Tropical MBA Notes 2017

Tropical MBA

TMBA370: The Saturday Morning Side Hustle

Date: 2017-01-05

Link: Tropical MBA

It is a lot easier to do a productized service than be an agency model.

Grad school is the worst thing society has done to our generation.

A lot of formal education can be replaced now.

The fastest hack of becoming an expert who is able to teach is to just start teaching.

People learn online marketing either for themselves or they fall into it.

Nobody looks for digital marketing degrees.

TMBA371: Should Your Next Employee Be a Mom?

Date: 2017-01-12

Link: Tropical MBA

Moms are generally very organized and know how to prioritize things.

Moms represent two-thirds of household purchasing decisions.

Most moms are very good at multitasking.

You have to be proactive if you want to hire the right staff.

TMBA372: A Conversation with Wait But Why’s Tim Urban

Date: 2017-01-19

Link: Tropical MBA

You don’t want to publish really late on Friday afternoon or on the weekend.

Some posts need a lot longer than others.

Over time it becomes a game of learing to hire, culture, and strategy.

A media platform can generate lots and lots of money if it is big enough and in many ways.

What you can cling onto in tough times is trust.

Not many people spend 60 hours writing an article. Those kind of articles are passed around. That model makes you stand out a little bit.

TMBA373: Should You Base Yourself in Southern Europe?

Date: 2017-01-26

Link: Tropical MBA

Barcelona is the third densest city in Europe. It has a lot of the energy of SE Asia.

If you come from a former colony of Spain you can get citizenship in Spain in two years.

Timezones is a really big factor.

(When being a digital nomad) you spend 25% of your waking hours thinking about how you are going to get to the next country and how you are going to stay there.

If you plan to stay in Portugal you should apply for “non-habitual tax residency”.

(If you want to move to Spain) meet with a minimum of three lawyers. Ideally they would have different backgrounds and styles.

Legal services are surprisingly affordable in Spain.

TMBA374: Are You An Entrepreneurial Person?

Date: 2017-02-02

Link: Tropical MBA

Understand what your vision is and go out and achieve it.

It is so much harder to start when you are older.

(Your passion) has to be something that you have a real energy for without an outside influence.

You have to figure out a way to follow your passion while solving problems for other people.

An important part of your passion is figuring out how you can fit into the world.

Hang out with people (doing what you want to do). The dream might not be what you think it is.

TMBA375: How 100s Of Young Entrepreneurs are Making Generational Wealth in Less Than 5 Years

Date: 2017-02-09

Link: Tropical MBA

The Amazon ecosystem is creating many, many wealth entrepreneurs.

These site rely on being first in Google.

If you are going to manipulate your links you want it to look as natural as possible to Google.

A lot of discussion happens in a handful of Facebook groups around the Amazon affiliate model.

Finding the smaller, low-competition keywords is becoming more difficult.

Deconstruct who is in the top ten (of Google results) and look at the authority of those websites. See what links those sites have got to work out if you can actually compete with that.

TMBA376: Should You Base Yourself in Eastern Europe?

Date: 2017-02-16

Link: Tropical MBA

You have to continue to evolve.

(In Georgia) the people are friendly in an Eastern European way. You need to get to know them a bit before they become extremely hospitable and very friendly.

For a lot of Western countries, including America, you can stay for 90 days out of 180.

In Budapest it is relatively easy to get a residency permit. It is a visa that allows you to stay for an extended period of time.

Lawyers aren’t all bad. They can offer you strategic guidance.

TMBA377: How Does Your Business Feel?

Date: 2017-02-23

Link: Tropical MBA

The way to make the most sales is to sale as hard as you can but that isn’t true over the long term.

If you build an audience that trusts you you can always find a way to monetize it down the line.

Try to grow in a sustainable way.

You don’t have to look at every customer as a number and an opportunity to make money.

TMBA378: “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try Try Try Again.”

Date: 2017-03-02

Link: Tropical MBA

Learn what you don’t know.

The more things you have going on the more difficult it is to get things out quickly.

Investing in growing your network pays tenfold.

When you are in smaller groups of people it is easier to form lasting relationships.

TMBA379: A Conversation With Jordan Harbinger

Date: 2017-03-09

Link: Tropical MBA

The customer comes first. The best product to sell to your customers is your product (rather than an affiliate deal).

You should only broadcast if it is a labor of love and you don’t care if anybody is listening.

Podcasting is your voice and your brand.

(With podcasting) you’re creating a job for yourself.

People that make money talk about creating art and people that create art talk about making money.

Word of mouth is still one of the best, and only, ways to hear about other (podcasts).

TMBA380: Who Is Tracking You?

Date: 2017-03-16

Link: Tropical MBA

The best ideas come from scratching your own itch.

You have to be very careful installing Chrome extensions.

Getting users and getting traction is really challenging.

Just because you built something doesn’t mean you can run it.

TMBA381: A Conversation with Cal Newport

Date: 2017-03-23

Link: Tropical MBA

Creative production at the professional level is crafting.

The more intense (the hours are) the more you will get out of them.

It takes a lot of self reflection to think about how we want to move forward and use new technologies. We often don’t get it right the first time around.

We are getting the role of communication wrong in the workplace.

We should be more suspicious of the major social media companies.

True productivity is ultimately what matters.

The advice, “follow your passion”, fails because it presumes that people have pre-existing passions that they can identify as a foundation for making career choices.

Most young people…don’t have much information about the jobs out there…and what is possible.

What makes you love your work is very different from what makes you love a hobby.

Professional success is hard but it is not complicated.

Work will expand to fill whatever space you give it.

TMBA382: LAX->MNL->OTP with Family in Tow

Date: 2017-03-30

Link: Tropical MBA

Once you have a newborn baby travel becomes a lot different.

You can get set up a business in Romania in three or four days.

When you have a business started in Romania you can get full-time residency in five or six weeks.

TMBA383: Brent Beshore and the 50 Year Private Equity Plan

Date: 2017-04-06

Link: Tropical MBA

There are three sides to equity. One is control.

Treat people really, really well.

Do things the right way.

Do not get involved in companies that are filled with challenging people or challenging situations.

Give people grace when they screw up.

Look for signals that there is something sustainable (when looking at a company). Is there a moat there?

As a seller you need to understand who is buying the business.

Running a business is like being in a pressure cooker.

Synergies are talked about a lot but very rarely realized.

TMBA384: Are You an Imposter?

Date: 2017-04-13

Link: Tropical MBA

If you want your business to be at all successful you need to be able to ignore the shit.

It is human nature to want to think we are the reason (our business) is successful rather than being in the right place at the right time.

Do not measure yourself against others.

TMBA385: To Headquarter or Not to Headquarter?

Date: 2017-04-20

Link: Tropical MBA

Leases make you take too much space for too long in a world where you cannot predict anything.

There are some people who are foxes (has many things and moves between topics) and some people that are hedgehogs (has one big thing).

Most of the world are not startups.

The story of the last 125 years is a story of urbanization.

Cities are 24/7 integrated lifestyle spaces.

TMBA386: Should You Base Yourself in Andorra or Panama?

Date: 2017-04-27

Link: Tropical MBA

Andorra is a small country between Spain and France.

France and Spain have economic problems.

Andorra has a really clear residency program.

Panama is the most cosmopolitan place in Central America.

The Panama Canal is the world’s greatest shortcut. It changed the world of trade.

A lot of people are complacent everywhere.

TMBA387: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Date: 2017-05-04

Link: Tropical MBA

We will be the first generation to be defined by what we say no to. (quote from Paul Graham)

Do 90-day sprints.

Don’t invest a bunch in something that is not going to work.

Book: The Twelve Week Year

A lot of the resistance to focusing on one thing is emotional.

Plan with goals. Build with habits.

It would be hard to make a thousand sales calls and not get decent at sales.

Organize your weeks with protected areas of deep work.

Use courage and wisdom, and not labor, to make money.

TMBA388: Why We Need Strong Towns

Date: 2017-05-11

Link: Tropical MBA

Learning things you don’t know leads you to questioning things you do know.

When we build things now we do it on the back of debt. (for governments, for families, for future generations)

If your city is not growing you’re dying.

The investments that actually build wealth in a place are the ones that get to the core of quality of life.

TMBA389: TMBA Mailbag: How Can I Get Started on My Own Business?

Date: 2017-05-18

Link: Tropical MBA

Can you consistently take action towards your goals? That is all that counts in business.

The clearest path to developing your own ideas is to go work for someone developing similar ideas.

A lot of the same problems that existed at your job still exist when you are an entrepreneur.

If you feel like you are missing a business idea what you are actually missing is relationships.

Some of the most successful people never went to school.

Do not give yourself any other option than to succeed. Keep that as your mindset.

You can’t make people take action.

TMBA390: How to Get Better at Sales

Date: 2017-05-25

Link: Tropical MBA

A lot of times if you are having a hard time selling something it is because the product is confusing and needs to be simplified.

The first question(s) when selling is what am I selling and how is it going to help people?

What you focus on the most becomes real to you.

Stop hanging out with Internet marketers.

The only way to do your value proposition is to think about what your client is going to get by delivering to their customer.

Increase your price 20% every time you make a pitch.

Make one appointment per day with your prospective market.

Make a direct offer to your market for your service that is relevant, provides a specific service with a benefit, that is time-sensitive, and has a level of scarcity.

Question 1: What do you want?

Question 2: Why is it important?

Question 3: What is stopping you?

Question 4: Here are a couple of things that might help. Which of these things do you think are a great idea?

Question 5: What is it worth to you?

Question 6: If I can show you an investment (or fee) that will make that pay for itself is it okay if I can show you how we can work together to put that into place?

Make an invoice go to the client that they need to pay to get started.

The two most common objections are, “I need to think about it” and “I don’t have the money.”

“I need to think about it” is a clarity issue.

Money should not be an obstacle. If people are committed to an idea enough they will find the money.

You are going to need to ask people on average seven times to make the purchasing decision.

TMBA391: Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Date: 2017-06-01

Link: Tropical MBA

It is really important to separate ownership from your role in the business.

A lot of the things that keep people on the same page are the random trivial moments–the spontaneous things that come up when you are around people a lot.

To launch a business that is scalable it is easier to do it with a partner.

Maintaining a relationship over the long haul is a big challenge.

There are a lot of things that are painful about running businesses.

TMBA392: Should You Move to Chiang Mai?

Date: 2017-06-08

Link: Tropical MBA

An FBA business is fulfilled by Amazon.

To qualify for the Thailand Elite Visa you need to pay $14,000. With it you do not need to make any visa runs.

TMBA393: How to Pitch

Date: 2017-06-15

Link: Tropical MBA

Be clear about what you want.

Pay attention to how (your recipient) operates.

If you are going (an email) pitch then imagine how successful you would be if you did it face to face.

Take the time to understand who you are talking to.

Don’t tell people why it is going to work–show them.

There is a virtue about being clear about what you want.

Understand relevance–understand your audience’s key triggers. Understand what part of their life or business you are intersecting with.

What is the key contraint your target is experiencing at that intersection?

Have respect.

Show appreciation.

TMBA394: What Happened to Technorati?

Date: 2017-06-22

Link: Tropical MBA

You will starve doing travel writing as a career.

When you can create revenue is solves a lot of problems and gets a lot of attention.

CEO is a really, really lonely job.

Raise your hand and take on the task that is not part of your job responsibility. You’ll get noticed and they will start coming to you with all of the hard tasks and challenging tasks. The next thing you know you will get promoted because you are the dependable one.

TMBA395: Should You Quit Full-Time Entrepreneurship?

Date: 2017-06-29

Link: Tropical MBA

An online membership community is the holy grail of passive revenue.

When you are your own employer–when you are the master of your own destiny–when things don’t work out you have nobody to blame but yourself.

Just because somebody gets a job doesn’t mean they are going to do that for the rest of their life.

Don’t let your ego get in the way. Don’t let labels (job, entrepreneurship) get in the way.

There are plenty of business owners that don’t have an entrepreneurial bone in their body.

TMBA396: The Realities of Running a Business in 2017

Date: 2017-07-06

Link: Tropical MBA

Take your skillsets you developed professionally and focus them on areas of growth.

It can still take a long time to make your business a reality.

It takes a long time to build anything that is sustainable.

The people that are going to win at the end of the day are the people that are going to keep coming back and doing the hard things.

It is harder than ever to hire A players.

If you don’t know about a functional area of your business it is easy for somebody to come in and BS you.

A superpower is something you get energy from or don’t get tired from.

Stick to your superpower and hire around yourself.

Find the thing you want to do–that gives you energy in life–and find a way to do it for other people.

Whatever you are doing for free you love and is likely one of your superpowers.

Don’t pigeonhole your superpower.

You need to have an interview process that digs into the past results of (the person you are interviewing). People talk a big game but you need answer, “Was this person responsible for big results in the past?”

There is a difference between being a founder and being an owner in a business.

Business is still in in-person relationships.

TMBA397: We Want Your Questions
Date: 2017-07-13

The cost of maintenance on your (old car) will never outpace your payments on a (new car).

Entrepreneurship is a craft, a skillset, a way of life.

You will not solve your personal problem unless you can solve other people’s problems first. The primary thing is to help other people.

What industry conference do you want to be speaking at in five years?

There is a high correlation between level of ambition and where you are at in your career.

TMBA398: Evolve or Die
Date: 2017-07-20

Set a standard to keep performance as high as possible.

Hire before you go over capacity.

Turn sales into a routine just like everything else.

Rob Walling’s stair-step approach is where you start small and step your way up to more compelling and profitable business models.

You can use software to get ahead of your competition.

TMBA399: How Smart Drug Smarts Became a Podcast
Date: 2017-07-27

Stacking means putting a bunch of different compounds together and taking them all at once.

Having an interview podcast takes a lot of pressure of you having to expound on topics you are not an expert on.

Read listener reviews outloud on your podcast. It is an easy win to encourage people to write reviews.

Maintaining the health of your brain should be first and foremost on everybody’s minds.

TMBA400: Back To Our Roots
Date: 2017-08-03

A dreamline is a working model of financial independence.

The best things in life you can’t buy–you accomplish them.

A lot of times true financial independence does not look like what you thought it would look like.

Spend time with people you want to be like down the line.

You need a great deal of time to build trust.

“How can I improve other people’s lives while improving my own life?”

Once you start solving other people’s problems you problems become a lot easier to solve.

TMBA401: What’s In A Name?
Date: 2017-08-10

Book: Hello My Name is Awesome

Google Images and stock photography sites are good to go to for naming inspiration because a picture sends a thousand words. The photos are tagged with keywords.

If a name makes you scratch your head then scratch it off the list.

The number one mistake that people make is starting at a domain registrar to see if your domain is available.

If your name looks like a typo then scratch it off the list.

Your name needs to be a welcome mat. It needs to be approachable and friendly.

Ask how your name can scale.

Look for a name that lends itself to a theme.

TMBA402: What’s Your Superpower?
Date: 2017-08-17

Growing means getting better at something you were not as good at before.

The more experience you have the more you realize how you are not truly great.

You’re only the best person (in your company) at one or two things.

Every company has a culture. The question is did you decide what it was or did it just form?

Guilt isn’t being mad at someone else. It is being mad at yourself.

TMBA403: Why Honesty is the Best Policy When Growing a Team
Date: 2017-08-24

Culture is trusting who you work with.

Being remote you have to be a lot more conscious about culture.

Think about the most important thing you can talk about as a company that will affect your culture.

If you know someone really well it is easy to assume the best about them.

You have to save a ton of money in order to operate conservative financials.

TMBA404: Dreamlines Revisited
Date: 2017-08-31

Make rules for yourself.

What do you want to have? What do you want to do? What do you want to be?

There is freedom in actually saying what you want.

You can only do a couple of things at any given time.

Just because a business idea looks good on paper doesn’t mean it is good for you.

TMBA405: A Conversation with Noah Kagan
Date: 2017-09-07

It is hard when you are travelling and moving all the time and you don’t have a foundation.

If you want to build the next big thing you have to be where it is.

The only thing that matters is people.

Your new people are your best people. They have the freshest eyes.

Proactively raise (your employee’s) salary.

Profit sharing needs to be formulaic. (People) need to know what they are doing now affects it.

Most entrepreneurs are unsatisfied in general. If you were satisfied you wouldn’t want to create something new because everything is fine as it is.

You create the environment you want. You create the experiences that you want.

It is going to be hard regardless so at least let it be hard on something you like.

Everybody should just label themselves and be clear about what their own definition of success is.

Optimize where you spend your most time. Your sleep, your computer, your car.

TMBA406: Shower Thoughts
Date: 2017-09-14

The value of goals is that they push you through question mark territory.

You are faced with difficult decisions at every path.

If you are in debt it is the first thing you have to tackle.

The first step to being an entrepreneur is treating your personal expenses as a balance sheet. When you do that you are living an entrepreneurial life.

Stay away from information you can do nothing with and that doesn’t impact your life on a daily basis and that is merely talking points for dinner parties.

TMBA407: How to Close the George Washington Bridge
Date: 2017-09-21

You can’t (do) event promotion if you want to make a lot of money. Costs are high and there is a lot of competition.

TMBA408: Growing a Business With Your Spouse
Date: 2017-09-28

If you’re going to have a meaningful business you need to know how to manage a team.

The best way to get entrepreneurial skills is to work in real businesses.

Different people always have different approaches.

Just because you are compatible from a romantic perspective doesn’t mean you are compatible from a business perspective.

If both people are good at the same things it won’t be a good fit because both people will want to work on the same things.

When you get to the point where you are not talking to every (employee) every week is when (culture) becomes important.

Every week do a weekly state of the business report. It is so the management team knows where to focus their attention that week.

The issue isn’t people (working from home and) working too little but it is people working too much.

People that are resilient are not afraid of failing and taking risks.

10 employees is the tipping point for culture.

TMBA409: Amazon And The Elephant In The Room
Date: 2017-10-05

Retail arbitrage is where you go to a store and see a clearance and you get 50-80% off on something and then you buy them all and sell them on Amazon.

It is a great model to get started but it isn’t scalable.

If you want to get into a competitive market you will probably break some rules.

It is pretty well documented and easy to make a couple thousand dollars a month.

TMBA410: The Creation of a Brand
Date: 2017-10-12

What is the cost of buying more market share in your category? How fast can you buy it? When does that window close?

Every brand is telling its own story and offering its own value proposition.

It is important to show you are a business person.

It is important to know your numbers.

Be selective in what you own and what you spend your time doing.

Don’t go into (the fashion) business with biases you have from previous career experience.

TMBA411: The 10 Commandments of Travel Revisited
Date: 2017-10-19

Monitors fit well in rolling suitcases.

Get a low-balance sim card right after you get off the plane and then get a better value one later.

Don’t drink on planes. (Use the time for projects instead.)

Better to (travel) to a B-location with an A-player than to a A-location with a B-player.

Do tours early on in the trip.

Not all airlines are created equal.

If you’re going to be travel hacking you need to be on top of your game.

Have your hobbies follow you wherever you go. You have a built in community when you go somewhere.

TMBA412: ‘Never Split The Difference’: A Conversation with Chris Voss
Date: 2017-10-26

In every business deal with multiple vendors there is a favorite and a fool. (The fool) is somebody where they are information gathering or being used to drive the price down. This is why people love detailed proposals.

The question “why?” created defensiveness.

We have been programmed that when somebody asks us, “why?”, they think you have done something wrong.

Any given negotiation has about three rounds.

Don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Book: Never Eat Alone

By saying no we feel we have protected ourselves from something.

There are three kinds of yeses. Commitment, confirmation, and counterfeit.

The pie can be bigger for anybody.

Dig into why the other side wants what they want.

Let the other side talk first.

Negotiation is not about compromise it is about high-value trades.

Noone should be afraid to negotiate.

Negotiation is not about smashing stuff. It is about making stuff work.

TMBA413: So You’ve Built a 7 Figure Company, What’s Next?
Date: 2017-11-02

Governments view technology as more work.

There is a lot of patience required when dealing with governments.

You’ll have a lot of swings and misses but eventually you’ll start connecting.

There is nothing wrong with having an unsexy business.

What gets you to seven figures is not what gets you to eight figures.

When you’re trying to build a business you have to do the hard work.

TMBA414: 5 Days in Thailand
Date: 2017-11-09

Adding a formulated component (to meetup conversations) increases the value that people can get out of it.

There isn’t a 100% correlation between business success and happiness.

If you are successful it can be embarrassing to talk about problems.

TMBA415: Insiders Discuss Making Money with Amazon: a Double Edged Sword?
Date: 2017-11-16

Chiang Mai has become a hotspot for people doing business online.

You have to show up at (cities) and see for yourself what is going on.

Amazon Associates is Amazon’s affiliate marketing service.

There are always going to be opportunities but you’re going to have to do a bit more work to get backlinks to your site.

It is getting harder to rank something from scratch.

It is often fads or trends that allow new people to get a foothold.

TMBA416: Entrepreneurship: Don’t Tell Your Parents
Date: 2017-11-23

It is hard to get wins in the beginning.

Entrepreneurship is a conversation. It is a process. It is tempting to think of it as a lottery ticket (but it is not).

Look at where you are already helping others.

Most of the ideas we start with are not the ideas our business turns into.

Practice making money.

TMBA417: The Gift
Date: 2017-11-30

Have a portfolio of processes.

You can’t have a business without understanding your income.

It is riskier for women to be entrepreneurs. There is not the built in component of security for women to start a family and maintain their jobs.

Good things don’t start happening until you take a leap of faith.

TMBA418: The Services Problem
Date: 2017-12-07

The vast majority of people that operate a service business would prefer that it was a product business or more product like. (a productized service)

Generally when services businesses are for sale they command a much lower multiple than a product based company.

Service businesses tend to be extremely dependent on the owner.

Any business that allows you to provide for your family and to get out of a job you don’t want to be in is a great business.

Products can take a long time to get traction and you can have a lot of missteps.

TMBA419: You Are Who You Meet
Date: 2017-12-14

Ultimately you are responsible if your business works or not.

With an Amazon business product selection is the secret sauce.

For FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) businesses the cash flow is pretty bad.

Every day you have profitable money that you are not reinvesting (in your business) you are failing as an entrepreneur.

If you are selling a commodity you are not going to be able to compete on price (with somebody from China) if you are manufacturing in China.

TMBA420: No Epiphany Required
Date: 2017-12-21

Scratch your own itch.

In the states the reality is that most people cannot be entrepreneurs because of the cost structures.

(When writing a book) make a very detailed outline.

Do a hundred-point outline.

In the long-term there is so much more opportunity with ecommerce.

TMBA421: The 7 Stages of Entrepreneurship
Date: 2017-12-28

The first step of the entrepreneurial journey is the “Saturday morning side hustle”.

By definition you can’t have normal inputs to get abnormal outputs (big success).

Inspiration is for amateurs.

More information is not necessarily by default for humans who are trying to create value.

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