017: Trying Different Careers To Find What Works For You (John Lee Dumas)

John Lee DumasHave you ever wanted to do something so revolutionary no one thought it could be done, not even leaders in your industry? Our guest for episode 17 has and today he’s doing what no one thought could be done: he’s running a thriving and lucrative 7-day-a-week podcast.

John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire joins us to talk about EOF, how it came to be and what his life was like leading up to its success.


A native of rural Maine, John was raised in a family of lawyers and military veterans. So it made sense when he went to prestigious Providence College on an Army ROTC scholarship. After graduating, he was part of the first class of commissioned officers after September 11.

As a second lieutenant in the Army, he served four years on active duty including a 13-month stint in Iraq. After which, he completed his required service with an additional 4 years in the National Guard.

But what was next? He had no idea so he spent a year traveling in India and Nepal and then four months learning Spanish with a Guatemalan family. When he arrived back in the States, he decided it was time to get serious and in his family, that meant going into law.

But within the first few days of law school, John knew it wasn’t for him. He stuck it out for a semester but then left and began his quest to find his true passion.


  • How he coped with the doubters.
  • Did he look at podcasting as a viable business model?
  • What made him put his blinders on and follow his heart & his intuition?
  • What he was doing when he had his “ah ha” Entrepreneur on Fire moment?
  • Advice he has for anyone choosing an different path than their family chose.
  • And so much more!

And it took quite a few attempts before he did. He tried corporate finance for awhile, then residential real estate and then commercial real estate. None were “it” for him and he felt it. But it was those last two choices: residential and commercial real estate, that helped him find his calling.

Part of the job in real estate is to drive around and John spent plenty of time in traffic. But he detested the radio and radio news programs; audio books got expensive because he was in his car listening so much. And that’s when he stumbled upon podcasts and fell in love at first listen.

That was 2009. He spent the next three years in residential and commercial real estate and was only a podcast listener. He had no designs or ideas about how to create a successful podcast, he simply listened.

In 2012, while in traffic he had his “ah ha!” moment and came up with Entrepreneur on Fire (EOF). EOF would be a daily podcast airing 7 days a week and would interview entrepreneurs about their journey. The discussion would start with their failure, their own “light bulb” moment and how they pursued their idea til it became a success.

And John this idea was “it” because of the passion and the fire he felt, it was a feeling he had never had from any of his previous career experiences.

But not everyone was as excited as he was, many thought a 7-day-a-week podcast couldn’t be done, nor was it sustainable for him to do it.

John forged ahead regardless and with mentorship from Jaime Tardy, among others, he created Entrepreneur on Fire. Today it is a massively successful podcast having released over 600 episodes, won “Best of iTunes” in 2013 and was downloaded over 829,000 times in the month of May alone.

John truly believed in his idea and was determined to see it through to fruition. He has blessed countless lives because he was unwilling to give up! He truly is an entrepreneur on fire.

Leave a comment below or send him a Tweet and let John know what you’re igniting next!

Tweetable: “It wasn’t until my idea for Entrepreneur on Fire that I felt that burning fire.” John Lee Dumas 



Take Our Listener Survey!

We want to hear from you! Click the link above to take our short listener survey, so we can learn how to better serve you. Oh, and we’re giving away a $50 iTunes gift card to one lucky person who completes the survey 🙂

Share this post!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit

Join the Conversation


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *