We celebrate the 200th episode by talking with John Lee Dumas, the host of Entrepreneurs On Fire, a podcast about building up successful entrepreneurs about the importance of a really specific niche.
We cover information about becoming the best solution to a real problem, niche down and then niche down again and use the memory of being broke and unsuccessful to propel you forward in your business.
Bio John Lee Dumas here (but you can call him JLD). He is the founder & host of Entrepreneurs On Fire, an award-winning podcast where he interviews inspiring entrepreneurs to help YOU along your entrepreneurial journey!
- Don’t find someone who’s killing it with their business and launch a pale, weak imitation of it. You’ll lose.
- Become the best solution to a real problem.
- You can combine two unique niches if they fit together. Niche until it hurts.
- JLD wrote a book compiling the 17 steps that he learned from interviewing successful entrepreneurs.
- Growing a successful business is hard. So is waking up broke. So pick your hard.
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Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, where food bloggers come to get their fill of the latest tips, tricks, and insights into the world of food blogging. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to add value to your blog. And we’ll also ensure you’re taking care of yourself, because food blogging is a demanding job. Now, please welcome your host Megan Porta.
Are you a motivated food blogger, striving to meet financial or freedom goals? If so, then the Eat Blog Talk membership is for you. Take a journey with like-minded peers that will bring you past the overwhelm and straight into the arms of clarity. You will have direct access to guest experts, delivering massive amounts of value into your business. You will have the opportunity to participate in monthly strategy calls, focusing on different aspects of food blogging. And most importantly, you will be part of a tight knit supportive and encouraging family filled with people just like you. Visit eatblogtalk.com for more information. And the rest of us can not wait to see you inside.
Food bloggers, I can hardly believe that I am saying these words. I have a huge smile on my face right now, but this is Eat Blog Talk’s 200th episode. So crazy that we’re here. It has been such a journey, and I just feel so grateful to be at number 200. I wanted to preface this episode with a little bit of information because it is significant. About two years ago, actually it was like two and a half years ago, now I was in just a heavy mode of pumping out content. So I was doing a lot of cooking and baking. At that time I was doing video creation as well. So I had a videographer that would come over to my house and we would just spend entire days together. While we were doing our thing, we would turn on podcasts. So one of the podcasts I found during that time was called Entrepreneurs On Fire and it was hosted by John Lee Dumas. Fell in love with it. It’s such a great podcast. By the way, if you guys don’t listen to it, you absolutely should. He has thousands, yes, seriously, thousands of episodes where he interviews other entrepreneurs and talks about all kinds of different topics that help entrepreneurs gain success and momentum in their businesses.
At the time, I had absolutely no desire to start a podcast. I did not have this on my radar at all. 0%, but fast forward, about six months after the time when I started listening, I just knew I needed to serve food bloggers in a new way and thanks to JLD and the information that he shares in his podcast, I started Eat Blog Talk. So really it was because of him and his encouragement that Eat Blog Talk was born. I don’t remember how I got this time with him, but I recall having the chance to get five minutes of time on the phone with JLD. During those five minutes, I just presented him with this problem. I said, I am a food blogger. I’ve been food blogging forever. I want to help food bloggers find freedom and success, and I want to add value to their businesses.
He said, you have to start a podcast. Pronto. I remember those words very clearly. Then he told me, don’t just do a regular anything goes food blogging podcast. You’ve got to niche down. So think of a topic inside of food blogging that you can focus on. So I bounced off to him also incorporating self-care and taking care of you while becoming a better blogger. He’s like, love it, do that. If there’s nobody else out there doing that, this’ll be a great focus. So that is what I did with Eat Blog Talk. The rest is history. Fast forward two years since I started listening to his podcast. I have the opportunity to now interview him. So we have just a teeny tiny bit of time with JLD today, but you are going to love this interview. He always brings the value and he does here. Here you go. Here is my 200th episode recorded with John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneurs On Fire.
With over 1 million monthly listens and seven figures of annual revenue, JLD is spreading entrepreneurial fire on a global scale. His first traditionally published book, The Common Path To Uncommon Success is available for pre-order now at uncommonsuccessbook.com. Wow, JLD thank you so much for being here. I feel like someone has to pinch me a little bit. I feel a little bit starstruck. My husband was like, don’t be weird because I can get really weird when I’m starstruck and I can start saying really strange things. So I apologize in advance if I do, but just want to preface this really quick. So two years ago, I found your podcast Entrepreneurs On Fire, which I love. I binge listened while I worked, literally just went through hundreds of episodes, super helpful. I recommend it to everybody and I never would have believed back then that not only would I be 200 episodes into my own podcast, but that I would be interviewing the JLD. So here you are. You’re here. Thank you so much for being here. I’m super grateful for your time today.
John Lee Dumas:
Well, I’m grateful too. I don’t take it lightly. I mean, let’s be honest. Did you think a couple of years ago I’d ever be chanting your name on your podcast? Megan! Porta!
Never, never, never. So just so much gratitude. So you have a book that’s being released soon, and I want to talk about that in a little bit, because I’m really excited for it. I think my audience will love it as well, but first I just wanted to tell you who you’re talking to. You are talking to food bloggers. Food bloggers are a really hardworking and determined, resilient bunch of people, just like most entrepreneurs. They are also looking for some level of freedom, whether that means being able to spend more time with their families or to earn a specific amount of money so they can travel more. I know you’re familiar with kind of all of those things, but as you know, JLD, there’s a lot of noise involved in this online space and it can be really loud and overwhelming and hard to navigate through. So I want to ask you what would be your number one piece of advice for food bloggers who are looking to achieve their big dreams, whatever that freedom is for them, without drowning in overwhelm.
So here’s the deal. This happens in every industry, in every niche. I know that the food blogging space is no exception to this, is you have people that come out and there are what I call first mover advantages. They have a great idea and they go all in on it and they crush it. Then people are like, Oh my God, that person’s crushing it. I’m going to do exactly what they’re doing. They launch a pale, weak imitation of that individual. They lose. They fail because they’re not as good as them because they haven’t been doing it as long and they don’t have the audience. Everybody looks at them as a copycat imitator as well. So they lose all the time. What you need to do in every single space, where wherever you’re at and this again, absolutely applies to the food space, is you need to become the best solution to a real problem.
If you become the best solution to a real problem in any vertical, in any niche, you will win. People will beat a path down your door. Now there’s an example that I give that actually I give whenever I talk about actually discovering a niche or potentially even combining niches. It weirdly applies to the food space a little bit, but I’ll just say it anyways, which is, Hey, there’s a person I know that wanted to launch a yoga podcast. I’m like, that’s going to fail because there’s a thousand yoga podcasts out there, and you’re not telling me anything that you’re going to do that’s unique or different. I’m like, what else is it that’s kind of special about you or just that you have a passion for, or that you have some skills or expertise in. They’re like, well, you know, what’s also kind of interesting is I’m a vegan.
I’m like, well, that is kind of interesting. That is cool. What about the Yogi vegan? Cause now you have this opportunity where every single person who loves yoga, but that’s also a vegan is going to come across that podcast. Is going to come across that blog, is going to come across that, fill in the blank. They’re going to be like, this is for me because I love yoga. I’m also a vegan or I’m a vegan. I also love yoga. And this podcast is going to speak directly to me because these are my people. This is my leader right now. You’re going to be able to get traction, momentum, as you go forward in that process. So that is one example of how you can combine two niches, but also even if you’re just within the food niche, how can you go down two, three, maybe even four levels.
I call it niching till it hurts. Until you are the best solution to a real problem in that niche. Stop being scared that it’s too small of a niche. That’s what every whiner, crybaby says and they lose every time, they do. But John, there’s not enough people in that niche. Maybe it’s too small of a niche. I want to serve everybody. I’m like, okay, go ahead, go ahead and try. Because you’re going to try to resonate with everybody. You’re going to resonate with nobody, every single time. When I wanted to launch a podcast back in 2012, that was my big idea of a podcast. I niched down into the business space. Then I niched again into interviewing entrepreneurs, within the business space. That wasn’t enough. Megan, I would have been the eighth best podcast. Cause there were seven other ones, interviewing entrepreneurs and nobody wants the eighth best podcast interviewing entrepreneurs.
They want the best. So I said, what can I niche down again till it really hurts where I am the best? And guess what? It was quantity for me, that ended up being my solution. Everybody was doing a once a week show. I did a seven day week show. So I became the best daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs, the day that I launched. I was also the worst daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs. Megan, I was the only daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs. That’s how I won that game and built up this media empire. Over time I broadened out and incorporated a ton of different things and you can too in the food space, but you’ve got to get initial traction by going deep with a specific niche and owning it because either your competition doesn’t exist or they’re so weak, you can squash them day one.
So right off the bat, you were winning because you were so unique and nobody else had that. You’ve been consistent.
I was the only!
You were the only, and you’ve done this for so many years and you’ve just killed it. You’ve repeated that over and over consistently. And consistency is part of it too, I believe. You can’t just put yourself out there and then just die off. You say this all the time, JLD, you’ve got to put in the reps, you’ve got to be consistent. Without that, you’re not going to get anywhere either.
Yes. Okay. I want to hear about your book because I’m super pumped for it. I know that you are promoting it right now. It’s called The Common Path To Uncommon Success. Can you just tell us a little bit about it and also why you think my audience should get it?
Listen, this book is the culmination of the 3000 interviews I’ve done over the past decade. Learning from the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. I’ve discovered 17 foundational principles that all successful entrepreneurs share in common. Those 17 foundational principles I put into a step-by-step chronological roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment. That’s why I call it the book, The Common Path To Uncommon Success because these are common principles. These are common elements. These are foundational, common elements and principles that you can follow on your path to uncommon success. This book is a passion project of mine. I really want people to just understand they can get this book. They can follow these steps to get to financial freedom and fulfillment, to get to their version of uncommon success. That is my pledge. That is my promise. We’ve already kind of gone through the first two steps, which I go through in detail, of course, in the book with tutorials and exercises, explanations, there’s a free companion course that comes with the book as well that walks you through everything. Number one, step one, identifying your big idea. I teach you how to do that for maybe the first time. I know for most of you listening is probably in the food space, but I’m talking about a really big idea in that space. Then number two, which is which nobody ever goes to and that’s why they fail is how to discover the niche within your big idea to actually win, get initial momentum, traction, and start growing. So this book has 17 steps. I just kind of ripped through the first two. There’s obviously 15 more to get to your version of financial freedom and fulfillment. But this book, it’s everything that I wanted to be able to gift to my audience who asks me essentially the same 10 questions every single day that I can’t answer because I can’t answer all these individual questions one by one, but now I can hand them the book and say, this is your common path to uncommon success. Enjoy.
I also love how the title of your book kind of describes your journey. I’ve always thought that that’s exactly what describes you. You’ve had really uncommon success, wild success, but you’ve followed this really common path that is kind of straightforward and really simple, actually.
You’re a hundred percent right. It’s not just me though and that’s what I found out. I’m just doing this very simple, common things. I’m having incredibly uncommon success and Oh wait a second. I’m interviewing the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and they’re doing the exact same things. They’re experiencing the exact same things that I’m experiencing. It’s not rocket science. This isn’t the complicated path. This isn’t the hidden path, the secret path to uncommon success. This is the common path to uncommon success that literally any human can follow and implement, if they’re willing to put in the work. Because guess what? It is hard, Megan. It is hard to grow your own business. It is hard to establish a niche. It’s hard to grow an audience. It’s hard to generate revenue. All these things are hard and I’ll never say they’re not, but you know what’s also hard? Being broke. Take the paycheck. Wake up every morning, doing something that you don’t like doing. That’s hard too, because I’ve lived that life for 32 years. So I know that’s hard. All I did back in 2012 was choose my hard and my hard was building a business. Guess what? I’m glad that I put in the hard work of building a business, as opposed to choosing the hard of living a miserable broken unfulfilled life. I just chose my hard.
I love that so much, I love comparing the pain. I love how you just phrased that. What is worse? What’s more painful? Being broke and upset about not having money or success or putting in the work, being determined, deciding that you’re going to do it and just digging in and doing it. When you put it like that, yes, I am definitely choosing that option.
Because you’re choosing either way. You’re choosing either way. If you choose to wake up in the morning and to hit the snooze alarm 10 times and to let another day go by that you’re not following your dreams or your passions or your expertise or your skill sets, you’re choosing to live a hard life because that life is hard. It’s hard knowing that you’re living an unfulfilled life, that you’re living a life below your means. You’re living a life of being broke and not being able to afford the things you want to do. Of not being able to write a check to a charity that you love and support. People say this, Hey John, listen, money, can’t buy happiness. I’m like, money cannot buy happiness. But guess what? A, the lack of money will make it hard to be happy. Having no money makes it pretty hard to be happy. Cause now you have to go into survival mode and that’s a stressful anxiety filled place. And number two, that person will look at me and I’ll say, let me ask you a question. Have you ever been able to hand a blank check to a charity or a cause that you really love and believe in? Of course your answer is no. Take my word for it because I have, that’ll make you happy.
That’s so awesome. Thank you so much for your time. I am actually going to give away two of your books to my listeners. So the first two people to email me with, just write The Common Path in the subject line, will get two free books. I’ve purchased two myself. I have an audio one coming and I have a hard copy and I’m going to probably tear through it before anyone else does. Look at this. I didn’t even say anything too weird during this conversation, so high five to me.
Not a thing. I was here chanting Megan! Porta!
Well, thank you. I know you have a bajillion other interviews to do today, so I’m going to let you go off to those but thank you so much for your time. It was just a super pleasure to have you here. JLD.
I hope you guys enjoyed this episode as much as I did. Please go check out Entrepreneurs On Fire and I really hope that you grab a copy of JLD’s book too. You will not be sorry. Okay. Thanks for listening guys. I will chat with you next time.
We’re glad you could join us on this episode of Eat Blog Talk. For more resources based on today’s discussion as well as show notes and an opportunity to be on a future episode of the show, be sure to head to eatblogtalk.com. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll be here to feed you on Eat Blog Talk.
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