TMBA602: 5 Strategies for Growing an 8-Figure Business

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A few weeks ago we said something on this podcast in jest, but one of our more attentive listeners latched onto it.

“I find myself some days waking up and saying ‘are we going to make it?'”

Our good friend John Ainsworth heard this and he reached out to us with a little bit of concern, hoping to find out more.

What exactly does it mean when we ask that question, “are we going to make it?”

We’ll be seeking the answer to that on today’s podcast, as well as sharing five principles that we have been employing recently in our quest to grow an 8-figure business.

Stick around to the end of the episode to hear a tribute to one of our dearest friends.

See the full transcript below

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • How the pandemic forced us to re-evaluate our priorities. (2:57)
  • Why we believe “making it” is all about having confidence. (9:49)
  • The difference between making a living and making a killing. (20:28)
  • How having fun can be a competitive advantage. (25:31)
  • Why you might want to reconsider your relationship between assets and cash. (28:48)

Mentioned in the episode:

Before the Exit – Our New Book
Partner With Us
The Dynamite Circle
Dynamite Jobs
Dynamite Deals
Tropical MBA on YouTube
Post a Remote Job
Dynamite Jobs – Remote Recruiting Sales Page
Let’s Talk High-Level Podcast Strategy for 1 Hour
John Ainsworth
Data Driven Marketing
‘Scrappy’ is not the same as ‘crappy’ – Seth Godin
Jason Cohen
Tommy Schultz

Enjoyed this podcast? Check out these:

TMBA497: Success is Solving Other People’s Problems
TMBA580: Mailbag: Making New Moves in the New Year
TMBA591: The Surprising Habits of Wealthy People with Noah Kagan

This week’s sponsor:

Today’s podcast is sponsored by Dynamite Jobs.

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Save time and stay focused on your business. Let our experienced recruiting teams do the heavy lifting for your next hire.

We’ll hash out your job requirements, give you insights about the state of the job market, and plan a strategy to find your next A player.

We introduce your team to the top candidates who match your desired culture and skillset.

A quick call with our team can help clarify your hiring strategy, with absolutely no obligation.

Hiring doesn’t have to be a pain in the butt. Check us out over at DynamiteJobs.com to find out more.

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Have comments about the show?

Do you have ideas for things you’d like Dan and Ian to discuss on future episodes?

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

Cheers,

Dan & Ian


 

 

Full Transcript


Dan: Happy Thursday morning. Welcome back to the podcast. Welcome back to the podcast Bossman.

Ian: Hey, how’s it going?

Dan: Alright, so today we are going to do an episode I’ve been scared to do.

Ian: But is this promotional? Is this for promotional or comedic value? What do you mean?

Dan: It’s for comedic value, ideally. I was flipping through the Dynamite Circle forum the other day, our private forum, you know, getting super engaged because we’re hosting an event in Mexico City in October. And so just, you know, reading around what everybody’s up to. And I saw this really cool post from a member, John Ainsworth. And he sort of clipped out a piece of a recent podcast episode, and asked a question about it. So I’m gonna roll the clip, and then ask a question. And then I want to spend a whole episode answering it. Here we go.

Are you going to make it? What do you think? We’re kind of there with our new startup too, like, yeah, the exact financial description we could say. And I find myself some days waking up saying, ‘Are we going to make it?’

And so what John wrote about this clip, he said, quote, ‘maybe behind Dan’s light hearted comment, there’s pain and angst and suffering’, somewhat astute. ‘And yet, at least on the podcast, he manages to ask that question in public in a light hearted manner, I found that quite inspiring’. So first off, just big shout out to john, for starting this conversation, you can find out a little bit more about him over at Dynamite Jobs actually has a really cool service up at Dynamite Jobs dot com slash company slash Data Driven Marketing. We’ll be talking a lot more about that services directory in the coming months here. But yeah, appreciate John for the prompt. And when I read that, I thought, oh, there is something there, there was something behind that comment, but something I haven’t shared publicly yet. So on today’s episode, Ian, we’re gonna share exactly what we’re talking about when we say are we going to make it and then we’re going to share five business principles that we’re employing to hopefully make it but we actually don’t know if it’s gonna work. So that’s part of the Gonzo quality of the podcast.

Ian: I’m very excited to see how this podcast turns out. And also the longer term Are we going to make it because that means, you got short term and you got long term? Are we gonna make it

Dan: A lot of anxiety and stuff, right here. In order to share with you guys, what we’re talking about when we say we’re going to make it, I got to zoom you back to over 12 months ago, just at the beginning of the pandemic. It was a surreal time. And it was a time of change for me and Ian, we found ourselves on his beautiful catio which is not quite a patio. It’s a catio it’s designed. Designed for cats.

Ian: Is it really?

Dan: Cats and humans. And so we’re on the catio it’s March, it’s beautiful weather in Austin, Texas. There’s these beautiful oak trees outside. We’re overlooking the lawn. And we’re importantly drinking incredible Margaritas courtesy of Dirty Dicks mix.

Ian: That’s right. We discovered Dirty Dicks down the street. First time liquor stores open you know still

Dan: through the pandemic of course, just running straight for the liquor store. Like we have to.

Ian: We had a we had a we had a basically a permanent Margarita station at my house, we considered buying one of these like industrial machines, you know, the ones that are in the restaurants. What would that look like? What would that cost?

Dan: That would look like making it that would basically be success in life is having a frozen Margarita Baker on your patio. And that, you know, this pandemic, the absurdity of it, the challenge of not having any events all of a sudden really came at a good time for us because we were due for a reset you know, we were asking like the fundamental question, what do we want to do with our lives like our business had been pretty similar there for like three or four years we were just trolling along? And I think we were both feeling like hey, like let’s let’s do something big here or get out of it. Let’s do something.

Ian: Also our business got chopped, like a lot of people in the pandemic, not So much people selling products online. I mean, if you’re an Amazon seller, you’re doing e-commerce, your business, probably 10x. But in our case, it got chopped, because we throw events. And so, you know, you’re kind of stuck in my backyard, and we’re sitting around and we’re trying to figure out like, Hey, what are we going to do? We had a lot of reckoning. We had a lot of long conversations to kind of try to piece together what happened after we sold our last business, what have we been doing for the last couple years? Where are we headed? And it felt like a blessing in disguise, you know, we’re forced into a situation where you were locked down at my compound. Me, you and Dirty Dicks.

Dan: And I’ll tell you what you can get to the bottom of some stuff. And one of the things we really had to get to the bottom of is like, how are these two guys that have egos, that have dreams, that have requirements? Like what can we do that we’re both equally excited about? What can we build that is going to engage us for the next five years, that onstage test we talked about on the pod. And we came up with something, it was in a mix of sugar, alcohol and enthusiasm. We decided that what we wanted to do was build an eight figure business that we can be proud of, that shelves, financial questions for a lifetime, that famous freedom line that Jason Cohen wrote about on his wonderful blog, ‘A Smart Bear’, we thought, wouldn’t that be an awesome challenge? Can we build a business that shelves financial questions for a lifetime, you know, we have limited time, we’re not getting any younger. We have a lot of skills, we have a lot of relationships, are we just going to stay comfortable, chill out, drink margaritas on the patio indefinitely and wait for events to come back? Or are we going to engage all of our facilities, challenge ourselves, do something a little bit scary, and try to reach a stretch goal. And I think we both mutually decided that’s what we both want. We want to be challenged, we want to learn, and we want to go for a bigger win. And so, John, directly to you, when I said on the podcast, ‘Are we going to make it?’ I wasn’t really reflecting on this idea of, ‘Can we pay the bills next month?’, I’m pretty sure that in the first part of our career, we figured out ways to make a living, to preserve our time and location freedom. That’s not what we’ve cracked. So I think what Ian and I were looking for was a bigger challenge. And so when I said Are we going to make it? What I mean is, can we build a business that truly delivers on that dream of shelving financial questions for a lifetime. And for the sake of the podcast, we’ll just say, you know, can Ian, and I build an eight figure business.

By the way, one of the awesome reasons to have a business partner is that you get to have these kinds of conversations. I mean, this whole podcast started from a very similar conversation that we had back when we had shitty jobs. We basically were equally audacious. And we said things like, I want to be able to live and work anywhere. I hope one of the themes of this podcast is about confidence about going after your dreams or whatever. But when we sat on that picnic table back in San Diego in 2007, the idea that we would be able to have this podcast right now and talk like we’re talking is more ridiculous than our current dream of building an eight figure business. There was a lot of confidence and panache for us to say we’re gonna go from shitty jobs and credit card debt to relative wealth, complete time and location freedom. So it gives me the confidence to have a new ridiculous dream and say, Hey, well, what if we could shelve financial questions for a lifetime? What if we could do it live on this podcast over the next few years? That’s the goal.

Ian: It’s almost like moving the starting blocks. You know, it’s like some people, they start off in life with a privileged starting position, which is great.

Dan: Yeah don’t squander your don’t squander your privilege. That’s wonderful. If you have it. Yeah.

Ian: For us, it was like the starting block was, like you said, shitty job and credit card debt. Now we’ve kind of moved, that line isn’t. So now we’re a little bit further down the line. And so for me, Dan it actually feels like we’re at a new starting point. Now, we’ve identified this, like, new goal, and we do have this new advantage, which is like we have a little bit of money. We have a team, we have a lot of experience now. And so that kind of brings us to this first point, which is ironic, we have a little bit

Dan: Hold up. So I want to introduce the points because I was just gonna say, like this idea of, you know, you just have a, it’s not enough just to have the conversations to have the dream lines to have the big ideas. But for us, it’s important to also identify key strategies and, for us, they come in fives, for podcast purposes. So today, we will outline five key strategies that we adopted as a response to copping to this big, audacious goal. And so we’re going to lay them out for you here today. OK, why don’t you drop the first one Bossman?

Ian: Confidence.

Dan: I would say traditionally, you have more confidence than myself.

Ian: Well, I don’t know about that. I think I have a lot of ‘fake it till you make it’. I think I have the ability to meet my expectations and goals. And part of that is just believing that you can do it from the get go. None of this stuff is like rocket science, right? Like a lot of the roads have been paved here. I feel like that’s a lot of what we do at this podcast too is show people that this road, although not so travelled, a couple of people have gone down and here’s how you might go about it if you want to do this yourself. So for me, over the last year, especially, I haven’t met with too many people, because we’ve been pretty isolated. But the people that I have met with have definitely been like further down the path that I want to go down, which is owning an eight figure company. And part of it is just meeting more of these people, understanding what they went through, understanding their shortcomings, understanding what their advantages are, and then being able to say to myself, ‘Hey, I can do that, hey, these are the sacrifices that I’m going to make, hey, this is the kind of input that’s required to get there’. And these are all confidence building exercises for me, things that make me feel like I can accomplish what they’ve done, or what I want to do. So one of the things, Dan, this is kind of a weird thing to say tied to confidence is like, part of what I’ve needed, over the last couple of years, is just have my ass in chair for like six to eight hours a day, basically. It’s kind of weird, because before I’d kind of sit at my computer, as needed almost. And the thing that I’m doing lately is like I’m just sitting down for like, hours at a time. And it’s interesting to watch the work come to me. And this is loosely related to confidence. But it’s like one of these things. It’s like a habit.

Dan: I can interpret that, like you were confident about why you’re doing it. Like that was what our founding conversation was about, which is, ‘Why are we going to go back to work for five years? What is the reason that we’re confident in motivating the whole thing, the principal?’ Does that make sense?

Ian: It does. There’s a lot of elements to this confidence conversation. But, for me, the biggest one is always seeing other people achieve it with less, or with disadvantages, or just with brute force. And just knowing that you can make it. I mean, it’s just as simple as when you’re a kid and your friend jumps the gap on his bike. And you’re like, ‘Well, I guess that’s possible. I should go for it’.

Dan: The takeaway for the audience is to identify prescient cases, Ian, and I want to build an eight figure business to start hanging around people that are doing that stuff and you watch it firsthand. It helps you earn confidence and how you can participate in that goal as well. One other thing, while we’re talking about emotions and anxiety, I am confident thanks to some of my closest friends and their testimony that entrepreneurs should consider going to therapy. I’m confident to keep bringing this up on the show. Find a talk therapist, someone who’s wise, a big person, that you can talk to about your emotions. So many of the things we do in business are motivated by emotions. Confidence is one way of saying the free flow of your energy without getting caught up by weird hangups you might have. We see this as community leaders all the time, a lot of the conflicts that present themselves as business conflicts in our community, they’re not at all; they are personal hang ups that could be addressed in a therapeutic process. It’s like the old Abraham Lincoln quote, ‘If you have an hour to cut down a tree, spend 45 minutes sharpening the blade’. I think that that, for me, is what that therapeutic process is, we’re talking about confidence, we’re talking about being able to assert yourself as a leader. That means having fluency with your emotions, and being able to work with them in ways that are productive and positive. So I’m just going to be that guy that’s confidently saying, ‘Go to therapy, everybody, just go out there and try it out’. I think you might be blown away at the return on investment you get from that one hour a week.

Ian: Honestly, Dan, there’s like a lot of unhealthy reasons why you’d want to grow an eight figure business, right?

Dan: 100%

Ian: I mean, positive or negative. There’s a lot of reasons why people try to accomplish this stuff. And I think one of the things that we’ve come to is like some alignment on why we, as individuals, want to accomplish this, and why we want to accomplish it together. Honestly, Dan, and podcast listeners like – this is a lot of what we were lacking in the past for the last couple years since we sold our last business was just alignment in terms of what our visions were. So, you know, I think we both have a lot more confidence, I think we both have a lot more clarity. And I think I’m grateful that we kind of got straightened with dirty dicks over the last year, we’re able to figure these types of things out.

Dan: And I’ll say this, too, there is this thing, you know, in John’s original quote where we made a choice to build something to grow, and to learn, that is a situation that we feel confident in, and comfortable. When you’re just trying to maintain something, when you’re the manager, that can produce anxiety, you’re trying to hang on, you lose sleep, every time a competitor puts up a website, if you have anxiety, every time a competitor puts up a website, you’re never going to sleep. So I think for both of us, we feel confident about being a little dumber, being a little bit more open minded, and pursuing a goal that we’re passionate about.

Alright, so the first concept we’re using is confidence. The second one is – we are stopping confusing scrappy, with crappy hat tip to Seth Godin on this one.. I’m the number one person to critique this one where for so long as a bootstrapper, I’ve said, ‘We’re just being scrappy’, as an excuse for doing things in crappy ways. And, you know, one of the things is, as I’ve elevated my personal standard Ian, because our goal is so clear, what we’re trying to do requires so much energy now, I’ve started to put higher standards on our suppliers, on our team, on our partners. And when I see people acting scrappy but it’s actually just crap. I’m starting to lose patience for it. And I realised that hey, for many years, I would do things that were crappy with the excuse that I was a bootstrapper or a crappy, couldn’t afford it, as I’ve increased my standards, worked with more professionals who are great at what they do, I realised it’s been a missed opportunity over the years not elevating those standards sooner.

Ian: Well I think, Dan, you’re gonna see us doing a lot less actually, which is kind of related to scrappy versus crappy. When you’re trying to scrounge up a living, when you’re trying to make things work, it’s easy to be like, really scrappy, it’s like, don’t go out to dinner here, sell this car for this much, hire this person for that much, but not too much.And I think there’s a lot of value to being resourceful, especially early on in a business. But there comes a person, there comes a certain time, where it’s like, ‘Hey, either the ship is going to float, or it isn’t’, no amount of patches is going to make this thing work, I’ve actually got to have some kind of sustainability to what I’m doing here.

I see this actually, all the time in the recruiting process that we’re executing now, basically, people come to us and for a flat rate, we will go find them a person that will come into their organisation. We do this from customer service all the way up to CEO level. And it’s interesting to watch the companies come through, a lot of them are trying to be scrappy, which actually does turn into crappy, and a lot of them aren’t. So it’s really cool for me to see a company come in, and they’re like, ‘Well, we’re trying to hire this marketing manager’. And I’m like, well, what’s your budget, and some companies will come in and say, like, ‘Oh, it’s like 1500, only in Southeast Asia. I’ve seen this person before, like, my friends hired like three of these people, I know that they exist at this price’. And I’m like, ‘You know what, good luck. There was a time and a place where I was trying to do that same business. And you might find them, but it might take six months. So there is that person’, I think, ‘Good luck to you’. And then there’s the other person that comes in and they’re like, Well, you know, the range of salary is like, kind of infinite. I’m like, Well, what do you mean, they’re like, well, for the right person, like I would, you know, pay basically, whatever, because we have all this margin. There’s all this opportunity, you know, and that’s somebody that’s really fun to work with, because they see opportunity. They have confidence. They’re not necessarily trying to be scrappy. They’re trying to be inventive.

Dan: This comes back to confidence. Like, look, if you’re out there, like, and you look at World Class companies, they’ve got world class stuff, and you’re an entrepreneur trying to compete, it’s on you to get there. It’s only you that’s gonna assert it, it’s not somebody else, right? You’re gonna have to assert it, that you’re going to operate at that level, and the people around you are gonna either be up to that standard, or they’re not, and that’s on you. And that’s why we started out with confidence. I think the theme of the episode is confidence, confidence in your goal. That doesn’t necessarily mean arrogance. It just means that you’ve laid out your goal. You’re not gonna let crappy work, or crappy suppliers, or crappy clients, get in your way.

Alright, number three principle is considering the concept and the trade offs of making a living versus making a killing. I’ll toss out this idea of like making a living – one of the common goals and location independent niche is $10,000 a month of income generated relatively passively, relatively passively, meaning you don’t have to work eight hours every single day in order to generate that income. Here’s one thing I’ll submit, having accomplished that goal, is that it’s just as hard to do that as it is to build something that exposes you to larger opportunities. When we built our first company that was in a very narrow niche, it would have been just as hard to build a company that was in a bit of a bigger niche. I hate to break it to everybody who’s like, ‘I just don’t want to manage employees’, but like, managing 25 employees is just as hard or easy as managing five is just as hard or easy as managing 50. That’s the truth.

Ian: There is good news for those people, which is in the future, probably just gonna be managing services.

Dan: Correct.

Ian: Or at least 50% of your staff are going to be a service. So there is some silver lining there. But I agree with you, Dan. There’s a lot of ways to make a living, right, and a lot of ways that we’ve done that in the past, you know, we haven’t tried to make a killing before. And part of that was nice selection, like you said, part of that was just like not having a big enough vision in our first business, product business. We were having a bolt on products, basically, because our industry wasn’t big enough. And so we’re trying to figure out ways to maximise our income and our revenue and all this stuff. But it was kind of piece by piece. And I think it’s partly because we just didn’t pick a big enough pond to plan in. We made it to number one in that pond too. And by the way being king of the idiots feels like a really good thing.

Dan: Oh yeah, no 1 producer of valet parking podiums.

Ian: So you can kind of live there forever and feel good about yourself. And we did for a long time. And it’s not to say that that wasn’t an accomplishment. But if I described our competition to you, you guys probably wouldn’t think it was that big of an accomplishment. And so now, who’s our competition? Well, I drive down to Austin here, I break my neck looking out my window, and I can still barely read the word ‘Indeed’, above me.

Dan: I get nervous when you even say Indeed is our competition. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

Ian: I think it’s a good thing, honestly. Because it’s like, it’s picking a fight with those guys. Like, wow, that’s, that’s ambitious, you know, and maybe we will fail, but if we only make it to the third floor of their 25 storey building, that’s going to be better than where we were before, honestly.

Dan: So the third point, then is pick a fight that has potential asymmetric returns because growing any business is really hard, might as well build one that has asymmetric potential.

Ian: I’ll just say this too, about making a killing versus a living. This just comes down to personal preference too. I think that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with making a really good living or whatever is comfortable to you, travelling around, being with your family, whatever you want to do. It just happens that Dan, and I feel like we’ve figured this out, like we’ve kind of cracked the code. And there’s something more to do.

Dan: Can I say something concrete about cracking the code, because we have built this position of privilege, where we can say things that maybe I don’t know, rich kids can say, like, ‘I’m going to build a startup or change the world or whatever’. I wasn’t in that position, I was like, trying to, like, get out of my shitty job. And if you’re in that position, I will just say this, if you’re at a starting point, where you don’t know a lot of entrepreneurs and you’re thinking, ‘My God, it’s not simple for me just to make, you know, six figures, location independently’. That’s a hard problem to solve. It’s one that might take you a decade, it’s one that might take you half a decade. Many, many years will be spent. And during those years, you won’t be able to live with the same level of luxury as those around you. You won’t be able to drive nice cars, you won’t be able to live in nice houses, you know why? Because your time and your money will be spent building the asset of that ability, of that career. Someday you’ll be able to show up to a podcast like this and say, ‘Yeah, it is easy for me to generate six figures’, that comes from a decade’s worth of work and investment. That’s where that attitude comes from. Most people don’t invest their time and their money that way. Instead, all their time for their entire life gets gobbled up by a career by somebody else telling them what to do. And sometimes that’s a great thing. But a lot of times it’s not because those weren’t the things that they would have chosen for themselves. So anyway, if you’re young you’re listening to this, that’s the challenge that’s in front of you. It’s totally eminently doable, like Ian said, it is not rocket science. There are a lot harder things in life than figuring out that thing. But it does take time. It does take money.

So the number four principle we are recognising in this audacious journey is the importance of having fun. Part of the initial comment that John made was: is there some anxiety behind it. And the truth is that, in the past year, yeah there has been, and it was really important to me when I arrived back in America to meet with you about what our future was going to look like that we found ways to have fun. And one thing I was really adamant about was that if we’re going to do this, we need to harvest the best energy from Dan and Ian. It’s almost athletic, in the sense that we need to be in front of the computer, and when we’re in front of the computer, we need to be good. When we’re on the phone, we need to be good, especially because we’re running our team remotely, we need to be compelling. We need to have vision, we have energy, like this stuff just doesn’t happen. Because you’re clever. You have to work.

And for me, in order to work, you have to have fun. And it’s an incredible competitive advantage because you’re getting the best out of yourself, the best out of your business partners, and you’re getting the best out of your team because they’re having fun. They want to join, they think it’s cool, what you’re doing. It’s crazy, but this attitude is infectious. Maybe the team doesn’t share my perspective on this, Ian, but it wasn’t always true. I love going to our team calls on Friday mornings, I can’t wait. I look forward to hearing what everybody has been up to. And that wasn’t always true in our business. I really saw it as work to listen to the stories, everybody was telling about what they were doing.

Ian: Getting back to a point that you made earlier on in the show, Dan, is the opposite of fun is like anxiety, at least for me. And a lot of the last couple years, we spent, like basically treading water on some of these different products that we have, and you’re scared when a competitor puts up a site, you know, that looks like a similar product to you. You’re scared that your income is staying the same and you don’t have a way to have it go up. Like that kind of stuff for me is like no fun. I think it’s much more fun to have a fat payroll and like trying to figure out how you’re going to make it work every month. Because like, the people on the payroll are hopefully going to create something that has an asymmetric result. So that’s kind of like a fun anxiety for me. The other anxiety is like, I’m not in control of the trajectory of this organisation or my ideas. And so I’m just gonna, like sit here and whatever happens to me happens. And I think honestly, a lot of people feel like that even in a career. And it’s like no different than if you own a company, and you’re just treading water and like things are happening to you. So for me, Dan, a big reason why we’re going for this eight figure opportunity is because it’s a trajectory. And because it’s fun.

Dan: It’s really fun. That’s something we can be proud of too. And that is a part of confidence, it’s part of the theme of this episode is I think I would be proud of us, even if we failed, because it’s cool to try. And we’re going to fail a lot of things if we’re going to get there. Alright, so our fifth principle that we’re going to embody on this journey is to reconsider the relationship between assets and cash. You know, one of the things that we’ve traditionally been very good at is running profitable organisations while others would just squander their profits. We were always really good, especially due to your leadership, you’re like the grandparents who grew up during the Depression, and like, somehow, it’s just as big write off, ‘Oh, granny grew up in the depression, like, she can’t spend money on anything’, you grew up entrepreneurially in like the crash of 2008/2009. And so you had these incredible principles coming from that, where we were making money while everybody else was up in flames. And we really carried that with us through our career. But you just mentioned a different point you were talking about having a big fat payroll, it’s like, How much money did you guys make last month? Well, we made a lot, but we spent it all.

Ian: When you’re saying that, I’m thinking, ‘Well, yeah, that’s true. Like, we were like, very fiscally responsible. Like, we did stack cash and like, all that stuff’. And then like, the big joke about that is our cash is worth nothing now. And like, we didn’t figure out how to use leverage. It’s like, oh, man, this sucks. And it kind of does, actually. So we’re having to figure out essentially like, okay, if this cash really isn’t worth much, and that’s kind of like a macro situation that we’re going through now, like, you know, how can we actually make it work for us. And our solution right now is like, plough it back into the business and actually build an asset, because the asset values are going through the roof and cash is not.

Dan: The other sort of macro situation, whatever that’s happening is that these assets are so much more legible and tradable than they were five years ago, certainly 10 years ago. And so this idea that your best investment is yourself, essentially, is our approach to early retirement, you know, when you compare, say, entrepreneurship, the lifestyle entrepreneurship movement, with the FIRE movement, for example, our thesis has always been, we can generate cash on cash returns the same way, much more efficiently than the stock market. And I think we’re really drinking the kool aid on that one with this particular asset, putting our cash back into it to create something that’s incredibly valuable to the market. It’s cool, we do these calcs that would have been a lot harder to do five years ago, which is basically like, ‘Hey, what’s the 30 Day Sale Price on this?’ You know, if we’re going to go put Dynamite Jobs on the market, what can we pull from it? And it’s a lot easier to do that calculation nowadays, because it’s a lot clearer who would value it and who would buy it and what that price would be. And so that makes me confident when we do defer income in order to build an asset. That deferring of income is what it’s about, for a lot of us small business entrepreneurs.

Ian: Some of this stuff, it just can’t be learned, like through this podcast, or through anybody that you trust, any mentors, anything like that. You have to go through these cycles, and you have to see it yourself. Maybe like, smarter people can just take someone’s word for it, but for me I have to actually go through these cycles and be like, and you kind of understand that the older you get, you’re like, yo, yeah, I’ve seen this happen, like five times. Now I know what’s gonna happen, you know? And it’s just really hard to grok that kind of stuff and trust that it’s going to work out.

Dan: Because it might not. But here’s the basic thesis of the episode if you go for it confidently, if you’re scrappy, instead of crappy. If you focus on making a killing, not just making a living, if you prioritise fun and you think deeply about the relationships between assets and cash in your life, there’s a strong likelihood that where you end up after a few years of effort will be a lot better than where you started. And that’s basically all we can say about it. We’ve made significant progress. We’re on a seven figure run rate in 2021. And we’re on the path towards our goal. And that feels really good.

Ian: Point six that we’ve left out here and and this is just to wrap up the show, but like – you swirl all this stuff together in the blender, make sure you put in a little dirty dicks, whatever your dirty dex is. Doesn’t necessarily have to be the Margarita mix it but figure out what your concoction is.

Dan: I also want to just say this, you know, I think it’s really important when you want to do something big. People say first principles a lot nowadays. I don’t really know what first principles are. But it’s to go to the actual core of the issue, which is why are you doing this? What do you want to do? And how are you going to get that done? And this whole conversation started with me and Ian doing that, which is looking at each other and saying, ‘Hey, like, this isn’t really working? What can we do that would work?’ And it was something which is very technical and involves many people’s lives. You know, right now, our team is over 10 people dedicate a large portion of their days to this dream, this goal. It all started with looking at our core motivations as leaders, ‘Hey, we can’t lead other people if we’re not really sure about the real reasons we want to do things and what specifically we’re going to get excited about’, and so that’s what I encourage you to do is like really start at the core of what you want to do with your life and build up from there. Alright, so a big shout out to John for there was indeed a bit behind a passing comment on the podcast. Love that. Love that forensic approach to TMBA listening.

One final thing, some very sad news. Our mutual friend, Tommy Schultz
, recently passed away from a terrible fast moving disease. We’re going to link up to the news about Tommy’s death and how you can connect with his family and loved ones in this post. I thought it’d be cool for us to just share some memories of Tommy.

Ian: Man. Tommy was one of the people that introduced us to Bali. He was living in Bali, when we had the house in Bali and couldn’t think of a better guy, man. He always had time to show us around. Introducing us to new places, to people. I had the privilege of meeting up with Tommy in several different continents. The last time I saw Tommy was at DCBKK two years ago, he attended the party, and actually spent like, 45 minutes talking to him and I feel really fortunate.

Dan: Yeah that’s the kind of person Tommy was, 400 people at a party and he carved out 45 minutes, because that’s how cool Tommy was.

Ian: He really was, a talented photographer too. He travelled the world, and he got to do what he loved. I remember Dan, we sat down with Tommy and we’re like, ‘Okay, you’re gonna be like an internet business guy now, like, here’s the plan’. And Tommy was very interested in that, because he was trying to figure out a way at the time to continue to do underwater photography and photography all around the world. But ultimately, Tommy just ended up being a really talented photographer, he figured out a way to make it work for him. He figured out how to get into world renowned publications. Tommy was recently on TV, which is pretty cool. That’s on his website. And most importantly, he was just an amazing guy. Really thoughtful, really passionate, and just a really kind and considerate guy, man, and I’m going to miss him.

Dan: Made a fantastic Thai curry, incredible barrel surfer, spoke the local language fluently with a surfer local friends, was an excellent mentor to up and coming photographers, sat at the intersection of Indonesian and Western culture and was just an awesome ambassador for the west to the east and vice versa. Tommy really understood that nothing left his desk unless it was a 10 out of 10, that always really stuck with me is how utterly professional he was. And you can see that on his television appearance. Everything that gets the Tommy Schultz brand was a 10 out of 10 is. Remarkable given how much time he reserved to live a full life which is the final thing I’ll say about him – Tommy is like a purveyor of life changing travel experiences for people you know myself and for you. He had the time and the ability to connect with people and he would take a day off and show countless of our friends really like these amazing experiences and everybody has like a ‘Tommy Schultz took me to do this’ story. And that was Tommy. You have all these amazing memories with him because nothing was normal. When Tommy was around. We were going to go do something really, really cool. And so yeah, it will be missed. Condolences to his family and lots of love for Tommy Shultz in this community, that’s for sure.

Ian: And if you’ve never met Tommy, drop by his website, check it out. Tommy Schultz dot com.