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Episode #4 How to Stand Out as an Entrepreneur with John Lee Dumas

John Lee Dumas is the host of Entrepreneurs on Fire, an award-winning podcast where he interviews inspiring Entrepreneurs who are truly ON FIRE. With over 2500 episodes, 1 million + listens a month, and seven-figures of annual revenue, JLD is just getting started.

JLD’s interviewed more entrepreneurs than just about anyone! In this episode, he and Nicole dive into:

1. The biggest mistake he sees most new entrepreneurs make and how you can avoid it
2. His take on the crowded online marketing space (it’s not saturated, by the way) and what it takes to stand out and become a top entrepreneur


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Nicole Laino
Well, John, welcome to the show. I am so excited to have you here you are a man who really needs no introduction. But you know, indulge us, give us a little introduction, tell my listeners who you are. And you know what you’re all about.

John Lee Dumas
John Lee Dumas, I am the founder and host of a podcast called entrepreneurs on fire, which I launched back in 2012. I was a daily podcast for five and a half years, which is 2000 days in a row. And I’m now over 2600 episodes published over the past eight years, and our business is currently financially stable as well bringing in multiple millions of dollars a year living in the tax haven oasis of Porto Rico right here behind me. So I get to keep all the money that I make.

Nicole Laino
Sounds like a lovely life. I like there’s just no work going into this at all 2000. And something episodes is crazy. I wanted to so my audience is mostly new entrepreneurs. That’s pretty much what what they do. That’s coaches, its course creators, a lot of people in the network marketing space. And, you know, you being a man who’s interviewed, literally 1000s of entrepreneurs, you’ve probably talked to more entrepreneurs than anyone. I’m just curious. There are so many options out there for entrepreneurs right now. The there’s so many avenues that people can take to go down. And I think shiny object syndrome is a big thing. sort of curious what your advice would be to new new entrepreneurs starting out? What do you what do you think is something that people are really missing right now, or taking them off course,

John Lee Dumas
they’re missing their big idea? You know, honestly, they’re seeing people like yourself, or people like me, who are doing X, Y, or Z. And they’re just like, Oh, that looks cool. Like, I’ll do that. And the problem is, they just end up typically being a pale replication of whoever they’re trying to replicate. They don’t have their own big idea. And frankly, back in 2012, I didn’t have my big idea either. And I was struggling for it. But then when that aha moment happened for me, and I said, Well, why is there no daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs, and I decided to follow that great Gandhi quote, and be the change I wanted to see in the world. Like, that’s why I was a success. Because I was bad. As a podcast host. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was a poor interviewer, a communicator, presenter all of those things, but I was filling in need. And I was the one stop shop, like, look back into the 1960s. Like The Wonder Years, if you wanted to go to the movies, there was one place in town to go to the movies. And even if you had a terrible customer experience there, there was really nothing you can do about it. Because that was a one show in town. And so the day I launched my podcast, entrepreneurs on fire, it was the best daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs in the world. It was the worst daily podcast, interviewing entrepreneurs, seven days a week, it was the only so how can you some people that are watching us right now be the only How can you be the best show in town and of course, town for us now is the world now that doesn’t mean it’s overwhelming, because you’re gonna be the best person in the world on X, Y or Z, it means that you need to come up with a big idea. And then you need to find within that big idea. What is a small niche that’s not being served in that big idea right now, at all? Or good enough? And how can you come in and become the best solution to that problem? That’s what people are missing. That’s the people aren’t doing 99 out of 100 people that I talked to that are, you know, starting and I give them that question, Hey, what is the problem that you’re solving that nobody else is solving? They look at me like, you know, I have 1000 heads in blank stares, because they have no idea what I’m talking about. And frankly, they have no idea how to start a successful business.

Nicole Laino
Yeah, no, I love that. And it’s so true. Because you have to have like your Northstar that you’re following that big idea is you have to be rooted in that. But and I know that your success didn’t happen overnight by any means, like you, like you said, you know, you sucked at it at first, and it didn’t turn a profit. Was it something like nine months or something before you really started to see months? 13 months? So how do you stay committed to that idea? I’m sure people were telling you that it was not a great idea that it wasn’t going to work. So how do you stay committed to that even when things aren’t working out? Even when things aren’t going as you planned? Or did you plan for it not to work out for that long? Were you prepared for that?

John Lee Dumas
I was prepared, you know, for the long haul to me, I was committing I was going all in I was going to see this through like I was going to give myself 18 months to see if this worked or not. And as I mentioned, you know, it took me 13 months to make revenue which by the way was actually 16 months because it was three months before I launched plus the 13 months post launch. So you know was getting kind of close to that 18 month point of like not making any revenue. But well, before that I had had, you know, a lot of great feedback and people saying that, you know, they were enjoying the concept. And they were really glad that somebody had stepped up and filled this space was creating a solution for a problem that they had, which is the problem that I had, which was, I want to listen to a new interview every single day with a successful entrepreneur. So I can keep getting inspired every day. So I can keep learning every day. So I can keep elevating myself every day. So maybe I can have that one light bulb go off in my head because of one thing that that person said, out of maybe the blue that can take me to that next level. So, you know, for me, I was just committed to that process, I was going to stick with it. And you know, I knew I knew that it’s what I wanted to do. Because I was passionate, I was curious about having these conversations. Plus, I knew that they were adding value and knowledge to the world, frankly, not through me because I didn’t know what I was doing. But through the guests that I was bringing on. So I knew it had those elements. And it was only a matter of time. Now that didn’t mean as a matter of time till it’s going to be able to turn into a financial success, but only a matter of time until it’s started serving the purpose that I wanted to which was reaching 1000s and 1000s of people every single day, delivering that inspiration, motivation and potential aha moments.

Nicole Laino
Yeah, and I love that because what, what I’m hearing in there is you’re just really committed to the process and the outcome, not necessarily the revenue part. But you just trusted that gut feeling that by filling that need. It was all going to kind of take care of itself that you trusted that the process would unfold and and you’d end up making money you would end up working out because you really, really believed in this thing that you were doing.

John Lee Dumas
Well, an example I like to give to is there’s a movie released not too long ago, I believe it was called yesterday where the guy wakes up. And like nobody had ever heard of The Beatles before. So like, he knew that he was sitting on a goldmine. And because the Beatles songs were amazing. And they were solving a huge problem in the world that people wanted that great music in their lives. And so that was like super cool movie to see. Because that’s how I felt on my podcast. Like, I knew that this podcast was needed in the world that it was solving a problem that people had, because there was no other podcast that was doing anything close to what I was doing. I was solving a real problem. It was just going to be a matter of time. You know, just like when his parents first heard him sing the song like yesterday, or all you need his love. They’re like, yeah, that’s okay. Because they had never heard it before was like the first time they heard it. And it was just like, I knew that it was the same thing with my shows, like people needed to, you know, give it time and to be like really shown the way through the podcast through the stories that I was telling in the stories that I was taking from the guests that I had, and like that was such a key part of that process. And so, you know, that’s my question to everybody that’s watching and listening to us right now is, what is it that you’re doing that’s following that same line? Or are you that pale replication of 1000 other people that are doing all the same thing, like posting a daily quotes on Instagram with cute fonts and expecting you’re gonna grow a following?

Nicole Laino
Right, you’re not really serving a need with that. That’s not it’s not coming from that place.

John Lee Dumas
If you’re the only person in the world doing it, you’d be awesome. But because it’s simple to do, everybody’s doing it, and it’s not valuable

Nicole Laino
right now. Absolutely. And the tough thing is you have to have that vision to do the tough things every day and get up in and fill that need. So I wanted to ask you, because it might be something I’m curious if it’s something that you work at, or if it’s something that you know, maybe maybe you take for granted a little bit, but you have, you do have sort of a joyful presence, like you seem to you seem to go into everything that you do with a lot of passion and a lot of joy. And I’m wondering if that’s something that you are consciously aware of? Or if it’s something that, you know, that’s just sort of the way that you are and if you see that with all of the entrepreneurs that you interview, is there a common theme or a common thread of how they, how you carry yourself and carry yourself in your business?

John Lee Dumas
I would honestly say it’s the latter. I feel like it’s kind of been just a subconscious part of my personality for pretty much my entire life. Because I can remember back to many, many times, like, you know, my parents or, you know, my parents, my friend’s parents are like, you know, just past girlfriends just kind of like making comments like, you know, you’re just such a positive person, like he just always seemed to be so happy and of course, like, you know, they saw me at times when I wasn’t because you know, we all have the ups and the downs and you know, I’m you know, able to like come on interviews like this and be on my show, and like really bring the energy and the vibe because I’m loving having these conversations but like, if I have a 15 minute break, you know, I’m not looking in the mirror like going rah rah rah the whole time like I’m sitting down on my on my chair. Yeah, right here, you know, watching, you know, a Netflix show just kind of chilling out doing nothing until, you know, my next interview comes up. So, you know, I think that’s important for people to know that like when you’re seeing influencers and authority figures, like you look up to and admire, and you’re seeing like their 15 Second Instagram stories or their Facebook posts or like them on interviews like this, like, they’re bringing the best of them, which they shouldn’t be. Because if they’re not, what are they doing? Like they’re bringing the best of them, like I’m bringing the best of me right now. But you know, and that is to kind of circle back to your initial question, though, something that does come very natural to me. And it always has, like, I’ve just always kind of had that personality, because, you know, we’re humans, we’re all built differently. We all have different personalities and different levels of optimism and pessimism. And that’s just the reality, you can work on all of those things. And I think personally, one of the best ways to work on those things, for anybody that wants to elevate their game is surrounding yourself with the people you want to be more like, like, there’s a reason why that Jim Rohn quote is so true, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, because you truly are, I end every entrepreneurs on fire episode by saying, hey, Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And you’ve been hanging out with Nicole and JLD today, so keep up that heat. And I mean it because they’ve been hanging out with two awesome, fun, cool people. I really believe that. And I want my audience to be like conscious of the fact that now it’s their job to keep that level high as they go about the rest of their day. And I really believe that, like you know, who you’re spending your time with is like a direct reflection of your life. If you’re going out every Friday night, with your high school friends who are just complaining about their jobs, drinking beer, spending Saturdays hungover, that’s going to be your life. And that’s okay, if that’s how you want your life to be. But if you’re listening to us right now, and like you want something more than you gotta find people in your life to make your top five, that doesn’t mean cut off people that are, you know, shouldn’t be in your top five and never talk to them again. They seem to move down the line to like number 711 or 14. And that’s just reality.

Nicole Laino
Now, definitely, yeah, you know, if you don’t like where you are, look around you. The answers are there. They’re there. They’re definitely. So I know that we have to wrap up. But in closing, I kind of wanted to, you have and like we said, you’ve interviewed more entrepreneurs than anyone. And since my audience is mainly new entrepreneurs, if there were tell them where they can find you where they can hear more JLD. But also, if you can think of a particular interview that you think is like, if I were just starting out, I would want to listen to this interview, I’d want to I’d want to find all the interviews I did with this person if you if you know of one of those and point that out so they know where to start.

John Lee Dumas
So all the magic for us happens at EA Oh feiyr.com We have free courses there for entrepreneurs on podcasting, coming up with big ideas funnels, all free all for you. Yo feiyr.com/top 10 is what I consider my top 10 best interviews, you can go start there and check those out. And I would love if anybody that’s listening gives my podcast to try entrepreneurs on fire.

Nicole Laino
It is a fabulous show and always, every single time there’s always some, as you say value bombs being dropped. So JLD thank you so much for being here for being a part of this podcast. We really appreciate you being here and thank you have a great rest of your day.

John Lee Dumas
Nicole take care is good hanging out.

Nicole Laino
Take care. Bye

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