We Help Entrepreneurs Grow Great Businesses (From Anywhere)

This site helps people build profitable location independent businesses, and meet with others who are doing the same.

We focus mostly on self-funded and bootstrapped businesses (although we have nothing but love for you ambitious startup folks!)

We generally focus on “lifestyle businesses”– that is, the first question in our enterprises is generally not how can we maximize our income, but rather what are we trying to optimize for? what do we care about? and what are we interested in doing?

Want to travel? Spend more time with your family? Change the world? Help others build more meaningful careers? You might want to make a living from your writing. Maybe you want to give your parents a comfortable retirement? Or maybe, you just want to get rich. Fair enough!

We believe– and have seen it happen many times amongst our friends and readers– it’s possible to build businesses that accelerate your ability to achieve all these things.

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At lot has happened since our first post back 2009. We’ve met 1000′s of readers all around the world thanks to this blog. We’ve created jobs and apprenticeships, thrown conferences and seminars, and host monthly get togethers (we call the “Juntos” in about 20 cities worldwide every month (those are organized via our private community of over 800 location independent entrepreneurs).

We love helping connect talented entrepreneurs with clients, employees, industry leading information, travel companions, and the occasional rockin’ party (more on that below).

We don’t have any traditional credentials, we aren’t hyper rich, and we don’t have real MBAs (had too much debt to go back to school!). We are just guys who jumped into this location independent business thing and did our best to make it work. We love working on this site in order to meet others who share the same interests.

What we do:

I have one business partner (@AnythingIan), who is also my co-host on the Tropical MBA Podcast (iTunes link), which gets published every Thursday morning at 8AM EST.

Starting in late 2007 (when I had 10K+ in credit card debt and zero savings), we’ve built a multi-million dollar business that produces quality niche products (feels crazy to write that). Our business currently employs over 15 people worldwide– many of them location independent. We spend our days working talking strategy, balance sheets, inventory costs, and all the headaches and hard won knowledge that comes from running a business. We try to complement business fundamentals with the best online marketing tactics we can get our hands on.

Here’s an example of some of the products that our company makes:

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  • Besides working on our product business we occasionally offer jobs for aspiring digital nomads who want to jump start their careers by working for us for a few months (or years!). Grab the RSS feed or subscribe to our mailing list to ensure you don’t miss the next TMBA internship opportunity.
  • We bring entrepreneurs together. We started a online forum for legit location independent entrepreneurs, and bring that group together through a variety of events. In 2013 we hosted an event with 100 entrepreneurs in Berlin, and in October every hear hundreds of DCers come to Bangkok to share their best tips, have masterminds, see old friends, and learn from some of the best minds in the online business world.
  • We help other entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Primarily via this blog and our podcast, but occasionally we throw training events, seminars, or through casual meet-ups (our readers move around and meet each other a lot!). Be sure to get on the mailing list to hear about that stuff.

How do I get started with this site? (Check out our podcast!)

Dan_Ian_PG2In 2009, Ian (my business partner) and I decided to start sharing our business and travel experiences via a podcast, we called it the “Lifestyle Business Podcast” (it’s now called The Tropical MBA Podcast).

A lot of people have asked us why we started a podcast. Part of it is our love for radio when we were growing up– it entertained us at the crappy jobs working in warehouses and for retail stores.

When we finally got our college degrees and graduated to “real world” jobs with 2+ hours of daily commutes, it was podcasts that educated and inspired us. Along with many of the books we were reading, they helped us see an opportunity to write our own script instead of falling in line with the traditional American dream.

We wanted to be a part of that– to follow in the footsteps of those who inspired and entertained us.

Podcasting was also a lifeline for us. Back when we were getting started in 2007, it was tough to find other people with similar mindsets in our city. Every entrepreneurial meet-up we went to seemed to be filled with a bunch of real estate agents tossing out business cards.

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A lot of things have gone down since we started the show (not the least of which is that it has been downloaded well over 1,000,000 times!) It hasn’t all been roses– you can hear a lot of our entrepreneurial successes and missteps (plenty of those) if you care to download the archive someday. Hopefully hearing our mistakes will help you avoid a few of your own.

If you’d like to learn more about the show or get involved with the TMBA Podcast community, you can:

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Join over 10,000 entrepreneurs who receive weekly TMBA updates:

The TMBA team:

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If you think all this stuff gets done by just me I appreciate your confidence! But we rely very much on @ElisaDoucette (ElisaDoucette.com) and Kimberly Rich (@Kimbos_Slice) to keep the ship afloat. They develop and implement services, content, and incredible events for our 700 members. Elisa is our primary point of contact for all of our big events, if you are curious about that you can email her Elisa at TMBA dot com, and Kim is our key point of contact for all things Dynamite Circle, you can email her Kim at DynamiteCircle dot com. I’d tell you where they are based out of, but I can hardly keep up with them myself.

A lot of people resist building teams and I think they are nuts– getting on the phone with Kim and Elisa on Friday morning is one of the best times of my week (yes, only one phone call a week!). You can see how we run our company here. Of course, the bossman keeps me motivated each and every week. We also use a lot of contractors to get stuff done, for example Authority Engine edits and publishes our podcasts.

Speaking:

IMG_2330-001 I’d love to speak at your event. Here’s me giving a talk called “Podcasting and Platform.” In it, I dissect some popular audience-based business models and show how entrepreneurs can use them to build profitable businesses that scale. You can email me about this topic and many others here.

Our events:

For members of our private forum we throw events in April and October. You can find out more by reading about our inner circle.

Still here?

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Join over 10,000 entrepreneurs who receive weekly TMBA updates:

If you want to check out more of our content, we made a page called “The Best of the Tropical MBA” that showcases our best stuff.

Press and mentions around the web:

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Follow this link to hear some of our best interviews on other podcasts as well as read journalists who’ve written about TMBA and our related projects.

Occasionally asked questions:

Q: I want to ask you a question about business or travel. How can I contact you?

A: My favorite ways for readers to get in touch is via the comments on a previous post (there are over 400 of them!). You can search topics by googling “site:TropicalMBA.com [your search query] or in the search box on the sidebar.

I read all of the comments we receive, reply to most of them, and I love that they are a matter of public record for other readers to benefit from. I also love it when readers add supplemental links and ideas to posts.

Another great way to contact us (and to get some exposure for your blog) is to call our voicemail at 888-554-8428. Very often we’ll answer listener voicemail’s on our podcast.

Twitter is generally the fastest way to reach me to share links and have a chat (Ian’s on there too).

Where are you currently living?

Readers often ask this question because I’ve written quite a few “here’s why I’m living in x location” posts and they want extra info or to meet up. Since I started slow traveling in 2008 I’ve lived in a pretty cool group of places. The truth is, it’s rare that I stay in one country for more than 30 days even if I have an apartment lease. Probably the easiest way to see where I’m at is to check out my Instagram.

How do I get started with location independent business?

Tough question. For the most part, building a location independent business isn’t so different building a business or start-up in general– it’s just that the benefits look so extraordinary (long term perpetual travel and work-in-your-pajamas bliss)– that many people find themselves with a clear understanding of the opportunity but not the right skill-set to make it a reality for themselves.

I’ve written an article about they key mindsets to getting started. Once you read that, a good place to get started is to become an apprentice or to start a productized service.

What’s the nature of your relationship with @AnythingIan?

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Ian and I have been business partners since 2007. We have been close friends since 2006 (when he expertly installed an affordable car stereo in my car, thus making my 2 hour commute more bearable).

We employ what we call a “marriage model” of business partnership. We share every venture 50/50%, including this blog even though my face seems to be all over it (I write most of the articles).

Ian and I have been co-hosting most of our podcast episodes together since 2009.

When are you guys hiring again?

We really have no idea, we use the TMBA blog to hire team members and to advertise special gigs (like our “live in a resort” internships) occasionally. They just come up when they come up!

If you are still here it might be time to jump into the best of the TMBA, check out our complete archives (only for the brave!), or download our first 200 podcast episodes.