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.
Sound good? Heres’s the story…
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This site started in late 2009. My first post was a job advertisement. I was curious– would somebody move to Asia to be my apprentice? Would they be willing to work for less cash than employees in California if I offered them the freedom to work anywhere, at any time?
Only a few short years previous, I would have gone nuts if I would have seen a job like that on Craiglist. More than anything, I wanted to explore new parts of the world, have time to focus on meaningful work, and hear straight for the horse’s mouth– how do people really build successful businesses?
At lot has happened since that first job post back in 2009. We’ve helped sponsor well over 10 tropical internships with our team, and helped place another 20 aspiring entrepreneurs with entrepreneurs in our network. We’ve met tons of readers all around the world and pulled together a private community of over 700 of them. 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:
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 a crazy to write that). Our business currently employs over 13 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, portable bars and high end cat furniture respectively:
- Besides working on our product business we occasionally offer paid internships 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 hundreds of DCers will be coming to Bangkok to share their best tips, mastermind, and build new friendships.
- We help other entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Primarily via this blog and our podcast, but occasionally we throw training events, seminars, or just have parties. 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!)
In 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. Radio kept us entertained at the crappy jobs we had growing up. When we graduated to “real world” jobs with 2+ hours of daily commutes, it was podcasts that educated and inspired us.
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.
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:
- You can get started by subscribing to the Tropical MBA Podcast, and listening to some of our back episodes.(Our podcasts have received close to 400 5-star iTunes reviews, and often rank in the top 25 “business podcasts” on iTunes).
- Here’s the RSS link for Android users.
- Or, check us out on Stitcher.
Want To Read Our Best Articles?
- More than any other article on this site, “Oh the Places You’ll Go” shares some key milestones in our journey to building a multi-million dollar business, and shares some of the behind the scenes stories of TMBA and Dynamite Circle.
- Check out my answer of a question I get a lot, “I Want to Make Money From Anywhere in the World… Where Should I Start?“
- You can also learn How to Make $10,000 in One Day
- Learn the 100 Rules of Building A Business You Can Run from Anywhere
- Get an inside look at The 1000 Day Rule- What Living The Dream Really Looks Like
- Or check out the complete “best of the Tropical MBA.”
How To Connect With Us
- Subscribe to this blog’s RSS feed. Here’s a short explanation of what RSS is, and how it can save you time.
- Follow me on Twitter. I love twitter and use it daily. You can find me @TropicalMBA.. You can find my business partner Ian @AnythingIan.
- Want to ask us a question? One of the best ways is to comment on relevant posts. I respond to everyone, and it gives other people interested in those topics chance to participate.
- Or feel free to call us and leave a voicemail! (This is a great option if you want to be on our podcast). Our number is: 888-554-8428.
- Check out our podcast listeners page– we love it when fellow entrepreneurs send us cool snaps from around the world.
- Put your email address in to the form below, and be sure to never miss a TMBA update, party, or internship:
The TMBA team:
If you think all of this stuff get’s 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, and Kim is our key point of contact for all things Dynamite Circle, you can email her Kim at TMBA 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.
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.
For members of our private forum we throw events in April and October. You can find out more by reading about our inner circle.
Be sure to put your email address into the form below, you’ll be the first to know about Tropical MBA news.
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.