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

Steve Strauss, Special to USA TODAY
·3 min read

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 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 told me.

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-by-step 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.

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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, etc.)

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." 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.

What big idea do you have that blends your passion and your 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." You can learn more about Steve at MrAllBiz.com, 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.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How to be successful and happy? Match your passion and talent