Maine is a beautiful state – by all accounts it’s a great place to grow up. That’s where John was born and spent the first 18 years of his life. He then moved to Rhode Island, where he attended Providence College on a full Army ROTC scholarship. When he graduated – in 2002 – it was time for him to fulfill his obligation to the United States Army. He spent the next eight years in the service – four on active duty, another four in the reserves. His time in the Army included a 13-month deployment to Iraq where he was an Armor Platoon Leader.
Having completed his military obligation – receiving an honorary discharge – it was time for John to turn his attention to his future plans. He determined that his best career choice would be to become an attorney, so he enrolled in the Roger Williams School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island. It only took him one semester to realize that being a lawyer was not something he wanted to pursue. From there John took a position in corporate finance with John Hancock in Boston – another career he determined not to be for him. A position with a technology startup in New York also proved to be lacking.
San Diego, California was his next move – real estate was his next career. He worked in residential real estate as well as in the commercial segment. Mornings began with him getting in his car and driving for the better part of the day. He was not just bored, he felt as though his car was a prison of sorts. Partly to pass the time – but more as a way of learning, John began to listen to National Public Radio (NPR) and then discovered podcasts. Having the opportunity to listen to smart, successful and inspiring people helped him get through his day. More than that, hearing stories and advice from highly successful and motivated people ignited something within John.
Then his podcasts ran out – literally. There were no more podcasts on his phone. He felt a sense of desperation. It was then that he had his aha moment. John had questioned why there wasn’t a daily podcast featuring successful people, their stories and successes. Why couldn’t he create the daily podcast he was yearning? It was that thought that would change John’s life forever. He realized that he was inspired to bring inspiration to others – to help them ignite their passion and pursue their dreams. That’s exactly what he set out to do. He began researching and planning – his passion fueled his idea. As an attendee at the Agents of Change conference in Portland, Maine, he listened to every talk and every speaker. He had the opportunity to share his idea for a daily podcast with one of those speakers who told him he was crazy.
On September 22, 1012 John launched his first podcast – Entrepreneur on Fire (EOFire). His podcast was unknown. John was unknown. His guests were known, however, as was the passion and excitement that John brought to the interviews. He was able to find little nuggets of information and insights from his guests that others hadn’t. Today, that podcast idea which was termed ‘crazy’ receives over 1,000,000 unique downloads every month. EOFire has earned the Best of iTunes award. The more than 1,400 guests include such business giants as Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Barbara Corcoran, Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk and Chris Brogan. EOFire generates on average over $200,000 per month – the revenue is openly posted on the website and verified by a CPA.
This is a success story which can be traced to one person – one fearless brand – John Lee Dumas
Fearless Brands get ignited when they discover their purpose and passion
John Lee Dumas is the epitome of a fearless brand. He’s as genuine and authentic as a human can be. Finding his purpose and passion have ignited his every action – professionally and personally. John knew his talents and his personality were ideally suited to achieve his vision. What he didn’t know – he learned. The final element of a fearless brand is to be relevant – to pass the ‘so what?’ test. You can be authentic, know your passion and hone your skills, but it’s all for nothing if the end result doesn’t serve the needs of your public.
John’s first book was Podcast Launch. He has created a community called Podcaster’s Paradise. John offers a free ‘how-to’ podcast course along with a free ‘how-to’ webinar course. These courses explain what a podcast is along with the why’s and the how’s of starting a podcast. The same applies to his webinar course. Simply put, John Lee Dumas gives tremendous value across the board. He is committed to igniting the entrepreneurial spirit in others so that they too can enjoy the success that he has realized.
John typically doesn’t focus on himself – so I’ll do it for him. Here are some of his attributes and practices which you can easily incorporate into your brand
Embrace your passion – share your inspiration – John felt as though he had done everything he possibly could to achieve success – college, the army, hard work and commitment – yet he felt as though he was on a treadmill. He felt as though he was going nowhere. His AHA moment came when he realized that he could create and share what HE was missing – that there were countless others who needed to ‘ignite’. He didn’t discover his purpose overnight – and neither will you. What he did – and you can do – is to continue his pursuit of discovering his passion. Once he did, he was inspired. He knew that inspiration was contagious and that he was a carrier.
Be inclusive – Every effective brand – every fearless brand – has to be built on a platform of authenticity. It is key to creating an emotional connection with those you serve. John takes that even further by being inclusive in his words and actions. He refers to ‘my fellow and future podcasters’ – he doesn’t speak about ‘me and you’. He refers to his millions of followers and listeners as Fire Nation – he doesn’t talk about ‘my followers’. Simply put, John has learned how to incorporate his leadership traits – enhanced by his Army experience – into his business. He encourages and empowers his listeners to pursue their passions. People will do business with those that they know, like and trust – being open and relatable is key.
Give exceptional value – receive extraordinary results – This statement – a core philosophy in the book The Go-Giver, is the most succinct explanation of effective branding that I’ve ever heard. That is exactly what John Lee Dumas does in his business. Daily podcasts, available on-demand at no cost; free how-to courses, open communities of like-minded people are some of the tangibles that John delivers. The value he gives becomes ‘exceptional’ when he adds his inspiration, encouragement and ‘you can do it’ attitude. Every facet of his business is designed to be of value to his listeners. The results he has earned as a result – yes, earned – are extraordinary. That philosophy will work just as well for your brand.
Can you become a daily podcaster, making millions of dollars every year like John Lee Dumas? Absolutely. He has been very transparent about how he has succeeded. It is more likely that your purpose, talents and relevance are different than John’s, which means that what you offer and the results you will earn will be different. That’s fine. Remember that success begins by being authentic. Embrace YOUR passion. Incorporate YOUR skills. Be relevant to those that YOU will serve. The results you earn will be exactly what you need and want. It’s guaranteed to all fearless brands.