TMBA562: Mailbag: Freedom, Location, and Love in the Age of COVID

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We love hearing from listeners of this show.

We put out the call a few weeks ago for listeners to send us your stories, and you responded to us in abundance.

Our mailbox has been positively chock full of listener voicemails about all kinds of topics.

In today’s episode, we’ll be listening to several of those voicemails and weighing in with our own thoughts and observations.

The topics range from how much location really matters, why hustle is the ultimate entrepreneurial muscle, the value of being an “intrapreneur”, and love in the age of COVID.

See the full transcript below

 

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • Is location still a competitive advantage? (5:00)
  • How younger entrepreneurs can leverage location to their advantage. (14:40)
  • One listener’s story of entrepreneurial hustle during the Coronavirus pandemic. (22:31)
  • The value of being an “intrapreneur”. (36:16)
  • A COVID love story featuring two members from our team at Dynamite Jobs. (42:51)

 

Mentioned in the episode:

Before the Exit – Our New Book
TMBA Masterminds
Partner With Us
The Dynamite Circle
Dynamite Jobs
Dynamite Deals
Tropical MBA on YouTube
NYC is Dead Forever. Here’s Why
Jerry Seinfeld: So You Think New York is ‘Dead’
Op-Ed: Who the Fuck Are You to Tell Me My City is Dead?
Spotlight Podcasting
Al Centro Media
Malcolm Gladwell
IWannaTicket
Dermatech
Healthy Hire
McKenzie’s Meats
Niche Site Project
Doug.Show
Smart Passive Income
Your Next Five Moves by Patrick Bet-David

Enjoyed this podcast? Check out these:

TMBA554: A Healthy Equilibrium
TMBA559: A Summer in Review
TMBA560: 3 Strategies for Acquiring Wealth

 

This week’s sponsor:

Today’s podcast is sponsored and hydrated by Drink LMNT.

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LMNT is a specially formulated hydration tablet that replaces your electrolytes without any of the sugar, artificial ingredients, coloring, or other junk ingredients found in so many popular electrolyte drinks on the market today.

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They also offer a no questions asked refund policy, you don’t even have to send it back.

To get free shipping on all US orders head on over to DrinkLMNT.com/TropicalMBA and a big thanks to Drink LMNT for sponsoring the show.

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Have comments about the show?

Do you have ideas for things you’d like Dan and Ian to discuss on future episodes?

Our producer Jane would love to hear from you at [email protected] or leave us a voice message using the record button below.

 

 

Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Thursday morning 8AM EST.

Cheers,

Dan & Ian

 


 

Full Transcript

TMBA Ident

Dan: All right, welcome back to the pod, Bossman has joined me.

Ian: Hey there.

Dan: This episode, dear listeners, is thanks to you for all the emails and voice messages you’ve been sending in. We’re going to roll them here today and offer our thoughts, comments and reactions, no doubt of varying usefulness as we go along. Of course, here at the TMBA at our main theme Ian is financial freedom, location independence, and building a cash flow generating asset on your own terms. Some would call it a ‘lifestyle business’. Some would use the term pejoratively but we’ve always been into it because look, if your lifestyle demands that you grow a multi, multi million dollar business and have a big exit, that can be done in a lifestyle business context as can, having no employees and making a good living from yourself from some random city around the world.

So that’s sort of the themes and we’re going to touch on most of them here today through your questions. So stick around you’ll hear about some talk about financial freedom, location arbitrage and ROI and ‘love in the time of COVID’. So hold onto your hats. We’re gonna get around the horn on this one. So Ian, before we jump into the episode today, you got any updates for us?

Ian: Well, I’ve got good news for the listenership of this podcast. As some of you know, Dan has previously been living in my backyard. He has since moved out of my backyard into his own apartment. That’s right. I sold my trailer after we got back from Colorado and I said, ‘No more this. I can’t I can’t have any more people living on my property’. You got yourself a nice one bedroom downtown.

Dan: I did. Yeah, that’s great that you just find a way to keep bringing this up. You know, me living in your backyard was about togetherness. And it was about bonding.

Ian: Well, I thought it was a great time until people started pointing out that it was maybe weird. But for us, it was great. I mean, we have Margaritas on tap. We were talking business all day. It was a highlight of my year.

Dan:I ’’ll tell you this. One of the things I love, love, love about all this financial freedom stuff is the little weird things that you get to do. Like you get to drive places when not everybody else is driving places. Sometimes you work on Saturdays but you take Wednesday off. I love the idea of, you know, being able to go golfing during the day when no one else can go golfing and just little things like that continue to be rewarding to me. I mean, we both value working consistently and working hard. We’ve been doing it for a decade.

But there’s something about the dignity of being able to choose how you’re going to organise your days and your weeks that have always really always appealed to me and what you know we’ll call this ‘freedom lifestyle’ or lifestyle businesses or whatever.

Ian: Yeah, you know, the other day Dan, it was kind of this surreal thing for me. I didn’t get to hang out with my son that much because I was running around like a crazy person and I got home and he was already in bed and it was kind of a bummer. And it kind of just dawned on me like, ‘Oh, man, this is like how most people live’. Like most people see their kid for like 30 minutes to an hour. It’s like you wake up, you pack lunch, they go to school, they come home, eat dinner, and then they’re in bed. I guess, you know, I just had a kind of a realisation like, ‘Man really kind of lucky here to be able to spend so much time with you in the trailer and my son when he’s at home’.

Dan: Man, never gonna shake this. Yeah, certainly there’s an amount of luck that goes into this Ian. But also, you know, the listenership over the years have proven through their stories, some of which we’ll hear today that, look, you know, luck is a constant in the universe. And so focusing on that isn’t going to do you much good. So getting directed, getting focused on what you’re trying to achieve in your life and in your business, being deliberate about it. The folks that can do this and do it intelligently can have some exceptional outcomes.

So let’s move on to it. The first two calls today were prompted by an ongoing discussion, heightened by the pandemic about cities and whether or not the current pandemic situation is forcing companies and individuals to essentially re-evaluate how important they are to them and their business and how things might change. So let’s roll those calls and give some reactions after.

“Hi, Dan and Ian Jonathan here founder ‘Spotlight Podcasting’. I just want to say thank you for your recent episode. I’m a current resident in New York. So it was a refreshing take on our current situation and a good response to the doom and gloom stories that I keep seeing in the media.

Now, although I’m a glass half full type of person, this definitely has got me questioning whether location is still a competitive advantage anymore. Originally being located here, I thought, ‘Well, great. I get to shake hands and give clients the white glove treatment’, although that’s obviously less the case these days. Nonetheless, I still think that there’s maybe even a new found sense of solidarity between city dwellers.

You asked about personal experiences during Coronavirus. Personally, I’m afraid to say I did have to give up my cushy Wework membership with the flavoured water and the cold brew and start working more from home. But on the plus side, plus side because my wife is now also working at home, as an HR manager for a small restaurant group, I could spend more time with her, which is nice. People talk about the restaurant industry being heavily impacted. Although to be honest, everyone still needs to eat and her restaurants are actually thriving at the moment. So yeah, life goes on”.

Dan: And this next call is from Tim, we’re just going to roll this real quick and then we’ll be back.

Tim: “Hey Dan and Ian. Tim Leffel here. I’m the publisher of Alcentra media, which runs a bunch of travel websites. I’m a blogger and a book author as well, longtime listener. And I wonder if maybe you guys are putting too much emphasis on this idea of needing to live in a hub of some kind of place where you can mingle in person with lots of other entrepreneurs, especially since in the same breath, you usually mentioned conferences and events, which in my mind can fulfil that need quite well.

The last three places I’ve lived in the past decade have been Nashville, Tennessee, Tampa, Florida, and Guanajuato, Mexico, where I am right now. And I haven’t met anybody doing what I’m doing in any of those places, but I don’t think it’s really mattered.

I’ve networked online, I’ve gone to a lot of events and conferences. I’ve been in mastermind groups that do regular calls and it seems like, especially these days when everything’s virtual anyway, you can accomplish most of what you would accomplish by living in a place like Chiang Mai or Barcelona or some other place that’s filled with other entrepreneurs.

All the entrepreneurs that meet here run restaurants or coffee shops. So it’s not much of a learning experience in that sense. But I think I get what I need on my laptop and my phone. And I’ve managed to support a family and put a kid through college and run a good lifestyle business from living exactly where I wanted to live instead of a place that I kind of wanted to live with difficult vsas. Anyway, that’s my thought. Love the show. Keep at it, talk to you later”.

Dan: First off, thanks to Jonathan and Tim for calling in. Hearing directly from people’s experience, especially the details, I find to be insightful and inspiring and you can really do something about them. This is part of what we try to do at our in person events, which have sadly gone away for now is inspire our members to share the details of their personal experience.

To me, when I hear specific details from a real lived story, I find that I can do a lot more with that than with general overarching theories, which on the surface are shiny or cooler, maybe sell more books, but it’s those details from actual lived experience that I can put, you know, rubber to the road so to speak. So appreciate Jonathan and Tim sharing their stories.

And all this is sort of circling back to this James Altucher article when he wrote, ‘New York City is dead forever. Here’s why’. He essentially posits that, ‘Look, the new recovery, whatever that is, is going to look a lot different from old recoveries. Because we are AB we are after bandwidth’. In other words, a lot of what cities provided in the past was basically a high bit rate between individuals. And now we’ve been able to replace that with the internet. This is a new situation that did not exist in the last, you know, American downturn or global downturn.

Now, we’ve heard responses on the internet from Jerry Seinfeld, and there’s been all kinds of local opinion articles, one called, ‘Who the f you to tell me my city’s dead?’ And the emotional response to James’ comments are pretty predictable, I think. which is like, yeah, I mean, ‘New York City is amazing. It’s always been amazing. It’s going to continue to be amazing. Who cares if a couple companies got to move out?’

That’s not really the interesting dialogue for me what I’m more interested in is like, are some of these trends that James is pointing to in his original article, are they valid? Is there going to be upheaval? What’s it going to look like? How can you take advantage or avoid downside because of those insights? Any thoughts on that Bossman?

Ian: I still feel the same way that it did when we discussed this before, which is you know, I’m not in New York City right now, but if I had to guess there still wouldn’t be any empty parking spots. Different people are going to come in then may have occupied the space, but certainly it’s going to be full.

You know, as it relates to Tim’s comments here, I think it’s cool what he’s up to. He mentions not necessarily needing to bump into entrepreneurs. I do think that the importance of cities is still there. And I think it’s even relevant for me, like, I’ve picked my location, my primary location in Austin, Texas for various different reasons.

And I think that those reasons are important, and they’re relevant to me right now. And they might not be 10 years from now, maybe I won’t live here, but I think my question for Tim is, and people like Tim, ‘If it’s true that you actually are getting everything you need from your family, your phone and your laptop, I think that the litmus test for that would be go live somewhere extremely boring, like edge of the earth boring’.

Dan: We’re not going to mention any towns.

Ian: Yeah, I won’t mention any towns for fear of offending people. But I think that that’s the test because the cities that Tim mentioned, they’re actually pretty cool. And I think relevant in their own ways. They’re just tertiary cities or second and third tier cities. But I think again, the litmus test is – go live somewhere extremely boring with, you know, isolation and, you know, no cultural experiences, and I think you’ll maybe say that you do need something a little bit more than your phone and your laptop.

Dan: Yeah, certainly some thoughts popped up for me. The first was, you know, Tim’s essentially suggesting, ‘Hey, like, it’s enough to be able to go to events and like, run my business from my laptop’. And it absolutely is. And we’re seeing a whole new generation of people over at Dynamite Jobs’ get hip to this idea that, ‘Yeah, I want to live in like this city that’s maybe not super relevant traditionally, to my business, because of a whole host of other reasons. I want my kids to grow up there. I want to be around this sport or hobby or this culture’.

Is it enough? Absolutely. 100%. That’s the magic of distributed companies, lifestyle business remote teams. Yes, you can live somewhere completely irrelevant to your business and hang out with coffee shop owners. In fact, it’s one of the coolest feelings in the world. If you got a business that’s making dollars and you’re hanging out on the beach spending pesos and everybody else around us running coffee shops and you’re running a successful internet business. That is mind blowing, it’s super cool.

But is location a competitive advantage? You bet your butt it is. I am a big, big believer in location, whether it’s, ‘Hey, you’re living somewhere cool by the beach, because that inspires you to do your best work every day’. It could be even like a little hidden thing in there, which is like, it’s quiet and peaceful. And so you can be creative every day instead of picking up the phones all day long, which you might do if you were around busier people in a busier city.

It could be that you’re set up in a tax jurisdiction that’s beneficial or that you hire people in a tax jurisdiction that’s beneficial or you do your fulfilment out of it. So again, location is everything for all of this stuff, and whether you’re located on the web or by the beach or in a low tax area. I think it’s worth considering but specifically on the location stuff – I want to insist on the opportunity, especially for young people that maybe don’t have an established business, I still believe that it’s in person relationships. If you want to talk about bandwidth and bit rate that is a huge bandwidth is being across the table from someone, understanding who they are, what the opportunities are there, you just cannot recreate it on Zoom.

I want to bring up a few ideas related to how young people can leverage their location, whether it’s temporarily through an event, or a mini retirement or a relocation. There’s a great idea that entrepreneurs can leverage, it was brought forth by Malcolm Gladwell. And he brought it up in the context of college and he said, ‘If you’re going to be like, at the middle to the lower side of an Ivy League class, or if you could be the top of the class, say at a State University, like the University of Maryland’, what he saw was that you’d have a lot better experience if you were the top of the class at University of Maryland, than if you went to an Ivy League school.

Now, this idea always really resonated with me once I heard it because I actually lived it. So I went to a state school and was the top of my class and I got really good grades. So I transferred to a fancy Ivy equivalent school in Canada. It’s a long story. But what I found was my experiences differed enormously. Because at the fancy school, I had no access to my professors. In fact, I would have to work hard for four years to have that access and be a graduate student. Whereas at the state school where there were very few philosophy majors, I got access to the same kinds of minds, simply because I was in a smaller pond, so to speak.

So something to think about, if you’re leveraging location for your business, there’s two polarities. On the one hand, you say, ‘Oh, I want to be in tech’. It doesn’t mean the automatic answer is just to go to San Francisco. Right? Because maybe what you have to offer to the San Francisco scene might not be realised in the course of half a decade. There might be a Tech City, where you know, and I experienced as an analogy I experienced when I moved to Asia, that the minimum minimal marketing and tech skills that I had turned out to be very relevant to folks who had high level established businesses were in San Francisco, not so much.

Now, on the other side of this, I’ve seen people, overvalue places with potential and say, sort of like, ‘If we build it, they will come’ sort of thing. Let’s find this private island, all of a sudden, everybody’s going to come here. One of the lessons I’ve learned over the years, Ian is that places don’t change that fast. And that’s part of this New York City conversation, which is, we’ve always been here, we always will be here, there’s something about this place that’s bigger than just internet or bandwidth or, you know, x industry, that there’s a long history of people coming here for specific set of reasons. And that’s not going to change just because of a pandemic.

Ian: Dan, I think back to when we were first starting our careers, you know, we moved to San Diego independently, but for probably a lot of the same reasons – we saw it on MTV. And, our decision matrix was a lot different back then. Or at least mine was in turn like the things that are valued in a city, you know, it’s like, ‘I always kind of wanted to live by the beach. And I kind of always wanted to live in California’, you know, it was I didn’t I didn’t have a lot of a lot of thought behind it. Thinking back was just something that I kind of wanted.

Dan: Well, let me let me dig into that, because I moved to California, for the same reason people get loans on $40,000 cars they can’t afford, which is I thought, ‘Hell, if I got to work anyway, I might as well do it somewhere nice. I might as well sit in a nice car while I’m doing it’. Because in my mind, I was going to be going to an office nine to five for the rest of my life.

And so this idea that I would live in an expensive place that’s maybe not super strategic and has high taxes or whatever, it was fine because it’s like, ‘Well, at least it’s by the beach. At least it was on MTV, at least it’s a cool place. At least I got a good leather chair to sit in while I have to go through this accepted fate’.

Ian: That’s right, Dan. I can see, you know, through this decision making process in terms of where you’re going to live and what locations are relevant to you, it actually changes over time, it changes whether or not you have a business changes whether or not you have a family, changes whether or not you’re in your 20s. And I think all that’s relevant.

Looking back in my time in San Diego, Dan, I just wish for obvious reasons, meaning tax reasons. I wish I would have gotten out of there a little bit earlier. But besides that, it probably halfway through my stay there. It was actually a fairly irrelevant location – you had left. I never really made that many friends there because you Californians are, in my experience, traditionally a little bit clany

Dan: Wow.

Ian: As opposed to somewhere like Austin, Texas. So, you know, I think I overstayed my welcome. They probably didn’t want me there either. To tell you the truth. It’s kind of like Tim found out like, I didn’t really have access to entrepreneurs there, because there weren’t a whole lot of them. And I kind of figured that out with you going to these meetups, you know is like, ‘Oh, there’s real estate agents. And then there’s us’, that’s like the path of entrepreneurship in California. And then there’s these tech companies that are in a completely different realm but …

Dan: But let me you know, back to that original insight and even Tim mentioning this idea of walking around and being able to instantly identify the owners and the people running other businesses, even if they’re very, very different, there’s two considerations here with location.
There’s what’s going on there and then there’s the level of traction that you can achieve in that going on.

And I think that’s where details like Tim’s story, and like Jonathan’s story are really, really useful because the question we all have to ask is, ‘What’s my foothold? What’s my foothold here? Is it a job? Is it an investor? Is it a friend? Is it a scene?’ There has to be a way that you can participate in what’s going on around you. Otherwise, it’s just pretty scenery.

Alright, next up, we got a call from Simon who, like us has been hugely affected by the implosion of in person events.

“Hey Dan and Ian, it’s Simon here from Sydney Australia. Prior to COVID I was working at an events company three days a week, in the events industry ticketing software company called Iwantaticket and we make money every time an event is held and an event organiser sells a ticket. Pretty quickly, like you guys, our business went to zero.

I was working there three days a week and also running a skincare company called Dermatech Skincare with my partner Brace. So that was life the skincare company was kind of trickling along. And I was also spending three days a week on the ticketing company which I was an employee at. When COVID hit, I knew it was time to do something I have been looking for, you know change to happen in the world, so there’d be an opportunity for me.

It was good for the skincare business. People couldn’t go and get facials so our ‘at home’ treatment became more popular and we got more sales, but I wanted to do something more So I started buying exercise bikes, and ended up acquiring 40 exercise bikes, and founding ‘Healthy Hire’, which was a subscription base exercise bike service, whereby offered people free delivery anywhere in Sydney. And for $30 a week, they could hire an exercise bike from me. The business ended up being a success. It was nerve racking for a while because I knew it would take 10 weeks for me to pay back my capital outlay of the exercise bikes, and I wasn’t sure how long lockdown in COVID was going to hang around.

Lockdown didn’t last as long as I thought it would. Gyms opened up around three months after I’d launched the business. But people still wanted to hold on to their exercise bikes, because they were nervous about going back to the gym. So that foray into a subscription business, pushing my entrepreneurial muscle a little bit further ended up being a really fantastic confidence boosting exercise for me. So I was very grateful.

And then that inspired me to start another business in the COVID era called ‘Mackenzie’s Meets’, which is a meat box delivery service unlike anything that exists in Australia. It’s the perfect amount of meat for anyone who it’s a fairly meat based diet or say carnivore keto diet. It’s better quality meat than you can get at the supermarket. It’s good value, and it’s way more convenient.

So Mackenzie’s Meats’ is going from strength to strength. We’ve got professional athletes on board, ambassadors running around like a madman ordering mate, and trying to reach as many people I can. So COVID has been so far the change that I’ve been waiting for. It’s made my life more exciting. It’s made my brain work way faster. And all I can say is bring on the change. Thanks, guys.”

Dan: First off, I want to shout out, hearing Simon’s story. We wanted to share it today because it is so representative of the positive, ‘can do’ attitude of the entrepreneurial knowhow, the skill set we’re all developing here on the show. But also, it’s an insurance policy.

The reality is, is most people in society can’t respond the way Simon did. And that’s because Simon’s developed a knowhow over the years to be adaptive. It’s an enormous insurance policy. And so I find that inspiring and also it de-risks the path of long term career or business stability, like you don’t necessarily need those things. In fact, having some pieces move around the board, having things shaken up, can really, really benefit entrepreneurs.

Ian: There’s a lot to unpack here with what Simon’s up to. I think on the surface, a lot of people might look down at something like this, you know, like, ‘Oh, wow, his business went bust and then he started selling exercise bikes, and then he started selling meat. Like, this guy’s all over the place. Like, I can’t believe it’. Like, why don’t you just like stick to a business or

Dan: Get a job.

Ian: I hear a story like this. And I think this guy’s my hero because what you don’t realise here, I think reading between the lines is Simon actually went out and sold the idea of these exercise bikes. And then a few months later, he sold the idea of this meat company. And to do that, I mean, you have to actually go face to face or on the phone in COVID times or email and you have to convince someone of your idea.

Not only do you have to get them to say ‘Yes, I agree with you, Simon, I’d like to have an exercise bike’, they have to send you money.

Dan: Oh, yeah.

Ian: And then you have to get in your car and you have to drive the exercise bike there. So these transactions are not easily won. And he did it several times with the exercise bike and with the meat and I think if you have the kind of hustle muscle that Simon has, you’re going to be alright, no matter what happens. And that’s the amazing attitude that he has. But then also this entrepreneurial spirit. This is a guy that I want on my team, potentially.

This is a guy that I would be very scared of if he competed with me, because I know he’s gonna get it done. So the thing about this is that Simon will be okay, no matter what happens, and I think that’s super cool. And that’s the power of entrepreneurship.

Dan: A couple little things pop out at me first is, you know, because Simon’s in the game we don’t know how the exercise bike things gonna work out in the long run. Let us know Simon, we want to know now we’re on the edge of our seats. And again, thanks for writing in Simon because like, you know, we haven’t met Simon. So we’re just obviously using his words as a chance to reflect on ideas we have about ourselves.

But this idea that he had this insight of that people are holding on to these bikes, even though they can go back to the gym. That’s the kind of thing that happens all the time when you’re in the game. You’ll see information all the time that is counterintuitive, that you wouldn’t have predicted. And essentially, that’s what our businesses are, in their essence is they’re entities that create real information about the world.

And if you can consolidate it, own it, organise it, build it, scale it, that’s what we’re talking about here. And I’m also reminded of an episode we had with Christopher Gimmer a few weeks back, and he talked about, ‘Look, if you plot entrepreneurial success, it’s going to be all over the board in individual instances. And that’s why a lot of normies out there might be scared to take this entrepreneurial journey on’. But if you look at it over time, the outcomes are incredible. That’s essentially this idea of, hey, eight out of 10 small businesses fail. Here’s the thing about Simon, he’s going to start 10. You get the opportunity to go at it again and again and again, to iterate, to parlay to restart, to reboot, whatever it is, over the course of 20 to 30 years, the prospects look pretty good.

Ian: I’ll say this too, about what Simon is up to and again, Simon, I’m just using your hustle as a backstop here. This hustle, I really identify with it. And I think for me, Dan, if everything we’re doing here blows up, you can absolutely catch me being the ‘King of Craigslist in Austin’ before I’ll have a job. There’s no question in my mind, I’d rather be hustling around, owning my days, owning my time, probably making a little bit less money than I would be having a job and making payments on a used car.

Dan: You know, I was speaking with a director of sales at a startup, classic Silicon Valley sales gentlemen, and really cool guy. And he’s just telling me about all the machinations of this deal and that deal and he was telling me about, like some big names we’ve all heard of and like how they were lying about the reports and they weren’t doing any due diligence, even though this fancy VC firm gave him so much money and all this kind of stuff.

He was in it, but not in control of any of it, you know, and like a lot of it was wrong. And I just kind of thought to myself, and I even said to him, I said, ‘Hey, you know, we’re not talking in the numbers you guys are talking in. But me and my business partner always used to say, we’d rather be the captains of a canoe, then be fending the waves off in a cruise ship’.

Ian: That’s right.

Dan: If that canoe has to be the king of Craigslist, actually not a bad .. check on that domain while we move on to this next call.

Doug rang him to give his view about the place of entrepreneurship. In the FIRE debate or financial independence, retire early, which has been ongoing here at the show. And it’s really been interesting to see people’s different perspectives and approach this stuff given that top level theory again of FIRE or 1000 day thinking compared to the individual lived experience of listeners of the show.

“Hey Dan and Ian, it’s Doug Cunnington here from ‘Niche Site Project’. And I love the episode about acquiring wealth. I kind of ended up with a blend of two of the paths that you guys talked about plus entrepreneurship. Now, I saved a little money early in my career with the traditional route just threw in my 401k. And after a while, I realised that that traditional route wasn’t for me, and I like starting and running businesses now.

Rewind, I had no interest in entrepreneurship as I was getting out of school, and I got a good job doing management consulting and project management. After about nine years, I started side hustling with affiliate marketing just for fun. And a couple years after that I got laid off so I tried to take that side hustle full time. I did get interested in working for myself and entrepreneurship during that side hustling period and shout out to you guys I got a huge amount of inspiration from shows like TMBA and ‘Smart Passive Income’.

Now the other sort of path that I got into aside from the traditional route is I casually followed the FIRE community because I wasn’t sure what to do with the money that we were saving and accumulating.

Now my wife and I didn’t really follow the frugal aspects, we happily spend on things that are important to us. So we travelled a lot, and we were location independent with the jobs that we had. But we travelled here in the US and rented houses and relatively expensive cities while we were paying rent at our main residence, and we would stay for a month or three months.

Now by the time I shifted to running my own business, we already saved a lot because we mostly lived pretty scrappily, and we were making great salaries. So we gradually moved into the financial independence area, though, not retired.

So I think my big takeaway is unless you’re starting your career, you can’t really skip those 10 to 20 years, that detour that you guys described. Now, in my case, I learned a lot about growing teams and training people creating systems and project management, from top tier companies while I was getting paid during that corporate career, I think a blended approach is probably pretty common for a lot of folks out there. And as you pointed out, a lot of people in the FIRE community end up doing something else. They’re very motivated. They like to create things most of the time, they’re not just going to sit on their hands once they have accumulated a lot, a lot of money and they’re financially independent.”

Dan: Yes, well, I gotta say, first off, Doug has an amazing podcast. And we’re gonna link up to it in the show notes. I expect no less from Doug than to come drop by the show and drop off a little bit of nuance to all this.

So part of the reason we wanted to explore these different strategies in good faith is that they all have a lot to bring to the table. So let’s just take a look at it. The classic ‘Good job’ script allows you to leverage other people’s money. It allows you to achieve a high exit velocity. So exit velocity is the combination of resources especially like skills, mindsets, relationships that you build from a career. You know, we have often seen over the years, even people get hip to internet businesses and they decide they’re going to do something completely different on the internet than they do day to day, which I already get paid for.

And some of the most successful cases we’ve seen are people that leverage directly their career experience into a small business that they own themselves. Now you might say, ‘Well, my career, isn’t that relevant to internet business?’ And then we might say, ‘Well, why do you have that career?’ maybe consider changing that.

One final thing about the ‘Good job’ script is this concept of the intrapreneur, something I’ve been thinking about a little bit this week is because I’ve been reading a good book called ‘Your Next Five Moves’. It’s a business book with the again lived experience some theories here and there. And one of the ideas was that a really excellent path for people with an entrepreneurial spirit is to consider being intrapreneur. And I always thought, ‘Oh, this is just a buzz term for people who don’t really want to be an entrepreneur. So they justify having a job by calling it intrapreneurship’.

And all this changed for me when I’m reading this book, and we recently hired an intrapreneur, and there’s a key distinction he makes about this idea. And I think everybody listening to this show could take this to a classic ‘Good job’, which is this idea that an intrapreneur cares more about the company’s money than their own. And this is a really interesting distinction of like, which side of the mindset fence you find yourself on when you’re part of a team.

Now, part of what being an entrepreneur is all about is feeling sometimes alienated from your team, because their concerns tend to be around tasks around, you know, getting good feedback from a good day’s work about getting paid, about the structure of the business, etc. Meanwhile, on the other side of the mindset fence, the entrepreneur shaking in their boots about paying the electric bill, about whether or not the revenue is going to come in next month. And I think me and you Ian, over our careers, we’ve always been ‘Intrapreneurs’ at companies, which is we care more about the companies than our own respective role at that company.

And this comes with some challenges, but it also comes with enormous opportunities. I remember on multiple occasions, Ian I’ve hired people that make more money than me, that’s a classic intrapreneur move because the company needed these people. I’m not advocating for my own salary, I’m advocating for the company to move forward. The idea in the intrapreneurs mind is that they’ll move forward along with it, whether or not it’s that immediate payoff of a higher salary, or the long game of the relationships and the experience of actually feeling your hands on the wheel of meaningful cash flow and company.

Ian: Yeah, I think you can even play this intrapreneurship game as an entrepreneur owning your own business. So, you know, especially in the early years, because, you know, there’s conflicting advice actually, we haven’t talked about this recently on the show, Dan. But there’s conflicting advice about how much you should pay yourself. And like, if your company can’t pay you right away as an owner of the company, then like, it’s not gonna be a good fit.

Dan: Like a ‘profit first’ kind of mindset.

Ian: Yeah. That should probably be a conversation that re enters this podcast as we start this business ‘Dynamite Jobs’. Because the truth is, we haven’t paid ourselves anything the last two years, and I don’t think we’re gonna pay ourselves for the next two years, honestly.

Dan: That’s how we roll, listen to the tropical MBA podcast, we hear about two guys who make no money. That’s what we’re bringing to the table.

Ian: It’s an approach and it’s not so dissimilar to the intrapreneur approach. Whereas you care more about the company and the company’s success than you do about your personal income, and I think that that’s a hedge. Not to say we’re not making any money. It’s just we’re making money in every last dollar we’re reinvesting into the company to grow it. And this is what we did with our first business as well. So I don’t know, I think you can be an intrapreneur as an entrepreneur in your own company, if that makes sense.

Dan: Yeah, I mean, if you’re just cherry picking this idea of company’s money versus your money, fair enough. There is this idea that I’ve heard brought up where, like, there’s kind of the archetype of the martyr, the person who bears the burden on behalf of the company, and that’s really the intrapreneur, that is what entrepreneurs do in the early days.

On the other side of the spectrum, you can be an entrepreneur that has a little bit more of a ‘hacker mindset’ where you say, you know, ‘This business serves me, it’s gonna make me money’. And both approaches are super valid. And that comes back to Doug’s comment, which is, look, this stuff is all like complicated and all the nuance can actually be really useful in the end, because these are all valid approaches that depend on the situation, your mindset. And the key thing is to engage in a strategy that keeps you moving forward because it’s the action that gets you access to the information that ultimately will build a successful business.

A few other things that Doug brought up is, is the FIRE movement. Look, there is no business that can’t benefit from a founder who understands that entrepreneurship starts with your wallet. And if you can get your personal finances in order that can be an extremely empowering thing. When I talked about earlier in the episode, when I first moved to California, it was this hopeless idea that I would never control my financial future that made me get a loan on a car that was a bad deal because I thought it didn’t really matter that I would never have control over my financial destiny, that my destiny was ultimately sitting in other people’s desks for 30 years.

I love the FIRE movement, because it suggests that, ‘No, even if you have a good job, you are ultimately responsible for your own personal balance sheet’. And that ought to be empowering, and also Doug at the end down brings up the importance of, you know, not sitting on your hands and doing something that you’re passionate about that also ideally makes you an income.

Now, how long is it all gonna take? Think about this approach of being an intrapreneur versus a solid, good employee with a high salary. They’re two different things. If you’re the intrapreneur, you might be so disruptive in your career that maybe that timeline or the counter clock on the wall that says 15 years to I can retire, maybe you adjust that quite a bit by being a disruptive intrapreneur.

And that’s really thousand day thinking is to suggest that those disruptions will actually work out in your favour. And if you’re highly disruptive, maybe you can find an early retirement within a decade. Whereas if you’re depending on things to stay the same and consistent, it could take a great deal longer.

Ian: It could, Dan, and most importantly for me in that scenario is that you’re having a good bit of fun along the way. Because a lot of these outcomes are not decided. ‘Did you get to golf on Wednesdays?’, you know, these things I think are important.

Dan: Golf on Wednesday is important. Let’s keep that in the episode. I do think fun is an enormous competitive advantage. We got to be honest, that’s a lot of the appeal of tropical MBA 1000. day thinking is like, ‘Hey, have a really exciting career, see a bunch of interesting places and meet a lot of interesting people’. And you might have some fun, might have a tonne of fun putting yourself on a path towards wealth.

Thanks, Doug for your call and to finish it off. We have a love story from the time of COVID, an incredible win for two members of our very own ‘Dynamite Jobs\ team. Lina and Alex Alex called in to share his COVID story.

“Hi, this is Alex from Bogota, Colombia, and my quarantine story is that I got married. So in the city wide lockdowns began and the borders were quickly closed. It was unclear when Lina and I would be able to see our families again or even be able to go outside of our apartment. This time the other led to a lot of conversations about what was important to us and our future.

These are topics that we had discussed before, but were ever more heightened. In the world of uncertainty, one thing became ever more clear. We wanted to be together no matter what was happening in the world. So on July 31 2020, Lina, and I got married. There was no big party and there were no wedding bells. It was just us, the officiator and our families watching via Livestream and it was perfect.

So after months and months of enforced quarantines, I’m so thankful that this time has brought Leanne and I closer, and we’ve chosen to be together for all the right reasons. They’re still unclear when the borders will open. And I’ll be safe to see our families again. But no matter the uncertainty, I’m lucky enough to go through it all with the love of my life on my side’.

Dan: How cool. Lina and Alex are just amazing to work with. So much of their passion and soul was represented in everything we do over a ‘Dynamite Jobs’. So we wish them a really happy honeymoon. It’s been cool to see the photos come in already. First thing for me is this is the first wedding I’ve attended in a T shirt, which I really appreciated. And I also got to do some gossip at the back of the pews, but I was doing it through slack instead of

Ian: That’s right.They had a ‘Zoom wedding’.

Dan: I wasn’t like the first guy at the bar with the other disgruntled uncle or whatever. I was on slack with other attendees, talking about how beautiful of a wedding it is, and how these young kids are just growing up so fast.

Ian: That’s right you and I were asking ‘Is this an open bar?’, but it was over slack and then we walk to our own refrigerator.

Dan: Congratulations to Alex and Lena have a great honeymoon and we look forward to seeing you at the end of September.

This episode was supplied to us by you the listeners, we appreciate it so, so much for recording on your phone sharing us with your thoughts, your ideas. This is where we get our thoughts and ideas. We don’t sit around in a vacuum and come up with this stuff off the top of our heads. Everything mentioned here today came from you guys, speaking with you, seeing your stories, processing them in real time. That’s what this show is all about. Thanks for emailing me your voicemails, that’s Dan at tropical mba.com and if I sound a little salty today is because I got LMNT electrolyte mix in my water and we appreciate them sponsoring the show. Fun fact Boss Man I was looking at our production schedule, this show sponsors are sold out through February.

Ian: I’ll take it and I’m very grateful for those that are advertising on the show. Check them out LMNT brands.

Dan: Yeah, buddy. Fantastic stuff. Actually, part of me wishes we would have started element brands because I just love this electrolyte mix scene. I’m such a big fan of it. So really cool that they came to the show.

I got a lot of news updates here, but a lot of it’s real inside baseball real below the pod. So I’ll tell you what, what instead I’m going to do is I’m going to pull out my quill, channel a little Billy Shakespeare over here. And I’m going to write up a TMBA newsletter for this week. So if you’re interested in hearing a personal note from my desk, about what me and Ian are up to head on over to TropicalMBA dot com, put your email address in that newsletter opt in, you’ll also get a free copy of our book before the exit, which is, you know, a good book. It’s a good book, you should read it. It’s free. Is that a deal worthy of the ‘King of Craigslist’?

Ian: I don’t really, honestly, I don’t browse the free listings because I’m fast but I’m not that fast. You have to literally be circling Austin like you have to be driving all the time to get the free stuff like you have to be in your car, with your phone on to get the free stuff. Because people have plus free to post the address, and then there’s like no way I can get there in time so I don’t even free stuff, honestly.

Dan: And thanks again for listening. We hope you have a great week. That’s it for now. We’ll be back as always, next Thursday morning. We will be back as always next Thursday morning. 8am Eastern Standard Time.

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