TLE Interview JLD






The Lonely Entrepreneur Interviews: Entrepreneur John Lee Dumas

The Lonely Entrepreneur Q&A is a new series we launched that discusses the struggles, perspectives, and successes of starting your own business with other entrepreneurs. This week, TLE interviews John Lee Dumas, who is the founder and host of the award-winning podcast “Entrepreneurs on Fire.”

TLE:   John, as an entrepreneur, what do you consider to be your biggest struggle? What changed?

John:  I charge full speed ahead pretty much all the time. When I have an idea, I want to implement it now. This is a struggle because I come up with a lot of ideas, but I also know in the back of my mind that there are many things to consider before starting to use your time and bandwidth on a new project.

About six months post-launch of the podcast, my girlfriend Kate joined the team here at EOFire. We are opposites in many ways, and that’s a huge benefit in our working relationship: my strengths are her weaknesses, and vice versa. So where I’m ready to charge full speed ahead, Kate is much more analytical and asks the tough questions when it comes time to deciding whether or not to pursue something.

TLE:   Sometimes, the best day can also be the loneliest one. What was your loneliest day as an entrepreneur? Your best day?

John:  My loneliest day as an entrepreneur was about a week after I took my leap.

I had left my corporate job, and I was working from home. I didn’t know anything about podcasting—or anyone else who was a podcaster. It’s tough when you feel alone on your journey, and when you feel as if no one else understands what it is you’re feeling or going through.

This was the same day I joined a mastermind and hired my first mentor. In doing so it very well could be considered my best day, too; I point to these two investments all the time when people ask me how I got to where I am today. Investing in yourself is so important.

TLE:   We all remember our firsts: first sale, first customer, first time we were in the news. What is your favorite “First” moment as an entrepreneur?

John:  The first email I received from a listener telling me that because of the inspiration and motivation they get from EOFire every single day, they quit their job and started their own business.

This person was emailing me and telling me that I had changed their life—that EOFire had encouraged them and helped them realize that they, too could be an entrepreneur.

TLE:   Being an entrepreneur is not a job, it’s an identity. What do you consider to be traits an entrepreneur must have to succeed?

John:  Productivity, discipline, and focus are among the top three traits I see in every successful entrepreneur I’ve interviewed on EOFire.

These 3 things set entrepreneurs apart from others. Entrepreneurs are motivated and driven by their cause to get a lot done; they’re not afraid to do the work; and they know the importance of going one-inch wide and one-mile deep…Versus one-mile wide and one-inch deep.

TLE:   Can you identify a damaging perspective that stifled your progress and how you were able to change it to make progress?

John:  The impostor syndrome is something we all struggle with, and even as a successful entrepreneur who is running a seven-figure business, I also have doubts and fears around putting new things out there and being vulnerable. This fear has caused a fail to launch multiple times in the past—the most notable for me: actually launching EOFire.

It’s this exact fear that will continue to try over and over to hold us back, and I know that what sets successful entrepreneurs apart is that they take action and move forward in spite of this fear. I know there are risks and potential failures in my future—I’m just not willing to let them hold me back from trying. It’s thanks to my mentor and the people I choose to surround myself that I have the support and encouragement I need to continue pushing through these fears.

John Lee Dumas is the founder and host of EOFire, an award winning Podcast where he interviews today’s most successful Entrepreneurs seven days a week. Dumas has interviewed over 1300 Entrepreneurs, and EOFire has over 1 million monthly listens. John’s latest project is The Freedom Journal, a gorgeous faux-leather bound journal that guides you in accomplishing your #1 goal in 100 days. Launched on Kickstarter, it raised 453k in 33 days and became the #6 most funded publishing project of all time. You can learn more at

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