Tropical MBA Internship #10 – Come to Bali, Live With Us, and See the Inside of Our Business

Summary: I’ve got a spare room at my house in Bali. You can stay with us for free in return for some SEO work we need done. It’s the easiest TMBA internship to apply for ever. It’ll take less than 10 minutes of your time.  It’s a smaller opportunity than we’ve offered in the past, but could still be great for the right person. Email applications are due January 30th.

If internship opportunities with travel-minded entrepreneurs interest you, you should subscribe to the TropicalWorkForce’s RSS feed, mailing list, and twitter account. This year we’ll be sponsoring a bunch of internships there, many of which are more appealing than the opportunities I provide. For example: “Community Manager Needed For a Travel Start-up” was posted less than 48 hours ago by one of the most talented entrepreneurs I’ve ever spoken with. Don’t tell him I said that. His gig is probably more appropriate for most people looking for an internship, so be sure to check it out.

For the entrepreneurs who read this blog, note there are many services posted on the TWF boards. I buy content in bulk from service providers on the TWF boards at prices and quality much better than I can find from normal outsourcers.

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It’s been a great week. Elisa Doucette just got here and she’s one of the gang already. She’s pushing things forward at TropicalWorkForce and DynamiteCircle. Of course, my main man David Hehenberger is here as well. This year he’s focusing on private products for DCers and SEO initiatives for our e-commerce stores.

My back of the napkin math says David is the point man on close to half a million dollars in expected growth. Our plan is to do that through SEO, distribution partners, and on-site optimizations. It’s pretty clear– he’s going to need some more help him achieve these goals.

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I receive at least 1 offer for free work every week– sometimes more. People email me and say stuff like “hey! I’ll work for you for free…give me a chance!” That’s flattering, but so far I’ve turned them all down. I’m looking to build a team for the long term. My working assumption so far has been that non-paid interns (especially ones not receiving college credit) would burn out pretty quick.

But I got to thinking… there is this spare bedroom just sitting there in my house– in Bali! I thought, what the hell. Why don’t we invite somebody else to the house?

Here’s the rub: I can’t afford to bring another person on to my team. The CEOh-yeah has a number of complex spreadsheets which all say the same thing– don’t spend any more money.  I want to make sure the opportunities that come down the pike this year get distributed to the people who have helped us to get to where we are today. For those reasons, this internship is unpaid and temporary.

The offer:

I have a small bedroom available in our house. You can come live with us rent free. In return for the room, you’ll work for us 2-4 hours on 4 days of the week. We expect that you will move one major task or initiative forward each of those 4 days. The deal is for 90 days. You work 4 mornings a week, you get free rent at the house. Simple as that.

I estimate the rent is about a $500 monthly value. We live in a sweet place in the most happening neighborhood in Bali. You’ll have the opportunity to hang with all of us, see a bunch of other location independent businesses operate, get feedback on your ventures, and all that other good stuff. If you feel you can sustain working for rent only, you can extend the gig for an extra 90 days, or we can help you take your next step in location independent entrepreneurship.

What will you do?

  • You’ll work 4 days a week, for 2-4 hours each day. Emphasis on results and helping us move something forward each day.
  • You’ll execute the nuts and bolts of cutting edge SEO strategies. I can’t even write about them publically.
  • You’ll help generate and edit tons of content for our entire network of sites.
  • You’ll see the inner workings of a 7-figure business (hint: it ain’t pretty).
  • You’ll assist David with achieving his key objectives.
  • You’ll purchase and quality check content from a variety of 3rd party sources.
  • You’ll optimize landing pages and improve the content on some of our top earning sites.

What will you get?

  • 90 days at the TMBA house here in Seminyak, Bali. We’ve got a huge pool, maid, gardener, and decent WIFI (2 down / 2 up).
  • An opportunity to extend for another 90 days if you are doing good work.
  • 1 year paid membership to our private online community.
  • First dibs on the nice rooms when we travel.
  • An opportunity to learn about SEO and biznass.

Before you apply, consider these downsides:

  • You are being offered the small room, which is small-ish and has no A/C (but does have fan). You will have no private bathroom, and no personal shower.
  • You will have to shower outside, in a cold shower! That will suck! Don’t even try to use David’s shower!
  • You will have limited private space in our house.
  • You will have to spend you own money to do this. Living in Bali can be expensive if you blow it out at Skygarden every weekend.
  • Visa runs can get expensive. If you come on a budget, apply in advance for a social visa.
  • SEO work isn’t fun. Tim Conley once remarked “it’s the online equivalent of ditch digging.”
  • Some people are probably curious about Bali expenses since this isn’t paid. Off the top of my head, entry level: $400 ; very comfortable: $700 ; ballin’: $1200.

Some stuff about you:

  • With limited private space, and showering out in the backyard, it’s not a situation for people who need a lot of creature comforts or private space (I’ll send more detailed information about the living space to finalists).
  • You might be a somewhat established entrepreneur or SEO. You might be able to create big results for our web properties in less time than it would take for a beginner. We are willing to adjust the amount of time we are requiring if you can kick start the results we are looking for.
  • You might already be in Asia and committed to the lifestyle. Most of us have that “never going home” attitude. This is a great way to keep your travels alive for another 3 months or even longer.

How to apply (only 10-15 minutes of your time):

  • Write 250 to 500 words saying what you are currently up to and why this position is a great fit for you.
  • Let us know when you’d like to start, and if you have any questions or caveats about the terms.
  • Please suggest one book that you think I should read (thanks!).
  • Feel free to link to the stuff you are working on.
  • Email your answers to David *at* TropicalWorkForce dot com. Please CC Dan *at* TropicalMBA dot com.
  • If we think you’d be a good fit, we’ll give you a ring on Skype.


A note from David:

Dear Future TMBAer,

I’m pumped up about you coming out here to work on our SEO and online marketing campaigns with me. We’re in a position to have a huge positive impact on Dan and Ian’s business in 2012.

Without a doubt, some things about this internship are not ‘baller’ (cold showers, some of your work will be boring) but this is a great opportunity for the right person.

If you join us you’ll learn a ton about SEO, e-commerce, and online businesses. You’ll also meet lots of smart online entrepreneurs who stay here in Bali. Meeting and hanging out with successful people is the biggest benefit that I got from my TMBA internship.

Two years ago, getting this internship would have been a game changer for me. I’d encourage you to apply if staying for free in Bali’s best neighborhood, while learning essential online business skills, sounds good to you.

Hope to see you in Bali,

PS, I’ll show you a bit around the island if you make it here ;)

If you know anybody who would be interested in this type of thing, I’d appreciate it if you’d email this post to them. Thanks!

Talk soon,


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