Entreprene­urs can take common path toward uncommon success

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

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 1 million listeners a month.

• His related business has generated more than 90 months in a row of $100,000 net profit.

• Every month, he posts his income reports on his website.

“The income reports are the most visited pages on our website,” Dumas said.

Dumas 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 a No. 1 Amazon bestseller), “The Common Path to Uncommon Success: A Roadmap to Financial Freedom and Fulfillmen­t,” Dumas gives a step-bystep blueprint for how anyone can achieve his level of success.

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

Dumas 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.)

Listening to a podcast, he heard a quote attributed to Albert Einstein – “Try not to become a person of success but rather a person of value” – and his eureka moment occurred.

That quote is key to the system Dumas presents in his book. Each chapter is a different step along a “common path” to success.

The first step is to find your “big idea.”

What I loved here is that Dumas explains that passion alone is not enough. Longtime readers of this column know he is preaching to the choir.

When you marry passion with your expertise, you reach your sweet spot, your “zone of fire.”

Dumas’ doable big idea was to create a daily podcast featuring entreprene­urs, for entreprene­urs.

That, he concluded, was how he could best blend his passion with his best talents.

The next step is to identify an undeserved niche and 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 Dumas’ take is that he counsels us to “niche” down, then niche down some more. “Niche until it hurts.” Dumas’ 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. What is it for you?

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

Steve Strauss is an attorney, speaker and the author of 17 books, including “The Small Business Bible.”

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GETTY IMAGES The “common path” to success may start with finding an enterprise that combines your passions with your talents.
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