We always love receiving thoughtful questions from Tropical MBA listeners around the world.
A few weeks ago, a winter storm in Texas forced us to re-run one of our favorite episodes of this show called 7 Things to Consider When Selling Your Business, in which Dan and Ian describe the process of selling their eCommerce business back in 2015.
Our decision to revisit that particular story elicited a ton of responses from those of you who had never heard it before, and from those who were listening to it with a fresh perspective nearly five years later.
This week we are responding to several listener questions about that story, discussing our feelings on the exit, addressing how long it really takes to “fire yourself” from your business, and a whole lot more.
Listen to this week’s show and learn:
- The pros and cons of having multiple citizenships. (5:18)
- Why it can take longer than you think to “fire yourself” from your business. (15:44)
- How Ian was able to get to the point where he was only working 5 hours a week in our product business. (19:23)
- The two things that you need to build a successful lifestyle business. (25:28)
- Whether we regret selling our business 5 years later. (31:04)
Mentioned in the episode:
Before the Exit – Our New Book
Partner With Us
The Dynamite Circle
Tropical MBA on YouTube
Post a Remote Job
Dynamite Jobs – Remote Recruiting Sales Page
Let’s Talk High-Level Podcast Strategy for 1 Hour
The Sovereign Individual by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg
Enjoyed this podcast? Check out these:
This week’s sponsor:
Today’s podcast is sponsored by Dynamite Job’s Done-for-You Recruitment Service.
If you run a growing seven or eight-figure remote company, your next productive team member could be just one simple phone call away.
Our recruiting services are designed to save weeks or even months of your own effort in the hiring process. While we’re finding your next dream team member, you can avoid the ‘job board grind’ and ‘hiring hustle’ to instead focus on building a better business.
The process starts with a free, no-obligation call with one of our senior recruiters. We’ll then go out and execute the entire job search on your behalf. The job will be marketed to thousands of candidates, the applications will be filtered down, the talent will be interviewed, and you’ll receive the top picks hand-delivered.
Hiring can be a total pain but the team at Dynamite Jobs is doing it successfully and efficiently every day. Schedule a call with their team and learn more here.
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Dan & Ian
Dan: Happy Thursday morning. Welcome back to the podcast bossman. How are you?
Ian: I’m pretty damn good.
Dan: I’ll tell you what, my computer just took a big fat you know what, on this podcast and we were like 15 minutes in and that was fire. And so we’re gonna have to take it to the next level to duplicate our success. I need a new laptop. So I’m just gonna say here at the top, can someone at me on Twitter and tell me what laptop to get? This is a 2014 MacBook Pro. It’s been an incredible tank. I hate to get rid of it.
Dan: I feel out of the laptop game. You know, it’s been like so long. Stick around for today’s episode, we’re answering your questions. We’re going to talk about diversifying your identity and business into other countries. We’re going to reflect on how long we think it takes to build a fully automated ‘four hour workweek’ business. We’re going to dig into some questions about that. And also how the landscape has changed for building and selling assets, ie online businesses in 2021. And as always, we appreciate your questions that inspire these episodes. How about a little chatter at the top Bossman? I’ve been talking a lot of noise about your sales chops, about the fact that you’ve been on sales phone calls instead of on this podcast, actually something that’s been a really bright surprise in our business lately.
Ian: Yeah, and you showed up to a sales call the other day. And of course, after being on one sales call and me being on about 100, you had all these great ideas.
Dan: That’s right. I’m like ‘Work Expander Good idea, Glen’. I’m like, ‘Hey, I really think we should be doing more in these sales calls’.
Ian: Typical manager, I tamped it down real quick.I didn’t have much of it. Even if you did have a good idea, I wasn’t gonna be hearing it. But yeah, we’ve actually been doing some amazing work over there, if I can say so myself and placing people in your guys company. So a lot of people have listened to this podcast, they’ve heard our pitch. And they’ve shot us an email. Basically, it’s done for you hiring the service. So you show up, hopefully, with a job description in hand, and we go out and find the right person for you. It gets pretty complicated. And it gets pretty technical. But we’re building a team around the process. And people have been delighted that they can kind of be kinda of hands off on the approach and we deliver them somebody who is going to be excellent in their business. People are coming to us for a couple of things. One, they’re trying to figure out like, ‘Hey, does this person exist?’, number one. ‘Hey, have you guys hired for this person before? And what is it going to cost me?’ And then sometimes, and this is a new feature on our website, sometimes hiring isn’t the right solution for them. And we’ve cooked up this little thing. If you go over to Dynamite Jobs dot calm, there’s this tab, and it’s called ‘browse services’.
Dan: Yeah, basically, the idea is this. I mean, this is super early days, super super nowadays, in terms of our product, but the idea is basically one we’ve been exploring sort of philosophically on the show for a decade, which is that the corporation continues to get melted down into its elemental parts. There was this book I was reading the other day, which is fantastic. Go out and pick up ‘The Sovereign Individual’. We’re going to do a ‘Re-readbles episode’ on this book in the near future, it’s so very prescient, written in 1996. One line really jumped out at me because it resonated with my own belief, which was a little bit unsaid, which is, ‘In the future, we won’t have jobs, we’ll just have tasks’. And I was like, ‘Yes, that’s what’s happening’. And it’s not just contractors and freelancers, and outsourced professionals and stuff like this. It’s increasingly becoming really targeted agile services. Maybe five years ago, there’s this big blob of things called agencies, you know, that sort of do other stuff. And they still do and play a very critical role. But increasingly, we’re seeing these super agile services that sort of, with expertise, do a very specific function in your online business, we’ve been calling them productized services. So I do think people talk about them in the same breath. It’s actually the same budget consideration for a lot of companies. And in our community, we’re seeing more and more budget going towards agile services than that overhead of full time staff, which is the nucleolus of your company. Increasingly you’re gonna have less and less headcount for more and more revenue. That’s the trend. But we’ll revisit that in future episodes. Let’s dig into some of these listener questions Ian.
So Alan writes, ‘I’ve been exploring the ideal of multiple passports’. That’s right. Many people online talk about this idea of diversifying your citizenship, a lot of different words for it. ‘Sovereign individual’ is one you could say, ‘The Sovereign Individual’ book suggests that in the future, people will purchase national identity and credentials as sort of a service, I think in the book, they use Malta as an example. There’s more and more of these sort of like ‘nationality as a service’ products coming out and, you know, talked about on the show many times, back to the listener question. ‘Turns out, I qualify for a couple different ones due to ancestry and was talking with my family about it. I recall you mentioning a few years ago, maybe getting Spanish citizenship so you could buy property over there. Am I right? Have you abandoned that? That got me wondering, what are some of the business opportunities that open up when you have citizenship in multiple countries?’ Too long, didn’t listen: ‘Can having multiple citizenships make me a lot of money. I’m curious just how much you know about this?’ The first thing is, I don’t know a tonne about Alan, but I’m certainly happy for the opportunity to talk a little bit about my experience. Now, first things first, Ian, is the correlation between wealth and multiple passports – I’m pretty clear on whether it’s chicken or egg. Wealthy people want to get multiple passports, it’s not that like multiple passports makes you wealthy. And, in fact, having multiple passports can often open up some administrative burden, can give you accidental tax bills that maybe you don’t know about, or things you need to do to maintain or get that citizenship in the first place. So here’s the deal. I think the reason wealthy people want multiple passports is because, it is the ultimate optionality, the ability to have access to a second citizenship, a second place to live, a second set of rules, all those things could prove to be enormously valuable. If you think we’ve lived through a lot of change in the last 20 years, wait till the next 20 years come, you know, we don’t exactly know how countries are going to perform, which countries are going to change their legislation. And so yeah, it’s nice to have some diversification. So that’s kind of the first thought I had, like, if you can do it, and if you can do it with a low administrative burden, then you might as well go ahead and get the process started.
Ian: Yeah, whenever I hear this question, Dan, I think about the administrative burden or the administrative headache, because we’ve had different corporations in different countries. There’s got to be like, some kind of threshold. Right? So it’s like, only do this if you feel like the opportunity is 10x the administrative burden. I’m like, specifically thinking right now about our Hong Kong Corporation.
Ian: That’s something that we started when there were advantages to having a corporation like that, basically, most of the advantages at this point have disappeared. But at the time, it was advantageous to have that corporate structure. And it did benefit us for several years. Now, the time has come where the administrative burden far outweighs the advantage of having that Corporation. It’s interesting to see the life cycle of that be so short, basically, because like, it was within like a matter of 10 years that it came up, and then it went down. So essentially, to Alan, it’s like, well, what, what is the opportunity here, and for us, there was a serious opportunity. And we took advantage of it for a while. Now. It’s like, ‘How do I get rid of this thing?’ So anytime you spin up these ideas, or you have this notion that you’re gonna make money with something like a passport, I think you got to think about the administrative burden of that too, because it can be quite robust and difficult to kind of get through this stuff. In fact, you might even need like a legal team or an accounting team to basically be on retainer the whole time you have access to that country, or to that bank account, or to that Corporation. I’ll mention one more thing on this. We know people like in the industry of helping people get passports and multiple citizenships. And then also funnelling money around the world, so it’s advantageous tax wise. When you become rich, those people find you because they’re trying to make money and they’re trying to figure out a way to make money off your situation, basically. So if you’re looking at it the other way, like you’re seeking out the opportunities to make money, that’s kind of a little bit backwards. Right? If that makes sense Dan it’s like once you become rich enough like these people, they find you.
Dan: In the yacht harbour.
Ian: I’ll say this too, about like the, I’ll say this to about the opportunity. Like, I think I asked you a couple months ago, we have like a mutual friend that’s hanging out in one of these countries. I was like, ‘How does he do it?’ And your answer was, ‘He’s rich’. That is kind of the answer to this – you want to buy a house, you want to get a second passport, one approach is just to be rich to get all this stuff done.
Dan: Yeah. 100%. And so let’s talk about that, then. Because, you know, one final piece on this is this idea of, you know, making a lot of money. And so there is this kind of, there’s two ways to do it. So the way I kind of came into it was, ‘Okay, you start your business in your home country. And that’s where your opportunities are. And you work really hard. And you see opportunities for international diversification. So you start talking to some fancy lawyers, you start placing little pieces around and doing these fancy fancy stuff, try to save 15% here and 10% there’. I really feel like nine times out of 10 that’s a really bad strategy. And this is advice not only coming from me, but from some of my wealthiest friends. Why? Because your time is better spent creating opportunities, creating wealth, rather than making some weird meatball Sunday of a business where you’re diversified internationally, you got trusts here, you got this there, all that kind of stuff. Typically, we’re talking big, big money to make that administrative hassle worthwhile.
Now, I will say this, on the other side of that polarity, if you purpose-build a business with a structure in mind, I’ve seen this work many times very well. What am I talking about? A lot of people right now are talking about wanting to have more Bitcoin. So one of the ways you can do that is you can build a business specifically meant to earn you Bitcoin, a lot of listeners have done that. Well, you can do the same thing with corporations, with lifestyle, with a strategy for business. The simplest example that comes up often on the show, it’s sometimes a little trickier for Americans because we’re still always really going to be responsible for a big part of our tax burden. But still, for Americans, you can save that first $100,000 a year income tax free if say you live in Thailand and you’re tax resident there, you build a business that doesn’t require you to be on the phone with clients, because typically, you’re going to be selling back to the West. And so that would be a huge disadvantage. But you build it in a very low cost structure with very low taxation, with employees who cost a lot less, provided, you’re still getting great talent for the kind of work you’re doing. That makes a tonne of sense. And if your tax burden is, say, anywhere from 40% to 10%, even, lower every single year, your personal burn is much, much lower. That can be a great way to start a purpose built business based on that particular situation provided you think it can exist for, say, five years. But actually, I was thinking about that topic, because just looking at my rent and all this kind of stuff. If we had to start fresh in America and like, grow a business, like, if you look at, we’ll get into this in the next question, but I think the point I was really trying to close on here, Ian, is reducing your personal burn, as you’re trying to, you know, get to a point where you can afford to live based on money you’re making from your business, no small feat, it’s really, really tough. And so we’ll get into that in the next question.
Alright, next question from Norman. ‘Thanks for the replay of Episode 303’. During snow apocalypse here in Austin, or ice apocalypse, or Snowvid, or whatever we’re calling it, we just couldn’t fully spend a bunch of time on the mics. And so we ran one of our favourite episodes of all time describing the sale of our first product manufacturing business. So Norman continues to write, ‘For whatever reason, I forgot that Ian was only working five hours a week on that business when you sold it. Keeping in mind that the ‘four hour workweek’ was overdone, and mostly misunderstood by everyone back in the day. And Norman there is specifically referring to the title, ‘I think the title topic would make for a great show in the context of the business you built and sold’. So let’s go through a few of these quick fire questions from Norman. The first is, how long did it take to get there? And this is something I really wanted to talk a little bit about Norman. And I’m glad for the prompt. Because thinking back to that idea of the expenses, and we talk all the time on the podcast about ‘the 1000 day principle’, it’s this idea that for three years, you’re going to toil in squalor. And you’re going to drive an entrepreneurmobile. And maybe your clothes aren’t gonna look that good or stylish because you know what you’re doing, you’re busy building your business, and you’re probably paying people more than you’re paying yourself.
Ian: That’s very likely.
Dan: That’s a very common thing that happens in those first 1000 days. And frankly, Ian and I are back in those 1000 days. And over the last few months, our hard work, our toil has been paying off, we’re starting to see some sunbeams coming through the clouds, that maybe we’re gonna be able to pay ourselves more than we make in a professional salary from the business that we’ve been building the last few years.
Ian: I’ll tell you what, my wardrobe is definitely suffering though, glad you brought it up.
Dan: So the reason I wanted to bring this up is – how long did it take to get there? And there’s this concept related to ‘The 1000 day principle’ called ‘The 10 year career’. And it’s just a spitball napkin math thing, but it looks like this, Norman. For three years, you’re gonna have be a hardcore apprentice, you’re gonna have to learn something valuable by working in an organisation that provides value. That’s what a lot of the candidates are doing over at Dynamite Jobs right now. That’s what a lot of our apprentices have done. This is sort of like your ante at the game of entrepreneurship, you’re gonna have to put three years minimum into a career. Often it’s much, much more than that, just to understand, you know, what the lay of the land is. The next three years, say you want to jump ship from your career, after three years of learning your knowledge, build your own thing. You got to toil away for three years. By the way, Ian, you want to take a guess at the average age of the success of a successful startup founder?
Ian: If it’s written by ‘the Silicon Valley media company dot com’ then I’d say it’s like 24. In actuality, it’s probably like 40 years old.
Dan: It’s 42. It makes sense, typically, the more career experience you have, the more likely the business that you toil in for 1000 days is going to be is going to be successful. Now, there’s another side to it. If you’re waiting until you’re 42 to start your first business, you’re less likely to start that first business, because you’re probably getting paid pretty good by the time you’re 42. So that’s the other side of it, right? You might have a lot of commitments by the time you’re 42. But, if you’re listening right now, and you’re 40 Plus, or whatever, you’re in a great spot, provided you can take a step back in terms of your earnings, toil away through those 1000 days. And there’s ways to mitigate that too. By the time you get to that age, you might be able to find investors, money that’s affordable for you to take relative to the valuation you think your company’s worth. So there’s other ways to do it. But let’s just let me just lay this out, and then get your comment. Let’s take that first period, call it three years, whatever, that’s where you’re learning your industry, you’re getting paid by somebody else. That next three years is when you start that business, get through it, pay yourself back what you were making before. And then that final three years of this hypothetical 10 year career is really when you get into that earning torque band – your business has been cruising along for some time, you’re able to hire managers, key staff members to run it on your behalf. And that’s really what we’re talking about here. I think entrepreneurship is probably minimum a 10 year commitment in someone’s life.
Ian: Can I kind of answer this like a little bit more specifically, Dan, because I think he gave a great kind of overview of the trajectory of an entrepreneur? I want to point out a couple of specifics about our situation, in case he’s asking specifically what happened with us. The first three years that you mentioned, we were actually basically working for someone else in the same industry that we started a business in. So product manufacturing and design. So boom, shortcut right there, because we’re getting paid to do it. So then when you start day one with your company, you already have experience, ties, relationships, all that good stuff. And hopefully, you can start making money sooner. So I think you’re at an extreme disadvantage, if you’re working somewhere now, currently, that’s not going to parlay into whatever your next business is.
Dan: You’re at an extreme disadvantage if you’re not looking for every parlay available to you, that is the name of the game. One of our standard, boilerplate pieces of advice around here is, look, if your job isn’t going to contribute to the business that you’re going to start one day then get a better job.
Ian: The next thing I’ll say, and I’ll just answer this specifically as I remember it, which is probably favourable for me, but not actually true, necessarily. I worked my ass off for three years, and then basically chilled for the next five before we sold the company. Let me let me get specific about what I mean by chilled, I definitely worked several hours a day in the beginning. And then yes, it became five hours at the end of it. But those five hours, I had direct input on the most impactful areas of that business. Meaning I was making decisions basically, for five hours a week, I was making the toughest decisions in the business. And that’s a pretty cool, fun place to be, I definitely have some regrets about not being there anymore. And I think we’re certainly trying to get back to that place.
But one of the things I’m noticing with people that are coming to Dynamite Jobs for us to help them hire, and I didn’t necessarily see this that much when we were doing is – people are elevating themselves out of their roles, people are coming to us saying like, ‘Hey, I’m the lead developer. I’m also the founder, I got to take a step back from this. I’m just trying to be the founder’. This is something that I did from day one in that organisation, Dan, I fired myself from every job that I had, because I was just trying to take it to the extreme. We did read that book, ‘The Four Hour Workweek’, I wasn’t necessarily trying to work less, but I was definitely trying to remove myself from the business to see what kind of organisation we could grow without our basic daily inputs. Now, that’s not to say we didn’t make the hard decisions, because I did, that was a part of my job for those five hours a week but I was actively trying to fire myself from my job every day. And I said that’s how I got to the point where I was only working five hours a week. I essentially fired myself.
Dan: It’s totally possible, right? But it’s really about, it’s like an asset, a cash flow and a money problem. Or you could even say, just a margin problem. At the end of the day, you just need to build an asset that provides you margin in an assetized or an automated way. It’s another way of saying it’s an asset, not a job. Norman’s next question: what about Dan’s time commitment?
Ian: Let me answer this for you, Dan. Dan went off to build another business, basically, he helped our organisation diversify into what became the Dynamite Circle. And now what is Dynamite Jobs, and previously Dynamite Deals. So part of the power of our relationship and our friendship, and the way that we work together is, especially at that time, we were working on very different things. And part of that was based on relationships. Part of that was just based on part of that was based on our location. And then the other part of that was just based on our personal interests, it’s gonna be interesting to see actually, Dan, like how this plays out for our future business, because we’re kind of working on the same thing a lot of ways. But we are already seeing each other, like kind of go to our own corners and build our own things within this organisation. So one of the things that Dan and I have always kind of wanted to do was have a singular focus. But then also work on our own stuff. And it feels like Dynamite Jobs is gonna give us that ability.
Dan: Yeah, speaking of time, I mean, I worked on a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot all the time. And because I loved it, it was really, really fun. And, part of it was just seeing value. And I think that that gets entrepreneurs excited. And when Ian and I started doing this funky stuff, we were like building these offices with these young developers and marketers overseas. The goal was to tell the story of the product company, right? We were going to go to every valet company in America, every cat furniture buyer in America and tell them why our wares are better than the competition. But I started to see value in what we were doing, like, wow, this is kind of crazy that two guys are doing it this way. We started looking around and saying, like, man, like, I guess we’re kind of doing, like what Seth Godin says and like, kind of what Tim Ferriss says, there’s not a lot of other people out there doing this, you know. And then I started to see value in that itself. The very narrative of the business we were building had value to it. Because again, people want a four hour workweek. And in order to do it, you’re not going to be able to build a business like everybody else’s. And so those were the things that came together that really dominated my work day Norman, is trying to figure out what the opportunities were, what this crazy stuff we were doing. And you can hear about it if you listen in the back catalogue. We talked about outsourcing to the Philippines. We did retreats, we started a private community, we did this podcast, all kinds of stuff like that. So that was really the lion’s share of my time commitment, along with building the teams that would do the marketing and the development for the product company.
So there’s two final questions here and I’ll melt them together and just sort of get your parting thoughts on it. ‘How long did it basically take for you to be able to work less than 10 hours a week’. I’m just going to put words in Norman’s mouth, seems like he’s saying, you know, ‘I’m curious about this concept of building a lifestyle business that pays me a good living, that really only takes about 10 hours a week’. And we both know lots of multimillionaires that do it in less than 10 hours a week. Considering that building a business that can be run on this amount of time is a lifestyle choice, what would you do differently while building your current business in times of commitment, lifestyle, business and culture?.
Ian: That’s a lot, I’ll just say this. And this is just the simplification but you need two things in your business, I believe, to be successful with what you’re talking about. You need margin and you need smart people around you that you’re willing to hire to take over
Dan: And you need to get on the phone with him for 30 minutes to give him some of your margin. See, you brought it all back. I love it, man.
Ian: I brought it all back. But seriously, you need margin so you can hire people. And so you can afford to step away from your business. And then you actually need to hire people to do the things that you’re doing. That’s how you remove yourself from the business. If you’re stuck on controlling every aspect of your business, if you don’t think that there’s somebody out there better than you that can do all these functional aspects of the business, then you’re wrong. And you’re probably not going to achieve these types of results. And it turns out that all these people don’t want to be entrepreneurs, but I wanted to be an entrepreneur, so go hire them to work in your business.
Dan: I totally agree with you that, in our space, business models, like say, having a dropshipping website or having an affiliate website or something are overvalued when it comes to creating this, quote, four hour workweek lifestyle. And what’s undervalued is the quality of the business itself, which is more really about margin and team and how they can deliver it. I think building a four hour workweek style business, which typically means those sorts of friendly business models or automated business models, is not always really the best strategy for actually achieving. A better strategy, but a little bit less legible one is creating a truly great business like the ones you hear about on the show all the time. And that’s probably going to take you about five to 10 years. That’s the honest answer. Maybe shorter nowadays. I wouldn’t be surprised if the ‘1000 day principle’ gets absolutely crushed by the next 1000 days. I do think that things are changing faster. I think, honestly, it’s gonna get easier to build the business that Norman is describing here today. OK, a final question for today. Ben writes to say, “I’ve read ‘Before The Exit’ our fine ebook, 2.5 times now, 2 wasn’t enough. I love it.
Ian: I want to know what the half is, because that’s probably the most important part, we can just cut out the rest of it.
Dan: The half is the thought experiments. That’s the best part. You got to get in there for the thought experiments. We started our business Ian with a set of thought experiments. It was a dream line, a dream line that we heard about in the four hour workweek. And who cares what the experiment is, it’s fun to sit down with your business partner, with someone that’s invested. And just to dream up ideas, to do the old napkin math. And that was what inspired us when coming up with the concepts in ‘Before the Exit’. Okay, back to Ben, ‘Overall, it raised a lot of questions for me but I have some more questions on the specifics of what to do. I think Dan should follow up with this, like how we managed and ran a million dollar product business with only six hours a week of our time, what did General Manager compensation look like? How was the operation run?’ And critically, and this was tossed in by our producer, ‘If we didn’t have the income from that second business aforementioned, would we have sold the product business?’
Ian: I don’t think it’s fair to the person in that position to necessarily tell what they’re making, because they’re actually still in that position. I have no idea what they’re making now by the way. So the question is, like, how much do you have to pay a GM to run a business like that? Anywhere from $50K to $150K. And the reason I say the range is that is because I’ve seen people even do it for less than that.
Dan: The nuances matter.
Ian: Yeah, they really don’t matter. The industry matters. Where your company is located matters, what people’s expectations are, they matter.
Dan: The opportunities ahead of you for your business matter, too, because at different pay levels, people are going to want to, like have the ability to take advantage of an opportunity versus not. And so that’s always like an interesting one if you want someone with less experience to come in and just say keep it rolling, you’re at the lower end of the range. If you want someone who’s exploited opportunities in the past and can bring that knowledge to your company, you’re looking at maybe beyond that upper range. And so it’s gonna depend a lot on what your vision for the position is, too. And what you think the market opportunity is,
Ian: while we’re talking about hiring, somebody came to us the other day, Dan, for a specific hire over at Dynamite Jobs, and they gave a range that I thought was like really fair for a salary, I think, at the time we’re talking about our chief marketing officer gave a really acceptable range. And I was like, ‘Well, what if it cost 20% more than that?’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah, that’s totally cool’. I think that’s interesting to be able to operate like that. Because, essentially, that business has plenty of margin. And they’re actually looking for somebody as an opportunity, not necessarily as a liability. So I think that’s like, really important,, if you’re trying to micromanage the cost of like, your GM, and all these different positions, you might not have enough margin built into your product, like we talked about before, you might not be able to actually afford this person.
Dan: Finally, you know, producer Jane mentioned is, you know, well, if you guys didn’t have the income coming from your podcast, and your private community and stuff, would you have sold?
Ian: At the time? Yeah. Because we were looking for an exit. We were looking for a way to like, pat ourselves on the back. We’re looking for change. I was a little bit burned out. In retrospect, Dan, us at like, 40. Now, would we have sold? What’s your answer?
Dan: Hold, hold.
Ian: For sure.
Dan: Cash flows, not cash piles. People are asking for specifics. Specifically, I just wish we would have held on to it, and just continued to build our portfolio because especially as we’re seeing in this last year’s environment, better to be sitting in assets right now than sitting in cash. And so, with this particular asset, one that we spent a lot of hard work building, I’d love to see what kind of opportunities we’d have exposure to if we still had a manufacturing business in the portfolio. But you know, it’s easy to say that Ian.
Ian: Well it’s easy to say that but here’s, here’s one of the main reasons why I’d say hold. At the time we sold that business, like there wasn’t hardly any legibility around it. We had to find a business broker that focused on online business at the time, this was only like, five years ago, there was like two or three of them. So like, the amount of legibility that’s starting to become around these different types of businesses. I mean, they’re, they’re starting to become legible assets. We’re talking about this the other day, like what trailer parks are trading on, like what SaaS companies are trading on, everybody’s starting to understand the value of these organisations. At the time, we had to take like a pretty low multiple, and I think now I’d actually be better because there’s legibility.
Dan: Yeah, 100%, our world is becoming advertised, or more and more value sources are becoming legible. I think that’s one of the great promises of the cryptocurrency revolution, that there will be just a greater ability to transact in value, to find liquidity, to see value and to communicate it to others more and more efficiently.
Ian: Final point on that, Dan, when we talk about legibility, I’ll never forget the conversation with our business broker and he was basically trying to bait me into taking one of the first deals because for them, you know, it’s a typical thing, the longer it stays in the market the harder they have to work and their percentage stays the same. But like the tactic was essentially, ‘Man, you don’t know what’s coming down the pike like this could be the best offer that you get’. And, again, when we talk about legibility, it’s very possible to put your business out there and to have people understand that it’s for sale when it’s not really even for sale necessarily. And also see other businesses that are for sale, that are similar to your business. So you can kind of get this view of what’s possible before you do something. And I think that’s super valuable, especially when you’re talking about a high stakes game, like selling your business. So if you have any questions about selling your business, I’m happy to answer them, maybe if I can, you know, email me, if you’re thinking about putting your business up for sale. Certainly, there’s a lot of brokers out there, and there’s a lot of other people and the M&A space too, that should be able to tell you kind of what your business is worth and whether or not it’s going to make an impact on your personal bottom line when you sell it, that’s something that you should be able to figure out.
Dan: Yeah, and another thing you could consider, back to our first question, when we talked about purpose built businesses based on certain incorporation structures, or certain lifestyle structures or whatever, you can also do the same with building certain asset classes. I really think it makes sense Ian, you know, just like you would say, build a business based in Singapore, I’m based in America, I’m based here, they’re based there, whatever, like that kind of, you know, conscious design of a profitable streamlined organisation. I’m gonna do my marketing here, my manufacturing here, I’m gonna do my sales here. You can also do the same thing with the types of assets you’re building in the very, very first place. Take a look at these marketplaces, talk to these brokers and figure out what actually people value a great deal, build those assets.That’s it for this week, we consider your questions assets to this pod. Let us know on Twitter at tropicalmba or at anythingian. Email us at this domain Dan and Ian and our producer is Jane at tropicalmba.com. That’s it for this week. We’ll be back next Thursday morning.