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TMBA486: The Re-Readables: Getting Things Done

Dan and Ian are excited to start a new series on this week's show.One of our favorite podcasts to listen to lately is The Re-Watchables, a series presented by The Ringer, where the hosts look back on legendary films.They discuss why these movies had such an impact, what parts have aged the best and worst, and other categories which they use to assess what has made these films stand the test of time.We thought it would be fun to talk about some of our favorite books in a similar light. This week, we are looking back at the single most important book we read in our business.Getting Things Done by David Allen represented a paradigm shift in the early 2000s, and it was the first book that was truly written for information and knowledge workers.On today's podcast, we are revisiting Getting Things Done, talking about why that book was so influential, and whether the ideas in that book are still as relevant as they were at the time it was released.

TMBA485: Mastering the Art of Entrepreneurial Kung Fu

Dan and Ian have talked a lot about business strategy on this show, but there are some business techniques that are so powerful, you have to learn them from a true master. Jason Cohen, the founder of WP Engine, recently wrote a piece on his blog ASmartBear.com titled Kung Fu. In that blog, Jason proposes that all entrepreneurs are essentially fighters. We are fighting to make a living, fighting to survive, and fighting to change marketplaces. Any good fighter needs to have a plan, and in that blog post, Jason shared his own "secret moves" for running a business. On today's episode, we are talking about some of Jason's secret business moves, and sharing a few of our own as well.

TMBA484: 5 Things We’ve Learned From Running a New Business for 6 Months

A lot of our listeners have been reaching out to us lately to ask about Dan and Ian's newest business venture, Dynamite Jobs. They have been running the business for the past six months, and it is still very much in the early stages. As the business has grown and changed over that time, they've learned a lot of things that they didn't expect. On today's podcast, we're sharing five things that we have learned in the last six months of running a new productized services business. Later on in the episode, we'll be discussing some specific numbers, goals, and takeaways from the first six months of Dynamite Jobs. You'll also hear three reasons why we think the remote hiring process isn't working for a lot of entrepreneurs.

TMBA483: Search Engine Optimization in 2019 (Plus, The Dark Side of SEO)

Longtime listeners of this show know that Dan and Ian spent the early part of their entrepreneurial career building product businesses online. What you might not know is that Search Engine Optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, was one of the first skillsets that they learned when building those businesses. A lot has changed in the last decade when it comes to SEO, and this week's guest seems to be at the forefront of that progress. Tim Soulo is the Chief Marketing Officer and Product Adviser for Ahrefs. Ahrefs is a Software-as-a-Service company that provides a suite of incredibly useful SEO research tools. Their website is also host to one of the best SEO blogs on the internet. On today's podcast, Tim shares some keen insight on the evolution of SEO and how you can make SEO work for your business. We'll also be exploring some of the darker sides of SEO and content marketing.

TMBA482: “I Got There and I Thought It Sucked” – From Digital Dreams to Deals

Dan and Ian have shared many stories on this podcast of people who have escaped from the cubicle in search of location-independence. This week's episode is a little different, as today's guest left his 9-to-5 job in pursuit of entrepreneurial freedom, only to find that it wasn't what it was cracked up to be. Coran Woodmass left his job in Australia and moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand. He started building, buying and selling small web properties, but ultimately realized that it didn't make him happy. These days, Coran has moved into a field he is incredibly passionate about, advising and brokering quality deals for Amazon FBA owners through his new business, TheFBABroker.com. This conversation is about buying and selling Amazon businesses, but it's about a lot more than that too, specifically, what makes you feel satisfied and fulfilled.

TMBA481: Our Favorite Books of the Past 12 Months

On this week's episode, we are continuing one of Dan and Ian's favorite traditions on the podcast. Today we are talking about books, and in particular our favorite books that we have read in the past year. Last year, we invited our good friend and talented author Kyla Gardner to the show to talk about books with us. We had so much fun with that episode that we asked her to return this week. On today's podcast, Dan and Kyla are sharing their five favorite reads of 2019. This conversation also details how some of our reading habits have changed since last year, why Kyla has started writing fiction, and much more.

TMBA478: The Downsides of Success

"Success" isn't always what it's cracked up to be. Dan and Ian know this feeling all too well, as they have dealt with some of their own internal struggles after selling their product business. On today's episode, we are talking about five specific downsides to success. These aren't necessarily strategic elements, as much as they are about the mindset of success. You'll hear about some of the common traps that successful entrepreneurs often find themselves in, and how success itself can actually become a competitive disadvantage.

TMBA477: China From the Inside

One of Dan and Ian's goals heading into 2019 was to feature more stories about China on the podcast this year. China is the primary location where many of the products that entrepreneurs sell are traditionally manufactured, and it has become a fulcrum for a lot of the stuff that online product-based businesses do. On today's show, we are excited to bring you some insights from someone who has been living and working on the ground in China for the better part of a decade. Brian Miller lives in Shenzhen, China, where he operates a third-party logistics company called EasyChinaWarehouse.com. He also runs a mid-six-figure Amazon FBA business, as well as a small China sourcing agency, so he is pretty diversified in the sourcing and fulfillment model that we have discussed so often on this podcast. What makes Brian's story unique is that he actually started his working life within a Chinese state-owned enterprise, which is something that very few westerners have done. This isn't just a conversation about manufacturing in China, though. Brian also shares his experience living in the country, what it's like to interact with the Chinese people, and much, much more.

TMBA285: So You’ve Got Some Time and Location Freedom, What’s Next?

In a nice bit of serendipity, I was in Singapore last week and I ran into my friend John McIntyre. John is The Autoresponder Guy, but today he didn't want to talk about email marketing or autoresponders. We got to talking about what you do when you've gotten through those first few years of running a business and you've reached a certain level of comfort. How do you choose to live once you own your own time? We'll also talk about John's experience scaling in year three of a productized service business, and what you can get out of living in Chaing Mai.

TMBA277: How Does Location Independence Affect Relationships and Families?

I'm in the beautiful South Philippines today and in this very location last year, I met today's guests: Paul and Becky Kortman. The Kortmans are a big family with a unique story. Paul runs his own digital marketing agency called Connex Social. Last year they sold their house and 90% of their belongings and decided to hit the road. They ended up taking 25 flights and visiting over 30 different locations. We're gonna talk about how location independence effects family, how it effects relationships and how it effects business. We'll also discuss how they rebounded from losing 90% of their revenue, and what the experience was like traveling with a six person family around the world.

TMBA275: How Should an Entrepreneur Invest $50,000?

Bossman and I have taken the last few weeks off to recharge and prepare for our upcoming Singapore Event. We're back from our short break and ringing in the new year by discussing a question that Marc Cuban asked recently: What should the average investor do with $50,000? We'll dissect some of the ideas he proposed about financial investments, talk about how the location-independent entrepreneur can put them to good use, and explain exactly what makes our upcoming gathering of entrepreneurs such a unique sharing environment.

TMBA274: When You’ve Built Yourself a Job Instead of a Business

With the help of our friend Taylor Pearson from TaylorPearson.me, we are continuing our 5 part series. The first episode was about making that first $1,000 of income. This episode is all about the next phase of a business, where you are starting to make a living, but you're trying to figure out how to scale that and turn it into a real asset. We'll talk about how we got out of our jobs and built a business, how long we were living broke for and the fundamental difference between building yourself a job and a business.

TMBA271: Understanding and Optimizing For Multiple Currencies: A Conversation with Patrick McKenzie

Patrick McKenzie from Kalzumeus.com has been one of my favorite bloggers for over half of a decade. Patrick has a storied history of writing long-form pieces about the experiences of starting bootstrap software businesses, and is an expert at optimizing for non-cash currencies. In this week's episode we dig deep into Patrick's business philosophy, including how he has been able to build a powerhouse blog that is followed by some of the most influential people in the industry. We also talk about his expertise around conversion optimization and email marketing, how not to suck at giving conference speeches, and Patrick's experience as a long-term expat in Japan.

TMBA270: A Roundtable Discussion on Apprentices, Mentoring, and Team Building

Our old friend and former team member Taylor Pearson from TaylorPearson.me has come by this week to help us have a broad, round-table conversation about team building. We talk about the ways that Ian and I have done it, and Taylor shares some insider insight from having been on our team. We also answer a question from a young listener about whether he should be learning a skill set like SEO or diving headfirst into his own business.

TMBA269: Branding is About Relationships Not Recognition

TropicalMBA is a podcast dedicated to the growing movement of location independent entrepreneurs. Every week, location independent entrepreneurs all over the world will leave us questions and comments in our voicemail. This week, we are answering a whole bunch of those voicemails, including questions about why you should be starting or joining a mastermind group, some of the best things about being an expatriate and why branding is really about building relationships with your clients.

TMBA268: Getting More Out of Conferences – “Breakfast is a Big Deal”

Bossman and I are in Tokyo this week following our annual DC BKK Conference in Thailand. We are gonna be recapping how the event went, and reminiscing about some of our favorite speakers. We're also going to be talking about what we've learned about throwing events, what we are planning to do in the future and sharing our advice for people that are looking to get the most out of all these upcoming conferences.

TMBA266: Growing Productized Services Businesses

Bossman and I are in Bangkok, gearing up for DC BKK, and we are chatting with our friend Jacob Puhl this week. Jacob is one of our speakers here for the event, and he has built a really unique and successful productized service business, geared primarily toward the dental industry. He really has a lot of valuable knowledge on how to scale a business. We're gonna be talking about how to overcome the complications of investing in and expanding a service business and the five ways to turn your services business into a salable asset.

TMBA265: Visiting China – Why Entrepreneurs Travel to the Canton Fair

The Canton Fair is taking place this October, so I was really happy to run into my old friend Matt Kowolak from HighCappin.com. Matt has been living as an entrepreneur in China for ten years, and he is the person I go to whenever I have a question about the country. We chat it up about the history of the fair, what it feels like to attend such a historic trade show and what kind of opportunities exist there. He also shares a broad overview of what living in China as an expatriate is like and how to take advantage of their entrepreneurial culture.

TMBA 248: The “Steak Dinner Problem” and Polyphasic Productivity

This week, we're talking about John Reineck's "Steak Dinner Problem", and how we interact with our clients. We had a great discussion with Taylor Pearson about it in the comments of our recent article about The Coconut Cash Conundrum. We're gonna be sharing some advanced level strategies on how to handle this complex situation that entrepreneurs face when their business starts to dictate the orders. We'll also talk about how to identify one thing that benefits your business and maximize your efforts during your most productive hours.

TMBA 247: How Do You Know When It’s Time to Hire?

We're back this week, answering a bunch of listener questions about when it's the right time to expand your business and hire some new employees. We'll talk about why there's no magic bullet for getting through the hiring process. It's different for everyone, but there are ways to know when it's time to step up and start bringing in some help.

TMBA 246: Should You Be Blogging?

This week, we're digging into the archives and replaying one of our most popular, and controversial episodes. We're going to be talking about the perils of personal blogging and entrepreneurial journey blogging. A lot of people have interpreted this episode as a warning, but we consider it a challenge to bloggers to step up their game.

TMBA 244: “I Got My First Monies, What Should I Do Now?”

This week, we're talking about money. We've had quite a few listeners asking us about what to do when your business starts generating enough money for you to live comfortably. Bossman and I are not financial experts by any means, but we have experienced a lot as entrepreneurs, and we have our own opinions on what to do after you've started making money. Hope you enjoy and happy Thursday!

TMBA 243: The “Knowledge Gap” Fallacy

Last week, we put out a challenge for listeners to email us there "1000 True Fans" business plan-- what they are going to be doing for their clients, how they are doing it differently than other providers, what they are delivering, and the prices that they are planning to charge. We got a ton of responses! Some were great, and some were problematic in our view. Among those, we tried to determine the most common mistakes being made. Bossman also predicts the collapse of our business somewhere in there! Hope you enjoy and happy Thursday!

TMBA 241: “10 True Clients” Business Models

This week we are going to replay one of our favorite episodes of all time, with a little bit extra thrown in for good measure. This episode has had a great impact on a lot of our listeners. Of all of the episodes we have recorded, this one has probably helped people improve their businesses the most.

TMBA 240: Knowing How Versus Knowing What

This week bossman and I discuss being unpopular in the face of pressure from friends, family, team members, and employees. Bossman references his new "entrepreneurmobile" gratuitously and we ponder the distinctions being 'know-how' and 'know-what' knowledge.