Pop Quiz, Monday with Michael Nova

Michael Nova

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Michael Nova

Michael Nova
Photo credit: Michael Nova

What is your job role?

Tell us about your company?
Nova Custom Printing offers branding and marketing solutions to both major corporations and small businesses nationwide. Our unique approach balances our specialization in rush orders with the art of integrity, because today, deadlines are coming faster than ever before. Multitasking is taking over the world, and while that is important to achieving success, we don’t believe that we should sacrifice high-quality craftsmanship for speed. Often, clients come to us at the last minute needing orders fulfilled same day, but we still take the time to ensure that exact specifications are met, which is why we’ve continued to serve many of the same clients for over two decades.

We also believe in giving back to the community, so we founded the nonprofit website, http://www.RiseUpEight.org, where we interview both celebrities and non-celebrities from all over the world who have overcome adversity to inspire others to do the same.

What do you love most about your job?
Regarding Nova Custom Printing, I get a lot of joy from not only positive feedback from clients but also hearing our client’s success stories, which in part, inspired the creation of the Rise Up Eight website. It also came out of my own experience in overcoming adversity and has now grown to become a worldwide community of people sharing their stories to make this world a better place. I think it’s important to share the wisdom that we gained through our lives to help others because I remember being in the midst of adversity and thinking I was the only one. Now there is a place where you can learn how others have overcome adversity in similar situations so that you can gain the inspiration to do so yourself.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Knowing that I am making a difference in the world. I know I am helping my clients achieve success in business, but also knowing that I can inspire people to never give up in a world where the odds are stacked against you makes life worth living.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
By seeing that they are as committed as I am, to doing good quality work. We inspire each other and support each other as human beings because there’s more to life than just work.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
At Nova, juggling multiple rush orders at the same time can be challenging, but thankfully, over the years we’ve developed a checklist system where everything is accounted for. This makes our job so much easier. Regarding Rise Up Eight, it’s challenging to grow our audience as a nonprofit, but thankfully, word-of-mouth is spreading…

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Well, I think the greatest lesson I have learned is how to overcome adversity, which can be applied to both businesses and our lives in general.

When you’re in the midst of adversity, it can seem like your lost in a dark forest, searching for a way out, but it isn’t until afterwards when you get through it that you can look back and realize that everything you experienced was for a reason. I always say, “don’t think of adversity as the enemy, think of it as your ally,” because it strengthens you.

There was a time in my life where I was close to bankruptcy, dealing with possible permanent blindness, and other challenges all at one time, but looking back now, I see that it was all necessary for me to go through.

When you look at it like that, you can welcome adversity, and say, “bring it on,” because you know it will level you up in life.

This is why I also say that life is like a video game. You start on level one and have to increase your skills to get up to the next level, and so on. The trials and tribulations that we go through are just to reach the next level.

I also believe that you can’t do it alone, which is why we created Rise Up Eight. Isolating yourself makes it tougher, so gain strength from others.
We’ve created an e-book on overcoming adversity which can be downloaded from our website, RiseUpEight.org. I highly recommend it.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Well similarly to the above, realize that in business, you will encounter adversity. Realize that that’s normal, and necessary for your growth so that when it comes, it doesn’t surprise you and knock you down. Make sure that you are prepared mentally for the challenges that you will face ahead. Learn from others before you start out, try to find a mentor.

If you are an entrepreneur, understand that business will run hot and cold and don’t panic when business becomes slow, because every business is somewhat cyclical. Accept it, and use downtime to your benefit. Having the right mindset is crucial. Your mindset must be that you will get through (or around) anything and that whatever roadblock you come up against, it’s a learning opportunity. You may find that taking a detour around the roadblock is better than facing it head-on.

At the same time, don’t be so driven that you forget about your life. Balance is just as important because we all know the story of how no one on their deathbed says, “I should have spent more time at work”! : )

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:


Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.