Becoming a person of value: The common path to uncommon success

There are a lot of things that make John Lee Dumas a remarkable entrepreneur. Take your pick:

► His uber-popular podcast “Entrepreneurs on Fire” gets more than a million listeners a month.

► His related business has generated well over 90 months in a row of $100,000 net profit.

► Every month he posts his income reports on his website.

Needless to say, on that last point, as John told me recently, “the income reports are the most visited pages on our website.”

So yes, John is a unique and highly successful entrepreneur, but what I love is that he doesn’t keep his “secrets” to himself – quite the opposite.

In his soon-to-be-released book (already an #1 Amazon bestseller), “The Common Path to Uncommon Success: A Roadmap to Financial Freedom and Fulfillment,” John gives a step-by-step blueprint for how anyone can achieve his same level of success.

It wasn’t easy for him, but as is his wont, he makes it easier for us.

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John went from being a soldier in Iraq to a series of unfulfilling gigs from coast to coast (doing the corporate cubicle thing, working for a startup in New York, selling commercial real estate in San Diego, attending a semester of law school, etc.)

But it was while listening to a podcast and hearing a quote from Albert Einstein that his eureka moment occurred:

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather, a person of value,” Albert Einstein is attributed to saying.

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That quote is key to the system John presents in his book. Each chapter is a different step along what says is a “common path” that can lead to uncommon success if you follow it.

The first step, for example, is about finding your “big idea.” What I loved here is that John explains that passion alone is not enough. Long-time readers of this column know that he is preaching to the choir.

It is when you marry passion with your expertise that you reach your sweet spot, your “zone of fire.”

For John, his doable big idea was to create a daily podcast featuring entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. That, he concluded, was how he could best blend his own passion with his best talents.

What big idea do you have that blends your passion and your talents?

The next step is to identify an undeserved niche and then to fill that void to the best of your ability.

“Be the best solution to an actual, real problem,” he says.

Again, what is unique about John’s take is that he counsels us to “niche” down, and then niche down some more.

“Niche until it hurts.”

John’s story is again illustrative of this. He says, “I had to find a void that was not being filled in the podcast marketplace. I had to find a niche that I could dominate from day one, not because I was better than the competition, but because of the lack of competition.”

For him, it was a daily podcast by and for entrepreneurs.

What is it for you?

If you want help answering that question, then I strongly suggest that you get this book and listen to John’s show. Those will educate you, inspire you, and help you get from here to there by becoming, well, as Einstein said, “a person of value.”

Steve Strauss is an attorney, speaker and the author of 17 books, including “The Small Business Bible.” You can learn more about Steve at, get more tips at his site TheSelfEmployed and connect with him on Twitter @SteveStrauss and on Facebook at TheSelfEmployed.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.

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