The Jay Kim Show #27: John Lee Dumas (Transcript)
Jay Kim: Welcome to the Jay Kim show. This is your host Jay Kim. I am an investor, author and fitness entrepreneur. For the first time in Asia I sit down with the world’s most brilliant minds in business, investing and entrepreneurship. You’ll learn all the secrets, strategies and formulas to becoming a successful entrepreneur directly from the Masters. If this is your first time listening, thank you for stopping by. This podcast is produced every week with the goal of providing actionable insights to you the listener with every single episode. And now, on to the show.
Today’s guest is John Lee Dumas from the popular podcast, EntrepreneurOnFire. John has a very inspirational story. After college he served in the Army in Iraq. When he got back from his tour of duty he tried a number of things including working in finance, law school and even joining a tech startup, but nothing really worked. Finally, he moved to San Diego and started working as a real estate agent. It was then on his daily commute to work listening to the radio that he realized that there was no daily podcast on entrepreneurship. That’s where the idea was born to start his own podcast. In 2013 his show was named Best of iTunes. Now he generates more than seven figures in annual revenue. He’s one of the guys that inspired me to start my own podcast. You’re going to really enjoy today’s episode. Let’s jump right in.
John Lee Dumas: Jay, how are you doing today?
Jay Kim: I’m doing amazingly. How are you?
John Lee Dumas: In Maine the sun is shining and our birds are singing; life is good.
Jay Kim: So good to hear. So good to hear. Are you in Puerto Rico right now?
John Lee Dumas: I live in Puerto Rico full-time, but I’m currently in Maine and I am just enjoying that as well.
Jay Kim: Okay. Great. I know we have very limited time so let’s get started here.
John Lee Dumas: Sure.
Jay Kim: Okay. Let’s talk resources then. I want to start a podcast, first ever in Hong Kong, I hope that your fire [inaudible 00:02:14] spreads to Asia. What resources does John Lee Dumas have for people that want to start podcasting here?
John Lee Dumas: I can tell you straight up is that podcasting is a lot less daunting than you think it might be. It’s just not that tough of the thing to do. Like a lot of people let the tech side hold them back, and you don’t need it to. All you need is a computer, a microphone and recording and editing software. Everybody who is listening today, I’m sure you have some form of computer or laptop or tablet or something of the above. Go onto Amazon; snag a Logitech Clear Chat microphone. It’s 30 bucks. If you want to be a big spender get the ATR 2100. That’s actually what I’m talking into right now. That’s 80 bucks. Again on Amazon, and I’m pretty sure they’ll deliver to Hong Kong, no problem, or you can go to any audio store and I’m sure you can pick one up there as well.
Then you just need a recording or editing software. Something that’s going to actually record your voice. I recommend Adobe Audition. There’s also a couple of the great ones; Audacity and Garage Bands, and then you’re off to the races. For everything else that you need, I actually have a completely free podcasting course that I would definitely be happy to share with your listeners, Jay. If they head over to freepodcastcourse.com they can just go there, set up for our free podcasting course and they’ll be off to the races.
Jay Kim: freepodcastcourse.com; guys head over there and get started on your podcast right away. How do you go about coming up with contents? You are a machine. You podcast every single day. I don’t know how you keep up the energy and how you come up with content, how you come up with speakers. For someone just starting out how do they do that? What’s the best way to get started?
John Lee Dumas: For me is all about batching. I don’t do a podcast every single day. I release a podcast every single day, so a podcast is going live every Monday through Monday, 30 days a month, 365 days a year, but I’m only recording episodes a couple days a month. In those couple days a month I am doing 30 episodes, so that I’m scheduling them to be released. Like I was telling you earlier, you’re actually my sixth call today. I also batch my interviews in other shows. I just make sure that I have them go back to back, so I can just wake up in the morning and say, “You know what, I’m crushing interviews on other shows today.” That’s what I do.
Having a batching process where you’re actually going and just doing multiples, and for me again, it will be 15 in one day, that’s so beneficial on so many levels, because then you can use the other time that you have, the rest of the month, the rest of the day, the rest of the week to work on other things. So it’s very critical that you are utilizing your time in the most effective manner possible. Again, for me, that’s batching.
Jay Kim: Yeah, that makes absolute sense. You’re focused, you get them all done, and you can move on and you don’t have to be chained to a daily schedule.
John Lee Dumas: That’s right.
Jay Kim: Okay, if you’re just starting out … You are obviously … People are probably knocking on your door to be on your show, because you’re so successful, but let’s say you’re just starting out and you’ve picked a small niche that you’re trying a podcast on, how do you start growing that subscriber base? How do you start building that audience?
John Lee Dumas: A lot of people make the mistake of launching a podcast and kind of having that mentality of the Field of Dreams. If anybody knows that movie by Kevin Costner where they say, “If you build it, they will come.” The reality is this; podcasting is amazing for a number of reasons. It allows you to put your show on massive platforms like iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Pandora, Google Play. That’s huge, that’s amazing, but you can’t just rely on people finding your show through these huge mediums because there’s a lot of shows to be found.
You need to know inside and out, who is my perfect listener? Who is that one perfect listener for my podcast? Once you know who that perfect listener is and you know that person inside and out, then you go out into the world and you find those people. Where are they hanging out? They’re in Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups; they’re going to meet ups in your local area. Go find those people who are perfect listeners for your podcast. Don’t just walk up to them and shake their hand, or get on a Facebook group, and just spam your link right away, build relationships with that person in that group, in that community, add value, add guidance, ask a question, answer a question. Be a person of value for a significant amount of time.
I like to say between 30 to 45 days just be a person of value in those communities, and then down the road when it makes sense say, “Oh Jay, that’s actually a great question. I just answered that on episode 12 in my podcast. Here’s the link if you want to check it out.” Now you’ve been a person of value for a long time, so not just Jay, but everybody else that has the same questions in that community is going to want to know little bit more about that. They’ll be like, “Oh, I think John’s a great guy. I want to go check out his podcast and see what’s going on there,” because I wasn’t just that person that came in and went, “Blah, listen to my podcast.” Do things right, build relationships, go to where your perfect listeners are and create value there.
Jay Kim: Yeah, I think that’s absolutely right. This whole concept of paying it forward and just serving, serving, serving first, I think so many young entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs get too impatient. They’re going after the money, the quick wins, and they don’t think about long-term greedy versus short-term greedy.
On that note, what elements of your podcast have your audience said they’ve enjoyed the most? Given you feedback … I love your fire rounds when I listen. I love the last three to five minutes. Those are really actionable too, and I just love that part. What if some of your audience decided that is your best part of your podcast?
John Lee Dumas: Well thank you for the feedback. I’m really glad, because I really have worked hard on that lightning round to make sure that those six questions are all very actionable, very helpful.
Jay Kim: That’s right lightening round.
John Lee Dumas: Well I do have a fire round too, Jay, so you’re right on that as well. You do listen, I like it. If I just say number one piece of feedback that I get is they say, “John, thank you for asking the tough questions.” Like, “Thank you for just starting the show off by making your guest, who’s a successful, prideful, proud entrepreneur, share their worst entrepreneurial moments.” Like, “Thank you for doing that.” My listeners love that, because a lot of my listeners haven’t yet started their entrepreneur journey yet, or at just at the beginning stages, and they think, “Hey, those successful people have always been successful,” but by me having my guests, who are successful entrepreneurs, share the times that they struggle, they face obstacles and challenges, that is just so beneficial, so then they can say, “Wow, that person, who I admire so much, once had the same issues, problems and questions that I’m currently having right now. That is so helpful.”
That has been a huge pro in what I’ve grown. That’s probably been the biggest piece feedback is, “John, thank you for just making successful entrepreneurs human beings because they are.”
Jay Kim: You know I love that, because you’re so right. A lot of times when I hear you asking some of the questions I’m like, “Wow, only John could ask that type of question. I would never be able to.” It really does, it just brings them down to this level. We had Chris Brogan on just last week, and he’s so great. He’s really open with … He had this big stumbling block one time where one of his worst entrepreneur moments. I think that just adds so much to a podcast when the guest just opens up down to that level.
On the flip side of that, have you ever had really difficult podcast guests where they’re just one sentence answers, or one word answers and you dying to try to keep the conversation going?
John Lee Dumas: Yeah, there’s definitely been times like that. A quick example kind of going off the same vibe that we were just talking about is, I was interviewing a guy and he said, “John, I’ve never had a bad moment in my entrepreneurial journey.” I just straight up said, “You’re lying, because everybody has. It’s called the entrepreneur journey, and you can’t be on this journey without having a difficult moment.” I said, “Listen, I’m not asking for just this disaster, I want your worst moments.” I’m like, “Have you had a best moment?” He’s like, “Oh yeah.” I’m like, “Well if you had a best moment, you’ve also had a worse moment, because you can’t have a best moment without worse moment. Again, it doesn’t have to be a huge disaster. Just take me to the worst. Just like if you’ve felt the hottest water in the world, you’ve also felt the coldest water you’ve ever felt. It might not be that cold, but you felt the coldest, and that’s what I’m asking for right now.” He was just like, “No, I just can’t do it. I don’t have a worse moment.” I said, “Well, you’re not going to provide any value to my audience by having that attitude, so we’re going to have to stop the interview now.” We just stopped the interview and he went on his merry way.
Jay Kim: Wow. That’s a great story.
John Lee Dumas: Yes.
Jay Kim: That’s a great story. Thank you for sharing that.
Let’s move quickly on to … We’ve talked about how you batch process, and that’s something that has really kept you going and optimize your workflow. What other habits and rituals do you have? You have probably one of the busiest schedules out there as an entrepreneur. Are there things that you do on a daily, weekly basis that just keep you in check?
John Lee Dumas: Yeah, I’m going to push back a little bit on your comments. I actually don’t have one of the busiest schedules out there. I actually don’t even like the word “busy,” because I feel like busy is just like a crutch that so many people use. Like, “I’m so busy. I’m so busy. I barely have time to breathe.” I’m like, “Really? Like you’re so busy.” I’m like, “How busy are you? What are you busy doing exactly?” I’m like, “Because listen, I made a couple hundred thousand dollars last month, and I don’t feel I was super busy last month, so are you really spending your time in the best possible way? If you are so busy, yet again, I’m making a couple hundred thousand dollars a month and you’re making a couple thousand dollars a month, maybe what you need to do is step back and really question where you’re “busy” and saying where are you just not being effective with the time that you’re spending?”
I want to just be honest here. We all start having to build the foundation. My first year in the business I made $26,000 in the entire year, and most of that came at the end of the year. It’s not snapping of the fingers and all of a sudden you’re generating a seven figure a year business. It’s definitely building of a process, but stop using that crutch of like, “I’m so busy that I can’t” … Really make sure you’re doing the right things every day, not just doing things to do them. I think that’s a really important distinction.
Jay Kim: I love that mindset.
John Lee Dumas: Yeah thank you. For me, it’s going back to that theme that we’ve been talking about a little bit, which is batching. I make sure that, hey, when I’m busy, I am busy. Right now I have 15 interviews today. You are number six of 15, Jay. I’m doing 15 interviews on other shows today. But I guess what; this is the only day of the entire month that I’m doing any interviews on any other shows. This is the one day. I’m looking at my schedule tomorrow, Saturday, Sunday, Monday; I literally have nothing on my schedule for the next six days. Nothing. Why? Because I batch. I do the things that I need to do all at the same time, where I can take a step back and I can just do other things. Like maybe tomorrow I’ll write an email, or maybe I’ll do a snap chat, or maybe I’ll do this, this or that. But again, it’s on my schedule and on my focus.
Just really know what plan you want to execute as an entrepreneur, create the plan and then execute it and make sure that the distractions, the Facebook newsfeeds, and the YouTube waterfall of videos, those need to wait. You need to treat yourself to those things when the time is right, but only after you’ve committed to finishing the plan that you set up for yourself.
Jay Kim: That’s great advice, John. Yeah, so often with the flood of social media and just content out there you often you just become so scatterbrained, and you just sometimes really have to just focus and knock one thing off before you move on to the next.
John Lee Dumas: Yeah.
Jay Kim: John, have you ever been out to Asia?
John Lee Dumas: I have been out to the Philippines twice. Does that count?
Jay Kim: It does, absolutely. The Philippines is only an hour away. I actually got married in one of the islands off the Philippines.
John Lee Dumas: Very cool. I’m actually going to Thailand for two weeks in March.
Jay Kim: Amazing, amazing. That’s going to be really good. What part, [inaudible 00:14:51]?
John Lee Dumas: We’re definitely going through there quickly. We’re actually traveling with a great couple, Jill and Josh Stanton. They have a business called Screw the 9-to-5.
Jay Kim: Nice.
John Lee Dumas: Yeah. It’s a great business, and they’re great people. They used to live in Asia in a few different places. So they’re actually going to be like our “tour guides.” We’re doing quite a lot traveling throughout. Not just Thailand but some other of the neighboring countries as well.
Jay Kim: You should come through Hong Kong, man. Open invitation. You’re welcome here anytime.
John Lee Dumas: I think of Hong Kong, Jay. Actually I should’ve mentioned this. Last year when I went to the Philippines for the second time to speak at Tropical Think Tank, which is Chris [Dugger’s 00:15:27] event-
Jay Kim: Yup, yup. He’s going to be on this show too.
John Lee Dumas: Oh cool. He’s a good guy.
Jay Kim: Great, yeah.
John Lee Dumas: Tell him I said it’s overdue for us to drink a scotch together. Myself and Kate are really good friends with him and his wife [inaudible 00:15:39]. We went to Hong Kong for four days together.
Jay Kim: Amazing, amazing.
John Lee Dumas: We loved it.
Jay Kim: Yeah. John, I know we’re short on time here. I really appreciate you being able to hop on and fit me into your batch today. I just want to ask you one final piece of advice that you can leave our young aspiring Asian entrepreneurs, whether they’re starting out their own podcast, whether they’re starting on a blog, whether they’re doing their side hustle, what is the one piece advice that you would like to part with them as being who you are?
John Lee Dumas: The mistake that I made for the first 32 years in my life was that I was chasing success. I was chasing money. I was chasing what I thought was respect in this world. I know that’s a big word in the Asian culture as well is respect; we want to require respect from our peers, from our family, from our friends. That’s big in the United States as well. I was chasing those things, but it wasn’t until I read this quote by Albert Einstein the things really shifted for me and that quote is, “Try not to become a person of success, but rather become a person of value.”
When I read that quote at 32 years old it wasn’t the first time that I seen it, but it was the first time that it resonated with me. I said, “Man, I haven’t been adding value to this world.” Nothing against stockbrokers and all those things, but it’s like if you’re a stockbroker and you look at … What value are you really adding this world. You’re just buying and selling things in a split second. You’re not. You’re just doing this transaction and it’s meaningless.
Jay Kim: I used to be a stock broker, so I know 100% that you add zero value.
John Lee Dumas: Me too. I used to be in corporate finance. I wasn’t specifically a stock trader, but I know that world and I was the same way. I wasn’t adding any value. It was a sad existence and it wasn’t really a successful existence for me either. But when I flipped it on its head and said, “Hey, how can I really add value?” Like what you’re now doing Jay with this show. This is adding value to a region of this world that needs this type of audio and this type of conversation to be out there.
When I flipped it on its head and started to deliver free valuable and consistent content through my podcast, EO Fire, then yeah, I didn’t have success right away, but success followed. That was where the real meaningful success came. We’re now generating multiple millions of dollars a year in revenue on a business that’s adding massive value. Again, it doesn’t come overnight, but it’s much more meaningful when it does come.
Jay Kim: I think when people finally figure that out, it’s like that saying … I don’t know who said it … Someone famous said it, “If you want to become a billionaire, you help a billion people.” It’s just that. Once you figure that out then everything kind of starts to sync up together. You have to be patient. That’s very important to be patient. If you keep going after it and paying it forward and just serving your audience, serving other people, I think it will all come back to you. That’s what I think.
John Lee Dumas: You can’t help a billion people day one. You can help one person today, and then let that grow into two, into four, and then just let that extrapolate out to where now last month EO Fire had over two million listens of our podcast. That is how you grow.
Jay Kim: Unbelievable. John, thank you so much. The best place to find you obviously eofire.com. Are there any other places or resources that would be very helpful for my audience out here that you want to mention?
John Lee Dumas: Absolutely. I will say that the number one take away that I’ve found through doing EO Fire is that my successful guests know how to set and accomplish goals. I spent all of 2015 researching, creating, perfecting the Freedom Journal, which is accomplish your number one goal in 100 days. We launched it in early 2016. It quickly became the sixth most funded publishing campaign of all time on Kick Starter, over $453,000 in just 33 days. We’ve gone on to sell over 14,000 copies to date, which I’m really proud of. It’s just changing lives. If you want to knock over that big domino in your life, visit the freedomjournal.com.
Jay Kim: That’s unbelievable. Can you give us a sneak peak on what exactly is inside the Freedom Journal?
John Lee Dumas: One thing I’ll tell you that you start off with is for the first time in your life you’ll set a smart goal, which is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound. Now you’ll have a goal that has all five of those necessary attributes for you to accomplish a meaningful goal.
Jay Kim: Amazing, amazing. Guys head on over to eofire.com, get that Freedom Journal, get your journey started today. Thank you so much John. I really, really appreciate having you on the call. I hope the next time that you come through Hong Kong that you’re going to stop by, give me shout; we’ll go have a scotch as well. I’ll tell you about all the podcasts that have popped up that have been inspired by you after we’ve had our call.
John Lee Dumas: Count on it brother.
Jay Kim: All right. Thanks a lot. Take care.
John Lee Dumas: Peace.
Jay Kim: I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. All the show notes and links can be found over at jaykimshow.com. Come back often and make sure you subscribe, rate and review. Don’t forget to join us next week for another exciting episode of the Jay Kim Show. I’d love to hear your comments. You can find me on twitter at Jay Kimmer, J-A-Y K-I-M-M-E-R. See you guys next week.
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