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Michael Nova, Founder of Rise up Eight and Nova Custom Printing on Overcoming Adversity

kokou adzo



Michael Nova Nova Custom Printing

First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times? 

Michael Nova: Thank you for asking. We are in New York City and have been social distancing for almost a year now. Thankfully, we have not been directly affected, but I have a number of friends that have been. It’s important for everyone to keep their spirits up during this time, so I’ve been concentrating on projects that inspire people…something we all need right now.

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Nova Custom Printing.

Michael Nova: I started Nova Custom Printing after working for someone else because I was tired of someone looking over my shoulder and telling me what to do. I wanted to be free to run my own company, and so I started small. I put together printing and manufacturing projects in the music industry for people I knew, and they referred me to others. It was all word-of-mouth until I had enough money to run small ads in trade magazines and newspapers.

Eventually, I was interviewed by the New York Times and reached another level in my business. Our website grew and became the focus. Now we serve major corporations nationwide with branding and marketing solutions, custom label printing, custom decals, and sticker printing as just a few of our offerings. We also offer custom T-shirt printing, jackets, hats, sportswear, signage for events, and promotional items. Basically, anything that a business requires.

How does Nova Custom Printing innovate? 

Michael Nova: We specialize in same-day rush orders, which is a needed service in New York City, where everything was needed yesterday! Completing jobs within hours is not something that many, if any, other companies can do, and we have become known for our fast turnaround of custom print jobs.

How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?

Michael Nova: I see it as an opportunity to help people. We’ve not only been printing labels for respirators, and hand sanitizers there’s but have taken this time to focus more on the community around us. I started RiseUpEight to inspire people to overcome adversity and have posted stories from people all over the world who have overcome challenges in order to inspire others never to give up.

I’m also a music artist with the group X: THC. We put together an uplifting music video with people from 43 countries who volunteered to unite for social change and against global warming and COVID-19.

The video can be seen on YouTube here. A portion of the album sales proceeds will be donated to the United Way’s COVID-19 Worldwide Community Response and Relief Fund. The balance of proceeds will be used to continue’s mission of inspiring people to overcome challenges in life.

Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?

Michael Nova: From coming back from the brink of blindness to near bankruptcy and a host of other challenges, I’m no stranger to adversity. My unlikely recovery inspired me to share my story with the world to inspire others. That’s why I started RiseUpEight.

What I learned from my experience of overcoming adversity is remarkably similar to what everyone sharing on our website has learned. Experiencing adversity as part of the human condition. You may think that you are the only one going through a difficult time. It feels like you are being targeted somehow, but the truth is that everyone experiences adversity in one way or another. Some more than others, but I always say, “don’t look at adversity as the enemy, look at it as your ally,” because it makes you stronger.

There will always be more adversity in our lives, but the fact that you are going through it now only strengthens you for the next time that you’ll have to face a challenge. And you will be ready for it rather than blindsided by it as what may happen to you the first time.

On RiseUpEight we are giving away a free e-book on overcoming adversity, “8 ways to take back control of your life…NOW!” with eight things you could do immediately to help you overcome adversity.

How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Nova Custom Printing in the future?

Michael Nova: I’ve learned to deal with stress and anxiety through hypnosis and neurolinguistic programming (NLP). Through studying those principles, I learned that what you focus on is what your results will be.

If you focus on what’s not working in your life and the negativity that you may be experiencing, you will perpetuate that. If you focus on what is working, or whatever challenge it is that you may be facing, you will overcome it. It’s a matter of focus.

But that doesn’t mean banging your head against the wall to get through it. That will only end up with you having a bloody head! Instead, figure out creative ways that will break through the roadblock. That may mean going around it. Or taking a detour down a different road, which may lead you in a different direction that may be even more beneficial. It’s okay to take a step back. It’s okay to take a break to replenish your energy. But don’t lose the focus of what your main goal is.

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

Michael Nova: I don’t focus on the competition. I only focus on making our company the best to serve our clients in ways that satisfy them 100%. We always stand behind our work, and if any client is unhappy, I personally handle it until I make sure that they are satisfied. That means a commitment to quality and customer service. As long as we have that focus, we will continue to succeed.

Your website?

Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at

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