John Lee Dumas has said it many times before when asked “what makes a winning podcast?” His response: Create a unique show, and ask your guests questions listeners won’t hear on any other podcast interviews. Today’s episode isn’t John interviewing a guest. Today’s episode is John being interviewed by Samuel Donner, host of the Finding Founders Podcast. Tune in to hear a truly entertaining and engaging podcast episode – plus learn things you never knew about JLD!
Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart
Finding Founders – Visit and learn more about Samuel Donor and his team! Listen to the podcast and let Samuel know what you think!
3 Value Bombs
1) Real winners are being born by finding the underserved niche and creating unique products, services, offerings, podcasts, and content that doesn’t currently exist.
2) Find your path to initial traction, and make the best solution to a real problem.
3) Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith.
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio Interview: JLD’s epic interview with Samuel Donor
[4:04] – JLD’s childhood in Maine.
- He had a delightful childhood in a small town in Maine.
- He grew up in a friendly neighborhood where almost everybody knew everyone around town
- Growing up, he felt happy and secure in his small town, but at the same time, he was aware that there is a bigger world out there for him.
[6:32] – John’s father contributed to his unique way of interacting with the world.
- John’s father was an entrepreneurial and independent lawyer. Being so, he had quality moments to spend with them.
- His father worked hard, but had financial and time freedom as a result.
- John wanted to follow the blueprint that his father engineered.
[7:28] – John joins ROTC in college.
- Just like his father, John joined ROTC to save on college expenses.
- The ROTC program was very intense, which almost caused him to drop out.
- He consulted his father about dropping out or continuing with the ROTC program, and ultimately, John carried on with his ROTC commitment.
[12:27] – John’s first job after college.
- He became an officer in Fort Lewis, Washington.
- He did 12 months of training in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and learned to become a Tank Commander.
- He was given a platoon at Fort Riley, Kansas.
- He was shipped off to Iraq to fulfill a 13-month Tour of Duty just after 9/11
[15:29] – John’s 13-month Tour of Duty.
- His top priority was to bring every soldier in his platoon home
- For 13 months, uncertainties filled John’s everyday life.
[17:54] – John’s life after Iraq.
- Life seemed meaningless after John got back from Iraq.
- He decided to go to a place where he could get away from his military years while thinking about what his next move in life would be.
- He went to Guatemala, and he had a fresh and enjoyable experience there.
[20:47] – Leaving Guatemala.
- While he enjoyed his time in Guatemala, he knew that he would be forced back into a more traditional life.
- He tried going to law school, but after a few weeks, he started experiencing PTSD.
- He knew in his core that he would not come back the following semester.
[23:43] – Dropping out from Law School.
- He wrote a letter to his dad about leaving law school and hand-delivered it to him.
- John’s decision affected his father so much.
[25:37] – John’s life in India.
- Next, John took off to India, and he experienced being in a Bollywood movie
- Extreme discipline and extreme freedom caught John in the middle. He felt trapped.
- John knew that his life in India was just a temporary escape.
[27:58] – Going back to a traditional lifestyle.
- John wanted to do something that he would enjoy, that would make his parents proud, and that would give him a good lifestyle.
- He wanted to feel relevant again.
- He worked at John Hancock, and he did well there, but it was a conflict with his values.
[30:24] – John talks about “wearing golden handcuffs”.
- He was making a lot of money, when suddenly the stock market crashed.
- He realized he wanted to have more control over his future.
- He left John Hancock.
[33:21] – Finding Founders Short Break
[35:03] – Being a free man.
- John moved to San Diego and tried real estate, then found himself back in Maine to start a career in Commercial Real Estate.
- He started listening to podcasts and fell in love with the medium. He kept listening to a podcast – The Eventual Millionaire by Jaime Masters.
- He decided to start a daily podcast, and Jaime became his mentor.
[39:19] – Starting a podcasting career.
- Jaime helped John set his expectations with his podcasting career. Podcasting is a long-term investment.
- John launched Entrepreneurs on Fire in 2012. EOF was the only daily podcast featuring entrepreneurs.
- He also launched Pod Platform, but it was not successful as EOF.
[46:00] – Kate joins Entrepreneurs on Fire.
- John knew Kate’s talent would be a significant contribution to Entrepreneurs on Fire.
- John and Kate worked and built something extraordinary together, along with a virtual assistant who had been with John even before Entrepreneurs On Fire launched, JM.
- Kate handled the logistics while John focused on expansion and exploration.
[48:44] – On expansion and exploration.
- John kept on exploring how other business owners generate more revenue.
- He launched a Mastermind – Fire Nation Elite.
- They had their first 5-figure month.
[51:45] – Podcasters’ Paradise
- Podcasters’ Paradise is filled with video tutorials, resources, and it provides a community you need to ignite your podcasting journey.
- This single course has brought in over 5,000 members to-date.
- John threw out the average and became a leader in the space of podcasting.
[52:46] – On becoming a leader in the space of podcasting.
- The success of Podcasters’ Paradise solidified John as a leader in the podcasting space.
- John generates significant revenue monthly from this and other revenue streams
- He wrote a book, became a keynote speaker, ran webinars, conducted private one-on-one coaching, and started running sponsorships.
- From a mentee to a mentor, giving value to his audience enthralled John.
[57:30] – JLD’s parting piece of guidance.
- Real winners are being born by finding the underserved niche and creating unique products, services, offerings, podcasts, and content that doesn’t currently exist. Find your path to initial traction, and make the best solution to a real problem.
What's shaken fire nation. J L, D here with a pretty unique Entrepreneurs on Fire interview. It has been a long, long time since I have done this. And that is share an interview of me by somebody else on the Entrepreneurs on fire podcast. Feed what this episode is so special for this interview is so well done. I had to ask the podcast host of this podcast to let me share with you fire nation with my audience, because I just think it is such a great example of what can be done in the Podcast world. When you really go for high, high quality. Now, this person requested that I give to hours of my time for this interview, which I am very, very careful with my time, but I was able to be convinced with past episodes that he's done, that this would be worth it.
And let me tell you, this interview turned out to be just under an hour and it was spectacular and it was so worth the two plus hours I spent with the Podcast Host to create this episode. So please, please enjoy. I want to give a special shout out to, to that podcast hosts Samuel Donner He is the host of Finding Founders and I highly recommend you checking out Finding Founders for other podcast episodes, because you're going to love what you hear today. Fire nation. I have zero doubt. You're going to learn things about me that you never knew that I've never shared before publicly. We really go deep and I really am vulnerable and transparent, and Samuel does just a spectacular job tying it all to gather. So please sit back and enjoy this podcast episode and please go find Finding Founders wherever you listen to podcasts.
0 (1m 33s):
Finding founders.co is the website, or that you can go and find out more. Look at the show notes page to learn more about Samuel Donner the podcast hosts. So fire nation. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed creating
1 (1m 45s):
Let's roll the compilation. Boom. Shake it
0 (1m 49s):
Because the room fire nation JLD here with an audio masterclass. If you drop these Value Bombs I brought up, he Lee boil on the mic.
1 (1m 58s):
Hello, fire nation. Hello. John thank you so much.
0 (2m 2s):
I, our Brunson guy at Ross on the
1 (2m 4s):
Mic is really a gift I have and I promise you I can touch my face more than you can. Barbara, are you prepared to ignite John I'm sitting here looking at the photo of you and I'm a prepared to ignite with you, Brian. He's a good-looking
0 (2m 19s):
1 (2m 21s):
I'm on fire every day. This is Finding Founders I'm Samuel daughter. And that was John Lee Dumas. Now with the entrepreneurs on fire Podcast or EOF for a short John releases interviews with inspirational entrepreneur's and impact the lives of millions of his listeners. It's not just his listeners that have a reward either since the 2012 to podcast is brought in a gross income of close to $20 million. Doing research for this interview. I learned that John is a
0 (3m 0s):
2 (3m 1s):
With in the podcasting space. If you have the people I've interviewed lauded him as a mentor. And one podcaster that I talk to a couple of days ago, bragged about getting a beer with him. Once he has this mythical guru like aura about him. And it was honestly a bit intimidating, Probably at the beginning of this interview, my zoom audio crashed. And I looked like I didn't know what I was doing. And He impatiently waited while I frantically tried to get things working. I remember thinking I'm screwing up podcasting while talking to the Podcast in God.
2 (3m 44s):
Maybe I'm going too far. But as I compose myself and started the interview, I realized all the success His God like podcasting status it wasn't given by some Calvinist predestination, his success, his years in the making. He has been iterating on his routine, his goals and his life path, essentially since childhood
3 (4m 5s):
0 (4m 10s):
My child had a mane was a very enjoyable one. Our town was less than a 2000 people total. So I was one of those situations where you knew your neighbors. You knew people in the town. When you went to the country store to pick up milk, you knew people who were in the store, you just had this very small town friendly environment and, you know, growing up, it was just one of those situations where with a sports' and with activities, everybody was just always outdoors. We were always enjoying different things that we could do, whether it be in the winter, we'd be skiing or going hiking in the woods. Did it matter how cold it was, Whether it be in the summer, we'd be swimming in the lakes and just enjoying time outside playing basketball on different sports you can do then
0 (5m 4s):
So I just got to look back at my time in Maine, is this one where it was definitely a little bit of a bubble and, you know, we explored outside of the bubble every now and then I remember, you know, that big trip was two, the city of Boston, where my cousins lived and it was like, Oh my God, we're going to visit my city cousins down in Boston. Like it was, you know, a 90 minute drive. So we were in a car for a while and then you'd see over the horizon, the incredible skyline of Boston has to be becoming into the city. And I would be like, Oh man, this is where everything happens. And my town is where nothing happens. And it was just going to one of those things growing up where I felt very happy and secure on my small town. But at the same time, very aware that there is a bigger world out there that I was only getting a taste of every now and then
3 (5m 47s):
2 (5m 51s):
Despite living in a small town John's horizons were expansive. He was an,
1 (5m 58s):
He was a doer, always active, the isolated bubble of his home town in Maine burst. Every time you took the train, the Boston and he knew it, the cliche goes, you can make a big city small, but not the other way around. And in a way I think John internalized that same to a certain extent. Yes, you enjoy the small town bubble, but he was also excited by what lay outside of it. He was excited by the potential of his horizons. And I don't think he arrived at this unique way of interacting with the world completely independently. Some credit is owed to his dad.
0 (6m 35s):
My mother was a lawyer who at the age of 28 or 30 years old, hung out a shingle and was just practicing law on his own. So he was a very entrepreneurial lawyer. Like it wasn't a part of a law firm, really just doing his own thing. So he had the opportunity and the time to leave work early. And so you coach us for practices or take a hike with us before the sun went down because that's, to me, it was something that I really enjoyed seeing was that he worked very, very hard and did very well financially, but at the same time, he was able to dictate his own schedule. And that was something that I really looked at it and said, man, or whatever it is I end up doing when I grow up, I want that in my life,
1 (7m 15s):
John saw his father be bold and take control of his work life in John would follow the blueprint. His father engineered taking many of the same steps beginning with joining ROTC in college,
4 (7m 33s):
Young men of America, the army reserve officers training Corp, the famous ROTC offers you an opportunity to a train and for the service to your country, you'll be paid for learning. Here's how it works.
1 (7m 46s):
How did you even approach that lifestyle? If if the lifestyle that was modeled to you was so much more fluid,
0 (7m 54s):
It was a conundrum of sorts, But the reality was my father had earned that, you know, he had earned that by doing the things that I was about to embark upon when he was younger, he did ROTC at Georgetown that he wasn't JAG officer in the us army. And then, and only then after he served his eight years in the military, did he get out and begin his time as a solo preneur, as a lawyer who was running his own law practice in law office. So for me, I knew there was something that I always wanted in my life, but I knew I had to do it.
0 (8m 34s):
Frankly. I went to college. Like most people go to college penniless and I did not want to graduate college in mountains of debt. So seeing that my father had gone to Georgetown because he was in a similar situation to me where nobody was going to cover all of his college expenses, he did the ROTC route, had a great experience. And so I was just like, you know, that's going to be a good rail for me.
1 (9m 0s):
How did your expectations of what ROTC would be a line up with what it actually was so far,
0 (9m 8s):
ROTC was very intense for a college students at the time. It felt like it was almost the end of the world, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You have to wake up at about 5:30 AM to be at the gymnasium for a 6:00 AM to seven 30 workouts.
5 (9m 30s):
0 (9m 32s):
So this was the training that you had to do every single Monday was on a Friday as part of the ROTC programs. To me watching my friends who were not in a Razzi go out Sunday night, Tuesday night, Thursday nights, every single week, and, you know, have an absolute blast and then sleep until nine, 10 noon, who knows the next morning, I was like, man, I'm really sacrificing a lot. It almost cost me to do that.
1 (10m 4s):
Everything that you've said that you want it to monitor your life around was your father, right? Like you went to college and did ROTC, so you could live the exact same life as your father. And so I imagine that even thinking about dropping out was like, I would have to restructure my identity.
0 (10m 21s):
Absolutely. And from my scholarship, I have the first year as kinda like a test phase. And then if I was going to commit to the, for years of ROTC and in the eight years of being officer in the army, it was at that point, I was going to sign the contract. So I can remember talking to him about potentially not going to sign that contract, which he was very much so against indefinitely took his side, which was, you are definitely making a huge mistake if you do drop out of ROTC. But for me, you know, I was just very present in the moment. Thinking of my life will be better if I don't have to wake up early Monday, Wednesday, Friday, like I wasn't thinking of the hundreds of thousand dollars of debt that I would have incurred had I dropped out my ROTC scholarship. I wasn't thinking about losing a little bit of that grittiness and toughness that it took to wake up at 5:30 AM.
0 (11m 5s):
You know, when all of my friends had pretty much has gone to sleep for a couple hours prior to that. And you're surrounded by people your age, who are looking to have fun. And that's a tough scenario to keep it in. Check
1 (11m 32s):
College is supposed to be the best for years of your life, right? Or at least that's what we're led to believe. So I can see why John might question sacrificing these seemingly valuable years for success down the road. His ROTC commitment was an investment in the future, but it also devalued his college experience. Or so we thought at the time, in order to run
5 (11m 54s):
The ROTC cost benefit analysis, he went to the person he trusted most of his father after all his dad had gone through it and had experienced both the cost and benefits of the program firsthand, the verdict was in, it was worth it, the training materialized to John's first job out of college. He started as an officer in Fort Lewis at the very bottom. So now the ship,
0 (12m 28s):
The Fort Lewis Washington, you know, here I am now a butter bar, your bottom of the totem pole, when it comes to officers or the lowest rank, you can possibly be as an officer. So after Fort Lewis, I went to Fort Knox, Kentucky for a 12 month training in an armor officer, basic schools. So I learn how to become a tank commander.
5 (12m 49s):
Do you learn how to drive the tank, how to load the tank,
0 (12m 55s):
Fire the tank and then how to command the tank. Those are the four positions. Then I was shipped to Fort Riley, Kansas, where I was given to my platoon. And pretty shortly after that, we were shipped off to Iraq for that 13 month tour of duty that you refer to. And that was quite an experience
5 (13m 26s):
We are now.
0 (13m 26s):
So going from training and going out on weekend missions, shooting blanks to, okay, now we're locked and loaded with a real ammo. Now there's real enemies out there. Now there's actual targets that are not only, you know, do we have to find in Fire app, but they can fire back and they have a real weapons and they literally are trying to do us a real life
5 (13m 49s):
0 (13m 54s):
Are those situations I'll never forget was when we were in Kuwait about to cross the DMZ, like this demilitarized zone into Iraq, we got this briefing from our commanding officer and he literally said the words on the Iraqi side of the board of when we drive through their may be protests to me.
6 (14m 14s):
Okay. These were determined protestors. They came from all over the city, walking for hours to get to liberation, square cars were banned across Baghdad and the green zone home too. The Iraqi.
0 (14m 28s):
Yeah. And some of those protests may involve kids. Your orders are to not stop no matter what. And it was just like this huge slap in the face of going from like this four year college students who is enjoying life. And I was playing at the army as a cadet to then all of a sudden, now I'm going to wake up tomorrow morning and I may honestly be giving an order to not stop a tank from rolling forward through a protest. The words were so shocking to hear coming from my commanding officer that I was maybe within 24 hours or even 12 hours of having to make that decision, that it really woke me up to what we were about to be experiencing for the next 13 months.
0 (15m 13s):
And so, you know how, at the end of the day, my number one priority was to bring my 16 soldier's in my platoon home. And that was the focus. And that was the goal during my 30 a month tour of duty, or it was like every day was a Superbowl. You have to wake up and you have to put on your battle face because you did not know what was going to happen. You do not know if Today was going to be in the day that you are going to be attacked or there was going to be, you know, some sort of incoming mortar rounds, or if there was going to be this situation or that situation, you just honestly did not know it was going to happen. So if you just had your, your, your go-time battle face on every single day, every day, I had to be treated like a super bowl.
0 (15m 57s):
And that was for 13 months. That's a long time to have every day be a super bowl. One thing that I definitely recognize when I left was man, it was almost like the stakes went from So high to so low over night that it was almost like nothing mattered after that. And this fact really slapped me in the face. When I was watching the new one of the Patriots play a football game.
6 (16m 30s):
This is nothing
0 (16m 34s):
In a game that I would usually be so into and so excited about. I could just care less. I'm like, I literally don't care if they win or lose. And to me, it was like, Oh my gosh, what is happened to me right now? Like how can I not care about something that I was so passionate about for my whole life? I mean, even when I was in Iraq, we would get the games and I loved watching them when I was even deployed in Iraq. Like it was one of my favorite things to do. Like it, it was like this escape, but now that I'm back, I can honestly care less about it. And I was not caring whatsoever about the little things in life and even the big things in life. And it was a really scary feeling.
2 (17m 13s):
So when John talks about football, what he's really talking about is enjoying life's simple pleasures, seeing the beauty in a moment, a pink purple sunrise at a lazy pug bloating. In your hand, even Tom Brady throwing a perfect spiral.
6 (17m 32s):
2 (17m 38s):
After a rock, nothing, nothing mattered. If new England sports didn't matter than grocery shopping, didn't matter than hanging out with friends. Didn't matter than driving to work. Didn't matter.
1 (17m 50s):
Then life doesn't matter. Why should it, when he seen war zones and come within one mortar round of death, the low stakes of civilian life became unbearable, maybe because it reminded him of how close he was to death may be something deeper. What's more is he fell into despair. She realized he felt this way and understood that he didn't want to feel this way, but still he couldn't change it. Change is hard. It's hard to get yourself to jump out of your seat at a Patriot's victory. When life seems meaningless, you have to do something.
1 (18m 33s):
I think over time, a fight or flight response kicked in and he chose a flight.
0 (18m 40s):
I was completely at a loss as to what to do next. I did not know what was on my plate and that's actually, you know, when I just said, Hey, I need to get out of here. I need to pull the zip cord and just go to a place where everybody's not just asking me about what was Iraq like where nobody really knows me when nobody is asking me, what's next for you? Like, what's next? Like you're out of the military now. Like, what's your next move?
1 (19m 13s):
0 (19m 14s):
So being on a trip somewhere and talking to this person who is just like, man, I've just got back from this place in Guatemala. It's called Pana has shell. It's up to the mountains. It is an absolute paradise from His verbal description of what I pictured on my mind was just exactly what I need it. So I booked a four month trip to go to Penn in a shell Guatemala and live life and learn Spanish. I was taking for hours of Spanish, a DEI. I was surrounded by people who didn't know me, who I didn't know. And I could essentially have this fresh, enjoyable experience that had nothing to do with my past,
1 (20m 1s):
In order for John to feel free, you needed to be free of his past, and you have to be free of the war zone he served in and the town he grew up in the Guatemala in paradise. I was totally unencumbered by the rowdy dorm parties have his college days and the worrying bullets of a rock. It was also a place that had a wealth of, but his innocence has been destroyed in a rock. But here in Guatemala, he found peace. The same peace John found when taking refuge in nature while growing up in Maine, he returned to an authentic life, a life before the complexity of adulthood, professionalism and war, but we couldn't stay in paradise forever.
0 (20m 56s):
I was having a lot of conflicting emotions. Like I knew that I was enjoying this for a month experience in Guatemala, but at the same time, I always did a look at it as a small, despite to the quote unquote real world. I always felt like I was going to, at some point before it back into a more traditional life,
3 (21m 17s):
0 (21m 18s):
I don't really know I was young and I didn't really know that there was any other options going for it because I knew from one thing that I wasn't making any money when I was in Guatemala, but I was spending a lot of money and I was watching my big account go lower and lower a little. And again, I was just saying, what could be next? And I was coming up completely empty handed until I just said, well, you know, I don't really know what I want right now, but I do know that people will be impressed if I go to law school. I know that it will give me some time to maybe learn some more about myself and about what I want to do. And again, I knew my dad would be really excited and proud.
3 (21m 60s):
The first three,
0 (22m 4s):
Three weeks of law school are great. And then somehow I did slide into a PTSD despair where I was able to kind of fight it off a little bit while I was in Guatemala, because I was keeping myself so busy and just always exploring and trying new things. But it just seemed to creep back when I was in law school and having to spend so much time reading textbooks and locked cases and reviews and see, and just really mentally tax my brain. I pretty much made that decision by the third week that you know what, I am gonna get this out for the rest of the semester, because this might just be a phase that I go through.
0 (22m 47s):
But as it stands now, there's no way I'm coming back from the next one.
3 (22m 50s):
2 (23m 3s):
After leaving paradise John we can manage the far less idyllic experience of slogging through a lot of textbooks, but only for a couple of weeks, he soon came to feel the same way about law school as he did about the Patriots. Nothing. It doesn't matter then came the despair, get, ask himself hard questions. Am I doing this only because my dad wants me to his law school, just a filler while I figure out what to do with my life is this who I am and where I want to be with no compelling answers to as questions and no real motivation to continue. His studies John thought about dropping out.
2 (23m 45s):
I knew I was going to have to
0 (23m 47s):
Talk and confront my father in person about my decision to leave law school. But I knew that I was not going to be able to verbally get across the message that I needed too. And fully describe my reasoning for leaving law school. Because as soon as I started talking, I knew he would either interrupt me or I would lose my composure. So I knew the right move was to succinctly write down exactly the message and the words that I wanted him to read. And then I would hand him that Shocked. And I'll never forget that as he's reading the letter, blood, just ours coming out of one of his nostrils.
0 (24m 31s):
So just some kind of pressure built up to such a high level and it affected them so much.
1 (24m 39s):
0 (24m 40s):
It was one of those situations where he had a few questions. I had a few answers, neither of us left the conversation and feeling great about it, but the message was
1 (24m 50s):
Conveyed. John confronted his father in a semi confrontational way. On the one hand, you said his piece on the other, it was a letter, but then again, he stood right there as his dad read the letter. If John had relayed his wishes out loud to his father, then he may have faltered. His dad may have had the chance to convince him otherwise, as he did with the ROTC, a letter had a sense of finality though. It was written delivered, and it couldn't be changed. His dad couldn't edit it. John wouldn't be talked out of his decision. Like he had been before his decisions were now his and his alone and the next big decision India,
0 (25m 47s):
Who was a great experience. As soon as I landed, I felt completely anonymous. And I just felt the weight lift off of me of, okay. Like I know that in the eyes of my parents and friends and family, like I'm a failure of sorts for dropping on a law school. I'm no longer like an army officer. I'm no longer a combat war veteran. Like you are your most recent activity in our most recent activity was a law school dropout. So like that's what I was to them. And just being able to, to not live in that truth, I felt the weight lift off of me as she was Atlantic in India. And we traveled through the entire country.
0 (26m 27s):
And one day I was just walking along the beach in Mumbai and this white limo pulls up and says, Tom cruise, Tom cruise, who you want it to be in the movie? And that I was like, I guess that they think every five foot, 10 white dude looks like Tom cruise.
3 (26m 46s):
Hi, very much.
0 (26m 48s):
Trustingly jumped in that white limo. They took me to a Bollywood movie sets where I was an extra. And I was the lead keyboard pianist of the bands where I got to dance with all of these beautiful Russian women in yellow dresses, just spinning around it. It was quite an experience
2 (27m 12s):
Of law school to dancing with a Russian women in a Bollywood movie. John was caught in this push and pull between the desire for extreme discipline and extreme freedom and spontaneity burdened. By the label of law school dropout, he felt trapped. He felt he wanted to escape. He wanted to take flight once a week.
3 (27m 35s):
You have to do something radical to break free. Now
2 (27m 38s):
That he was on a new continent, worlds away from the opinions of everyone. He knew John was once again, free to explore his identity without the weight of familial and societal judgment, but he knew his trip to India was just a temporary escape from his real life. Soon John felt the magnet of security pulling him back to a traditional lifestyle.
0 (28m 2s):
It was continuously going back to what can I do that? Number one, I'm going to enjoy. Number two is going to make my parents proud in number three, provide a lifestyle that I can enjoy that ended up being corporate finest at that moment of my life. And I can just picture what it will be like to kind of be a part of society again, because that has one weird thing. When you aren't working day to day and you just kind of have this laissez Faire lifestyle, you feel a little disconnected with the world. Like you're just not feeling relevant as a human being. And I kind of wanted that feeling of relevancy. And I felt like that was an option for me. So I gave it a three.
3 (28m 39s):
0 (28m 44s):
So I quickly became one of the top sales guys and my entire office at John Hancock. In fact, within three months in me being there, the Top position became available and they decided to put three people up for that position. It was the two most experienced people in the office. And then me and I can remember them pulling me aside and being like, listen, we're just pushing you into this opportunity because your numbers are so good. After three months, you are getting this chance, but just don't think you're going to actually get the job because we're going to give it to somebody that's more experienced, but we just want other people to know that we're going to give opportunities that people no matter their experience when they work hard and I was working harder.
0 (29m 25s):
But then when the interview process happens, I just crushed it. Yeah. And it was just a really interesting experience to go from bottom of the totem pole to top of the totem pole, especially for me from the military where it's all about time and grade.
1 (29m 44s):
Okay. All the discipline John had cultivated in his years at ROTC is yours in the military. It paid off. He put in the work at John Hancock in Sabah returns almost immediately. But as a job at the company elucidated in a conflict between his warring Value systems, he was caught at the nexus of two generations, the generation before him Value security. Overall, I was envisioning life has a series of nine to five work days, retirement than death. But at the same time, the internet was creating endless new opportunities. However, golden handcuffs kept John securely in that nine to five, at least for the time being,
0 (30m 29s):
I was looking down and seeing the golden handcuffs, I was making a lot of money. I knew the job I was doing well, but what happened was I came into work and boom, the market crashes.
3 (30m 42s):
This is going to be one of the watershed days in financial market history, Dow tumbled more than 500 points. What the heck is going on down here? All of a sudden the here we started to slip hearing scores.
0 (30m 53s):
Yeah. Within a couple of days, bear Sterns is out of Business Lehman brothers out of Business. And we could see their offices. So we were watching people walk out with their boxes of stuff and it was like shocking. And also that just going to hit me like the lights get turned off tomorrow and I'll never forget the following week. They laid off 70% of our floor. And that was the feeling of like, man, I can work so hard for a company and I can make it. A company is so much money, but something happens in the economy. And now all of a sudden I'm walking out the door with a cardboard box in my hands, not knowing where I'm going to go.
0 (31m 34s):
And I said, man, I just want more control of my future than that. And I'll never forget. They gathered the remaining 30% of us in the auditorium.
3 (31m 44s):
0 (31m 45s):
The president said very clearly, look to your left and look to you, your rights, everybody who was in this room right now, I was here because we want you here. And we believe in you. And if you don't feel the same and us, you need to leave today because this is all hands on shit. And I looked to my left, looked to my right and say, I don't wanna be here anymore. It's so I said, if I'm going to be honest to their request and outta here. So I went back to my desk. I Googled boiler plates, resignation letter, printed it out, sign my name and handed it to my very shock boss. You said you are quitting now.
0 (32m 25s):
And I'm like, I'm out of here. And I literally walked out the door that day,
3 (32m 28s):
1 (32m 32s):
Unlike his colleagues trudging out of the office, hanging their heads, hands burdened by boxes of shame. The moment John turn in his resignation in walked out those doors, who was a new man, a free man, sir, his actions could air on the side of adolescent arrogance, but at the same time, you can help, but admire His
3 (32m 53s):
1 (32m 57s):
What are the majority of his life? John was in a position of limited power. He was a commanding officer, but he was at the bottom of the totem pole. He was the top sales rep, but he couldn't guarantee the security of his job. These experiences taught him that he wasn't sure of what would be, but he had a better idea of what shouldn't be. He was committed to stepping towards a purpose driven life. We'll be right back after this break, I've been itching to travel, but there are two things getting in my way. Travelling is expensive and we are in the middle of the largest pandemic the world has ever seen, But that didn't stop me from living in a travel fantasy and trying to save some money in that fantasy by calling Amtrack and saying, can I share a seat with my friend?
3 (33m 45s):
This is Ronnie. I can help you. Hello.
1 (33m 47s):
I was wondering if there are seats that could be shared. Yeah. Like, could I share a seat with a friend?
3 (33m 59s):
I don't know if you want me to people to sit on one seat and there is no such thing as seat sharing.
1 (34m 6s):
Right? So like, like my friend couldn't sit on top of me or anything like that during the ride,
3 (34m 14s):
Unfortunately on top of your door in the right.
1 (34m 18s):
Oh man. I wish sharing a seat was as easy as sharing of Podcast sorry. I mean, you can share a podcast really easily can share a Finding Founders by screenshotting at, or putting on Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram story.
3 (34m 31s):
Gotcha. But I mean, they will let you sit next to each other and you know, I feel like I'm going to say, yeah, it's not the same, like get pretty close to each other and stuff like that, but it's probably going to be in the same,
1 (34m 47s):
But you know what? It's never an issue during this podcast, take a screenshot of this episode tag at Finding Founders Podcast and post to the social media of your choice. Don't forget to subscribe and rate five stars now back to the podcast
3 (35m 3s):
0 (35m 7s):
So my next step was go West and I jumped in a car with a sense of freedom and no clue that I was going to deal. And I move site unseen to San Diego. I've got an apartment that I found on Craigslist. There was a block from the beach and I set up shop. And over the next few days I made the decision. I was going to give real estate try. And one thing that I was doing while I was in my car, driving around to different real estate appointments or a real estate opportunities or scouting out in neighborhoods His I would listen to podcasts and I just fell in love with a medium
5 (35m 43s):
0 (35m 48s):
Yeah. And I knew that podcasting was something that was just going to start to gain traction with other people
5 (35m 55s):
As time moved forward.
0 (36m 2s):
So it was in San Diego trying to figure things out. I'm really enjoying, listening to podcasts. I feel like I'm learning a lot. And then they get a pretty interesting job offer to go back to Maine and get into a commercial real estate firm on a partnership track. That again was like, Oh my God, this magnet has found me again. I'm being pulled back to this traditional career that is potentially going to be the rest of my life. And so I went back to Maine. It's time to start a career and actually get serious about my life. But I just kept listening to podcasts and being inspired by these podcasts that I was listening to. And especially this one that was called the eventual millionaire.
0 (36m 44s):
Welcome to the eventual billionaire with your hosts, Jamie vaster, Hey, it's Jamie. And welcome to this 20 something year old female who was interviewing millionaires about her journey of becoming an essential millionaire and how she wants to learn from these billionaires, how they did it. So she could apply their lessons to her life. And I was like, man, I just feel like there needs to be more podcasts that are out there like hers. In fact, I want to find a podcast that comes out every single day with an interview with a successful entrepreneur, because I would listen to that Podcast so I went to Find that Podcast in, it did not exist that I was like, how can this podcast not exist?
0 (37m 28s):
I said, you know what? I'm going to start my own. Podcast it's going to be a daily podcast interview. Entrepreneurs I don't know what I'm doing. So let me reach out to somebody who knows what they're doing. And Jamie masters, who was the host of this podcast called the eventual millionaire was the first person that came to mind. So on June, first of 2020, I emailed her and asked her to become my mentor.
5 (37m 56s):
0 (37m 60s):
I think my family looked at it like, okay, John took a break and he went to Guatemala. Then he did something serious. Now he's taking a break again with this podcasting thing. And you know, who knows what podcasting is? We don't know what podcasting is, but I'm sure he'll get tired of that soon. And then he'll go back to some of the serious. It was one of those things where they just didn't get it, which is understandable because not many people in 2012 under So what a Podcast
5 (38m 24s):
0 (38m 33s):
It was time for John to get serious about his life, to his parents'
2 (38m 36s):
Serious meant having a financial, a stable job, not traveling across the country to become a podcast host, but for John podcasting was serious despite use affinity for Podcast and the knowledge so that he didn't want the traditional career. He still a trouble finding the pole of a comfortably boring life. In Maine, like John said, his father was his role model. And at some level he felt an obligation to a piece of his family and his father and follow in his father's footsteps. But in doing so, he was conforming to his father's life and thus losing his own identity to break the mold. He sought novelty and a new podcasting would be an escape from the mundane.
2 (39m 16s):
So he found a mentor and started from the beginning.
0 (39m 22s):
The relationship was very much so a mentor, mentee relationship, where she was really taking me from ground one every day, I would be emailing her questions every week. We would jump on an actual video call or she was guiding me every step of the way towards the eventual launch of my podcast in September of 2012
5 (39m 42s):
0 (39m 51s):
So he was really good about setting expectations. I didn't think that I was going to launch my podcast and becoming a millionaire overnight. My expectations were, were really set while that this was a long-term investment in a creating something meaningful, but it took time. So yes, I did want to see some monetary success with my podcast, but I knew the expectations of that was not going to be three months, six months, but it was going to be 12 months, 20 months.
2 (40m 21s):
He said he set realistic goals, but it's the initial success with growing an audience was more like a fairy.
0 (40m 31s):
I was very surprised at how many people were listening to the Podcast essentially from day one. I can remember so clearly launching the Podcast and every time I clicked refresh it, it seemed like 10, 20, 40 people who have listened. And I never forget that the number of getting up to like 3000 listens the first day of me being like this is absolutely insane. And in hindsight, what was happening was Entrepreneurs on fire was fitting in a void that just needed to be filled. It was serving a market that just wasn't being served. Like I assumed that they're needed to be a podcast like this in the podcasting space.
0 (41m 14s):
And looking back, I like to tell people that, Hey, Entrepreneurs on Fire was the best daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs de one. It was also the worst daily podcast interviewing Entrepreneurs de one. It was the only daily podcast interviewing Entrepreneurs. So for me, when I'm trying to give to other people, when they're launching their Podcast with our business, I'm like, describe your niche and they can't do it. They can't describe their niche. They can't describe the unique thing that they're offering an audience, which you know, a little side notes is the reason why I said yes to this interview. I only say yes to 50 minute interviews.
0 (41m 56s):
Why? Because everybody asked me the exact same questions and the interviews that I do. So I limit it to 15 minutes and we just knock him out. But when your team came to me with a two hour requests, that's an absolute no, but you had a completely different angle, a completely different niche. And I saw that, Hey, this is going to be worth two hours of my time to create this because you guys are doing something different. You're doing some of these special, you're doing something unique. That's what I was doing in 2012, with entrepreneurs on fire
2 (42m 30s):
Aneesh and an audience. But back when he was starting in 2012 monetizing and our audience wasn't as straightforward as it is now, he was investing thousands of dollars a month making 365 plus episodes of the podcast, all of which resulted in minimum financial traction, that would be demoralizing for most.
3 (42m 51s):
But John was a realist. He knew success didn't happen overnight. He would be patient.
0 (42m 59s):
So in a month 12, I had this idea to launch a service, which I call the pod platform. I was essentially going to say, Hey, Samuel like, why don't you go ahead and record a podcast episode, just hit, hit the record button, speak into a microphone and then send me the MP3 file. And then I'll do the rest. Well, I launched the company and an expected to get, you know, 20 people right away, at least. And I got to, I just assumed that this was something that the world needed. And I assumed incorrectly.
0 (43m 39s):
I was just way too early. And by the way, it's crazy that timing plays such a big roll. The timing for me was so perfect to launch Entrepreneurs on Fire, but the timing for our platform was terrible. So I had to clients sign up on the side of the 20th. I was hoping for one asked for a refund within 24 hours and the other one was an absolute nightmare. And I'm very thankful that she was a nightmare client and hindsight because it made me realize I do not want to be in this business by any way, shape or form The next month launched something completely different. And the way I came up with that next launch, that next product was, I sent an email out to my audience and I said, Hey, you guys obviously didn't want this because it failed.
0 (44m 26s):
What do you want it? And I found out what my audience actually wanted from their mouth. Not just from my mind,
1 (44m 37s):
Like John said, timing is everything, but I think that advice gives luck a little too much weight. And so I want to elaborate, yes, luck, timing, both important. But I think what is it even more important is how John overcame bad time he was at month 12. He had a year of preparation a year where it shows, figuring things out and he thought he had it mostly figured it out. So he went forward with an idea and it massively failed. That's hard and potentially demoralize most would have hung up their dreams and return to conventional life, but John is different. So if you listen closely, it seems resilience is so embedded in his process that going back to the drawing board, that's just the next step.
1 (45m 28s):
And he went to square one ego-less he didn't pretend to know what will be valuable. So we asked his audience, he opened himself enough to learn and to grow, but to take Entrepreneurs on Fire to the next level, Hey, you need help going from those first million listeners, you decide to have Kate join the team full-time that it was like the first person that, that was outside of you. That is really helping you, besides the person you were paying for mentorship. What factors went into that decision and how did you know it was the right time? So
0 (46m 1s):
It had been together for about a year at that point. And we were living together and our relationship was very serious. And I knew that she was just great. I would ever, she put her mind to, she was having a lot of success as an account executive for an advertising agency and Portland Maine, which was where we were living. However, things had kind of started going sell for her there. She was just given this accounts that was just bullying her and being pretty vindictive in mean and demanding. And when it started off a year before, as her dream job has started to kind of turn into a little bit of a nightmare for her. So really just had me give a strong push and say, listen, Kate, you are not happy in your job.
0 (46m 44s):
Things are not going to change anytime soon. So you either have the option of staying miserable or take a leap of faith, come on board and lets build something special together. Yeah. And she actually initially said no. When I asked you the first time within another three months went by of the same just miserable cycle or she finally said, okay, I think it's time. Let's give this a go.
1 (47m 13s):
How did you feel with her coming on the tape?
0 (47m 16s):
I was excited. It was like having Tom Brady being trained to a football team. You're like, I've got the best quarterback in the world playing for me now. Like that's amazing. That's what it felt like. So I was able to put Kate in charge of essentially all content creation, organization, processes, systems, tasks, it just made the Business so much better overnight
1 (47m 41s):
Moving in with your girlfriend. That's a big step, but working together, that's a giant leap, but this leap is a necessary one because Entrepreneurs on Fire. Isn't just a, Business it encapsulates John's life. It seems almost everything about his life is integrated into the business because it's not just a business. It just feels cool. If twice to do the things he wants to do the medium by which he can influence the world the best way he knows how to. And now he didn't have to drive this vehicle alone.
1 (48m 22s):
You could stave off the pangs of loneliness that is so often a company entrepreneurship and share his life with someone he cared about. Katie is much more than just a girlfriend. She was and is a talented account executive and someone he could trust with logistics. So he could have the bandwidth to focus on expansion and exploration. So he got to exploring,
0 (48m 47s):
I was always looking around at other successful business owners and online marketers and seeing what they were doing to generate revenue. And one thing that kept popping up over and over again, when I'm, I want to spend the entire episode talking about the Podcast mastermind. People were running masterminds where they would have their audience join a paid recurring mastermind, and they'd give them an extra access, extra coaching Q and a sessions. You know, a place where people could gather and exchange ideas, support and guidance. And I said, that could be really cool for my audience, for my listeners. Why not create that place in that place can be fire nation elite.
0 (49m 28s):
What's that fire nation JLD here. So as many of you know, my journey, I launched Entrepreneurs on a fire back in 2012. And for me, the Nash semis played an immediate role in my success. So I came up with the idea, I surveyed my audience about it. If it was something that they'd be interested in doing, and then I got Kate on board and she loved the idea as well. And when we started kind of mapping out what that would look like, and then I put up another email that just said, Hey, I'm going to bring in 50 people in the fire nation elite. And I'm going to have an eight minute interview with every single person who wants in, because we're only going to be bringing in the right people to this mastermind who wants 10. And I got a couple, a hundred applications and had 50 people that we're the right fit that launched fire nation elite.
0 (50m 14s):
Wow. Fire nation. I am so blown away by the number of applications that we're receiving for fire nation elite. We soon found out that Hey, 50 people is pretty manageable. Let's add another 50 on. So I went back to those initial applications, brought on another 50 people. And before you knew it, we had a, a, a a hundred person national mine. There was a meeting every single week that was meeting every day and a Facebook group we had in person events once a year, sometimes more often, depending on how the events we would go to, it was a five figure a month revenue generator every single month for the entire 30 months that we ran that mastermind.
0 (50m 55s):
I'll never forget the first month. It was like $16,500 or something like that, that we collected from our mastermind members. And I said, man, I just turned this into a six figure business,
5 (51m 8s):
Just like that.
1 (51m 15s):
He took with them the hard lessons from pod platform, the feedback from his audience and applied it all to Podcaster's paradise tutorials templates and the community that helped to grow and monetize your
0 (51m 27s):
Got it. Podcast is paradise. That is paradise is filled with all the video tutorials resources. And most importantly, the community you need to help ignite your podcasting journey, grab your laptop and your microphone, friends, and get ready to create, grow and monetize your podcast with over to and unlike power platform, which did two sales on day one, we did 35 sales on day one. I have an opening. And as you and I are speaking, we brought in well over 5,000 members made well over $6 million. In that one course,
1 (52m 3s):
The success was the endorsement he had been looking for. His parents cut, doubted him calling his Podcast podcasting career phase, but it wasn't, it was a career of substance, even more financially sound than a safe alternative have real estate. And when I say more financially sound, I don't mean for everyone. I mean for John. I mean, for someone who has passion, if you're passionate about your field, the income statistics become irrelevant. The average Podcast is not profitable and probably is losing money. Yet. John was seeing five figures, monthly revenue. Why? Because John had no intention of being average. He threw out the average and became a leader in the space.
0 (52m 48s):
So the success of Podcast was paradise really solidified me as an acknowledged leader in the podcasting space here, I was doing a daily podcast. I was cranking out more podcasts episodes than anybody else. What shaken that fire nation. It JLD
5 (53m 6s):
Shake of the room.
0 (53m 8s):
Lights that spark fire nation. When the business world shifts gear, I was generating significant revenue month over month in the online marketing space. So my next big step in my next big shift was now that I'm an influencer and the authority figure and acknowledged leaders in the podcast in space, let's really embrace this. So I wrote a book. I began to speak in keynote, major conferences on the topic of podcasting. I mean, we live in, so I began to hold webinars and privates one-on-one day with JLD, where I would just take a person who would fly into San Diego and spent an entire day with me as we just crafted their entire podcasting plan for, by the way, $10,000.
0 (53m 56s):
So now here I was making 10 K for a 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM day. So that really opened my eyes up. That there's a lot of ways that we can go at this. We can diversify our revenue streams. We went really big on sponsorships. And so we started making a lot of money every month on sponsorships. And that's when I said, Hey, by the way, why don't we make this public? Like, why don't we actually create a monthly income or a report every single month, this detailing out everything is working in our business and everything that is not working in our business. We want to just to paint a whole picture of what a successful online business look like.
5 (54m 36s):
1 (54m 36s):
Painted a picture of legitimacy through transparency And exposing the financials of his business. His operation became vulnerable, vulnerable in the sense that he bore the company's soul to his audience, which further cemented Entrepreneurs on Fire as a credible voice in the podcasting community. He created trust with his trust. He now possessed real power. The power to impact people's lives. He wasn't the mentee anymore. That was the mentor. Now he was sharing his knowledge, guiding young Podcast hopefuls. That look a lot like him, not too long ago to success the high Garnet from helping others from providing value and throttled him
0 (55m 19s):
On the business side of things. I'm now just saying, okay, what can I do? Not just for financial impacts, but now what are the things I can do that are gonna have a big impact on other peoples lives on a, my life, on those lives of people that I care about? So I'm writing my first traditionally published book and I'm spending hundreds of hours on this book. And guess what? This book is not going to make me a lot of money, but what is going to do is this is going to give me a ton of impact as tens. If not hundreds, if you know I do it right, maybe millions of people over time will read this book and I will have the impact that I'm hoping to have for that.
0 (56m 0s):
That's really what I'm focusing on right now. It's like the, the big moonshots no longer, just the day-to-day
5 (56m 6s):
1 (56m 10s):
The John is already financially successful. So what more is there for him?
5 (56m 14s):
Yeah. To achieve
1 (56m 20s):
The more we returned to this theme of impact measurable that man
7 (56m 25s):
Is an ever wanting an animal as one of his needs is satisfied. Another appears in its place,
2 (56m 33s):
The point and every successful Entrepreneurs journey, where they start focusing on fiscal return and turned towards introspection in influence.
7 (56m 41s):
Most people spent so much time and energy trying to satisfy these deficit needs, that they rarely can direct themselves toward the fifth. And most importantly, need the need for self actualization.
2 (56m 56s):
John has transcended Maslow's hierarchy, reaching the Top self actualization, and his best self is reflected in His.
7 (57m 6s):
The self-actualizing person free that class from the arduous tasks of satisfying. The externally imposed deficit needs is now ready to explore the possibilities of his true self.
2 (57m 21s):
So writing books, not for the sake of royalties, but for the sake of sharing insight. And he has some insight for you. The people listening to this podcast,
0 (57m 36s):
My advice will be this. It would go back to that comment that I made that the day that I launched Entrepreneurs on fire, it was the best daily podcast interviewing Entrepreneurs. It was also the worst daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs. It was the only daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs. That's why I've won at such a high level. And that's why the hundreds of copycats that have come after me have not won at nearly the same level. And usually at no level at all, because there's just a weak water down pale imitation of Sunday that I had already created where the real winners in this world and they're being born every single day. And I'm seeing it in every single niche. You can imagine our people that are finding the old, that are finding the underserved niche that are creating unique products, services, offerings, Podcast content that doesn't currently exist.
0 (58m 30s):
So if you're listening to this right now, like that is your path to an initial traction, and that's all you can hope for right now is just an initial attraction. You don't know what it's going to be successful. You don't know what's going to be the big winner, But what you do know is how you can get an initial traction. And that is by creating the best solution to a real problem. So if you can find a real problem in the world that you can provide the best solution for, you'll get an initial traction. Now what you do with that initial traction, that's up to you, but that will get your foot in the door. And that's all you can ask for.
2 (59m 10s):
1 (59m 22s):
3 (1h 0m 8s):
It's a little easier.
1 (1h 0m 12s):
Looking back at John story. He's had many hurdles, many moments of doubt. It took three decades to find his passion and months of little to no traction to get any results. Nothing was immediate, but he kept moving. He innovate, improved and provided values. And here he is today. Speaking to us as a leader in his field, thriving in an Island paradise in giving advice to the next generation of Entrepreneurs and podcasters. Jon has gone from a mentee to mentor and to have a feeling one day, I'll be able to continue the cycle. I've listened to a story I'm actively applying his advice and I'm inspired and looking forward to the future.
1 (1h 0m 60s):
Anyway, we hope I make him proud of
3 (1h 1m 3s):
See you next week.
1 (1h 1m 6s):
Thank you so much for listening. If you haven't already make sure to subscribe, rate the Podcast FiveStars and share with a friend. If you have any questions or comments DMS at Finding Founders podcasts on Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook, to see more of what we're up to subscribe to our firstname.lastname@example.org Finding Founders is produced and hosted by me. Samuel Donner Adrian Tapia leads the editing team with Matt Fernandez, Sophia Donner and Dharma shop Phoebe. So George Leeds, the design team with any Lou James Barton. Charlotte is the door. Rachel dang and Maddie Bosen. So how much sand do Leeds, the outreach team with Jessica Lyn, Sasha Yvanova and Roma.
1 (1h 1m 48s):
Sophie Davies Leeds, the writing team with Joyce Mach Dan Arneson and Elizabeth Bowen. Thanks again for listening and see you next week.
3 (1h 1m 56s):
1) The Common Path to Uncommon Success: JLD’s 1st traditionally published book! Over 3000 interviews with the world’s most successful Entrepreneurs compiled into a 17-step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment!
2) Free Podcast Course: Learn from JLD how to create and launch your podcast!
3) Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 podcasting community in the world!