Erik Fisher does a lot of great stuff online. Something that I’m excited about is his new podcast, “Beyond the To Do List”, which is all about perspectives on personal productivity. He talks with his guests about how they manage their time, prioritize their tasks, and take steps to avoid burnout.
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- Your Big Idea: Successful Entrepreneurs have One Big Idea. Follow JLD’s FREE training & you’ll discover Your Big Idea in less than an hour!
- “Good ideas come from many ideas.” – Erik Fisher
- Beyond the To Do List is not Erik’s first podcast. He had partnered up with a friend and created a daily top 10 iTunes comedy show. Then he burned out. Their “break” turned into their last show, and since then, Erik has learned the value of setting realistic expectations and work load.
Entrepreneurial AHA Moment
- I love Erik’s AHA moment because it hits so close to home. I think it may for you as well…
- Erik is an inspiration because he works full time at a University, has his own podcast, is a regular guest on another podcast, and is essentially doing a lot of great things in a lot of different areas. So, for all you Entrepreneurs who have jobs right now, take a Q from Erik and get going!
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John Lee Dumas: Hire Fire Nation and thank you for joining me for another episode of EntrepreneurOnFire.com, your daily dose of inspiration. If you enjoy this free podcast, please show your support by leaving a rating and review here at iTunes. I will make sure to give you a shout out on an upcoming showing to thank you!
John Lee Dumas: Okay. Let’s get started. I am simply thrilled to introduce my guest today, Erik Fisher. Erik, are you prepared to ignite?
Erik Fisher: In the words of Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four, flame on!
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs] Oh man, I love that! Erik does a lot of great stuff online. Something that I’m excited about is his podcast, “Beyond the To Do List,” which is all about perspectives on personal productivity. He talks with his guests about how they have managed their time, prioritized their tasks and taking steps to avoid burnout.
I’ve given Fire Nation a little overview, Erik, but why don’t you take a minute. Tell us a little bit about you personally – about how old you are and where you’re from. And then take another minute and give us an overview of what you do online.
Erik Fisher: Sure. Yes. I’m Erik Fisher, obviously. I’m coming up on about 35 years old, and my wife and I were just talking about this. We’re like, “Where? Well, how did we get there?” And it was just like yes. Well, my thoughts a lot lately have been going on to alright, well you’re almost at the sort of midpoint of life. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to look back at the end and say you have done? Obviously, up to this point, I feel like I’ve done pretty well. I’ve overcome some pretty good obstacles in my childhood as well as teenage years, and even in the last 10 years of being married. It was what was the next step? What’s the next thing that I want to accomplish and how do you use all these ideas, these different ideas? I mean, I’ve been active online since about 2005 in podcasting, but never with something that was my solo show. So I decided to strike out and do this.
John Lee Dumas: Well, quite a strikeout it’s been. You’ve launched. You now are doing – what is it? One show a week?
Erik Fisher: Yes.
John Lee Dumas: You’re coming up with these amazing guests. Each podcast is just packed with great information. I’m personally a listener of it. I subscribe to it and I love every single one that comes out. Just a lot of great insight from the great people that you have on. So let’s definitely delve more into that later, but to start off the show, let’s begin with our success quote. We always start the EntrepreneurOnFire show off with our spotlighted guest’s favorite success quote. So Erik, what do you have for us today?
Erik Fisher: Alright. Don’t take this as arrogance, but I’m going to quote myself. I made this up a long time ago and I looked to see if it had been said by somebody else and I just rephrased it or something, but I could not find it. So here it goes. “Good ideas come from many ideas.”
John Lee Dumas: I like that, Erik, and what’s great about it is the success quote is meant to embody your mentality. So the fact that those are words that came from you makes it all the better. Believe me, we’ve definitely had our share of entrepreneurs that quote themselves and they usually end up being some of the better quotes because like I said, my next question is going to be how do you actually use that quote in your everyday life or mentality? I know your answer is going to be great because it’s your quote.
Erik Fisher: Yes. Well, how it applies to me is the fact that just I always found myself carrying a pad of paper, a little like leather kind of notebook flip open – I guess some people would call it like a reporter’s notebook or something – and a pen in my pocket. This was before they had smartphones, although I sometimes will still do the pen and paper. I was always forever just I would see something, it would spark and idea and I’d write it down. Now, I’d just be forever writing those down, and then come to a point where I would go through the notebook and transfer over everything into something like a computer program or something like that just to kind of categorize and organize it into something that was useful. So in other words, it was almost like I was gathering little bits of clay throughout my day or week, and then I would say, “Okay. Can I make anything of these things?” And a lot of them, honestly, were not great. But because I had trained myself to capture always, I was able to capture the good ones when they came along.
John Lee Dumas: I love that visual with the clay too. It just really makes it real, and I can just kind of picture you picking up all these different tidbits throughout the week and then forming it into something real at the end. So thank you for sharing that with Fire Nation. I love that quote. It’s going to be on your show notes page attributed to you, Erik Fisher. So again, thank you.
Erik Fisher: No problem.
John Lee Dumas: Let’s transition now to our next topic, Erik. EntrepreneurOnFire, it’s about the journey, and I really am interested to hear your journey as an entrepreneur because you’ve really been around for a while. You’ve been in podcasting since 2005. You’ve seen a lot. There’s been some ups and downs in every industry that you’ve been in, that I’ve been in, that entrepreneurs have been in in general. Can you share with us a specific failure or a challenge or an obstacle that you’ve come across at some point in your journey?
Erik Fisher: Sure. What I would share is that I honestly, with your whole metaphor of being on fire, I have sometimes not been able to keep the fire going. In other words, I have either outpaced myself or not given enough feel to it and let it burn out by burning it too bright, too quick. What I learned is I have to pace myself. I have to design an end goal in mind or at least an immediate end goal to reach, and then say, “Okay, I got up to this mountain. Where’s the next one and what does it take to get to that one?” because I’ve always thought, “Okay, I’m going to shoot for this,” and I’ve not brought all the steps along the way back down from that mountaintop to all the other shorter steps to where I am right now to be able to make it there. So endurance as well. Just patience, endurance, being able to pace yourself, being able to say, “Okay, look, I’ve got a good thing going on right now. How do you go to the next level?”
John Lee Dumas: I love that. There’s so many great lessons to be pulled from that. I look at myself. When I started the EntrepreneurOnFire journey that I’m on and doing an everyday podcast five days a week – and now I do a question and answer show on the weekends, so it’s literally a seven days a week – is quite a venture to undertake. And that was one of many of my coaches and mentors’ concerns, was John, you’re going to burn yourself out. It’s definitely a concern of mine too. That’s why it’s so important to listen to podcasts like yours and really just focus on being productive in the right time so I’m not always working, but I’m working efficiently to get it done because there is enough time in the day to do what I’m doing, to do what you’re doing. We just need to use that time wisely.
So Erik, be specific on a time back in the journey where you actually did burn out when you were talking about that flame was just going too hot and you got burnt.
Erik Fisher: Yes. Well, I can say this. At one point, a friend of mine and I, we were doing a podcast. And at the end of the year in 2007, we had over 100 episodes under our belt and we just were going too fast, too soon and suddenly didn’t have the time or space to be able to do it. We were doing a five day a week show, and suddenly it was like, well, we don’t want to scale back to just one time a week and we kind of just said, “Okay. Well let’s take some time off,” and then that time off just continued to drag on and then the show ended. That show, funny enough, I mean it was a Top 10 – voted by iTunes themselves, it was like a Top 10 new comedy show of 2007, so we definitely got noticed. We just didn’t have a plan to follow through after that great success. We just didn’t have a way to see through to continuing on because we had spent so much time trying to get to being known in any small amount of a way that we didn’t realize that we needed to maybe plan it out further in advance.
So that’s one of the things I would say to you, is like the way that you’re doing five days a week and then the weekend show, that’s not something I can do, but that’s something that I know because I know that and I know I can comfortably do a once a week show. That that’s my pace and I’ve already set that pace. I’ve set my stride, so to speak, so I can do it for the long haul, for the marathon.
John Lee Dumas: It’s all about the marathon and it’s all about the journey. So it’s so critical to actually know where you’re at, how much time you can commit and fully be able to commit to whatever you’re laying out before you because Seth Godin has written so many great books. One of them is “The Dip.” In The Dip, he really goes into detail about how people don’t give themselves enough stamina to make it through that dip part, and it sounds like it was possible that you and your partner were on the verge of success with a Top 10 new iTunes success comedy show and you just weren’t quite able to push through.
Erik Fisher: Yes. Definitely.
John Lee Dumas: So let’s get specific. What was one lesson and one action that you took that you’ve applied after knowing that failure that you felt?
Erik Fisher: Well, the next thing that I did was actually to start a podcast with Cliff Ravenscraft, the Podcast Answer Man. I called him up and I said, “Hey, Cliff, we’ve known each other a while. I know you do great stuff. I need to start a show that forces me to research social media on a weekly basis and then talk about that.” I knew that doing it with him as a cohost would add a layer of stability to that show, and we did it until he actually decided the show had run its course, and then I kind of moved in to being his social media correspondent on his podcast, the Answer Man show. So I built in accountability and longevity with the reasons behind the why of doing the show.
John Lee Dumas: That’s great, and Cliff’s show is amazing. I’m in his podcast mastermind. Cliff’s a very good friend. We were able to go to the Jimmy Fallon show in New York City this summer during BlogWorld and just had a blast doing that. He’s just a great guy and I really enjoy your segment on his show every single week or every two weeks when it comes out. So Erik, you say that you needed to be semi-forced to really learn this new social media aspect that you wanted to have going forward. What did you do to gain that knowledge? What are your tasks that you do to make that happen?
Erik Fisher: Yes. Well, I mean part of my story is that I work at a university and they needed to step in to using social media and they knew that I already had some knowledge as far as podcasting and web goes and they said, “Hey, look, we’d like to move you into that position at some point in the future. We don’t know when, but if you wouldn’t mind taking some of your 40 hour a week day job hours – 10 hours a week, to be specific – and use that to research social media.” Well right there I said, “Well, can I use some of that to do the podcast about it?” They said, “Sure” so I was like, “Great!” In a roundabout way, I got paid to podcast right there and then. Basically, it was from the ground in. This was back in 2009. So Twitter and Facebook and all the different networks were established and they were mainstream and people were still trying to figure out how to use them well, and some were already using it well, to be honest. I was just basically looking to see who was using it well, who did I need to emulate, who did I need to glean wisdom from in the social space, and so I would gradually follow the right people, subscribe to the right RSS feeds, listen to the right podcasts, etcetera.
John Lee Dumas: Who are a couple of those people or RSS feeds that you’re listening to right now?
Erik Fisher: Sure. Well, right now, honestly, who just came out with something is Chris Brogan. His new podcast. He, as well as Jay Baer and Michael Stelzner. I’m trying to think of who else I’m subscribed to.
John Lee Dumas: Those are some great ones. Michael Stelzner has been on the show, and Social Media Examiner comes out six days a week with an amazing article. Jay Baer of Convince and Convert – he’s also been on the show – is just awesome with what he comes out with. That’s really exciting about Chris Brogan. I actually hadn’t heard about his new podcast and I just had him on the show, so I can’t believe he didn’t bring it up. We were talking more about his new book “Impact.” Those are three phenomenal guys, Erik. So thank you for validating that.
Erik Fisher: Yes.
John Lee Dumas: So let’s transition now to our next topic, which is still in your journey as an entrepreneur, but it’s your aha moment, it’s the other end of the spectrum. So you had that time where you burned out and you really had to move forward from that point. At what point did you have a true aha moment where a light bulb came on and you were just like, “Wow! This is something that I can really go forward with.” Can you share that with us?
Erik Fisher: Sure. I would say it actually kind of hinged off of my previous talked about failure, which was at that point – to give it context – I had been married for almost five years, I had a two year old daughter and my friend and I had just kind of fizzled out with our show. The idea was just I felt like I had so much more to do or to give or to be than where I was at, and I realized I’m not productive. I’m all about it, but I’m not doing it at all. And so gradually at that point, I started to work out little systems to where I was able to accomplish in the day job that I had at that point so much more that I was able to do – I probably shouldn’t even share this, but nobody is going to listen to it from that old job.
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Erik Fisher: Like my peers at that job, I could get done what they would do in a day in the first hour to an hour-and-a-half of the day.
John Lee Dumas: Wow!
Erik Fisher: I could do that because I had figured out a system to touch on the priorities over and over and over again consistently throughout a week. So one week for me was about a month’s worth of work for everybody else. So realizing that that aha moment of oh, I have this ability to figure out a system. It may take me a while, but I can do it. And that growing that vision of I can look at an existing system and see and ask the right questions of wait, so we do this because we want to achieve this, but this thing has to happen first in between. Why? And then I would figure out a better way for the plumbing to get from A to B without all the different things that would slow it down.
John Lee Dumas: So you’re going in to work, you’re doing all of your day’s work in an hour or two hours, or you’re doing a month’s worth of work in one week. What are you doing with your other time? What actions are you taking that are continuing your journey as an entrepreneur?
Erik Fisher: Well, that was a past job. And so I’ve had to kind of transition some of that stuff over into my new position. I’m a Social Media Manager at a university in my day job. What I’ve learned is that it’s contextual. And so one of the things I learned right off the bat was with all that extra time that I was freeing up, I wasn’t using it constructively. I had freed it all up and then I would surf the web. I was covered, so to speak, because I got all my work done. But I didn’t purposely free up that time to then say work on something of my own that would bring in passive income.
John Lee Dumas: Got it.
Erik Fisher: I should’ve so done that, but I didn’t. So then I was determined in the future to not have that happen again.
John Lee Dumas: That’s great, Erik. You’ve shared with us a great failure/challenge that you encountered in your journey. You’ve also shared with us a great aha moment that you’ve had and how you might have done things differently had you had that opportunity presented to you again. With all of that in focus in your journey, looking back on it, have you had an I’ve made it moment?
Erik Fisher: I’ve had a lot of smaller I’ve made it moments, and to be honest, part of me doesn’t ever want one because I don’t want to feel like I’m better than anybody else and I also don’t want to ever stop being hungry, but the small moments that I have had where I felt I’ve made it have been those key important things that like really give me perspective on life. Like for example, I’ve made it when I got married, and I’ve made it when both my two kids were born and I’ve made it when I’ve seen them grow or learn or I’ve grown as a father compared to how my father was not a great father. So it’s like, hey, I’ve made it! I know I’ve made it because it’s important stuff that I know I’m looking at and saying that with.
John Lee Dumas: That’s extremely important stuff, and what’s also important is that you are appreciating the accomplishments and the achievements that you’re making along your journey because so many entrepreneurs just put their head down, drive forward to that goal, reach that goal, and then set that next lofty goal and drive forward towards it. So it’s so awesome to see you enjoying your journey, realizing the important things in life and really just moving forward from there. So I definitely congratulate you on that and it’s great for Fire Nation to hear these things. One more thing that Fire Nation would really love to hear about, Erik, and myself as well because I’ve been listening to podcasts for years now. Three or four years is when I really started getting into podcasts. It was more beginning with like the Wall Street Journal and APM Marketplace and Freakonomics and [Playing With Money] Like the Big Guys. And then I started transitioning into more of the individual podcasts and the more kind of private podcasts that were out there, and I had people contact me all the time that say, “Wow, John! I just found out about podcasts and I’m just loving this free, great, targeted content. Wow! How have I not heard about this before?” I’m like, “I’m actually in a pretty similar boat to you” because I just launched this podcast in September, I’ve only been listening for a couple of years and I’ve only actually known for even less time than that that there’s people like yourself, Erik, and now me, that are producing our own shows. Can you take us through the evolution of podcasting as you see it? You’ve been around since 2005. You are one of the absolute veterans of this industry. I would love to hear that evolution from your lips.
Erik Fisher: Sure. Well, for me, I discovered the word “podcast” maybe a few months before iTunes integrated it into their iTunes software. Apple did, I should say.
John Lee Dumas: What year was that, Erik?
Erik Fisher: I believe it was June of 2005.
John Lee Dumas: Okay.
Erik Fisher: In that summer, I’m sitting there playing music while I’m working at work, and suddenly I update iTunes and then there’s this thing over on the left and it says “Podcast.” I click on it, and then there’s this whole directory, and I’m like, what do you mean all these things are free? And I’m clicking on them. So I’m trying out left and right all these different shows. Some of them stuck, some of them didn’t. I think one that I still listen to is Fr. Roderick who’s awesome.
John Lee Dumas: Yes.
Erik Fisher: I just got to say that. He’s one of the ones, I still remember the first time I heard him, and it’s been great that I actually got to meet him at BlogWorld in New York City for the first time and we’ve interacted online throughout that whole time. The landscape has changed drastically, and at the same time, not at all. There are still people who way back when, started doing shows and consistently have done them. So for example, Cliff Ravenscraft, he started back at the end of 2005 in December and is still going strong, stronger than ever now, but back then he was doing like one show, kind of two shows. He didn’t know exactly what he was going to do. It’s grown.
For me, the realm of podcasting has just grown to where some of the mainstream people kind of saw the benefit of it or the uniqueness of it. I think at some point people thought, “Wow! We’re going to take over the world! Forget radio and forget television. Podcasting is the next big thing.” It was the next big thing, but the seed had to be planted and left there to grow for a long time before you get to about now where it’s growing, and the reason it’s growing again or being noticed more again these days is because you’ve got ubiquitous data and Wi-Fi on smartphones because people are looking for content to get on the go, and back then you had to sync up on iPad or iPod or whatever to a specific software and get it all that way. Now, you can literally subscribe on your phone or even not subscribe and just hit “play” while you’re on the go, and that’s what people want to do.
John Lee Dumas: Now there’s Stitcher Radio that’s coming out in the dashboard of a lot of 2013 cars like Ford, BMW, Chevrolet. Just like you have XM Radio, there’s going to be a Stitcher Radio station where you could literally turn to Beyond the To Do List and hear Erik Fisher going through all four speakers. That’s going to be pretty exciting for you to see where the progression has come from 2005.
Erik Fisher: Oh yes. I mean, we’re at a place now where – I mean people have some that podcasting has hit a renaissance. I’m saying yes, I agree with you, but I think that it never really went away. It’s just that people had higher expectations for faster growth earlier on, and I think it’s finally now catching up to where people that had heard of it before – I mean heck, there are people out there, there are people that don’t know what a podcast is but have listened to my show. So it’s penetrating now, finally.
John Lee Dumas: That is so true. The word “podcast” is still not mainstream.
Erik Fisher: No.
John Lee Dumas: I mean, I talk to people my age – I’m 32 so I’m very close to your age – and they’re very tech savvy and they even work in the online world on some areas, and still, to them, podcasting is just something they may have heard of a couple of times and maybe they haven’t, but either way, they don’t really get it. So it’s interesting to see that there’s still a huge majority of the population that has not even entered into the realm, but at the same time there’s a huge percentage of people around the world who have, and I pull up my stats of my downloads for EntrepreneurOnFire and I see that I’ve been downloaded in over 100 countries across the world because anybody who has access to Wi-Fi or who has a smartphone can so easily go on and access it, and some of these people in these countries, it’s even more appealing to them because they have less distractions around them. They are just getting online and getting this great content. So they’re enjoying it. Have you found the same for you?
Erik Fisher: Yes, I found the exact same thing. There’s a wide range of basically the global community that is tuning in to the content that’s available because it’s what’s available and because it’s so niche, people like that. I mean I hardly watch TV anymore, other than a few specific shows. My wife watches more, but it’s stuff that she would watch that I would never watch, and if you translate that exact dichotomy, so to speak, to the listenership of the entire podcast audience as a whole, I’m sure there’s some crossover here and there, but everybody likes what they like and to be able to get just what they like without having to get all the other stuff that everybody else likes. I mean it is really like talk radio TiVo.
John Lee Dumas: “Talk radio TiVo,” I love that [Laughs]. So Erik, let’s move on now to your current business. You’re rocking and rolling, you’re working for a university, you’re doing a lot of things in the social media world, you have a top business podcast on iTunes. What’s one thing that’s really exciting you about what you’re doing right now?
Erik Fisher: I have to say that one of the most exciting things is just to see the awesome takeaways that people are getting from my show. That makes it all worthwhile. Even if I only had 100 subscribers and the people that are coming to me and they’re emailing me or they’re tweeting me and saying, “Hey, I listened and great show,” I always ask them, “Hey, what did you get out of it?” and they write back and they tell me things like “I hadn’t been thinking about what priorities in my life I really wanted to, and now I am” or “I hadn’t thought about starting my day the right way as a way to set up my day for success” and things like that that they walk away from, and I’m just like, one, I’m so glad that I get to talk to these amazing people. Two, that other people then get to listen in on that conversation, and that three, they walk away learning just as much as I did.
John Lee Dumas: I love the fact that you are engaging with your listeners that are reaching out to you because it’s so important to us as podcasters to get the feedback from our listeners, and then incorporate that into our show to continue to make it better. In my once a week email out to my subscriber list, my email subscriber list, I always ask them, please, come back to me with a struggle that you’re having or with a pain that you’re having or just with something you learned from the week because I always want to know what exactly I can do to make my show even more relevant to the listeners. That’s why I created the weekend show. It was because of the overflow that I was getting of the questions, the same questions over and over again and just great, relevant content that I knew that I could provide to them on the weekend. So I love to hear that you’re engaging. That’s something I’m really stepping up at EntrepreneurOnFire. I think it’s an important part about being a podcaster, so thank you for sharing that venture, Erik.
Erik Fisher: Yes, no problem. I mean you’re definitely adapting and listening to what your audience wants and needs, and then being able to give that to them. So that’s great.
John Lee Dumas: I think it’s critical. So let’s move now into my favorite part of the show, which is the Lightning Round. This is where I get to ask you a series of questions and you can come back at Fire Nation with amazing and mind-blowing answers. Does that sound like a plan?
Erik Fisher: Sure.
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Erik Fisher: Let’s do it!
John Lee Dumas: What was one thing that was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Erik Fisher: Inner monologue. Just the voices that say you’re not good enough or you can’t do it or what if no one listens?
John Lee Dumas: What is the best business advice you ever received?
Erik Fisher: Just start. I received that advice from a number of people. Two specifically were Justin Lukasavige and Andy Traub. They listened to a demo that I did of my show where it was just me talking about what the show was going to be about and some kind of sample stuff. They listened to it, they wrote back great feedback and they just said, “Look, you have what it takes. Start.”
John Lee Dumas: Now, was that demo actually what you ended up using for your episode one?
Erik Fisher: No, not at all. I just wanted to do the demo to actually work the kinks out, and then I said, “Okay, now I’ll do the first episode, so to speak. Episode 0.”
John Lee Dumas: Cool! I mean your Episode 0 was definitely an inspiration for me in my Episode 0, or I actually have titled it 1, which is my story because it just allowed me to connect with you so quickly as a listener and understand what you were looking to go forward with instead of just jumping right into an episode. I was like, “Man, that makes so much sense!” and that’s exactly what I wanted to do. So thank you for inspiring me to do that. I’ve gotten great feedback from that and I’m sure you have too of just the fact that your listeners now connect with you, they understand what you’re trying to do and they feel more part of the process.
Erik Fisher: Yes, you’re welcome. I’m glad that really helps people out.
John Lee Dumas: It does. What’s something that’s working for you or your business right now?
Erik Fisher: Well, honestly, I know you’ve got experience with this. One of the things is just to schedule far enough in advance and then to do the interviews ahead of time. And then something that I really like to do is to listen back through the interview and write my show notes after I’ve recorded the episode and I’m listening back through because sometimes, stuff doesn’t sink in even to me until after I listen back through it and hear what they said again and be able to grab good quotes from the interviewee.
John Lee Dumas: Yes, and your show notes are very high quality.
Erik Fisher: Thank you.
John Lee Dumas: Do you have an Internet resource like an Evernote that you’re just in love with that you can share with our listeners?
Erik Fisher: Sure. Right now, it’s free. Although they have a paid version I believe where you can get more space. It’s called WorkFlowy and it’s a task management list application. It’s free on the web as well as they do now have an iOS app. I mean it’s basically bulleted lists in different formats and it’s great.
John Lee Dumas: It’s incredible. I can vouch for that too. I use WorkFlowy every single day. What I love about it is the search function so I have so many things in it with these different lists, and if I ever want to find it, if it is not looking for on the list, it’s just typing in the search box and it’s Google-like.
Erik Fisher: Oh yes.
John Lee Dumas: What’s the best business book that you’ve read?
Erik Fisher: Hands down, “EntreLeadership” by Dave Ramsey. He does a really good job of talking about what I think are the two main things about being good in business, which is being good in relationships as well as being competent and awesome at doing strategic decision-making, especially where those two things – decision-making and relationships – cross.
John Lee Dumas: Great! That is the first time that book has been recommended at EntrepreneurOnFire. I have not read that book either. I look forward to putting it on my Kindle Fire tonight.
Erik Fisher: You will not be disappointed by that.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome! So Erik, this is the last question. It’s my favorite, but it’s kind of a tough one. So take your time, digest it, and then come back at us with a great answer. If you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world, this world is identical to earth but you knew nobody. You still have all the experience and knowledge that you currently have, but only $500 in your pocket and a computer with Internet access. What do you do in the next seven days?
Erik Fisher: So let’s see here. We’re talking about a sci-fi kind of a scenario here.
John Lee Dumas: Absolutely!
Erik Fisher: First and foremost, to be honest, I’ll be like, what happened?
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Erik Fisher: But then once I figured out, okay, maybe my whole former life was kind of I was dreaming and this is the reality, I would look to see where the world had a need that my skills set could meet it.
John Lee Dumas: So this world is identical to earth. So you can just make a lot of assumptions here and just be specific. What would you do in the next seven days?
Erik Fisher: Sure. To be honest, I would do some searching. I would do some Internet searching. I would try to figure out – well, one of the main drives for me right now is the fact that I have like – well let me ask you this. Does my family exist in this world?
John Lee Dumas: No. You don’t know anybody.
Erik Fisher: Okay, great. Not that that’s what I want to have happen, but for clarity’s sake, because that’s one of my main priorities, then if that’s not in existence, knowing that I can strike out and say okay, I would look to see who’s doing awesome stuff, and I would even just reach out and say, “Hey, can I come shadow you?” If my food and room and board and all that is kind of taken care of and I’ve got 500 bucks, I’d just say, “Look, let me work for you for free and learn how you do what you do,” and I will be the best person you will ever have not had to hire because I’ll be free, but I’d then get the experience of learning to work for you. I mean I would go to like Seth Godin. I would go to like Dave Ramsey and all those different people. Funny enough, because this is sounding sort of like my podcast, I want to ask those people questions of how they’re doing what they’re doing and learn from them so that I would know how to maybe turn around and teach others.
John Lee Dumas: I love that advice because oddly, it’s something that I think about quite often as far as reaching out to people because I did ROTC in college so I was immediately commissioned as an officer when I graduated, so I had the next four years just mapped out for me as an Army officer, but I often think back, what if I had graduated at 22 and didn’t have that job in the Army waiting for me? What would I have done? I have no idea, obviously, but knowing what I know now, if I had to zap back to then, what I would honestly do is reach out to people just like who you’re talking about and the industry leaders where I was passionate about and just say, “Hey, can I just come and job [shadow] you? I will work so hard, I will be so diligent. I’ll provide so much value to you for free. I just want to learn. That is incredibly valuable, actionable advice, and I just could not agree with you more, Erik.
Erik Fisher: Yes. I mean it’s one of those things. Yes. Same here. If coming out of college, I didn’t have the same kind of scenario that I did have, I would have wanted to move into a way to feel around and see what my options were, while not wasting the time and really soaking in experience and wisdom from others.
John Lee Dumas: Love it! Erik, that was great actionable advice and you’ve provided us with awesome, actionable advice this entire interview and we are all better for it. Give Fire Nation one parting piece of guidance, then give yourself a plug, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Erik Fisher: A parting piece of advice I would say is really look to see how you’re starting your day so that you can set it up for success. You can find me at BeyondTheToDoList.com.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome! That will all be linked up in the show notes. Fire Nation, go check out the podcast. It is so valuable. Do it while you’re driving, while you’re running. Awesome stuff. Erik, thank you so much for all of your time. We really appreciate it. Fire Nation, we salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flipside.