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TMBA Podcast

TMBA507: 50,000 Dollars a Month From One Blog Post?!

Today's episode is all about something that Dan and Ian still find magical about entrepreneurship. That is, if you find the right thing to write about, the internet will still allow you to make a great living off of it. This week's guest was able to do exactly that with essentially one blog post. Ryan Robinson is the host of a podcast called The Side Hustle Project and he runs a fantastic blog over at RyRob.com. He recently wrote a piece on his that blog about how to start a blog and make money from it, and that post went on to become the most successful piece of content he has created. On today's show, Ryan joins us to share some great insights about that post, as well as some strategies for creating content that makes money, and some actionable tips for getting started today.

TMBA505: How to Choose Your Own Product

A few weeks ago on this podcast, Dan and Ian were talking about some of their biggest pet peeves. In that episode, Ian lamented that the quality of flip flops available for purchase had drastically declined. What happened next should come as no surprise. A few listeners of this show reached out to us to let us know that they had started their own product business manufacturing flip flops. Jeremy Stewart is the co-founder of Hari Mari, which he started with his wife Leila. Hari Mari manufactures and sells premium flip flops across the globe. On today's episode, Jeremy joins us to talk about how their company was founded, how his experience as a political consultant helped Hari Mari grow, and how they were able to go from ground zero to having their products sold in big box retail stores.

TMBA504: Mailbag: From the Hamster Wheel to the Flywheel

Dan and Ian love hearing from listeners of this show. So many times, people reach out to us with thoughtful questions, and one of our favorite things to do is to answer them on this podcast. On today's episode, we are reaching into the mailbag to answer a variety of questions that you submitted to us via email or voicemail. We'll be discussing a broad range of topics including how long it really takes to get your business off the ground, locations to live at the various stages of your entrepreneurial journey, the dilemmas of sustainability, and a whole lot more.

TMBA503: What’s Your ‘Founder Fit’?

Dan and Ian have seen it time and time again where entrepreneurs can sort of hit a brick wall with their business. But what if the problem doesn't lie with you, but with the type of business you're running? Sometimes people can possess all of the right skills to be successful, but they haven't put themselves in the right situation to succeed. Today's episode is all about "Founder Fit", or the idea that the business you are working on should be the right kind of project that suits your skillset. We'll be discussing four different founder archetypes that we've seen, what their secret weapons are, and which sorts of businesses we believe are best suited for each of these entrepreneurs. We'll also be sharing some of our favorite resources for each type of entrepreneur.

TMBA502: What We’ve Learned About Our Listeners

A few months ago, Dan and Ian asked the listeners of this show to respond to a survey about The Tropical MBA Podcast.We wanted to gain a richer understanding of the types of people who are listening to this podcast, so we can continue to create content that is relevant to their interests.We were surprised and delighted not only by the number of people that filled it out but by the types of responses that we received as well. We read every single response that we received from the survey and on today's podcast, we are going to be sharing our thoughts about those survey responses.We'll be discussing your insights, your criticisms, your positive feedback and the data that we learned about the listeners of this show. Stick around to the end to hear a little bit more about how we plan to implement what we learned from that survey in the future of this podcast.

TMBA501: Cease and Desist

Today's episode is unlike anything else Dan and Ian have ever recorded on this podcast. It all started with a cease and desist letter that we received via email at the beginning of the year. That letter was from an in-house counsel at a very large company and it alleged that The Tropical MBA Podcast was potentially infringing on their trademark. We decided to reach out to our friend Eric Misterovich from Revision Legal. Revision Legal is a law firm that specializes in working with businesses that make money online. Eric joins us on today's podcast to talk a little bit about intellectual property law, as well as the specific cease and desist letter that we received. Make sure to stay tuned until the end of this episode to hear more about the ongoing nature of this situation.

TMBA500: An Entrepreneur’s Trip to ‘Room 101’

Dan and Ian are excited because they get to spend today's podcast doing one of their favorite things: complaining. This isn't just their everyday grinding of axes, though. On this week's episode, we are taking our own stab at a fun an unique concept popularized by the BBC in a classic television series called "Room 101".The term "Room 101" comes from George Orwell's 1984. In Orwell's fictional world, it was a sort of torture chamber that thought criminals are banished to. In this episode, Dan and Ian will each present three things that they want to complain about, and at the end of the episode, they are going to vote on which terrible thing deserves to be banished to Room 101.

TMBA499: 5 Approaches to Getting Rich

Hosting this podcast has allowed Dan and Ian to meet thousands of entrepreneurs over the last several years.Many of those entrepreneurs have gone on to become very wealthy people, and throughout our conversations with those people, we have found some common threads to the ways that wealthy people behave.One constant we've discovered is that you have to have a strategy for becoming wealthy and that there are several common strategies that people use to varying degrees of success.On today's show, we are going to be talking about five of the most common strategies to get rich that we have seen, which of those strategies resonate with us, and a whole lot more.

TMBA498: When Does an Artist Become an Entrepreneur?

Dan and Ian love stories where creative people find success through entrepreneurship. Truthfully, it's not something we have had a chance to talk about much on this podcast, but art and entrepreneurship don't have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, the skillsets can actually be complementary. Today's guest has figured that out herself, as she went from working a 9-to-5 while living with her parents to traveling the world on her own terms. Cat Coquilette is an artist and illustrator who has made a career licensing her artwork and designs through companies like Target, Urban Outfitters, and Bed Bath & Beyond. On today's podcast, Cat joins us to share how she navigated the journey from her childhood bedroom to successful solopreneurship, without sacrificing her creative fulfillment along the way.

TMBA497: Success is Solving Other People’s Problems

On this week's show, Dan and Ian are talking about getting real with yourself about what you need to do to succeed. Very few people are more qualified to talk about that than John Ainsworth. John is the CEO and founder of Data Driven Marketing, which builds, fixes, and optimizes automated sales funnels. Those sales funnels are the mechanisms that many online businesses use to communicate with customers and entice them to buy their products.

TMBA495: Going All In on a Side Project

On today's podcast, Dan and Ian are following up with the subject of one of the most popular episodes in recent years. Tommy Griffith is the founder of ClickMinded, an online SEO training course that he started while he was working at Paypal. Tommy joined us two and a half years ago to talk about how he started that business as a Saturday Morning Side Hustle. When we last spoke with Tommy in 2017, he was about to quit one of the best jobs in the world as the head of SEO at AirBNB to travel the world and focus on Clickminded full-time. It didn't go quite as planned, as you'll find out on this week's episode. Tommy returns to the podcast today to talk about what went wrong, and why he decided almost eight years into growing his business that it was time to take on a co-founder.

TMBA494: The Affiliate Marketing Adventure

Dan and Ian have heard many variations of the same question over the years: "I want to be an entrepreneur, but how do I get started?" Today's guest has some really practical insight into what it means to take the leap into starting your own business. Dom Wells started out, as many do, building affiliate marketing sites. He's gone on to establish several successful spin-off businesses from what was effectively a side hustle, all while he was still working a full-time job teaching English in Taipei. This week, Dom joins us to share tips for getting started on the long journey of entrepreneurship, how to build a skillset and a network, and the mistakes that he made along the way.

TMBA492: The Re-Readables: Rich Dad Poor Dad

Recently, Dan and Ian have been revisiting some of their favorite books on this podcast in a recurring series that we like to call "The Re-Readables."This week, we are digging into a classic entrepreneurial book that was suggested to us by our friend, author, and frequent guest on this podcast, Kyla Gardner of KylaGardner.com.That book is Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad. In that book, Kiyosaki basically suggests that if you want to be rich and successful, you've got to ditch the middle-class mindset.Kyla joins us this week to discuss some of the controversial opinions in this book, which ideas in that book have aged the best and which have aged the worst, and much, much more.

TMBA491: Breaking Up is Still Hard to Do

Dan and Ian have shared a lot of business success stories on this podcast over the years. We love sharing those stories on this show, but sometimes the tough experiences that entrepreneurs have endured are the ones that we learn from the most. Freddy Lansky is the co-founder of iChess, which sells chess videos, courses and DVDs online. Recently, Freddy decided to leave that business, choosing to dissolve an eight-year business partnership with one of his closest friends. On today's episode, Freddy joins us to speak about the origins of iChess, what it felt like to be trapped in a business that was no longer fulfilling to him, and how he and his partner navigated their breakup.

TMBA486: The Re-Readables: Getting Things Done

Dan and Ian are excited to start a new series on this week's show.One of our favorite podcasts to listen to lately is The Re-Watchables, a series presented by The Ringer, where the hosts look back on legendary films.They discuss why these movies had such an impact, what parts have aged the best and worst, and other categories which they use to assess what has made these films stand the test of time.We thought it would be fun to talk about some of our favorite books in a similar light. This week, we are looking back at the single most important book we read in our business.Getting Things Done by David Allen represented a paradigm shift in the early 2000s, and it was the first book that was truly written for information and knowledge workers.On today's podcast, we are revisiting Getting Things Done, talking about why that book was so influential, and whether the ideas in that book are still as relevant as they were at the time it was released.

TMBA485: Mastering the Art of Entrepreneurial Kung Fu

Dan and Ian have talked a lot about business strategy on this show, but there are some business techniques that are so powerful, you have to learn them from a true master. Jason Cohen, the founder of WP Engine, recently wrote a piece on his blog ASmartBear.com titled Kung Fu. In that blog, Jason proposes that all entrepreneurs are essentially fighters. We are fighting to make a living, fighting to survive, and fighting to change marketplaces. Any good fighter needs to have a plan, and in that blog post, Jason shared his own "secret moves" for running a business. On today's episode, we are talking about some of Jason's secret business moves, and sharing a few of our own as well.

TMBA484: 5 Things We’ve Learned From Running a New Business for 6 Months

A lot of our listeners have been reaching out to us lately to ask about Dan and Ian's newest business venture, Dynamite Jobs. They have been running the business for the past six months, and it is still very much in the early stages. As the business has grown and changed over that time, they've learned a lot of things that they didn't expect. On today's podcast, we're sharing five things that we have learned in the last six months of running a new productized services business. Later on in the episode, we'll be discussing some specific numbers, goals, and takeaways from the first six months of Dynamite Jobs. You'll also hear three reasons why we think the remote hiring process isn't working for a lot of entrepreneurs.

TMBA483: Search Engine Optimization in 2019 (Plus, The Dark Side of SEO)

Longtime listeners of this show know that Dan and Ian spent the early part of their entrepreneurial career building product businesses online. What you might not know is that Search Engine Optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, was one of the first skillsets that they learned when building those businesses. A lot has changed in the last decade when it comes to SEO, and this week's guest seems to be at the forefront of that progress. Tim Soulo is the Chief Marketing Officer and Product Adviser for Ahrefs. Ahrefs is a Software-as-a-Service company that provides a suite of incredibly useful SEO research tools. Their website is also host to one of the best SEO blogs on the internet. On today's podcast, Tim shares some keen insight on the evolution of SEO and how you can make SEO work for your business. We'll also be exploring some of the darker sides of SEO and content marketing.

TMBA482: “I Got There and I Thought It Sucked” – From Digital Dreams to Deals

Dan and Ian have shared many stories on this podcast of people who have escaped from the cubicle in search of location-independence. This week's episode is a little different, as today's guest left his 9-to-5 job in pursuit of entrepreneurial freedom, only to find that it wasn't what it was cracked up to be. Coran Woodmass left his job in Australia and moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand. He started building, buying and selling small web properties, but ultimately realized that it didn't make him happy. These days, Coran has moved into a field he is incredibly passionate about, advising and brokering quality deals for Amazon FBA owners through his new business, TheFBABroker.com. This conversation is about buying and selling Amazon businesses, but it's about a lot more than that too, specifically, what makes you feel satisfied and fulfilled.

TMBA481: Our Favorite Books of the Past 12 Months

On this week's episode, we are continuing one of Dan and Ian's favorite traditions on the podcast. Today we are talking about books, and in particular our favorite books that we have read in the past year. Last year, we invited our good friend and talented author Kyla Gardner to the show to talk about books with us. We had so much fun with that episode that we asked her to return this week. On today's podcast, Dan and Kyla are sharing their five favorite reads of 2019. This conversation also details how some of our reading habits have changed since last year, why Kyla has started writing fiction, and much more.

TMBA478: The Downsides of Success

"Success" isn't always what it's cracked up to be. Dan and Ian know this feeling all too well, as they have dealt with some of their own internal struggles after selling their product business. On today's episode, we are talking about five specific downsides to success. These aren't necessarily strategic elements, as much as they are about the mindset of success. You'll hear about some of the common traps that successful entrepreneurs often find themselves in, and how success itself can actually become a competitive disadvantage.