Welcome to VIP Ignite Live Blog. I’m your host Deneen White. Today, I am so excited to have John Lee Dumas on the show. He is an entrepreneur who runs an organization called Entrepreneurs on Fire. He hosts the podcast and has had the opportunity to interview some of the most amazing entrepreneurs of our time. You may be asking yourself, “Deneen, why do you have someone who is a podcaster who interviews entrepreneurs on this show?” We are doing that because as you know, being a part of the entertainment industry is very entrepreneurial. Hi John. How are you today? John: You know, I am fired up to be here! Thanks for having me, and I’m excited to talk about podcasting. Deneen: I am so excited to have you here. Something that I love about you is your passion for podcasting, which obviously I share because I host two podcasts. But the other thing I love is that you’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the biggest entrepreneurs of our time. John: I’ve literally loved interviewing the likes of Barbara Corcoran, Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, and Tim Ferris. Just getting to communicate with individuals like that on a consistent basis is really exciting.
THE BUSINESS OF GETTING STARTED AS AN ENTREPRENEURDeneen: That’s fantastic. I know we can certainly talk about your entrepreneurial journey, but a lot of the people who listen to my podcast are people who are entering the entertainment industry. What we’re trying to teach them is that when you are pursuing a career as an actor or a model or a musician, you’re really an entrepreneur. For today, what I would love for you to talk about, if you’re willing, is some of the best tips that you can give to people who are starting on their entrepreneurial journey. John: Absolutely willing. It’s definitely one of my favorite topics. It’s really why seven years ago I set off to create the only daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs so I could hear about their stories, their journeys, their successes, their failures, their tips, and tools and tactics. I’ve picked up a ton of great information along the way. The biggest thing on a baseline that I really want to start with (then we can kind of go off from here) is successful entrepreneurs find an audience that they want to serve. Then they understand what that audience’s biggest pain points, biggest struggles, and biggest challenges are. And then what do they do? They create a solution for that, and they deliver that solution to their audience. So for me, I was just wanting to grow a great audience of entrepreneurs, small business owners, side-preneurs, solo-preneurs; you name it. People that were looking to create a life on their own terms, who were looking to do something that they were passionate about. They were excited about sharing their voice, their message, and their mission with the world, just like you’re doing right now on your two podcasts. Through learning about my audience and knowing that they wanted that, I found out that one of their big pain points was getting that voice out to the world, or getting their message out to the world. A podcast to them seemed like a very great way to do so. But they didn’t know where to start. So I found the pain point. They wanted to start a podcast, but they didn’t know where to start. So what did I do? I created a solution called Podcaster’s Paradise back in 2013. It is a paid community that teaches you how to create, grow, and monetize your very own podcast. I said, “Hey, for people that really have this pain point, here’s a solution, and here’s where you can join the community.” That was six years ago. That was over 6,000 members ago. This is a community in a course that has now generated over five and a half million dollars in revenue, all because I followed that model. That model which serves an audience, finds out who that audience is, what their struggles and obstacles are, and offers them a solution.
GETTING STARTED WITH THE BASICS
Deneen: Something that we recommend to the people that we work with is how to start a podcast. So without detracting from the course that you offer, of course, can you give my audience a couple of tips on how to get started? It seems like a very daunting task, starting up. John: Well, first and foremost, I’m here to give it all away. I’m going to share everything. In fact, one thing that I always point people to first when they want to start a podcast is the completely free and thorough course that I created called the freepodcastcourse.com. That is a completely free course. It’s going to share everything that you need to both create and then launch your podcast. So freepodcastcourse.com is a resource, but for you and I chatting here today, we can definitely talk about a couple of things for people that are looking to start their podcast. For me, one of the first steps has to be what is the niche? What is the micro niche that I really want to focus on, that I enjoy talking about? That way I’m going to still enjoy the conversations that I’m having or the topics that I’m talking about. And that won’t be just one month or six months from now, but three or five years from now. What’s going to be something I’m still going to want to be doing far into the future? So what are some things that you really enjoy doing? What is something that you really enjoy talking or learning about, or having conversations around? What is the micro niche that exists within that, and how can you turn that into a podcast topic? Once you kind of have an idea about what that is, I recommend going to the Apple podcast store and searching for similar podcasts. See what other people have done that have had similar ideas, topics, verticals, and niches as you and explore their podcasts. Find out what they’re doing right so that you can incorporate that into your podcast. Find out what you don’t like about what they’re doing so that you can make sure that you improve upon that, or don’t do those things. You can really start with just an idea or a concept and then go out and mine information from other podcasts that currently exist right now. Because here in 2019–listen, it’s not 2012. Podcasting is here, it’s exploded. It’s an absolute gold mine. There is a podcast about almost everything under the sun. That doesn’t mean there’s no room for anybody. There’s plenty of room for people. But you have to find your niche. You have to find what is the unique thing that your podcast is going to deliver to your audience. What are the solutions that your podcast is going to bring to your audiences? Find pain points, obstacles, and challenges. That’s where you start.
FIND YOUR NICHE, AND LET IT GROW
Deneen: Fantastic advice. So for you, your niche is interviewing entrepreneurs. How did you come up with that idea? I love, love, love listening to your podcast. I’m a total fan girl of your podcast. How did you get to the point where you got to interview people like Tony Robbins and Seth Godin? Can you discuss that process a little bit for me? John: Well, first off, thank you for being part of Fire Nation. I truly do appreciate that. I’ve built my audience one listener at a time. I’ve obviously spent seven years running my podcast. I’m now at the point where I have millions of listeners per month, but I didn’t start out that way. Nobody does. It’s brick, by brick, by brick. Back in 2012 I was looking around the landscape and I was saying, “Man, I see the value of mentorship.” I see the value of surrounding myself with the right people. I do believe that Jim Rowe quote is so true, that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So how can I spend more time with unbelievably high achieving individuals? I said, “Well, wait a second.” What if I started a podcast where I actually gave them a platform to come and talk to me? So it’s not just a one on one conversation, because as much as I’d love to think he would, Tony Robbins isn’t gonna jump on a one on one call with me. He’s not. He speaks in front of 20,000 people at a time. He’s a massive, massive entrepreneur who’s had a ton of success. I had to step back and say, “How can I make it worth Tony’s time to come spend 20, 25, or 30 minutes on a one on one call with me?” What if I gave him an audience, and now he is leveraging and scaling that time? That way he is speaking to hundreds and thousands and tens of thousands. In the case of my podcast, he gets potentially hundreds of thousands of listeners just by tossing a microphone on and sitting back in his chair and having a conversation, just like you and I are now. So that was where the idea came from, and then it was being really strategic about it. I didn’t reach out to Tim Ferris until I saw that he was about to launch a book and I thought, “Now Tim’s in promotion mode so I can be strategic and say, Tim, I know you’re about to launch a book or just went live.” I know my audience would love it because they love entrepreneurs. They love you, they buy your book Four Hour Work Week, and they want to read whatever you have coming up next, so let’s bring you on the show. Let’s have a conversation around it. Let’s do this. Being strategic made the timing make sense. Once you get Tim Ferriss and Tony Robbins, Navarro, or Barbara Corcoran on your show, at that point, it becomes so much easier because now you can say I’d love to have you on my podcast. I’ve had past guests such as Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, Barbara Corcoran, fill in the blank. It makes that next person think, “Wow.” Well if those people thought it was worth their time, it’s probably worth my time to be on the show. You start getting more responses, more “Yes”, and a whole heck of a lot of things.
CONTINUING FROM SUCCESS TO SIGNIFICANCE
Deneen: That’s fantastic. Can I ask what was one of the most impactful interviews that you did, and what was your biggest takeaway from that? John: You know, I’d say one of the most impactful interviews that I’ve ever done was from a past guest, Aaron Walker. Aaron Walker was so great on my podcast. He came on and he was talking about this one phrase that really hit home with me, which was going from success to significance. A lot of people achieve success in this world and I love the fact that they do, but sometimes they say, “Well, I thought I’d feel a little bit different being “successful.”” He made me realize the importance of continuing up that ladder from success to significance.
Every one of us is going to have a different definition of what significance means.For some people it’s going to be donating to your favorite charity. For some people it’s going to be traveling the world. For some people it’s going to be supporting and helping them, and giving opportunities to your loved ones and your friends and your family. Whatever that might mean to you. I just really loved his concept, and I loved the topic. To me, Aaron Walker is a person that really came on and really surprised me with this content. That was probably five and a half years ago. You can see that that really has stuck with me for a long time. Deneen: I love that journey because again, like you said, so many people find success, but do they find significance? One of the things that we talk about a lot on the podcast that I host is finding your why. Once you find that reason, you’re able to push through any kind of challenges much more easily. John: There’s a reason why Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why, is so successful. I think you’re onto something there.
MOVING FROM SELF-PUBLISHING TO BIGGER PROJECTS
Deneen: So what projects do you have coming up? You always have so much going on! What type of projects do you have coming up that my listeners can be on the lookout for? John: I am pretty excited. I did just sign a deal with HarperCollins Leadership for my very first traditionally published book. The manuscript is due this coming April. It’s not going to be published until Spring of 2021 because these things just take time. But it is a project that I’m working on, and it’s something I’m really excited about that is coming down the line. So you know everybody, it’s a year and a half away! It’s something that I definitely am excited about and can’t wait to show the world. Deneen: What is it like working on your first traditionally published book? John: It’s a very different experience because I have self-published four journals to date. That was a very unique experience where I was able to work on my own timeline and kind of get things done, how and when I wanted to. Now I have an editor assigned to me. I have a promotional team assigned to me, and it’s a whole different thing. There’s a lot of people that have their hands in the project and are counting on the project. I signed a very big advanced deal. There’s that pressure hanging over as well. There’s just a lot of different things that kind of go along, but going just the traditional route has some pros, some cons. But overall, after weighing them all out, I decided that it was the way that I wanted to go. Deneen: That’s awesome. I just want to thank you so much for being on the podcast today. I really enjoyed our conversation. It’s such an honor to have the opportunity to have you on the show and to interview someone like you. I want to be very aware of your time, so I just wanted to thank you so much for being on the show. Can you just tell everyone again where they can find you, if they can listen to your podcasts? John: Sure. Well first off, thank you for having me on! It was a pleasure, I really enjoyed having this conversation. We have, as I mentioned earlier, a lot of free courses for people. I already mentioned the free podcasting course for anybody that wants to learn how to create and launch their podcast. We also have a course on how to quit your mastermind funnels and so much more, because we just love giving out that free content. All of that is over at our headquarters, EOFire.com, and I would love for anybody to listen to the podcast Entrepreneurs on Fire if you want to get some great conversations with some great entrepreneurs. Thank you for having me! Deneen: You’re welcome! Thank you so much again for your time, I really do appreciate it. John: Take care. Have a great day! Deneen: You too. Thank you! I hope that everyone enjoyed my conversation with John Lee Dumas today. If you did, please make sure that you subscribe to Coffee in the Green Room because I have a lot of amazing guests just like John lined up over the next couple of weeks. If you are interested in following along on our podcasting journey here, please go visit our website at coffeeinthegreenroom.com where you can find future episodes. Thank you so much and have a fantastic day!