Tropical MBA Semester III Opening Next Week

Tropical MBA Semester III Opening Next Week post image

This week has been so much fun. Last night I saw @sgblank give a talk to the San Diego lean start-up group and he totally pumped me up. I recommend his blog. His core message can be summed up:

“start-ups are built to search for new streams of revenue, not to operate like a smaller versions of a big companies. Your job as an entrepreneur is to exist in the chaos, figure out what is important, and to focus on it. Above all, your job is to be a failure and to learn from that. The faster you can fail, the better.”

Somehow I find this message reassuring :D

@AnythingIan and I have been jamming! Did you know he drives cool cars for free?

Ian Can Teach You How to Drive Cars Like This For Free

Ian's 350HP DINAN M3. Yellow is not my thing, but 350HP is.

Ok, not like without any money free but like without any depreciation free. Even after taxes, maintenance, and everything, the guy makes profits on the cars he drives. In fact, I was supposed to post a “how to drive used cars for free” post today at the blog but I realized I’m way behind the ball on getting the next semester of the Tropical MBA going. I’ll punt on the cars till next week.

@AnythingIan hanging out

Thus far the Tropical MBA has been a respresentation of my core belief that the most important thing in business isn’t who you know, but rather, who your friends are *OR* who trusts you.

I’ve been talking a lot about this stuff in more detail elsewhere, like when I said “Get a Job!” or when I discussed my One Fail Proof Method for Success.

Here’s the short version in three parts:

  1. Know what you want, in detail.
  2. Find people who have, do, and are what you want.
  3. Develop friendships or trusting relationships with them. <— many people confuse this stage with ‘networking’ or ‘meeting’ or whatever. I’m talking a real relationship, this stuff can take years so chose wisely and have some fun with it.

If you can deliver one of the most valuable things on earth– friendship– you can pretty much expect to receive anything in return.

Opportunities get distributed to those people we trust to do a great job and be loyal.

So it’s not just good enough to be buddies. You have to show up with your work as well. If you are interested in more thoughts on this, you can listen to me discuss this idea with @AnythingIan and TMBA Alum Sean Ogle.


I know this sounds crazy– but I need to stop marveling so much at all the opportunities in front of us and just get used to it.

To be honest, I’m still struggling just a bit with permission seeking. I’m in the enviable position of having nobody to answer to, and I’m seeking people out to sign off on my ideas!

Since I was a kid I was taught the most important thing is to work hard, and for 98% of my life I’ve been working hard for other people.

And anyway, I still believe those things are good.

So much so that I’m hoping one of you will come work hard for me.

Here’s the deal: I’ve got a website that averages about 5K in revenue a month. Our researchers (read @AnythingIan) suspect that this site should be averaging close to 20K in monthly revenue if we had somebody to focus 100% of their energy on the success of this site.

Here’s the way I see this working:

  • I want to experiement with a “mini-CEO” model. That means I hire people and get them close to 100% focused on one domain/niche. I teach you everything I know about that niche and how to grow the site. Via this process you’ll learn how every functional area of a business comes together. You’ll work directly with my world-class team of SEO experts, developers, internet marketers, and myself.
  • I’ll need this next mini-CEO to show up in Bali, sometime in the April timeframe, for at least one month. I want to work in-person with you.
  • The semester will be for 6 months. I will be spending a lot of energy training you on our processes.
  • David from and TMBA semester II will be heading to Bali early to make sure the beer is cold.

Let me also say that both of my first two inters are now location independent. Booyah! I don’t really deserve credit for that but I’ll take it!

  • I’ll be clarifying the terms of this deal over the weekend. I’m writing this post so you can kick me questions so I can clarify everything early next week. dan at tropical mba dot com.
  • Some TMBA trivia: we’ve also got a stealth TMBA intern working for one of my consulting clients. Hopefully he’ll show up in Bali too :D
  • Ok… tell your friends. Next week I’ll post the official offer and open my inbox up to applications.
  • Please don’t apply this weekend. No extra credit for that :D

Why Bali?

  • Outsourcing to the Philippines is for real, and I want to be close to the Philippines so I can hang out with our staff there. We’ve also got a lot of other business interests in that country which I’ll be discussing more in the future.
  • I’ve never been anywhere on the planet that I thought was a better value than Bali. Insane rental rates, fantastic food. You can live a great lifestyle in Bali for way south of $1000 bucks monthly. Of course, it’s also possible to blow it out in Bali at some world class joints, which I’m cool with too.
  • Bali is absolutely stunning. Just stunning.
  • Expats in Bali are extraordinarily passionate about living great lifestyles. They are super plentiful, interesting, and active. I was really impressed by the peer group there, and I’m looking forward to meeting other people looking to carve out interesting lifestyles in South East Asia.
  • There’s a lot of talk about the WIFI in Bali not being as good as elsewhere in SE Asia. True. I’ll be getting a dedicated line at my place. Problem solved.
  • Check out Tommy Schultz’s site for some incredible photos of Bali.

All I got for you here are some iPhone snaps.

Anyway, thanks for bearing with me here. I’ll write a 5 tips article next week. Promise ;)

So…. that’s all to say, if you know somebody who might be interested in working with me and taking a leap towards digital nomadism (or whatever?!) please have them put their email address in to the form below, and I’ll send out an announcement early next week.

Cheers from San Diego,



Bali doesn't need real cameras to look good.


Up for a swim?

Published on 02.10.11
  • Balla Balla Balla!

    Speaking of cars, would Ian happen to know anyone who’s into Ford Taurus SHO’s? I got one I’d be okay with passing along. Seems like there’s an underground cult market for them. I just gotta find it.


  • As an alum of the fine TMBA internship I recommend everyone who is interested to apply. I’ve been having a blast for sure.

    Looking forward to see you in Bali.

  • Hell yes. Enough said.

  • Dan, so glad to hear you’re rockin in harder than ever. I sure hope I can catch up with you in Manila next time you’re passing through.

    I agree with you 100% re opportunity. There’s plenty out there for those who are willing to commit & work hard. Just remember that behind every overnight success there’s usually a couple years of hard work in the background.

  • Awesome. I’m in.

  • Dan


  • Dan

    Thanks Mike! Hope all is well in Manila, I’ll be back for a bit in March and will spend a decent amount of time there in 2011 :D With any luck…..

  • Dan

    Thanks for your support, new reader. I hope that you return to the blog sometime soon.

  • Dan

    Now that you are recommending it you’ve got me worried! Looking forward to doing some big things this year David.

  • Dan

    Funny you mention it Joel. This was the one car on Ian’s “approved” list that I objected to. I think you can only sell it to Conan… if you are lucky.

  • I give it about a 50/50 shot.

    Oh crap. I’m back. Scratch that.

  • Mike,

    How long have you been in Manila? Last I heard you were in Portland…I think…

  • moniqueojohnson

    I can’t wait! I hope to be the first female student ;)

  • Dan


  • Dan

    Portland! You might be confusing Mike for some kind of lifestyle design blogger….

  • Hi Sean,

    You’re right, I did live in Portland. I lived there before lifestyle bloggers existed LOL. We met at Chris Guillebeau’s Pied Cow meetup a year and a bit back, I think a couple months before you went to Thailand.

    I moved to Manila last September – landed me an expat job here. It’s a good stepping stone to knock down debt & get money ahead for the next big adventure.

    Hope we get a chance to meet up next time you’re in Manila.

  • You should reconsider :). You could get it cheap, it could be a project and you’d have a nice excuse to visit Indy :) Think about it or I’ll have to harass Ian directly.

  • Dan

    Joel, rest assured that if the topic of the conversation is a Taurus SHO, Ian would be happy for the direct call. :D

  • Ian

    Joel, check out

    Also, lots of Ford nuts on this site:

    Shoot me an email with specifics and maybe some photos so I can try to help out with the sale when you are ready.

  • Dan

    Nerd alert.

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  • May the best (wo)man win :)

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