When you read author Nikki Novo’s personal intro and bio on her blog, it’d be fairly easy to ascertain that she is a typical Gen-Xer. Like many of us, she had career goals that shifted and re-shaped throughout her life, and even as an adult she found herself asking” “What do I want to do?”
A virtual Jill-of-all-trades, the ambitious Cuban-American has edited for various outlets like Refinery29 in Miami, and has contributed to the likes of MSN.com, Allure Magazine and Zagat.com to name a few. Novo has also done public relations work for Lionsgate Films and Fox Searchlight, but she wasn’t built to stay behind the scenes.
Nikki set about to write about her dating life, often times as a comedy of errors, musing over the challenges of finding anyone compatible, let alone Mr. Right. She became an advice guru and motivational personal development speaker, highly sought-after for her compassionately raw love advice.
From her work, Nikki birthed the book Will I Be Alone Forever…And Other Dating Questions You Wish a Psychic Would Answer. The tip-filled guide offers single women some brutally honest insight on their approach to dating.
Ironically, Nikki did in fact meet and marry her Mr. Right, and is now sharing advice from a new perspective in her own romantic journey. We asked Nikki Novo to give us some of her best advice on how busy career women can wrangle the right guy, and found out more about her personal motivation and focus. Read on…
What inspired you to write your book? Did you or your friends go through a lot of heartbreak or love turmoil to bring you to write the words?
Nikki Novo: I actually starting writing about dating when I was dumped by my boyfriend, who I thought I was the guy I was going to married. I had just started a blog when he dumped me. Because of my recent heartbreak I couldn’t help but bleed on the computer screen. Plus, I was going on a lot of awful dates and that kind of comedy just had to be shared. Once I started sharing, people were relating and letting me know that they, too, had experienced heartbreak and disappointment.
It became a personal journey for me, where I started to look within for answers, which fueled my writing. Before I knew it, I had a few dating colums. Readers started to ask me questions, and I started to answer to the best of my ability. Eventually, all those musings and advice became a book.
What has the reaction been from readers thus far? What have people said to you that makes you feel this was a worthwhile project?
NN: That’s a great question! Writing the book was a little scary, because of course I was putting all my dating disasters on paper in hopes of relating to people and helping them through my own struggles. I have a husband and two kids, and I didn’t want to embarrass them. But I knew the stories would help so many people, and I had to put myself to the side and give meaning to the pain I went through in order to help others through their own pain.
Luckily, I’ve received beautiful notes. I’ve received emails from women telling me that this book has changed the way they see dating. I’ve heard from people who have found peace and a happy relationship since putting the advice into play. Just helping one person, makes it all worth it — even the pain.
What do you have set up in the new year to promote the book? Do you have any books in the works to follow, or is this your main focus?
NN: Honestly, this year is all about teaching others to blog and write. Teaching people who are maybe in the closet about being creative to come out and share their story. But share their story in a way that is relatable, that doesn’t leave them feeling naked. The book is on my website, and I’ll be doing some fun events during the month of February.
How do you balance your career with your personal life? Are you ever inclined to write about your personal life more, even if it meant talking about your current relationship?
NN: I’m in the world of self-reflective writing and blogging. That’s what I do. So of course, I’m mindful of those relationships I have that might suffer because of my need to share. I really only tell my story and not the stories of others, because those aren’t mine to tell. If I talk about someone close to me, it’s very on-the-surface, and I make sure to ask for permission before I do so.
I only write about struggles, once I’ve figured it out. So if I have a situation with my husband, I’ll share the story only if I come out of it enlightened. And only when the challenge was because of my shortcomings, not of the other person in the relationship. I’m not into blaming others.
Do you see yourself ever doing reality television if offered the opportunity?
NN: Sure! If the opportunity was something that would send a positive message out there and encourage people to share and be creative, I would totally do it. I would just want to protect my kids and my husband. That would be my only deal-breaker. I’ve been offered a few opportunities, but they were all very Housewives-ish, and that I’m not into.
Most people have set up their list of New Year resolutions by now, and sometimes we leave love out of the equation when it comes to setting goals. What are a few pieces of advice that you can offer a career-minded single woman about finding a good man along the way this year?
NN: 1. Date in the present – Don’t get ahead of yourself when you’re on a date or thinking of dating. Bring yourself back to where you are right now. You’re not dying alone. You’re young, alive, and filled with opportunity.
2. Forgive – Forgive anyone who has hurt you in the past. Not for them, but for you. So you can move on, have a fresh start, and have the freedom to reinvent your life.
3. Love yourself – Love what God has gifted you, and shake it. Don’t wish for something you don’t have in your appearance. Embrace what you do have and be confident in it.
4. Stay in your own lane – Stop comparing yourself to others. We are all different and a comparison is never accurate. Use that energy you spend at looking at other people’s lives, and
invest it in yourself.
5. Don’t label yourself – Don’t label yourself as the “forever single friend,” as the “broke friend,” “the chubby sibling,” etc. Free yourself of those labels. You can be whoever you want to be, as long as you believe it.
6. Accept love – Start with accepting the love and gifts you already have in your life. I really believe the universe will not give us more unless we’re truly grateful for what we already have. Make it a habit of being thankful for the little things. Once you’re in that flow, good stuff will pour into your life.
7. Listen – We can all do a better job of listening. Myself included! The guidance and signs we’re looking for are within. There is an intelligence that lives inside us that will guide us to where we need to be if we would just learn to listen. Listen more, speak less. That goes for dates, too. Let your date tell you who they are, so you’re not surprised later.
What do you see yourself doing in the next year or two that might surprise us?
NN: I see myself building upon the foundation I’ve created. I’m working on starting a podcast where I can interview women who are making a living in a creative industry. I love podcasts! I’m also
expanding by blogging classes to include more writing lessons. There’s definitely another book coming, but it hasn’t told me what it wants to be yet.
What do you want people to know most about you at this stage of your life and career?
NN: I’m still scared. I still worry. And I still doubt myself. I think we tend to look at others and think, “She has it all together.” But no matter where we are in our lives and careers, any new challenge is going to be scary. The doubt will creep in. I don’t think that goes away. I think we just learn to be friends with it.