Unlocking Uncommon Success Through A Common Path With John Lee Dumas

Episode Overview:

John Lee Dumas is the founder and host of the award-winning podcast, Entrepreneurs On Fire. With over 100 million listens of his 3000+ episodes, JLD has turned Entrepreneurs On Fire into a media empire that generates over a million listens every month and 7 figures of NET annual revenue 8 years in a row. His first traditionally published book, The Common Path to Uncommon Success is the modern-day version of Think and Grow Rich with a revolutionary 17-step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment. Learn more at UncommonSuccessBook.com.  

Additional Resources

* Entrepreneurs On Fire Website
* Entrepreneurs On Fire Podcast

SKOT WALDRON:

Hello, welcome to another episode of Unlocked. I'm Skot, and today I've got a special, special, super special guest. His name is John Lee Dumas:. We will refer to him as JLD in the interview, and that is how most of his people, the people in what he calls the Fire Nation also know him as. And if you don't know who John Lee Dumas: is, or JLD, then you should probably just go to podcasts, Apple Pod, whatever podcast you look and look up entrepreneurial podcasts. That's it. John Lee Douma and Entrepreneurs on Fire will probably pop up to the top because... Mind you, he has been doing this podcast since 2012. And he has probably not ever missed a day of recording. That's a daily podcast since 2012. That's over 3,800 episodes. That's over 3,700 interviews with some really, really powerful people. It's over 134 million listens to his podcast. There's some gold in this interview. It's really short, it's really punchy. And if you are an entrepreneur or if you're not even an entrepreneur, but you want to be inspired to think one, check out this episode. All right, here we go.

JLD, it is amazing to have you here. Welcome to the show.

John Lee Dumas:

Skot, I'm fired up, brother. We're going to have a great chat.

Skot Waldron:

Now, do you say fired up because it's your thing? It's your thing.

JOHN LEE DUMAS:

I think branding's important, and I've always said, "You know what? I'm going to just go with the brand, Entrepreneurs on Fire. Let's make it happen."

Skot Waldron:

Do it. That's amazing. Hey, I got your book.

JOHN LEE DUMAS:

Ah, thank you.

Skot Waldron:

I want to start out with something. We're going to make this short and punchy. Right in the first line... Because the title of the book, The Common Path to Uncommon Success, you say, "Uncommon success is achievable, and the Path is a common one." Explain that to me. What was your thinking behind that? What's that idea of the common path?

JOHN LEE DUMAS:

I launched Entrepreneurs on Fire in 2012. That's over 10 years ago. Since then, I've interviewed over 3,700 successful entrepreneurs. And I'll tell you, I've heard every success story you can imagine. But the reality is they all started sounding not the same, because everybody's got their own little tweaks, their own little twerk, but similar. And by similar, I mean they were all doing the same things to become successful. Even if they were in vastly different fields and different focuses, they were all consistent, they were all working hard, they were all being productive, disciplined, focused. They were providing value. They had the number one solution to a real problem in this world. They were identifying a niche, they were solving that problem. They were creating an avatar who they knew their perfect customer and client was, and they were serving that person to the best of their capability. It just kept coming up over and over again.

And I said, "Man, so many people think that everybody's on this unique, special road," and they are to a degree, but the reality is when you really sit down and say, "What are the commonalities of all these successful entrepreneurs that I've interviewed, at least..." Again, that's over 3,700 so it's quite a big number to look at. The commonalities were stark and they were there and they were impressive. And to me, I'm just like, if I can sit down and pull out what I believe on what turned out to be the 17 biggest commonalities and turn those into a path that other people can follow, that could really help people move along this path in a very coherent and meaningful manner and potentially get to success, A, a lot faster, or B, just at all as they're really going through this difficult journey of being an entrepreneur.

Skot Waldron:

Right on. And you talk about this idea of success. And these 17 steps you list in this book are that common path, that way. You've been there, you've built it. But your journey, you went through your struggles. Law school. You were in the Army, you were enlisted in the Army, you had some experiences there and deployed. And you went through law school, you went through real estate, you went through some different things in your life. And then it hit you. You said this. I'm going to read this little section. "Ever since leaving the Army, I'd been chasing my warped definition of success. I thought becoming a lawyer would give me respect. I thought a corporate finance would make me rich. I thought real estate would give me the freedom of fulfillment. Wrong, wrong and wrong again. Now I understood why I was spending all my energy trying to become this mythical person of success, but what value was I providing? Upon reflection, the answer was none." And you have an Albert Einstein quote that says, "Try not to become a person of success, but rather a person of value."

JOHN LEE DUMAS:

And that quote slapped me in the face at 32 years old. I was like, "Holy crap, I've spent the last 15 years give or take since college trying to become this person of success. And what has that got me?" That's got me just a littered past of failed career trajectories. And it wasn't working. And so when I saw that, I was like, "Oh, well this really smart guy is saying, "What are you doing that's of value?"" And when I was coming up empty of all these past careers I was doing, I was like, "Well, nothing." And I said, "Well, hey, what if I just tried? The next thing I try, what if I tried to do something that was just adding value, that was being a person of value to a set number of individuals? And that's where the idea for this podcast, Entrepreneurs on Fire, was born.

Skot Waldron:

What is the value you provide right now?

JOHN LEE DUMAS:

The value is, hey listen, success leaves clues, history leaves clues, and I can bring you to your ear ball a story of a successful entrepreneur who's going to share their strategies, their tactics, their successes, their aha moments, their failures, their struggles, and what they learned from all of these things. And you can try to superimpose some or all of what they've done into your thought process, into your business, into your journey, and see what works so that we can learn from people who came before us so we can at least understand that, hey, this reminds me... This path that I've chosen right now that doesn't quite feel right, this reminds me of a story that I heard on Entrepreneurs on Fire last week; let me reevaluate and really make sure that I want to go down this path. Oh no, there's a reason why I was feeling that intuition of not to do this thing because it's very similar to this person that did that thing. Let me just pull back before it's too late, reevaluate and go forward in a different direction. And if that can happen on a micro and macro scale for somebody on their journey, it can really add up. It can really save a lot of time.

Skot Waldron:

There was something else you mention in here later on in your book; it's your favorite word, you said, your favorite word, focus. And you got this acronym out of it, follow one course until success: FOCUS. Why is that so critical to what you would say I guess your success has been, the success of the people you interview, et cetera?

JOHN LEE DUMAS:

Entrepreneurs are known for the bright, shiny object syndrome. We're entrepreneurs because we're easily excitable because we have passion, because we want freedom. But that freedom allows us to fly in any direction we want. And that can be exciting, but at the same time very distracting and overwhelming.

And so I see a lot of people who are just getting going, just getting this initial traction on something and then they hear a podcast or they read a book or this or that or a friend tells them something and they just get completely derailed on that thing and they go in a completely different direction. And then they come back one day, and they're like, "I have 14 unfinished projects, all of which had some form of potential, but none of which would amounted to anything because there was no follow through."

And there's the people that just said, "You know what? I know there's a lot of opportunities, but I really feel like this is my big idea, this is the niche within my big idea that I want to create the best solution to a real problem within; I'm going to put my flipping blinders on and I'm going to go all in." Those are the people that win, those are the people that focus, that follow one course until success.

And by the way, follow one course until failure. That could be another acronym too because the reality is a lot of the courses you take are going to lead to failure. But if you're focused on it, you're going to get there a lot faster than if you are dithering left. And it's awesome to find out the failure as fast as possible so that you can pick up the pieces, learn from it, adjust, pivot, and move forward.

Skot Waldron:

You created a new acronym, you know that, right? You got focus and then you got focup. It's focup; I didn't say anything explicit. But you could make it that. You can own that.

JOHN LEE DUMAS:

And by the way, this is a first, I've never said follow one course until failure in my life, so you brought it out of me, bro.

Skot Waldron:

You know what? It's unlocking the potential of you, man. That's what this show's all about. Well played, well done. Here's the thing, focusing on that one thing, super critical. Now let's talk about this consistency thing. You have got to be the king of consistency. Since 2012, according to your stats today, 3,834 episodes, 134 million and a half downloads, listens. 3,700 interviews. Daily podcast was your niche, that was the thing you focused in on. That's consistency, man, to the T. If it's nothing else, it's that. How? Please share.

JOHN LEE DUMAS:

A lot of people say, "John, how do you wake up every morning and just crank out another interview with another entrepreneur?" And I say, "I don't, I really don't." In six days a week, I do almost nothing when it comes to Entrepreneurs on Fire. That of course was not how it started. I had to really grind and learn and build a team. And three, four, five, six years went into doing that.

But for the past five plus years, man, I'm telling you I spend one day a week on Entrepreneurs on Fire. And by the way, that's Thursdays. I wake up and I do seven interviews of seven guests, and then I hand those interviews off to my team and they do the rest. They do the editing, the sponsorship ads, they do the uploading to the media host, the blog posts, they do the fill in the blank, the repurposing onto social media, everything.

And how can you burn out doing something you actually enjoy doing one day a week? I enjoy waking up on Thursdays and saying, "I get to talk to seven cool people today about their area of expertise, ask them questions that I have, get to know them, build a relationship with them, and then share it with a huge platform that I built with Entrepreneurs on Fire." To me, that's awesome. That's living the dream. That was what I was best case scenario hoping for 10 years ago when I launched the podcast.

And when you develop systems and automations and a team, consistency is easy. It's not easy when you start, but it's easy after you develop those things. And that's why by far the thickest chapter in that book is chapter eight, which is all about doing those things. And it's also the chapter that people have the most questions on because it's what they want.

So many people are like, "I want to be an entrepreneur so I can be my own boss." And they realize that, wow, I worked 362 days last year, an average of 14 hours a day, and I made $61,000, which, if I do the math, my hourly rate is below minimum wage. That's gross. But that happens to a lot of people. And there's a lot of people that are entrepreneurs at work all year and they're in the net negative by a decent amount because things just weren't working. And that's brutal as well. That's why books like these I created, that wasn't my genius, that was the genius of the 3,800 plus entrepreneurs that I've interviewed over the past decade have delivered. That's why these books are valuable.

Skot Waldron:

Brilliant. Yeah, man. And that's the thing that I hope people take away from this is that it's got to be the consistency. But it's the systems, the consist systems that enable that stuff to happen over the long term. Wrapping this thing up, besides your own obviously, one book, one podcast I should check out right now.

JOHN LEE DUMAS:

A podcast that I think you should check out is called The Carbal Concept. It's a daily podcast around functional medicine and health. And to me, the healthy person wants 1,000 things, the unhealthy person wants one thing. And you look like a healthy person, but let's keep it that way. That'd be a podcast I'd recommend.

And then let's just keep it on the same theme. His book, The Cabral Concept, the podcast, the book is called The Rain Barrel Effect. And if you want to be a success entrepreneur, your rain barrel cannot be full. And you'll get it when you read that book. You need to feel good, to feel energized. That's one of the biggest things I hear from my listeners is, "John, if I'm just feeling a little down, I just pop onto your podcast because even if the guest isn't great or even if you're just off for some reason, you're still bringing the energy, you're still bringing the vibe. And I just sometimes need that little pick me up." And so that's one thing that I can consistently bring. I can't always promise it's going to be a great interview. I'm going to try, but I can't promise that. I can promise I'm going to bring the energy. And I can't do that if I'm not feeling healthy.

Skot Waldron:

Amen. And that's the thing, my wife's big into the functional medicine space.

JOHN LEE DUMAS:

Oh, cool. Tell her about that.

Skot Waldron:

Sean Stevens is a big thing. Do what, sorry?

JOHN LEE DUMAS:

I said tell your wife about that podcast for sure.

Skot Waldron:

Definitely, definitely. And she's a big follower of Sean Stevens and follows a lot of what he says as well.

JOHN LEE DUMAS:

Yeah, he was my coach. I hired him back in 2015 to come to my house for three days. And he stayed at my house, stayed at my guest bedroom.

Skot Waldron:

Really?

JOHN LEE DUMAS:

It was a cool experience.

Skot Waldron:

Sean's awesome. Sean's awesome. Yeah, you mentioned him in the book. He has a little spot in the book as well.

JOHN LEE DUMAS:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I brought him in.

Skot Waldron:

Which is really cool. Besides witnessing your genius on The Price is Right, if people want to go find you there and see you featured and see if you won that car by making that putt, okay, cliffhanger, where else can people find you?

JOHN LEE DUMAS:

Go to YouTube, type John Dumas Price is Right, and you'll get to see that 11 minute clip. And you'll definitely-

Skot Waldron:

It's gold, everybody. It's gold.

JOHN LEE DUMAS:

It will give you a smile to your day. eofire.com is our headquarters. We have free courses for entrepreneurs, an amazing newsletter. Entrepreneurs on Fire is the name of the podcast. Would love to be one of the seven podcasts that you listen to, so check it out, download it, subscribe. And if you enjoy, I'd love to hear that. And of course the book we mentioned, The Common Path to Uncommon Success, you can find out more uncommonsuccessbook.com.

Skot Waldron:

You rock. JLD, you're on fire, dude. Keep it up. And thanks for inspiring all the entrepreneurs out there to be better than they were yesterday, because that's what we need to do; just a little bit better every day.

JOHN LEE DUMAS:

Audios, brother. Thank you.

Skot Waldron:

Are you creating value. Value. That success will come after Create the value, produce the value. Understand that when you are giving, you will then receive. This idea of focus, consistency, building systems, all this gold that John dropped in that short, short interview is what it takes to make it. And I hope you're going to hold on to those things.

The Common Path to Uncommon Success, there's 17 steps in there that are really, really fundamental, that will help guide you. Gives little quick tips, and each one of those with a success story, with each one of those that is really going to help you in your path.

The 100 Day Goal Journal, I also got this because this is going to help me in Q1 to really set... to stay focused myself. I am guilty, I am guilty of not being focused and staying consistent. I want to make sure that I am holding tight to what I'm trying to accomplish and living by the things that I preach.

Thank you, JLD, for being on the show. It was awesome talking to you. Thanks for the wisdom you shared with my people. Continue to light fires wherever you go. If you want to find out more about me, you can go to skotwaldron.com and you can find out more video, some free resources there. Like, subscribe, comment on my YouTube channel and some other things there. Connect with me on LinkedIn. I'm there all the time. Would love to produce some good conversations with you. Thanks again for being on another episode of Unlocked.