Ask the Expert: What it takes to Succeed with John Lee Dumas | POP 842

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Ask the Expert: What it takes to Succeed with John Lee Dumas | POP 842

Why is experiencing rejection a necessary path on the route to success? Why should you NOT fake it until you make it? What is the secret to sustainable entrepreneurial success?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about what it takes to succeed with John Lee Dumas.

Podcast Sponsor: Therapy Notes

An image of Therapy Notes is captured as the sponsor on the Practice of the Practice Podcast, a therapist podcast. Therapy Notes is the most trusted EHR for Behavioral Health.

As a therapist, I can tell you from experience that having the right EHR is an absolute lifeline. I recommend using TherapyNotes. They make billing, scheduling, notetaking, telehealth, and E-prescribe incredibly easy. Best of all, they offer live telephone support that’s available 7 days a week.

You don’t have to take my word for it – Do your own research and see for yourself – TherapyNotes is the #1 highest-rated EHR system available today, with 4.9 out of 5 stars on and on Google.

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Meet John Lee Dumas

A photo of John Lee Dumas is captured. He is the founder and host of Entrepreneurs on Fire. John is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

John Lee Dumas is the founder & host of Entrepreneurs On Fire, an award-winning podcast where he interviews inspiring entrepreneurs to help YOU along your entrepreneurial journey!

He is also the author of The Common Path to Uncommon Success, your 17-step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment!

John has interviewed over 3,000 incredible entrepreneurs, including Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Barbara Corcoran, Tim Ferriss, and many more. His goal with Entrepreneurs On Fire is to deliver the inspiration and strategies people need to fire their entrepreneurial journey and create the life they’ve always dreamed of.

Visit Entrepreneurs On Fire and connect on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube.

In This Podcast

  • Get exposed to rejection
  • JLD’s approach to being an entrepreneur
  • Don’t fake it until you make it!

Get exposed to rejection

You need to experience rejection and failure once in a while if you truly want to succeed. These experiences are key components in committing yourself to go after your goals, because you will experience them, and if you can handle the occasional rejection and failure, then you are more likely to succeed.

[You] mess up one thing after the other, it’s just a day of failures and looking foolish and stupid, and that was really helpful for me in my entrepreneurial journey.

John Lee Dumas

JLD’s approach to being an entrepreneur

Where most entrepreneurs fail [is] that they fail to focus on … their biggest priority in life, which is health and wellness.

John Lee Dumas

1 – You need to focus on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

It is unrealistic of you to expect yourself to perform well if you do not eat to fuel and nourish your body, exercise your body for physical health and de-stress, and calm your mind with proper rest and personal hobbies.

Every entrepreneur that you see that has a long track record has said, “Health and wellness is my number one priority.”

John Lee Dumas

2 – You need to identify how you can become the number one solution to a real and specific problem in this world.

If you can – and when you do this – people will beat down a path to your door.

All of your time needs to be dedicated to becoming the number one solution to a real and specific problem … then you will win.

John Lee Dumas

Find a void in the marketplace, a niche that needs representation and services, that fits within your zone of fire, and work to provide them with real solutions.

Don’t fake it until you make it!

Your audience can smell fakeness from miles away. Your authenticity is one of your greatest tools, so lean into it!

People want truth and transparency, so use that as your edge within your niche.

Take people along with you in their [and your] journey. I was honest with my audience from day one that I was a crappy podcast host because I was, and I let them know that! And I said, “But, my goal and my promise and my pledge to you is that I’m going to get better at podcasting every single day.”

John Lee Dumas

Honesty and authenticity make people root for you. If impostor syndrome makes you nervous, take that as a fact that you are human. Every human being on earth has experienced impostor syndrome because doubts and fears are ingrained in our DNA.

Remember that fortune favors the bold!

Books mentioned in this episode:

Sponsors mentioned in this episode:

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

Podcast Transcription

[JOE SANOK] A new year, a new you, yeah. how about a new year, a new private practice? If you’re ready to start a private practice this year, or maybe you just got one going and you’re thinking, did I do it right, how do I do it right, how do I leave this full-time job, I have a 28-step checklist just for you to walk you through the initial steps of starting a practice. Just head on over to Again, that’s This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 842. I’m Joe Sanok, your host, and welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast. What a great series we’re doing. We are introducing you to some of our experts we’ve brought in through our membership communities. In our membership communities we have Next Level Practice, which is all for solo practitioners, we have Group Practice Launch, which is a six-month program to help people go from starting a group practice to hiring their first person to saying, “Okay, I want to hire somebody.” Then we have Group Practice Boss, which is all for people that are group practice owners that want that support. Then after that we have Audience Building Academy, which is specifically for people launching big ideas outside of their practice. A lot of great membership communities for any phase of practice that you’re in. If you are interested in any of that we can point you in the right direction over at Happy to jump on a call and point you in the right direction. Most of those are opening up in March for our next cohort. So you want to make sure that you’re paying attention, that you’re on the wait list for any of those. Today, my friend John Lee Dumas, oh my gosh, this guy, he has the show Entrepreneurs on Fire. He actually had the very first daily business show as a podcast. This guy does half-hour interviews every single day, he just batch records them a few days a month and then just, it’s amazing, so much content. He’s going to be talking today in our Ask the Expert about the common path to uncommon success. It’s a book he wrote, he’s going to be talking about what it takes to succeed, some of his habits. He’s going to be taking questions from people. It’s really an interesting interview and to get to know John over the years and to have him support my book and support me has just been incredible. He was someone that was one of the first podcasts I ever started listening to, him and Pat Flynn and now to consider them people that I’ve connected with and know it is just so amazing. Without any further ado, here is John Lee Dumas. [JOE] I am so excited to bring my friend John Lee Dumas in to hang out with us. Man, you’re doing this Ask the Expert, you’ve been on the podcast, you had me on your podcast, had a mastermind group I was a part of for eight weeks. JLD did a weekly mastermind group and if anyone can get the guy that wrote the book about why you should take Fridays off to show up on Fridays, it’s JLD, it is. Dang, mastermind group on Fridays. [JOHN LEE DUMAS] Come on, that’s like a vacation hanging out with me. [JOE] It is. It is like a vacation hanging out with you. That’s true. I would just love in the chat if you have been a follower of JLD for a while, like how has he inspired you? It’s always nice, even when you’re at a really big level like John, to be able to just hear from people like, what have you got out of following his work? Because I know for me, I think back to mowing my lawn in 2012 and there were two people that constantly were in my ears when I was mowing my lawn or doing yard work and it was JLD and Pat Flynn and over and over it was like, okay, there’s a whole different world and way to think about business that isn’t this slimy get people to buy things kind of thing. I had sold vacuum cleaners door to door and they taught me how to sell like a $2,000 vacuum cleaner to people in trailer parts. I thought that’s what business was and then JLD — [JOHN] That is the training by the way, because you learn how to fail, you learn how to get nos, you learn how to get the door slammed in your face. It’s such an important scale. I mean like vacuum sales, I mean one of my good friends, I just invested in his company, used to sell those water filtration systems door to door. I mean whatever it is, man, put your kids through massive rejection like they need. Worst thing you can do — [JOE] Let’s start there. What’s the rejection you’ve been through? What helped you, like what’s a couple rejection stories so we can feel like you’re normal? [JOHN] Oh, I’m very normal. I mean, I was a law school dropout, so like, I just couldn’t hack it in law school so I had to drop out. I was an officer in the Army for eight years and I was a platoon leader and man, let me just tell you that’s, you are so ill prepared as an officer in the US Army because you’re dealing with your platoon who has people that have been in the army for 20, 30, 40 years and they’re having to say sir to you because you’re an officer and take your orders even though they’re amazing and with their knowledge and experience and you’re just a miserable little peon clueless about everything but just because like you went to college and have a little gold bar on your forehead that you “give the orders.” So all you do as an officer in the army is just mess up one thing after another. I mean, it’s just a day of failures and looking foolish and stupid. That was really helpful for me in my entrepreneurial journey because I don’t, I just, I think like that resiliency, and there’s actually a great book called Grit, G-R-I-T that goes into this. I think the author’s name is Angela Ducker or Duck or Duckworth or something, maybe — [SPEAKER 3] Duckworth. Duckworth, there it is. She just wrote a great book on that and man, let me tell you if and when I have kids, they’re going to know failure early and often they’re going to be the opposite of entitled brats for sure. [JOE] Love it. Well, people may have listened to the podcast interview I did with you, a large portion of our folks got the book sent to them because we did a bulk book by. But what I want to hear in the first 10 minutes as I talk with you and then we’ll get just questions from everyone and we’ll have those start coming in now, is more of the behind-the-scenes, the things that we don’t hear when you go through a podcast interview. We don’t need to go through every single chapter of the book/ but take us through how you think as an entrepreneur, how you conceptualize relationships and products. I feel like there’s so much that you and Kate do that is amazing and I would love to get behind-the-scenes and you just as an entrepreneur, what are some ways that you think about being an entrepreneur that might be helpful for us? [JOHN] Well, there’s two-folds and they’re completely different things. Don’t let me forget the second thing if I go a little long-winded and ranting on the first thing, but where most entrepreneurs fail is they fail to focus on what I consider their biggest priority in life, which is health and wellness. They don’t focus on the food they put into their body. They don’t focus on moving their body every single day through meaningful exercise and as a result they completely underperform in the long run. Anybody can do anything for a short period of time, but in the long run those are the ones that fail. Like every entrepreneur has a long track record, have said, “Health and wellness is my number one priority and I am going to be the healthiest I can be, which is going to lead to me having more energy, being more present, having better mental clarity. I’m going to focus on the sleep for all those reasons as well. I’m going to focus on the exercise so that I can be strong and healthy and improve my muscle structure and bone density and all these different things.” That’s the area that so few people focus on. I mean, and so when I really wrapped my head around that and it wasn’t done, it was not right away when I launched my business, but when I really wrapped my head around that, like everything just changed for the better. I do love this quote that a healthy person wants a million things and an unhealthy person wants one thing. Unless you do the things that I just shared, like you will become an unhealthy person, period, end of story. Then at that point there’s only one thing you’re going to want, to get healthy again. So instead of having to go through that cycle, just get healthy, stay healthy, and now you can want a million things and you can do a million things and that’s going to be awesome. Just to share with you quickly how I practice what I preach, I just got back from a 17-day wellness retreat in Santa Rosa, California, did a 10-day watch diet very fast and anybody that’s like, wait, only water for 10 days Like, is that even possible? Let me tell you, the only reason you’re thinking that is because you’re undereducated in that area of health and wellness. If you ever choose to get educated, read the book The Pleasure Trap, it will change your life forever in the health and wellness part of your life. It was the single best health action I’ve taken in my life and I came back on fire just looking better, feeling better, more energy, more mental clarity, more ability to show up every single day and be on fire from my audience. That’s something that so few people talk about as entrepreneurs like everybody wants to come on and give like the latest tip cool tactic and strategy and this and that. And those are all well and good and I’ll give some of those today for sure because they’re good, they’re importance but if you just have that you don’t have what I first talked about, then you’re going to be in that category of just wanting one thing, which is your health back. That’s number one. Number two, and this is just something that I just want to be clear is really the core essence of my entire book that can be summed up in just a few sentences. Now of course, you need to read the entire book because it’s not my genius that’s in that book. It is the genius of the 3000 entrepreneurs that I’ve interviewed over the past 10 years. It’s their genius that I’ve taken and distilled down into 273 pages, 71,000 words to give to you, a 17-step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment. So if you want financial freedom, if you want fulfillment, don’t just go through the book, go through the book, do the video tutorials that come free with the book, download the companion guide. It’s a beautiful PDF that goes, that comes free with the book and actually do the work. But again, don’t do the work if you are not looking for a financial freedom and fulfillment. This is for people that are looking for financial freedom and fulfillment. Back to the number one concepts that is the theme of my book that can be summed up in a few sentences. It’s an incredibly simple theme, unfortunately it will still not be practiced by 95 plus percent of entrepreneurs even after they read the book and even after they hear. What I’m about to say is you need to sit down and identify how you can become the number one solution to a real and specific problem in this world. If you become the number one solution to a real and specific problem in this world, people will beat a path to your door no matter how niche it is. Guess what? It’s probably going to have to be pretty niche because there’s a lot of competition out there and you’re not going to become the number one solution. Like I love how Naval puts it. You’re not going to become the fastest runner in the world. That’s Usain Bolt, he’s got that, Michael Phelps swimming, other people other things. That’s not a race you want to be running. You want to be running your own race by identifying your big idea, which is chapter one, identifying the niche within the big idea that is underserved, that’s a void in the marketplace and then becoming the number one solution to that specific problem because people will beat a path to the doorstep of the number one solution to their real problem and they will ignore the second-best solution to infinity. So working hard to become the 10th best fill in the blank is wasting your time. All of your time needs to be dedicated on becoming the number one solution to a real and specific problem in this world. Then you will win. [JOE] Oh, so good. JLD, Ellen says, what would be your number one best piece of advice for a new podcaster? [JOHN] Exactly what I just shared, identifying a void in the marketplace, identifying an underserved part of the markets that fits within your zone of fire, which I teach you how to identify in chapter one of the book and becoming the single best solely focused driven solution to that problem. If you try to launch a vague broad topic on X, Y or Z, you will lose, you’ll be entering a very saturated competitive markets and you’re not going to win as a result. But if you niche your face off and niche till it hurts and become the number one best podcast on a specific topic that’s a real solution to a real problem, you’re hearing me say that a few times, a real solution to a real problem because a lot of people say, oh, like this is a problem in the world but it may not be a painful or real problem. If it’s not, then people will just be like, oh, that’s a nice to have, not a must have. That’s why it has to be a real solution to an actual specific, unique problem in this world. That’s how your podcast is going to win. It’s going to win by not having the biggest audience in the world but by having the right audience that’s identified you as a number one solution to one of their biggest problems and they have beat a path to your doorstep as a result. [JOE] So good. What are some tired marketing techniques that new entrepreneurs should avoid? [JOHN] Worst advice you’ll ever get is fake it till you make it. If you hear that advice run the other way from that individual. We can smell that a mile away as consumers of contents. The last thing that we want is fake inauthenticity, not being truthful or transparent. Take people along with you in their journey. I was honest from, with my audience from day one that I was a really crappy podcast host because I was, and I let them know that. I said, but my goal and my promise and my pledge to you is that I’m going to get better at podcasting every single day because I’m going to be podcasting every single day. Until I get actually good and have something meaningful to say, I’m going to ask my questions to my amazing guests and then I’m going to shut my mouth and let them drop value because I can’t right now. I was open and honest about it and that made people root for me, want to see me succeed. I would get so many emails over the weeks and months being like, “Ah, JLD you’re getting a little bit better. You’re not terrible now, you’re just really bad.” That evolution in bringing my audience along with me by being open, honest, and transparent. Another area that we’ve done that is in, is with financials where we now have published 93 monthly income reports in a row on our website. That’s something that we do because we want to be open and we want to be honest, we want to be transparent, we want to show you when we’re crushing it. We want to show you when we’re making mistakes and not crushing it. We bring our lawyer on for a legal tip because we know that’s going to be very helpful. We bring our accountant on for our tax tip because we know it’s going to be very helpful for us because we, they are giving us these tips and we want them to also give our audience and our listeners those tips as well. So embrace when you suck. Of course, you’re going to be bad at something when you start. Who in the world was ever good at anything the first time they started it? Again, of course there are obvious exceptions to every role, but the reality is that’s just not happening for people. Like you are going to be terrible. Lebron James was a terrible basketball player the first time he picked up a ball. Tiger Woods was a horrendous golf player the first time he picked up a club. Fill in the blank of any great speaker or communicator, they were terrible when they first spoke, communicated. That’s called being a human being. It’s the people that stay with it, persevere, are consistent and most importantly put in the reps to hone their skills. Those people win disproportionately. [JOE] How do you balance that fake it till you make it with if someone’s feeling imposter syndrome when they actually have the skills and it’s like power through it, keep doing what you know you’re good at even though I feel like an imposter. Because I think they mix together sometimes in people’s head where they say, I don’t want to fake it till I make it because of what JLD just said, but then I have this imposter syndrome. Like how do you balance that out? [JOHN] There’s no balance. It’s looking in the mirror and saying I’m a human being. That is why you have the imposter syndrome. Not because you’re special or not because you’re weird or not because you’re anything in between. It’s because you’re a human being and every human being that has ever walked this earth has had the imposter syndrome multiple times, hundreds of times, thousands of times because it is ingrained in all of our DNAs to have doubts, to have fears, to sometimes be a pessimist. It is ingrained in our DNA. Like the reason, we descended from pessimists. There were two people walking in the jungle 75,000 years ago. They both heard a rustling in the bushes, one of them was a pessimist and thought it was a tiger, the other one thought it was a little bunny rabbit so he just like went to check it out and the pessimist ran away and guess who survived the person who ran away and the sabertooth tiger ate the optimist and that guy or that lady did not reproduce and did not pass on her optimistic genes. So we are many generations of pessimists. Doesn’t mean there’s not some optimism in all of us. Not to say that there’s not a lot of optimistic people, I guess, myself, a very optimistic person overall. But we by just nature doubt, fear, feel like an imposter or pessimist because of one simple truth. We are human beings. So if you are going to let those things stop you because you’re just simply a human being, then you will fail. But if you’re one of the few people that are able to embrace those things that I just shared, the fear of the doubts, the pessimism, the imposter syndrome because it’s just being part of being a human being, you will succeed because you will overcome that. [JOE] Awesome. All right, what are your top pieces of advice for gaining speaking gigs or marketing yourself and your business. [JOHN] Becoming the number one solution to a real problem in this world. Why is somebody going to bring you on their stage or their podcast or talk to you when you’re the 74th best person at X, Y, or Z, or when you’re pitching the exact same thing that 15 other people are pitching? The reason why I got stages within six months of launching my podcast, because by the way, I was still a terrible podcast host at that time, I was a horrible speaker. I’d never spoken before. I was miserable. But I was the best solution to a real problem. I was the only daily podcast host that interviewed entrepreneurs. So the day that I launched the podcast Entrepreneurs on Fire, I was the best daily podcast host interviewing entrepreneurs. I was also the worst. I was the only. When it came time for somebody saying, “Hey, we need a podcaster to come give a talk at this conference. Well, there’s this one person that has 400 interviews that are done and the close next closest person has 36 because podcasting was a very niche unlooked at topic at that time and platform. I guess we’ll bring that dude in and that’s what happens.” I was terrible, they regretted it, I’m sure, but guess what, now I was the keynote speaker at New Media Expo and that was on my resume and future people who looked at that didn’t know how bad of a job that I did, they just knew that I was a speaker there. The next gig came, the next gig came, the next gig came and I got a little bit better and before long I wasn’t embarrassing and the rest is history. [JOE] I’m wondering, because you and I both hired Jamie Masters as someone that we consulted with early in our career. How did you decide before you were all big and maybe even had all the capital to invest in like that high of a level of coaching and maybe what did that do for you early on? Because I think a lot of times people bootstrap so much longer than they need to and investing in your own coaching or other things can often open doors that just wouldn’t be opened or mindsets that wouldn’t be opened. Maybe talk to that a little bit [JOHN] Because I was scared, because I had fear, because I had doubts, because I had the imposter syndrome because I’m human being and I needed somebody who knew what, in Jamie’s case she was doing. I identified Jamie as the perfect mentor because she was about one year ahead of me in her career. So she was still recent enough to resonate with what I was going through and she was exactly what I wanted to be in a year, which was a successful business podcast host. So I needed her to mentor me, to guide me to help ease my fears and my doubts and my imposter syndrome. That’s what a good mentor does. [JOE] How much has your business or personal success been helped by bringing people in that are experts in particular areas? [JOHN] It’s incredibly important because it’s like pressing the fast forward button. It’s, you can make the mistakes on your own, which is you repeating your potential impossible mentors’ mistakes. You can repeat their mistakes because they made them, repeat their mistakes, waste time, waste energy, waste, waste effort, waste probably a lot of money or you can avoid them and identify what really is the important things to do and have that fast forward button be pressed and that shortcut be handed to you as a result. So there is a lot of rabbit holes that would’ve gone down in the podcasting space that would’ve delayed my launch, that would’ve put me into even more fear and doubt and failure and all the things and with Jamie’s guidance, I avoided it all. [THERAPY NOTES] As a therapist, I can tell you from experience that having the right EHR is an absolute lifeline. I recommend using Therapy Notes. They make billing, scheduling, note-taking, telehealth and e-prescribe incredibly easy. Best of all, they offer live telephone support that’s available seven days a week. You don’t have to take my word for it. Do your own research and see for yourself. Therapy Notes is the number one highest rated EHR system available today with a 4.9 out of 5 stars on and on Google. All you have to do is click the link below or type promo code [JOE] on their website over at and receive a special two-month trial absolutely free. Again, that’s and use promo code [JOE] on the website. If you’re coming from another EHR, Therapy Notes will also import your demographic data quick and easy at no cost so you can get started right away. Trust me, don’t waste any more of your time and try Therapy Notes. Just use promo code [JOE] at checkout. [JOE SANOK] I love this question. How do you become the number one solution? It feels like the marketplace is just so saturated right now. I have some ideas, but I’m not sure I can be the number one solution, not sure how to get there, not sure how to get my voice out there and get the speaking gigs. [JOHN] I would say that’s because you’re doing what 99% of entrepreneurs do. You say, what is my big idea? What is other, what are other people doing that are successful? What’s working in the marketplace right now? Let me do that. Then you become a pale weak imitation of those people and nobody wants a pale weak imitation of other people, especially when there’s that saturation that is so relevant and true in the world today and the very broad vague topics that everybody tries to go into. You will fail because you’ll never get noticed, you’ll never get traction, you’ll never get momentum, which is the hardest thing to do as an entrepreneur. That’s why, I don’t know the exact stats, but one out of five entrepreneurs succeed after one year and then one of five of those are still successful five years later and it’s not good percentages because they all go about it the wrong way. How do you go about it the right way? Well, you follow my process, the common path on common success, you identify that big idea that is your zone of fire. You identify where, what your passions, your excitements, your enthusiasms are and also how you can marry those and co-mingle those with your expertise and skillset and value that you can add to the world. You go in that zone of fire and you say, awesome, I came up with a great idea. But that’s just step one of 17 steps. Step two is within that big idea, what is not saturated? What is not completely dominated by actual competition? What is a void within my big idea that’s not being filled? What is an underserved part of this specific market that I can serve? Then you may have to niche down 3, 4, 5 times to identify what that is but then once you get down there day one, you’ll be the number one solution to a real problem in this world because either your competition is terrible and that’s why you’ve decided it’s the right niche to stop at or you have no competition. In my case, my big idea was podcasting. I loved the platform, I loved the medium, I was inspired by it and I absolutely loved the idea of starting my own podcast, but there were thousands of podcasts, so I would’ve failed doing what most people did back then, which was just launch a podcast. So I niched down and said, I’m going to launch a podcast focus on business. There were 800 business podcasts, again, another failure that most of those podcasts failed because they just launched a business podcast. Then I said, what about my favorite actual podcast, which, those are interviews with successful entrepreneurs, okay, there’s seven of those that exist in 2012. Do I want to be the eighth best business podcast that interviews entrepreneurs? Not really. Let me niche down again. What is my complaints with those shows? I love them, but what do I complain about them? What do I think is a void within their businesses, their podcasts? What’s an underserved part of the market? Well, I was always complaining to myself and even other people, man, these shows come out once a week and I listen to a great show with Joe and he drops all these value bombs. I’m inspired and then I wake up the next morning, I got to wait six more days for the next show to go live? Like I need to be in inspired every single day. Where’s the daily podcast that I can wake up and every time I drive to work and everytime I hit the gym I can listen to another episode with an inspiring entrepreneur to keep up my personal motivation, inspiration, and knowledge? Poor Joe mowing all these lawns. If he didn’t have Entrepreneurs on Fire, he would’ve been stuck with Pat Flynn every other week back in 2012. I made Pat Flynn step his game up because he saw JLD come into town and realize it was time for him to step up his quantity because this wasn’t enough. I mean, he had two and a half years he had been podcasting before me and he had 37 podcasts and a month and a half I had 45 podcasts. I mean, it’s just like that was the game changer. So now, and by the way, I was, again, as I mentioned before, terrible at podcasting, am I going to become good at podcasting doing it one day a week, four times per month? No, I would’ve stayed terrible for years, probably forever but because I put in the reps every single day and honed my skills and my craft, I got better and better and better. So I niche down and said I’m going to become the first daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs, which is why I can stay with a hundred percent certainty I was the best daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs and the worst and the only. [JOE] Awesome. All right, Michelle has her hand up. We’re going to unmute Michelle. What’s your question for JLD? [MICHELLE] So I read about the inch wide and mild deep focus concept. I know my special sauce is helping Christian women overcome trauma. That is who I am. It’s who, is drawn to me. The things that people tell me are I’ve never had therapy on this deep of a level that’s really touched the trauma or they have people who don’t have the Christian component. So my special sauce is to do both of them as well as being a trauma survivor myself. That’s my niche but to be able to afford the luxury of time and money, I want to do a group practice, which is another focus I’m having right now with the intent so that I can then level up by focusing on continuing to get my name known as the Christian Trauma Therapist. [MICHELLE] So my question is, I know I can encourage other therapists, I know they’re going to help other people with trauma and that’s the focus of the group practice. But I guess I’m wondering when you’re talking about the inch wide and the mild deep, is there anything guideline wise as far as timeframe or budgeting time to, because I know I’m working towards this at the same time I’m going for EMDR like further training and everything, but I’m just like wondering if my proportions are right as far as where my focus, my personal development, like you say, but also the means that are going to get me there financially and time wise. [JOHN] Yeah, no, you’re honestly just overthinking it because you’re already there. You’re already there, you’re already one inch wide, you’re already one mile deep. I think that your niche is fantastic. I think that really, the trifecta of the Christian part of things, the trauma part of things, and then you experiencing that firsthand, those are actually what I call stacking the niches and there’s very few people that are going to have all three of those things. So that’s how you really differentiate yourself. Another example that I give is like people come to me like, John, I want to start a yoga podcast because I love yoga. I’m like, well awesome, that’s great, but there’s 1700 yoga podcasts out there. How are you going to differentiate yourself and they’re struggling. But I say, well, like what are some of your other passions? Like what are like the non-negotiables in your life that make you who you are? One example is this woman’s like, well I’ve been a vegan for 20 years and I’m like, awesome. What about the Yogi Vegan podcast? Because now every single person who’s a vegan who’s looking for a podcast on yoga, they’re not going to go to the 1,699 that are just the yoga podcast. They’re going to go to the vegan yogi because that’s what resonates most with them. So you are there with your niche, which is fantastic and thank you for the value that you’re giving to these women and, oh yeah, that’s another, I think you said that was part of it too, that we maybe even be the fourth component because you focus on women, right? [MICHELLE] Right. [JOHN] So you have that fourth added actual stacking of the niches as well. So you’re there and now it’s just saying, okay, I’ve identified the niche and now it’s just becoming the number one best solution to that problem. One thing that you need to be thinking about doing, Michelle is sitting down and saying, okay, what are the 25 biggest struggles that my ideal avatar that Christian women who have experienced or are experiencing trauma have? What are 25 biggest struggles? Just write them down. And then right there commits to posting on whatever platform you choose, whether it’s a podcast, social media, a blog, like whatever resonates with you posting a very short suites but amazing solution to their problem 25 days in a row. Then as you’re doing that, more struggles are going to come up. You’re going to start having people contact you, asking you questions, which you’re continuing to stack onto the back of that so by the time you get to like day 15, you’re already pushed out of day 40. That’s like how it comes. That’s how you show up and give value to the world. So many people are just like I had this perfect niche and I have this, everything but nothing’s working for me. I’m like, well how many solutions have you publicly posted and shared to the world in the past seven days? Well, none or one. Well, how are you going to become the best solution to a real problem if you’re not providing solutions to their problems? So you’ve got to get on a content production plan, which is chapter seven of the book. It’s 13,000 words, which is three, no five times the size of the average chapter of the other 16 chapters. Be intimidated, but rightfully so because it’s beast and get a content production plan and start putting out there to the world. That’s where your free time is now. Then you start being able to engage with these women who are reaching out to you because of your content, they’re resonating with it. Now you’re coming up with a very simple but valuable like three-day course where you know it’s free, where you’re taking people through the 10 steps to get over recovery. Again, I’m just throwing something out there and like the second, I don’t know why this isn’t, ooh focusing well, but like the 10 steps that, the first 10 steps that you need to take towards recovery or the top three mistakes that women who have experienced trauma, top three mistakes that they make or again, like whatever your audience needs. Like that is how you start building out what you’re doing and then you have an opportunity to say, oh by the way, like, hope you enjoyed today’s piece of content. I do one-on-one coaching, I do group coaching, this is a mastermind. If you want to apply to be a part of it, here’s the link. Can you start building a business? [JOE] Awesome. Jason asks, is there such a thing as too much free content? [JOHN] Yeah, when it’s crappy content, like when you’re not providing a real solution to an actual problem that your avatar, your ideal customer, client, consumer of your content actually has. Chapter three, I teach you how to create your avatar and what that looks like and how you actually make that happen. My avatar’s name is Jimmy. I could go into like 20 minutes of detail about him because I know him inside and out. I know his commute time to work, how many kids he has, like I know what bums him out. I know everything about him because he’s my north star, he’s my avatar. In fact, that can be something that I’ll challenge somebody in here. Does anybody think here that they actually have a handle on what a good avatar is and they can share who their avatar is? We’ll see if anybody’s brave enough to do that. [JOE] Ooh, lot of coaching with JLD. [JOHN] But as long as you are producing real solutions to your avatar’s biggest problems, there’s no such thing as too much but when you’re not, there’s definitely such thing as too much. [JOE] I think Christie has her hand up. She may have an idea of her avatar or maybe you had a question. [CHRISTIE] No, this is where I just keep on. I really feel like I’ve been in this perpetual stuck and I realize I need to get the book, that I have the book. Thank you. I just need to read it. But I think the biggest challenge that I have is that when you’re a multi-passionate person is really narrowing that zone of genius that’s really going to go the distance because I feel like there’s a lot of things that could be a solution and I don’t know about the number one solution. I guess that’s where it gets the niching and really getting to that. But I feel like I’ve spent way too much time spending my wheels about what it is that I can really, I guess go the distance with. Because there are some things you can like be a solution for a short period of time but the real thing that is in that zone of fire that will, you can wake up every day and keep doing it even when you have a thousand other things that you could or should be doing. I’d love to hear your feedback on that. It may be in the book, but I’d love to hear what you would say right off the top of your head. [JOHN] before you ever tasted ice cream, like before you ever tasted it in your life, what was your favorite flavor? Was it vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry? [CHRISTIE] I have no idea. I’m like, I can eat any ice cream, but it was probably vanilla or strawberry. [JOHN] How would you know? You’ve never tasted ice cream before [CHRISTIE] Good point. [JOHN] That’s the problem. Everybody’s like, I have all these fantastic ideas. I’m so passionate about so many things, I don’t know which one’s going to work. Of course, you don’t because you’re so passionate about so many things that you never do any of them so of course, you never know if they’re going to work. That’s the key here. That’s why yes, you do need to go into the book and go through chapter one, which is going to allow you to identify your zone of fire or fires, and you definitely might have multiple, which is totally fine, and then go through the process of prioritizing 1, 2, 3, however many zones of fire you have. Sometimes don’t overthink this, just go with your gut. Be like, when I look at these three or four zones of fire, which one do I just get a little twinge with that I maybe don’t with the other three? Or I have a little stronger of a tinge, twinge than I do with the other three. Like, don’t overthink this, just go with your gut. Then once you’ve made the choice, which is so hard for people to do, choose, at that point you go all in on that one single zone of fire and you give it six months and you go all in on it. It’s your commitments and you do your best to get traction, to get momentum to do all the things that we talk about in the other 17 steps in the book. If in six months you’ve either burned out on that thing or you’re getting no traction or maybe you hate it now or maybe you’re just realizing it’s not, like something that’s working, you go to zone of fire number two, then you go to zone of fire number three and you keep going down that list until you find which one is the actual best fit for you. That’s the process. One thing that I will say is you need to go through the entire 17-step process of this book with each zone of fire to truly give it the opportunity that it deserves if it’s really a zone of yours. And that should be taking around six months if you’re working at it diligently, some people a little less, some people a little more, but like around that range. That’s what you just have to commit to. It is absolutely critical that you spend your time going all in with my favorite word, which is focus, going all in focus, follow one course until success on that one thing. Not be distracted or overwhelmed or even having any mental bandwidth on the other things and you just do that one thing. Give it an actual chance to bloom and to succeed or you’ll have success with none of those things because the opposite of going one inch wide and one mile deep is going one mile wide and one inch deep and you will make no impact going one inch deep with a million different things or with four different things or with six different things. When you make no impact, you’ll have no momentum, no traction, no opportunity. [JOE] Well, those new niches can emerge. I mean, for me, private practice, group practice, podcasting, it’s changed over time. Right now, it’s, I help entrepreneurs and companies move to the four-day work week because I have a book coming out about it. That’s my zone of genius right now. So I’m saying no to a ton of private practice stuff because I want to be able to focus in on that and give that a chance to breathe. That’s why Nissan just brought me in as a keynote to talk about the four -ay work week and all that because I’ve focused so much on that content. Awesome, we have, is it Caroline or Caroline? I want to make sure I pronounce it correct. [CAROLINE] Caroline. [JOE] Caroline. Caroline, you’re up next. [CAROLINE] All right, so thank you so much for your book. It came at a perfect time for me. I was realizing systems weren’t working for me the way that they did when I first created them and your book was so helpful in realizing that I was not doing things. [JOHN] Love it. Question, have you left me a 5-star review on Amazon yet? [CAROLINE] I have not. I just finished it so I will. [JOHN] Make a note, make it happen. [CAROLINE] I will. [JOE] Oh, it’s so important to do those folks. [JOHN] And by the way, like I’m honestly not saying that specifically because I do want the 5-star review, but I’m really doing this again. Everything that, you know I’m doing here is also trying to share a lesson, which is listen, when you’ve created something great for yourself, like fortune favors a bullet, you need to make the ask. When someone’s telling you they love your book, where’s the review? I love your podcast. Here’s a link to iTunes to give a review. I love your course. Take your phone, if you would and do a 30 second video testimonial for me because that would mean the world and I get to post it on my course page now. Always make the ask when people go out of their way to thank you for what you’re creating. [CARO: So my question, so I’ve been public speaking for a decade now, but I just launched an official public speaking business right before Covid hit. I’m very broad right now and not so much marketing myself, just things are coming to me, but I need to be more specific in going after specific things. One of the things that I took away from your book is that I’m not niched down enough. My broad idea of what I talk about is in this realm of trauma-informed care. So I have series on trauma-informed classrooms, trauma-informed medical settings and compassion fatigue, burnout, secondary traumatic stress for people and people helping professions. My niche has been people helpers and then I’m reading your book and going, oh yeah, I have not niched down until it hurts. [JOHN] Yeah, because there’s a place within what you’re great at and you’re passionate about, you can become the best in. One like last teaching point I want to give around this is the most people think incorrectly that are like, oh, but if I niche down and become the best of this one thing, it’s like I’m writing on my gravestone what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life. No, that just is what’s going to give you your initial momentum, your initial traction, your initial understanding of what works in your industry. You can at any point after you’ve found that success from that crushing of a niche, expand out into other areas or you may choose because it’s working so well to stay the best of that one thing. It can be an either or, but I just wanted to make that very clear. [CAROLINE] So I’m wanting to launch a podcast around this specifically aimed at women in the workplace. How would you go about hacking away at the areas that I’ve already begun to be spread out in to really get to that? [JOHN] Yeah, it’s really going back to chapter two. Because you already have your big idea, it’s really going back to chapter two and it’s really thinking and going through that process again and again and again. Like we think we go through something once and then like we either don’t get the idea or get the idea, then it’s over. It’s like, no, you may need to revisit these things 10, 20 times before you wake up in the middle of the night with the answer. I mean, that’s the reality. I listen to the same podcast episodes over and over and over again, the ones that really resonate with me and I get something different from them every single time. That’s just an example. So go through that process multiple times, watch the video tutorial that accompanies it, go through the PDF exercise within that comes with the companion guide that comes with the book and just really commits to that part because that’s where you are right now. You’re on step two, chapter two and you don’t want to be proceeding from there until you’ve discovered your niche because everything you’re going to do from that point forward, if you don’t discover the correct niche, is just a waste of time. It’s going to have to be redone when you finally do have that idea. So just keep going on repeats in that section until you really have identified and it’s going to come to you. You’re just going to have faith in the process. [JOE] Awesome. Well thank you so much JLD for hanging out with us today. [JOHN] Thanks everybody. Much appreciated. You guys were awesome. You asked great questions. I hope I was of some help to somebody at some point in this chat and have a wonderful day. [JOE] Well, I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did connect with John. Hope that you really had some notes that you took there of things that you thought through and that you worked through. Such a great interview and just such a great guy. If you’re looking for some resources, we are going to be opening up next level practice in March. Next Level Practice is our membership community where we have membership discussions in a platform called Circle. We bring in experts like John Lee Dumas, Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, Pat Flynn, and we also have small groups that you meet with once or twice a month. You get accountability partners and access to our full digital library. It’s amazing, all for 99 bucks a month. If that’s something that you want to be on the wait list for, we are opening that back up in March and would love for you to dive in over at We have tons more details there. We’ve got some videos for you to just figure out if that’s a good fit for you. If you really want to amplify your practice, if you have a solo practice that’s the best membership program that you could join. Also, we could not do this show without our sponsors. Our sponsors help really us be able to do such creative and innovative shows here. Therapy Notes is our sponsor today. They are the leading electronic health records out there. Use promo code [JOE] at checkout to get some free months and they’ll also help you transition from your current EHR. Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have a great day. We’ll talk to you soon. Bye Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the producers, the publishers, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

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