A 1983 television commercial depicts “Fred, the Dunkin Donuts Guy,” who arose at 3:30AM daily, and headed to his Dunkin Donuts franchise to make donuts. As he rose from bed, he mumbled, “Time to make the donuts.” He also moaned, “I bet the guys who make super market donuts are still in bed.”
I was reminded of this commercial in a phone conversation a few days ago with my friend and mentor Katherine Hutt of Nautilus Communications. We were talking about how exciting business can be for super creative types like me, and also, how we can quickly become bored once the newness wears off of a particular product or project.
When that happens, it usually means that the product is successful, that our customers are buying it and that we must therefore make more of it. That makes us happy.
But like Fred the Dunkin Donuts guy, it also means that we must do the same exact things over and over again in order to remain profitable. This is difficult for many small and independent business owners because part of the fun of being in business is creating new things.
But even when the excitement of launching something new wears off, as long as people continue to buy it, we have to continue to make it. Sometimes, it's possible to simply bore yourself to profitability.
As small business problems go, it's a pretty good one to have.
(Oh, and note how early Fred rises in the morning. In business as in life, the early bird always gets the worm.)
Question: Do you feel like Fred sometimes? What “boring” tasks do you perform day in and day out in order to remain profitable in your business? What time do you get up in the morning to start the process?