TMBA 110 (TTR11) – What are Your Chances of Having $1,000,000 in 5 Years? (Hint: They Might Be Higher if You Move to China)

TMBA 110 (TTR11) – What are Your Chances of Having $1,000,000 in 5 Years? (Hint: They Might Be Higher if You Move to China) post image

NOTE: Both of our TMBA summer start-up dates have sold out. Thank you for your support. I didn’t expect to see that. I thought I’d we’d be rocking a huge sales letter by now.

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This week I decided to get back to my roots, fire up my dorky headset, and do another Tropical Talk Radio (iTunes link).

Today we ask the question: do you think it’s likely that you’ll have $1,000,000 in your personal bank account in 5 years? You might be surprised by the way some young entrepreneurs answer the question.

I was first introduced to my guests Tim and Nick by my friend Sean Ogle, and since that time I’ve enjoyed following what they are up to in China (I’m also proud to call them DCers!).

These guys talk about doing business in China, and accelerating your entrepreneurial career by making the jump to Asia. I like the metaphor Tim and Nick use: “lose the [corporate] ladder, take the elevator.”

Tim and Nick from the Elevator Life

One of the most useful pieces of small business advice I’ve ever heard is: “9 out of 10 small businesses track with market.”

I believe the same principle can apply to your life and career. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Listen to this podcast and learn:

    • Why Tim and nick think it’s easy to just up and move to the world’s fastest growing economy, despite what outsiders might think.
    • Why you might not even need an business or working visa to get your start in China.
    • The monthly expenses of somebody living and working in China.
    • Some concrete tactics and approaches to moving to China yourself.

People on this show:

Episode length: 15:39

Subscribe to Tropical Talk Radio by clicking this link.

If you don’t like iTunes, here’s the MP3 file–> [DOWNLOAD MP3]


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Published on 04.20.12
  • *thumbs up*

  • Wow, what a timely podcast. I’m in the process of arranging to spend a couple of years in China myself!

  • I will have to check out their blog. I just came back from one year in China. Lots of opportunity for opportunity seekers. 

    Where is that picture from? It looks like Hong Kong.

  • theelevatorlife

    Yea buddy, it is HK!! WHere were you living in China?

  • theelevatorlife

     Where you heading?

  • Qingdao. You guys must be in Guangdong province, yeah?

  • theelevatorlife

    Ya we are in Guangzhou

  • Entrepreneur in Beijing. Discovered this site through a discussion on Hacker News and was surprised to find the head podcast is about two guys in Guangzhou. So first things first — let me chime in and say that if Tim and Nick can help China newbies get setup with an apartment and some part-time income — that’s a wonderful service for someone coming to China to see if it is the right place for them.

    That said — Dan — I have to disagree with the implication you were pushing that this is an easy road to money. China has advantages and disadvantages, but Nick and Tim are realistically the exception rather than the rule when it comes to expat hustle in China. I’ve been in China for about ten years and there are two dominant failure patterns that keep repeating. The first involves people who raise money or have limited savings and come to China because it is cheap. I have yet to see this play succeed. Living costs can be low if you know what you are doing, but there are expenses people will not have elsewhere: visa costs, travel expenses related to visa issues, business registration, etc.. And God forbid someone needs to register a legal Chinese business entity in order to collect renminbi denominated payments. How many businesses can someone setup in China that will have a competitive advantage and yet don’t involve accepting the local currency?

    The second big failure is competence. Language issues are a HUGE problem since people who cannot speak Chinese are easy prey to inertia and a sense of hopelessness when things go wrong (and they always go wrong). You need the sort of drive and hustle that Tim and Nick have to not give up and find ways around the problems. I think people with these traits are as likely to succeed outside of China. Tim and Nick are smart because they have the sensibility to know what they need and don’t need to do given their current size.

    Good listening. Thanks for sharing!



  • This was a very excellent comment. Language issues are gigantic. If you want to do business in China but do not speak the language you will get taken advantage of.

  • Dan

    Hi! Thanks for your comment, so cool you found us from HN, I hang out there a lot. 

    Appreciate the kind words. I’d suspect as well that Tim and Nick are ringers in any country. My impression thus far as been that moving to China is a big opportunity for young westerners, although I didn’t mean to support the idea that it’s easy. I will stand behind this– I’m sure it’s a hell of a lot of fun. :)

  • Dan


  • Dan

    As requested!!! :)

  • Dan


  • Justin Miramontes

    Awesome podcast and two awesome dudes. I’ll definitely be following these guys now. Thanks for another solid episode!

  • Dan

    Cheers Justin thanks! 

  • Stevewyman


    Great to hear from the guys at ElevatorLife. You have a really great site.

    Is there a good way to find low cost accomadation in your area?

  • theelevatorlife

     Hey thanks for the kind words Steve. Ctrip is a really good site to use for traveling in China. They can help you find hotels and flights and they book them for you. Speak English as well.

  • Payman.

    Hey Dan, always, awesome stuff. This is very timely as I have been contemplating spending time in China for a while. Loved the podcast, it’s making me even more excited about moving to China. Tim and Nick, you guys rock! I love your site! I’m going to be devouring everything on your site and I can’t wait to get to China and to pick your brains over drinks there. Thanks for the great insight!



  • Dan

    Cheers Payman, appreciate your support man!!! Sure Tim and Nick would show you a great time. 

  • theelevatorlife

    Haha ya i think we can do that

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