Interview with John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneurs on Fire Podcast

In this week’s episode, John Lee Dumas, of Entrepreneurs on Fire, explains what it takes to create uncommon success.

JLD is the founder and host of the award-winning podcast, Entrepreneurs On Fire. With over 1 million monthly listens and 7-figures of annual revenue, he is spreading Entrepreneurial FIRE on a global scale. 

His first traditionally published book, The Common Path to Uncommon Success is available for pre-order now at

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JLD is an icon in podcasting. He created his online empire starting with his daily podcast, now with over 3000 episodes. And anyone producing a podcast, or any online platform from blog to YouTube channel, will do well to emulate what he has done and what he shares with us each day on his show.

Most people are going to die in this world, having never identified their Big Idea. – John Lee Dumas

During our interview, he gave us a glimpse into his story and how it is reflected in the book. For example, 10 years ago, when he started out, he knew he wanted to produce a podcast. But he wanted to really stand out, so he did his research. He decided to focus on a topic in the business realm. But as he describes in the interview, he needed to niche down so he could dominate in his chosen subject. So he decided to focus on podcasts dealing with entrepreneurs. 

You are going to win by creating the best solution to a real problem. – John Lee Dumas

But there were 7 such podcasts already addressing the topic. So, he niched down further, becoming the one and only DAILY podcast dedicated to bringing stories about entrepreneurial topics to his listeners every single day – something nobody else was doing.

How to Create Uncommon Success

Here are some of the 17 steps to create uncommon success that he mentions during our interview:

  • Find your BIG IDEA and your Zone of Fire (Chapter #1)
  • Overcome existing competition by discovering your niche – a void not being filled by anyone else (Chapter #2)
  • JLD's favorite chapter: creating a content production plan with Kate Erickson (Chapter #7)
  • The final chapter: keeping the money you make with Remit Sethi (Chapter #17)

This is the culmination of his 3,000 interviews, all boiled down. These are the tactics he has used to achieve success. And, according to JLD, the book outlines in detail how to implement the right tactics as you follow his 17 steps to create uncommon success.


I am so glad I was able to connect with JLD. He tossed out numerous value-bombs for us to consider. And I enjoyed getting a glimpse of what went into writing and publishing the book. 

I recommend you pre-order a copy now because there are many awesome bonuses that disappear after the 23rd of March. They include a copy of the Podcast Journal, Mastery Journal, and Freedom Journal, each one a bestseller itself.

NOTE: Look below for a transcript of today's episode that you can download or read right here.

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PNC Podcast Episode 187

How to Create Uncommon Success in Business and In Life

Interview with John Lee Dumas

John: I really love guests who can teach us something, who can inspire us and also have some resources for us to take advantage of. And so today my guest is John Lee Dumas. You podcasters will know this guy for sure, JLD. And with that, I want to welcome you to the podcast, John. Thanks for coming.

John Lee Dumas: I am fired up to be here. Thank you for having me. I love everything you have going on and you promise you're going to play the guitar later. So that's pretty fun.

John: Yeah, I'll do that right after you take off. All right. Well, we're going to get right into it. Part of the reason you're here is because you have a new book, which by the way, I've already pre-ordered and started to access the bonuses. So, we have to talk about that in a few minutes, but first I need to pick your brain.

One of the things that I hear from you from time to time is talking about this Zone of Fire. So, can you explain that concept to us?

John Lee Dumas: Most people are going to die in this world having never identified their big idea. I mean, it is literally within all of us, we all have a big idea. It is unique to us, just like a snowflake is unique, your big idea is unique to you. And all it takes is for you to sit down and really identify and uncover that big idea, because that is your Zone of Fire. That is what you want to be waking up every single day, excited to dive into and work the kind of work that you want. That lights your soul on fire. This excites you.

And guess what? This world needs more of that. This world needs more people waking up every day fired up to live in their Zone of Fire, to identify what that big idea is and execute it every single day. The world needs less of people waking up miserable, going to do something they really don't want to do or are burned out doing. We need the prior less of the latter.

John: That's awesome. There's no question about it. It's something that maybe when you wake up in the morning, you're not dreading, but you're actually looking forward to it and you jump out of bed and you want to do it. But that’s not enough because I think this is mentioned in your book. I heard you talking with Chris Ducker and some others in anticipation of this call. So, what does it take beyond just that Zone of Fire?

John Lee Dumas: So, here's the problem. So many people will identify their big idea. They'll identify their Zone of Fire and they get really excited and they're going to be like, “Oh yes, this is the thing. It's a great idea”. And guess what? It really is a great idea, but it is just step 1 of a 17 several map. That's it. So, it's like 5% of this journey. And so many people will just stop there and just be like, “Okay, I've got my big idea. Let's go”. But guess what? Their big idea is a great idea. Therefore, other people have identified that. Other people are living your big idea right now. You have competition that is crushing it right now in your big idea, which is a good thing if you look at it with the right mindset. Because that's proof of concept, that is validation that your big idea can really be something cool in this world. Something exciting, a real business, a lifestyle.

But here's the problem. You're going to be like a lamb walking into slaughter if you just identify this big idea and go all in because there's entrenched competition. So, you got to go to step 2 in this process of the 17 steps and you've got to discover the niche. Now, what do I mean by that? There's a void within your big idea that is not being filled. There's a market within your big idea that is not being served. And it's small, but guess what? It's an opportunity. It's going to give you the opportunity to get momentum, traction, to actually get moving forward. That is the niche that you need to discover. This can allow you to get that initial proof of concept, that initial traction, that initial momentum like a real quick step back.

My big idea back in 2012 was to launch a podcast. I would've gotten slaughtered. So, I niched down into the business podcasts. Okay, there's hundreds of them. Niche down a third time into a podcast interviewing successful entrepreneurs. Okay, there were seven. But still do I want to be the eighth best podcast interviewing entrepreneurs? I want you to be the best. So, what were they missing? What was a void in that entrepreneurial interview podcast space? Well, everybody was doing one day a week. What if I 10 X their quantity and became the first daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs?

Filling a void that I knew existed because I knew there were other people like me who wanted to listen to a podcast every day of an entrepreneur. And so, I filled that void and you and I are talking now 10 years later, 3,000 episodes later, a hundred million listens later, over 1.4 million listens because I found a void, I found a niche and I filled it. And by the way, I've turned that into a thriving media empire business as well that's generated well over $20 million since the launch of this podcast.

John: That's crazy. I think I'm going to do two podcasts a day. How about that? Will I get to where you are in a few years doing that?

John Lee Dumas: We'll be talking about that soon. We'll talk about it.

John: All right. Well, I have a ton of other questions, but it seems like every question I asked you is kind of related to something in the book. So, we kind of touched on what? The first two chapters of the 17. So, just go ahead and lay it all out for us any way you'd like to. Because I know as you describe what's in the book, we're just going to pick up these pearls. So, let's just do it.

John Lee Dumas: Well, let's just talk about my favorite chapter. Step seven, chapter seven. The average chapter in this book is 3,500 words. That's the average. This chapter is 13,500. It's like 5 X. All the other chapters combined. Just this alone is 5 X the average chapter, this one chapter. It is a business book in and of itself. And this is creating a content production plan. And this is going to be specifically relevant to your audience by the way, because listen, your audience is busy. They have jobs, they're doing this or doing that. They have a lot of things going on. What they need desperately is a content production plan.

So that time that they do have, that hour, that 30 minutes, that 90 minutes, whatever it is per day, to create the content they need to be creating has to be efficient, has to be planned, has to be repurposed, has to be so meaningful. And so, this 13,500-word chapter step seven, chapter seven, “Creating Content Production Plan”. That is the chapter your audience needs. I'm telling you they need to do chapters one through six to make sure they are ready for chapter seven. But once they get to chapter seven, hold onto those afterburners, because this is the book for you.

John: So, is this the secret behind execution, at least for an online business?

John Lee Dumas: So, what this is, is the culmination of the 3,000 interviews that I've done with over thousands of thousands and thousands of hours of these conversations boiling down to the 17 core foundational principles that all these entrepreneurs have been executing for decades and decades and saying, “Hey, these are the foundational principles that make a successful business. That turns somebody from a common success to an uncommon success”. Like let's get you there. So, this is the roadmap to follow for that. And it's not inspirational. It's not motivational. These are tactics. These are strategies that work in real businesses right now.

John: All right. So, this is the “How-to”. So, that's going to be fantastic because I think a lot of people are inspired, but it's the “How-to” that they lack. And especially if they've never done anything like this. Well, tell us why we should buy the book now? I bought it on pre-order because of all the bonuses, it was one of the reasons, but tell us about that process and when does it actually come out? Let's go from there.

John Lee Dumas: So, the book is released March 23rd, but like you're amazing host here do not to wait for March 23rd because we have five insane pre-order bonuses for anybody that pre-orders. And they all disappear by March 23rd. But just one of those pre-order bonuses, I'm shipping all three of my journals, The Freedom, Mastery and Podcast Journal to your door. We won't get into details about them. Just know that they are amazing, awesome journals. One is going to accomplish your number one goal in a hundred days. Another one is going to help you master productivity, discipline, and focus in a hundred days. The other one's going to help you create and launch your podcast, if you so desire in 50 days.

And this is the one bonus of five, that is absolutely insane. Because again, on my dime, I'm shipping all three of them to your door if you live in the USA. For those people outside of the USA, I still love you. I'm sending you immediate access to the digital packs via email which you’ll get, they are amazing, billable.

And then there are four other insane bonuses at When you go there, you'll see the endorsements from Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Neil Patel, Eric and Mandy Dorie Clark. I have a whole chapter there, chapter one. You can read it to see if you jive with my writing style. There's a video there of me explaining in more details about the book, explanations of all five bonuses,

John: I probably would have just taken my time and bought the book. When I saw the bonuses, I'm like, you got to be kidding. Those journals have been out and have been so popular and I thought, “Oh, this is going to be my chance”. I already got one, but I didn’t get the other two. And then I've already looked at a couple of the videos, everything is fantastic. They're great. And the people you interview, of course, most of us know who they are. They are so well-known and they're experts.

Well, I'm excited. I want to read the book. I can't wait for the 23rd. So, I don’t know, I guess at this point, I just wonder if you have any last advice for physicians or anyone who's thinking of trying something new. How do you close the book out exactly? Maybe I'd want to get a little preview of that.

John Lee Dumas: Well, how I close the book out real quick is the final step, the final chapter is “Keep the money you make”, which believe me is so much harder than most people think. They look at these people that are making millions of dollars and are like, “They must have it made in the shade”.

Those people are struggling, not all of them, but they're struggling because guess what? After payroll and after expenses and after infrastructure and office space and taxes and all this jazz, there's never any money left over, believe me, unless you know how to do it, unless you know how to actually keep the money you make. So, I get into all the details there. I brought in a great financial guru. His name is Rami Satie, fantastic entrepreneur when it comes to that stuff. And it's just such an important chapter. That's how we close things out. Because listen, if you're going to work that hard to actually be making all this money by chapter 16, step 16, let's teach you how to keep that money that you're making, please. Like that is my final gift to you.

And the thing I want to end off is, is like this. You are going to win by creating the best solution to a real problem. So, whether you're a physician and you want to maintain there and you want to just find a better niche within that, when you become the best solution to a real problem, people beat a path to your door. Period. You see it in the physician world all the time.

And if you're looking to do a side hustle and kind of get out and expand your horizons and try something new and try this online entrepreneurial business world, that's the way you do it. You identify a void in the marketplace that needs a solution and you become the best solution to that problem. And people will find you, they will beat a path to your doorstep and you will win because you're the best. People don't want the second best. They don't want the 10th best. They want the best solution to a real problem that they have. Be that number one solution.

John: Very cool. “The Common Path to Uncommon Success” it's at Check it out. I thank you so much for being in here today, JLD. I really appreciate the time and just sharing your wisdom with us. Thanks so much.

John Lee Dumas: Thanks, John. I appreciate you.

John: Alright, take care. Bye-bye.


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