive-minded driven person I was led the way. I persevered and came through.

2003 threw me another curveball when I was diagnosed with early stages of 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 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?

In 2006, at the twenty-year mark in my PR career, I had an intuitive nudge that 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 for me. The Universe was calling me to step into my own spotlight to grow, evolve, and become the leader I was meant to be. At the same time, my PR industry and the world were evolving with technology into this thing called social media, blogging, and online communities. I had no idea what was happening, only that I needed to learn how and reinvent who I was in order to thrive in the coming years.

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 into teaching personal branding to entrepreneurs for the new social media platform.

By May 2008 having started my coaching business, I was in the group of a few experts teaching personal branding, online marketing and how to monetize Facebook as a publicity channel. THAT was so exciting!

The first six years of my now 12-year-old mentoring business was named “Embrace Your Spotlight.” Over the years, I segued into a success coach and business strategist for creatives. Marla Diann Mentoring International, Stand for Your Worth & Dignity became the solid platform to transform lives.

And, yet 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 burnout 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.

Everything changed from that incredible “transformational travel” experience. I came home as a new Renaissance Woman. I fell back in love with life while living the Florentine lifestyle.

Upon coming home, I restructured my business and did only what brought me joy and tossed the rest. I had a brand photoshoot while in Florence and used the beautiful photos for my new brand and website. Everything about who I was to the type of clients I worked with to the programs I offered were all simplified to align with the new, happy me. I was living in the epicenter of Renaissance, art, culture, wine, food, architecture, and more. Remarkable experience.

Three years later, my brand and life still reflect that re-birth.

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 will help withstand the demands of our focus and actions to see the goal complete. I learned that desires are the fuel to keep the fire lit in my heart to see it through to manifest.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am an international success coach and business strategist for high achieving creative entrepreneurs and professionals who are ready to upgrade to the next level of life and business financially, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Celebrating 12 years in business, Marla Diann Mentoring International represents over 30+ years of entrepreneurship, life and business coaching, entertainment PR & talent management, personal branding, personal growth, spirituality, professional development, coaching, and women and youth philanthropy.

I guide my entrepreneur clients to identify and implement new success habits, a renewed creativity, a discovery of their genius zone talents, new behaviors, an upgraded mindset and wealth consciousness, and a transformed relationship with money that results in higher revenues, a leveraged business, and empowering money conversations during the sales process. Their confidence is stronger. They don’t cave into lowering their rates less than their worth.

I am most proud of helping creatives bridge the gap between being a talented creative and being a savvy business owner that rewards them with consistent revenues. Most creatives have the talent but struggle with running a business and still having a life!

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
In 2017 after nine years in business, I honored my truth that I was not happy and something needed to change in a big way in how I ran my business. I loved coaching. I was not happy with how I ran the business. I was constantly burned out, pushing to hard and I was disconnected from my heart and creativity.

I invested in myself by hiring my business coach to help me recover my dreams, my creativity and make money with joy rather than feeling like a manufactured version of myself.

That private session led the one of the most profound times in my life (after giving birth to my son). Honoring my dream to live and work in Italy and USA. I brought my coaching business with me while staying in Italy for the month. I coached at various times throughout the month on Zoom while having the time of my life in Italy.

That was the desire that launched a new life for me and made me an even better coach and role model for my clients to take a leap of faith and do the same. I have since been back to Italy in 2018. I was planning to go again in 2020. But the pandemic stopped that. When we can travel internationally again, Italy will be first on my list!


  • I offer private and group coaching ranging from $2500 – $20,000 depending on the business and need.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Veronica Puleo Photography (for the personal photo)

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