Live in Bali, Indonesia for Free – Tropical MBA Semester VI and VII

UPDATE: The deadline for this opportunity has passed. Thanks to all who applied.

Today, I’m happy to invite 2 more team members to come join us in Bali, Indonesia.

If this is your first time here…

Our most popular posts are generally when we offer paid internships for aspiring internet entrepreneurs to come join us in our adventures in South East Asia.

So far we’ve sponsored 5 team members to come here and join us in South East Asia (and travel the world beyond that!).

The first TMBAer has gone on to start his own profitable business. The rest of us have been bumming around Indonesia and the Philippines together for the past few months having WAY too much fun. Now that the TMBA party is over, we are splitting ways for a while to do some traveling and maybe even get a little work done. I’m personally looking forward to making my way back to Bali.

We’ve rented a 4BR House in the Top Neighborhood in Bali


I Want to Install a Stand Up Desk on the Deck

The house features gardens, pool, pipin’ hot WIFI, and a full-time helper who will shop for us and prepare meals. We are within walking distance to some of the coolest restaurants, cafes, bars, and high-end clubs in South East Asia.

If you know somebody who loves building lifestyle businesses and is looking to enter into a broader network of people who are doing so, please share this post with them by clicking the Facebook or Twitter links at the top. Thanks!

Offer Overview

  • WHERE: Our 4BR house in Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia.
  • WHEN: Starting August 1st, 2011 (or the earliest you can make it, we are happy to extend the timeframe for the right candidate). The initial agreement extends 4 months from your start date.
  • WHAT: You work for us for free. I pay for your food and room. We work together on e-commerce sites that sell cool products we design in our California offices. You’ll learn highly marketable skills by interacting with every functional area of a profitable $1,000,000 product development company. You’ll be in a position where you’ll be judged by your results, not the amount of hours you spend in the office. As a rule of thumb we assume you’ll work about 4-5 hours a day on our projects. We’ll expect that you deliver a report on your domain on Fridays. You’ll be in a position where you can generate huge results for our company. Side projects will be encouraged and openly discussed. If your goal is to earn a job within our company, the opportunity is there.

The Work

Skills we highly value: DRUPAL, PHP, eCommerce, Building sites that Convert, Getting Shit Done, WP DEV, Entrepreneurial spirit and track record.

We have 2 positions available, both the “mini-CEO” of e-commerce stores. Both are built in Drupal 6  with Ubercart backends. They sell hard goods that our team in California designs. You’ll coordinate our resources and personnel to drive results for your domain.

SITE #1 – One intern will take the reigns on one of our marquee domains. It currently generates mid-five figures monthly. We believe there is an opportunity to immediately improve revenue by 10 to 20K monthly. The key strategies we’ll be employing are:

  • Split testing + data driven development of the UI/UX.
  • Adwords optimization.
  • Agressive SEO tactics, all white hat, including viral and social strategies.
  • Bonus points if you feel comfortable getting your hands dirty in the coding of the site.

SITE #2 – We are just about ready to start taking pre-orders. Our flagship product will be $3,000 per unit. We’ve got a lot of room built in to the margin for marketing. Ian is hugely bullish about this market, and thinks this could easily become our flagship domain within 12 months. You’ll be engaged in a broad range of tasks including:

  • Sourcing and positioning new products.
  • Adwords testing, using data to sculpt an effective long term SEO plan.
  • Copywriting, data scraping, lead generation.
  • Basic development of the first generation of the site.

We like working with technical all-rounders– people who don’t go crazy when they see javascript, but know how to create compelling UXs that get people to hit “buy now” button. We prefer people experienced with travel, online business development, and creating websites that drive sales. Demonstrated expertise in things like SEO, SEM, WordPress, and email marketing is excellent, but not required.

The Place and Lifestyle

I love Bali. Seminyak is without a doubt the top spot in southern Bali. This isn’t crazy traveler oriented Kuta, nor spiritual and quiet Ubud. Seminyak is HQ for the “jet-set” crowd. We’ve got a 4BR house, and 2 of the upstairs bedrooms are on offer here today. Each bedroom has a double bed and a private bathroom. The market value on accommodation like this on Bali is pretty high. We’ll also be including 2 meals a day.

Bali is an incredible value– you can walk 20 meters from our front door and order dinner for $2.00 US. (You can also blow it out at at world class restaurants, so watch it!)

Our goal with the house is to provide a low cost, highly productive spot in SEAsia for people in our network to relax, hang with interesting people, and get work done. Traveling is a blast, but it gets expensive in terms of cash and productivity. We’ve found that although the costs of living in places like Bali can be very low, the costs of getting a lot of work done can be very high (paying for WIFI cafes etc). We hope to address that problem– at least partially– with this new house. We are also improving our network of friendly places in SEAsia where we know we can have fast, dedicated internet, in a quiet environment.

Who are we?

The First #TMBAParty !!! SO Much Fun

At this point there are tons of resources on the web about who we are and what we’ve done. I’m happy to answer any specific questions you have them.

The best ways to learn about me are to read this blog and listen to my podcast.

Here’s further information about the founders and alums of the TMBA:

@AnythingIan – co-host of the Lifestyle Business Podcast, co-founder of a $1MIL product development company, personal finance ninja, and the guy who keeps this all going.

@TropicalMBA – writer of, co-Host of the, community manager of the

@SeanOgle – TMBAI, writer of, SEO consultant, founder of

@DavidHMe – THMBAII, writer of, community manager of, wordpress plugin / PHP developer.

@Dave_Huss – TMBAIII, writer of, currently cutting his teeth on Adwords big time.

@LewisQuartey – TMBAIV, writer of, currently cutting his teeth on SEO, big time traffic gen, and feeder sites.

@Damian_Thompson – TMBAV, writer of, rocking out marketing services for Badladz resort in Mindoro, Philippines.

What are my future financial prospects?

The financial implications of this arrangement vary widely so it’s very difficult to address them. Many people who are a part of the TMBA program have side income in place. You need to consider what your cash burn will be when you join the program. You’ll likely want to rent a motorbike. That’s how everyone gets around in Bali.  That’ll be 50 bucks a month plus another 10 bucks in gas. You can walk places, so you don’t need to and it’s a luxury. Since we won’t be preparing dinners, you’ll want to consider a food cost of 2-4 bucks a day. Then you’ll need to be honest about yourself with your lifestyle expenses.

Regarding what happens after 4 months, it depends a lot on you. We are actively looking to hire people who kick ass for our businesses and can drive sales. We also have a broad range of entrepreneurs in our network who are piecing together this type of lifestyle, and looking to hire or partner with people who can get it done. I’m sure some people will just want to hang in Bali for a few months, and that’s cool.

How is this different from previous TMBAs?

As our business gets bigger we are getting more ambitious about what we’d like to do with it. That means we are skewing heavily towards people who we believe can make a big impact financially for us. If you think you can drive sales for ecommerce stores (and perhaps our community sites more broadly) we want to hear from you.

If you think you can benefit us in some other way, or would like to meet up with us in some other capacity in Bali, go ahead and pitch your idea to us. We are always open to creative ideas.

As some of the interns mentioned briefly in the video, I also believe that the networking opportunities are improving. It’s hard to quantify, and it will have different value to each prospective applicant. For me personally, it’s been invaluable. The perks include discounted and free stays at many friendly places in South East Asia, instant introductions to other successful nomadic entrepreneurs, audience with some big hitters, and free access to our mastermind group.

How to apply to the TMBA.

  • Apply via email, Dan at Tropical MBA dot com. Avoid attachments if possible. Link out to extra resources.
  • Write a 200-500 word blog post entitled “Why the TMBA is a good fit for me at this time in my life.”
  • Describe in 200-500 words your current or recent web projects. Emphasize the results you drove if possible.
  • Answer: what are your top 3 favorite blogs/podcasts and why. (Not mine, I’m looking for suggestions). Tell me why your top choice is excellent.
  • Include a (link to third party site okay here) VIDEO or AUDIO message to me, at least 30 seconds. Just tell me who you are and what’s going on.
  • I will confirm receipt by the deadline of the contest. If I do not, please double check with me.
  • DEADLINE: Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 10:00PM EST.

Note: Some TMBA alums will see your applications. I can keep them confidential by special request, but it could hurt your chances. Also, if you can’t make it to the house by August 1st, just note in your application when you can be there.

Some application tips:

I’ve interviewed TONS of people and reviewed thousands of applications throughout my career. Here are some tips:

Regarding your style:

  • Less successful candidates generally express how much they care about the opportunity by talking about themselves, their emotions, and their confidence in their ability to kick butt for us.
  • More successful candidates demonstrate they care. They address our specific interests and attempt to show they are a great fit.
  • If your application has a spelling error, or does not follow the guidelines, almost without exception you are disqualified. Exceptions are made only when the root of the error does not seem to be in carelessness. (I know I mess up on this blog a lot, you can mess up your blog too!)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You don’t mind a good party, from time to time :)

Thanks for your time and applications. I read and review every single one personally.

Cheers from the Philippines,

PS, A lot of people ask me for virtual training. I know many people aren’t able to make the jump to Asia. I’ve finally found something I can honestly 100% recommend to people. If you are an internet business newbie and want to learn step by step, and in direct contact with experienced and sharp entrepreneurs, sign up for Tim and Izzy’s training programI talk with Tim every week on the phone, and his advice is priceless to me. These guys are 100% for real– no lame hype crap. It’s 1 buck to give it a try, and you get to work directly with them. BALLA! Give it a try….