Michael Nova’s inspiring story has been featured on Entrepreneur.com and many other publications.
He has developed a proven track record of overseeing multiple businesses & creative projects simultaneously. As president of Nova Music Productions, Inc., Michael was featured in the New York Times as a pioneer in helping independent music artists take control of their own careers to achieve success in the music industry.
Michael then created Nova Disc and Nova Custom Printing, divisions of the corporation that would focus on offering services to businesses exclusively. Over the years, Nova’s clients grew to include NASA, MTV, BET, Google, L’Oreal, Halston, Palm Pictures, & The United Way, and many others.
Because the business was doing well, Michael found a calling to give back to the community. He co-founded Metrofly, a non-profit organization that hosted fundraising events for charity.
Then, with the intention of also making a difference through his work, Michael fully funded, wrote, directed edited and produced the film portion of the multimedia project, “X: The Human Condition” for Hypnotical Entertainment, while composing and co-producing the music. During production, Michael lost his eyesight due to illness, but manifested a miraculous recovery, inspiring people around the world with his story.
The project has received rave reviews globally, from Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia to North & South America. To date, the majority of all proceeds have been donated to charity.
Michael then founded the worldwide community website, RiseUpEight.org, with its mission to inspire people to overcome challenges in life. The website profiles every day people as well as celebrities overcoming adversity.
Thank you for joining us here at The Corporate Escapists. Please introduce yourself to our reader. They love to know about you, your passion, and how you came to find and follow your passion.
My name is Michael Nova, and I am director of Nova Custom Printing, as well as the inspiring worldwide community website, RiseUpEight.org.
How rise up eight came into being was something that was completely unplanned.
My story began as I was VP at an event planning business, while trying to become successful as a music artist.
Because I found myself both capable of creating and performing music and also skilled at organization, I began thinking about starting my own business helping musicians with the business side of things so they could concentrate on the music.
I was tired of the daily grind and having my boss look over my shoulder every day. I wanted to work for myself, so I eventually took the plunge and actually started working on my own business. When I was ready to launch, I quit my job because I wanted to focus on it fully. It took several years to really develop a client base, but I learned that you don’t have to stay trapped in your current circumstances if you are unhappy. With a bit of creativity and a lot of guts, you can make your dreams come true.
I was able to make my business a success, but my music career had still not taken off. I endeavored to create a music and film multimedia project with a positive message, like a message in a bottle, I wanted to send to all the people in the world who felt alienated. Those people who felt alone and like they didn’t fit in anywhere else needed to get this message in a bottle so they wouldn’t give up.
It took 12 years for me to finish the project and just towards the end, I became seriously ill and almost lost my vision permanently. At the same time, my business was suffering because I was spending too much time on the multimedia project. I nearly went bankrupt.
So here I was, seriously ill, near bankruptcy, and it was one of the worst times of my life, but you know what they say, it is darkest before the dawn!
Eventually, I was able to get my health together and get my business running again.
I launched the project to rave reviews. All of this led to me creating the website, RiseUpEight.org so that I can tell my story of overcoming challenges to inspire others to never give up. I interviewed many other people from all over the world who share their stories of never giving up, and we created a worldwide community.
What is interesting about this is that with my multimedia project, I wanted to inspire people to never give up, but I never realized the path that I would undertake that would actually created a community of people from all over the world who would join me in this positive message.
Businesswise, I came back from the brink of bankruptcy to take my company to much higher heights. Over the years, I branched out from the music industry to begin serving both major corporations and mom and pop startups from all types of industries with branding and marketing solutions that assist our clients in becoming more successful.
What I learned from all of this is that you should never look at adversity as the enemy. Look at it as your ally, because it makes you a better and stronger person.
Bob Proctor once quoted ‘To believe in the things you can see and touch is no belief at all. But to believe in the unseen is both a triumph and a blessing”. How important is it to you to have the belief within one’s self?
It is extremely important to believe in yourself. But it’s okay to have doubts. Everyone has doubts. But that doesn’t mean that it stops you. You can accept the doubts, and then just go on and do what you need to do.
Tell us what the word “Entrepreneur” means to you?
To me, being an entrepreneur means freedom. It means not having to follow what someone else wants but what you want. It means standing on your own two feet and being responsible for yourself and your family, and not having to rely on someone else paying you a weekly paycheck. On the other hand, you sacrifice security for freedom. Running your own business means anything can happen and you need to be responsible for whatever happens. This can be a good thing, as long as you stay responsible.
What has been one of the biggest business ideas you have had and how did you have the trust and hope within yourself to implement it?
It wasn’t easy for me to quit my full-time job to launch my business. From early indications, I knew they would be in need for this business, and I was right. What I did initially was test the idea, and run it by many people first to see if there might be an interest. One sign noticed that there was enough interest, I knew it would be successful. It was just a matter of hard work for years to build up the business, but I was happy to do it because no one was telling me what to do. It was my baby and I could run it however I see fit. I had the faith within myself because I could see the potential and hearing from other people that it had potential validated my original thought. It’s important to do the research first to make sure there is a market for whatever it is you are launching.
Running your own business can be scary. Success requires moments of trust and hope to push through to the next level. Tell us one of the moments you have had to push through to take your business to the next level?
I think the time that I mentioned previously about overcoming near bankruptcy. I was down to probably a couple of hundred dollars in my business bank account, and had no idea how I was going to stay on my feet. I borrowed money to get through that difficult time, and paid it back once I was able to clear that hurdle. Since then, I’ve been watching my finances like a hawk, but I learned that no matter what setbacks I face, I can overcome them.
What is your favourite quote about inspiration?
“I never view mistakes as failures. They are simply opportunities to find out what doesn’t work.”
— Thomas A. Edison
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?
First, do the research to make sure that there is a need for the service or product you are offering. How does it differ from others in the marketplace? What is your USP (unique selling proposition)?
Make sure that what you are offering is focusing on an underserved niche in the marketplace, and with proper implementation, you can’t fail.
Secondly, make sure you have at least six months worth of money in the bank to cover six months of bills, assuming not a penny will come in. This is the way to cover yourself just in case Murphy’s Law takes hold and everything goes wrong.
Thirdly, realize that probably everything will go wrong. Expect that things will go wrong and prepare yourself for whatever might go wrong, so that when it happens, you won’t be blindsided. Be prepared for all possibilities.