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You’re listening to Biz Ninja Entrepreneur Radio. This show was created for entrepreneurs, business owners, marketers and dreamers who want to learn from the experts of today and drastically shortcut their own success to build a business that supports their dream lifestyle. Since 2011, Tyler Jorgensen has been interviewing business thought leaders from around the world a serial entrepreneur himself. Tyler also shares his personal insights into what’s working in business today. Welcome to biz ninja, entrepreneur radio.
Tyler Jorgenson 0:38
Welcome out to biz ninja entrepreneur radio I am deeply honored today to have what many consider would be the godfather of business podcasts and entrepreneurship podcast. So out on the show as a guest today John Lee Dumas the host of Entrepreneur on Fire the author of the common path to uncommon success contributor to Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine, and a prices right car winner probably the most important bullet point. Welcome to the show John Lee Dumas
John Lee Dumas 1:09
you’ve done your research Tyler I love it. That was definitely a fond memory, synching a putz on the prices, right? Especially after drew NIST his and then walking out of that studio with a car.
Tyler Jorgenson 1:25
That’s pretty awesome. I have followed your journey from your early days of just getting started. And so I’m so excited to talk to you about who you are and what you’re doing in the world of entrepreneurship. When was the moment that you realized like the first time you realize that you were an entrepreneur.
John Lee Dumas 1:40
It wasn’t till I was 32 years old. I mean, I don’t have those stories of like growing up and like, you know, ripping flowers out of one neighbor’s garden to sound the next neighbor. I mean, I was the kid that literally would mow one person’s lawn, get $20 for it and be like, I’m good. I can take my girlfriend out to a movie, I can buy a baseball pack of cards, like I’m good to go till the next payday comes next week. Like I was not an entrepreneur and I was looking at sports and fun and hanging out. And it wasn’t till I really kind of went through the wringer in my 20s of being an officer in the army for eight years trying law school, corporate finance, commercial real estate of saying, well, that’s not really for me. So what else could be for me, that’s when I was kind of exposed to the world of entrepreneurship literally by going to Amazon and typing in best entrepreneur books because I was just like, I seem to learn and like I remember, this big box of books shows up and I was like, thinking grow rich, and you know how to win friends and influence people. And like just all the classics, and I just read read read, I was like, this is pretty cool. Let’s go all in.
Tyler Jorgenson 2:47
I like that you got there through the process of elimination. And I don’t think you know my story. But the flower story is literally one of mine. And so
John Lee Dumas 2:56
that was I was actually making fun of Gary for that. Because
Tyler Jorgenson 2:59
that’s, yeah, that that was my, my vibe, my style for sure. A lot of people that will be listening may have heard they probably listen to your show. They’ve probably heard of you a little bit. They’ve heard you interview a ton of other people. But for you as an entrepreneur, what was the one? What was the one of the earliest, like, biggest mistakes that you faced? And how did you overcome
John Lee Dumas 3:19
it? I faced a really big mistake very early on that honestly, you know, almost sabotage my entire entrepreneurial journey. Because I went all in on podcasting. I was like, I’m launching the first daily podcast, interviewing entrepreneurs. This is back in 2012. And most people were just like, what’s a podcast? And I was just going all in on this. And I was just like, no side job, no side hustle like this was it. And I had to figure out a way to make money at some point. And I can just remember being like, well, this is the product that I think people need. It is kind of a complex product. I won’t go into super details. I’ve talked about it before. But I mean, it’s kind of detailed. And long story short, it just flopped, like nobody wanted it. Looking back, I know exactly what was wrong with the actual product and the presentation and all the all of the above and ended up being a blessing in disguise, because it would have taken me down a really difficult path had that product been successful because of what I was promising and what I was going to be delivering. So it really was a blessing in disguise. But I also learned a lot of the wrong ways to launch a product. And at that point, I was like, Well, if this doesn’t work, what will I probably need to go back and get a day job. So like, that was a pretty low moment. It was you know, in 2013. So like within a year of launching the podcast. And I can say that I was like, Well, I don’t know what’s next. But I’m just gonna keep getting up every day and interviewing an entrepreneur and hopefully something comes up.
Tyler Jorgenson 4:43
When you were just getting started. Was it hard to fill the pipeline with guests and get ahead of the production timeline?
John Lee Dumas 4:51
It was very difficult because I was only getting about 15 to 20% yeses. For every single big batch of requests that I would send out And then I did end up stumbling upon what ended up being a pretty ingenious idea if I must say so myself, which was I went to Google, and I typed in top entrepreneur conferences. And then all of a sudden, the top, you know, 1520 entrepreneur conferences from that year, the previous year, the next year all came up, I just went to the website, click the speakers tab, and saw, okay, there’s 10 speakers on this conference. There’s 20. On this one, there’s 150 on this 1x, y, and z. And I said, Well, if these people are willing to fly cross country, stay in a dingy hotel room for three nights and get up and speak in front of 45 to 200 people for 45 minutes. Like, what if I pitch them to say, Hey, I saw you spoke at this conference, instead of doing all that you did to do that? Why don’t you wake up tomorrow morning, brew yourself a cup of coffee from the comfort of your own home, stay in your bathroom, because by the way, my my shows audio only, I don’t even need to see your face. And we’ll talk about your area of expertise for 20 or 25 minutes, how does that sound and my yeses started going up exponentially. Also, you know, my quantity started going up because I was able to reach out to so many people because now I had so many basic targets that I could go ahead and reach out to. And that really got me over the tipping point of saying, Okay, now now I’m comfortable. Now I feel good. Now I really feel like there’s enough people in this world that are willing to be a guest on a podcast that can sustain just quantity wise, a daily podcast,
Tyler Jorgenson 6:30
I think it’s it’s fascinating, the idea of going to where the lists are already created and aggregated, right, that’s gonna massively increase your, the interest list rate, right? Who’s Who’s gonna respond in with a podcast, there’s really like three products, right? There’s the podcast that you’re you’re delivering, that you got to produce, there’s the guest that you have to get on. And then there’s the monetization of it, right, you have to grow your audience, you have to get guests, and you have to try to do make have that make money, what’s been the hardest piece,
John Lee Dumas 6:57
I say, the hardest piece of the monetization, definitely the hardest piece, and it’s definitely seem to be the hardest for individuals that have also gone down this path before, during after me as well, you know, through running podcasters paradise. You know, we’ve done this now for nine years. And we’ve seen, you know, 1000s and 1000s of people, you know, launch successful podcast, but one of their biggest struggles, again, is how do we monetize in a meaningful way? And so that is definitely, I think, the biggest struggle for a lot of people because there’s, you know, some inherent value of just saying, hey, my shows free, listen to it. Okay, that’s not that hard of a yes. There’s some inherent value of saying, Hey, I’ve got listeners, come talk about what you’re a genius in for 1015 2030 minutes, like, okay, I can do that. But then, you know, saying, Hey, I’ve created this thing. Give me your hard earned money, in exchange for this thing. That’s always going to be difficult. So monetizations is a challenge, no matter what platform you’re on, no matter what industry or sector you’re in.
Tyler Jorgenson 8:01
And are you still doing podcasters paradise that people want to learn how to do it?
John Lee Dumas 8:04
We do. We’ve been running this paradise now for nine years. podcasters paradise.com.
Tyler Jorgenson 8:11
Awesome. Tomorrow morning, you wake up, your podcast is gone, your social media is gone. Your your websites are down, and you’ve got to start over from scratch? Would you do everything the same? Or what would you do differently? Do I still have all my money that I currently have? Yeah, the bank, the bank still there. And you’re still got the nice house in Puerto Rico.
John Lee Dumas 8:29
Now, man, it’s it’s retirement Time Baby, I’m done. I’m sailing into the sunset. I’m not trying to recreate the wheel. I’m not trying to rebuild the empire of entrepreneurs on fire. I mean, right now, it’s an amazing cruise control. I mean, I work five days per month on the business and enjoy doing a by the way, because I get to speak and, you know, have a great conversation with amazing people. And it’s just a great system right now. But I’ve kicked back down here in Puerto Rico in trading my crypto and, you know, look at all my NF T’s that I have, and then say, you know, what, what’s next and if nothing comes up, then nothing comes up. But I would not jump back into the the podcasting space.
Tyler Jorgenson 9:09
I think that’s an amazing type of freedom to where you’re not, you don’t have to have panic over that. Right. You get to do this because you’re still enjoying it not because you have to. And I think that’s probably the goal of every lifestyle entrepreneur, maybe not every business owner, but every lifestyle entrepreneur, I think that’s the goal. Tell us about the common path to uncommon success.
John Lee Dumas 9:30
So the common path, the uncommon success is my first traditionally published book. I had just crossed 3000 interviews, and I said, You know what, I’ve learned so much from the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. I want to take that knowledge that I’ve learned that I’ve applied to my own business now for a decade and making it a multi million dollar a year business for, you know, nine years in a row now and help other people on their path. I want to kind of write the book that I wish existed when I first launched my business and didn’t have a clue what the next step would be. So I just took those 3000 plus interviews and the knowledge that I gained from that and created a 17 step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment. So if those two words are something that are interesting to you, check out the common path to uncommon success.
Tyler Jorgenson 10:23
Which of the 17 steps trips up the most people,
John Lee Dumas 10:26
I don’t want to see, stay Step number two, which is discovering your niche, because everybody can come up with a big idea, which is step number one, and then they usually just go all in on this big idea. And then they wonder why they get destroyed by competition, because it’s a big, vague, broad idea. And everybody’s had that idea. If you really are able to successfully discover the niche within your big idea that’s underserved, that’s ignored, there’s a void in that marketplace for any number of reasons, and dominate that niche within your big idea. That’s how you get the initial momentum and traction.
Tyler Jorgenson 10:59
It’s amazing how the, you have to have abundance mindset to really embrace the niche because it’s scary. It’s scary to say that certain people aren’t who aren’t your audience anymore, right? You, you have to trust that go niching down is actually gonna help you grow faster. But you’re right, I see that people struggle that in, in E commerce in whatever their business is, in picking a niche is super hard. I know you guys are really big on picking an avatar and an individual that you’re speaking to, is that part of that niche process?
John Lee Dumas 11:26
No, it’s actually a completely different chapter in 17 step process, because it needs its own full process, because it is such an important part of the journey. So it is part of the 17 steps, but it’s not the same step as the niche.
Tyler Jorgenson 11:42
Awesome. I was going to ask you about budgeting your day and your time, because but you basically already said, Hey, I work five days a month on this. Yeah,
John Lee Dumas 11:50
those five days though, I work harder than 99% of human beings, those five days. And then the other 2526 days a month, I’m working, not at all so less hard than any human being that’s doing anything productive
Tyler Jorgenson 12:04
in the world. It’s like the complete occom’s razor like you’re like, at 22 to a tee
John Lee Dumas 12:10
like, yeah, all in or I’m all out,
Tyler Jorgenson 12:13
which I think is the smartest way to work, right? Because the in between is what’s gonna kill people. And really what zaps energy
John Lee Dumas 12:19
waste, there’s so much just on productivity during, you know, just sitting down and saying, Okay, I’m going to be here for the next eight hours doing something
Tyler Jorgenson 12:29
with a debate that’s been happening over the last couple years of his work from home more or less productive, you know, and I’m like, well, it usually comes down to how well structured the person is. Because whether the remote or in person isn’t the real problem, right? It’s their organization, how well they’re being managed and led, and then their own desire and willingness to work like that. Yeah, what’s next for an Entrepreneur on Fire? Since it is still here, the websites still live, the podcast is still going. anything new coming down the pipe?
John Lee Dumas 12:59
A big fat question mark. And I like it that way. Like, I like having the freedom and the flexibility and the agility to jump on something when I feel like it’s the right move. And right now, that doesn’t exist for my business. So, you know, we are actually in have been for a couple years now cutting things out of our business that are just kind of not the highest ROI that are just kind of time sucks, bandwidth sucks. And just really holding to a razor’s edge, like keeping everything that’s our high profit or high, like real clear cuts, revenue generators, and then just getting rid of everything else. So we’re ready, if and when that next opportunity comes because we’re just, you know, entering this different world. And like I mentioned earlier, I mean, I’m big into crypto, I’m big into NF T’s like I believe that web three is the future. I believe Metaverse is going to be playing a huge role in our future, I believe, in NF T’s and smart contracts in the blockchain, I think there’s gonna be a lot of losers in that space. And there’s gonna be a lot of winners in that space. But I think there’s gonna be a lot of opportunities in that space. And it’s going to be exciting to see it unfold. I
Tyler Jorgenson 14:10
completely agree. It’s a it’s an exciting thing to see at the beginning of a massive transition. And shift.
John Lee Dumas 14:17
Yeah, it was interesting is like, you know, when the last big thing happens, was the internet’s like, have this level of this scale. And I was 14 years old. So like, I was not in a position to do anything. And I look back, I’m like, Oh, I just had like, 10 like, more years, like, I could have like been buying, like, you know, Red Sox.com and like, all the early things that like, you know, some smart people were doing back when people are like, what is this like, internet thing? And like now that I’m, you know, in my 40s, and, you know, financially rolling like, I’m just in a place where I can really take advantage of web three, and get a tray carefully because there’s a lot of ways to you know, get destroyed by web three to just like pets.com I mean, you know, you can talk about a lot of things in the internet space that was a complete disaster and flop, but it’s still an exciting time to be live.
Tyler Jorgenson 15:09
Completely agree. As a lifestyle based entrepreneur, I don’t think that this is gonna be a harder question for you. For some people, some of my entrepreneur guests, it completely throws them it’s our last question. What’s one item on your personal bucket list that you’re going to accomplish in the next 12 months?
John Lee Dumas 15:24
Going to Istanbul Turkey? Yeah, I’m going there in three weeks actually.
Tyler Jorgenson 15:31
I love that you know, the location it’s coming fast that shows that you’re, you’re in alignment with, with what?
John Lee Dumas 15:36
I’ve always loved history, like I read historical fiction non stop, like, right now I’m reading about gangs Khan’s entire life in a fiction format. But you know, pretty true, as much as they can gather from that. And so going to Istanbul, which is, you know, used to be called Constantinople, which used to be the center of the Ottoman Empire like me, like, that’s like living in the past, which I love doing. I love going back to the past. I mean, I love living in the present moment, because I wouldn’t want to go back to those days of, you know, no, toilets and showers and electricity and no internet, you know, God forbid, but I don’t want to go back there but I love you know, just exploring the cultures of old.
Tyler Jorgenson 16:21
Absolutely. I love I’m a huge fan of travel, especially to old cultures. I think it just, it helps us understand ourselves better. Well JLD John Lee Dumas super grateful for you thank you for setting an example in the in the publishing space and for being so consistent. Grateful for you coming out on the show. For all my business ninjas. Wherever you are listening, watching streaming, whatever it may be, it’s your turn to go out and do something.
Thank you for tuning in to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. What you didn’t hear was one more very important question that Tyler asks each guest if you want to be a fly on the wall when the real secrets are shared, go to biz ninja.com/vip and get your access today. Remember to subscribe so that you don’t miss any future episodes. And our one last favor. If this episode was meaningful to you, please share this podcast with a fellow entrepreneur so they can grow along with us. Biz ninjas, it’s your turn to go out and do something