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.
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, organized conferences and seminars, and have hosted monthly get togethers (we call them “Juntos” and take place in about 20 cities worldwide every month).
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 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 crazy to write that). Our business currently employs over 15 people worldwide– many of them location independent. We spend our days talking strategy, reviewing balance sheets, picking over inventory costs, and working through all the headaches and hard won knowledge that comes from running a business. We try to complement these business fundamentals with the best online marketing tactics we can get our hands on which so far has made for a winning combination.
Here’s an example of some of the products that our company makes:
- 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 we hold around the globe. Our biggest, where we invite hundreds of DCers to come to Bangkok and share their best tips, have masterminds, see old friends, and learn from some of the best minds in the online business world happens mid-October.
- 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!)
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 and — they’ve also entertained us at crappy jobs and driving down the freeway to get to our crappy jobs.
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 and we were having a hard time relating.
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:
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.
Press and mentions around the web:
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.
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 from 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.
What’s the nature of your relationship with @AnythingIan?
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.
Where do you get all the photos for this website?
With very few exceptions, the photos on TMBA are all from my iPhone. I try to use a photo taken within a week or two of writing the post. That’s why the subject of the photo rarely has much to do with the topic of the post.
I’m currently using an iPhone 5 and I edit the photos in Camera + app.
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!