TMBA 205 – Dreamline 3.0 – A Simple Approach to Getting What You Want in Life

TMBA 205 – Dreamline 3.0 – A Simple Approach to Getting What You Want in Life post image

On Thursday mornings at 8AM EST, we publish the Tropical MBA Podcast (iTunes link).

After recording this episode it occurred to me that the moment I became an entrepreneur had nothing to do with sales, product development, or legal structures. I became an entrepreneur the day I sat down and defined precisely what it was I wanted in life– and then developed a plan to go and get it.

Today’s episode outlines how you can concretely outline your own dreams and business goals. And for those of you who have already “made it” this is relevant too. As Ian says, you don’t want to get stopped at the “complacency cafe.” :)

On the show this week:

  • Fill out your own Dreamline 3.0.
  • Why dreamlining helps define goals that have no clear and linear path.
  • The power of clearly defining exactly what you want, and the framework to help you get it.
  • Why you shouldn’t share your dreamline with others, particularly friends and family.
  • The importance of regularly evaluating the trajectory of your business and your life.

People on this episode:



Here’s a simple revenue and expense example for completing your dreamline costing.

What we’re excited about this week:

Listening options:

Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Thursday morning 8AM EST.

Header photo credit to Khoi Tran Duc.



Dan & Ian

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Published on 08.15.13
  • I really enjoyed the homage to the LBP beginnings while ushering in the new podcast era with the dreamline 3.0.

    Now that I’ve heard the new intro and outro a second time, I’m still loving it. What I like about it is that the show feels fresh each time. Kind of makes me want to do a new intro each time too.

  • Herbert Camey

    Great podcast, I always look forward to Thursday mornings, i learn something new from the TMBA every time.

  • Another fine episode.

    About sharing your dreamline: yeah, it would be interesting to know what’s in yours, but it would kind of put you in a spotlight which you don’t really want to be in as it’s only a plan and it’s highly personal. As Tim Conley once said, underpromise, overdeliver. Same goes for the dreamline I guess.

    Question: what would you do if your dreamline business goals turned out to exclude each other?

    Quote noted: “If you don’t know your dreamline, there’s a bunch of people waiting in line to draw it for you”.

  • I’m also a big fan of the new setup. Flexibility to have guests (enjoyed the episode with Travis), new music, smooth transitions, relaxed style. Digging it.

    This episode was a great extension of Dreamlining. I dreamline often, but tying it together in a Google Doc + adding business projections really brings it all together. I’ll be making this my new dreamlining doc instead of the old-school MS Excel Spreadsheet from 4HBlog ;-)

    Thanks guys – keep it up.

  • David Hehenberger

    I’ve always wondered how to best integrate business goals in my dreamlines. Usually I ended up adding them to my lifestyle goals, which didn’t seem like the best solution.

    I love how you solved this problem. Great episode and thanks for sharing the spreadsheet.

  • Simon Pilkington

    I also have multi-sided pieces of paper

  • Another great episode! Thanks for sharing the doc, comes right in time for my birthday in Sep. when I do my yearly dreamlining :)

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  • Dan

    Thanks Yamile! Let’s make it a big year :)

  • Dan

    as ya do…

  • Dan

    cheers David thanks, hope you find it useful !

  • Dan

    cheers Tristan appreciate that… Let me know if you find any ways to improve it

  • Dan

    RE: your question, I think that’s part of the power of this stuff… I’d not get into a business that doesn’t bring the kind of life I’m looking to achieve. I think it’s sort of a fool’s errand. Whats the point of biz/income goals if they don’t bring you the life you find valuable?

  • Dan

    Appreciate that Herbert! An honor! :)

  • Dan

    haha I don’t know if we can keep that up brother. As is per the standard, Ian and I sat down a day earlier to record this thing and ended up cracking each other up with funny Youtube clips for an hour instead.

    SPARE TIME CENTRAL STATION. Jeeze… back to work.

    FA’s been RED HOT ! :)

  • Yeah, but what would you do if your current goals were far off from those of Dan? For example: you want to stick to where you’re at and solidify your market position while Dan wants to invest and try to grow the company outside of the niche? What would you do if your visions didn’t match anymore?

  • Dan

    Again that’s the power here, I’m reminded of Mark Manson’s talk “passion is practical” talk where he spoke of the virtues of listening to what drives you (CAVEAT: you are industrious, in the context of entrepreneurship here…)

    So if our visions didn’t match it’s a great talk to have and see if there is a way we can conceptualize an organization that would benefit from the best energies of the founders.

    Who would have guessed that a cat furniture company would benefit form sending one of its founders to Vietnam? Maybe nobody. There can be some hidden business benefits in doing these kind of exercises, that’s why I like Marks ideas about this so much (we are working on them for next week’s episode).

  • Great episode, guys. Despite first learning about Dreamlining in 4HWW 6 yrs ago, I have never actually sat down and done it. So that’s exactly what I’m doing on this rainy Sunday afternoon :-)

  • Dan

    sounds like a great Sunday to me :)

  • Would like to know your thoughts on filling out a dreamline with my husband. We have very similar lifestyle/business goals and one of the goals is to work together.

  • Dan

    I think it’s a great idea!

  • I think it’s awesome that Dan is tackling language learning. I’d love to hear more content about what lifehack’s you are employing to attain fluency… Bravo to you guys for not telling people about your dreamlines. There’s actually three different studies dating back to 1927 demonstrating that talking about your goals, before you start to achieve them makes you fail. Here’s a link:

  • Dan

    yeah we might even put up a post with our approach to the language stuff… thanks for the link!!!

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  • Awesome stuff Dan & Ian.

    A pro tip I’ve found to help with the dreaming phase is something I read from Paul Myers once.

    You sit down and write about your dream/perfect day, or a day in your dream life. Write what you do from waking up, to going to bed.

    It helps to get in the state of mind of being able to dream up those audacious goals to target, which I sometimes find hard to write out when staring at the spreadsheet or the piece of paper.

  • Dan

    Yes love that one !!! it was actually that precise exercise that inspired this article:

    Funny you bring it up! It’s a great move. Simple and powerful. I like it because it focuses on small things and work/relationships in particular, which seem to be the foundation of it all.

  • I was just sending a friend a link to this post. Uber successful Ivy-League MBA I’m trying to bring to the darkside (he might read this, ha). This concept fits iin so well with behavior/design theory because it will force you to focus on new daily actions/habits/routines to get you there!

  • Dan

    So cool! Glad you found it useful.

    @TropicalMBA (Tweets)
    Tropical MBA (Blog)

  • JoshFrets

    A little tip for filling out the expense sheet––

    For expenses that vary from month to month (gasoline, groceries, eating out):

    1. Log in to Mint,
    2. click on the heading “Trends,”
    3. type in a category (or even a group of categories, like food & dining, alcohol & bars, and fast food),
    4. select “all accounts”,
    5. select “last 12 months”
    6. divide the resulting number by 12 = your average monthly spending on that category over the last year.

    It’s a more reliable number than the wild ass guess method.

  • wow SLICK! :D

  • Guest

    Hey guys, followed the link here from your latest episode #287. I can’t get the episode to play in any of my browsers though and unfortunately itunes and stitcher only go back to episode 213. Any suggestions of where I can listen to it? Thanks!

  • Bunty

    I still reference this term and video. Just sent it to 2 folks after telling them my first 2 dreamline rules:

    1) never sit in commuting traffic
    2) work with only good people who want to help

  • That’s great to hear! (and great goals too)

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