Former Friar is on Fire: PC Hosts Entrepreneur and Podcast Star John Lee Dumas ‘02
by Sydney Olinger ’23
John Lee Dumas ’02, author of The Common Path to Uncommon Success and host of the award-winning podcast Entrepreneurs on Fire, spoke to students via Zoom on Tuesday, April 13. Dumas shared his story and journey to financial freedom and fulfillment after graduating from Providence College in 2002. He also addressed the lessons and strategies he learned while building his multi-million dollar media empire by interviewing over 3,000 of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. Dumas’s podcast, Entrepreneurs On Fire, has gained over 100 million listens since its launch in 2012. He has now generated over 1.4 million monthly downloads.
Though he did not know what career route he would take at the time, the beginning of his long journey to success began at PC. From the first time he stepped foot on campus as a kid from Maine, to the present day as a successful businessman in San Diego, CA, Dumas states he has bled black and white as many members of the Friar Family do. After attending his first basketball game as a prospective student on his visiting day, he never missed a home game in all of his four years, which he claims is one of his proudest accomplishments at PC.
While a student at the College, Dumas was an army cadet in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps for four years before officially becoming an active-duty officer. Despite the 6 a.m. alarms three days a week as a member of the ROTC program, he powered through and believed that it was his “North Star” truly helping him to have a sense of focus and drive throughout his four years. He also strongly valued the relationships he made with and lessons he learned from the Dominican Friars as a freshman living in St. Joseph Hall.
Following Dumas’s graduation from PC in 2002, he traveled to Iraq to serve a 13-month tour of duty at only 23 years old. There he was a tank commander in charge of four tanks and 16 men. Through all of the death and destruction he witnessed as an active-duty officer including four of his own men, Dumas was grateful for the many experiences he had, but he decided it was time to move on.
Subsequent to his time in the army, Dumas confesses that he struggled to find his place in the world for about six years. He attended law school at Roger Williams University for one semester before dropping out. He then tried corporate finance with John Hancock in Boston, until he realized he did not want to work a cubicle job and quit. After a few attempts of finding his footing, he ultimately made the decision to move to San Diego on his own to try working in real estate. Ironically, his first connection in San Diego within the real estate community was a fellow PC graduate, which further confirms that the Friar Family always sticks together.
Dumas started his own business with 13 employees, whom he had to train himself, which essentially gave clients home evaluations in regards to what a house was worth. He knew at the time that this was not going to be his end career, but he acknowledges that it was a perfect start and that he gained a great deal of business knowledge.
In an attempt to learn more about business for his job at the time, Dumas was unknowingly landing his most successful career yet. He started reading books on entrepreneurship, salaries, etc. but it was the podcasts that he truly enjoyed for inspiration. His favorite podcasts were the interviews with successful entrepreneurs, but when he realized there was not a single daily-interview-with-successful-entrepreneurs podcast that existed, he had, as he claims, his “aha moment.”
In September of 2012, Entrepreneurs on Fire launched. For seven months, he did not make a single dollar. Dumas continued to consistently interview successful entrepreneurs until, finally, in his 13th month, he brought in abundant revenue. He has remained consistent for five and half years, interviewing thousands of successful entrepreneurs and inspiring many more future entrepreneurs.
Riding the Radio Waves: Christopher Judge Gives Inside Look At PC’s Podcast
by Matthew Mazzella ’20
There are many voices to be heard around Friartown, and the Providence College Podcast team is looking to find them by sharing the stories of the people who make this campus so special.
The Providence College Podcast releases new stories from people in the PC community in the form of a podcast every week and providing students with compelling stories that are just a click away.
Christopher Judge ’05, multimedia producer for PC marketing & communications, believes this new method of communication for the College is a great way to connect with the Friar Family.
Judge states, “It is a new way to reach alumni, parents, students, donors, and fans of the athletic program at PC. We want to hit every piece of the College and hear about what people on campus are doing, and it gives us a chance to share stories unique about Providence College.“
Although the podcasts about Friar athletics are the most popular, Judge believes there are some other very interesting stories to be heard. He found the interview with Father Nicanor Austriaco, O.P. to be particularly compelling.
“This was one of my favorites because of how amazing of a person he is and the stories he can tell. I especially liked hearing about his MBA process,” says Judge.
Without the podcast program, stories like these could go unheard, especially for people not directly on campus. The podcast team is looking to change that.
Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications Joseph Carr ’83, finds this to be a great platform for storytelling. He believes that “it is up to us to provide compelling content about the Providence College community, and we want to make a good connection with the Friar Family that tunes into our shows.”
While there is a large following already, marketing and communications is always looking for new ways to get Friars to tune into their shows. Luckily, these shows are readily available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and SoundCloud and are easily accessible for those looking to learn a little more about the people who make PC so unique. These podcasts are produced every week and have been in the making for the past two years.
Although the podcasts are mainly geared toward alumni and parents who have more time to listen, the Providence College Podcast team would like more students to tune in and become a part of this storytelling platform.
Judge mentions, “We understand that students are busy and may not have time to listen to podcasts, but they should really check out what we are offering and open their minds to the amazing stories that are being told by the people right around them.”
Joseph McDonald ’20 loves keeping up with the podcasts and the stories being told around campus. “I enjoy hearing about people I see on campus but have never had the chance to sit down and talk to. One of my favorite podcasts was the interview with Ed Cooley. He is such a motivating figure on campus, and to be able to follow him on the podcast was really cool for me.”
PC is a special place to so many people, and this program allows Friars to remain informed about what is going on around campus. It also gives older generations a way to stay connected to their beloved Friar community.
These podcasts describe the quality and uniqueness of the College, and it allows everyone in the community to learn more about the people that make this campus and community so special.
For access to PC’s podcasts, click the link below to see their playlists: