What could be the new success paradigm? In this digital age where content is as valuable as freedom, it is no wonder that virtual reality is coming soon. The founder and host of Entrepreneur on Fire, John Lee Dumas, reveals the greatest hack to success in the world today. A living manifestation that podcasting is powerful, he gives away tips on how to start a business and the secret to getting seven figures and beyond. Consistency is one key, but when you do not see results out of consistency, learn how to handle this from the expert himself.
The New Paradigm Of Success with John Lee Dumas
Our guest is the host of one of the most popular podcasts in the world. John Lee Dumas is the Founder and Host of Entrepreneurs on Fire, an award-winning podcast where he interviews most inspiring entrepreneurs seven days a week with over 1,400 episodes generating seven figures a year. JLD has shown the world the power of podcasting. Readers, prepare to ignite. John, welcome to the show.
Mitch, you’re stealing all my taglines.When you’re Live, you're authentic. Click To Tweet
With everyone you’ve interviewed and all the incredible privileged connections you’ve made, what do you think is emerging as the new paradigm in the world now?
You can go macro on this or you can go a little micro on this. There’s a lot that’s happening in this world now. Virtual reality is becoming a real thing. Is it here yet? No. Is it coming? Absolutely. Driverless cars couldn’t be soon enough. Drivers are horrendous. Everybody is texting. Everybody’s talking on the phone. Give me a driverless car nine days a week. Something a little more micro that would be cool that I see, to be a little vague at first, is authenticity. They dive down a little bit within that, it’s the live videos, it’s the streaming. Those two are tied together. When you’re live, you’re authentic. It’s you. You’re there. You make a mistake and you can’t go back and edit it.
I was watching somebody’s live one time. A bug flew in their mouth. It was the coolest thing in the world because it’s like, “How’s that person going to react?” They can’t take that out and do another take. They’re live. There are hundreds of people that are watching them. This is going down in the memory banks. We’re talking about it. For people that are willing and able to embrace being authentic and being themselves works in all, messing up, screwing up, stuttering, hemming, hawing and not being the best at what you’re doing. That’s okay. Be authentic. Be you. Let your personality shine through. Things like live video are taking it to the next level. That’s coming from a podcaster, which is on-demand audio. When you and I recorded our episode, it was two months before it went Live. That was anything but live. That was a recorded chat that we had that was released on a specific date and time because I do one episode release every single day. That’s a great model for a ton of reasons because we love to be on-demand at this day and age and to press play and pause when we want to. This new paradigm is emerging in live video. We have to embrace it and be authentic about it.
I’m starting to do it myself. I never did before. Even it’s something I’m unfamiliar with and maybe even a little uncomfortable with, I’m going live. It’s starting to happen. I want to also ask you about this amazing business that you built. You get on the radio, you get on the airwaves and you share your wisdom every day with everybody. For readers who are building their businesses, what do you advise those starting out to do first?It’s okay to be authentic and be you. Let your personality shine through. Click To Tweet
Number one is making sure you’re curious about your topic. I could have made a big mistake and try to do a podcast on NASCAR because NASCAR is super popular. People love NASCAR, but I don’t. I don’t get it. They’re driving around in circles. I’m one of those typical non-NASCAR people. I’m sorry. It’s a reality. I don’t know why I don’t like it, but it’s never struck a chord with me. There’s a huge business opportunity there. I could’ve gone after it and tried to make it happen, but there was no curiosity. Number one is finding your business curiosity and make sure that it’s something that you’re excited about, not just now and probably not a few months from now, but something that you can see yourself getting fired up about a few years from now.
We’re talking about five years from the launch of the first episode of EOFire. I still get excited to have these one-on-one conversations with successful entrepreneurs because I love to chatter. I love the talk. I love the back and forth. I’m curious. I want to learn more about you, about your worst moment, about your a-ha moment, how you turned that idea into a success. That was a curious conversation in format for me and 1,700-plus episodes later, it still is. That’s a reality. Find that curiosity. Follow that curiosity. You might pivot and adjust along the way. We all do. That’s fine but at least start there.
It ties right back to the first thing you said about being authentic. Here we are. We’re curious. We’re staying curious. We’re authentic with our passion. This is the first step to building any business. If you build your business for other reasons, like maybe greed or obligation, odds are they’re not going to work. If you do this and you do it well, what would be the secret to getting to seven figures and beyond?
One word is consistency. You have to be consistent. Does that mean doing a daily show like I do, seven days a week and 365 per year? It doesn’t have to be daily, but it has to be consistent. It has to be on a schedule that you and your audience can know and count on. It’s super important that you remain consistent with the content that you’re producing, whether it would be a podcast, a video, live streaming, a book or a blog. Whatever it is, it has to be consistent. If you’re willing to be consistent and put that nose to the grindstone, then you’re going to grow that audience. When you grow that audience, you can look to that audience and say, “What are you struggling with?” They can come back and tell you their obstacles, their challenges and their problems. You, the person that they know, like, and trust, who asks them that question, can provide the solution in the form of a product, a service, a book or a community. You’re off to that seven-figure race. It’s a matter of scale. It’s, “How can I grow my audience to where now EOFire has over 1.5 million listens per month?” It didn’t start off there on day one, but it’s there now.We all go through the dip. We have a little early success so we're excited, but then it trails off. Click To Tweet
In my own life and the businesses that I’ve built, it started with being consistent. Consistency is hard, particularly when you’re consistent and you do not see results.
That’s the conundrum. Seth Godin wrote a whole book about the dip. We all go through the dip where we’re going through and we have a little early success we’re excited, but then it trails off. We’re in that valley of despair. We’re like, “Should I quit? Should I stop?” Every business goes through the dip. A lot of businesses get out of the dip when they maintain the course, or a lot of businesses made big pivots when they realized that this dip isn’t going to change anytime soon. That big pivot can turn to something great. For instance, the founders of Twitter, they didn’t start Twitter. They started Odeo, which was a podcasting company back in 2006, which failed because it was too early. Out of that sprung the idea of Twitter, which they pivoted into. Look where they are now.
How long did it take you until your consistency started to produce the revenue that could support you?
It was for about nine months. It was three months prelaunch and then six months post-launch for a total of nine months until I got to the place where my consistency was bringing me in dollars that were able to support my livelihood on a day-to-day and month-to-month basis. That was 180 episodes. It wasn’t overnight.Don’t take life so seriously. This is our one game in life. Have some fun. Click To Tweet
One of the things I hear from other podcasters is, “I’ve been doing this for a few months. I have 44 episodes out. I’m getting 21 listeners a month.” This is important to know because things don’t happen immediately. I know you know that. I know that in my life. I’m glad you brought up the idea of consistency. The next thing along the lines of consistency I want to bring up is the preparedness that you had to go through to start your show. Did you save money? Were you ready to do this for a year knowing that you might not make a nickel?
I built that war chest up. It’s super important too. I was in a fortunate situation where I went to college on an Army ROTC scholarship. Post-college, I was an officer in the US Army for a few years, doing a thirteen-month tour duty in Iraq. You don’t pay taxes because you’re an officer in a war zone or soldiers in general. Plus, you’re getting hazardous duty pay. There are a lot of benefits to being in war. There are a lot of detriments as well. It’s because of that I was able to save lots of money during that one year. That was my war chest. When I decided to launch EOFire, I had several months of savings in the bank. I knew that I had several months where I wasn’t going to have to be at point zero, run out of cortical money. I was going to be able to keep going forward for at least those several months. It only took me half of those several months before I was able to sustain myself. Reaching the halfway point makes you a little nervous, knowing that, “I only have a few months left.” A lot of people don’t have anywhere close to several months. You have to say maybe, “Let me side hustle this before I go all in so that when I do make that leap, I at least have a little something coming in.”
When I started Timeslips, I had several months of cash in the bank to support myself. It took a couple of years for me to draw a salary. I had to figure out what to do. I was dedicated to the business that I went into personal debt to support myself until that moment when I started to collect a salary. John, we’re at the final point in the interview. I wanted to ask you my favorite question. Who, in all of space and time, would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch or an intense conversation?
I have to say Benjamin Franklin. I’m fascinated with his biography. I’ve read it a couple of times. He was this person that didn’t take life too seriously. That’s a flaw that a lot of people this day and age have, and as well as back then. We take life seriously. This is our one game in life. Let’s have some fun. He was witty. He was a prankster. When he had to work hard, he worked hard and he worked smart, but he didn’t take life super seriously. I’m putting some words into his mouth that came pretty straight from his biography, but that’s the person that I’ve grown him in my mind to be. I’m fascinated by him and would love to learn more.
He was an incredible inventor at the same time. I don’t know if he’s well-known for some of the amazing things that he’s invented.
The Franklin stove and the bifocal, it’s incredible.
A lot of times, people don’t give credit to those original inventions. Even though he didn’t take the product to its final end degree, but he invented the concept of it. John, it has been a super treat for me to have you finally on my show. After learning so much from you and following in your footsteps, I want to thank you. I also want to let you know that everybody reading the show is a big fan of yours. If you’re not, go to EOFire.com. Sign up and start listening because John Lee Dumas is the master of his craft.
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