It started long before now when I began saying, “I want to get out of the Tech Industry before I turn 50”. People that know me well have heard me say this many times outloud. Let’s face it, those of us familiar with it over the last decade or so know it’s been a crazy ride. We saw Covid, then just about every company had layoffs in 2023 and most recently the Broadcom acquisition of VMware. I personally at one point had at least five people I am close friends with all out of work at the same time. To be honest, it was insane, and frankly, I was not going to let that that happen as I approached as a 50 year old, average white male, in technology. Put bluntly, the odds of keeping a job, let alone finding one, get slimmer when you are in my shoes. Less and less people want someone like me that “Says it like it is”. I get it. I am becoming extinct, a relic, an old dog on the porch, but I digress. Sometime around May of 2023, after my bicep tendon surgery, and time off to heal, I started thinking about how to get out of the madness. Take control of MY life and stop working for others. Over the course or May and June, I started researching the possibility of buying/building a Food Truck. Well, the time has come to announce that after many long months, the truck is almost done, and I am “Rolling Out” of the Tech Industry to start a new chapter of my life.
Wait.. What? A Food Truck?! You’re Joking Right?!
Nope. I am not kidding. The final graphics design is what you see above. I can tell you I spent over a month straight doing research. Understanding the local health department regulations, food suppliers, where we could park, and least of all making sure my Great Nephew Tylor was on board with the mad idea. I can tell you, for me, everything was just a new set of “problems to solve” which is where my brain works best. I spent a lot of time working out the numbers, understanding food pricing, regulations, operating costs, you name it. Having helped Julie with the books and backend operations of STK Promotions for years, the “business” part of it all was frankly the easy part. The food and health aspects were all new and I am still learning as I go. Financially, I can say this changes a lot for Julie and I. We’ve been blessed to get a lot of things paid off, but all I can tell you…is this is a MASSIVE shift in lifestyle for us both. She took a full time job as a bank teller. Remember those LinkedIn posts about her looking for a new job? Yeah, this is why. We needed to maintain something with benefits, and she’s been my BIGGEST supporter in this mad idea.
Adding ‘Some’ Technology
Now, while I want to get away from technology it’s hard to do when you are one of “us”. What I can say is you need to learn to minimize what your using. In my case the back office stuff is the same, Quickbooks, Zapier, Square POS, etc. The trick is making sure you do not go down a rabbit hole and take away from the main goal. Serving great food! One thing I can say is this truck did get some “upgrades” from the learning of the Cohesity On Wheels truck I built with Jon Hildebrand years ago. A lot has changed, but I did elect to put onboard 5G Sierra Wifi hardened gear, an external roof antenna, and some truly wireless cameras that use batteries and WiFi for security and other reasons. This was also done so that a full Square POS Register can be on board along with working out some online ordering and phone in orders via a cordless IP phone. My hope is it will be a cut above other trucks and help with optimizing the operation. Maybe more to come on that, but if you want to see the rig, menu, and more about it check out the Website, Facebook Page, or Instagram, a lot of information is out there vs repeating it on this little announcement. I’d love for you to go check out the build photos, and other posts we’ve been putting up. As of the time this post goes live, the truck is just about a month or so away from being delivered to Tennessee.
Keeping It All a Secret
I will say this has been the HARDEST part of the last six or more months. We decided to let local folks know to start the process of introducing it to the community. This resulted in the Facebook page gaining over 1100 followers in just under 4 weeks once it went live…..in July. It’s well over 2400 Followers now and we are still a month or so away from it being delivered. So yeah this has been out there a while for me and has been a lot of work. I would love to ask ALL reading this now to go follow the truck on the socials. You can find them all at the Truck’s Website. Also we’ve had billboards up since October around town with a few copy changes every couple of months. You can see those as well on the Facebook Page. However, in my online work circles for many this is literally the FIRST many of you are hearing about this. A few very close friends were brought into the fold to help review the menu, marketing ideas, and the financial plan, but they too were great at keeping this truly the best kept secret of my life. I think Julie was going to burst at some point and even she finally posted about it on her personal Facebook account.
I can tell you for months I felt “ahead” of things and as of today I actually feel “behind” which is adding some stress. Expenses are pretty much all I have until we get some food going out. That being said you can support the cause by pre-ordering a Tee Shirt. It’s $15 and I can make that go a long way!
Reflections of My Career
I feel like I will do a separate post in the coming weeks on this so it does not detract from this announcement about the last 25 years in technology. There’s a lot I want to “get off my chest”, albeit without burning down any bridges. It’s just been a long road with a LOT of twists, turns, and bumps in between. Fair warning, it won’t all be unicorns and rainbows, but would you expect anything less? So I guess that is that, right? Onward and upward as a food truck owner! Please do comment below and let me know your thoughts on all this! I am not sure how long this blog will remain up since the focus is the truck now, but if you want my personal contact info Contact Me so you can get it in case this goes site away. I may very well go pretty silent on my personal Twitter and LinkedIn as well, they are not really the place my customers will be now.