I Just Spent a Crap Ton of Money and Bought a Company

It’s been over 4 weeks since I’ve posted anything on the web. I’ve been quiet because I bought a company with my business partner.

December was incredible: I spent tons of quality time lounging around with my family in Pennsylvania, I spent a week hanging out with my best friends in New York City, and at the very last minute, I booked a flight to San Diego to hang out with my business partner @AnythingIan. There are some profound changes in store for 2011.

Tropical Baby!

Tropical Baby!

About that company..

We actually bought our own company. When we started our business, over 3 years ago now, we took on a capital partner. Sometime in mid December it occurred to me that in order to grow our business we needed to fundamentally change the ownership structure of our business.

That basically scared the shit out of me.

I spent no less than 2 weeks working on this one deal. It was incredibly scary to approach my partners with a suggestion to change our relationships in such a profound way. First, because its not “just business.” We’ve got serious personal issues at stake. Second, because there is no roadmap on how to do this stuff, I was extremely uncertain of how to carve out a future that worked for everyone. Nobody could really help me figure out what I wanted the world to look like. I needed to do the emotional labor and make a call. It scared the crap out of me.

In the end I’m incredibly happy with the way things worked out.

The situation reminded me of a business cliche I’ve bought in to for a long time: the toughest things for you to face doing are often the most important. This is doubly true if you’ve managed to get other people on your team who’s job it is to run the day to day operations.

It turns out that a few terrifying emails and uncertain phone calls, totalling a week or so of work, changed my financial situation and my lifestyle possibilities more than pretty much everything I did all last year. That’s no case to sit around and write one email a year– everything I did in 2010 gave me the poise to make the right move when the time was right. It is, however, a case for being bold and confronting your fears to get your business to the next level.

The changes from the deal will trickle out across our websites, but here are some basic goals we’ve pulled together:

2011 Revenue: 1.6 Million Stretch Goal

Hypothetical Paths to Our Revenue Goals

Hypothetical Paths to Our Revenue Goals

Many of you have commented on my relentless revenue focus rather than profitability (for example, how to make $10,000 in one day, or how to make $200K in one day), there are lot of reasons that I write and set goals with revenue in mind, but more on that another time. One of my suggestions for business owners is to break out the revenue sources where you’ll hypothetically get your income from. In our case we break it out by domain (pictured above), but we’ll also do the math on how many individual products we’ll need to move. I believe the more realistic you are in your imaginings, the easier it is to manifest them.

Lauch our First Major Information Products

Most of our revenue will continue to come from our niche manufacturing business, but I’m really interested in leveraging our expertise in web marketing to launch some exciting information products. This year we’ll be delivering the following products:

  • How to Flip Used Cars for Profit
  • The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Outsourcing to the Philippines
  • The Bali Expat Guide
  • Premium Membership Option for Lifestyle Business Podcast listeners.
  • Already launched: the first 2 Seasons of the Lifestyle Business Podcast.


In 2011 we’ll start to bring our followers in to the inside of our business. This is something we’ll be gradually rolling out, but little by little we’ll bring our listeners inside our business. Not only is this tons of fun, but we get a lot of benefit from having so many smart people evaluating our businesses. Of course there is always the risk of a competator getting an inside look, or people attacking what we are up to, but I don’t think those risks outweight the benefits. I’m really looking forward to sharing what we are up to with more people.


TMBA internships will be a big part of what we do this upcoming year. Our last two interns, David and Sean, have both been officially hired by our core company. They’ve learned a broad range of web marketing skills, worked from all around the globe, and even started creating very lucrative personal income streams. This has been extraordinarily rewarding. I think David, Sean, and myself will be great friends and colleagues for many years to come. We are all growing together and sharing our passion for our businesses together. It couldn’t be more fun.


I love the Lifestyle Business Podcast. I really have a passion for the radio and I’m elated I can be a part of the scene by having my own little show. This year we will publish over 70 episodes and offer premium content for folks who want greater access to our advice and network. Check it.

Giving Back

Toward the end of 2010 we just got stated lending money to entrepreneurs in the developing world via our investment group at Kiva.org. Its free to sign up and follow our progress. In 2011 I’d like to inspire our group to loan over 5K to entrepreneurs in the Philippines. Ian and I will donate over 1K this year at minimum.

The View from our HQ, Complete with Phantom Jet

The View from our HQ, Complete with Phantom Jet


A big change for me in 2011 is that I’ll be spending a lot more time in the USA. I need absolutely no goals to inspire me to do some major traveling abroad this year. I will definitely  be spending some significant time in the Philippines finalizing our corporate structure there, hanging out with our staff, and having some fun. We are seriously considering getting a big house in Bali to hang out in… but first things first. I gotta get working :D

Are you a digital nomad who needs some extra income?

I’ve got an SEO / Webmaster gig that I’m looking to hire for. There isn’t big money invovled and you can’t blog about the gig. If you are interested kick me an email with your basic credentials and what you aspire to achieve at Dan [at] TropicalMBA.com and I can share with you more details.

OK! Let’s get crushing it….

Cheers from San Diego,