John Lee Dumas is the founder and host of the award-winning podcast, Entrepreneurs on Fire, which interviews the most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs today, seven days a week. Past guests include the likes of Shark Tank’s very own Barbara Corcoran, Seth Godin, Timothy Ferris, Chris Brogan, and Gary Vaynerchuck. It is no exaggeration to say that John has been learning from the best with such an impressive list. Now with over 100 million listens to his 3000+ episodes and 7-figures of annual revenue, it’s no secret that his show has become one of the best resources for entrepreneurs around the world.
The Common Path to Uncommon Success
JLD has spent the last eight years studying and interacting with people who have reached their peak in business success. He has created a 17-step roadmap that will lead you to financial freedom and fulfillment. Many dream of building a successful business and living a life of financial, location, and lifestyle freedom, but overwhelmed by doubts and fears, they don’t know where to begin.
The Common Path to Success includes the exact roadmap you need to help you develop your potential, create the right life for you and your family, and show you how to properly focus on your vision of success until it becomes your reality.
According to him, having a team of experts at his disposal was what excited him the most. He expressed, “The minute that I signed the dotted line with Harper Collins leadership, having a publisher, an editor, a marketing department, and people just really knew what they were doing. They were experienced and they were making things happen was just something that I thought was really cool.” Having people who knew what they were doing made him feel really taken care of from start-to-finish while helping to ensure success.
For him, the best marketing strategy is the relationships he has built with people over the years. “I have 10 years of building relationships with some amazing influencers and other people who were more than happy to share their platform for 10, 15, 20, 35 minutes to talk a little bit about my little book project.”
JLD’s “Super Bowl”
How does John produce seven podcasts every day in a week? Sounds insane right? His secret: He finishes all his scheduled interviews in only one day per week and outsources everything.
“I work one day per week. That one day, I work really hard… Why do that? Every single day of the week? No way. But I woke up this morning and this is my Super Bowl. This is my one day that I’m going all-in from beginning to end. And I can do that.”
Publishing their monthly income reports
When John was first looking into entrepreneurship, he came across Pat Flynn’s income reports in 2011, even before he launched his own podcast. He was surprised that there was a good, kind, and genuine man with a family who was making real money online and sharing how he does it.
When John started making money from his podcast, he realized that there are so many people who want to do what he does but just don’t know where to start. He said, “If I ever get to the point where I’m actually making money as an online entrepreneur, I want to give the same hope and inspiration to others that Pat’s now giving to me at this moment.” He wanted nothing more than to be a beacon of light to all these new entrepreneurs so they can emulate his successes and avoid his failures.
Another goal behind publishing his income reports is “to be as open, as honest, as transparent as we can be with every part of our business because I really want to build the biggest and the highest level of trust that I can with my audience”.
Tune in to the Fascinating Entrepreneurs podcast for my full conversation with John!
Transcript from Podcast
[00:00:00] John Lee Dumas: Today, I’m doing 20 podcast episodes for other people’s shows. It’s one day per week. I do that every single day of the week. No way, but I woke up this morning and this is my Superbowl. This is my one day that I’m going all in from beginning to end. And I can do that. And so what has come down to is right now, it’s all about just doing.
The things that only I can do and that outsourcing everything else.
[00:00:25] Natasha Miller: Welcome to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS. How do people end up becoming an entrepreneur? How do they scale and grow their businesses? How do they plan for profit? Are they in it for life? Are they building to exit these and a myriad of other topics will be pulled back the veil on the wizardry of successful and FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.
Hey, can you do me a favor while you’re listening to this podcast? Can you open a web browser and type in OfficialNatashaMiller.com? Yes, this is my brand new website that I built for you, entrepreneurs that want to scale and grow their businesses.
It’s packed full of information articles, blog posts, podcasts. And also you can download the Free Profit Finder Guide that helps you find more profit in your current business. You can get on the wait list for my digital course and be the first to know when my book relentless is up for pre-sale. Today, I talked to the one and only John Lee Dumas of the Entrepreneurs On Fire podcast.
He publishes his P and L monthly and is up to $2 million in revenue to date. We talk about his new book, his company culture, and his strategy for growth. Now let’s get right into it.
[00:01:49] John Lee Dumas: What really came down to was the fact that I wanted to experience traditional publishing for maybe the one and only time in my life.
Maybe I’ll do it again, who knows? But I really loved the team that was formed around me. The minute that I signed the dotted line with Harper Collins leadership, having a publisher, an editor, a marketing department, and people just really knew what they were doing. They were experienced and they were making things happen was just something that I thought was really cool.
And. You know, that was really what excited me about the process was having that ready-made team. Now I could definitely have gotten that in other places I’m sure. But at the same time, I liked the fact that it was a time in tested, proven commodity, HarperCollins leadership. I like the fact that. Other great authors like John Maxwell and Rachel Hollis had published with HarperCollins leadership.
I was going to potentially be a way for me to connect with them and overall it was just a really exciting new, different experiment.
[00:02:50] Natasha Miller: Cool, my editor is from Harper Collins and the level of ability is out of this world, but even though you’re assigned to Harper Collins and you’ve got a publishing, but you have to do a lot of marketing and outreach for social media and such because they only go so far.
Even New York times, bestseller authors are saying, you gotta do it all. So what’s your plan. I have a 21 point monster marketing plan. What do you have?
[00:03:19] John Lee Dumas: I have 10 years of building relationships with some amazing influencers and other people who were more than happy to share their platform for 10, 15, 20, 35 minutes.
To talk a little bit about my little, a business project, my little book project, The Common Path To Uncommon Success.
[00:03:40] Natasha Miller: Yeah, good title. Titles, by the way. Not my friend really hard to do.
[00:03:45] John Lee Dumas: And by the way Harper really helped me with too. I didn’t have that title going into my relationship with them. And we went back and forth with a number of things. We did polls and retested their audience.
[00:03:55] Natasha Miller: You split-tested, that’s so great because a lot of traditional publishers aren’t split testing. And so to hear that Harper Collins is in the know now. That’s amazing. Thank God. Do you have a tagline for your book? Cause that’s another thing that is not fun.
[00:04:12] John Lee Dumas: The 17 Step Roadmap To Financial Freedom and Fulfillment.
[00:04:17] Natasha Miller: Yeah, that’s good. So you’re a visionary in my opinion. And I’m assuming you work on your business versus in it, are you delegating more than 80% of your day-to-day time to your four full-time employees and freelancers?
[00:04:32] John Lee Dumas: Absolutely. Probably more like 94%. I work one day per week. That one. I work really hard.
Like I am back to back and today’s that day for me next week. It’s Thursday, I’m doing eight interviews for my show Entrepreneurs On Fire today, I’m doing 20 podcasts episodes for other people’s shows. It’s one day per week. It’s one day per week. Why do that? Every single day of the week? No way. But I woke up this morning and this is my Superbowl.
This is my one day that I’m going all in from beginning to end. And I can do that. What has come down to is right now, it’s all about just doing the things that only I can do and that outsourcing everything else. I love it.
[00:05:14] Natasha Miller: Please, entrepreneurs listened to that because it is one of the number one things I come into.
When I talk to other entrepreneurs, they’re trying to do it. And it’s not possible. You can’t be successful if you do that. And then describe your company culture. So you have a small group. How does it support your success and how do you support them to keep them engaged?
[00:05:36] John Lee Dumas: One of the biggest things that I think is a reason for the success of my team, even though it is very small, but mighty is that I give very, very light and vague directives.
And then I entrusted them to create the process, to create, the systems, to take ownership of that project, to make it their baby. Because now, Hey, I didn’t tell you exactly what to do and now you can blame me when it doesn’t work. No, you came up with what to do. It’s not working. There’s no way to blame, but yourself.
And so with that, it’s their baby. They take ownership. They know that, Hey, if this doesn’t work, it’s nobody to blame, but myself and they want to see that succeed. And so they take it on and I think there’s too many. Micro-managers out there. There’s too many people that are getting somebody, a task and then looking over their shoulder for every single up and down dawning of the eye crossing of the T.
And you’re kind of now doing double the work. Now you’ve hired. Somebody told them to do the work and now you’re watching them do the work and. Why are we doing this?
[00:06:38] Natasha Miller: Thank you again. A hundred percent that are with you. And I think for my team, I might have let go of the reins too much. They might want a little bit more of me.
So I’m actually popping back in not to micromanage, but to support and show them I’m here. Although I’m here is on slack because of the pandemic, but I think people don’t mind not commuting to the San Francisco office. So, and I’m assuming you have a distributed remote team.
[00:07:06] John Lee Dumas: Yes. We have two people in the Philippines, one person in Pakistan.
[00:07:10] Natasha Miller: Wow. That’s great time difference issues. But you know what, now you’re working around the clock, right?
[00:07:16] John Lee Dumas: Round the clock.
[00:07:17] Natasha Miller: Yeah. Yeah. So you publish your PNL on EOfire.com, which I thought was. Amazing and it goes back to, I think, 2013, what are your goals and what do you want to adjust to meet them if you fall short?
So what are your goals for that entity specifically, the podcast?
[00:07:35] John Lee Dumas: So my goals when it comes to like our income reports and just for our podcast in general, is to be as open, as honest, as transparent as we can be with every part of our business, because I really want to build the biggest in the highest level of know, like, and trust that I can with my audience, with my listeners, who I lovingly refer to as fire nation.
So for 97 months in a row, we’ve been publishing our income reports to show every single dollar that we’ve made. Every single dollar we spent. You can see what our successes. Hopefully emulate some of those, you can see what our failures are. Cause we talk about those every month as well. Hopefully avoid some of those failures.
We bring our lawyer on to share a legal tip when it comes to small business owners. So that add even more value to the report. We bring our accountant on to share a tax tip, to add even more values to make it. This really kind of looked forward to fleshed out income report of what’s working for us right now in the business.
[00:08:34] Natasha Miller: I love it because I did a entrepreneurial master class at Harvard. And there they do case studies where they put forward information about companies and then the people in the class get to tear it apart and guess what they get to do. They tear it apart in front of the business owner, which is, I mean, so awkward do allow for your attorney and your accountant to say, you guys spent this -and it didn’t work. Yeah –
[00:09:01] John Lee Dumas: Never privately only publicly. I want my audience to be hearing this stuff the same time that I do so that they get the exact reaction, the open, the honesty, immediate reaction that I get of like, “whoa, that was a huge mistake.” That was a big screw up because that’s what happens. That’s business, that’s life and we’re always making mistakes.
We’re always fixing things. We’re always breaking things. We’re always having big successes. We’re always having big failures. It’s really the full model.
[00:09:29] Natasha Miller: Where did you come up with that idea and the courage to do that? Because not many entrepreneurs would do that.
[00:09:36] John Lee Dumas: So the idea came from Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income back in 2011, which is before I even launched my podcast, he had been publishing for a couple of years, his income reports, and I was just blown away that here’s a guy with a family.
Who is a good guy. You could just tell he was just nice, kind, genuine. And here he was making real money online and sharing exactly how he was doing it. And I was like, if I ever get to the point where I’m actually making money as an online entrepreneur, I want to give the same hope and inspiration to others that Pat’s now giving to me in this moment.
And so when that ended up happening a couple of years later, I just fulfilled my pledge. Awesome.
[00:10:16] Natasha Miller: What is your number one strategy right now for growth?
[00:10:20] John Lee Dumas: Being a guest on other podcasts? Because guess what podcast listeners listen to podcasts. I know it’s a hard, like meta thing to go too. The podcast listeners will listen to the podcast, but so many people are trying a million different things to grow their audience.
I try one thing, speaking to people who are already converted, I’m just trying to convert the converted right now. Every single person who is hearing my voice, they already have the podcast app downloaded. They’ve already made a part of their day-to-day lives. They have a space carved out in their busy schedules to consume content like this.
And guest what the average podcast listener listens to seven podcasts. I just want to become one of your seven. I want you to listen to Entrepreneurs On Fire because you’re getting value from this show. And for me right now, dropping value on your head, hopefully you think you get the same thing from, as I’m a host on Entrepreneurs On Fire with my guests dropping value on your head.
That’s my biggest focus, which is why I dedicate an entire day per month, which may not sound like a lot. But for me, it is because I’m doing 20 interviews on that day, on other shows.
[00:11:27] Natasha Miller: Your next book, just put this down, convert the converter, just title. Next thing is one. What is your biggest challenge right now that you are face with?
[00:11:38] John Lee Dumas: What to say yes to, because we get so many opportunities that come at us from all the different areas that we just essentially just have an automatic no to everything, because it’s just too much.
It’s overwhelming. And we’re not really looking to do anything else besides our core competency. There’s that occasional just jam in the dark. That like is a huge hell, “Yes”. And we’ve gotta be able to identify that. That’s the biggest challenge is what is that, “Yes”? Because once you expend that bullet on that one thing, you can’t take it back.
Cause now your time, energy and bandwidth is now going down this path so that when that real gem comes along, you might not even know about it.
[00:12:18] Natasha Miller: Last question, are you building to sell? to exit?
[00:12:22] John Lee Dumas: I am not. And that may change some day, but at this point with what I’m doing right now, I just don’t see exactly how Entrepreneurs On Fire could be transitioned with me being the voice, the face, the brands.
But at some point it’d be nice to maybe start making that gradual transition. I don’t know what that would look like now. But as of this moment, we are not built to sell.
[00:12:46] Natasha Miller: This was John Lee’s 19 out of 20 interviews he gave today. He brought it with incredible energy and attentiveness. Amazing. He’s managed to figure out how to build an empire while working just one day a week with three employees to learn more, go to the show notes for your listening to this podcast.
Want to know more about me?. Go to my website, OfficialNatashaMiller.com. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you loved the show. If you did, please subscribe also, if you haven’t done so yet, please leave a review where you’re listening to this podcast. Now I’m Natasha Miller and you’ve been listening to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.