Mike Russell

Mike Russell

Mike Russell believes that individual freedom is the foundation of American excellence, that small business is the engine that drives economic...Full Bio


For The Love Of Coffee.

A friend got arrested in San Diego several years back. That’s an odd, non-violent story I’ll share at some point. I was 23, visiting Johnny B who had moved out west for a post-college adventure. John and I had been friends off and on since we were 5. Our parents knew each other. I think we were in the same kindergarten class but it wasn’t until high school cross country where he and I truly bonded. Truly one of my favorite people and one of my first real friends. John introduced me to Brian, another amazing friend. Brian was with us when our other friend was arrested, around 2 AM after a night out. 

We weren’t quite sure what to do. So we stayed up all night trying to figure it out. At one point we were sitting in a diner. The sun was up. Knowing it was going to be a long day ahead with no sleep, I figured I’d order coffee. That will keep me awake. Nope. It was horrible, probably the worst thing I had ever tasted. Worse than the sheep brain I tried in Greece trying to impress a girl and all the older kids on the school-sponsored trip — it didn’t work. 

There, in a diner that reminded me of the opening and closing scenes from Pulp Fiction, I must have put six packets of sugar in the cup, trying to force the cup down. I drank half. Even with all that sugar. 

It was very unpleasant and bitter. 

That was my first cup of coffee. And my last. Or so I told myself. I abided by that rule, surviving several early morning radio stints forgoing coffee in favor of soda, going through several two liters per week. 

Morning radio requires early wake-up calls, at least it has for me, as early as 2:30 am in order to be prepared enough to meet my high standards. All without coffee.

Until five years ago. 

I used to be a picky eater. No, it was bad. Ask anyone who knew me back in my 20s. I ate as simple as you could. Cheeseburgers. Cheese Pizza. Sweets. It was all basic and "safe.'' I never challenged myself. Until — this may read a little silly — I worked at the Olive Garden. 

I was a server for about a year after I started working at a radio station. I was aiming to supplement my $17,000 per year salary that was barely enough to live on given that I was $30,000 in credit card debt and had a car payment. At the time, I believed every job a college graduate gets would pay at least $50,000.

Oops. Read the rest here. Cheers, Rob.

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