NORKA Beverage: The founder’s story

 

Michael Considine makes the switch from employee to entrepreneur, and talks about who helped him along the way

When Michael Considine decided to revive the NORKA soda brand, he knew it would be very difficult to give the project 100 percent of his effort while maintaining his full-time job, so he quit.

“There was a lot of risk involved,” Considine says. “I was leaving my position that I was very happy at, and then also pulling out of my life savings to make this venture happen. Throughout it all, I just had this comfort that this is a great idea, this is an opportunity that can work that I just saw from the very beginning as a vision. It’s a relief now to look back and say, ‘Wow, I’m glad I took that leap of faith into this venture of NORKA.’“

Read about the launch of NORKA Beverage and how the business has progressed since.

Considine is and has been the only employee, though interns help with aspects such as social media, marketing and on-site work when the company attends events.

NORKA became a 24/7 job for Considine, and he admits running a one-person company is overwhelming at times.

“But at the same time you’re waking up every morning and you’re passionate because it is, for me, my baby that I want to see the best for.”

When things got difficult, Considine found counsel in Main Street Gourmet co-founder Steve Marks.

“Steve is a local Akronite here, and has been there and done that, so to speak,” he says. “Steve has been fantastic in meeting with me, answering questions, giving me guidance on the right things to think about, things I wasn’t thinking about that I needed to think about, just because he’s had that experience and what he’s done with Main Street gourmet.”

Considine also sought advice from his father, Akron Children’s Hospital President and CEO Bill Considine.

“My dad has been great counsel. He’s got so many years of experience and leadership under his belt that he’s just always kept me very level-headed about taking each day at a time and trying to make the best moves and best strategic decisions as we’ve gone along.”

Running his own business taught Considine the importance of doing as much due diligence as an individual can, beyond just his own research.

“You really have to talk to people, people that are in the industry that you’re looking to go into,” he says. “Talk to as many people as possible. That’s really going to help you from the networking perspective, from a research perspective. And try to vet your idea or your business before making that first jump because the more information you have, the better suited you’re going to be to make that opportunity work.”