John Lee Dumas is taking the podcasting world by storm! But it wasn’t always this way. It took John almost 31 years to figure out what life he WANTED – and that’s the moment he chose to start the business that set him on fire. The result? Both his business and his fame are skyrocketing! He shares how he’s made it happen…
How would you describe the ‘old you?’
Narrow-minded, lacking passion, no intermingling of work and play – they’ve always been two totally separate things. I felt like I was doing what I had to do, not what I wanted to do. (For more detailed info on John’s background, click here.)
How would you describe the ‘new you?’
I now subscribe to the notion that:
‘Happiness and success is the gradual realization of a worthy ideal.’
Inspiring millions through EntrepreneurOnFire is my worthy ideal that I am gradually realizing. And because of that, I am happy.
In your ‘former’ life, in all its reinventions, did you ever feel as ‘connected’ with a project / job / pursuit as you do with EOF? (If not, why do you think that is?)
With the exception of being an Army Officer (part of that spent as a Platoon Leader in Iraq after 9/11), never. Because no matter how much of myself I was putting into it, it was never ALL of me. I was never as passionate as I am now about the other projects and jobs I’ve had in my life.
Who would you like to thank for helping you learn how to do what you’re doing?
Cliff Ravenscraft, the Podcast Answer Man, has been a huge contributor to my growth and my knowledge of podcasting. Also, my first business coach, Jaime Tardy, because she taught me the importance of putting yourself out there and making meaningful connections with others in the industry.
Can you provide a complete step-by-step bullet point list idiots’ guide for someone who wants to make a professional quality podcast?
I mean, I could basically copy and paste my entire ‘Podcast Launch’ book here, because I wrote that book to do exactly this! It’s a step-by-step guide to launching a podcast, including what you need to buy, how to set it up, where to go for a hosting account – everything (and it includes 15 video tutorials so you can watch exactly how I did it, too). You can get it on Amazon for $4.99!
From the time you had the idea to publishing your first podcast, how long did it take you and what financial investment has been required?
I first came up with the idea in June 2012. EntrepreneurOnFire launched three months later on September 20, 2012.
The financial investment to get started was minimal. I still to this day have very low overhead, as there isn’t much that I need to produce the podcast other than my equipment and my media host.
What has been the easiest thing about getting this going?
Probably the fact that I was able to quit my job and start this venture full-time, with laser FOCUS (follow one course until success) almost immediately after I realized this is what I wanted to do.
What has been the toughest thing about getting this going?
Finding those people to surround myself with who understood the journey I was on and what I was going through. I’ve had some really incredible mentors, but when I first started out I didn’t have that close-knit community of people who I could turn to for support, motivation, and accountability.
Because of this, I recently started a mastermind group for Fire Nation, Fire Nation Elite, so I could offer those who are just starting out that tight-knit community of like-minded people I was looking for when I first started.
How have you made your connections with the people you interview?
In the beginning, I was introduced to several people in the industry through attending conferences, many of them Entrepreneurs who were my initial interviewees. I’ve since been introduced to hundreds more through those initial interviewees.
I’ve also found some of them and reached out to them on my own (I read about them in Fast Company or INC magazine, and then find their contact info on the Internet). Finally, I’ve had several people come to me asking to be on the show.
How do you manage your procedure from the moment you contact a potential interviewee to after the podcast goes live?
After someone is determined to be a good fit for EntrepreneurOnFire, I send them the official interview request, which includes the interview flow (every question that I will ask), and also a link for them to schedule a time for the interview (I only schedule interviews for EntrepreneurOnFire on Mondays).
Then, when the interview time comes I call them via Skype and we chat casually for about 5 minutes – I answer any questions they may have – and then we dive right in.
We close out the call with another casual chat, and then the day before their interview goes live I send them a reminder email, where I ask them to share their interview with their audience.
Finally, the day the interview goes live they will receive another email with the exact link to their episode.
Can you describe a typical day for you right now?
I wake up about 6:30, I go for a walk around the bay, which is basically right outside of my front door – that kind of gets me going. I have a cup of coffee while I check email; catch up with my mastermind tribe in our private Facebook group; and then I check out my Workflowy to see what I have on the to-do list for the day!
I’m very focused on using my time wisely, and so Monday’s are my interview days for EntrepreneurOnFire, and Thursday’s are my interview days to be on other peoples’ shows. So Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday (and sometimes the weekends, too) are my focus days for things like Fire Nation Elite and creating products.
How is it even physically possible to do one podcast a day? Are you ever sleeping?
Hahah! Yes, I batch my episodes. So as previously stated, I only do interviews for EntrepreneurOnFire on Mondays – 8 of them to be exact. I’m about 30 days ahead of myself currently, and so I’m never struggling or stressing that I won’t have an episode ready for the next day. That leaves me the rest of the week to work on other areas of my business.
What are the marketing strategies that you think are working the best for you?
Having a presence on social media has been huge. Word of mouth and social networks are incredible. I would say I’m probably doing the most “marketing” on Facebook right now.
Also, having well-known successful entrepreneurs on my show 7 days a week helps because they are always sharing EntrepreneurOnFire with their audiences. And similarly, me being on others’ shows helps because I’m being exposed to a whole new audience of potential listeners every single time.
What other advice do you have for anyone who wants to start doing their own podcasts?
Niche, niche, niche! And make sure you find out who your avatar (the ins and outs of your customer / listener) is because if you’re trying to talk to everyone, you’ll end up talking to no one.
What advice do you have for anyone who is still trying to find that project that will ignite their passion?
It takes time – but don’t give up! It took me 31 years to find it.
Start by writing out a list of the things you’re passionate about. What do you enjoy doing? Then, rank them in order by whether or not they could be made into a viable business. When you find that project that fulfills both, then you have to give it your all and believe that you can make it happen.
- Interviewee: John Lee Dumas
- Interviewer: Krista Beauvais
- Photos: all photos have been sourced online as per credits above
- John’s Website: EntrepreneurOnFire