Episode 21: 185K per month from a Podcast

rsz_john_studio_400x400In this episode Brett interviews 7 day a week podcaster John Lee Dumas.
John is a leader in his field with his popular podcast Entrepreneur on Fire reaching over 450,000 unique downloads a month.
Last month his business grossed $185k.
Find out how he does it here…



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Episode 21: John Lee Dumas talks Podcasts

Transcript of EPISODE 21:

Hello and welcome to the fifth official podcast – the number one podcast for fitness professionals looking to build their fitness business. If you’re after more clients, more income and more free time then you’ve come to the right place.

Visit: podcast.fitprofessional.com.au today

Hello, Brett Campbell here, now before we get into this amazing episode that we have in stall for you I just want to make you aware that the fitness business blueprint is going to be coming to a town near you. So if you’re in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne then head over to fiitacademy.com.au/events.

Now this one-day business building intensive is especially for the person who wants to run a super successful six-figure group fitness business. Now we are going to be pulling apart the fit international business model showing you exactly what it takes to run a successful business. Not only that, we are going to be talking about the most up-to-date and most relevant marketing strategies to help fill your boot camps. So go over to fiitacademy.com.au/events.

Now let’s transition into today’s interview.

Brett: Hello fit professionals I am your host, Brett Campbell, and today I am back with a super exciting interview for you. This particular man has actually been that long in the making, this man’s schedules booked out months in advance, so it is now 5am, for me sitting here in front of my computer, on a Sunday morning as I record this. But you know sometimes in life you have to do these things and then take those chances when they are available. This particular gentleman’s name is John Lee Dumas. He is the founder and host of Entrepreneur on Fire, a top ranked business podcast that interviews today’s most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs seven days a week. John has been featured in both Time and Ink magazine and is the founder of Podcaster’s Paradise, a community where podcasters can create, grow and monetise their podcasts. Entrepreneur on Fire generates over 450,000 unique downloads a month, he has had past guests such as Seth Cohen, Tim Ferris, Gary Bailechuck and yours truly. There’s a recap of over 500 episodes, I believe he is at the 538 episodes as of today, and you can find out more about that at eofire.com. But John, I’ve got you for a few moments here today so we’re going to extract as much as we can from that brain of yours. How’re you going? Welcome to the show, John.

John: No Brett, thank you for having me and I don’t want you to try and get pity from me waking up at 5am this morning – I’m up at 5am every day my friend. Why? Because we as entrepreneurs get more stuff done before 9am than the rest of the world does all day!

Brett: I hear you, buddy, I hear you. I’ll preface it with it’s Sunday.

John: It’s Saturday for me.

Brett: Nice, excellent. And it was my birthday yesterday – so it was a tough one!

John: Ah, so you win!

Brett: I’ve got the pity streak out now. Alright, for the people who don’t care about what time it is for me or what’s going on right now because it could be lunchtime for you and you could be on the treadmill. John I want to talk to you, you run one of the most successful podcasts out there, like I’ve said, just mentioned you’ve had 538 episodes. Give us a little bit of background about yourself. I know I’ve talked a little bit there about some amazing stats but give us a little bit of background so our audience can get to know who John Lee Dumas is.

John: Sure, well, Brett thanks for the opportunity and I am just a country boy from the state of Maine, that’s a state a couple of hours north of Boston here on the east coast of the US. I went to college on an army RTTC scholarship so post college I spent four years as an active duty officer with 13 months of a tour of duty in Iraq. After my army experience, Brett, I tried my hand at a bunch of different fields. I tried law school, hated it, dropped out. I tried corporate finance, liked it for a hot minute and then quit. I tried commercial real estate, residential real estate, neither one really jived with me but, you know, I spent a lot of time, in the car with both of those professions and I hated the radio and talk radio was so boring with so many commercials. I fell in love with podcasts and I started listening to podcasts at every opportunity, just like your listeners are right now. My problem was that I ran out of podcasts. There were only podcast hosts submitting a show once a week and that just wasn’t enough foe me so I said ‘where’s that podcaster that’s doing a show seven days a week with a fresh episode waiting for me every single day?’ and I decided to be that change Brett, that I wanted to see in the world so I created Entrepreneur on Fire. You know, that was 538 days ago which is pretty easy to pinpoint because that’s an episode a day and ever since then, Brett, we have just been releasing an episode with inspiring entrepreneurs, like you’ve mentioned, and sharing their journey and here we are, you know, in 2014 still having a blast.

Brett: Excellent! And there’s just something there I really want to speak to, something you said and I hope all listeners could pick it up. You said ‘be the change you want to see in this world’. Now, that is so important on so many levels because what we can find is we can get stuck in our own ‘ah, why isn’t this great, why isn’t this happening for me’ and you just got off your ass John and, pardon the entrepreneurial fire pun, you ignited the fire mate and you got that party started. Tell me this, 538 episodes, how do you do it, like come on, like 538 episodes, I don’t know anyone who could 538 days consecutively ensure that there is a podcast up there. I mentioned, if there was not to be an episode turn up tomorrow for some reason or another there would be a meltdown with hundreds and thousands of listeners

John: People would freak out, Brett. So I do have a secret. Do I have to share it?

Brett: I’d love you to share it.

John: Ok, I’m going to share it. So, every single Monday, Brett, I do eight interviews for Entrepreneur on Fire. I call it the batching method. There is a great law, it’s called the Parkinson’s Law, that tasks will expand into the time that you allot them. So everybody that told me and said that doing an episode seven days a week couldn’t be done didn’t really understand or appreciate this law but I knew from my time in the military that if I scheduled eight interviews in one day on the hour every hour it would be long day, it would be exhausting and very trying, because I try to bring a lot of enthusiasm to each interview, Brett, but guess what, at the end of that day I would have finished eight interviews. It’s pretty magical how that happens. So, I since, basically week three or four because it took me a little while to figure it out just the perfect formula for it but I have been doing eight interviews every single Monday. Again, Brett, they’re very long days but I wake up Tuesday morning and the week is my oyster and it allows me to focus on other aspects of my business, the marketing, the monetisation, the growth, etc. that allows Entrepreneur on Fire to be not just a successful podcast but a viable business that brings in over six figures of income every single month. So, you know, it’s not easy and it took a lot of planning and it took a lot of discipline but again I run a seven-day a week podcast one day a week.

Brett: Mmm, I love that. I love the batching, the batching method. And what can happen, again, is many people, funnily enough when I first stumbled across your podcast I was like ‘jeez he must’, my initial thought was, and what most people I believe would think, ‘gee, yes, he must interview someone everyday.’ Of course the batching method is perfect. So at the end of the day you’re an entrepreneur and you wan to go on holidays, you’ve got to go away to places, go to events and if you have to be on a phone call every single day to then get it recorded, uploaded to your website it’s a long way around, isn’t it.

John: So true.

Brett: So over 538 podcasts, John, there must have been some big lessons you’ve learnt along the way. So what’s one of the biggest lessons that you’d be able to share with our listeners today?

John: Wow, so Brett, there are countless, countless lessons and there are themes that develop within Entrepreneur on Fire that seem to come up time and time again and one of the most powerful ones, that I would like to share today with your listeners, is listen to your intuition. Follow your gut, because Brett at Entrepreneur on Fire we start every episode off with a failure. I make my guest tell Entrepreneur on Fire listeners a story of a time that they failed and then I follow that up with them telling a story of a time that they had an ‘a-ha moment’ when they had a great idea that turned into a success. Brett, so often those failure stories come from entrepreneurs not following their intuition, not following their gut instincts. And it’s so many times those successes and those ‘a-ha moments’ and those ‘light bulb moments’ happen when the entrepreneurs follow their intuition and follow their gut. So, it goes way back to the beginning of time, Brett, we have this innate sense of a survivalist instinct, it’s very powerful, it’s subconscious on a lot of levels but believe me you’re intuition, your gut, is always trying to steer you in the right direction. It might not always, it’s not 100%, but it is honestly trying to, it has your best intentions at its core, your own intuition. So follow it.

Brett: Mmm, very good point you make there and what can happen and I put my hand up to this to testify as well I feel being an entrepreneur I definitely have a very strong intuition and, you know, at times what can happen is I can almost see myself wanting to roadblock myself because I don’t know if I should do that, I don’t feel right about it, it’s almost as entrepreneurs we have a six sense isn’t it, you know, and it’s many a time if you just look back at the track record, an this is for everyone whose listening now, look back at times when you’ve made decisions based off your intuition versus just looking at the pure logic of it and actually see what your results are like. Definitely agree with that one mate, excellent! So in regards to, we’re going to keep the theme here and by the end of this episode 538’s going to be the magical number for everyone. Over 538 episodes, now you, like you said, you start off your podcasts, I know, with a success quote. Now a success quote you must have heard thousands of them by now but I know you definitely have 538 good ones so share with me what’s your favourite success quote and why.

John: Ahh – I have so many success quotes that I’ve heard and I’ve loved throughout the eighteen plus months of interviewing successful entrepreneurs with their favourites but one that I love, Brett, because I feel that it is so powerful for entrepreneurs, for small business owners, and I’ve personally applied it to Entrepreneurs on Fire’s mentality as how we run our business so I know that it is a great success quote to follow and it’s by Albert Einstein: ‘Try not to become a man of success but rather become a man of value’. That quote to me, Brett, is so powerful because so many people look at life, at business, as a sprint where they’re trying to sprint after the money, passions be damned, like let’s go after the money, let’s sprint, let’s do this, let’s do that, let’s try to get to that end goal as soon as possible. And you see those people time and time again and have been in this camp, I’ve sprinted myself. Fail. They’re not passionate about it, they don’t have excitement, it’s not genuine and it’s transparent that they’re just going after that one thing. Then you have the people who look at life like it’s a marathon, something that they’re looking at for the long haul, that are passionate about what they are doing and truly want to make a valuable impact in this world and those are the people I find that really have that attitude of giving back value first not going after success but being a person of value and then a funny thing is both success and money follow. I mean Entrepreneur on Fire for the first nine months didn’t generate a single cent, in fact we were well in the red because I was investing in equipment and mentors and masterminds and courses. But by month nine we turned a corner and we had our first successful month because we had provided so much value that now the success started to come and when it came, Brett, it started coming in droves to were now we publish a monthly income report, and just last month Entrepreneur on Fire grossed $185,000 in the month of March, netting $155,000, and that all came from, first and foremost, proving value.

Brett: Couldn’t agree with you more there and something that I did want to ask you on that is when you first started the podcast, right now, lets take yourself back eighteen months ago and I’m sure you’re a big believer in ‘begin with the end in mind’.

John: Yeah, sure!

Brett: So, what was going through John Lee Dumas’s head when he was like I want to create a podcast and then in eighteen months we’re going to gross $185,000, I’m sure that probably wasn’t going through your head, so what was your game plan back, in the almost seems like yesteryear, when you started this successful podcast?

John: I mean it really was just that mentality, Brett, I was tired of doing things I wasn’t passionate about, that didn’t light my fire, and I just wanted to, for once in my life, try to do something that I was excited about that I could see myself doing happily three, four, five years in the future – and that was Entrepreneur on Fire. That was interviewing entrepreneurs, sharing their journey, their failures, their lessons learned, the steps they took to turn those moments into success, what they were successful at right now. Those were the conversations I wanted to have. Those are the conversations I wanted to share with the world to inspire millions to take their leap. That was my first and foremost focus. That was my end goal and I still work at that every single day.

Brett: So, let’s move onto advice. Now there’s always, there’s no shortage of advice these days. You know, a lot of people always happy to give you their thoughts but what’s the best advice, best business advice, that you have ever been given and how have you implemented that into the success of Entrepreneur on Fire?

John: You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. This is from Jim Rone. It is amazing advice that I have applied to my life, Brett. So I have joined a mastermind, I have a mentor, you know, I make sure I surround myself with successful and inspiring awesome people who think positively, who have a great outlook on life. I don’t surround myself with ‘Debbie-downers’ or Dawn-do-nothings’, like I just don’t let them into my life because they don’t add anything to me. They can go off and they can be downers somewhere else, but not on my turf, not on my circle of influence, not in my friends. And so who are you surrounding yourself with, that’s who the listeners should be asking themselves right now. Who are you spending the most time with right now? What would happen if you took the two or three people that you’re averaging out with right now who you know are dragging down your average and if you usher them out the back door and brought in the front door two or three unbelievably inspiring passionate people to add to your life, what would that do?

Brett: I love how you put it. You can usher them out the back door, so elegant. But on the flipside, John, just as important as the question who are you hanging around with you could even ask yourself who do I need to stop hanging around with.

John: Usher them out the back door!

Brett: Yea! Just usher them out the backdoor quickly or just make sure if you have stairs just make sure you don’t usher them down too fast! And again, I couldn’t agree more there because we’re always, I’m really big on who you hang around with and in all areas of life as well. You know, it’s always good to keep a balance and I have this conversation quite frequently in regards to ‘yes, I want to be successful in business and in life and so forth’ and it doesn’t necessarily mean that every person I hang around with needs to be a successful business person, so I’ve got a really good friend of mine, that you know, we’ve grown up together and he brings another part to my life that, you know, we’re not going to sit down and we’re not going to talk about deep business or marketing or those types of topics because it’s just not his area of , he just doesn’t care about it to be honest, we’re better, we’ll sit down and we’ll talk about life, we’ll talk about other things and it’s about I guess if we, I guest, pull it all together it’s about balance. So, talk to me about your balance, John, so, what do you do, what are some of your, I guess if we want to use the secret strategies, in you life to keep you balanced to keep you sane and to keep you working at your optimum, what do you do?

John: Well, you know, this is one area that I am not going to be a huge help on because I am still battling without myself. I mean, Balance is always something I strive for but when you truly do love, and have a passion, for what you are doing day-to-day sometimes it’s hard to turn it off. I mean, here we are, Brett, you know, it’s Saturday and I have eight of these interviews scheduled, I’m giving my Saturday to these interviews, I’m so happy to do it because I enjoy it, I’m looking at the beach right now it’s right outside my window, I don’t want to be laying on the beach right now getting a suntan, reading a book. I’d rather be here talking with you. But you know at the same time, you know, it’s not shutting off, it’s still working and business and their needs to be some kind of balance. So, you know, it’s a great point, it’s a great struggle that all entrepreneurs who have really found their niche do struggle with, it’s a good problem to have because at least it means you’re passionate and you like what you’re doing. I can’t, you know I’ve never, in the last, ever since I started Entrepreneur on Fire I’ve never looked at the clock and said ‘Oh my God, it’s only 2pm, I can’t wait ‘till it’s 5’, I’m always ‘how the heck is it already 2pm, I can’t believe I only have so many more hours I can work today before I got to shut it down, like this is crazy’. And then head back down working away. So, you know, I exercise every day. I make sure I get out on these nice runs along the beautiful beach here in San Diego, listening to podcasts, listening to audiobooks, you know, still consuming audio while taking that break and getting some fresh air. But, you know, it’s an uneven science and I do always really share the importance of trying to find that balance but it’s one thing I still am struggling with.

Brett: You talk, you make a very good point there in regards to maybe what we need to do is redefine the word of what balance means because, like myself, and you there saying you can see the beach through your window and you know whilst most peoples idea about balance is to go down and read a book and sit on the beach you’re actually more passionate right now about doing what you’re doing. I think balance, If we were trying to look at redefine that, we could look at it as long as you’re searching or understanding where you’re spending your time and energy then I think that’s starting to create balance in itself because you’re keeping a balanced mind and there’s nothing worse than the person who’s doing a seventy hour work week and, you know, they’re doing it not out of passion they’re doing it out of need, so, definitely love that. So John, let’s talk a little about podcasting here, seeing you’re the expert in this industry. Now, most people probably get a few light bulbs going off when you said ‘Entrepreneur on Fire grosses a $185,000 last month’ through a 30 minute podcast each day tell us a little about that and what’s, what advice would you have for anyone out there thinking of trying to create a podcast and trying to monetise it?

John: Sure, so it’s really a simple process to talk about. It’s a much more difficult process to implement. What’s really powerful about podcasting, Brett, you know, and really online entrepreneurship in general, is the ability it gives you to build an audience. So, Entrepreneur on Fire, the podcast, has allowed me to build an audience and that audience then tells me, Brett, what they need. My audience told me: ‘John, we want to learn how to podcast, we want to learn how to get guests for a podcast we want to learn how to rank well on iTunes, we want know all these different things.’ And I was like ‘Oh, I guess I should create a course on podcasting!’ so, usher in Podcasters Paradise, which is the number one ranked community in the world now on how to create, grow and monetise your podcast. We have over 800 members. We have over 140 video tutorials on every part of that process, creating, growing and monetising. We have a Facebook group. We do monthly Q&A sessions via webinars. It’s an unbelievable community but, Brett, I had no idea I was going to create that, my audience told me they wanted me to create that. I did and now since October of 2013 we’ve done over $500,000 in sales for Podcaster’s Paradise and where did 86% of those sales come from – online webinars – because every single week, Brett, I do live webinars about podcasting. We call it the Podcaster’s Workshop, where I just deliver pure value for 45 minutes on the world of podcasting. Then I do a deep-dive and do Podcaster’s Paradise and I pull back the curtains and show people everything about Podcaster’s Paradise and people love that event, they love knowing what they’re going to get before they buy because it’s not cheap, Brett, it’s a $1200 investment to join Podcaster’s Paradise. But we do bring in people every single week on that live webinar, typically to the tune of between $20,000 to $30,000 every single webinar. People started asking us: ‘John, how do you do these webinars? How are you creating, presenting and converting your webinar?’ and another light bulb went off and we just launched Webinar on Fire, which is exactly that – how to create and do a webinar and now that’s another product that’s bringing in legitimate income on a monthly basis for us. So, the real defining factor, Brett, is building your audience. To me, there is no better way to build an audience, no better medium to do so than a podcast. We’ve done it with Entrepreneur on Fire. We’ve listened to that podcast, created products and services that answer I audiences needs when they tell us what they are struggling with, what their pain points are and then we create a product or service that answers those problems and solves those pain points. You have a money maker on your hands so anybody listening right now that has a niche, that has a passion, can create a podcast around that, or can create a blog around that or create a video series on YouTube around that, build an audience and then answer that audience’s needs.

Brett: Fantastic. And, I guess it’s one of those things, I always, and am a big fan of dissecting and looking at different business models and marketing funnels. I like to go deep on that kind if stuff. I look at, for our business for example, we talk about lead generation being very important because without having leads you cant offer anything to them but more importantly you can’t get feedback from them. So, we’ve been able to generate over, in the last three years, over 330,000 leads into our email lists, which now makes it very, very, easy whenever there is a new product or something that we want it bring out or we want to ask our clients or prospects emails questions about what they would like to see and that’s exactly what you’ve done there, John, and I guess it was, you know, if we look at your model its you bringing people in on a free podcast. So, people get free amazing information every single day and then now you’re just being the vehicle to be able to help them do that so that’s fantastic.

John: Thanks.

Brett: Now, when you first started Entrepreneur on Fire, now, what was your thought process, did you think in your head, okay, we’re going to have coaching programmes, we’ll do this, we’ll do that, or did you just think you’d be pumping out a podcast each day?

John: I truly had no idea how I was going to monetise the products of services I was going to create. You know, we’ve also launched Fire Nation Elite, which is a 100 person paid membership mastermind that generates over $15,000 a month with its 100 paid members. I had no idea that these things were going to exist before I launched. I just have the sole focus of providing value, growing an audience, and then serving that audience.

Brett: Great. So what’s next for Entrepreneur on Fire now you’ve got Podcaster’s Paradise, Webinar on Fire, these are products, I’ve been watching your journey along the way as well, I must say, a very, it’s excellent to see someone like yourself really taking names and numbers.

John: Thank you.

Brett: What’s next on Entrepreneur on Fire because I know this is only the beginning?

John: So, we’re really focussed on our three flagship products right now, Podcasters Paradise, you know, which is a community to create, grown and monetise your podcast. That is a $1200 product, Brett, so we know that that’s out of reach for some people. There are some people out there that just want to create and launch a podcast and they don’t need all the bells and whistles and the communities and the monthly webinars that Podcaster’s Paradise creates so we just launched Podcast on Fire, which is a $397 solution that just comes with 14 tutorials, Brett, that walk you step-by-step through launching your podcast. So, that’s our second product. Then of course, as you just said, there’s Webinar on Fire, which is how to create, present and convert your webinar. So those are the three things we are really excited about. Now is all about focussing on marketing those because we know they work, we know we want to focus on them so we’re going to start marketing then using Facebook ads and Twitter promoted tweets and YouTube and Google retargeting. There are so many ways out there to get in front of the right people to drive them to our live webinars, where we an then get people on, answer some questions, provide incredible value and convert sales on that live webinar.

Brett: Excellent! Well, we’ll certainty be keeping a close watch on that. Now, John, I know we’re nearing the end of the interview here but before we get to off I want to ask you what parting advice you would have for any listeners out there who, you know, have a dream or have a vision or an have an idea that they really want to get kick-started just like when you first started Entrepreneur on Fire, what advice would you have for them?

John: Brett, I want to keep it simple – Just start! Wake up fifteen minutes earlier, go to bed fifteen minutes later, spend that extra time learning something that you’re passionate about. See were you are in six months. You will be prepared to ignite.

Brett: Love it! Now we’re going to end on a little segment here called ‘shoot, shag or marry’, okay John? So, shoot, shag or marry. I’m going to say a name of certain females and you’re going to say what first pops into your head, okay?

John: Okay, let’s roll.

Brett: Okay, Oprah Winfrey.

John: Ahh, shoot.

Brett: Myley Cyrus.

John: Ahh, Shag.

Brett: Kim Kardashian.

John: Shag.

Brett: Ellen Degeneres.

John: Er, shoot.

Brett: Kate Winslet.

John: Shag.

Brett: Oh right, there you go. Well done.

John: I don’t really believe in marriage and if I don’t want to shag the person I’m obviously going to say shoot, so that was kind of my philosophy. But, Brett, man, this has been awesome. I do a bit of jump as you know and just appreciate you having me on.

Brett: Thank you. Where can our listeners find out more about you, John?

John: EoFire.com

Brett: There you go, so, thank you very much John. It’s been a pleasure. Mate, you have a fantastic day and we’ll be speaking soon and to all our listeners out there head over to EoFire.com and check out John, subscribe to his podcasts and listen to it. Go and listen to episode 512, that’s where, probably his best ever episode there, I think, he had a guy Brett Campbell. Go check it out. Have a fantastic day whatever you’re doing. And remember – Just Start!

So there you have it another fantastic episode of the fitness professional podcast.
Now if you haven’t listened to any of the past episodes head over to fiitprofessional.com.au now and check them out. We’d love to hear what you think so please leaves a comment below the particular episode that you’ve listened to. And if you have a particular topic that you’d like discussed or have heard about on this podcast please let us know.




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