Ep 158: How to Launch a Powerful Podcast with John Lee Dumas

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Discovering your one big idea and then making it a reality is the key to unlocking financial freedom and fulfillment.

Today we speak with John Lee Dumas, the creator and host of Entrepreneurs on Fire, a podcast that’s enjoyed over 100 million downloads.

In our conversation with John, we explore what he did to find uncommon success while also unpacking his best lessons from interviewing over 3,000 of the world’s top entrepreneurs.

Early in this episode, John talks about the most important elements to building a thriving brand.

After chatting about how he discovered his niche, he dives into why being the first in your niche is such an advantage.

We then discuss when and why you should focus on quantity over quality and why excellence is often achieved from consistent work.

Later, we talk about John’s book and how it provides 17 core principles that are the foundations for entrepreneurial success.

As John explains, there’s a common path that anyone can follow to achieve their dreams. Tune in and learn how you can take your first step.

KEY POINTS FROM THIS EPISODE

  • Introducing today’s guest, super-successful podcast host John Lee Dumas.
  • How John discovered his niche.
  • Hear John’s most important principles to building his brand.
  • Why being the first person in your niche is such an advantage.
  • Exploring when you should focus on creating quantity over quality.  
  • What goes into being a top podcast host.
  • How John’s book unpacks his biggest learnings from talking to entrepreneurs.
  • Insights on discovering your one big idea that will lead to financial freedom.
  • Effective strategies to ask people to support your brand.
  • John shares details about the bonus content that you can get by ordering his book.
  • Why your net worth reflects your network.

TWEETABLE MOMENTS

“I thought, ‘this is like a dream’ — I couldn’t believe that a daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs didn’t exist. So I created that podcast.” — @johnleedumas [0:04:31]

“I was a bad podcast host for 480 episodes. It took a year and a half to put in the daily reps to become a decent podcaster.” — @johnleedumas [0:08:35]

“When you’re building your brand, your net worth is your network. You have to find ways to connect with the right people.” — @johnleedumas [0:23:35]

ABOUT JOHN LEE DUMAS

John Lee Dumas is the founder & host of the award-winning Entrepreneurs On Fire podcast and the author of The Common Path to Uncommon Success, your 17-step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment.

John has interviewed over 3,000 incredible entrepreneurs, including Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Barbara Corcoran, Tim Ferriss, and many more.

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

John Lee Dumas — https://www.eofire.com/about/

John Lee Dumas on Twitter — https://twitter.com/johnleedumas

Entrepreneurs on Fire — https://www.eofire.com/

The Common Path to Uncommon Successhttps://amzn.to/2QcyROe

Gary Vaynerchuk — https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/

Seth Godin — https://seths.blog/

Tony Robbins — https://www.tonyrobbins.com/biography/

Paul McCartney — https://www.britannica.com/biography/Paul-McCartney

Mahatma Gandhi — https://www.britannica.com/biography/Mahatma-Gandhi

Tim Ferriss — https://tim.blog/about/

Barbara Corcoran — https://www.barbaracorcoran.com/about/

Brand Builders Group Consultation Call — freecall.brandbuildersgroup.com

Take The Stairs https://amzn.to/2ZAJNUS

RV: (00:07) Hey brand builder Vaden here. Thank you so much for tuning in to listen to this interview. We are so excited to bring you this information and wanted to let you know that, Hey, there’s no sales pitch coming from anything that we do with this is all our value add to you and the community. However, if you are somebody who is looking for specific strategies on how to build and monetize your personal brand, we would love to talk to you and we offer a free call to everyone that’s interested in getting to know us and is willing to give us a chance to get to know them and share a little bit about what we do. So if you’re interested in taking us up on a free strategy call, you can do that at brand builders, group.com/summit. Call brand builders, group.com/summit. Call, hope to talk to you soon on with the show. RV: (01:05) Well, you can’t really have a conversation about building a personal brand and specifically about podcasting without talking to and about my man, John Lee Dumas, I mean, EO fire entrepreneur on fire is a podcast that is like, he’s like the godfather of podcasting. Certainly one of them his show now has over a hundred million total downloads. He gets like a million monthly listens. He’s interviewed Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins, Seth Godden, all these other legends. And I’m excited because you probably know, or if you don’t know, you need to know him for his work and what he does at EO fire. But he also has a book really his first official book just coming out right now called the common path to uncommon success. John and I have known each other for years. I feel like it’s amazing to see everything that he has done. RV: (02:02) And you know, I was lucky to be, I’ve been on his show several times, three times, I think, and now honored to have him on mine. And he’s just a solid dude. So John, thank you for being here. Rory, whenever I get to hang out with you, whether it’s on entrepreneurs, on fire, your show, wherever that might be in the world, it’s a good day, man. So I’m excited to be here. Yeah. Well, and I appreciate you doing this. I know you’ve got a passion for the, for the entrepreneurs and specifically you understand our mission driven messengers, you know, that is our audience. And you know, I think when I, when I think of the common path to uncommon success, I feel a little bit, and maybe you can tell me whether or not this is true, but when you look at your success as a personal brand, in a podcaster, it’s pretty much been that it’s been a, a straight forward path. But you’ve had uncommon success because you’ve stuck to some core fundamentals. And so I’d love you just to take us back to in the beginning, launching the show and from there to a hundred million downloads, what are the most important principles that we need to know to be growing our brand? JLD: (03:25) So, I mean, Your brands is really building your life. I mean, how are you building your life? I mean, I’m from Maine, very small, tiny town spent the first 18 years there went to college and an army scholarship. So post army, you know, I did a 13 month tour of duty in Iraq actually while I was deployed. So I kinda got like the real deal, Holy field army stuff, not just like I’m playing army. And I went through six years of struggle. Post my military experience from 26 years old until I was 32. I knew nothing about building a brand. I knew nothing about building a business. And I tried a bunch of things. Law school dropped out corporate finance, commercial real estate. Like none of it works. One thing I finally did right towards like my fifth and six year during that six years of struggle, the sort of listening to great content, reading, great contents, you know, the right business books, the right podcasts. JLD: (04:20) And that led me to, to find these podcasts, you know, many that you’ve been a guest on Rory that, you know, interview entrepreneurs. And there were some great shows that were out there. Unfortunately they thought it was the right move to have one episode per month or two episodes per you know, per month that were going live on their feeds. And I was just, just voraciously consuming these content, this content with, you know, interviewing entrepreneurs and their stories. I was learning so much from them, but there were so few of them. And so I remember saying to myself, I’m just going to go find that daily podcast, that interviews entrepreneurs. So I can just have a fresh episode waiting from each day. So I went home, loaded up the Apple iTunes back in 2012, searched all the way through it. And the show did not exist. JLD: (05:09) And it was literally like, like Paul McCartney waking up and being like, wait, the song yesterday doesn’t exist. Like I just, I had a dream about it and it doesn’t exist. I can just make this hit song from a dream. I was like, this is like a dream. I can’t believe a daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs doesn’t exist. Cause that’s like, that’s the show that I want, that’s show that I need. And so I said, Hey, let’s follow Gandhi’s advice. I read about it somewhere. Like be the change you want to see in the world. And I said, I’m going to create the first daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs. So the day I launched Rory back in 2012, entrepreneurs on fire was the best daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs. It was the worst daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs. It was the only, and so like I built this brand entrepreneurs on fire that one because I was the only game in town delivering a daily podcast, interviewing entrepreneurs, it’s called the first mover advantage. JLD: (06:07) I had the first mover advantage I won as a result. Was I good? No. Was my interview style good? No. Did I bring on good guests? Yes. Thankfully like they made the show good, like listened to ball. And then I put in the wraps and I got a little bit better. Every single time I did that. And like, that’s the story of entrepreneurs on fire. So I challenged people who are building their brain right now. We can take this in any direction you want. But I challenged people to like, look in the mirror and say like, how am I being the best at one thing that I’m doing? Like, how am I being the only, like the quote that I love is the higher, the barrier, the lower the competition, a daily podcast is a flip and high barrier. I had no competition. I built a moat around my business and I won as a result. I’m the quote unquote godfather of podcasting. Not because it was the first, but because I was the first person to go all in daily, seven days a week. Now you and I are talking, as you mentioned, the intro 3000 episodes, a hundred million listens, 1.4 million listens every single month, eight years in a row of a multiple millions in net profits, all from that one big idea. RV: (07:19) Well, and you know what I love about one of the things. I mean, there’s so many things I’ve always, always loved about you. Not the least of which is you being a military man, which I always have much love and respect for, but I is, and, and I don’t mean this to sound bad at all is to go. You didn’t try to even compete so much on my quality. You just went for quantity and that’s that you don’t hear about that as a strategic decision that much, but to go well. Yeah. Where else were people gonna go? You know, like that, I think you hear so, so do you believe in quality over quantity? Or do you think it’s quantity over quality or is it both JLD: (08:04) Question? Cause there’s, there’s different circumstances. There are absolutely times when quality is going to win. Period. End of story. The highest quality product is going to win a lot of the times. Then there are times you look in the mirror and you say, well, I can’t be highest quality because I’ve never podcasted before. I’ve never interviewed somebody before I am going to period. End of story. Stink as a podcast host for the foreseeable future. So I’ve got a win some other way. I’m going to win on quantity. Do you think the person that just went actually there’s actually, I’m gonna back up. There’s a, there’s a fantastic, fantastic, like real case that I’ve read. And one amazing book. Maybe, honestly it was even years. I was like this, this pottery class and the professor divided them into two separate sides of the room. JLD: (08:52) He said the left side. I’m only you on your best pot, just one single best pot. That’s all it means. So just take the whole semester, but only present me one pot and give you a grade on that one pot. He goes to the second half of the class. I don’t, I’m not going to grade you on any quality whatsoever. I’m only gonna grade you on the amount of pots you finish. That’s it just the quantity. And guess what? At the end of that semester, not only were the best pots, all from the people who did the highest quantity, but the people who just had to do one good pot, none of them were good because they was just trying to get one good pot. They weren’t putting in the reps, they weren’t actually doing the work. So I was a really bad podcast hosts for like 480 episodes. JLD: (09:39) Like that’s really the number that I look back at. I was like, okay, four 81. I was kind of good that episode. It took a year and a half of daily podcasting to put in the reps to become a quote unquote decent podcast, or just like it took those students 50 pots of just cranking it out. Cause they could care less. It’s like, I’m only getting graded on the quantity, but then they started getting good almost despite themselves. Cause they already even trying to get good. It didn’t matter if they were good, but they became good because they put in those flipping reps and this one person trying to create the best pot ever. It was just one they stunk. They never put in those wraps. So as both sides of the equation, listen, I buy the best products because I love the best, the highest quality. But if you, as an individual, can’t be the best, the highest quality step day one, step one. How are you going to get there? You’re going to put in the raps, you’re going to put in the quantity and you’re going to get it. RV: (10:36) Yeah, yeah. I mean that is, that is my story of, of professional speaking was like, I was in my twenties, I spoke 304 times for free, like back of a Perkins restaurant, two people in the restaurant, me on a Friday night, like doing my speech and, and you know, and now people see me on stage in front of thousands and thousands of people and they’re like, Whoa, you know? And it’s like, no, you don’t understand. Like it was quantity like quantity is so underrated. It is so underrated. Now. What’s interesting. One of the things I love about podcasting sometimes, like I actually think I enjoy being a podcast host more than I like being a podcast guest. I actually like the role of being the student and the interviewer more than the teacher. And you know, it’s interesting about podcasting is the nature of it is someone else can be the star. Like you can be the host and, and it’s like, you’re bringing in the stars and you did that right away from day one. You always had great guests, like from the very, very beginning. So you also kind of had a both situation going. Yeah. So that’s JLD: (11:54) Exactly my mentality. I said, Hey, if the spotlight’s on me, this podcast is going to fail because I’m not good. But if I can bring a guest on, I can ask them four or five really meaningful questions, quickly turn the spotlight on them and just step back and shut up. They’ll make this podcast listen to bowl. So Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Tim Ferriss, you know, Tony Robbins, Barbara Corcoran. Like I brought them on. I ask a question, I step out of the way and I shut up and boom, they took it off and they crushed it. And that’s what they do. They were great. They had put in the reps for years. I knew how to ask a question and I stepped out of the way. And so that’s how I got my feet wet. That’s how I put in my reps. That’s how I put in the work. So would you, RV: (12:40) When you talk about quantity, so of course, you know, your book is just coming out and this is your first book, common path to uncommon success. Do you feel like quantity and reps? Is that a part of that story? That it’s just, it, no matter what you’re doing, that, that ties in JLD: (13:00) 100%. So this book, the common path to uncommon success, it is a combination of these 3000 interviews I’ve done over the past nine years of again, interviewing people like Rory, Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Tim Ferris, and just sitting down. And this was in late 2019. I sat down and I literally like wrote down, like, what are the core foundational principles that Rory has that Tony has that Tim have that these successful entrepreneurs have, that they possess? What are the similar touchpoints that they’ve all gone through on their journey to uncommon success? And I wrote them all down. You know, I matched up the ones that were identical and I got rid of the ones that didn’t make any sense. And I was left with just 17 core principles that every one of us and by us, I mean successful entrepreneurs that we have as foundational core principles, I put them in chronological order, step one to step 17. JLD: (14:00) And then I sat my butt down in 2020 and for two hours every day for eight months, I wrote this book 71,000 words, 273 pages is my first traditionally published book. It very well could be my last, I mean, I’m not saying I want to write books for a living. I wrote, I needed to write this book because it needed to get out there. This book is the book that people need in their hands. And they’re looking for financial freedom and fulfillment. But man, I put everything in there. I got nothing left. I don’t have any illusions of grand jury. Like, this is what you need. If you have a question, there’s the answer crashing. RV: (14:38) Keep your energy up. I mean like 3000 is a flipping ton. 3000 of anything is a ton. Like I don’t know that I’ve been on stage 3000 times. I definitely I’ve done close to a thousand interviews. But like every time I listened to one of your interviews I’ve been interviewed, like I know that you’re doing a ton of interviews now as a guest, like somehow you have this energy that is always turned on. Like where does that come from? How do we do that? And is, is that a part of, of this you think like, is that a part of the 17 principles here? JLD: (15:24) Absolutely. It is a part of the 17 principles. In fact, it is principal numero UNO. When you see Rory Vaden onstage, guess what he is living in his zone of fire. He is living in that zone of fire. When you hear me in a podcast, whether I’m being interviewed or interviewing somebody else, I am living in my zone of fire. That is it. So guess what? Step one chapter, one of this book, identify your big idea. So few people have identified their big idea. They don’t know what their zone of genius is, what theirs on a fire is, and they’re not living it every single day. That’s why I have so much energy because I feed off of this. I’m an extrovert. I love having these conversations. I thrive in them. This is my big idea. It’s not everybody who’s watching. This is not your big idea. What I’m doing, what Roy does, this is not. But your big idea is out there. It’s up to you now to find it. So that’s step one, chapter one. And Roy is my video coming in. Okay. RV: (16:30) Yeah. So I think you are a great example of like living your truth there and being the zone of fire and you feel it. I mean, it’s it that conveys it transfers through, through the interviews. One of the other things that I’ve always admired about you personally, I actually don’t even think I’ve ever told you this. I’m gonna use the word transparency. He is it, it is a couple examples of this. You have always posted your income your income statements, your Mo what’s it called the Mo it’s a monthly, monthly reports, monthly income reports, right? You you’ve always been so trans a trans parent with how you’re making money and what’s going on. The other thing is, is with your, just this launch that you’re doing for this book you know, you sent me a video and I know you sent it out to some others of just a very direct two minutes. RV: (17:28) Like, Hey, this is what I’m doing here. Here’s, here’s a few ways you can help me. I’m just asking for your help. And it was amazing as the recipient, you know, I’ve always like been in launch mode. How powerful, the just clear, open, honest ask it. Wasn’t like buried within something there wasn’t like some like, you know, Hey, help me and I’ll help you in there. No, it was, it wasn’t pushy though. W at all, it was, it was just very like, and so I feel like there is some strength about you that you’re willing to just like, be open about your intentions in what you’re doing. How did you get to be that way? How do you think it helps you? And then how do we get to be more like that? JLD: (18:20) I think life is short. Life is short. We’re here on this earth for a blip of time. And I’m here to have fun, to make an impact, to add value to this world. And when I write a book like this, where my heart, my soul, my blood, my sweat, my tears, I poured into it. And I know with a hundred percent certainty, and this comes to confidence, and this is something we can talk about later, cause this is a huge part of it. But when I know the a hundred percent certainty, a hundred percent confidence that this book is going to help. So many people, basically every single person that reads this book and genuinely falls the principles and takes action is going to have a massive impact positively on their life. I’m not going to be shy or I’m not going to, you know, kind of come at things in that. JLD: (19:07) Half-Ass kind of way. Like I want to be direct and honest, and I’m gonna say, Rory, you have a great platform. I’ve had, I have a great platform. I’ve had you on my show. You’ve rocked the mic. I’ve helped you, you know, promote I’ve helped grow your brands and build your audience. Now it’s time to flip the tables. I would love to come on your show. I would love to share with your audience, the value this book will bring to their life. By the way I want you to, pre-order not just one but multiple copies of this book. RV: (19:34) Well, and you did. JLD: (19:38) Why? Because Amazon bases their bulk order off of my pre-order. So pre-orders are so, so importance. And that even went forth. And I said, Hey, I actually want you to consider a bulk order because I have amazing bulk orders starting at 12 books, going up to 1200 in a bulk order will help me cause that’s how HarperCollins basis their print run off of bulk orders. And lastly, and then that was the last part was all about. I’d love to find a way to get on your platform and your show in front of your audience, because you built an amazing audience. And it was a personal video. I recorded only for Rory. You know, I started by obviously saying his name and giving a couple of personal examples of, you know, things that we’ve done in the past together. RV: (20:15) I literally was, I was like, what technology is he using to do this? Cause I was like, it was, so it was called sit down and record a personal video for your personal friends, doing a personal ask. And I was so blown away as, as just the recipient of it, John, I forwarded it to some of our clients and I was like, this is how this should be done. Correct? Honest, confident, not arrogant. And like a personal ask. Like it JLD: (20:48) Was so powerful. Did you say, and by his book, that’s my point though, is that like, I literally was just like, Hey, this is what I’m asking of you. And I gave the reasons why though, too, like, I didn’t say, can you prepare some copies? Like, I think it’s important to give people reasons and clarification. Like why, you know, you tell the story, like the story’s huge. It’s like Amazon will base their pre-orders of my book based off of pre-orders. Roy knows that he’s a very successful author. And when I say that, he’s like, Oh, I get why John’s asking for not just one order. He’s not like being greedy because he knows I’m not making money from these books. You know, sales. I mean, I’m with Harper Collins, you know what? It’s not this isn’t a money play. This is, I want to get this book out, ranked high, as many sales as possible so that I can help as many people as possible. And in fact, we can talk in a second about a way that I’m losing a ton of money on every pre-order literally, but that’s not the point like this, isn’t a financial play. Like I’ve made my money in other ways, over nine years, this is, get this flipping book into your hands. Yeah. RV: (21:52) And you, you know, this concept of give value, you know, give you build relationships like before you ever need something, you’re doing that with the book. You’re I know that you’re, you’re giving away like hard cover bonuses. Like isn’t it. Three, is it? It’s all three of your journals. JLD: (22:10) My mastery journal. I am shipping you my freedom journal and my podcast journal. These are $150 of journal value that I’m shipping to everybody’s door. Who pre-orders one copy. Like most people like order. Pre-Order 10, 10 copies of my book and get all three of my journals. Pre-Order one because I just want you to get one and read it. If you want to get two and three, I’m not going to stop you of course, but I want you to get one of these books, read it because you’re going to love it. And you’re going to tell your friends about it and it will spread organically that way. And by the way, these are fantastic journals. So I’m going to ship them to you, to your door with one single pre-order. And I hope you love them. And it’s going to cost me a lot of money to do so, but that’s not the point. JLD: (22:52) The point is, how do I make this a no brainer for people that I know need my book? Cause I know there’s a lot of people out there that are like, like this is $16. This is $28 a hard cover. This is a $17 audio book. That’s not insignificant money for a lot of people. And I don’t take that lightly. So I want to make this a no brainer value for you. So that’s just one bonus. I have four other bonuses. I won’t bore you now, but well let me, yeah. Yeah. Here’s what I want y’all to do. Go to where RV: (23:20) We go to uncommon success, book.com and here’s the thing one you should buy the book. Like I, I believe in John, I love him and love what he’s doing. Th you know, he’s done all of these interviews. He’s put this together. The bonuses are incredible. The other reason why every single one of you listening to this specifically should go is because you should go to uncommon success, book.com and look at how launch is done. JLD: (23:46) This is a great example of the bulk bonuses that are laid out. You’ve got links off the, Oh, it’s very clear. It’s very simple buying in bulk a personal message from you. It’s just a simple clean website. And it’s like, this is how a book launch should be done. So even if you’re not going to buy the book, you should go to uncommon success, book.com to see a real life example of someone who has spent years developing an audience, thousands of episodes, hours and hours of reps living in a zone of fire, pouring into people’s lives, being transparent. And now that culminating with a, with a traditional book launch, which is exactly to a formulate T what we teach, build the audience and then release, release the book. And I just, man, I’m, I am so proud of you brother. And I’m just grateful for you. JLD: (24:42) And I hope this book just crushes it and that you just keep doing what you’re doing. Well, listen, I don’t take this lightly. I, I really appreciate, you know, our friendship and, you know, your kind words, they mean a lot. And, and you know, this is one thing that I hope people that are watching and listening really take note of is when you’re building your brands, like your network is your net worth. Like you got to find ways to connect with the right people. Like there’s a reason when, why, when Roy is on my show, I end each episode by saying, Hey, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with Rory and JLD, so let’s keep up the heat. Cause I want you to realize that’s how I went from this 2012 law school dropout kind of loser to, you know, a year later making a hundred thousand dollars a month. JLD: (25:29) And now I just crossed my 89th month in a row of net profit, a hundred thousand dollars a month. And I’m not saying it’s all about the money and all about this and all about that, but it is about financial freedom. It is about fulfillment. It is about living in your zone of fire. And those are all the things that Rory’s achieved that I’ve achieved, that other people have achieved. The you can too. And why not make it easy on yourself by learning from others in the common path to uncommon success. It is the book that will get you there. I’ve bought and read every one of Rory’s books because they’re awesome. And I know if you’re watching this, you likely have as well. That’s smart. Keep educating yourself, keep investing in yourself. And that’s not just money. I’m much saying like invest enough and buy this book. It’s the time it takes time to sit down and read a book and really, you know, apply its principles. But that’s what winners do. That’s what I did in 2012. And I was struggling. This is what you can do today. The common path, the uncommon success is the name of the book. Uncommon success book.com is the URL. We’ll put a link to that in the show notes, buddy. We wish you the best. Keep kicking butt and stay on fire brother. Thanks Rory.

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