Meet Michelle Roshanzamir, a consultant, grant writer, and producer helping creatives, executive/artistic/managing directors, and leaders bring their ideas to life and develop their businesses. She works with a range of creatives and leaders to bridge the gap between the creative and idea side and the business, coordination, and management side of the equation.
Through individualized support, she helps you develop your strategy, determines your next steps, and explore your options – including funding – so you can make your vision a reality and reach your goals in a deeply fulfilling and financially rewarding way.
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET FEATURED?
All interviews are 100% FREE OF CHARGE
Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us today. Please introduce yourself to our readers. They want to know you, some of the background story to bring some context to your interview.
Michelle Roshanzamir: The germ for what I’m doing now started when I was in college: I was an art school student who scoffed at much of the business side of things, despite my own growing interest and experience in management and producing. While my time at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) was impactful in many ways, I knew I wanted to continue learning, and went to California State University, Long Beach (CSULB)’s MBA/MFA Theatre Management program. It was a great combination: I had the opportunity to balance both the ‘business-side’ and ‘arts-side’ of the work I was starting to do and wanted to continue doing.
With one semester left in the MBA/MFA program, I decided to drop the MFA side of the program and shift gears, and just focus on the MBA. While it was a difficult decision to make at the time, it turned out to be a wise choice: I ended up focusing more on the MBA side, taking courses and continuing to meet people I may not have otherwise, and continue developing the skills I use to this day. While the experiences in school were useful, my experiences outside of school were proving to be just as valuable. I keep seeing how much creatives and leaders – many of them working in the arts, entertainment, and culture sector – struggle with the business and management side of what they’re working on.
Continuing to work at the intersection of stories, ideas, creativity, and business, I took the leap and started MVR Creative in 2019.
You are a successful entrepreneur, so we’d like your view point, do you believe entrepreneurs are born or made? Explain.
Michelle Roshanzamir: So many colleagues and people I’ve worked with bring an entrepreneurial spirit to the work they do, regardless of whether they’re running their own business or not.
If you were asked to describe yourself as an entrepreneur in a few words, what would you say?
Michelle Roshanzamir: We’re working together to bring your ideas to life – and bringing things like empathy to a good work ethic to the table.
Tell us about what your company does and how did it change over the years?
Michelle Roshanzamir: I work with a range of creatives and leaders to bridge the gap between the creative and idea side and business, coordination, and management side of the equation. This has been through things like strategy development and implementation; determining and going after funding opportunities, including grant writing; and coordination or managing projects and events.
While much of the work I was doing when I started the company factored in both in-person and remote work, most all of the work I’ve been doing has transitioned into remote work – and in no small part due to COVID-19. Some in-person events or projects may be in person, it’ll just take some more time!
Thank you for all that. Now for the main focus of this interview. With close to 11.000 new businesses registered daily in the US, what must an entrepreneur assume when starting a business?
Michelle Roshanzamir: There can certainly be a lot of things new entrepreneurs should consider, but one thing is having an understanding of who you’re serving and what you’re offering – whether it’s a product, service, or a combination of both.
Did you make any wrong assumptions before starting a business that you ended up paying dearly for?
Michelle Roshanzamir: Not having a clearer sense of the services I offered, though I eventually got there.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what advice would you give yourself and why? Explain
Michelle Roshanzamir: It hasn’t always been easy for me to talk about myself or share what I do. The biggest piece of advice I’d give myself? Get out of your own way, get yourself out there more, and make offers to help people!
What is the worst advice you received regarding running a business and what lesson would you like others to learn from your experience?
Michelle Roshanzamir: Wanting to help everyone with everything – while I’ve embraced the multi-hyphenate life, it’s great to have a niche or common thread to work you do.
In your opinion, how has COVID-19 changed what entrepreneurs should assume before starting a business? What hasn’t changed?
Michelle Roshanzamir: How we show up makes such a difference. Whether it’s how we show up to do the work we do, how we’re taking care of ourselves and those around and working for us.
What is a common myth about entrepreneurship that aspiring entrepreneurs and would-be business owners believe in? What advice would you give them?
Michelle Roshanzamir: The ‘always working’ mentality can so often lead to burnout to things like high turnover. The work will still get done, but how we show up to do it makes a difference across the board.
What traits, qualities, and assumptions do you believe are most important to have before starting a business?
Michelle Roshanzamir: Traits, qualities, and assumptions I believe are important to have before starting a business include:
- Willing to listen to others and what they bring to the table.
- Follow through and consistency.
How can aspiring leaders prepare themselves for the future challenges of entrepreneurship? Are there any books, websites, or even movies to learn from?
Michelle Roshanzamir: There’s a range of things that leaders can do to prepare themselves for future challenges – an important one is to keep learning! A few books I’d recommend include:
- Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
- Hustle & Float by Rahaf Harfoush
- The Art of Relevance by Nina Simon
- The Membership Economy by Robbie Kellman Baxter
You have shared quite a bit of your wisdom and our readers thank you for your generosity but would also love to know: If you could choose any job other than being an entrepreneur, what would it be?
Michelle Roshanzamir: Either a Development Exec in the entertainment space or Executive/Managing Director at a mid-large size performing arts center.
Thank you so much for your time, I believe I speak for all of our readers when I say that this has been incredibly insightful. We do have one more question: If you could add anyone to Mount Rushmore, but not a politician, who would it be; why?
Michelle Roshanzamir: There are so many amazing people out there there, I’m not sure who I’d pick.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Michelle Roshanzamir for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Michelle Roshanzamir or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.