It's time to give a warm round of applause to the next Member of the Month inside The One Percent, Dane Fuller!
Swallowing mouthfuls of bland, soggy oatmeal while raising a family led him to found Fuller, where you can find his first product, a breakfast blend that's a complete clean meal. He aims to help other busy dads like himself live their best lives.
Once you read his story, you won't doubt for a minute why our Community and Product Manager Justus Murimi selected him as The One Percent Member of the Month. But no one was more shocked than Dane himself. "It's a hell of a surprise!" he exclaimed during his interview. Let's examine how Dane's steadfast, determined, and gracious attitude fits perfectly with our GIVE acronym:
G-Grit: Dane got out of his previous brands to start Unbroken Nutrition and didn't have a backup income. He decided to sell an investment property he owned for many years. It felt like a bad breakup and hurt his ego, but Dane had to commit. He used the money to invest in the new business. "I had to bleed a bit and cut off a piece of me," he recalls.
I-Investing: Dane is self-funding Unbroken Nutrition. Doing so gave him the time, energy, and finances to start. He believes in the business and doesn't mind investing himself. Once the brand becomes more valuable, he may seek outside investors. "I can start climbing the hill by myself."
V-Value: Dane's passion is helping people, and he strives to help everyone in TOP. He supports fellow members to see and reflect upon their dreams so that they can take action and go in the direction they want to go. And it's not a one-way street. As he says, "There are really generous people in the group. When I see people like that, it's the worst-kept secret not to share it."
E-Expanding: Dane plans to expand by serving different solutions to the same person. He wants busy fathers to be their best. Healthy breakfast foods are a place to start, but Dane knows there are other ways to serve his audience. He hopes to offer a 12-week weight loss program, online support, and other digital products to help dads reach their goals.
"You sacrifice the rest of your day without breakfast."
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and oatmeal is one of the healthiest things you can eat. But Dane grew tired of forcing spoonfuls of the sloppy, mushy substance into his mouth each morning. "It was bloody awful. I just hated it," he recalls of his morning ritual.
Dane dislikes everything about traditional oatmeal—the taste, the texture, the appearance. He understands why kids can't stand it. Nothing is appealing about a bowl of gray, runny, somewhat questionable slop.
Oatmeal provides a lot of health benefits. It aids with digestion. And if you want to drop a few pounds, it even decreases fat absorption. Further, adding a bowl to your morning regimen can help lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and prevent those awful blood sugar spikes you get after devouring a bowl of sugary breakfast cereal. "It really is a superfood," Dane declares. Too bad it takes so long to prepare (especially when you're a dad) and is absolute torture to eat.
Snap, Crackle, Pop!
Reinventing oatmeal wasn't always on Dane's mind. As a kid, he was a picky eater—and an unhealthy one at that. His parents owned two fish & chips shops, and the family enjoyed lots of fried leftovers. From childhood to University, Dane ate a bowl of Rice Krispies for breakfast. Every. Single. Morning. It was the only thing he would eat, but he did have one stipulation. The Rice Krispies had to be soggy.
When he entered University, Dane realized his diet needed an overhaul. He was on the rowing team, and Rice Krispies weren't cutting it. His body required more stamina and energy than the soggy cereal could provide.
Ironically, this picky eater majored in nutrition. Dane researched which breakfast options would be most suitable for lightweight rowing. That's when he first learned about the power of oats. Porridge was a low-calorie meal, but it would also give him the energy needed to race to the finish line. And, even more importantly, it was filling.
After leaving school, Dane used his nutrition degree to start a weight-loss consulting business. Although he still hated oatmeal, he encouraged his clients to eat it daily. Oatmeal helps people feel less hungry and cut back on random snacking. It gave his clients back power and control and helped them lose weight.
The benefits of oatmeal were impossible to ignore. But Dane still hated it.
Twenty Years Later…
Dane lives in beautiful New Zealand, but mornings are still a rushed fiasco. As a married man with three kids—Dane could never find the time to prepare a healthy breakfast. And he quickly realized why it was hard for his clients to commit to oatmeal in the morning. He had to find a way to make it easier.
Dads Deserve the Best
Seeking an alternative, Dane decided to create a better-for-you oatmeal. He founded Fuller with that goal in mind. The brand's hero product is a high protein breakfast blend that's convenient and tasty. It's insanely easy to make—just add water, shake well, and put it in the fridge overnight. And if you buy the optional steel flask, there's no clean-up either!
Fuller is all about fast breakfast food for fathers. As a busy dad himself, Dane knows guys just don't have time in the morning to eat a well-balanced meal. But they still want to stay healthy and fit to prevent that slide that happens in their 30s and 40s. In his 40's, Dane is his target audience.
Too many men get lost in fatherhood and work. There's no time to find out who they are, and they lose their identities. Instead, they sacrifice health for wealth. Too many end up overweight and in poor health. And when this happens, dads become less tolerant and grumpier. They become broken. As Dane states, "If we can prevent men from being broken, then we are succeeding."
The Challenge of Packaging On-the-Go Oatmeal
Like all great businesses, Fuller hit a few bumps along the way. In fact, it started off as whole other brand with a different name and logo. Now, it's come full-circle and Dane's last name made for an obviously perfect brand name. Packaging and ingredient sourcing became his main challenges post-Covid. Dane liked the idea of packing his oatmeal smoothie in a bottle. But he quickly learned this wasn't possible. Oatmeal is a dry good, and dry goods go into a sealed pouch—not a bottle.
This news disappointed Dane, but he rolled with this challenge and worked around it. Finding top-quality organic oats, a non-negotiable, was another challenge... one that resulted in several postponements of his launch date. Dane documented his journey and kept his hungry audience in the loop via a weekly email update. They've stayed with him through thick and thin and are now rooting for him harder than ever.
Dane Fuller Comes Out of the Entrepreneur Closet
The Capitalism Incubator has been a valuable resource for Dane, and members helped him overcome his own roadblocks. For example, creating a pitch deck was a chore. It required a ton of research and was boring at times. However, he persevered, but making the pitch deck public became the most difficult part.
Scared was not an emotion Dane felt very often. But he found himself putting off going live because of fear. After talking with Damien from Effin' Good Snacks, Dane finally got the courage to do it. He went live on Facebook and got tons of supportive and encouraging feedback. Putting it all out there helped him make connections he wouldn't have found otherwise. It was his way of coming out of the closet. Normally, he would've done it all alone, but it's better with others rooting for you.
Advice for Fellow Entrepreneurs
Discipline and determination are Dane's biggest strengths. But strengths can also be your weaknesses. Determination can push you forward, but it can also morph into stubbornness. Sometimes you find yourself pursuing something that's not working. And instead of throwing in the towel, you keep pushing and investing time.
This mindset is the difference between managers and leaders. Stephen Covey once described managers as pushing through the jungle while sharpening their machetes and writing policies. However, leaders climb the tallest tree, evaluate the situation, and shout, "Wrong jungle!"
Sometimes, it's best to stop and see that you're moving in the wrong direction. Sure, you put a lot into it, and it hurts to admit defeat. But it's not as painful as losing time. As Dane reiterates, "Time is life."
Change Your Morning Routine
Ready to change your eating habits? Head to Fuller to be one of the first to try Dane Fuller's high protein breakfast meal replacement. And if you need a bit of encouragement, don't be shy about finding him in The One Percent.