From Following Orders to Calling the Shots, a Veteran Explains Why He Chose Entrepreneurship

After five years and two tours to Afghanistan, Marc Novak retired from the U.S. Army. He was 28 years old and ready to start the next chapter of his life. When he decided to join his family’s printing company, he found an opportunity he didn’t expect. Now, his WOW 1 DAY PAINTING franchise holds the record for the highest earning rookie in the system. Below, Marc tells O2E Brands how he took a chance on himself and took charge of his future.

O2E: WOW 1 DAY PAINTING is a pretty unique brand. Why did you decide to join?

MN: After I finished my enlistment in the Army, it was time to take my life experience and move on to another venture. I was working for my cousin Joe and he knew the founder of WOW 1 DAY PAINTING, Brian Scudamore. Joe wanted to try something new and he knew I was ready for a new challenge, so we partnered and started a franchise together.

O2E: Congratulations on breaking the ‘New Rookie Record’! How were you able to grow so quickly given you had no previous painting or business experience?

MN: A lot of work and maybe a little bit of luck. We were dedicated to our goal and worked within the systems of the business. We found talented people and adopted the philosophy that if you treat your customers and employees right, things will fall into place. The training and coaching have been fantastic so no experience was needed. We also have weekly phone calls with head office and that helps keep us on track.

I also made a bet with our Operations Manager that we’d break the record — so we had no choice! Joe and I are workhorses; we did what we had to do to be successful.

O2E: How has your life changed since starting your own business?

MN: It takes guts to bet on yourself and start a business. It’s a test of what you’re made of and you learn a lot about yourself. Statistically, most businesses fail their first year so the fact that we broke records is really encouraging. It’s been an incredible experience building something from the ground up and working with family.

I’m also glad to be using the skills I learned in the Army. You need to have a strong work ethic, be accountable and always uphold standards. Quitting isn’t an option; you just keep going. I'm excited about what the future looks like!