Being born in Macedonia has been both a blessing and a curse to Rumen Naumovski.
At a young age, he knew he was destined to become an entrepreneur, something difficult and rare in the Balkan country that was not long ago a socialist republic of Yugoslavia.
The internet changed that. The teenagers in his town discovered Facebook, but didn’t use it like most people. Instead, they quickly learned how to build pages that could become profitable through advertising. They created fan pages, news sites and online communities using a variety of tactics — some more ethical than others— and proved to one another that a young person could earn a living online. They quickly became social media experts.
Starting a media company
When he was 16 years old, Rumen created sports pages, inspirational pages and news sites that were, in essence, re-writing the popular stories of the day. Then, U.S. presidential politics dominated the national – and often worldwide – dinnertime conversations. Rumen discovered that millions of Americans were thirsting for unbiased news, and were willing to sample new media outlets.
He founded Resist the Mainstream in 2020, which now has millions of regular readers, almost entirely in the U.S. He choose the name carefully as people rejected political news outlets which reported highly biased versions of stories as the writers continued to masquerade as unbiased purveyors of truth.
“We publish news stories that are routinely ignored by the mainstream media, and people came to trust us,” says Rumen.
How Resist the Mainstream grew
Rumen says the key to success is to help and serve people first. “When you truly help a potential client or you structure your business in terms of serving your customers first you’re going to win big and be very successful. I know this sounds very simple but rarely does anyone do this.”
That knowledge helped him build Resist the Mainstream into a real media brand. His main website earned 3 million monthly visits, a half-million subscribers read his daily newsletter, and his company is one of the larger players on the new social platforms with nearly 800,000 followers on Telegram, GETTR, Gab and Rumble, and about 1.2 million including TikTok.
Publius founder A.J. Rice has worked with many of the most popular media personalities in the country, and says, “Rumen leads his team like a man on a mission looking to shake things up.”
The Macedonia challenge
There was a downside to Macedonia’s reputation, though. As U.S. politics grew more divisive, some of the young people learned they could make a quick buck by writing fake stories. Macedonia became known as the birthplace of “fake news” and was reviled by some in Silicon Valley.
“My biggest frustration is that so many spammers come from Macedonia, that people make that assumption about me,” Rumen says. “I did some dishonest stuff as a teenager, but never anything fake. I quickly saw that those techniques really only worked in the short term,” he adds.
In spite of this challenge, media pundits have started to recognize Resist the Mainstream as a trustworthy news brand. Former Military Intelligence Officer Seth Keshel said on his Telegram, “Great place to pick up a real news stream to stay informed. Follow @ResisttheMainstream. They also helped me clean up the spam in my comments.”
The Senior VP of Marketing at GETTR Kaelan Dorr has also posted, “Having a ton of fun watching @ResistTM grow on here – definitely a worthy follow!”
Becoming a US business
To build Resist the Mainstream into a trusted news and information source, Rumen expanded to the U.S., with writers and editors, and his goal is to one day relocate his headquarters to Florida. “I love what I’m doing and the fact that I’m also providing US jobs makes me even happier,” he says.
Rumen sees the irony of his role in today’s media. “Ironically, a guy from Macedonia is helping to balance the biased mainstream U.S. media. They created an opportunity for me,” he says.
Brandon Straka, founder of the WalkAway campaign, speaks highly of the media company, saying, “Resist the Mainstream is a new journalism outlet that has shown itself to be unique among others in its diligence to seek truth. As factual information is becoming harder and harder to find, RTM has presented itself as an ally in the fight for free speech.”
Rumen says his goal is to build Resist the Mainstream into a media empire that will bring news and information that can help change lives for the better. From news without a spin, he wants to expand into building his personal brand where he wants to teach about financial education, fitness, and inspiration.
“The mainstream media and the ‘woke’ influencers are sending a message of how people should feel guilty and ashamed for being proud Americans. That needs to stop, as one of the reasons for what I do is to change that narrative. America is the only place where you can make it from nothing no matter your race, gender, or nationality.”