An uncomfortably revealing interview with John Lee Dumas of EOFire (Live from Podcasters Paradise)

There’s something new about today’s interview. It was done live on a boat during a Podcasters Paradise Cruise.

I was interviewing the host of the event, John Lee Dumas. It was supposed to be a pre-interview for something I would eventually record on Mixergy, but…

I asked John to reveal stuff that most people wouldn’t feel comfortable revealing about his relationship, about his mentor, about me, frankly. It was so uncomfortable and we captured it on tape.

I knew if we tried to reproduce that magic, it would never happen again. So I had to publish it as it is. That’s what you’re about to watch.

John Lee Dumas is the creator and founder of Entrepreneurs On Fire. He is also the creator of the Freedom Journal, a way for you to get clear on your goals and to hold yourself accountable as you achieve those goals.

John Lee Dumas

John Lee Dumas

Freedom Journal

John Lee Dumas is the creator and founder of Entrepreneurs On Fire. He is also the creator of the Freedom Journal, a way for you to get clear on your goals and to hold yourself accountable as you achieve those goals.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy.com. It is home of the ambitious upstart, but frankly, you know that by now because I’ve done over 1,000 interviews here on Mixergy and you’ve heard me say that intro over 1,000 times.

But there’s something new about today’s interview. It was done live on a boat in the middle of–I don’t remember where we were at the time. It was on Podcasters Paradise Cruise. I was interviewing the host, John Lee Dumas, at the event. It was initially supposed to be a pre-interview for something I would eventually record on Mixergy, but I could see that there were a few times when I asked John questions that were not a little challenging, a lot challenging.

I asked him basically to reveal stuff that most people wouldn’t feel comfortable revealing about his relationship, about his mentor, about me, frankly. It was so uncomfortable that I love that we captured it on tape. A company called Repeat Productions recorded it. I said, “If we try to reproduce that magic, it’s never going to happen again. So I’ve got to publish it as it is.” That’s what you’re about to watch.

John Lee Dumas is the creator and founder of EOFire. He is also the creator of something brand new. It’s called the Freedom Journal. It’s a way for you to get clear on your goals and to hold yourself accountable as you try to achieve those goals and to make sure that if they’re big goals, they’re broken down into bite-size chunks that you can sprint and achieve and a way to hold quarterly reviews. There’s a lot there. If you want to check it out, check out TheFreedomJournal.com. I’m the first person to buy it. So, I can tell you it’s good and I’m really happy to have bought it.

This interview is sponsored by Acuity Scheduling. Let me tell you about this cool thing that Jeremy Weisz, our producer here at Mixergy did with Acuity. Jeremy had this idea that he wanted to get together with the best entrepreneurs he could get at a beautiful resort in Austin, Texas. He didn’t just want anyone. He wanted the best.

So, he put together a list of potential attendees and he emailed them. But he didn’t email them a link to a payment page because he knew that something like what he had in mind, people weren’t going to shell out $4,000 or $5,000 with just an email. So, instead he said, “Let’s get on a phone call if you’re interested,” and then he linked them to his Acuity Scheduling calendar which meant that they could see his availability on his calendar, pick the exact time that they want to talk to him and give him his phone number and everything was just fully automated.

Once they did that, the date was on their calendar. It was on Jeremy’s calendar, so they both were able to meet. It’s a phenomenally simple tool but it works really well. By doing that, he was able to talk to dozens and then hundreds of entrepreneurs, it was amazing, all beautifully coordinated with Acuity Scheduling.

Through those phone calls, he picked the perfect people to attend his event. He sold it out. We’re talking about over $50,000-$60,000 in sales from people who paid to come down to Austin to be at his event. It couldn’t have happened if he just sent them to a landing page and it couldn’t have happened if he had to coordinate via email on time. That’s never going to work.

If you’re trying to coordinate with people and get them on your calendar, you’ve got to check out Acuity Scheduling. It will make it super easy for you. If you go to AcuityScheduling.com/Mixergy, they’re going to give you 45 days free to try it out to use it to see how impactful it can be in your business.

This interview is also sponsored by Toptal. If you need a developer–and I mean the right developer–go to Toptal.com/Mixergy. You’ll be put in touch with a consultant who will understand your business needs, who will help you figure out the right kind of developer and that will match you up with someone from their network of developers.

If it’s a match and you’re happy, they will give you 80 free developer hours when you pay for 80. We’re talking about a big chunk of commitment time that they’re giving you. If you’re not happy, they have a two-week satisfaction period. So, if you’re not happy, you don’t have to pay, but they will still pay the developer. It’s a beautiful opportunity available for a limited time here for Mixergy listeners. Go to Toptal.com/Mixergy if you want to get them.

All right. Here’s the interview.

I can’t believe I haven’t had you on Mixergy. My system is flawed.

John: I was waiting for the right time.

Andrew: Yes. Good.

John: So, I do kind of want to start with this real quick because what we just saw was like a really high level of what a good interviewer is and the process behind it. So, when Andrew and I were talking pre-cruise, coming up with some ideas, he came up with this idea which I loved, but at the same time I hated it because here I am, you guys are about to be experiencing something that people don’t see.

How many people have listened to Mixergy? Can I see a raise of hands? So, you guys know on that show, like he gets people raw. He puts people in vulnerable situations. But what you don’t see is the behind the scenes, the pre-interview, which is even more vulnerable and more raw. Sometimes he told me he makes people cry.

So, I keynoted Podcast Movement, 11,000 people. You prep. You have your presentation. You’re ready to present. I’m more nervous right now than I was at Podcast Movement. I’d rather probably be in an unarmored Humvee than right here in front of you guys right now. So, let’s do this. I’m excited.

Andrew: All right. Why don’t I, at time, just pull away and talk about how I did it and what I did, okay? So, the first question that I have is what’s your goal with the interview?

John: So, my goal with the interview is to let you, a professional interviewer, kind of create a story for me that I’m going to want to show my grandkids.

Andrew: Ah, okay. Let me pull away here and talk about why that’s the very first thing I ask in the pre-interview. A few of you told me that what you do in your pre-interviews is you say, “I’m just here to help. Don’t worry. I’m not going to make you look bad. I’m here to make you look really good.” I used to do that too. It sets this feeling with your guest that you’re weak. It gets this feeling with your guest that you’re not a leader and it lets them feel like there’s no reason to respect you.

Instead, I tried saying, “What’s your goal with the interview?” When I know what the person’s goal is, I can bring it back to that goal. John just told me his goal is to tell this great story that he can be proud to share with his grandkids. So, if there’s a part that we’re going into that’s not ideal, I won’t say it’s not ideal for me. I’ll say, “Think of your grandchildren listening to this.”

If you were to tell me I have this new journal coming out and that’s my number one goal, if it was something that wasn’t really interesting in the story, I would say, “We could make this so much more interesting if we talk about that,” which would then help us sell more of the journals. Make sense? Cool.

So, I actually would like to talk about how you built EOFire and I’d like to talk about the journal. I became the first customer, the first guy to buy the journal, right?

John: First person.

Andrew: Yeah. So, you’ve said that setting goals–don’t worry, this is easy–you’ve said that setting goals is what helped you build EOFire to what it is today. Do you have an example of a time that you set a goal that allowed you to do this?

John: So it would be in the what I call Summer of Fire.

Andrew: Okay.

John: Where it was pre-launch of EOFire and I knew that I wanted to do a daily show, which was going to require me to have, at least in my mind, 40 interviews complete before I launched. So, that summer was set to complete 40 goals by September 22nd, which was my launch date of that.

Andrew: What were the 40 goals?

John: Completed interviews.

Andrew: Oh, 40 completed interviews. Oh, I see. That’s a big collection of them. So, I was asking questions last night over drinks with people of what they wanted to know about you. One of the things they said was there was a period there where Jaime Tardy, your coach, where she said, “If you don’t do this, I’m going to have to stop working with you.”

John: “Fire you.”

Andrew: “Fire you.” Right. What was it that you weren’t doing?

John: So, when we sat down in early June, Jaime made me be very specific with my goals. One of those was a launch date. I set down a launch date for August 15th to be completed, to be ready, website, social media, all done.

Andrew: What year?

John: 2012.

Andrew: Okay.

John: I woke up the morning of August 15th, 40 interviews complete, website done, social media ready to roll. I was paralyzed with fear of launching. Looking back even just the day after, August 16th, I knew the reason was because everybody told me was a daily show would not work and they were giving me all these examples of why. I knew that until I launched the podcast, they couldn’t be proven right and I couldn’t be proven wrong. I knew that I also could not be proven right, but I would rather be in that limbo than to have my dream of EOFire go down in flames.

Andrew: And as a result you launched and today where’s your revenue?

John: We did $542,000 this month.

Andrew: $542,000? Yeah, you can clap at that. Wow. And how much this year?

John: We’re over $3 million.

Andrew: $3 million? Why aren’t you an asshole? You’ve earned the right now to be an asshole to people. There should be a butler following you around with like champagne.

John: “Would you like some water now, John?”

Andrew: But I don’t want to leave people with the impression that it was all easy. Talk about one time that really sucked or was it all easy?

John: It was not all easy.

Andrew: What’s the one really horrible time in the process?

John: Well, the one horrible time would be the August 15th to September 22nd, those few weeks, where Jaime was riding me hard to launch the podcast. I was in a mastermind with Cliff Ravenscraft. He was saying, “You’ve just got to launch this thing,” but I was coming up with all these excuses of why I shouldn’t. “I need more time. I need more social media followers. I need to get my website more squared away.”

Andrew: Sorry. Let me interrupt. We can save this for the actual interview. What I’m curious about is after you launched, did it just all work?

John: No.

Andrew: No? What’s the worst time after you launched?

John: So, New and Noteworthy, which a lot of us are aware of, is the eight weeks that you can be featured. It gave me a lot of initial traffic. So, for the first eight weeks, I was getting over 3,000 listens per day on my podcast. I got back from a conference. It was Ryan Lee’s conference in New York City. It was week eight and one day. So, I logged onto iTunes and for the first time my show was gone from New and Noteworthy and it was also gone from anywhere else because I wasn’t in the What’s Hot section or Top Ranked Podcasts. I went from about 3,200 listens a day to 700. I thought that day that it was the beginning of the end.

Andrew: What did you do to pull it out?

John: I went back to my resources, my mentor and my mastermind and I talked to them about that. They shared similar experiences. They kind of told me that it was just all about persevering and all about being persistent with the vision and the focus.

Andrew: All right. Here’s a tough question that a few of us were asking, but it will show are we going to have a real conversation or are we just going to do fluff?

John: We’re going to have a real conversation.

Andrew: Jaime Tardy–she’s worked longer than you have using the same process that you’re using, being closer to you than anyone else. Analyze her for a bit. Tell us why hasn’t she done more? Why hasn’t she hit your level? We’ll see ourselves in her process and what you’re seeing?

John: Lack of focus. Jaime has over the past couple of years gone through a divorce. She has two kids. She’s moved from Maine to Austin, Texas with that family, so, a lot of disjointed. And she just hasn’t really continued to focus on the revenue side of her business. She has really more focused on maintaining a lifestyle but not growing that lifestyle.

Andrew: So, does that mean that somebody who’s got a lot of stuff going on in their lives won’t be able to hit those numbers?

John: No, it doesn’t. Jaime has also said that she has other priorities besides just her podcast and her business. She really loves the one on one coaching and she got really deep into that. So, when she did that, she kind of just committed to the reality that she only has so much time. She only has so much bandwidth and she’s willing to do it in a one on one manner for a set number of dollars because you can only charge one person so much. So, instead of going one to many, she’s really focused on the–

Andrew: One to one. So then that brings up another question. There have been so many people who learn from you and no one that’s hit your level. There was this question we were talking about at dinner that the best way to phrase it is, “Why him and not me?” Why you and not other people in the community who are doing multi-million dollars? Analyze them. What do you think it is and what can you do to get there?

John: I think there was a big first movers advantage for me to come into the podcasting space as the first daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs. I also think there was that lack of distraction. I put everything else aside.

Andrew: What did you put aside? What’s an example?

John: Both my health and my fitness for three years really suffered from where I am now.

Andrew: What did you do?

John: Stopped eating as well as I could. I stopped exercising to the degree that I had in the past.

Andrew: What did you eat that was so bad?

John: A lot of grains and sugars.

Andrew: That’s it?

John: Yeah.

Andrew: So, because you were willing to eat grains and sugars for a while, you ended up building this $3+ million business? I’m willing to eat grains and sugars. Was there anything more that you sacrificed?

John: So, one thing I was always been disappointed by is I don’t have a passion outside of business. I’ve tried a bunch of different things, but I’ve never given it enough. I’ve tried surfing in San Diego, paddle boarding. I’ve given golf a try.

Andrew: Give me an example of a time that you’re working when other people wouldn’t be.

John: 5:30 in the morning.

Andrew: 5:30 in the morning you’re working?

John: I am.

Andrew: I have your cell phone number now. If I call you at 5:30 in the morning next week, you’ll be up working?

John: What I’m probably doing around 5:30 which is a form of work for me is I’m doing a power walk around the bay in San Diego listening to shows like Tim Ferriss and Mixergy learning. I have my little notepad with me and I’m scribbling notes as I’m walking getting my business day going at 5:30 a.m.

Andrew: Kate, some people said the reason he made it and others can’t do it to his level–not that others haven’t. There are a lot of people that got good really good solid business. One of the reasons is Kate was there. True?

John: Very true.

Andrew: Could you have done this without her?

John: Not to the level that we’re at right now.

Andrew: Really? Why? What’s one thing that she did that helped you get here?

John: Well, I was out in Vegas and Gary Vaynerchuk was on stage. He was telling a story about how he thinks it’s so wrong that people try to fix their weaknesses instead of amplifying their strengths. That was one thing I was so focused on, just amplifying my strengths, but my business had so many weaknesses.

Andrew: What’s one weakness?

John: Organization, attention to detail.

Andrew: Okay.

John: The whole accounting side of business, basically.

Andrew: Can you give me an example of something that fell apart? You didn’t pay your taxes?

John: Here’s a really honest story that happened on the last cruise that Kate and I–it was just a month ago. I get an email from a guy that says, “John, I love what you’re doing and that’s why I’m going to tell you this. Whenever anybody’s credit card expires on Podcasters Paradise,” and we have 2,700 members, “I go back in to update my credit card to get access again. It doesn’t keep charging my card afterwards.” So, Kate, what was the number we had of people that happened to?

Kate: Probably around like 70.

John: So, like 70 people, their credit cards had expired or they had gotten new ones. They’d updated their credit cards as they had to through our systems, but then they were never getting charged. That was $700 a month that we weren’t realizing that one guy brought to our attention. We fixed that hole. But that’s an example of something that I just don’t have checks and balances for. When there’s so much money coming in, little things like that can add up quick.

Andrew: I’m a little sweaty now. Tell me if this is too personal.

John: Okay.

Andrew: No, I’m not asking that. I’m asking this. Does she have a share in the business?

John: She has a salary.

Andrew: So, you’re all about entrepreneurship. She left corporate America. She ends up with a job with a salary. Why not equity in the business? Why not share of a company that she’s helping you build?

John: Yeah. It’s probably one of those things where we haven’t actually gone down the road of going through the process of splitting up equity in the company or not. I was actually having a talk with somebody in this room I was talking to about equity shares in the company and the lawyer fees were kind of the reason why people haven’t gone down that road. I’m not sure if anybody remembers.

Oh, it was you Chase. It was Fizzle. I don’t want to reveal too much or anything. I was just asking was it just Chase and Corbett and why wasn’t Steph–it was the same conversation. That was his reasoning, which is honestly kind of ours because we didn’t have a team that could set that up.

Andrew: Is your dad a lawyer?

John: He is a lawyer. He’s in the room right now.

Andrew: So, you’re saying that is the plan. I have heard one of your episodes–I’ve heard several–but there’s one where you had CPA on Fire on. You said, “Here’s how to deal with paying salaries. What you do is you pass some extra salary to a person who’s in the lower tax bracket to shield the person who’s in the higher tax bracket. So, you were saying last year or two years ago, Kate’s salary was raised–do you guys really decide that way?

John: Our accountant does.

Andrew: Really? So, it’s just we’re going to decide how much you make this year based on how much your tax bracket is.

John: 100%.

Andrew: Really?

John: How can we optimize our taxes in the best way?

Andrew: Are you two in love?

John: We are deeply in love.

Andrew: Do you remember when you told her that you loved her?

John: Very clearly.

Andrew: Really? When’s the first time?

John: So, Kate and I were neighbors in San Diego. I decided to move back to Maine for a job back in 2011. The last couple weeks of me living there, we had only been friends. We started a little tryst going. We had an amazing–I don’t actually know what that word means. We became lovers in the last two weeks of being in San Diego.

And then true to my word, I did move back to Maine for my job as a commercial broker. We decided that we wanted to continue to see each other, albeit from afar, so I invited her out to Maine in August, so just a couple months after I moved back. It was just one night lying in bed about to drift off to sleep and I turned to Kate and I said, “I love you.”

Andrew: Did she say it back?

John: She did not.

Andrew: Do you want to say it now?

John: She actually did say it right back. What I was thinking was when I asked her to move out to Maine to live with me and she said she didn’t want to answer at that point. That was when she didn’t want to answer back.

Andrew: What do you do when you argue and you still have to keep working together?

John: We know that space is important. So, when we do disagree about things, we kind of look at each other and say, “Let’s put a pin in this for now. Let’s go our separate ways and come back 24 hours later, sit down and see if either one of our minds have changed from that point 24 hours prior.”

Andrew: Can you be open about one argument you had where you had to do that?

John: Yeah. So, a great argument we had was when we were going to close Podcasters Paradise for the first time back in May. For Kate, that was kind of uncomfortable. She didn’t really think that was the right move. She thought I might be sending the right message. I made my case as to why I thought it was the right move. We were traveling to Sabu. We were doing a lot of upgrades, all this stuff.

I could tell that she wasn’t really buying it. I said, “Listen, let’s just think about this, come back 24 hours later.” We did sit down and Kate said, “Having thought about some of your points and some of my own,” she came up with better reasons as well as to why it would make sense and how to focus that, we decided to make it happen.

Andrew: So, this is becoming more of an interview than I expected. Usually in pre-interviews, when someone goes off on a story, I want to cut them off more. The reason I want to do that is so it sounds fresh in the actual interview. So, I would say, John, I’m sorry to interrupt right now, I’m going to write it down and we’re going to include it in the interview, but I don’t want it to sound repetitive. So, we’ll come back to it. I even will do that if the story isn’t a good fit. But so far everything is kind of fitting. How much time do we have, how much more? Ten more minutes. Why’d you say, “Oh boy.”

John: Are you sweating?

Andrew: I used to listen to Howard Stern growing up and I learned so much about interviewing from him. I remember one time this woman walked out of the room and she said, “I can’t believe Howard didn’t ask me about…” and I thought I should be checking in with my guests and see what can’t you at this point in the interview, in the pre-interview–we’ve got ten more minutes–what do you feel like, “I can’t believe Andrew hasn’t touched on?”

John: The rest of my team.

Andrew: The rest of your team. Why do you think it’s important to talk about the rest of the team?

John: Because just like Kate plays such a critical and important role with the Entrepreneur on Fire business, the rest of our team is absolutely essential to what we do and to how we continue to produce so much content.

Andrew: So, give me an example of one thing you’re able to do because you’ve got this great team that other people’s teams can’t do, that will make Chris hate his team because he doesn’t have your guys?

John: So I knew for a long time that I had to take a lot off of my plate. When it came to tagging the episodes that happen daily, the uploading of the episodes, the show notes, all these different things I knew I had to take all this off my plate. So I spent a lot of time on Upwork.com. I found an amazing gentleman from Pakistan who had all the skills I needed–Adobe Audition . . .

Andrew: So what’s one thing he did that anyone else on Upwork couldn’t do?

John: He did something that a lot of people on Upwork could do.

Andrew: I see.

John: Yeah.

Andrew: So, it’s not so much that they have some magical powers. It’s just that you have them on your team and you’re clear about what they need to do.

John: And we have a very specific training process.

Andrew: Okay. What is your training process?

John: So, we have a knowledge base of tutorials. So whenever I bring somebody on the team and I want to teach them a process, we use a tool called Snagit to actually record the screen and my audio while I’m doing the actual task and then we label it, we put into Dropbox so they always access to it and we create that tutorial set, which has been great for Kate because she’s had a couple of VAs that haven’t worked out after months of training. Now we can bring in another VA, expose them to that knowledge base and say, “Watch these video tutorials, come back to us with any questions.

Andrew: I’ve heard a lot of interviewees say that’s the process they use, not exactly that way but to some degree. I’ve tried it. I’m really big on systemizing. What I’ve found is in reality, it’s hard to maintain them. You’re going to snag something and a month later you’ll forget that you snagged it and you’ll do it a different way. So maybe you snag it that way and you’ve got two different how-tos in your system, right? Or what will happen is you’ll do it one way, you’ll really document it and then the VA ends up finding a better way and doesn’t really document it because they just do their job. What do you do to avoid that or is that just part of the process.

John: So, every single day my VA has to send me an end of day report, which he documents everything that he’s worked on throughout the day. He always has to end with a last sentence of something he’s learned today, something that he’s improved upon today and something that he thinks that he can make better as part of the business. So, that’s happening five days a week. I’m reading these things and we’re continuing that open line of communication. So, every single time I get one of those emails, our processes get just a little bit better.

Andrew: What do you use for that?

John: Email.

Andrew: Just basic straight up email?

John: He sends me an end of day email.

Andrew: Interesting. So, what share is she going to get in the business?

John: 50%.

Andrew: Is that right?

John: We haven’t talked about it yet.

Andrew: You want to hang out later? Why is everyone constantly around John? We should be hanging out with Kate. She’s about to have 50% of his business.

John: Our business.

Andrew: Your business. Is there a mistake that you’re seeing people do over and over again?

John: Yes. So, I’m a big believer in standing up on the shoulders of giants. When I launched EOFire, I absolutely stood on your shoulders, shoulders like David Siteman Garland, Pat Flynn who were doing it similar in ways that I really thought were powerful.

But I did find my personal UVD, which is an acronym for unique value distinguisher. I wasn’t going to do everything like you. We have a big difference in our processes. You love the pre-interviews and that’s why your interviews are so good and so vulnerable and so raw. I decided that I wanted to approach my interviews out of curiosity like my listeners, like they potentially never heard of this guest before.

I only need to know about a little snippet about my guests and I kind of attack my interviews that way for time efficiency, just for me to be able to do eight interviews in one day. Have you ever done eight interviews in one day?

Andrew: Uh-uh.

John: I can’t imagine your video process and all that stuff, that’s a lot. So, it allows me to be more efficient, but at the same time, it leaves a lot on the table that you’re able to get out of your guests. So, there’s a yin and a yang and a pro and a con to everything. But I do believe that with my really focus on bringing something unique to the world, making sure that it was valuable and then distinguishing it with a format, which for my format has barely changed in 1,205 episodes. That’s one thing that I brought differently that I see a lot of people just trying to cookie cutter their way home.

Andrew: What do you mean? What does it look like when they cookie cutter?

John: I’ve been interviewed on a lot of podcasts where they don’t even change the questions that I ask. They just go down my line.

Andrew: Oh, they’re just copying your questions back to you.

John: Right.

Andrew: I see.

John: They think that’s the reason why I was successful. That was the reason why I was successful, but it’s not going to work for them.

Andrew: Last time I was on with you, I told you that the reason Mixergy has this big description that’s like–what is it? It’s something like, “Mixergy by Andrew Warner who loves you way more than the guys at Serial and This American Life and The Startup Podcast,” a lot of us have copied that. I asked you to point a finger at Jaime and tell us what she could have done better. Look at me. What do you see that I’m not doing as well and you’re looking back and going, “That fool.”

John: I think you’re definitely limiting a lot of your opportunities right now with just having Mixergy Premium. There are a lot of people that are going to want to go to you for a suite of products and a suite of services and you’re just throwing them in a $25 a month bucket, which you’ve created a business out of, but I feel like you are leaving a lot on the table.

One thing that we talked briefly about that I really think you could do is to have some of the people you’re interviewing that have successful products and services and develop affiliate relationships with them. Say, “Hey, guys, you’re listening to Mixergy right now. In two days we’re going to host a free webinar training where you’re going to get 45 minutes of value. Then you’re going to hear about their thing, their $1,000 thing. If you like it, you buy it, if you don’t, don’t.” You would be getting a big cut on this. We’ve been doing this over and over again throughout Q2 and Q3 to much success.

Andrew: You said you did this with David Siteman Garland. What happened when you did it with him?

John: So, we did it with David Siteman Garland. I had him on a Monday episode. We drove to a webinar, “Create Awesome Online Courses” webinar on Wednesday. We had 1,800 registrants. 850 people showed up. We had 203 buyers on a $1,000 product, 50% of which was ours. So, we did almost $100,000 just on that one webinar.

Andrew: Wow.

John: How many people does it take for Mixergy Premium to make $100,000?

Andrew: Yeah. A whole lot of people. I get it. All right. What else? I’m going to take the opportunity. Actually, yeah, what else? Go harder. Go to the point where you feel like, “I’m possibly going to ruin my relationship with Andrew if I say this.”

John: One thing I don’t think you do that well is connect with your listeners. I think you do so well connecting with your guests like on an incredibly powerful level, but I never see you turning to your listeners–I know you call them freedom fighters–on a consistent enough basis that you were saying like, “Joel, what are you struggling with right now? You the individual who listens to my show. What’s your number one struggle?”

And then actually listening to them on a one-on-one basis to your listener. Providing the solution to his specific struggle in the form of a product or a service. Podcasters Paradise was built off of me asking Joel and 100 other Joels that question and getting similar responses saying, “John, I want to create and I want to monetize my own podcast.” Launching Podcasters Paradise, 2,700 members, $3.5 million in revenue.

People like Joel now who have gone through it and been VIP members can pay and not they’re repping Michael Port on his podcast “Steal the Show” and developing whole business around that and seeing where they’re going and then you asked me about people having success going through, here’s an example. These guys are repping Michael Port for his new book “Steal the Show,” which is a number four Wall Street Journal Bestseller.

Now people will be like, “Michael, how did you launch your podcast?” Oh, “Joel LePay.” And then Bob Buringson will go to them and X and Y and Z are going to go to them. They’re going to build a business around this and they love doing that.

Andrew: You asshole. We can’t be friends anymore.

John: Tell it like it is.

Andrew: Wrap it up? All right. Thanks. One of the things I admire about you was that you did do it. I remember interviewing Sean Malarkey and he said, “This guy, John, he wants to talk to every single person who’s going to buy from him.” Do you remember this?

John: Yeah.

Andrew: Sean goes, “I just kept telling him, it’s not going to work out. What is the guy doing talking to everyone?” Sure enough, you did talk to how many people?

John: Well, there are 2,700 members in Paradise. When you join Podcasters Paradise, you actually get a personal phone call from me. We instituted this about nine or ten months ago. You actually get an email that says, “Can I talk to you?” You fill out a quick form and if you fill out that form which I beg you to, you get a call on your cell phone or if you’re international, Skype.

Andrew: Dude, I had no idea. I meant even in the beginning that you were going to talk to people to figure out who was going to be the right person for the community.

John: Right.

Andrew: I guess now you’re continuing to do it and I can see how it paid off for Joel and so many other members and I’m really glad to be here.

John: Great, man.

Andrew: Thanks.

John: Congratulations. Can we hug it out?

Andrew: Yeah.

John: Are we still friends?

Andrew: Yeah.


  • Really enjoyed being a guest on your show Andrew, despite it getting a little hot under the collar ;-) Thanks for the great opportunity!!

  • @andrew, I haven’t been to the site in a while (still listen via RSS feed) but I really like the new design. Can’t wait to listen to this episode with my pal @JohnLeeDumas:disqus.

  • Dylan Jones

    Great episode guys, really enjoyed this one plus great insight to the pre-interview process as well.

    Love the role reversal at the end with JLD riffing on Mixergy improvements!

  • Great interview! Although, having been apart of a live webcast with you, I think you’ve done a great job connecting 1-on-1 and fielding listener questions. I’m not sure where he thinks that can be improved specifically. Big fan of both businesses though!

  • Thanks Jared. I can always do more.

  • Thanks, Dylan.

  • I’ve followed him ever since he interviewed me for his site years ago and been amazed by his work ethic. And getting to know @JohnLeeDumas:disqus on the cruise, gave me even more admiration for him.

  • You were great. I enjoyed spending so much time with you on the Podcast Cruise & in SF. You’re one of my favorite people to hangout with. Congrats on the successful Kickstarter campaign @JohnLeeDumas:disqus

  • Ok, I listened earlier today. Honestly, not as awkward as I was expecting. There was probably some added awkwardness due to the live audience but that’s neither here nor there. I admit, the “Kate question” is a bit puzzling for most of us, but I’ll leave them to it. I’m sure I’ll see the world differently once I make $500,000 in a month (and find a steady girlfriend).

    As an interviewer myself I’m always trying to find what will be most useful for the listener, which could be something more straightforward and less awkward, but I’m always tempted to ask “What are the questions no one asks you, but you ask yourself?” Because those are usually pretty intense. Existential stuff like “is this how I want to be remembered?” or “am I past my prime?”

  • AJ Sorenson

    Fluff

  • mattackerson

    No I disagree.

  • mattackerson

    Andrew, this peaked my interest when I saw the “3 min Mixergy” subject line in my inbox.

    I came away feeling inspired being reminded of the heights John has reached, as well as, having a couple of actionable tactics to think about e.g. asking 1 person their very specific need or problem and then developing a product around it (John said this was the seed from which Podcasters Paradise sprang).

    Also, your pointed question about John’s take on Jamie — just about every interviewer would have Avoided that question, and just about every interviewee would have hesitated to answer. Neither of you hesitated. I felt a sense of strong sense validation hearing the answer since I credit a lot of my own growth these last 5 years to the power of focus vs. dividing your energy among too many ventures or ideas.

    Thanks for posting this raw interview.

  • marilynwhite

    1 year ago I left my previous job and it changed my life… I started doing a job on-line, for a company I found on-line, several hrs daily, and my income now is much bigger then it was on my office job… My last month pay-check was for $9k… Great thing about it is the more time i got with my kids… http://urlin.it/143f7e

  • ms.connietdean

    One year have passed since I finally resigned from my last work and that decision changed everything for me… I started freelancing on-line, for a company I stumbled upon over internet, for several hrs every day, and I profit now much more than i did on my office work… My last month paycheck was for Nine thousand dollars… The best thing about this is that now i have more time for my loved ones… http://urlin.it/143f7e

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