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Cold Calls

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.

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.

TMBA263: Building Low-Risk Software Startups

I'm in Bangkok this week, getting set up for DC BKK and I was very excited to run into our good friend David Hehenberger from WPCast.fm and FatCatApps.com. His products help marketers drive conversions from their Wordpress sites. This is really a full-circle moment for us, as David used to edit the show in the early days of our Podcast. David has since downshifted to focus on building a software company that he felt would be sustainable and generate income on his own terms. We're gonna be talking with David about how he got his company off the ground, how difficult it really is to develop a software product, and the challenges of working within the Wordpress ecosystem.

TMBA262: How to Make Your First $1,000 Online

With over 260 episodes, some of our listeners have been asking us which episodes of our show are the best to share with people who want to learn more about the location independent lifestyle. We thought this posed a pretty interesting challenge, and we've decided to create a five part series that people can download to get an overall sense of what the location independent startup community is all about. On this first episode in the series, we are going to be going over five key points on how to make your first $1000 online.

TMBA261: Systematize Your Selling

On last week's episode, our good friend Taylor Pearson mentioned that one of the most universally fundamental traits that all successful entrepreneurs have is sales skills. We're gonna be talking about how to build that skill set so you can get your first 100 customers. We are also answering a bunch of listener questions about fighting the Amazon beast, how to get the most out of events, and our thoughts on visiting the U.S. after an extended time abroad.

TMBA260: The Long Road to Mid 5-Figure Months

We put Taylor Pearson in charge of our Portable Bar company in its infancy, and he helped us grow our business 527% in the first 18 months, to the point where we are consistently having healthy mid 5-figure months. This week, Bossman is back and we are chatting with Taylor about what it's like to evolve from a small business that is just keeping the lights on to a real significant source of wealth. We're talking about the old-school tactics we used to grow our business, and how we have used the advice that we give in this show in real life situations.

TMBA259: What Does Google Know About Us?

As entrepreneurs, Google has really become a huge part of a lot of our everyday lives. The privacy concerns that have come to light over the last few years are legitimate, and way we think about our internet use is changing. Gabriel Weinberg is the Founder of DuckDuckGo, a search engine that is steadily gaining market share by offering real privacy. He is also an angel investor, and has taken investments from some of the most successful venture capitalists in the world. This week, Gabriel and are going to be talking about what privacy means today and what Google knows about us, along with some really unique strategies for startups.

TMBA258: ​Living, Working, and Adventuring in South East Asia

This week I was lucky enough to catch up with Stuart McDonald, the founder of Travelfish, which one of the most respected sites on the web for South East Asia travel information. If you peak over the shoulder of a random backpacker in Bangkok cafes, expect to see a "TravelFish" URL along with Facebook blue.

TMBA257: Thoughts On Recruiting Effective Affiliates

Bossman is back this week and we are talking about affiliate relationships. How do you get others to promote your products? We'll talk about how to "write the religion" and give potential content publishers a reason to tap into your narrative. We also field several listener questions, including what to look for when hiring your first employee, and the ins and outs of establishing business credit.

TMBA256: Making Sense of Awards Points and Business Class Upgrades

Bossman is on vacation this week, so I've invited my friend Erik Paquet from Abroaders.com on to the show to talk all about mileage, point redemption, how to fly business class as often as possible and much more. In the Dynamite Circle, Erik is widely regarded as the go-to guy for travel hacking. We are also going to be discussing how he has been able to use his unique set of skills to launch a productized service business.

TMBA255: How People Fail at Sustaining the Digital Nomad Lifestyle

Will you succeed or fail as a digital nomad? Becoming a successful location-independent entrepreneur isn't guaranteed. Some of the skills it takes to become a successful digital nomad take years to develop. This week, we are talking about the four major differences we have seen between successful digital nomads and those who have failed.

TMBA254: A Framework for Creating Mastermind Events or Parties

Having a mastermind group, and perpetuating a mastermind group, is a great way to handle some of the emotional struggles of having your own business. They are just as fun as a poker party, but they can change your life. Masterminds are the reason we started this podcast. We've done a lot of in-person masterminds, and they are a great way to grow a community and connect with your audience. This week, we're talking about the power, the pitfalls, and the process of in-person masterminds.

TMBA253: A Bootstrapper’s Thoughts on Intellectual Property

We're talking about protecting our intellectual property and business through copyright, trademarks and patents. This stuff can be expensive for entrepreneurs, but it is incredibly important. There are so many reasons a bootstrapping attitude might differ from a more corporate or startup philosophy regarding these issues. We'll also chat about our upcoming event in Austin, T.X. and why we have decided to sell our cat furniture business.

TMBA 252: Do We Need to Re-Train Ourselves to Enjoy Free Time?

We're getting into some advanced level stuff this week. As entrepreneurs, many of us have achieved what we've built by putting in insane amounts of hours on the phone or behind the laptop. How can we re-train ourselves to step back and enjoy what we have been working for? This week, we're outlining 5 different ways to go after some meaning with that time that you've been creating.

TMBA 251: The Entrepreneurial Quest

This week, we're talking about the four elements of the "Hero's Quest" that every entrepreneur embarks on. This episode is all about looking back and understanding the first six months of taking off on a new project or a new business, the struggle that it is, and how valuable that can end up being on the narrative of your life. We also answer some listener questions, including one about cold calling a huge corporation to make a sale.

TMBA 249: Getting Started With Customer Churn Analysis

We're talking about Churn rate, and everything we can learn from it. Bossman and I are by no means experts on the topic, but we've dug up a plethora of information to share on Churn rate analysis. We'll discuss how to use this information to provide more value to your clients and keep them around for longer. We also answer some listener questions about the FBAR deadline and how we approach the frequency at which we create podcast content.

TMBA 245: The Tao of the Sale

This week, it’s all about making the sale. Bossman and I are exploring twenty random thoughts that we’ve had about sales. We talk about everything from salesmanship, to what that process looks like, what some of the key tactics that we use are, and how you can evolve by using these strategies.