Community Matters | John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire Mastermind

Are you prepared to ignite? That’s the question that John Lee Dumas asks at the beginning of each episode of his amazing podcast, Entrepreneur on Fire. After spending nearly an hour with him yesterday being interviewed for an upcoming episode, I consider John a friend. After listening to approximately half of his more than 300 episodes, I am on fire.

Entrepreneur on Fire Mastermind Community

Being an entrepreneur doesn’t have to be a lonely path. Let @JohnLeeDumas show you how to build a community. (Tweet That)

My episode is here. In it I share my entrepreneurial journey. I also asked John to share a very important tip about community for entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, and all leaders alike.

Take it away John…

Don’t go it Alone, Community Matters

The good old 9 to 5. Health insurance, regular paychecks and a built-in community of individuals who are there to help you when you have questions, support you when you’re prepping for that big presentation and who motivate you when you’re having a bad day.

Removing the chains, becoming the Entrepreneur you’ve always wanted to be, means giving up a lot – if not all – of these things with the hope, the belief, you’ll be getting something much bigger in return. But in the meantime, you forfeit security, comfort and community, which are no longer handed to you in a welcome package.

But rest assured, all of these things are out there, and it starts with finding a community.

It was just like any other drive, really. I was on my way back from showing a piece of commercial property to a potential buyer when I ran out of podcasts to listen to. I still had over an hour left on my drive.

I suppose it’s a good thing I had that hour left on my drive; otherwise, it may have taken months or years to have my ah-ha moment. It was during this particular hour that I discovered I was meant to be an Entrepreneur. I was meant to create a podcast.

Once my ah-ha moment arrived, I kicked it into overdrive. I was obsessed with the idea of learning everything there was to know about podcasting, about building a platform and a following, about inspiring millions of people who were established or aspiring Entrepreneurs.

Over the next couple of months I did a lot of things right; but I also did a lot of things that, looking back, could have been done a lot better – I could have been smarter.

How was I supposed to know? I’d never been an Entrepreneur before. I’d never been completely out on my own with no community, no co-workers, no one that shared my vision or who was going through the same things I was at the time.

The lonely path

I quickly realized that the path to becoming an Entrepreneur was going to be a lonely one.

I realized that telling people about my ah-ha moment and what I was planning to do would require a lot of explaining – a lot of what, at the time, felt like convincing.

And so without knowing too much about what I was doing, I went out and found a coach – a mentor to help me tread the open waters that were unfamiliar, cold and birthed a horizon that was never ending. This is something I did very right.

But something was still missing.

I didn’t have a community of like-minded individuals who I could talk to about the tough times I was going through. I also didn’t have a community of people who I could celebrate little successes with, bounce ideas off from, or ask for feedback when I was thinking about trying something new.

Of course, my family and friends were great – they smiled when it seemed appropriate, frowned when the news sounded bad, and congratulated me when I sounded excited. But they didn’t really GET it. They had never been through the things I was going through. They’d never felt what I was feeling when I filed paperwork for an LLC, when I hired a VA on the Internet, when I started building a website from scratch knowing absolutely nothing about web development.

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Had I found myself a spot in a mastermind group when I first started out, I would have had access to a community of people who were going through the exact same things as me. I would have had people to talk to who knew what I was feeling, because they too had felt it when they were starting their business. I would have been able to talk to people who had suggestions, recommendations and resources that could have helped me get there faster, smarter, more efficiently.

Being an Entrepreneur is lonely at times. You can feel secluded from those who celebrate 4pm on Fridays, and who dread Mondays; from those who don’t know what it’s like to go four weeks without a paycheck, and then one day make $5,000; from those who don’t feel passionate about what they do, or gain any sort of satisfaction after sitting behind a computer or desk for eight hours.

Community matters

Communities provide support, motivation and accountability from those who are going through – have been through – are about to experience exactly what you are – what you have – what you’re going to experience at some point in the near future.

Communities can be priceless. They can provide you with some of your biggest fans. Your most loyal critics. Your most trusted advisors.

Not joining a community when I first started out was something I wish I could go back and change. But because I can’t, and because I feel so strongly about the importance of finding a community when you’re an Entrepreneur, I recently launched a mastermind group of my own so that I could reach out to others who are just starting out and looking for support; or for those who, like me, are still looking for a community of like-minded individuals to help them along the winding road.

We’ve built a very strong foundation of established and aspiring entrepreneurs who are all working towards a common goal: creating a business that they’re passionate about, and who are willing to share their passion and drive with others to help support, motivate and hold one another accountable: the recipe for a successful business.

Because I made the mistake of not joining a community back when I first started, I’ve now been given the chance to offer that to others so they don’t have to go through the struggles that I went through.

Take it from someone who has been there before: community matters.

Question: How have you formed a support community for your journey?

A note from Matt: John interviews today’s most inspiring and successful Entrepreneurs 7-days a week (seriously). EntrepreneurOnFire is a top-ranked business podcast generating over 285,000 unique downloads a month in over 145 countries, and boasts a lineup including Barbara Corcoran, Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, Guy Kawasaki, and hundreds more (like yours truly). All the magic happens at EntrepreneurOnFire.com, so go check him out. You’ll often see me there as well commenting.Listen to this post

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  • Let’s Grow Leaders

    The most amazing side effect of blogging has been the growing community. I learn so much as we all grow together…. and one thing leads to another. I just signed up for his podcast, thanks for the lead.

    • So true. I cannot tell you in words how powerful the relationships I have developed as a result of doing this have been.

    • I love this: we all grow together – that’s the beauty of a community! Thank you for your comment!

  • Matt,

    Thanks for the epic interview and this incredible post. You rock and ARE ON FIRE!

    ~ John Lee Dumas

    • Guys I’m super excited for the interview…I’d like to say I played some small part in it happening :) that being said, it’s gonna be an explosion for sure!! Lots of wisdom and passion between the two of you!!

      • Thanks Mark! Keep your eye out for it – coming soon!

        • You know I will! I never miss an episode, and certainly wouldn’t miss the one with my pal Matt on it!

          • I haven’t missed many, but not sure about winter…I listen to so many doing yard work :)

  • Bill | LeadershipHeartCoaching

    I totally agree with how important community is for the sole-entrepreur and one of the coolest things I come across is seeing bloggers I follow posting comments on other blogs that I follow – example Karin with LGL above. This just demonstrates a close knit community within a virtual world of 7+ billion Internet users.

    I too will be checking out this podcast!

    • Awesome Bill. You will love it!

    • Bill I love the observation you’ve made – it’s so true. It’s a great feeling to be part of a community where everyone is looking out for each other.

    • Steve Pate

      That’s how I found Matt’s blog through Chris LoCurto’s blog and I see many of the same tribe members! Its a rad thing!

    • Yeah, John’s helped me mow quite a few lawns as well! But he’s also helped me work, drive and tons of other tasks as well!

    • Great Bill, let me know how you like!

      ~ John Lee Dumas

  • Kirbie Earley

    I have not formed a community, but I will be taking your advice and seeking some out! I can relate to everything you are saying! Thanks for the advice.

    • Kirbie, you will definitely not be disappointed if you find yourself in a strong community. They are so powerful, and so priceless. Thanks for reading!

  • Awesome Post…I have heard Dumas’ podcast a number of times and interviews he has done on other podcasts…and his story is incredible. Good Stuff today.

    • Hi Travis! Thanks for listening to EntrepreneurOnFire, and for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed this post!

    • Travis, do yourself a favor and listen to all of them when you can. Long drives, yard work, exercise, etc.

      Then…note the ones that really impact you and listen again when you can take notes. I’ve gotten a TON from the show.

  • Matt, thanks so much again for helping us spread the word about the importance of community for all entrepreneurs – both established and aspiring. Looking forward to your interview on EOFire :)

  • Awesome post John! I’m so grateful for having found your podcast and also having the great privilege to interact with you a bit!

    Community is HUGE! I know I contribute most of my limited success to the group of folks that I interact with daily!

    I’m currently working on increasing my intentional use of the mastermind principle.

    Thanks for the kick in the pants!

    • Thanks so much Mark! A community is only going to help you grow that success, so keep on increasing your use. Community is also good for that kick in the pants you mention :) Sometimes we all need that little friendly shove.

  • Steve Pate

    Great post John and Matt, Ironically John, I just did a listening marathon with your pod cast yesterday and just down loaded a bunch more this morning to do the same again! Looking forward to hear your interview with Matt.

    As for community, I remember hearing one time, if you don’t tell some one your thoughts they’ll never know whats on your mine, or know your dreams!

    Through that idea, I have found a community of the “right” people who are willing to interject questions and thoughts to my whats on my mine. They have been way more beneficial to me than just those who only listen.

    So, I have about 4 people I go to with sharing my business ideas/dreams, and I have about 5 other people I go to to deal with my current work ideas.

    With out these communities and relationships, I wouldn’t be as good as I am today if I was left to my own thinking. In fact it would be a bit dangerous!

    John, if there is one common thread in the answers your guest respond with in your last question…I hear every body saying, “I would go out and network/go find the people.” What I don’t hear is, “ah I hope some one will find me.” -So with that, to be in community you need to go out an find one! and that’s coming from a guy who lives in the middle of the mountains!

    Thanks Matt and John for being in my “never met face-to-face, community”! Keep being you!

    • Steve, thank you for adding this comment here – I love how you recognized that the guests on EntrepreneurOnFire are ACTION TAKERS. They aren’t waiting for people to discover them, they are discovering people. It takes a lot of drive and motivation to be an entrepreneur, and having a community around you where like-minded people can help you achieve your dreams through honest feedback, constructive criticism and support is so important. Happy to hear that you’re forming that community around you – good for you!

      • Steve Pate

        Sorry if this sounds weird, but if I would ever be on your cast and when the question gets asked, “are you ready to ignite?” i would belt out Metallica’s song “Fuel”-“give me fuel, give me fire, give me thou what I desire!” that goes though my head every time listen to your cast!-Thanks again for the great content you put out there too!

        • @JohnLeeDumas:disqus John, can you invite Steve just for that reason? I don’t think he is an entrepreneur yet, but c’mon.

    • Dude that is awesome. Love comments like yours Steve :)

      • Steve Pate

        well you can’t have good comments with out great content! Thanks man that made my day!

  • I can say without a doubt that community has turned me into an entrepreneur. For almost two years I have walked with a group of incredible people who have dared to live their dream. I never thought I would be one of them.

    I have learned about Entrepreneur on Fire through Matt and others. I’ll add it to my regular list of podcasts! I’m looking forward to Matt’s interview.

    Thanks, John and Matt for inspiring me to make a difference!

    • Thank you for your kind and inspiring words Lily! Having a community to rally around you, support you, motivate you and celebrate with you is so huge. Congratulations on taking your leap!

    • I know that for a fact Lily. You have written a lot about it. The right community can lift you up big time!

  • I was wondering when you would be interviewed by John. You are the perfect person for his podcast.

    As for your question, my support comes form several different directions – my wife, my family, my church, my small group, my job, my blogging community, etc. I’ve thought about joining or starting a mastermind type community for bloggers/writers in my area. I think it would be a tremendous help for others and me as we navigate this part of my life journey.

  • brentmkelly

    Matt, huge congrats on this interview and I wish you continued success. I love this podcast and your blog. I have been gradually moving to the entrepreneurial world and I know community will be a huge part of my success. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Brent. Do 1% each week to move yourself there. Or even each month. That is all it takes man.

  • Here

    What about us introverts? Why is the very definition of an entrepreneur at this site an extroverted networker? Some of us do things, others network to get others to do things, and some do a little of both. I would rather be active.

    I could certainly be wrong, but it seems that many of the great innovators and impactful people throughout history did not have a community, and in fact it was their isolation that allowed them to push past the normal “communal constraints”. Community inevitably limit, that’s foundational to living in community.

    I actively hide my business pursuits from others. The last thing I need is a discouraging word, yet another hint to “just get a real job” … or the weight of community derailing everything I am trying to do. I would rather be lonely than fail, or worse, get sucked into the normal mediocrity.

    • Why is the definition of an entreprenuer on this site that of an extroverted networker? Because that is what Matt is for sure, and this is a guest post by John Dumas, who also seems to fit that definition.

      I don’t think, however, Matt is intending to say that ONLY extroverts can be entrepreneurs. Jon Henry, who comments on here quite a bit is a self proclaimed introvert.

      I agree with your premise that you don’t have to be a huge extrovert to be an entreprenuer. But I also think that on some level, EVERYONE has to network. You have to connect with people. Otherwise who will buy your product?

      As far as your statement that “community inevitably limit”, I would respond with, You don’t have the right community.

      The right community doesn’t limit, the right community encourages and pushes you to go further than you ever imagined.

      That is what the community here on Matt’s blog will do. The key is, if you’re going to be part of a community, actively create that community, don’t just leave it to happenstance. If you’re talking about followers, create content that will attract the type of person that will encourage, inspire and uplift you. If you do that, the others won’t stay, they’ll move on.

      If you’re looking to connect with people, connect and encourage only people that match your values and your goals.

      I wouldn’t be half as far along in my personal and professional life if it wasn’t for the community of folks that I look to daily for encouragement and a friendly kick in the rear! That includes Matt, and several of the commenters here!

      In conclusion, I certainly hope you’ll continue to visit Matt’s blog. Comment, share your opinions, ask questions, encourage others. You’ll find that we are a very encouraging group and everyone that comments here will be more than happy to help you move towards success–however you define it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • If it works for you, great.

      You inspired a future post by the way. Look for it next week.

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