If you aren’t familiar with the Tropical MBA, our articles are mostly advice and stories to and from established location independent entrepreneurs. Historically, however, some of our most popular posts have been job offers. These gigs have been used by everybody from college dropouts to corporate managers to transition into a new script and start earning location independently.
What I’m about to explain sounds crazy to many (and even me when we first conceived of it), but so far this specific arrangement has worked for 7 young entrepreneurs who have wanted to make a transition to the digital nomad lifestyle.
I’m not shy to say it anymore– if you get this gig, you’ll be in some pretty impressive company. If you know somebody who would like to quit their job and move to the Philippines (seriously!), I’d appreciate it if you’d forward this post to them.
Here’s the broad strokes— my friend Sean owns a small resort in the Philippines. He needs marketing and technical support, and enjoys having somebody smart around to bounce ideas off of. In return for about 2 hours a day of your effort, he compensates you with a free room, laundry service, and 3 meals a day. The value works out to be about $15 bucks an hour. It’s a relatively stress free way to spend almost nothing for 6 months or more.
The gig is designed to be a soft landing into the digital nomad lifestyle (or an extension for those on the trail). A handful of the people who’ve done this report they spent less than $50 a month (mostly in Visa fees), which means you could realistically go 6 months and only spend $300.
Instead of blabbing on, I’ll let Grant, the guy currently at the resort, do the talking. I’ll come back later in the post to clarify the fine print.
“This is a chance to instantly transition into a traveling entrepreneur, but with a massive safety net for 6+ months. It’s really the perfect transition you could ask for. You can employ a sole focus in developing whatever business you want while awesome people take care of you. It allows you to work hard and take risks…because if a venture fails after a month…you still have a sweet lifestyle that you are paying 0 dollars for. And your “boss” (Sean is much more a bro than a boss, best exemplified by our weekly MMA classes where we end up sparring each other) has a vested interest in your success, which equals tons of support and encouragement.
Anyone who is wanting to take the leap abroad, or is currently traveling but not getting anything done, this position gives you the stability and ideal environment to get done in about 6 months what would take years. Consider it your 6 month, real-life Tropical MBA. Sorry, no diploma.
Want some numbers? Full disclosure: I came here with income exactly equal to my living expenses and 300 dollars in my bank account (literally). By the time I leave, my income will have grown by roughly 400%, with savings up 2,000%. The majority of all of this comes from a business I started while here.”.
Just imagine how creative you can be without any distractions– no cooking, cleaning, laundry, commute, shopping, bills, or odd jobs. You’ll be (quite literally) waited on every day.
What’s the catch? Well it’s not all just fun and games. You’ll need to be adept at building partnerships with groups, clubs, and travel agents– both overseas and domestic– that will stay at the resorts. This could include, but is not limited to, scuba diving clubs, corporate parties, conferences, weddings, reunions, etc. The expectation is that you put in 2 productive hours of work each day, or 14 hours each week. This work should be spread evenly over the week and not batched in one or two days, as there are some day to day tasks that need carried out (like affiliate relationships with Agoda, etc).
- Executing a sales and marketing plan to attract more group bookings to the resort.
- General tech support around the resorts, including WordPress websites.
- Update & SEO websites, Sean’s YouTube channel, etc
- Continue ongoing marketing campaigns.
- Maintain and update existing booking agencies (Agoda, Trip Advisor, and similar).
- Update social media sites.
We are looking for helpful team players, willing to integrate into the business and be part of the Badladz crew. Everyone in Puerto Galera will get to know you and you’ll become part of the family here.
- You are results focused.
- You’ve got no problem with tech and marketing stuff– WordPress, content marketing, social media, SEO, Aweber, affiliate programs and all the rest.
- You have excellent WordPress skills. The whole business runs on WordPress, so we are looking for people with a demonstrated track record with the platform.
- You are excellent with computers in general.
- You know functional SEO for websites and YouTube videos (Sean’s videos have over 1 Million views!)
- The Philippines is a crazy developing country, candidates will do well to address the “fit” issue and let us know why they are drawn to live on a remote island in the Philippines (or show some kind of experience or drive to do so). It’s probably worth listening to my interview with Sean and checking out his videos.
- Although they’ve got a kick-ass restaurant, pool, and world-class view, the accommodations at the resort are small and basic. If you aren’t used to living in “traveler” level accommodations, this isn’t the place for you to stay.
- People who love Puerto Galera love it for its “wild west” vibe. This place is way off the trail. Quiet beaches that on other islands would have 5-star resorts, weird dudes in quiet salons drinking at 10AM, locals hanging around haggling you for trike rides, etc. Successful candidates in the past have demonstrated that they are not only prepared for the craziness that is the Philippines, but that they appreciate it.
- The WIFI is slow and can be spotty– the power goes out frequently and when it does there is no WIFI (although you can fire up the 3G routers). If your business depends on dependable and fast WIFI, this isn’t the gig for you. That said, you can Skype and watch Youtube, but you just have to be patient.
- Historically this has been a win/win situation for candidates who have a generous, patient, team oriented personality and attitude. If you count hours or get easily perturbed, it’s best not to apply to this position. The resort is a family run business not a high tech firm. (As a concrete example of this– say the resort is really busy due to Holy Week, and Mylene keeps asking you to switch rooms to better accommodate paying guests. Honestly ask yourself, do you roll with it and think it’s cool the resort is having a great week, or do you roll your eyes and grumble?) Nothing wrong with the latter, it’s just not a good fit for this environment.
- Sean will be around quite a bit, DCers and other interesting folks pop in occasionally, but the reality of this position is that most of the time you are going to be the only internet marketer on the island. That can be an isolating experience for some. I don’t want to give the impression that there will be like-minded entrepreneurs popping out of the wood work on a weekly basis. That said, I think that all the previous candidates would agree that they’ve had significant networking opportunities as a direct result of this gig, it just isn’t a daily thing, and often happens online and through the broader DC community.
- Just so you know, I am hardly involved in this beyond posting this job ad. I swing through occasionally, and I talk to Sean regularly, but I’m not really involved.
- We are looking to make a deal with an individual, so please no couples or family applications.
- Some application advice here: “How to Get Your Dream Job”
Some words from previous people who had this position:
Here’s Jeff, the guy who spent a good chunk of 2013 here:
From Jeff Parke:
“This is one of the best opportunities in the location independent entrepreneurial universe.
This is not an exaggeration, the day I applied to the TMBA internship was one of the most important days of my life. Soon I was hopping a flight to the other side of the planet and accelerating toward the lifestyle I’d been clawing after.
The beauty of this internship is that you have an unbelievable amount of time on your hands to do whatever-the-hell-you-want. For me that has been tapping away on the laptop, making new connections, and bootstrapping an online biznass. Back in the States, I tried to make it happen on nights and weekends as I suffered through the corporate day-job grind.
Here, you can truly reclaim your time and energy, and use it to wrangle whatever you’re dreaming up.
Speaking of dreaming, I still have to pinch myself sometimes as I look up from my laptop and gaze out at the turquoise waters and green islands in the distance.
Mylene, Sean, and the staff at Badladz are all really great people and will take care of just about anything you need. I’ve had a ton of fun here and recommend it to anyone who wants to take their business/lifestyle to the next level.”
- The compensation for this job is a free room, 3 daily meals (delicious!), coffee/tea, and free laundry for 6 months.
- Application deadline is 11:59 PM September 5th, 2014 EST.
- We’ll try to make a decision by September 10th.
- We’d love for you to start October 25th, 2014. (Early or late starts are okay as well, main criteria is skill set and quality application). Keep in mind that all 3 of us will be at DCBKK in Bangkok on October 16th, so if you are in BKK (or want to be) it would be a great time to meet and hang out as well as get a feel for the broader DC community.
- The deal extends for 6 months. For people who do great work and want to stay longer, Sean has historically been willing to extend the deal.
Here’s how you can apply:
- Record a 1:00 video of yourself. Tell us why you’d be a great fit for Sean’s resort. Set the video as “unlisted” and grab the URL.
- Fill out this form, and be sure to have your YouTube (or other video sharing service) link handy.
- There is an optional field on the form to link to a website that shows other work you’ve done. This is not required.
- That’s it!
If you have any questions about the offer, please ask them in the comments so I can answer them for everyone’s benefit.