EP 11: John Lee Dumas From Entrepreneurs On Fire – Niching Down To Success In A Hyper Competitive Environment

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The HUSTLR Podcast
The HUSTLR Podcast
EP 11: John Lee Dumas From Entrepreneurs On Fire - Niching Down To Success In A Hyper Competitive Environment

In this episode, I present to you a fantastic hustler. Commonly known as a podcaster, his name is John Lee Dumas. I managed to get 15 minutes with him amidst his extremely packed schedule.

We talked about niches, podcasting, online media and how to get good at something fast. I hope you’ll enjoy this episode! If this is helpful, remember to share it with a friend or loved one.

Read the full interview transcript below:

Jeremy: 00:13 | Hey Hustlers! Thanks for tuning into the HUSTLR Podcast. In this episode, I’ll be interviewing one of my favorite people in the internet media space, and his name is John Lee Dumas or known as “JLD”. And JLD is an American entrepreneur and podcaster based in Puerto Rico. He’s the founder and host of “Entrepreneur On Fire” which some of you guys might have listened to it before “EOFIRE” and it is a business podcast where he interviews successful entrepreneurs. And as of 2018, his wildly successful podcast has received 70 million downloads with 1 million monthly listeners. So that’s crazy, right?! Based on his latest income report, EOFIRE currently makes about 170 thousand US dollars every single month. You can check it out at “eofire.com”. So, let me just share a little bit of my backstory while still waiting for JLD to get ready to come on the show. So upon leaving the US Army, he enrolled at Rogers William University School of Law at Bristol, Rhode Island. And he dropped out just after 1 semester, he then took on a job in corporate finance at John Hancock in Boston and later on he went to New York City where he worked for a text startup until he left for San Diego in 2009. In San Diego, he began a career in real estate and upon a friend’s suggestion, he began listening to podcasts in order to past the time during the long drive to work, which is very much like you guys. He started listening to NPR whilst exploring other shows such as Patflints, SPI (Smart Passive Income), and Cliff Ravenscraft podcast. After moving back to being in 2011, he pursued a career in real estate, right? He thought of starting a different venture, he realized that none of his favorite podcasts offered daily content and this gives him the idea of starting his own daily podcast series. And he developed the concept of a daily podcast that features the stories of successful entrepreneurs and he named it “Entrepreneurs on Fire” which is what you know as EOFIRE today. So EOFIRE was launched in September of 2012 and as his subscribers grew, he has also published a book on Amazon Bookstore which is called the “The Podcast Launch”. It is a fantastic book and it is a guide of the exact steps he took to launch EOFIRE. And in 2013, he launched “Podcaster’s Paradise”, a community that is built specifically for podcasters only which I’m also a part of Podcaster’s Paradise so make sure to check them out. Some notable interviews that he has done on his podcast have featured some huge names such as Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Garry V, Tim Ferriss which are all huge names in modern society. So EOFIRE was also named best of iTunes in 2013 which is a huge achievement and it currently generates 7-figures in annual revenue right now and he continues to openly share his income breakdown in monthly reports in his site which is verified by an auditor by his CPA and his audience has almost quadrupled since 2013, and in 2015, he has made 200 thousand US dollars in income, just from his podcast. And as of 2018, he has podcasted over 2000 episodes and 2200 in 2019 so that’s freakin’ insane right?! I’m only managed to get 15 minutes with him because he is a really busy man and if you’re just starting up with your hustle or you’re a seasoned hustler looking to start a podcast hoping that they are able to find some actual tips and strategies that they can use in from this episode. So stay tuned, the interview should start soon.

Jeremy: 04:41 | So just waiting for JLD to come onto the show…Super excited!

John Lee Dumas: 4:53 | Well hello!

Jeremy: 04:54 | Hello! Thanks for coming to the show!

John Lee Dumas: 04:50 | You are welcome, Jeremy. It’s great to be here!

Jeremy: 05:02 | Thank you so much. So since you have only 15 minutes available, let’s get started, shall we?

John Lee Dumas: 05:08 | Let’s do it, brother!

Jeremy: 05:09 | Okay, so let’s start off by telling me about the early days of EOFIRE. What was life like when you launched the podcast and how do you feel while you are running a podcast for the very first time?

John Lee Dumas: 05:21 | So the early days of Entrepreneurs on Fire is very interesting. Because to be honest with you, at the time podcasting wasn’t the cultural or an international phenomenon that it is now. So we’re talking here in 2019, podcasting is talked about on sitcom shows, movies. All these different areas has a podcast as the tip of people’s tongues. Back in 2012, when I was coming up with the idea of Entrepreneurs on Fire, it really wasn’t. So, it was kind of a hard sell to myself to say “Hey is this going to be a real business?” You know, they see it as an impossible sell to anybody else who knew me is there and just like “What is a Podcast” “That’s never gonna happen, that’s never gonna work”. But what I saw, was the fact that I was a listener of podcast loved the media. I loved the free on-demand targeted content that podcasting is, I love that concept as it just made sense to me and I said “Why would anybody choose to listen to some crappy radio station with no control over what these loud commercials for 45% of the time. Like why would you listen to a podcast? Why would you buy a 24 dollar audiobook when you can get amazing information value from a podcast for free.” It just made sense to me, and so that is why I have decided to launch the first and only daily podcast interviewing the world of successful entrepreneurs and that Jeremy was 7 years ago, that was 2200 episodes ago and it’s been a wild ride.

Jeremy: 07:01 | Wow, amazing story. So, I know that EOFIRE is known as a daily podcast which wasn’t common at all in 2012 or 2013 right? Would you say that posting one podcast episode per day played a huge role in growing your podcast? Do you think that you could’ve achieved the same goal with maybe just one podcast every other day instead?

John Lee Dumas: 07:25 | it played a huge role in my success in here’s why. If you’re gonna be good at anything in life, sports, acting, singing, instruments. You have to put in the wraps, you have to put in the WRAPS! So maybe just do it a weekly podcast, doing 4 episodes a month or even every other day which you mentioned in doing 15. Well, how much better and faster will I be at my craft honing my skills by doing a podcast every single day? Like do you think Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant became the best basketball players in the world by practicing 4 times a month? Now, they’ve put in their wraps every. single. day. And so that was a huge thing, plus guess what? I’ve been interviewed based on a podcast, so I’m interviewing successful entrepreneurs. So I’m having conversations now, building relationships, connecting networking, building friendships with 30 successful entrepreneurs every single month. That’s 365 friendship connections that I’m building every single year, as opposed to 50 if I do a weekly show. So all those things were massive reasons that Entrepreneurs On Fire was an instant success and it is still till this day 7 years and 2022 episodes later, a massive success because of that consistency and that quantity. Because they’ve put in the wraps and got better as a host because I was able to build great relationships. And because I was able to build a committed and loyal listenership that has people who can count on me. Every single day, delivering a show to their earbuds.

Jeremy: 09:11 | I suppose the daily podcast thing is so powerful. I mean, you get to improve at lightning speed and you also get to produce content and people are actually expecting a daily podcast because of promise and I suppose that’s the reason why EOFIRE is so huge right now. But I can’t help but think that are there any dark moments that you have faced when you were just starting up? So yeah, I’m just curious if we’re there any less than ideal moments that you have faced for the first time. Of course, if you’re comfortable sharing.

John Lee Dumas: 09:51 | Always. It’s called being a human being. If you don’t have moments of being nervous or doubt and fear of the impossible, then you’re worth called a robot which is coming by the way. I mean, artificial intelligence is coming but yes, every single human being that has ever existed on this earth has felt those things. Period. End of story. So yeah, I have felt doubt, I was nervous…I didn’t know if it’s going to work, because nobody knows if anything is going to work until you do it. But the problem with a lot of people have is that they imagine what failure looks like and they’re always dead wrong. Like for them, if this fails, I’d be living under a bridge, eating out of a garbage can…no you’re not. That’s not gonna happen. How people have you know right now lives under a bridge and eating out of a garbage can, not many people for sure. But guess what? The reality is, you might fail but you’re going to be able to do something else and learn from those failures and continue to improve and do your thing. But the saddest thing in the world, are all those people that didn’t do what they were meant to do because of that fear, that unrealized and unrealistic fear that they have. And now they live a life much less than they were capable of doing and they are really dealing with nothing but regret.

Jeremy: 11:17 | Right, that’s extremely powerful once again. So, I’ve read that you have scheduled all of your interviews on Tuesdays and do those interviews back to back from like 9 am till 5 pm. So how is this schedule worked out for you over the long run? And I’m curious how you’ve spent the rest of your time.

John Lee Dumas: 11:35 | If you’re going to be consistent, which is, by the way, a necessary ingredient for success, you need to batch and that’s exactly what batching is. Is saying “Listen, I’m not gonna wake up 31 days in a row and feel like doing a podcast interview that day.”. It’s not gonna happen, I’m gonna have some great day, some bad days, some days that I’m not feeling that well, sore throat, losing my voice or whatever that might be. So I’d like to have what I call my “Superbowl” day. Now Superbowl is THE biggest event in the United States for sports as when 2 NFL teams will play all season commodate in the championship game. That’s my attitude for my batching days, so what I do on my batching day is I stack a ton of interviews, like you’ve mention sometimes 8 and sometimes up to 16 which I will do in one single day. And am I saying that you can do that from day 1? Absolutely not. You’ve gotta build to that but once you’ve learned how to batch, you’re able to crush all those interviews by the way with the mentality that this day is my Superbowl. I’m going to wake up this morning, by the time I go to bed tonight, I will have gotten more work done today than most people do in one full month. And it’ll be true as well. Then, you go into that day with energy, with enthusiasm and you rock it. You are my 2nd of 25 interviews today. 1 day per month, I will schedule all my interviews on other people’s shows and I woke up this morning and I said “Today’s my Superbowl for being a guest on other people’s shows.” And by the time I go to bed tonight, I will have done 25 shows on other people’s podcasts, and guess what? That’s the Superbowl day. So what’s your Superbowl day?

Jeremy: 13:35 | Right. So I think that’s a very powerful question to ask yourself. So I’ve also seen your YouTube video, which you have an insanely beautiful home in Puerto Rico, so now that you’re living in your dream home and you have grown EOFIRE to where it is today. So what’s next for you?

John Lee Dumas: 13:56 | I like to live in 100-day increments. I think some people should create 1-year, 3-year, 5-year goals. They should because that’s their makeup that feels right and feels good to them which is awesome. For me, it doesn’t feel right. I think the world is changing so quickly and so fast that I don’t want to spend a lot of time, energy, and efforts to think about what may never come to be. So I like doing 100-day sprints. Right now, I’m on a 100-day sprint, and about 100 days, I’d be leaving for a 75-day European trip and I’ll be gone in Europe, traveling with kids to just enjoy Europe and a lot of be-away vacations will be doing some work from time to time, maybe an hour of work a day. But mostly a vacation during the 75-days, we do that every single year and I am going to spend the next 100 days preparing my business to do that. So by the time I leave, everything’s going to be ready to go. All of my interviews will be done for the rest of the year. Anything I need to do project-wise will be set and ready to go. And so 100-day sprints for me. So to be honest with you, that’s what next to me. Is to prepare these next 100 days for my trip to Europe and that’s where my personal focus is. And when I get back from my Europe trip, then I’d set the next 100 days will that looks like and then every single time something changes, maybe I get an opportunity that I’ve never had before or I have an idea for a project or a service or a product…That might become my new focus, I don’t know how long that’s going to take.

Jeremy: 15:41 | Right. Okay, so one more question. If someone is starting a side hustle if someone is just starting up, what would you share with them? Do you have any tips or anything extra to share with these people?

John Lee Dumas: 15:57 | This is even more important if you’re starting side hustle than if you’re starting an actual entrepreneurial adventure. If you’re starting at a side hustle, you need to get microniche, and I mean microniche. You don’t just need to do a podcast on yoga, like you need to do a podcast for vegan women who are pregnant. Like you need to get so microniche down to that topic. As your side hustle, you can dominate it, you need to find how many levels down you need to go to become the best in that specific level because if you’re right here and you’re going down a couple of levels and you’re like “Oh well there’s a really good momentum for a couple of years, you’re not deep enough, go deeper. Go deeper until you are the best in the show from almost day 1. You want your competition to be potentially there but very weak. That’s gonna allow you to gain initial traction and initial momentum for your side hustle to then say “Oh, this actually works. I can grow this a little bit.” and maybe at some point in the future you turn that side hustle into your full-time focus.

Jeremy: 17:12 | Right. So once they’ve made that shift, do you think it’s better to broaden up instead of staying in a microniche stage?

John Lee Dumas: 17:21 | Maybe. That’s the answer because something I’m used to staying at microniche because that microniche is exactly what you need to be to dominate and broadening out is just gonna water down your content and confuse your followers and those things. Or alternatively, it might be the right move to broaden out, and to do that, you’ll never know until you’re there. You just need to make sure that you’re keeping your finger on the pulse of your audience because they will guide you.

Jeremy: 17:52 | Right. Super actionable. So our 15 minutes is running out, before we end this episode, John. I have 1 last question, if you could start all over again, what would you differently?

John Lee Dumas 18:06 | If I could start all over again, I would microniche down, I would literally follow my own advice. I’ve launched too broad and too vague of a podcast. Luckily, it has succeeded at a super high level because there’s no competition back in 2012. Entrepreneurs on Fire as you know of today would fail. Because it’s too broad, too vague, there’s too much competition and it doesn’t stand out. I would go super specific, super niche, and super deep into that void which would solve 1 serious problem for once set of individuals and I would dominate it.

Jeremy: 18:40 | Right, so once again John, thank you so much for agreeing to come over to the HUSTLR podcast, man. I really appreciate it and I really do like this episode. It has a lot of fantastic actionable content and I think my audience would love it too.

John Lee Dumas: 18:55 | Thanks, Jeremy!

Jeremy: 18:56 | Bye, peace out! So, guys, that’s John Lee Dumas and I hope that you like this episode, definitely check out his podcast, he’s a seasoned professional, check it out on eofire.com and that’s e-o-f-i-r-e-.com. I hope that you enjoy this episode, although it’s a rather short one, it’s jammed packed with value, right? So if you like this podcast, definitely share it with a friend and someone that’s starting up their side hustle or podcast because it would help them a ton, right? So if you want to listen to more episodes like this, definitely hit the subscribe button. We are available on all major podcasting platforms!

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