HSH 004: The ONE Big Goal and How to Achieve it with John Lee Dumas

John Lee Dumas is the creator of the successful daily podcast, EOFire, as well as the extremely popular online community, Fire Nation.  In this episode, he shares with listeners how to identify that one thing you should be pursuing, and how having too many goals might not be a good thing. He discusses the importance of reflection, along with providing exciting details about his amazing new project, The Freedom Journal! 

John grew up in Maine and lived there for 18 years. He went to college on an Army ROTC scholarship, spending 4 years after college in active duty as an officer. After this experience, he tried many different careers including law, corporate finance and commercial real estate. 

“(I failed) at every one of those career tries. It was just a struggle for me.” 

He started listening to audio books on his commute to his latest corporate job, and then transitioned to podcasts. He couldn’t find a daily podcast that interviewed inspiring and successful entrepreneurs, so he decided to create his own, which he called EOFire. 

EOFire launched in September 2012, and he has now released about 1200 episodes that have been downloaded 26 million times. His show has roughly 1.4 million downloads per month now, and growing. 

John believes it’s important for entrepreneurs to focus on what he calls that “one thing.” 

“If you want to start being broad, trying to serve everybody, you’re not going to resonate with anybody” 

If you do your one thing well, you will become an authority figure on it. For John, it was being a podcaster who interviews inspiring entrepreneurs, from Day 1. 

To pick that one thing, you need to determine what you enjoy doing. John wanted to talk to and learn from successful entrepreneurs and build relationships with them. He also loved listening to podcasts, and he identified the best way to do all of those things together. He then focused on this goal. 

“My big goal of 2012 was to launch a daily podcast. Everything else took a second seat.” 

When members of his Fire Nation use to ask what the secret to success is, he’d say “hard work.” He now realizes that the entrepreneurs he has spoken with know how to channel hard work to set and accomplish their goals. 

He took all of 2015 to work on his latest project, The Freedom Journal, and says it’s a tool and solution to bridge that gap to setting and accomplishing goals. The premise is it is to help you accomplish your goals in 100 days. 

Hundreds of people have already gone through the beta test, achieving phenomenal results. 

John is currently running a Kickstarter campaign, along with Pencils of Promise. With every funding goal hit, he writes a check for $25,000 to that organization to help them towards building a school for the less fortunate. 

“I’m a goal-oriented person, and I want to know that I’m working towards something” 

The Freedom Journal is set up in 10-day “sprints” leading to the 100-day objective. John did this because he noticed that his big successes, as well his guests, were achieved in about three months. By using the sprints, you gain momentum and are able to review the overall process periodically. He also has set up quarterly reviews every 25 days to go along with daily tasks and nightly recaps. 

“So often we are just working forward. We need to always keep an eye to our flank.”

One thing that people can do in the next week to move closer to his or her goals is to just take the space and time to think, breath and relax. 

“You might just stumble on that big goal that excites you and lights your spark” 

To John, hustle means hard work, but with balance. He says you need to know what your strengths are, and hustle in that area that you are good at so that you can become great.