John Lee Dumas. JLD is the founder of Entrepreneurs on Fire, host of one the top podcasts in the world, creator of masterclasses for podcasting, and author of The Common Path to Uncommon Success: A Roadmap to Financial Freedom and Fulfillment.
1:22 – Introduction of John Lee Dumas
4:04 – What is your definition of attitude and who were your attitude coaches?
5:41 – how did you get through the worst day during your service in the military?
8:38 – Who were your attitude coaches?
10:32 – What did high school sports teach you about attitude?
12:56 – The Common Path to Uncommon Success book
18:45 – Tell us about your grandparents and what attitude lessons you learned from them, which is John Louie Dumas, John’s namesake
21:31 – What are some big mistakes that people make today? Fake it till you make it.
23:02 – The power of persistence. Identify your big idea. Discover your niche. Do something better than anyone else.
26:13 – Knowledge through the decades
27:20 – What is the attitude lesson at the age of 10. You’re going to get out what you put into something
28:14 – What is the attitude lesson at the age of 20. Be kind.
30:02 – What is the attitude lesson at the age of 30. Be happy.
31:30 – What is the attitude lesson at the age of 40. What is something unique that I’m grateful for?
33:11 – Show close and last thoughts from John. Try not to become a person of success but instead a person of value.
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John Lee Dumas
We got a guest that’s going to blow your mind. I want to remind you all, as always, to subscribe, rate and review. We are with the one and only John Lee Dumas. JLD, as he is known. He is the Founder of Entrepreneurs on Fire. He has the number one entrepreneurial podcast in America and possibly the world. We’ll let him clarify that. He also has podcasts courses and podcast masterclasses. If you want to do what he does and what I do, this is the lead guy and the guy to learn from. There are Facebook ads for podcast classes all over. I’ve never seen more in my life. He’s going to tell us a little bit about that. He also has a book coming out called The Common Path to Uncommon Success.
What is a Fire Nation? The Chief of Fire Nation, John Lee Dumas. Great to have you on the show. That’s awesome.
Who is that guy? I’m fired up now. I’m ready to run through that wall right behind me. I am prepared to ignite.
We’ll ignite our audience. They are called GAPers. As you heard, people come to the show because, quite frankly, a lot of times, they don’t have a positive attitude. We give them a source once a week, not every day like you’re doing, to read about our unbelievable guests, which you are included to help them understand the power of positive thinking and the power of attitude. How it is that you get from where you were to where you are and from who you were to who you are? Our GAPers sign in to find these clues of the masters of the influencers and the innovators, which you are. We’re thankful that you are here to spit your knowledge and your attitude on our people. John, Thank you for being here.
Glenn, it’s an honor. I love your energy and the vibe. I will spit fire all day long with you.
First of all, let’s talk about, in its simplest form, what is your definition of attitude and who would you say were your two best attitude coaches?
Attitude is perspective. It’s like, “What perspective are you going to bring to this world?” I was an officer in the US Army for several years. I did a tour duty in Iraq. I could have had a crappy attitude because life is tough. You’re getting shot at every day. Mortar rounds with falling, I’m a tank commander in charge of 4 tanks and 16 men. Something is always breaking down. The attitude was everything, though because I was Lieutenant, I was the platoon leader.
My attitude was going to dictate how the other fifteen men operated on that mission. If I had a bad attitude, they’d have bad attitudes and there would be trouble. There would be KIAs, missing in actions, deaths and serious consequences. It was all about perspective for me. I was saying, “Have the right perspectives. You’re alive and breathing. You have an opportunity to do something special now. Let’s make it happen.”
That’s synced down throughout my entire platoon and we made it happen. I brought that perspective and attitude back arrived eventually. Many years later, I launched my first entrepreneurial venture. That’s going to add us to their butts, Entrepreneurs On Fire, every single day. That’s what I continued to do 3,000 plus interviews later, over 100 million total listens, over 1.4 million listens a month and over 145 countries around the world. That’s the focus and the attitude.
How many tours did you do?
One thirteen-month tour.
First of all, most importantly, we want to thank you for your service and I do appreciate it. I know we all appreciate it. Talk to me maybe about the toughest day that you went through when you’re positive attitude was squashed or where you had to battle the insides, your heart and your mind, to turn things around and how did you do it? Being in war, I can’t even imagine the degree of struggle that would take but there are people that are struggling here in America now. If you’re reading, my guess is he’s probably had the worst day than you had. We’ve had Sean Parnell and Lewis Howes had some unbelievable stories of veterans on the program. Could you maybe take us to that day? What was the feeling in your heart, your gut and how you got through it?
You’re pointless and there are a lot of Americans and humans in this world that are suffering and struggling. You don’t want to sugarcoat that. Suffering and struggle are real. However, when you’re able to have the right perspective and a better attitude knowing that things could be worse like, “Things could be better. Things can be better for everybody that exists in this world but things could be a heck of a lot worse for pretty much everybody in this world as well.” When I had one of those bad days and I had started to lose my perspective in my attitude, I zap myself back to this day that you asked about. I was on the QRF team, which is a Quick Reaction Force. It’s 130, no exaggeration, in Iraq.
We’re talking an absolute oven. It’s disgusting outside. It’s hot. You can’t even breathe. You don’t even want to. On top of that, you’re in a tank. Forget about it. Life is bad. You’re sweating everywhere. You’re dehydrated. Everything is terrible. Your BTUs are literally caked white and crispy because it’s all of your salt is caked onto your uniform that you’ve been giving out. It’s a terrible scenario. Our QRF team was called into the center of Habbaniyah, which was a hotspot in Iraq back in 2004. We had to react to a situation that was going down. We went out with sixteen men and did not come back with sixteen men. I’ll spare you the details.
Over my thirteen-month tour of duty, only 12 of the 16 men that I deployed with returns and that was something that I’ll forever have to live with because those are my decisions that were made. On that day, that was one of those situations that happened. Whenever I’m having a bad day here in Puerto Rico, hanging out with my unbelievably adorable dog, Gus, over there on the corner, I snap myself back and I say, “Things could be a lot worse now.”
Many people believe that their attitudes come from an “attitude coach.” Most of which we don’t get to choose who our parents but tell me, who had the biggest influence on your attitude when it mattered as a kid and maybe that person changed as you’ve interviewed 3,000 people? My guess is you’ve had some people that have shifted your attitude as well. Walk me through some of the lessons of the great attitude coaches especially your first one that you’ve had.The “uncommon path to success” is a lie. The path to success is simple and clear. It’s not easy, but it’s simple. Click To Tweet
I say my first one would be my father. He was also in the military. He spent 32 years as a JAG Officer in the Army. I grew up. He hung his own shingle as a lawyer and was his own boss. He was an entrepreneurial lawyer. It was a small town so he had to shift and adjust. Sometimes it was focusing on real estate, sometimes personal injuries, sometimes workers’ compensation but he was always working hard. He was always looking for new opportunities. He was always having a positive attitude about what opportunities were around the corner. If something dried up, it was like, “That happens. We made the most of it. We squeezed that turnip dry. Now let’s go hunt out that next opportunity.”
He was a person that’s whenever I called him up at 2:00 PM after school. He could leave work, come play catching me and come hit the baseball around because he was his own boss. He may have had to go back to work that night because he had to get stuff done but I saw that attitude, his perspective and his hard work and that was my first major influence.
It sounds a lot like me where if there’s money to be made, let’s go. I was fortunate enough to be able to do that. Were you a jock in high school or as a kid at all?
I was the most athletic in my high school class. I played all the major sports and that was my thing.
Are you a football guy?
Soccer and basketball. I mix it up in the spring. I did three different sports, tennis, track and baseball.
What do you think the lesson about team sports, why you didn’t do all team sports? How did being an athlete changed your attitude or how did it influence and does it still influence what you learned now? What was the greatest attitude lesson you got playing all those sports back then? Who was your favorite coach that maybe meant the most to you?
We were never great at any of the sports that I played as far as our win-loss record. Some of the coaches you could see as the season went on. They gave up. When we were 2 and 10, 3 and 7, the players were out of sight. Some coaches pack it in and give up. The reality is there was one coach, he was my basketball coach, that never ever stopped. There was one season, we were 1 and 12 and he would still write these pages of prep work on the team that we were playing the different positional players, what their weaknesses were, what their strengths were.
This guy was going to give it his all no matter if we were playing for the State Championship game or we were literally playing a game that he knew we were going to lose but let’s give it our best anyway. I always respected that hustle and that commitment to the team because in high school sports, snapping his fingers, it’s over. I was playing for the packed houses for basketball. Some of my best memories are in that court where I play. It’s over in a minute when the coach gives up on you. Now that’s your major memories that I look back on fondly.
We have a lot of professional athletes. I was a football guy and Joe Reitz came on. He played offensive tackle for Peyton Manning here in Indianapolis. He said, “Glenn, there are coaches that are transactional and there are coaches that are transformational.” Anytime I can give hail and I coached football for 25 years to a transformational coach, I love it. Do you remember the guy’s name?
I had a basketball coach named Mr. Stinson too. Let’s talk a little bit about this upcoming book that you got going. I’ve done it. I can’t believe I did it. It’s like a blur now but tell me, what was your attitude when people said, “You got to write a book,” then when you sat down to try to write the book, people are listening that have a book inside of them but they keep talking themselves out of it. They didn’t make it happen but you did. Give us the mindset it took. What are some of the tricks that you trick yourself into? What did you say? What was your attitude on creating this book that is now going to be your legacy?
In 2012, I wasn’t ready to write a book. I didn’t have a book to write. In 2016, I was still learning my path. 2020 came along and a book agent reached out to me and said, “John, I listened to your show. I believe you have a book in you, do you?” I said, “It is honestly now calling to me.” I’ve interviewed 3000 successful entrepreneurs over the past several years, not to mention I’ve been a multi-million dollar a year business with Entrepreneurs On Fire for many years.
I’ve learned a lot. I’ve failed a lot. I’ve succeeded a lot. I’ve learned so much from these guests that I’ve interviewed as well, that I truly believe I sat down and sketched it out before I got back to this agent and, I said, “What is in front of me? What I sat down and sketched out?” This is a 17-step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment. Now, I need to flesh it out. Every step is a chapter. Every step is a chronological step along this path to financial freedom and fulfillment.
I spent all of 2020 busted my booty, spending the first two hours every day. Before I did anything else, no phone, no email, no computers, nothing, the First two hours committed to writing this book. 500 words to 1,000 words that added up over time. Seventy-one thousand words later, the book is complete. It is ready to go. It has been personally endorsed by Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin, Neil Patel, Dorie Clark and Erica Mandysuch an amazing all-star list, very proud of that. It’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s The Common Path To Uncommon Success.
People want you to think success is tricky, complicated, hidden or a secret, all those things but it’s not true. You’ve been lied to when you’ve heard that. The path to uncommon success is simple and clear. It’s not easy but it’s simple and it’s clear. It’s there for you as a common path to uncommon success. When I wrote this book, I knew that this was the book, the message that I had to share with the world and I’m going all in. It is my legacy, like you said.
Number one, you can pre-order the book on John Lee’s website, go to his website and make sure you order that book when this airs. When is it launching? When you are putting it out there?
Number one, it’s UncommonSuccessBook.com. You do not want to wait until the book comes out on March 23rd, 2020 because we have five amazing pre-order bonuses because pre-orders make or break a book launch period. Amazon bases their entire bulk order often pre-order so we’re doing everything in our power to get everybody to pre-order because that’s how the book wins and gets in front of as many people as possible. We’re pulling them as the weeks go forward. Some of them will be gone soon but now all five bonuses are there. One of them, I’m shipping all three of my journals mastery in podcast journal. I’m shipping it to your door. It’s $150 worth of journals being shipped to your door for a $17 Kindle or a $28 hardcover pre-order of this book. There are four other unbelievably amazing bonuses.Don’t “fake it ‘til you make it.” Instead, embrace the fact of wherever you are in this journey. Click To Tweet
This is above and beyond the book itself, which is going to change your life if you follow the roadmap, you go through and create your version of uncommon success. I mean this too and I’m not saying this to be mean or cruel. I’m saying this could be helpful. If you read this book, you apply the principles, you follow the roadmap and after six months, you haven’t found your version of uncommon success, you should not be an entrepreneur, online marketer or whatever you want to call yourself. Go find a 9:00 to 5:00 job. Go back to Corporate America and nothing wrong with that.
Again, I’m not being mean. I’ve done those things before. They weren’t me. I was meant to be an entrepreneur. Not everybody is, though. Number 37 at Facebook, Glenn, has made a lot more money than you and I will ever make in our lifetime. They found what was right for them and they’re crushing it. I’m not saying there’s a right or a wrong. This book will help you identify if you’ve got it because if you’ve got it, this roadmap it’ll crush it for you. If you don’t go back to the drawing board, there’s another path for you. It’s not this one.
That is UncommonSuccessBook.com to get all those great journals included with your pre-order purchase. One question I always love to ask people and some people aren’t lucky like me. Tell me about your grandparents. Did you love your grandma and grandpa? Did they have a place in your life or did you not get to know them?
My grandfather on my father’s side died when he was 21 so I never saw him. He was my namesake, John Louie Dumas. He was a Major in the Army. I never got to meet him but my grandmother on his side still lives to this day. She’s amazing. I love her to death and I grew up one mile down the street from her. I’m lucky there. My grandparents on my other side died when I was thirteen from Lou Gehrig’s disease, which is sad to say. I did get to know him. That was 13, 12, 11 and 10. You’re old enough to spend time with people at that age. My grandmother then passed away several years ago. I had a lot of time with her, which was amazing and she lives only 4 or 5 miles away. I did get to spend a lot of time with my grandparents and I still have one around.
What’s the attitude lesson as you feel them, look about them, reflect on them or the stories? What’s the lesson you take from that generation of people who blessed you with their life?
They understand what it means to earn a living and money and at the same time not be frivolous with it. I have a lot of people in my life who were like, “John, you’re making hundreds of thousand dollars a month and you’re keeping that amount of money. Why don’t you have a yacht? Why don’t you have a jet? Why don’t you have all these different things?” I’m like, “It’s my Yankee values.” Do I have an unbelievably beautiful multi-million dollar home here in the Caribbean? Yes. I did go all out of that but beyond that, we got a Hyundai Santa Fe in my garage and that’s our one car. We have a used golf cart.
I’ll spend money on experiences and certain things like we go on a 90-day European trip every single year minus 2020 because of COVID but every year, we’ve been doing that for several years. At the end of the day, it is hard to get me excited about spending money. I learned that from them. If you need it, you want it and it’s worth it, Yes. Otherwise, this dollar was hard to come by. I’m not going to throw it away.
What’s the biggest mistake you see people making when it comes to their perspective or their attitude in life as you look around? Thoughts on that.
I feel one of the biggest problems that people are having now, as they’re trying to make their way in this world is they’ve accepted this platitude of fake it until you make it, where they want people to think that they’re this big deal or that they’ve accomplished this and accomplish that. For whatever reason, they’re embarrassed about the fact that they’re the earlier part in their journey but instead, you need to embrace the fact of wherever you are in this journey. When I started back in 2012, I was a terrible podcaster. I embraced that. I told my audience, “This is my first show. I’m bad. I’m going to try to bring you a great guest and have them give you value because Lord knows I have no value to give you now in my journey but I promise you, I’m going to work hard. I’m going to get better.”
People resonated with that. They rooted for me. When I was getting better, they’d email me and be like, “You’re not terrible anymore.” “You’re still pretty bad but you’re not terrible.” It was a funny thing. My audience resonated with that because now they could see me full of flaws, full of struggles, full of obstacles and challenges. I’m trying to get a little bit better every single day and that was my journey.
Was it Entrepreneurs On Fire?
It was on.
When I researched you, I was like, “This guy has been doing this for many years.” I’ve had a lot of people tell me great things about you, John but you know what they never say though, I never heard. I thought you were two years into this and your flash in the pan. I pull up the timeline and I’m like, “This dude has been doing this for many freaking years.” Talk to me about the power of your persistence, maybe where that came from? What’s the lesson of persistence? How can you help our readers commit and be persistent with what they’re going for?
You need to sit down and identify what your big idea is, which by the way, happens to be chapter one in the book, Identify Your Big Idea. Many people are spending every day, not in their zone of fire. They’re not doing their big idea. Your big idea is something you’re both passionate, excited, enthusiastic about but also you have expertise, knowledge and skills. You need to have those ingredients commingled and combined into one zone of fire and into one big idea.
Once you’ve identified that big idea, which is a process, it’s not a long process, then you can discover your niche within that big idea. That niche is doing one thing better than anybody else is able to do. That is the best solution to a real problem. Once you’ve got that, you sink your teeth into that, you persist, you are patient and you deliver value as the best solution to a real problem in the marketplace and then you win. It’s not tomorrow, next week or next month. It’s overtime.Try not to become a person of success. Be a person of value. Click To Tweet
It took me 480 episodes before I felt I was a decent interviewer and decent podcaster. That’s a year and a half of doing it every day. Most people don’t do anything for a week straight, let alone a year and a half straight. Now fast forward, I did 2,000 episodes in 2,000 days. That’s five and a half years of never missing a day. Now I have 3,000-plus episodes, 100 million listens, 1.4 million listens a month, not from overnight, not because I launched a year and a half ago like some people might’ve assumed but because I launched many years ago and I have never stopped.
I commend you. You found your zone of fire and what John Lee told us, GAPers, you can find it at UncommonSuccessBook.com. You need to get on because if you liked that bit, that was a nugget that was awesome. I’ve been writing the whole time. That will keep you persistent. We are going to do Knowledge Through The Decade to close this episode out. This is a little technique that we created at the GAP. It’s been fun. John Lee, I know that no kids that you’ve had but certainly, you know babies or you’ve seen people that have had babies. What do you think the attitude lesson is of a newborn baby?
Wide-eyed optimism. They’re there looking around, taking everything in, happy, experiencing life and they’re making the most of it. I do have a niece and a nephew. I got a lot of friends in my community here in Puerto Rico have little ones. I think maybe one of your colleagues in eXp AJ Mida had a baby. I definitely seeing the babies around. A lot of them are wide-eyed optimism.
I always encourage all of our GAPers. If you want to improve your attitude. Tony Robbins used to do this too, look up at the ceiling, get the goofiest grin on your face, start smiling and be a wide-eyed baby for one minute, a day, it will change your state. I want you to go to ten years old. You grew up in the Northeast, right?
What part of Maine?
You’re in Kennebunkport and you’re ten years old, probably in third grade. Tell me what attitude lesson you learned in third grade?
The attitude lesson I learned is that you’re going to get out of what you put into something. That was something that I learned. I can remember my third-grade teacher now, Mrs. Fitzpatrick. She was fantastic. Whenever it was whether it be multiplication tables, Arts or gym, she made that lesson clear and it stuck with me.
Repetition on the multiplication tables. I can still see them in handwriting on our walls, 1 through 12. In our market, I could multiply many times 7% and come up with it like that. You then went to Providence College, big East. I’m here in Indy. We got the whole NCAA tournament. If you ever want to watch a Butler game, I live right down the street. I’ll make sure that we get you great seats.
We owned Butler soul last game, by the way. We destroy them. Providence College made Butler look like a high school basketball team.
Butler is killing me but it’s okay. We’re going to get better. We had our glory but now they’re finding out what persistence means. A flash in the pan and now they’re getting drugged but we beat Creighton, which was a good one. We’ll talk little hoops later but tell me, twenty years old, what was the attitude lesson that you learned?
Be kind to people. I was living at Providence College. It’s a small campus. Four thousand people. Everybody lived on campus. It’s barely off-campus and no commuters. If you want kinds like you were going to get the rightfully bad reputation, it’s a small family there. There’s wasn’t much room for error. Luckily, I took that from day one. I was coming into Providence from a small town in Maine and I was like, “There’s a bunch of city kids here, what can I do?” I kept that kindness going forward and it was a huge reason for me having the best four years of my life.
Be nice as number one on our Attitude Boosters. I have the ten boosters. Number one is, be nice. Whatever you do, be nice. If you want to keep a positive attitude, be nice. I love that you said that at twenty. I haven’t had that answer at twenty. Let’s go to 30 years old. I don’t know my guess as you finished your tour by the time you were at 30. I think you gave us a great lesson about your tour of duty but if you can think back to 30 years old, number one. Did you have a party? Do you remember your party? Who were you with? Number two, what was the attitude lesson of you being 30?
I don’t remember my 30th birthday party. I must’ve done something but it’s not coming to mind real quick. I did have an awesome 40th birthday party, which was sweet. I can remember that now. At 30, I would say be happy. That was my attitude. I can remember laying in bed at night. Life wasn’t perfect but before I was drifting off to sleep, I would have myself smile. For no great reason, I would lean back, be like I’m in a comfortable bed, in a comfortable room and I’m going to smile because I spent a lot of uncomfortable nights being in the Army. That’s one thing you do. I was out of the Army by 30. I smiled and that was the last thing I did at night as I drifted off to sleep. I think that’s important.
I’m feeling it’s a gratitude and reflection play. That’s great advice for everybody that’s reading this blog now. Let’s rock it to 40. Tell us about your cool party, if you want. What’s the attitude lesson for you? What are you living? What can you tell our GAPers about hope and themselves? What is the one thing you’re going to say to the people that are going, “My attitude sucks, I’m here on the GAP and John Lee hadn’t given me shit now?”
That’s impossible because I have given an unbelievable amount of awesome stuff.
You’ve been dropping bombs.
Anybody who thinks that is wrong but no, my 40th birthday party, my fiance took me up to San Juan, Puerto Rico for an amazing date night. As we walked through the hotel lobby where we were staying that night, four of my best couple of friends walked in. She had planned it. People flew in from Colorado, from Boise, from here, from there and it was a shock. We had the best night ever and that was pretty amazing. My thing for 40 would be 100% is how I start my day now is gratitude. I’ve written those three journals that I shared with you. The first line in those journals is, what’s something unique that I am grateful for? If you start your day with that, your day can only get better from there if you maintain that philosophy.
I want to commend you. I saw your fiance on your website. I’m a sucker for love so congratulations. I think it’s cool that you would honor her on your website. Not a lot of guys do that. Do you have a date planned? That’s how you roll? It’s all good. John Lee Dumas, I want to respect your time. The busiest podcaster on entrepreneurship certainly in America and we are privileged to have you for the 37 minutes you gave us. Make sure you go to UncommonSuccessBook.com. I’m going to do that now, buy mine and get my journals. John Lee Dumas, you are the rock and roll star. Tell Ken Walls I said, “What’s up.” Is there any last thought you would like to leave us, a word of encouragement or anything you’d like to share with our people to help them stay positive and live their dreams?
It’s an Albert Einstein quote, “Try not to become a person of success but rather a person of value.”
That does it all. This is Glenn Bill from the Get Attitude Podcast with John Lee Dumas reminding you to stay positive.
- Entrepreneurs on Fire
- The Common Path to Uncommon Success
- Sean Parnell – past episode
- Joe Reitz – past episode
About John Lee Dumas
I’m the founder & host of Entrepreneurs On Fire, an award-winning podcast where I interview inspiring entrepreneurs to help YOU along your entrepreneurial journey!
I’m also the author of The Common Path to Uncommon Success, your 17-step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment!
If you’re tired of spending 90% of your day doing things you don’t enjoy and only 10% doing things you love, then you’re in the right place. My goal with Entrepreneurs On Fire is to deliver the inspiration and strategies you need to FIRE UP your entrepreneurial journey and create the life you’ve always dreamed of.
I’ve interviewed over 3,000 incredible entrepreneurs, including Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Barbara Corcoran, Tim Ferriss, and many more.
However, before Entrepreneurs On Fire was even a thought, my journey was full of struggle and searching.
After serving as an active duty Army Officer for four years, I tried Law School (1st semester dropout), Corporate Finance and Commercial Real Estate. Here’s a video of my journey, and I’m willing to bet you can relate…