My understanding is that he started a luncheon service with $1,500 from savings and $3,500 borrowed from friends. Using converted taxi cabs for catering he set out to make a living. Soon he noticed that 40% of his revenues were coming from coffee and doughnut sales. So, in 1948 he tried again and established a restaurant that sold doughnuts and coffee in Quincy, MA, and he called it the Open Kettle. A few years later he made yet another change—the name. To better reflect his menu he and his team chose the name Dunkin’ Donuts. Five years later he did something that was not being widely practiced; he began selling franchises.
His name was William Rosenberg, and his flexibility and his willingness to keep trying paid off big. There are now 11,300 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in 47 countries. They serve three million customers at day. That means 1.7 billion cups of coffee per year—that is an average of 30 per second. In 2016, their U.S. franchises sold $828.89 million worth of coffee and doughnuts.
While not every such endeavor becomes a burgeoning business, there is something to be said for adjusting to life and trying again. It is reassuring to see that it can be done. It is often the fourth or fifth idea or the third or fourth attempt at business that finally takes hold.
This simple, but powerful concept is even more important to remember in our personal lives. The best of people, who are living honest and principled lives, go through periods of difficulty. Not every venture seems productive. Setbacks are inevitable. Life is often brutal. But, there is hope that the next effort will bring better returns. Here is how the Bible says it: “Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.” (Ecclesiastes 11:6 NLT) Life is not a destination, it is a journey that consists of many new tries.
January marks the beginning of another year, and it will be the perfect time to try again. New Year’s resolutions may seem old fashioned, but starting fresh is something we all need to do from time to time. Try a new devotional approach. Try attending church regularly. Try becoming a part of a support group. Give yourself another chance. Give other people another chance. Ask God for His direction as you launch into a new year. “His mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:23) and He is the God of second chances. Try again!