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Ep. 81 Running a Global Company from a Small Rural Community

When you meet today’s guest, Charissa Rubey, you’ll likely be charmed by her salt-of-the-earth friendliness and unassuming nature. But don’t let that fool you—named North Dakota’s Small Business Person of the Year in 2020, Charissa, alongside her husband, Dave—whom she affectionately refers to as her favorite person in the world—run a manufacturing company with 25 employees and a global dealer network over 700 worldwide.

And they do it all from a town of less than 50 people that no longer even has a post office.

She joins us to share her incredible story.

About Charissa:

Charissa Rubey is a business owner, artist, graphic designer, photographer, wife, mother, hunter, gardener, beekeeper, and serial hobbyist who makes sure all the soup cans are always facing labels out in the kitchen cabinet. Originally from southern California, Charissa moved to North Dakota at the age of 20 with her husband Dave to take over the family farm. In 2002 they started Dakota Micro, Inc., a business that manufactures the AgCam and EnduraCam camera lines. Charissa’s most recent endeavor of acrylic painting allows her passion for the rural countryside to shine through.

In July of 2019, Dakota Micro, Inc. had the honor of being invited to the White House to represent US Manufacturing for the State of North Dakota. When asked about the experience, Charissa shared that “…it was so amazing! To be able to set up our products IN the White House, who gets to do that! We got to meet so many amazing people, VP Mike Pence and Dr. Ben Carson, just to name a few.”

Charissa and Dave have two children whom they are incredibly proud of. Alexander is currently serving in the US Army in the 25th ID, and their daughter Christina has joined the ND Army National Guard. She will begin basic training in the winter of 2019-20 with plans on attending Nursing School afterward. When elaborating on her kids, Charissa also shared “plans change, you never know what their, or our future will bring, and that’s the adventure.”

In this episode, we cover:

  • How to discern “good” advice from “right for you” advice

  • What it means to say “a change that’s easy isn’t all that meaningful”

  • How Charissa’s original goal of creating extra grocery money turned into a full-blown business

  • How a neck fusion surgery and a rock sucked into a combine header created the idea that sparked the start of her business

  • Why people need to “hear the hard stuff” about starting and running a business

Links and Resources Mentioned:

Charissa’s book recommendation: “Traction: Get A Grip on Your Business” by Gino Wickman

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