We had the good fortune of connecting with Tarla Makaeff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tarla, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk-taking has played a significant role in my life and career. In college, I got accepted Pre-Med but ended up following my heart to the Film department and finally majored in English with a Writing emphasis and a minor in Theater. Even though I was an introvert and had thrown myself into acting to overcome painful shyness, I ended up loving it so I decided to pursue it as a career which was quite the reversal from medicine. I enrolled in a soap opera acting class through UCLA Extension. Because of this one decision, I ended up meeting my future boss who hired me at a marketing agency where I became a copywriter.
At the second agency I worked at, I knew my writing was making our clients millions but I was only being paid a mid 50k salary. So I listened to my intuition again and found a book describing how it was possible to earn 85k as a freelance copywriter. That’s when I started listening to affirmations in my own voice on the way to work and back, and within a few months, I quit my job. This was the best thing that ever happened to me as I started a freelance copywriting career within a couple weeks of leaving, earning just shy of the 85k I had read about working 10 hours a week. The following year was six figures, and then the next multiple six figures, until I turned my business into a 7 figure brand.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m a published author, online business coach, and digital course creator. I help creative heart-centered women start and grow their purpose-filled business online and scale their brand with copy that converts through my coaching, courses, and book.
What makes my book, The Essential Guide To Your First Month Of Online Marketing, and my beginner online business course, Social Star, different is that I created them to solve a real-world problem. What do you do once you come online if you want to have a business? People usually do things backward. They start with social media. My motto is that you end with it. You have to have your lead magnet, email marketing, and revenue structure in place first. When I got started, I never found all of this information in one place – how to go from niche, target market, and personal brand to email marketing, copywriting, and funnels to a monetization structure so you could then promote on social media. Instead, I would find a piecemeal course here or there on branding or social media. But this a la carte way of learning only makes sense if you’re more advanced and already have the foundation in place. If you don’t, it’s no way to learn as there is no roadmap or step-by-step system for the entire process.
I do things a bit differently than most online business coaches as I also shine a light on self-love through my work in this area as a certified life coach. Because what few talk about is how vital mindset is to business. In fact, business is 80% mindset. I experienced this early on when I manifested a 7 figure copywriting business from the power of positive programming. So you can have all the tactics and strategies, but if you don’t truly believe you can succeed, it won’t matter. Typically, it’s only after someone has struggled for a while that they realize they need mindset work, when that should be one of the first things they work on. Additionally, what a lot of people are missing is that there is a layer that goes much deeper than mindset. You can say all the positive affirmations in the world but if you don’t believe them, you will never succeed. In order to manifest you have to have the right mindset. And in order to have the right mindset, you have to emotionally heal.
Getting to the point of having a full-time online business was certainly not easy – especially without the unflinching support of my mother – and there have been many challenges learning all the ins and outs. However, my copywriting career really paved the way for this venture as copywriting is the foundation for any business – particularly an online one. So I leveraged my copywriting experience to write all of my own emails, sales pages, ads, and more. What I would say to anyone who doesn’t have a copywriting background would be to learn it. Hiring an expensive pro like me isn’t typically feasible long-term for a small business. This is why I created my advanced copywriting course, Iconic Copy, which I’m launching in Fall 2022. I want to empower creative women to write their own hip, modern, and feminine copy that connects and converts.
To any woman wanting to start an online business, I would say this: patience is key. Your business won’t necessarily materialize overnight. There are a lot of moving parts. But know that if you believe, you can succeed in anything with time – no matter your circumstances or lack of connections. My mission is to empower women to go after their wildest dreams and become forces in this world so they can make the impact they desire.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of my favorite places in the world is Malibu. So on the first day, I would take them to the Malibu Pier and the Malibu Country Mart for some surf and sand as well as shopping. Then we’d have dinner at Geoffrey’s because who can resist the stunning views on a clifftop overlooking the ocean? The next day, I would take them to the iconic Rodeo Drive for strolling and lunch at a cafe. On the third, we’d have to go to Hollywood of course to see the famous sign and stop on the way back at Osteria Mamma, a hidden gem near Paramount Studios on Melrose with pillowy soft gnocchi al fumo (thank me later). The fourth day, we’d visit Universal Studios Hollywood because there is nothing more LA than the entertainment industry and who doesn’t love seeing what goes on behind the scenes? Then for the last few days, we’d spend some time lounging at one of the many gorgeous beaches across LA and get some fabulous takeout.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mom, who unfortunately is no longer with me, was my cheerleader who always told me I could do anything I wanted to – even after I decided to pursue acting instead of medicine. She was my best friend and her support is what really propelled me to high levels of success. I didn’t realize at the time how pivotal her words of affirmation were in creating my future. It’s much more apparent now that she’s no longer with me. I am forever indebted to her for the unconditional love she gave me.
Beyond my mom, I have to go back to the beginning and where it all started. I had a boss in college when I worked in the Film department who always believed in me and was so kind. I really admired her positive energy and work ethic. And of course, I have to give a shoutout to my boss who I met in that soap opera acting class after I graduated. He didn’t know it at the time, nor did I, but he ended up changing my entire life. I am eternally grateful. He too was an amazing person to work for, also easygoing, but someone who just believed in me from the beginning. Despite meeting me in an acting class, he saw something in me to offer me a job at a marketing agency. I’m in touch with both of them to this day and they each hold a special place in my heart.