I started listening to podcasts in 2011 when an ad agency friend, Scot Singpiel, first gave me some recommendations and really sold me on the idea. One of the first I downloaded was EOFire. I came in around the episode he did with Marcus Sheridan and was immediately hooked.
The style was brief, fast-paced, a bit formulaic (okay, a LOT formulaic!) but the content was compelling and ultra-relevant to my situation. John Lee Dumas, who later renamed himself JLD, was interested in the same thing I was interested in: creating a smart, automatic, content-focused business model that didn't require me to trade hours for dollars.
In five years, I've heard almost every one of his now more than 1400 daily interviews. And I'm glad to report that John has gotten better (a LOT better!) at interviewing, really hitting his guests with questions that get to the core of how they think and built their business. And I love when he doesn't let them off the hook with a weak or "backhanded compliment" of an answer!
For those of you like me that are preparing for our one-day-in-the-future interview with John Lee Dumas, or whoever is successfully following in his well-defined footsteps at that time, here is the basic outline of the questions we'll need to answer:
JLD Question #1: Are you prepared to ignite? (You just have to basically find a creative way to say "Yes, I'm ready" and no matter what you come up with, John will laugh over your response)
JLD Question #2: I've given a little bit of your background. Now tell us a little more about yourself and give us just a little glimpse of your personal life. (Not really a question, but he will pause and wait for you to come up with an answer. And yes, he says "a little bit" a lot)
JLD Question #3: (He will segue from whatever you gave him in the last question and then say something like:) Well, it takes a lot of dolla's to do (whatever that awesome thing you claim you're doing in your personal life). So where does the revenue come from? Where are you making your money today?
JLD Question #4: What is your worst failure to-date as an entrepreneur? (And don't even try to not make it a story or to say you have more than one!) There's only one "worst" (he'll remind you) and I really want you to take us to that exact moment. Really tell us that story.
(And be prepared for the follow-up of "What do you really want to make sure Fire Nation gets from that story?" Nine times out of ten, John's gonna make you spell it out!)
JLD Question #5: Now what's your greatest "Ah-ha" moment? (This is the question he upgraded to from his previous "Have you had an 'I made it' moment?" question that got a lot of ambivalent or otherwise not-helpful responses)
JLD Question #6: What's your biggest weakness as an entrepreneur? (And he's a shark sniffing for blood on this question. I love when the guest tries to get away with the ol' college interview answer like "My strengths ARE my weaknesses" or "My biggest weakness is probably that I work TOO hard and I care TOO much." He will laugh it off, but then he'll hit you again with something like, "Really? THAT'S your biggest weakness? Come on. What's it really?)
JLD Question #7: And what's your biggest strength? (This answer is usually the briefest of the whole interview, so stay trite and save your best snappy answers for the upcoming Lightning Round. It's nominally John's favorite.)
JLD Question #8: You are busy and you've got a lot going on that you're justifiably excited about. But I want to know, what has you most fired up about your business today?
And then it's time for the Lightning Round!
Lightning Round Question #1: (He starts with the indispensable and perpetually awkward:) Are you prepared for the Lightning Round? (Where you have to be ready with a snappy, "Yep," "Sure, John," or an awkward, "Let's light it up!" Oh, and there was one terribly bad one where the guy was like, "I'm a Buddhist monk dipped in kerosene" or some similarly scarring visual reference. I'm not gonna be that guy. Let's prepare a simple answer. Let's not be that guy.)
Lightning Round Question #2: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? (Most common answers John will accept: "Fear" or "Nothing!")
Lightning Round Question #3: What is the best advice you’ve ever received? (Best if you can quote a celebrity or your dad. Bonus points if it's a nod to a previous answer)
Lightning Round Question #4: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? (Basically an opening for you to brag about how you're super into meditation)
Lightning Round Question #5: Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation. (And he will bust you up if you try to use Evernote. He's like, "Seriously? I just said 'like Evernote.'" But man, his guests seem to LOVE Evernote)
Lightning Round Question #6: If you could recommend just one book for our listeners, what would it be and why? (Then he used to plug his team up with Audible. 'Cause he knows we love audio! I mean, we listen to podcasts, we're not the kind of people running out and buying bound packets of dead wood!)
Lightning Round Question #7: The $500 question. (And yes, it's a doozy! Always a "doozy") Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world identical to Earth, but you know no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have, your food and shelter is taken care of, but all you have is a laptop and $500.00. What would you do in the next seven days?
John Lee's Question #8, or #9, or #15, I'm not sure how I was keeping count: I want to end today the same way we started–on fire!–with you sharing a parting piece of advice, the best way that we can connect with you, and then we’ll say goodbye. (This complicated three-part finale of a question usually throws them, so make sure you don't leave a part out, or he'll inevitably follow up with a reminder for the part you forgot)
Bonus Question from John Lee Dumas: And where is the best place that people can find you?
John Lee will remind us all: Fire Nation, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. (And then the part you've been waiting for, he's gonna change your name to initials. Will you get three? Maybe just two? Does John even know your middle initial?)
You’ve been hanging out with SPB and JLD today–so keep up the heat and head over to EOFire.com. Just type Shawn in the search bar and his show note page will pop right up with everything we’ve been talking about. (He may remind you they're the best show notes in the biz, Fire Nation, with links and time stamps GALORE!)
Then you're done! Twenty-five minutes of unedited, immortalized podcast fame.
But I love it. I can't tell you how many of my rough, ROUGH mornings have started off with me feeling miserable and uninspired at 5am and become 25 minute personal mentor and motivation sessions for me because of the awesome content that JLD is putting out through EOFire. And for that, I am grateful. And I’ll catch you on the flipside!