Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Marisa Michelson, based in Hudson, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I teach people to sing, speak, and breathe with more freedom and ease through a holistic path of exploration and awareness that views Voice, Body, and Emotions as one ever-emerging expression of Aliveness. I work with professional Singers on and off Broadway, psychotherapists who want to free their own blocked throats for the sake of their healing and the healing of their clients' yoga teachers, and somatic coaches who work with movement and sense but need to learn to weave in voice and breath Tantra practitioners who want to find more freedom through voice singing teachers who want to expand their pedagogy to include an understanding of how emotions move through the body and nervous system and any human seeking an integrative path of intuition and expression that is rooted in the physiology of the body and the breath understands how emotions can move through the body and sees the Wholeness of the Human Being.
Tell us about yourself
I've been a singer, performer, pianist, and composer for most of my life. I've been teaching for twenty years. I founded and directed a vocal performance ensemble called "Constellation Chor || An immersion in voice, movement and spirit" to explore a practice of embodied improvisation we call Core Sounding™.
Working with the body, music, voice, emotions, and energies is my passion. I could not be more into this! I find purpose and meaning in my work and art. I find unbelievable fulfillment in working with other humans who are devoted, like I am, to body-oriented inquiry into what it is to be alive. I am blessed to hold space for humans who need space to explore their emotions through the substance of their voices. I can tune into my highest self when I teach. I consider it a great gift to be able to offer what I'm offering - for others, but also for me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I officially started thinking of my work as a business one year ago. Since then, I've gotten assistants and streamlined systems that have supported me in being able to offer this work to more people and in a more comprehensive way. I'm an anti-capitalist who was skeptical about turning this calling into a business, about being honest. But at the end of the day, needing and wanting to make solid money encouraged me to be bigger in the world than I perhaps thought I wanted to be. I more than doubled my income in one year. But it's not only about the money - I am grateful for the motivation to take up even more space.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Overall, the responsibility! The hardest but also the most important! I love the responsibility because it keeps me here, on my feet, grounded, ready, and moving forward.
In more detailed terms, it is very difficult for me to communicate my needs, ideas, and desires to the people with whom I work. I want them to become part of my business, almost as though they could become part of my bloodstream and know what I'm thinking. But as it is, I feel I am constantly trying to play catch up with people on my team, and that can be frustrating.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Tune into your why. What brings you alive, and what is it you want to serve? Can you serve that thing above all? I'd also recommend engaging in a regular self-inquiry practice such as Circling that invites you to examine your assumptions (about yourself and other people) and helps you practice showing up authentically as you.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.