Every web entrepreneur loves John Lee Dumas—or at least that’s how it seems to us.
John’s EntrepreneurOnFire.com blog hosts a seven-day-a-week podcast, in which he personally interviews entrepreneurs and experts from all over the web. He also publishes a blog, produces ebooks and other resources, and manages the passionate, inspired and inspiring Fire Nation Elite community.
It’s exhausting just to think about! What the heck is his secret? This week, I got the chance to find out in a quick Q&A session with the man himself.
John, you’ve interviewed more than 300 entrepreneurs. You produce a weekly podcast, you’ve created a dedicated EntrepreneurOnFire app, and you also create ebooks and other resources for your followers. Where on Earth do you find the time?!
I am an extremely efficient person, and I’m a big believer in the idea that “the task will expand to the time allotted”. Therefore, I allot my time wisely and make the most of what I’ve got!
An example is my batching method for the podcast. With a seven-day-a-week podcast, some might think that I’m literally on the line with a new Entrepreneur every single day recording one more episode. Truth be told, I have about 30 episodes scheduled out in LibSyn right now. That’s because every Monday I do eight interviews, starting at 8am, and ending at 5pm.
I then spend the rest of my Monday night editing every one of those episodes. Come Tuesday, my week is free of the “episode portion” of the business so I can concentrate on the other things you’ve mentioned like ebooks, social media, Fire Nation Elite (my elite mastermind group) and other resources.
Wow, that really is efficient! I know you also have a team, which must help with that too. Can you tell us a bit about them and what they do?
I currently have one Virtual Assistant working for me from the Philippines, who I found through Chris Ducker’s VirtualStaffFinder. She’s awesome. I pretty much delegate anything to her that is a repetitive task. So, she does a lot of the scheduling for our social media posts, helps me create the skeleton for my show notes pages, and creates things like the pretty links for every guest’s page on the site.
I also have a partner in the business, Kate Erickson, who is the Content and Community Manager for EntrepreneurOnFire. She writes our blog, creates all of our content for the website (our giveaways, for example), manages our marketing campaigns/CRM and is the lead on Fire Nation Elite, our mastermind group. She’s also my girlfriend, so finding her was pretty easy!
Aha! Well, it sounds like you’ve got a pretty smooth-running team there. I’m getting the impression that process is really important to your ability to get things done, but also to the quality of your output. Is that true?
Yes, it’s absolutely important in terms of getting everything done. Without the batching of the interviews, for example, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish all that I do.
But just because I batch doesn’t mean I slack on quality—that’s number one for me.
I’ve ensured that I have the best possible set up with the best possible audio, and I do every edit myself. Quality is very important to me. The process supports my goals in that it affords me the time during the rest of the week to get other important stuff done for the business, like creating resources and products for my audience.
Well, let’s talk about audience. Your business is pretty heavily niche-focused. How important do you feel it is to have deep experience within one niche in your success?
Niching is so important—it’s required. If you don’t know exactly who you’re speaking to, then you’re speaking to no one.
I think that dedicating yourself to becoming better at what you do every day is the most important thing—always be ready to learn. When I started EntrepreneurOnFire I didn’t know how to conduct an interview. I didn’t even know how to record a podcast. It was through my relentless dedication to, and passion for the process that both interviewing and podcasting have become skills of mine.
So I think it’s more about the depth of your skill (knowing exactly what you want to be known for, and dominating that) rather than breadth.
Wow, it’s difficult to believe that you started out without knowing how to interview people, or how to create a podcast. What’s been your biggest challenge in growing your business to the point it’s at now?
I think for me, the biggest challenge is maintaining quality while continuing to scale. I mentioned earlier than quality is very, very important to me, and so it’s definitely been a challenge to continue to bring myself back to that when there are opportunities all around me that I could go after. I will not go after those opportunities at the cost of quality.
I’ve overcome that by hiring amazing people to help me. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without their help.
That’s a great point. Is there any other advice you’d give to someone building a web business?
Just start. You can’t let fear and doubt keep you from following your passions. It doesn’t matter if your product or your website or your podcast isn’t perfect—you have to get it out there. You can correct course, pivot, improve along the way, but if you never start, then you’ll get nowhere.
Want to read more about how amazing people manage to get so much done? Read our interview with affiliate extraordinaire Rae Hoffman.