My day job is owner of redbox+ of Madison, WI.
People tend to think of the DVD kiosk company, but redbox+ is a newer franchise out of St. Charles, Minnesota . It’s the only company that provides job sites with a combination of two portable toilets and a dumpster roll-off box. Apparently, the attorneys for the two companies decided there wouldn’t be any confusion between the product categories since each company is using a version of the redbox name.
My wife and I bought the local franchise for redbox+ about a year ago. I have a technical communication degree and had spent years working as a tech writer, leading documentation teams, creating user education tools, etc.
I originally worked for Rational Software that was bought by IBM and had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, including IBM Watson.
Over time, I realized I wanted to try something new. I’d always wanted to own my own business, began investigating opportunities and landed on redbox+.
It’s been an interesting transition. I went from sitting on a computer all day to driving a massive semi. You have to jump through a lot of hoops in this industry and there’s a lot to learn. I do like learning—that’s part of the fun!—but it’s also stressful to be a small business owner.
One thing that’s been really surprising is just how much other small businesses want you to succeed—even people who are technically your competition.
Sometimes it feels crazy to think I went from the certainty of a stable job to the uncertainty of owning a business. But life is short—just go with it!
My most memorable caffeine would be hard to pick. There isn’t one particular time, but it would always be Mountain Dew. When I was working for IBM, I always worked from home and my most productive time tended to be between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.—and was fueled by a lot of Mountain Dew.
My current caffeine of choice is still Mountain Dew. I occasionally go through periods when I stop drinking it, but I usually end up back on it at some point.
My favorite place for caffeine is M-N-M’s Coffee House in Waunakee. This is close to my house and my wife and I often come here for business meetings. I’m so much more aware of supporting local businesses now that I own one and M-N-M’s is a great place.
The people I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with are my grandpas. One was a farmer in northwestern Minnesota and the other was a WWII vet who was in the insurance industry. They were both wise, Godly men whom I had the good fortune to know well. And now that I think about it, they would not have had a cup of caffeine, but Postum, a caffeine-free substitute for coffee, popular especially during WWII.
World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine: Type 1 diabetes. My dad has it and my oldest daughter does too. It would be great to find a cure.