Michelle Roshanzamir

Founder of MVR Creative

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 business, coordination, and management side of the equation.

You’re passionate and driven about the work you do, but can be overwhelmed and all over the place when it comes to getting organized and turning your ideas into an actionable, results driven plan. Having real world strategies to develop your business and bring your idea to life is totally achievable.

You can keep doing more of what you love and move forward with confidence on your ideas – and your business – in a way that makes sense financially and aligns with your values and goals.

Her clients include creatives and leaders typically working in the arts, entertainment, and culture sector. This has included creatives such as writers, performers and artists to leaders and managers at nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

Where did the idea for MVR Creative come from?

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.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

It can vary, but it’s typically a combination of varying administrative, marketing, and outreach tasks alongside client-work. Being able to map out my time – and a to-do or task list – has helped greatly. Outside of work, I also make sure to include some form of exercise and some down time and/or time with family and friends.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I typically work with individuals and organizations on one or a combination of the following:
• Strategy development and implementation
• Coordination and/or management of a project or event
• Determining and going after funding opportunities, including funding

Having real world strategies and support to bring your ideas to life is totally achievable!

What’s one trend that excites you?

I’m curious to see where the NFT trend will go, and its potential impact on the arts and entertainment space. COVID required so many people and businesses to shift how they’re doing, well, business and how they operate – I’m curious to see how things will go there too.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Being able to plan my time – and giving myself some slack in it – and a to-do list.

What advice would you give your younger self?

The main thing is to get out of my own way. It’s okay to talk about what you do and how you help people – and make offers!

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I don’t think this strictly falls in the ‘something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with me on’ camp, but real artists – or creatives – don’t starve. The whole ‘starving artist’ myth has been around for a chunk of time and honestly doesn’t help anyone. There’s such a rich history of creatives getting paid for the work we all do (and some business savvy to back it up) and a scarcity mindset there won’t help anyone.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

The work will still get done – make sure you’re taking care of your mental health and physical health in the process. Having the time for ourselves outside of the work we do has such a huge impact on how we show up and can set a positive example for those we’re working with.

Also, having real world support and strategies to make your idea a reality is totally achievable. Nothing ever happens all by yourself!

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Never underestimate the power of a follow up! So much of the work I do is one-on-one services, and I’ve been able to find more people to connect and work with, by a simple follow up.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

While I had a sense of what I wanted to offer, in the early days of starting my business, I didn’t have a clear sense of what I’d be offering. That changed quickly when I’d missed out on some potential clients. Even if it’s starting off with a small package, I wish I’d had more package(s) set up earlier than I did.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Here are three:
1. Re-sell market/items
2. Custom jewelry or other product
3. Editing or copywriting services

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I got a massage recently – and am so happy I did! It something I could do to help take care of myself and felt like a new person after.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Trello has been so helpful! I’ve been able to utilize their site to plan out things like a marketing calendar.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Just one? Check out ‘The Art of Relevance‘ by Nina Simon and ‘Hustle & Float‘ by Rahaf Harfoush – both books look at how we’re showing up and doing the work we do.

On a more personal note, the book ‘It’s Okay That You’re Not Okay‘ by Megan Devine proved to be a game changer after an unexpected loss earlier this year.

What is your favorite quote?

I don’t know if I have just one favorite quote, but a Rumi one I love is “It’s your road, and yours alone, others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.”

Key Learnings:

  • Plan your time – or well, utilize your time.
  • Follow up!
  • The work will still get done – make sure to take care of yourself in the process.
  • Having real world support to bring your ideas to life is totally achievable.