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August 6, 2020
Rob Walling is no stranger to many of the listeners of this show. Rob is the host of a brilliant podcast called Startups for the Rest of Us, where he has shared stories of entrepreneurial ingenuity and struggle, and many concepts that we have discussed on this show have origins on that podcast. He is also the co-founder of a conference called MicroConf, which is a community and conference for bootstrap SaaS founders. After a rather impressive exit with his last startup, Drip, Rob has moved on to his newest project, an accelerator designed for early-stage SaaS startups called TinySeed. Rob joins us this week to discuss some high-level concepts like the emotional challenges of entrepreneurship, to finer details like finding the right pricing models, and how they decided on the right deal terms for TinySeed companies.
July 30, 2020
On today's podcast, we are sharing some personal updates, as well as three specific updates about our core businesses. We are also announcing that for the first time in nearly five years, we are hiring a Community Facilitator for our private membership group The Dynamite Circle. Later on in the episode, we'll be exploring the idea of the moment in a business that Seth Godin refers to as "The Dip". You'll hear why this "middle period" of running a business is so difficult, how it feels to be in that dip, and why so many people just can't get out of it.
July 23, 2020
Productized services have long been a subject of discussion on this podcast. They are a relatively attractive business model, especially among first-time entrepreneurs, and we've shared many examples over the years of how to create these kinds of businesses and scale them. Meryl Johnston, founder of the online bookkeeping firm Bean Ninjas, recently started a rather lively debate in the members' forum of our online community The Dynamite Circle with a post titled, ‘Are Productized Services Overrated?’ We've invited Meryl on to the show to find out why she decided to raise that question and to hear her thoughts on a business model that she has personally followed for the last five years. Meryl joins us today to discuss what a productized service really is, the strengths and weaknesses of the model, and why she's wondering whether her own company needs to evolve past it.
July 16, 2020
Christopher Gimmer is the Co-Founder and CEO of Snappa, a SaaS (Software as a Service) business that allows users to create online graphics quickly and easily. Christopher caught our attention recently when he opened up with a post on Twitter about the emotional cost of being an entrepreneur. We invited Christopher onto the podcast this week to discuss his own journey as an entrepreneur, how difficult it can be for entrepreneurs to find and maintain what he calls "a healthy equilibrium", and how he works to achieve his own balance. You'll also hear why Christopher feels that having a business partner has been key to Snappa’s eventual success and what he sees as the pros and cons of SaaS businesses.
July 9, 2020
It started with an innocuous-looking image of a yellow aeroplane and ended with a number of threatening letters from a law firm on behalf of the travel site Expedia. In today’s episode, we bring you the denouement of the story of why we decided to remove ‘that plane’ from our branding. And, to find out whether we really needed to do it, we’ve invited back our good friend and Intellectual Property (IP) attorney Sarah Kornblet Waldbuesser from Destination Legal. You'll also hear Sarah's thoughts on the best way to protect your brand or logo, how to differentiate between "trademark scams" and what should be taken seriously, and a whole lot more.
July 2, 2020
On today's podcast, we're excited to finally reveal that our remote jobs platform Dynamite Jobs is officially a ".com business". After three years of running the company with a .co domain, that .com marks a huge symbolic change for our company, but it didn't come cheap. Enter Rob Barbour of DomainSOS.com and DomainVIP.com. Rob has worked in the domain space for over twenty years and he owns a substantial portfolio of his own domains. He also specializes in helping people acquire domains that are difficult to obtain. In this week's podcast, Rob joins us to talk about his history as a domain broker, how the industry has changed over 20 years, and how he helped us secure DynamiteJobs.com for our business.
June 25, 2020
If we had to pick one word as our greatest motivation, it’s ‘freedom’. Freedom to live life on our terms, where we want, with the people we choose. Ali Marsland is the director of ‘The Effective English Company’. Ali began chasing her own freedom at the age of 18, as she traveled around the world for a year before embarking on a successful career in corporate communications. The corporate world eventually made her feel trapped, and when the opportunity arose to become a freelancer, she decided to chase that freedom once more. Ali joins us on this week's podcast to describe how she ‘stair-stepped’ her way into entrepreneurship by first becoming an on-site freelancer to outsourcing work, and eventually growing her own successful agency.
June 18, 2020
At the beginning of the year, we recorded a podcast where we outlined some of our business goals and aspirations for 2020. We're now halfway through the year, and it's safe to say these past six months have been a period of disruption for entrepreneurs all over the world. Given the unexpected circumstances that we've all experienced, we thought it would be interesting to revisit those goals that we shared on this podcast back in January. In today's episode, we're looking back at how our business goals have played out thus far in 2020, how our plans have changed since we first recorded that podcast, and what we've learned from the last six months.
June 11, 2020
In 2009, we published an episode of this podcast called 10 Great Software and Tech Services We Use to Run Our Business. Over 10 years later, we've been challenged by one of our listeners to revisit that list and to talk about the core software and services that we are using to run our company today. In this week's episode, we are sharing ten of the most important tools and services that we are using behind the scenes in our business. You'll hear the specifics of how we are using these tools, and why they have become an everyday part of our business in 2020. 
June 4, 2020
We've talked about the '1,000 Day Principle' at great length on this podcast. The idea is that it takes around three years of full-time effort for an entrepreneur to replace the income from their day job. But what does that principle look like in practice?  Johnathan Solorzano is the founder of Solo Media Group Inc., a remote agency of web developers that are primarily based in Latin America. Johnathan joins us this week to share the story of his first 1,000 days running an agency, how he has found clients and fostered relationships with them, and where he plans on focusing his energy for the next 1,000 days.
May 28, 2020
Here at the TropicalMBA podcast we have been inspired and motivated by the stories of resilience and adaptation that you’ve been sending us. One such story that we received recently resonated strongly with us, in part because it was about an industry that we have been working in for years. William Griggs created Virtual Reality Rental just over four years ago. He built a ten-person team that brought VR experiences to conferences, parties, and other corporate events across the United States. Then COVID-19 struck and it all collapsed literally overnight, forcing him to reduce his staff by more than half. William joins us today to share his strategy for waiting out the current uncertainty in the events industry, and how he's challenging his remaining team to grow into the new roles that are necessary for these times.
May 21, 2020
What do you do when you lose over half your Annual Recurring Revenue and test positive for Coronavirus, all within 48 hours? Jim Huffman described this exact experience in a post on his personal blog titled "The Hardest Day of My Career". Jim is the CEO of GrowthHit and co-creator of FunnelTeardowns, and when we discovered his blog post we knew we had to talk to him. Jim joins us on today's podcast to share his insights on how to create a successful marketing agency that aligns with your lifestyle, the strategies he deployed to save his company after facing such a dramatic event, and his plans for the future in the 'new normal'.
May 14, 2020
"Dropshipping" is one of the most used and abused terms in Digital Nomad circles. It refers to the practice of selling items without keeping inventory on hand, relying instead on a third-party manufacturer to ship the items directly to the customer. The term recently reached a much broader audience through a widely-shared piece in Wired magazine by Sirin Kale titled “‘It’s bullshit’: Inside the weird, get-rich-quick world of dropshipping”. On today's podcast, Dan and Ian weigh in with some of their own thoughts about the article, whether dropshipping can be used to create long-term success, and the pros and cons of the business model itself.
May 7, 2020
In our book Before the Exit, we reflected on many 'thought experiments' that we wished we had run before we sold our business in 2015. One of those experiments was called 'The Mediocre CEO Test', which questioned whether it was smarter to hire someone to run your business than it was to sell it. Today's guest did just that. JP Ji is the founder of Pro Teeth Guard, an eCommerce business that manufactures custom dental mouth guards. When JP decided to shift his focus away from Pro Teeth Guard, he chose to hire a General Manager to take over the day-day-day operations of the business. In today's podcast, you'll hear why JP decided to hire a general manager, the challenges of finding the right candidate, and why that relationship ultimately didn't pan out. 
April 30, 2020
One of the most widely read and recommended books about business management is Gino Wickman’s 'Traction'. When Gino’s team reached out to say that he had a new book coming out that was aimed at helping would-be and early-stage entrepreneurs, we jumped at the opportunity to invite Gino on to the podcast to talk about it. On today's podcast, Ian sits down with Gino to discuss the ideas raised in his new book, ‘Entrepreneurial Leap’. In this wide-ranging conversation, you'll hear Gino's thoughts on the value of going to college, whether you should be following the passion or the money, and why not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur.
April 23, 2020
Whether you’re saving a runway for a new business, or you need to cut your expenses to the bone due to the current economic climate, we know a lot of people are being forced to make some difficult financial decisions right now.  On today's podcast, we are revisiting one of our most popular concepts, and something that we've discussed many times over the years as a sure-fire way for an entrepreneur to live a little more frugally. We're talking once again about the "Entrepreneurmobile", or how you can get a reliable car that is generally inexpensive to maintain and fix, and that can save you a lot of money.  In this episode, we take a comprehensive look at what makes a great Entrepreneurmobile, which cars you should avoid, 10 cars that are great deals under $10K, and some luxury vehicles that are extremely affordable as well. 
April 16, 2020
One of the things we love about our online community of entrepreneurs, the Dynamite Circle, is that the members of that community are not only incredibly globalized but oftentimes deeply ingrained in the cultures and economics of the places they live. Brian Miller is the founder of Easy China Warehouse, a third-party logistics company that helps entrepreneurs who sell online consolidate products in China. Brian was in a rare position where he was able to see the Coronavirus unfolding as he lived and worked in Shenzhen, China. Brian joins us today to talk about his experience in China as the virus began to spread, the trajectory that China has been on since January, and what the future could possibly look like for the rest of the world.
April 9, 2020
In this week's episode, we've invited one of our favorite bloggers and thinkers to pull up a virtual chair and share some of the burning issues he’s been writing about. Nat Eliason is the founder and CEO of a marketing agency called Growth Machine, as well as the author of a fantastic blog at NatEliason.com. Nat is not only a successful agency owner, but he has some incredibly fascinating theories about entrepreneurship and scaling a multi-million dollar agency that we were just so excited to pick his brain about. Nat joins us this week for a wide-ranging discussion, where he opens up about his aversions to "struggle porn", the distinction between money and wealth, and the true nuts and bolts of running a successful agency.
April 2, 2020
One of the silver linings to the strange times that we've been living through in the past few weeks, is that we've been able to reach out to some of the brightest minds in our community and get a sense of how they have been responding to the crisis. Travis Jamison is no stranger to longtime listeners of this show. Travis is a bonafide SEO expert and the founder of Smash Digital. He has also successfully exited a business for 8 figures and is a very active investor as well. Travis recently shared something of an essay on Twitter that we felt captured a lot of our feelings about the current situation that we are all facing. We invited Travis on to the show today to explain those thoughts a bit further and to talk about how we might survive the economic downturn that so many of us are bracing for in the coming months.
March 26, 2020
As we've been practicing social distancing, the majority of our discussions about business and entrepreneurship keep coming back to the COVID-19 outbreak. In this week's podcast, we've invited one of the most prescient minds about this topic on to the show. Taylor Pearson is a long time friend of the show and has been sounding alarms about the coronavirus for much longer than most. Like us, Taylor is a huge fan of the writings of Nassim Taleb and joins us today to talk about why Taleb's writing has been so relevant in thinking about the ongoing crisis, the global economic impact of events like this, and what the future might hold for us in a post-outbreak world.
March 19, 2020
The topic of today's podcast is unavoidable. We simply have to address one of the biggest stories of our lifetime, the global shutdown brought about by Coronavirus, or Covid-19. The impact that this pandemic has had on businesses around the globe, including our own, has been enormous. In today's podcast, Dan and Ian are talking about their decision to cancel DC Austin, which would have brought 150 entrepreneurs from around the globe to the city of Austin, Texas in just a few short weeks. You'll also hear our thoughts on the economic implications of the virus, as well as the challenges and opportunities that such a radical event presents for entrepreneurs everywhere.
March 12, 2020
In today's episode, we are reaching into the TMBA mailbag yet again and responding to some interesting questions and comments we've received from our listeners. There is a word that gets tossed around in the entrepreneurial community, and it's actually something that is worn as a sort of badge of honor. We see it on t-shirts and social media, and it's usually represented by entrepreneurs who have rejected working for an employer at a job where they held no equity. But is it really a good thing to be "Unemployable?" You'll hear our thoughts about that on today's episode, as well as some insight for people who have become frustrated by meet-ups and networking events that aren't providing enough value.
March 5, 2020
One of the biggest challenges of running a remote team is communication. After all, "watercooler conversations" rarely happen when your team is scattered across the globe. Joe Magnotti is the co-founder of Empire Flippers, a marketplace for buying and selling online businesses. Together with his partner Justin Cooke, they have built a team of over 70 people who are entirely location independent and are located all over the world. Joe joins us on today's podcast to talk about his experience managing a remote team, and how holding twice-annual team retreats has been paramount to the success of Empire Flippers.
February 27, 2020
We've recently been revisiting some of our favorite business books on this podcast as part of a series we like to call "The Re-Readables". What makes this week's installment of that series so special is that we have been joined by the author of the book himself. M.J. DeMarco wrote The Millionaire Fastlane in 2010, and since then, the book has continued to grow in popularity. The basic premise of the book is that the most successful people have found ways to step off of the "slow lane" or the "sidewalk" to join the "fast lane", usually through entrepreneurial endeavors. M.J. joins us today to talk about the legacy of The Millionaire Fastlane, why it is still as relevant today as it was when it was released, his thoughts on the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement, and much more.
February 20, 2020
Will Roman is a veteran entrepreneur who has worked in a number of different fields including eCommerce, physical products, software, and even cryptocurrency. At the end of last year, Will made the decision to leave his crypto exchange business to start Chisos, a product company that manufactures and sells designer cowboy boots. Will joins us on the podcast this week to talk about his stressful exit from that company, why he decided to start Chisos, what he has learned from his first year of manufacturing boots, and a whole lot more. 
February 13, 2020
We often talk about the "1,000 Day Principle" or the idea that it will take about 1,000 days to get a new business off the ground before it replaces the income from your 9-to-5. But what happens after those 1,000 Days? Chris Cage's 1,000 Day Journey has been well-documented on previous episodes of this podcast. Chris is the founder of Greenbelly, a company that manufactures high-quality meal bars for hikers. Greenbelly is now over 5 years old, and Chris is facing a whole new set of challenges. Chris joins us this week to talk about how he has handled the "Middle Game" of entrepreneurship. You'll hear about his first full-time hire, how he has created a repeatable process for getting clients, why he is taking time away from the business, and much more.
February 6, 2020
One of our favorite things to do on this podcast is follow up on some of the entrepreneurial stories that we've covered in the past. This time last year, we recorded a podcast with Tommy Joiner. In that episode, Tommy spoke about the genesis of his productized content generation service ContentPros. Fast forward a year and Tommy has made some massive changes in his life. Not only has he sold ContentPros, but he also chose to part ways with his business partner. In today's episode, Tommy returns to explain why he decided to move on from ContentPros and to share some insights into the exit process as well.
January 30, 2020
Entrepreneurship is something of a gamble, and perhaps very few people understand that better than today's guest. Mike Jackness is a widely respected figure among the eCommerce community and is the host of a brilliant podcast called ECommCrew. Mike has owned and exited several successful businesses, the most popular of which being ColorIt, which manufactured and sold coloring books aimed at adults. On today's podcast, Mike joins us to talk about the highs and lows of his entrepreneurial career. You'll hear how an obsession with poker turned into Mike's first major foray into entrepreneurship, how he founded and eventually sold ColorIt, and some of the biggest pitfalls that entrepreneurs face in the eCommerce space today.
January 23, 2020
We here at the Tropical MBA are always fascinated with people who raise questions that challenge the social narratives that most people follow. It's no wonder then that Christoper Ryan caught our attention. Christopher is a New York Times bestselling author, the host of a brilliant podcast called Tangentially Speaking, and is perhaps best known for his 2010 book Sex at Dawn. Christopher recently published a new book called Civilized to Death, which argues that so-called "progress" has actually adversely affected the way we live. He joins us today to talk about his unconventional path to becoming a published author, and why civilization might not represent progress.
January 16, 2020
Last week, we spoke to Mark Brenwall about why he left his job in San Francisco to move to Asia and start WOD Nation, an Amazon FBA business that sells CrossFit products. Today's podcast is the conclusion of that interview and in it, we speak specifically about Mark's entrepreneurial "code". In this conversation, Mark shares some of his unorthodox business philosophies, as well as some specific insights into the Amazon FBA platform, and why he almost decided to sell his business last year.
January 9, 2020
Mark Brenwall is the founder of WOD Nation, an Amazon FBA business that sells CrossFit products. A few years ago, Mark joined us for one of our favorite conversations we've had on this podcast in an episode called "The Power of Under Optimization". That episode was all about Mark's unconventional business approach, which prioritizes lifestyle and happiness over aggressive growth. Today's episode is the first in a two-part series where we revisit Mark's story. In this first part, we explore some of the personal and professional circumstances that led Mark to leave a seemingly great life in the United States for the unknown.
January 2, 2020
A year ago, we kicked off 2019 with a somewhat self-indulgent podcast full of updates on our ongoing projects as well as some of our business goals for the year. As the decade draws to a close, we’re taking stock of the year and asking ourselves “did we meet those expectations”? In today's episode, we are revisiting what we accomplished (and failed to accomplish) in 2019, as well as showcasing some of our business highlights from the year. Stick around to the end of the episode to hear five specific plans and goals that we have in store for our projects in 2020.
December 26, 2019
As we prepare to celebrate the holiday season, we thought it would be fun to revisit some of our most memorable moments from the podcast in 2019. In this week's episode, you'll hear highlights from some of our favorite interviews, as well as our thoughts on five specific entrepreneurial themes that continue to resonate with us as the year comes to a close. Make sure to stick around until the end to hear some outtakes from recording the podcast in 2019.
December 19, 2019
Some entrepreneurs have a secret. Adopting a pseudonym, or a "pen name", is a common practice on the internet. Even one of the hosts of this show, Dan Andrews, has been using a pseudonym for many years. Some people do it because their name is difficult to pronounce, others are worried about being stalked, or because they want to improve their Google rankings. We've also spoken to people who regret having taken a "fake identity", and believe it has started to adversely affect their lives. In today's episode, you will hear from several entrepreneurs who have adopted pseudonyms as they share the reasons why they chose to do it, the pros and cons of taking on a pseudonym, and much more.
December 12, 2019
For the first time in a decade, Dan and Ian are recording a podcast from one of their favorite places in the world, the Philippines. The Philippines has been an integral part of their business for many years, and it continues to have a strong influence on the lives of so many entrepreneurs in the location-independent community. On today's podcast, they'll be discussing their history in the Philippines, what the country has meant to their business, and whether it still makes sense for entrepreneurs to build teams in the Philippines in 2019.
December 5, 2019
We've seen a lot of conversations recently in the location independent lifestyle space about something we like to call "The Digital Nomad Lie". The general concept is that being location independent is not everything that it's cracked up to be, and that the idea that you can have it all while sipping coconuts on the beach is simply a myth. It's not surprising then that we've seen a rise in blogs and think pieces by digital nomads that are exhausted from travel and yearning to settle down. But why are people feeling this way? At the heart of it, there may be many misconceptions and mistakes that we can make in the way that we think about travel. We've invited our good friend and esteemed author Kyla Gardner on to the show this week to share some of her experiences living a location independent lifestyle, her biggest travel mistakes, and whether the promise of the digital nomad lifestyle is fact or fiction.
November 28, 2019
So many people listening to this podcast are looking for the kind of freedom that allows them to travel the world. It's no wonder then that Recreational Vehicles or "RVs" have become increasingly popular in the entrepreneurial space in recent years. If you recall, last year we spoke to Ian's friend and mentor Corey Reueth on this podcast about his experiences buying and selling cars and recreational vehicles. In today's episode, Corey and Ian are having an in-depth discussion about the RV lifestyle. You'll hear about the different types of RVs on the market, the benefits and drawbacks to each of them, how much it costs to purchase an RV, and what RV living actually looks like.
November 21, 2019
Today's podcast is another installment of our ongoing series called "The Re-Readables", where we revisit some of our favorite business books to see if they stand the test of time. This week, we've invited author and online entrepreneur Kyla Gardner back on to the show to talk about the classic marketing book Purple Cow by Seth Godin. Kyla joins us this week to discuss which ideas from Purple Cow have aged the best, which ideas have aged the worst, and how we have utilized some of the "Purple Cow" strategies in our own entrepreneurial careers. 
November 14, 2019
We first spoke to Kevin Graham on this podcast two years ago in what ended up becoming a somewhat controversial episode about building generational wealth on Amazon. Since then, it has become a sort of annual tradition for Kevin to return to the show and update us about his entrepreneurial journey. Last year, he shared his thoughts on "The Helsinki Bus Theory" and his decision to start a web hosting business, which has since become SiteArrow. Since we last spoke, Kevin had adopted a bold strategy of rapid growth, acquiring 9 different businesses in less than a year. That plan ended up being more than he bargained for, though, and he found himself working long hours, getting into unhealthy habits, and ultimately feeling extremely burned out. Kevin joins us today to talk about the perils of chasing growth, the steps that he's taken to course-correct, and the three principles that he has adopted to avoid getting burned out in the future.
November 7, 2019
A few weeks ago, we hosted hundreds of listeners of this podcast in Bangkok for our eighth annual DC BKK event. Every year we learn more about the entrepreneurs that join us in Thailand. We get to have conversations with some extraordinary people, hear about their successes and their struggles, and get an inside look at the way that internet businesses are being run. On this week's episode, we are sharing five specific insights that we took away from our experience in Bangkok this year, and discussing what those insights mean about the entrepreneurial community at large in 2019.
October 31, 2019
A few weeks ago, we shared a conversation about "Sweaty Startups", and how we can use internet business skills to compete and win in traditional, physical services industries. This topic really struck a chord, and we've received a ton of feedback from listeners who want to hear more about these kinds of opportunities. Enter Eric Gilbert Williams, an entrepreneur who grew his Canadian-based roofing company to 6 million dollars in annual revenue before he sold it last year. In his teenage years, Eric dropped out of high school and got arrested for selling drugs before eventually turning to entrepreneurship as a source of redemption. Eric joins us on today's podcast to share his remarkable story.
October 24, 2019
In last week's episode, we took a look at the early days of Dan and Ian's relationship and the circumstances that led to their business partnership. Today's podcast is the second part of that series, and it's all about the next chapter. In this episode, you'll hear how Dan and Ian bought their business partner out of their product company, the origins of this podcast, how they started their membership community The Dynamite Circle, and much more.
October 17, 2019
In the ten years that Dan and Ian have been recording this podcast, the number one thing that they hear from listeners is that they want to know more about their story. Today's episode is the first part of a two-part documentary series where Dan and Ian open up about their own personal history. In this episode, you will hear why they each decided to move to San Diego, California, the circumstances that led to their meeting, how they became friends, and ultimately how they decided to become business partners.
October 10, 2019
One of Dan and Ian's favorite things to do is to reach into the mailbag to answer questions from listeners of this show and today they are doing just that. On this week's podcast, you'll hear answers to listener-submitted questions on a variety of topics including how to think about cash flow in your business, what makes a good entrepreneurmobile in 2019, and more. Stick around until the end of the episode for an in-depth update on Dynamite Deals.
October 3, 2019
A few weeks ago, Dan and Ian invited Nick Huber on to the show to talk about his storage business Storage Squad. During that conversation, Nick shared the story of how he built a successful "old school" business by applying his technical knowledge to a less competitive market. After we stopped recording, that conversation took an interesting turn when Nick started opening up to us about his philosophy for building labor-intensive businesses that he likes to call "Sweaty Startups". On today's podcast, we've invited Nick back to share some of those philosophies, with a focus on the types of business models that he is attracted to, as well as the ones that he isn't particularly fond of.
September 26, 2019
Dan and Ian opened up on this podcast recently about a cease and desist letter that they received. Today's guest heard that episode and was compelled to share his own story about a similar legal battle. Dylan Smith is the co-founder of Keg Smiths, a company that manufactures and sells mini beer kegs, and he has received his fair share of cease and desist letters in his entrepreneurial career. Dylan joins us this week to share a riveting story about how a cease and desist letter led to his products being removed from Amazon, the ramifications of that experience, and how he was able to ultimately win out and get his products back on Amazon. Make sure to stick around until the end of the podcast to hear this week's Dynamite Deal, which includes a deep discount for legal services for entrepreneurs. 
September 19, 2019
Today's episode features an in-depth look into one particular entrepreneurial journey that Dan and Ian have been following for a decade. Longtime listeners will certainly be familiar with Travis Jamison. Travis has joined us on this show many times in the past, and you've likely heard ads for his newest company Smash Digital on the show in recent weeks. Travis has been on a pretty epic journey since we first met, not just living and working in many countries, but he has become a hugely successful entrepreneur as well. We invited Travis back on to the show this week to share his unbelievable story. You'll hear how he started a supplement company and scaled it almost entirely through SEO, how he transitioned to SEO services, how he then shifted into SEO for Amazon sellers with AMZ Tracker, and how he made some judicious exits from those companies, which has allowed him to take equity stakes in a dozen or more start-ups with the investment arm of his new company.
September 12, 2019
One of Dan and Ian's favorite things to talk about on this show is the role that technology plays in our lives. They are particularly curious about the ways that new technology and social media can affect our ability to be productive and successful entrepreneurs. Today's guest is a bonafide expert when it comes to technological addiction and how to fight it. Nir Eyal is an accomplished and thoughtful writer on the topic of behavioral design. Nir gained notoriety for writing the book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and he is also the author of an excellent blog at NirAndFar.com. We have invited him on to the podcast today to talk about his new book Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life. Indistractable is all about making sure technology takes an appropriate place in your life, and how we can find more space in our own lives to be present and productive. Stick around to the end of the show to hear a brand new feature on this podcast, which includes a very exclusive offer for listeners of this show.
September 5, 2019
A listener of this podcast recently reached out to Dan and Ian to let them know what he was up to. They were so inspired by his story of "old-school" entrepreneurship that they knew they needed to invite him on to the show to share it. Nick Huber is one of the founders of Storage Squad, a storage company that he started with his business partner Dan in 2011 and has grown to nearly 3 million dollars in sales. Recently, they have begun diversifying into self-storage as well. Nick joins us this week to share the story of Storage Squad, how he and Dan got it off the ground while they were still in college, how they have expanded it to other colleges throughout the United States, and the advantages of running a location-dependent business remotely.
August 29, 2019
Dan and Ian are well aware that the entrepreneurial journey isn't made up entirely of success stories. Many entrepreneurs listening to this podcast are struggling right now. They might be on the fence about becoming an entrepreneur or reconsidering their decision to become one in the first place. We've talked many times on this podcast about the "1,000 Day Rule"; this idea that it takes roughly 1,000 days of serious hard work to replace the money that you make from your job. Anders Ronnau recently posted in our private community The Dynamite Circle about his own twist on this idea, which he calls "The 4,000 Day Rule". He proposes that after 4,000 days, or roughly ten years, if you haven't had meaningful success building a business for yourself, then you probably need to get a job. We've invited Anders on to the show this week to talk about that rule and to share his own story about how running a business isolated him, and why he ultimately decided he needed to stop being an entrepreneur.
August 22, 2019
Today's episode is all about something that Dan and Ian still find magical about entrepreneurship. That is, if you find the right thing to write about, the internet will still allow you to make a great living off of it. This week's guest was able to do exactly that with essentially one blog post. Ryan Robinson is the host of a podcast called The Side Hustle Project and he runs a fantastic blog over at RyRob.com. He recently wrote a piece on his that blog about how to start a blog and make money from it, and that post went on to become the most successful piece of content he has created. On today's show, Ryan joins us to share some great insights about that post, as well as some strategies for creating content that makes money, and some actionable tips for getting started today.
August 15, 2019
Dan and Ian recently came across a question in their private forum, The Dynamite Circle. "How important has your network been to your success?" The power of having the right connections is absolutely fundamental to growing a business, especially a location independent one. On today's episode, we are sharing some of our own personal approaches to networking. These are useful whether you're going to a conference, picking up a phone, or talking to people in your industry. We're also going to discuss some specific networking archetypes we've seen, and how you might develop your own personal strategy for networking.
August 8, 2019
A few weeks ago on this podcast, Dan and Ian were talking about some of their biggest pet peeves. In that episode, Ian lamented that the quality of flip flops available for purchase had drastically declined. What happened next should come as no surprise. A few listeners of this show reached out to us to let us know that they had started their own product business manufacturing flip flops. Jeremy Stewart is the co-founder of Hari Mari, which he started with his wife Leila. Hari Mari manufactures and sells premium flip flops across the globe. On today's episode, Jeremy joins us to talk about how their company was founded, how his experience as a political consultant helped Hari Mari grow, and how they were able to go from ground zero to having their products sold in big box retail stores.
August 1, 2019
Dan and Ian love hearing from listeners of this show. So many times, people reach out to us with thoughtful questions, and one of our favorite things to do is to answer them on this podcast. On today's episode, we are reaching into the mailbag to answer a variety of questions that you submitted to us via email or voicemail. We'll be discussing a broad range of topics including how long it really takes to get your business off the ground, leveraging locations at the various stages of your entrepreneurial journey, the dilemmas of sustainability, and a whole lot more.
July 25, 2019
Dan and Ian have seen it time and time again where entrepreneurs can sort of hit a brick wall with their business. But what if the problem doesn't lie with you, but with the type of business you're running? Sometimes people can possess all of the right skills to be successful, but they haven't put themselves in the right situation to succeed. Today's episode is all about "Founder Fit", or the idea that the business you are working on should be the right kind of project that suits your skillset. We'll be discussing four different founder archetypes that we've seen, what their secret weapons are, and which sorts of businesses we believe are best suited for each of these entrepreneurs. We'll also be sharing some of our favorite resources for each type of entrepreneur.
July 18, 2019
A few months ago, Dan and Ian asked the listeners of this show to respond to a survey about The Tropical MBA Podcast. We wanted to gain a richer understanding of the types of people who are listening to this podcast, so we can continue to create content that is relevant to their interests. We were surprised and delighted not only by the number of people that filled it out but by the types of responses that we received as well. We read every single response that we received from the survey and on today's podcast, we are going to be sharing our thoughts about those survey responses. We'll be discussing your insights, your criticisms, your positive feedback and the data that we learned about the listeners of this show. Stick around to the end to hear a little bit more about how we plan to implement what we learned from that survey in the future of this podcast.
July 11, 2019
Today's episode is unlike anything else Dan and Ian have ever recorded on this podcast. It all started with a cease and desist letter that we received via email at the beginning of the year. That letter was from an in-house counsel at a very large company and it alleged that The Tropical MBA Podcast was potentially infringing on their intellectual property. We decided to reach out to our friend Eric Misterovich from Revision Legal. Revision Legal is a law firm that specializes in working with businesses that make money online. Eric joins us on today's podcast to talk a little bit about intellectual property law, as well as the cease and desist letter that we received. Make sure to stay tuned until the end of this episode to hear more about the ongoing nature of this situation.
July 4, 2019
Dan and Ian are excited because they get to spend today's podcast doing one of their favorite things: complaining. This isn't just their everyday grinding of axes, though. On this week's episode, we are taking our own stab at a fun an unique concept popularized by the BBC in a classic television series called "Room 101". The term "Room 101" comes from George Orwell's 1984. In Orwell's fictional world, it was a sort of torture chamber that thought criminals are banished to. In this episode, Dan and Ian will each present three things that they want to complain about, and at the end of the episode, they are going to vote on which terrible things deserve to be banished to Room 101.
June 27, 2019
Hosting this podcast has allowed Dan and Ian to meet thousands of entrepreneurs over the last several years. Many of those entrepreneurs have gone on to become very wealthy people, and throughout our conversations with those people, we have found some common threads to the ways that wealthy people behave. One constant we've discovered is that you have to have a strategy for becoming wealthy and that there are several common strategies that people use to varying degrees of success. On today's show, we are going to be talking about five of the most common strategies to get rich that we have seen, which of those strategies resonate with us, and a whole lot more.
June 20, 2019
Dan and Ian love stories where creative people find success through entrepreneurship. Truthfully, it's not something we have had a chance to talk about much on this podcast, but art and entrepreneurship don't have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, the skillsets can actually be complementary. Today's guest has figured that out herself, as she went from working a 9-to-5 while living with her parents to traveling the world on her own terms. Cat Coquilette is an artist and illustrator who has made a career licensing her artwork and designs through companies like Target, Urban Outfitters, and Bed Bath & Beyond. On today's podcast, Cat joins us to share how she navigated the journey from her childhood bedroom to successful solopreneurship, without sacrificing her creative fulfillment along the way.
June 13, 2019
On this week's show, Dan and Ian are talking about getting real with yourself about what you need to do to succeed. Very few people are more qualified to talk about that than John Ainsworth. John is the CEO and founder of Data Driven Marketing, which builds, fixes, and optimizes automated sales funnels. Those sales funnels are the mechanisms that many online businesses use to communicate with customers and entice them to buy their products. As such, John has seen how a lot of businesses get it wrong, in particular, when it comes to knowing what their customer's problems are and figuring out how to solve them. On today's episode, we're talking about how to get in better touch with your customers, how to sell them what they want, and how to avoid getting distracted by shiny objects. As a bonus, John will also be nerding out about sales funnel information after the credits, so make sure to stick around for that.
June 6, 2019
Dan and Ian have been spending much of their time thinking about remote work these days. Ever since they started their new business Dynamite Jobs, they have been seeking more information about the remote work ecosystem than ever before. One of the things that they've realized is that remote work isn't necessarily for everybody. Just like the traditional office setting, it can come with its own set of challenges. Since they haven't worked in an office in many years, they thought it would be fun to spend a day in the office together and see how it compared to their typical remote workday. On today's podcast, you'll hear some on-location recordings from that work day, as well as an in-depth discussion about five of the most pressing questions that businesses should be asking about remote work in 2019.
May 30, 2019
On today's podcast, Dan and Ian are following up with the subject of one of the most popular episodes in recent years. Tommy Griffith is the founder of ClickMinded, an online SEO training course that he started while he was working at Paypal. Tommy joined us two and a half years ago to talk about how he started that business as a Saturday Morning Side Hustle. When we last spoke with Tommy in 2017, he was about to quit one of the best jobs in the world as the head of SEO at AirBNB to travel the world and focus on Clickminded full-time. It didn't go quite as planned, as you'll find out on this week's episode. Tommy returns to the podcast today to talk about what went wrong, and why he decided almost eight years into growing his business that it was time to take on a co-founder.
May 23, 2019
Dan and Ian have heard many variations of the same question over the years: "I want to be an entrepreneur, but how do I get started?" Today's guest has some really practical insight into what it means to take the leap into starting your own business. Dom Wells started out, as many do, building affiliate marketing sites. He's gone on to establish several successful spin-off businesses from what was effectively a side hustle, all while he was still working a full-time job teaching English in Taipei. This week, Dom joins us to share tips for getting started on the long journey of entrepreneurship, how to build a skillset and a network, and the mistakes that he made along the way.
May 16, 2019
Today's show is sort of like eavesdropping on a conversation that Dan and Ian often have when the microphones are off. Namely, that there are some things that people just don't tell you about entrepreneurship. Maybe it's because people in the entrepreneurial world don't like to come across as naysayers or know-it-alls, but the reality of what it's like to be an entrepreneur can often be hard to come by. Whether it's the fact that entrepreneurs undersell the amount of planning and work that goes into running a business or flat out ignore some of the cold realities of the entrepreneurial struggle, there are a lot of truths floating below the surface that would-be entrepreneurs aren't always aware of. On this week's episode, we're talking about those truths. Today's podcast is all about the stuff that people don't tell you about being an entrepreneur.
May 9, 2019
Recently, Dan and Ian have been revisiting some of their favorite books on this podcast in a recurring series that we like to call "The Re-Readables." This week, we are digging into a classic entrepreneurial book that was suggested to us by our friend, author, and frequent guest on this podcast, Kyla Gardner of KylaGardner.com. That book is Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad. In that book, Kiyosaki basically suggests that if you want to be rich and successful, you've got to ditch the middle-class mindset. Kyla joins us this week to discuss some of the controversial opinions in this book, which ideas in that book have aged the best and which have aged the worst, and much, much more.
May 2, 2019
Dan and Ian have shared a lot of business success stories on this podcast over the years. We love sharing those stories on this show, but sometimes the tough experiences that entrepreneurs have endured are the ones that we learn from the most. Freddy Lansky is the co-founder of iChess, which sells chess videos, courses and DVDs online. Recently, Freddy decided to leave that business, choosing to dissolve an eight-year business partnership with one of his closest friends. On today's episode, Freddy joins us to speak about the origins of iChess, what it felt like to be trapped in a business that was no longer fulfilling to him, and how he and his partner navigated their breakup.
April 25, 2019
A few weeks ago, Dan and Ian hosted their annual Dynamite Circle event in Austin, Texas. They met many listeners of this show who traveled from all around the world to attend that event. Those entrepreneurs shared some incredible stories, insights, advice, and feedback with us, and we can't wait to talk about them. On today's podcast, we're discussing some of our biggest takeaways from DC Austin 2019, including one of the most common recurring themes that we've heard from entrepreneurs there that we like to refer to as "The Six-Figure Slump". Stick around after the credits to hear some bonus reflections from our friend Shayna Oliveira, who spoke about the event on her own podcast, Entrepreneurs in Motion.
April 18, 2019
Dan and Ian are fresh off of hosting their fourth Dynamite Circle event in Austin, Texas last week. This year, they decided to do something different, by bringing together their entire remote team from all around the world for a two-day team retreat in Austin following the event. For anyone with their own remote team who is considering something similar, this episode is for you. On this week's podcast, they are sharing their reflections from that experience. You'll hear what they learned from that team retreat, the pros and cons of hosting a retreat for your remote team, and much more. Stick around after the credits for a bonus glimpse into Ian's personal man cave and podcast recording studio.
April 11, 2019
A few weeks ago, Dan and Ian introduced a new series on this podcast called "The Re-Readables". In that series, we are taking a look back at some of our favorite books with a fresh perspective. This week's book is all about the "Muse", creativity, productivity, and how to get your best work out into the world. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield was published in 2002. Since then, it has inspired countless entrepreneurs, artists, writers, and creatives around the world. On today's show, we are revisiting The War of Art, talking about why it was so influential, and asking whether or not the ideas in that book have withstood the test of time.
April 4, 2019
Dan and Ian speak with a lot of entrepreneurs on this show about the difficult decisions that they have to make. Today's guest is currently facing one of the biggest challenges in his business. You may remember Chris Cage from his previous appearances on this podcast. Chris is the founder of Greenbelly Meals, which manufactures high calorie, stoveless backpacking meals for athletes and hikers. Chris reached out to us about the recent troubles he's had hiring people. We thought it might be a good idea to record that conversation and share it with our listeners. This week's episode is all about hiring. You'll hear all about what goes into the decision to hire, the hiring process itself, and how to successfully interview and eventually hire the best people for your jobs.
March 28, 2019
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.
March 21, 2019
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.
March 14, 2019
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.
March 7, 2019
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 this week's episode, 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.
February 28, 2019
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.
February 21, 2019
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.
February 14, 2019
A few weeks ago, Dan and Ian had a conversation on this podcast where they shared some of their feelings about venture capital. This is an important topic to a lot of entrepreneurs, and it's one that we plan to cover a lot more throughout 2019. Some of the opinions we shared in that episode were rather controversial. Several of our listeners actually called us out on being a little bit vague about our thoughts, and we thought it was a good chance to revisit the topic. One of the people that reached out to us about that episode was Rob Walling. Rob is someone who should be very familiar to the listeners of this show. He hosts one of our favorite podcasts, Startups for the Rest of Us, organizes his own annual conference called MicroConf, and has previously owned and sold several startups, including a Software-as-a-Service company called Drip. Rob has also recently started his own startup accelerator fund called TinySeed, which is specifically designed to help bootstrappers grow their businesses. On today's show, Rob has joined us to share his thoughts about venture capital, bootstrapping, and what he hopes to accomplish with TinySeed.
February 7, 2019
On today's episode, Dan and Ian are delighted to welcome one of their favorite authors back to the show. Cal Newport is a Computer Science professor, who has spent his career writing about the intersection of technology and culture in the contemporary digital age. Cal joins us this week to talk about his new book, Digital Minimalism, which is all about the dangers and distractions of social media. This interview covers a broad range of topics, including the psychology behind the "Walled Gardens" of social media, why Cal invited 1,600 people to go on a month-long "Digital Declutter", how we can develop a philosophy to improve the way that we interact with technology in our lives, and much, much more.
January 31, 2019
"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.
January 24, 2019
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 unusual is that he actually started his working life within a Chinese state-owned enterprise or SOE, 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.
January 17, 2019
http://www.tropicalmba.com/plansfor2019/ Dan and Ian have decided to be a little bit self-indulgent with this week's podcast. On today's show, they are talking about their goals for 2019. In particular, they wanted to talk about what they have planned for their newest venture, Dynamite Jobs. On this episode, they will be sharing the single goal that they are working towards for Dynamite Jobs this year. You'll also hear what went into the decision to choose that goal, as well as some of our biggest business takeaways heading into the new year.
January 10, 2019
http://www.tropicalmba.com/brentbeshore2/ One of the things that Dan and Ian love about creating this podcast is that they not only get to talk to some pretty interesting people, but they also get to follow their stories as they build and scale their businesses. About two years ago, we spoke with Brent Beshore, the Founder and CEO of Adventur.es. Since we last talked, Brent's team has more or less doubled. They've made a decision to raise capital, bought a headquarters in Columbia, Missouri and Brent has written a book about buying businesses called "The Messy Marketplace". On today's episode, we are revisiting Brent's story and hearing how Adventur.es has grown since we last spoke. We'll also hear how things have changed since they have raised over 50 million dollars in investment capital, and why he decided to share the story of his business in his new book. 
January 3, 2019
http://www.tropicalmba.com/tommyjoiner/ Dan and Ian are back to kick off 2019, and looking forward to another 52 podcasts about how to grow better, more profitable lifestyle businesses. What better way to start the year than by addressing a topic that so many listeners are constantly reaching out to us about? On this week's episode, we are speaking with Tommy Joiner. Tommy is the co-founder of ContentPros, which is a productized business that offers high-level content generation services. Tommy joins us today to talk about how to create a successful productized business, rather than getting stuck in a freelancer, consultant, or agency model. This is something that we know a lot of entrepreneurs are struggling with, and Tommy shares some valuable insight into how he was able to make this transition, as well as his top 4 tips for starting a successful productized service.
December 27, 2018
http://www.tropicalmba.com/reflections2018/ Last week, Dan and Ian shared some of their favorite moments from the interviews that they've conducted on this podcast in 2018. This week, we wanted to get a little more abstract. On today's podcast, we are looking back on some of our favorite conceptual ideas that we've covered in 2018. These are the business and lifestyle themes that have been echoing throughout the Tropical MBA airwaves this year. We'll be revisiting some of our most talked about episodes of the year, and you will hear our current thoughts on some of those topics including investment, remote work, and the long journey of entrepreneurship.
December 20, 2018
http://www.tropicalmba.com/surprisesanddelights/ As we approach the end of 2018, Dan and Ian have been reflecting on some of their favorite conversations of the year, many of which happened on this podcast. They both feel incredibly fortunate to be able to speak to so many people that they admire and respect on this show. This year has been a landmark one for us here at the Tropical MBA, and on today's episode, we are revisiting some of our favorite moments from our very favorite episodes of 2018. We aren't just revisiting the highlights, though. Stick around after the credits to hear our 2018 blooper reel.
December 13, 2018
http://www.tropicalmba.com/helsinkibustheory/ Dan and Ian have spent a lot of time in Chiang Mai. One of the traditions that Dan has every time he visits is to touch base with Kevin Graham. You may remember Kevin from a previous episode we released in early 2017. In that episode, Kevin joined us to talk about the first major business that he co-founded, which was a suite of Amazon Associates affiliate sites. These days, he has been focusing on a different project; a web hosting business called Bulk Buy Hosting. In particular, he has decided to take a different turn with that business and we invited him on the show to talk about it. Today you'll hear about Kevin's experience with Bulk Buy Hosting, and why he decided to move into a completely new direction with it. Kevin also shares why he believes a bus station in Helsinki is has a strong connection to a topic that we've talked about a lot on this show - The 1,000 Day Principle.
December 6, 2018
http://www.tropicalmba.com/chinaredux/ Today's episode is about a place that has played a very special part in Dan and Ian's entrepreneurial journey. China has become one of the most important countries in the world for entrepreneurs. Chinese supply chains and manufacturing are the lifeblood of many online businesses around the world. Things have changed over the last several years in China, though, and arguably no one understands that better than today's guest. Matt Kowalak of China Ecom Boost not only works with manufacturers in China, but with major product companies and celebrities as well, helping them break in and market themselves into this enormous country. In this episode, we talk about culture, commerce, and Matt's trajectory, including why he has had a major re-evaluation about the kind of business he wants to be doing in the future, focused on the vast potential opportunities that he sees in China.
November 29, 2018
http://www.tropicalmba.com/keangraham/ Dan and Ian have said for years on this podcast that the most important thing your business should be doing is solving people's problems. Today's guest has taken that philosophy and ran with it. Kean Graham is the founder of Monetize More, a monetization agency that helps online brands optimize their ad revenue. Monetize More is 100 people strong, and it's safe to say that they lean into location independence. In fact, they consider it a key value in their company. On today's episode, we are going to explore the inside story of how Monetize More got started. You'll also hear the strategies Kean has used to grow that business, some of which could be considered pretty controversial.
November 22, 2018
http://www.tropicalmba.com/sambrowne/ Dan and Ian have encountered many entrepreneurs in their travels, from all walks of life. They first met today's guest back in April at our annual Dynamite Circle event in Austin, Texas. Sam Browne was the beneficiary of one of the scholarship tickets to that event. These scholarships have been donated by some of the more established entrepreneurs in the community as a sort of way to pay it forward. Sam is the founder of Find A Band, a New Zealand-based online booking agency for bands and musicians. He is also a talented musician himself, and you will hear some of his original music on today's show. Six months after attending our event, Sam wrote us to let us know that his experience at DC Austin had inspired him to dream bigger. His email was so exciting, that we just had to invite him on to this week's podcast to share his story.
November 15, 2018
http://www.tropicalmba.com/empireflippers/ Dan and Ian have been wanting to share the story of this week's episode for quite some time. Justin Cooke is one of the co-founders of Empire Flippers. Empire Flippers is an online marketplace where businesses are bought and sold.  Since their inception, they have grown their team to over 60 remote employees, and they have helped people buy and sell over $50 million worth of online businesses. It wasn't always like that, though. On today's podcast, Justin is joining us to share the story of Empire Flippers. On this podcast, you'll hear about Justin's background in the mortgage industry, how he joined forces with his business partner, how the market crash in 2008 left them with almost no money, and how they were eventually able to create one the largest marketplaces in the world for buying and selling online businesses.
November 8, 2018
http://www.tropicalmba.com/hiringapprentices/ It's no secret that Dan and Ian love hearing from the listeners of this show. This week, we received a question from Ben McAdam. Some of you might remember Ben from his earlier appearances on this podcast. Ben reached out to us to ask about our recent decision to hire a new apprentice. For those of you who are not aware, we brought someone new onto our team recently and we'd like to talk about it here today. On this week's episode, you'll hear all about why we decided to find a new apprentice, and what that process was like. We'll also be sharing a comprehensive list of "Dos and Don'ts" when it comes to hiring your own apprentice, as well as some quick tips on how you can find the apprenticeship of your dreams.
November 1, 2018
http://www.tropicalmba.com/themesfor2019/ Dan and Ian are still resting up after hosting 350 entrepreneurs at their annual DC BKK event in Bangkok last week. While they were at that event, they had the opportunity to speak to so many entrepreneurs about their business struggles and successes throughout 2018. In light of those conversations, we've decided to address some of the common topics we've heard throughout that conference on today's episode. This week, we are discussing the five trends that internet businesses need to consider for the upcoming year. We'll be talking location freedom, hiring practices, conference strategies, and much, much more. 
October 25, 2018
http://www.tropicalmba.com/presentations/ We are fresh off the heels of DC BKK 2018, our annual conference that we host in Bangkok. It's safe to say that in the many years of running that conference, as well as attending other conferences around the globe, Dan and Ian have seen quite a few amazing presentations from speakers. Not every presentation can be a home run, though, and we have seen our fair share of bad ones too. This week, Dan is talking about the science behind a great presentation, and specifically the five reasons your presentation might suck. The ability to give a great presentation is an important skill set for entrepreneurs. Even if you aren't planning on giving a presentation any time soon, learning these principles can help make you a better communicator in your business.
October 18, 2018
http://www.tropicalmba.com/hustleredux/ A few years ago, Dan and Ian published an episode of this podcast called The Tao of the Hustle. In the years since we still receive frequent questions and comments about our opinions on hustle and entrepreneurship that we shared in that episode. One of those questions recently came from a listener named Rob Sanchez. Rob loves creating products, but over the course of his career, he has failed to establish proper distribution channels as he's built those products. His insecurities about hustling have frequently led to less than stellar results when his products launch. On today's episode, we are addressing Rob's troubles, and revisiting The Tao of the Hustle. We'll be sharing six new elements to the Tao of the Hustle, as well as exploring the ways that our philosophies about hustle have evolved in 2018.
October 11, 2018
http://www.tropicalmba.com/michaellombardi/ Dan and Ian are always looking for new ways to gain insight into entrepreneurship, and sometimes that insight can come from some unexpected places. Michael Lombardi is an American Football executive and analyst. He also served as an assistant to the coaching staff of the New England Patriots, one of the most successful franchises in the history of the National Football League. While Dan was reading Michael's new book "Gridiron Genius", he realized it wasn't just a book about sports. In many ways, Dan found "Gridiron Genius" to be as much a business book as a football one. On today's episode, we are talking with Michael about the similarities between American Football and entrepreneurship, and some leadership strategies in sports that entrepreneurs everywhere can learn from.
October 4, 2018
http://www.tropicalmba.com/40percentrule/ If you've been listening to this podcast for a while, you would know that one of the major motivations for Dan and Ian in life is creating the freedom to live life on your own terms. That freedom can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. On recent episodes, we have spoken about how entrepreneurship shares a lot in common with the FIRE (Financially Independent, Retire Early) community. One of the tenents of FIRE philosophy is The 4% Rule, which is the practice of saving and investing enough money that it will allow you to withdraw 4% of that income every year to live off of.  In order for that rule to work, though, you would need to save 1 million dollars to live on a modest income of $40,000 annually. That can be a tall order for people who are on a small salary. Enter Jase Rodley. Jase recently wrote a piece called The 40% Rule, which addresses this idea head-on. The 40% Rule is an investment strategy that allows people to concentrate on returns from modest investments, while still allowing themselves to "stay in the game". On today's episode, Jase discusses The 40% Rule, the business that he is currently building, and how his experience with that business has informed his investment strategies.
September 27, 2018
http://www.tropicalmba.com/costofbootstrapping/ Today we are examining a discussion that Dan and Ian have been having behind the scenes of this podcast for years. These conversations revolve around a question that everyone who is considering an entrepreneurial lifestyle needs to hear: What are the real costs of bootstrapping a business? The truth is that it is often much more expensive and complicated than writers and "thought leaders" let on. It can steal so much of our time, our opportunities for relationships, and sometimes our own well being. Justin Jackson knows this better than most. Justin is a well-known podcaster with a track record of shows like Product People, Build Your SaaS, and MegaMaker. He has also recently launched an integrated podcast service called Transistor.fm. Justin has been addressing some of these more "taboo" entrepreneurial concepts on his blog. A recent piece called The Bootstrapper's Paradox addresses some of the hidden costs of bootstrapping. On today's episode, Justin shares his thoughts on those hidden costs. He also challenges some of the narratives that legendary figures in the movement have built around themselves and opens up about his own struggles with mental health as an entrepreneur.
September 20, 2018
http://www.tropicalmba.com/stateofbitcoin/ Dan and Ian have spoken about cryptocurrencies before, and they have certainly been a divisive topic among the listeners of this show. The fact is that cryptocurrencies aren't going away. If you're interested in your financial future and really want to understand the nature of these markets and how to manipulate them, this episode is for you. We've invited our friend Taylor Pearson back to the show this week to talk about a recent article he wrote called The State of Bitcoin. On today's podcast, Taylor shares his thoughts on how cryptocurrencies essentially differ from other forms of investment, how to distinguish hype from opportunity, and why the "Bitcoin backlash" is happening.
September 13, 2018
http://www.tropicalmba.com/fivereasons/ Dan and Ian have been around the block a few times, and in that time they have seen many entrepreneurs come and go. What many don't understand is that the majority of entrepreneurial success stories don't happen overnight. Nearly every sustainable path to wealth and freedom is a journey that can take years, and often decades to achieve This week's episode is a list of the five common reasons that entrepreneurs will give up on their journey. If you identify with any of the reasons we mention on today's podcast, fear not. You can use the knowledge and information we share on this show to help you get over your obstacles and further sustain your journey as an entrepreneur.
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