Get Paid to Travel the World – TMBA III

49 People Applied to the Third Semester of the TMBA !!!! Thanks for everyone who applied…

We are now accepting applications for the third semester of the Tropical MBA. We will accept entries until February 22nd, 9AM PST. THAT IS LESS THAN ONE WEEK FROM NOW! I expect applications to take 1 hr or less to complete. Good luck to everyone who applies.

update 3:45PM PST 2/15/2011: I didn’t know Sean Ogle was going to write a post, really made my day.

update: 8:05PM PST 2/15/2011: The first blogger I ever wrote a fanboy email to, Chris from MyEggNoodles wrote about this!… he also makes an incredible offer to share candidly business advice with the next winner, can’t wait to hear that myself…

Way back when I was fresh out of college, working at my first real job, I used to come home at night and scan the Craiglist wanted ads. I had this crazy fantasy that some jet-set entrepreneur would need an assistant to help super charge their business. The idea made so much sense to me. I’d work for next to nothing, and this person would get somebody willing to work their heart out for their success. Win, win!

I never understood why people don’t take advantage of people’s desire to learn in apprentice style relationships. I  still actively seek out new mentors, and I benefit like crazy from these relationships (Both TMBAers, David and Sean, can attest to the impact my mentors have had in my life).

I was willing to do almost anything to have a little adventure in my life. I just couldn’t figure out how to get it. After all, there were no lifestyle design blogs back then ;)

I created the Tropcial MBA because in those lonely, desperate evenings scanning the classified ads, this is what I wish I would have found.

It’s not for everyone. In fact, it’s for almost nobody.

It’s really for me…. and maybe, if I’m lucky, one of you.

Thank you so much for reading this blog and supporting what we are doing with the business. For those of you who decide to apply, I’m honored and I wish you the best of luck.



I took this with an iPhone, eat your heart out Shogle!

The Broad Strokes

Every semester of the TMBA has had slightly different terms. Semester III looks like this:

  • Applications are due February 22nd, 2011 9:00AM PST (San Diego time)
  • You meet me in Bali April 15th, 2011 (I’m flexible on this, I haven’t bought my ticket yet).
  • You pay for your own ticket and visa. This is your investment.
  • To start, this is a 6 month engagement.
  • We will work together on a daily basis for 4 weeks, minimum. We have an incredible network of interesting people running online businesses gathering in Bali (and there are plenty already located there) so hopefully you’ll want to stay longer and take advantage of the network. 100% up to you. I’ll be traveling a lot during that time as well, so there are always opportunities to do stuff together.
  • Following our first 4 weeks together, you can do what you please. You’ll have a full work load just like any other remote employee. I don’t track hours, but you’ll be in charge of mutually agreed upon results. We’ll talk on a daily basis. You’ll work directly with my team in the Philippines, California, and wherever the rest of them are :).
  • You’ll be paid just enough to survive with your rent and food. I’ll disclose the actual amount if you make it to the interview round. This is 100% based on break even expenses of a incredibly modest lifestyle in Bali. You will likely dip in to your savings a bit to make this happen. On the upside, I’m always good for a free meal or round of beers. Pretty much everyone who knows me will corroborate this one :)
  • This semester, I will start my “mini-CEO” training program. I’ll put you in charge of one of my revenue producing domains and charge you with increasing revenue. Through the process, you’ll learn a wide range of skills.

What will you learn?

You’ll be faced with running an important part of our business, increasing revenues, and solving problems. In the process you’ll learn:

  • How every functional area of an entrepreneurial start-up with real customers, and real revenues ($90,000 in January) comes together (hint: it ain’t pretty!).
  • Managing a remote team of developers.
  • Link building
  • UI design and optimization + split testing
  • Email marketing
  • Membership sites
  • WordPress and Drupal development
  • SEO
  • SEM
  • E-commerce
  • Every other buzz term you’ve ever heard, we’ve got some experience in it one way or another.

What you need to do to apply:

  • You can apply via email or by putting up a blog on Posterous or similar service, and emailing me the link. I have no preference.
  • Write a 200-500 word blog post entitled “Why the TMBA III Could be Huge for Me”
  • Write a 200-500 word blog post entitled “What I’m all About” (Note: I’m not gonna hold it against you if you aren’t currently bloggin’)
  • Answer: what are your top 3 favorite blogs/podcasts and why. (Not mine, I’m looking for suggestions :))
  • Include a VIDEO or AUDIO message to me, at least 30 seconds. Just tell me who you are and what’s going on.
  • Submit your application to Dan at Tropical MBA dot com. I will confirm receipt by the deadline of the contest. If I do not, please double check with me.

Some application tips:

I probably shouldn’t include these here because these could help me disqualify applications, but I figure I might try to give a little value in the process. I’ve interviewed TONS of people and reviewed thousands of applications throughout my career. Here are some tips:

Regarding your style:
  • Do show me respect, but don’t treat me as some crazy genius (hint: I’m not) and kiss my butt.
  • Don’t be presumptuous.
  • Do check your spelling.
  • Don’t make meta comments “I know this application is short but…”
  • Keep it brief.
  • Don’t use buzzwords.
  • Don’t employ gimmicks. (this is my personal taste). No extra credit points for funky blogs, videos, or orignal songs. I’m looking for somebody who fits in. If you think you do, tell me why. Concise and clear thinking > gimmicks.
Regarding your personality and skill set generally, we are looking for some, but not all of the following:
  • Responsive.
  • Actively seeks critical feedback.
  • Incredible attention to detail.
  • Somebody in a spot in their life where they can give a lot to our business.
  • Excellent communicator, video, audio, written, code.
  • Drupal coder (not required).
  • Not prestige oriented.
  • Willing to sacrifice to help grow the business.
  • Has demonstrated interest in both travel and online business.
  • WordPress coder (again, nice, but not required).
  • Photography, video, design, any kind of media value-add skills.
  • Somebody to prove to Dan that he isn’t the fastest typer on the planet.
  • You don’t mind a good party, from time to time :)

From Sean and David, both still currently working with me daily:

“It has turned out to be the best thing that has ever happened to me. It enabled me to live the lifestyle I wanted while learning all the skills that I felt like I never had the time to learn… to be able to come in at a very high level of a successful company, to learn from a couple guys who have been doing this for a while and really know what they are talking about– you can’t beat that. I think the potential for the Tropical MBA in the future is huge because of that.” –Sean TMBA I

“Joining the Tropical MBA was one of the best decisions of my life. Since I started to work with Dan, I’ve learned tons of new skills and have became location independent. I’ve built important relationships with like-minded people all over Asia, traveled Thailand and the Philippines, and had a ton of fun.” –David TMBA II

That’s it! I will update this post with good questions I receive via email. Thanks again for applying and checking out the blog :D