with greg layton

The Inner Chief is for leaders, professionals and small business owners who want to accelerate their career and growth. Our guest chiefs and gurus share powerful stories and strategies so you can have more purpose, influence and impact in your career.

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In this Best of Series episode, we hear from John Lee Dumas, Founder of Entrepreneurs on Fire, on being insanely valuable, thinking outside the box and unlocking discipline to win.

I interviewed John in April 2018 after I had met him only a few months before at a podcasting conference in Brisbane, Australia.

John is the founder and host of Entrepreneurs On Fire, an award-winning podcast where he interviews today’s most successful entrepreneurs, 7-days a week.

Coming from a background as a US soldier in the Iraq War, John has grown the show into a 7-figure business with over 3,000 interviews, 100 million downloads and 1.4 million monthly listens.

He is also the author of several books.

In this episode, you’re going to hear John talk about:

  • Being a person of value not just a person of success
  • Getting in front by standing out from everyone else
  • Why he hustles so hard and does what his competition isn’t willing to do
  • How he systemised his podcast production to free up an insane amount of time to live his most ultimate life.


Connecting with John Lee Dumas

You can connect with John via his EOFire website.

Books and resources


“If you're willing to work like nobody's willing to work, you're giving yourself at least the opportunity to live like nobody else is able to later.”


On early lessons from the army

  • At that point, I was in my early twenties, and I hadn't really taken life that seriously. Then I was in the army and potentially going to get killed and might actually even be responsible for other people getting killed as well. I mean, this is war. This is serious.
  • So I decided that for those 13 months, it's just all about doing what's right, taking the extra step, going the extra mile, being professional, being disciplined, being focused on what I'm doing.
  • That was really the first time that I saw the benefits of being disciplined, and I saw the benefit of really being focused on the task at hand. I understood what productivity means, by taking the right actions on a day to day basis and see what that can lead to.

On his daily morning routine

  • I start the day with two to three hours of just focusing on my health, my wellness, my energy and that starts off at civil twilight, which is when the sun is still six degrees below the horizon, so it's light out but the sun has not yet come up. That's when I get out of bed and that's when I go outside.
  • I do an amazing 25 to 30 minute yoga session then I follow that up with a 10 minute meditation. That then moves into my gym where I do 30 minutes in an infrared sauna. Then  I go into my shower and I do dry brushing right before I shower to get my lymph nodes moving.
  • I hydrate with a freshly squeezed lemon into my water with a great all natural and all nutrient powder. I also have a fruit and vegetable blend that is mixed in too. So I'm essentially drinking about 30 ounces of water.
  • Then I go through a little breathing exercise to really make sure that I'm oxygenating my body and my blood in the best way possible. Then I journal and then I do my first focus session of the day where there’s nothing where I’m being reactive. It's about being proactive on a project that I'm currently working on.

On chasing success

  • All I was looking for in the corporate world was success. I was chasing success and respect. But I just wasn't finding happiness.
  • Then I saw a quote that I'd seen before, but I never really absorbed it properly. It was an Albert Einstein quote, “Try not to become a person of success but rather a person of value.”
  • And I'd been trying to become a person of success my entire life and I had been coming up woefully short, but what value had I been giving to the world? Really not that much.
  • That's when I decided to come up with a concept of creating value first and seeing where that led me, which led me to create a free, valuable and consistent podcast called Entrepreneurs on Fire. And here we are, over 3,000 episodes over 100 million listens to date, with a business that generates multiple millions of dollars every single year.

On living outside of the box

  • One of the biggest problems with corporate America is that everybody is just playing within their own box.
  • I asked myself, “How can I do this differently? What is needed in this world?” I soon realised that there is no daily podcast and there were probably people that were like me that were driving around every single day looking for new inspiration, new guidance, new excitement. And I thought to myself, “Why can’t I be that person to fill that void?”
  • You should ask yourself, “What is really screwed up at my work?” And then you make a change happen that's meaningful, or you move outside of the box. And that's going to make people raise their eyebrows. You can't be afraid to raise those eyebrows or try something different. Mediocrity just sucks.

On building a side hustle

  • It’s a great opportunity for most people because most people are living paycheck to paycheck and that’s the proverbial handcuffs keeping them locked in jobs and lives that they frankly just don't like, or even despise.
  • So if you really want to live that lifestyle that you want, you've got to start utilising your other hours. Instead of getting home from work, watching three hours of Netflix, then going to bed, waking up right before you need to leave for work, flying into work and so on, you've got to flip the script a little bit.
  • Entrepreneurs are willing to work like no one else is willing to so they can live like no one else is able to later.
  • That's what the side hustle was all about – testing things, brainstorming, getting that initial momentum and then seeing ways you can amplify that down the road.

Final message of wisdom and hope for future leaders 

  • If you want to be, do. Whatever it is that you want to be in this world, do that thing.


Stay epic,