Tropical MBA Notes 2018

Tropical MBA

TMBA422: Crypto: What’s It All About?

Date: 2018-01-04


There are only three ways to start building your crypto-basket. You can buy them, mine them, people can pay you with them.

Bitcoin is not just a medium of exchange–it is a store of value.

Bitcoin represents the largest supercomputer on earth.

Alt-coin is a coin that is not Bitcoin.

Etherium is a platform for supercomputing.

The Etherium coin is fuel for the processing on their network.

A hardware wallet is the most secure way to store digital currencies because it protects your key better than any piece of software.

You don’t have bitcoins. They are just numbers on a ledger in the cloud. Your private key is what allows you to point at those numbers and to move them.

With bitcoin you are your own bank. It is up to you to protect your key.

It is a lot cheaper (from a transaction fee perspective) for a merchant to accept bitcoins than to deal with credit cards.

Money is a very emotional topic.

TMBA423: It’s a Boy!

Date: 2018-01-11


It is tough (to balance your work time and your time with your children).

The relationship between a parent and a kid is something special. The more time you give to it the deeper it will grow.

Having a kid gives you more focus.

On an airplane there are no parenting rules. The only rule is to make it as easy as possible.

Start to do the things you did (in your pre-baby life) as fast as you can because it is easy to get into a rhythm where you don’t do those things.

If you are there (with your kids) anything can be normal (for them).

Don’t say no to a child. Give them something they should do (instead). Give them an option.

TMBA424: Three Scripts for Entrepreneurship

Date: 2018-01-18


People’s careers don’t often go the way they thought they were going to go.

A vitamin business is something that is good for you but you don’t know you need it.

First step businesses usually are not that big.

The second step is doing more of what you did in step one (build additional products).

Have more expensive plans to price anchor the cheaper plans.

Come up with stuff to add to the more expensive plans because some people are going to buy the more expensive plans.

Dealing with question marks is what entrepreneurs do.

Talk to people (in real life) who are doing the types of things you want to be doing in your own life).

TMBA425: Meet The Deal Master

Date: 2018-01-25


You can buy and sell anything. You need to be creative. You need to understand and relate to people. You need to be hungry. You need to be willing to be uncomfortable.

If you don’t follow the processes and you don’t follow the systems your outcomes can vary. You don’t want your outcomes to vary.

(When approaching a deal) most people have already considered what their bottom dollar is.

(When buying) it is important to be sincere and to be authentic. The more honest about what your intentions are the more it rewards (you).

Salesmen are always charismatic but they lack authenticity.

There are always people that don’t want you to make money off of them.

(Figure out) how to help them while simultaneously helping yourself.

For most people almost everything is for sale.

The masters of negotiation are the people that can walk into a deal and quickly identify the type of person they are dealing with and give them something in return.

People pick up on energy.

It is important in any transaction that you present yourself in a calm, clean, and clear demeanor.

You need to get your communication through clearly enough that you don’t put them on the defensive.

If you’re the deal maker then you always have to make sure the deal is in your favor.

You can’t afford a lawyer when you’re chasing small deals.

Sometimes it is better to be happy than be right.

Be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

TMBA426: Our Favorite Books of the Past Year

Date: 2018-02-01


Book: When Breath Becomes Air

Book: Grant

Book: The Shallows

Book: Deep Work

There is no progress (in your professional life) without defending the deep work.

Book: The American Kingpin

Book: The Antidote

Book: Inside a Dog

It is often what is most familiar to us that we don’t take a second look at.

Book: Fiddler in the Subway

Book: Me Talk Pretty One Day

Book: Turning Pro

Book: Digital Gold

TMBA427: Dan and Ian’s Consulting Corner

Date: 2018-02-08


Generally before a million dollars in revenue the thing that holds us back is our mental mindset.

Often people prematurely optimize.

The most important thing to consider is what does the market want? What does the market need?

You have to do what the market demands if you want to have the life you want.

People that are able to (sustain a business) in the long-term are always focused on what their customers need first.

Advice and come from all different angles (from people with different agendas).

TMBA428: A Critique of Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Workweek

Date: 2018-02-15


Popular books say something to you that you are afraid to express.

The tools have changed…and fundamentally the way people are starting businesses have changed.

Having a career is not just about making money. It is an entire identity.

There are so many things a career gives us that are bigger than income.

Old school entrepreneurial know-how isn’t going anywhere.

TMBA429: The Problem With Cold Email

Date: 2018-02-22


Every business needs to make sales and in order to make sales you need to find leads.

Cold emails should focus on the prospect and not yourself.

Mention common pain points in their industry.

Talk about the results you provide.

Discuss things like increasing revenue, increasing customers, decreasing costs.

Effective marketing isn’t easy. It requires effort and investment.

Becoming remarkable is going to help you but it might take years to get to that point and your business might not survive until you get to that milestone.

Stay ahead of things.

Be persistent when you need to.

The biggest thing people struggle with with outbound (sales) is staying consistent with it.

You have to understand who you are marketing to. You have to talk to them and know them personally.

TMBA430: The Philosophy Of Crypto

Date: 2018-03-01


Bitcoin is turning out to be not as anonymous as originally thought.

There are industries the micro-multinational business trend hasn’t touched.

Book: The Internet of Money

Book: Digital Gold

Things are never as good or as bad as they seem.

Spend an hour a week thinking about your business at a strategic level.

Get to the root problem.

TMBA431: We Wrote a Book

Date: 2018-03-08


When it comes to this decision (selling your business) you can’t mess it up.

It takes years to exit your business if it is at any significant level.

You need to give yourself permission to have fun with (the possibility of selling your business) and explore (those) ideas.

You’re going to exit your business at some time.

TMBA432: Finish Big – A Conversation with Bo Burlingham

Date: 2018-03-15


There are four stages to the exit phase. The first stage is an exploratory phase. The second stage is “what are the different options you want?”. You build into your company the things that will allow you to have the exit you want. The third phase is the exit. The fourth stage is the most difficult and most important which is the transition from being an owner to something else.

Entrepreneurship is embarking on a journey and, like every journey, it has a beginning, middle, and end.

The first quality of a good exit is that you feel the process had been fair.

You’ve got to do your own due diligence of the buyer. If you don’t you’re setting yourself up for problems later on.

Winding up rich is of no use if you wind up unhappy.

Focus on winding up happy.

If you don’t know who you are, what you want, and why, you wind up doing what other people tell you to do.

TMBA433: A Conversation With Seth Godin

Date: 2018-03-22


Push yourself to be open to…possibility.

Authors are getting bigger checks from Audible than they are from their publishers.

More tests and more studying doesn’t lead to smarter people.

If you truly make yourself open to criticism you can get smart real fast.

It is critical to understand the critics agenda.

A lot of times entrepreneurs think their job is to make money but our job is to make a difference.

The piece of paper (an MBA) is worth less than ever before if it is not from a leading business school.

Book: The War of Art

Book: Do the Work

Good ideas are scarce but what is really scarce are good people who will run projects.

TMBA434: The Lure of Remote Work

Date: 2018-03-29


When you create a new product one of the important things is setting expectations.

It is hard to train people how to be a good mentor or mentee.

There are some things that only work because they are hard.

Now you need to focus on a job that is a revenue center.

TMBA435: The Resistance is Real

Date: 2018-04-05


The whole idea of a goal or responsibility is that you are committed to it in such a way that you are going to have to contort, struggle, or do things uncomfortable.

Goals have to be essential.

Schedule your creative time and protect it.

Don’t ask who will buy the product–ask for money.

It is amazing the tools that you can (try) to justify buying before you have to sit down and do the real work.

You have to figure out what you want for yourself and it can’t be dependent on what other people want for themselves.

If you’re not having fun during the journey then, 90% of the time, it is not the right journey for you.

TMBA436: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Keeping Your Sh*t Together

Date: 2018-04-12


You and your business are very intertwined for a lot of founders.

The more self-critical you are the worse your productivity situation is going to be.

Make sure you have good friendships–both individually and as a couple.

We have to have parts of our life that offset the struggle because the struggle is inevitable.

TMBA437: The Two Tomato Strategy

Date: 2018-04-19


One hour a day to reach your goal.

One hour is about two Pomodoro sessions.

On average it will take you three years to replace your income in with your business that you had in your professional career.

If you’re struggling to find clarity in your project–simplify. Get it down to the most basic thing that you’re going to execute.

Find a way you can publicly commit to a 90-day project timeline.

Put aside an hour of your day to go after your destiny.

Take one small step forward every day and make a public commitment to do so.

TMBA438: The Knowledge Gap vs. The Efficiency Gap

Date: 2018-04-26


A business that serves a knowledge gap would come into a company that doesn’t understand the power of your service and doesn’t already invest in that service. The knowledge gap is you come in and educate them about your firm and what they can do.

An efficiency gap is a service or product that identifies customers or clients that already value the product or service but you can do it better (more efficiently).

Most of us don’t know exactly why our businesses are successful. We cannot talk about it effectively.

Who is not going to sit there–as a business owner–and not listen to someone telling them they can make more money?

Relative expertise is you knowing just a little bit more (than the person you are talking to).

Real confidence is being able to aim up, challenge yourself, and be able to operate in the unknown.

Humility can affect the success of a business idea. If you are humble then you understand the world knows more about the problem than you do and you can observe how value circulates around the world.

TMBA439: Five Takeaways From Our Event In Austin

Date: 2018-05-03


A lot of authors are not writing books for financial reasons.

Trading value for money is entrepreneurship.

Often people won’t do what it takes to get to the next level because they might not be ready to put in the work for not much money.

There are headaches everywhere you go.

There is a lot of moving and shaking go on in Austin.

It is infinitely easier to do business in America than any other country for the most part.

TMBA440: What’s Your Lifestyle Ladder?

Date: 2018-05-10


People get more realistic about what their goals are as they age.

Have a personal financial statement.

Visualize your net worth on a piece of paper or an Excel spreadsheet and update that monthly.

Cash in your bank account has a nonlinear effect.

Being in debt is a really, really tough place to be.

Having access to debt affects your behaviour.

Cut up your credit cards.

Think about how you can use your time more effectively.

TMBA441: The Entrepreneurial Script

Date: 2018-05-17


You change what you do (what you say you do) depending on who you’re talking to.

Running events is a very hard way to make money.

You have to focus on being a great manager.

Always jump on opportunities (if you already have a business paying your income).

Don’t get shiny object syndrome.

TMBA442: ‘Til Death Do Us Part? Business Relationships

Date: 2018-05-24


Different styles of partnerships lead to different results.

You have to earn a mentorship.

A lot of times in the entrepreneurial space we take our cues from those more successful than us.

The marriage model is the primary style of partnerships.

For the marriage model to work you have to be on the same trajectory as the other people.

The marriage model is a very long-term proposition.

A lot of workhorse relationships are contingent on time-constraints.

It is fairly easy for trajectories and visions to align for short periods of time. It is much more difficult for long periods of time.

Partnerships are complicated.

The top two sources of partnerships are coworking and coliving.

TMBA443: The Knowledge Gap vs. The Efficiency Gap Revisited

Date: 2018-05-31


There is no free lunch.

Every niche are going to have their own challenges.

SEO has a lag effect where it really takes time to do well.

Always be scaling up.

You can’t argue with success.

TMBA444: When Should I Hire?

Date: 2018-06-07


Only hire profitable people right away. Put them on an existing cash flow.

It is very hard to bring people on and expect them to create new streams of revenue right away.

The amount of endurance it takes to get a business to lift off is incredible.

Ultimately you are looking for a few people whose narratives can coincide with yours.

What you are investing in when you are hiring somebody is their previous actions done on your platform.

Look at people’s feet rather than their mouths.

Most people who don’t know how to manage people don’t know how to manage themselves.

TMBA445: Finding Your Tribe

Date: 2018-06-14


People (in California) are not afraid to take risks.

TMBA446: The Tale of 12 Exits

Date: 2018-06-21


When selling a business you get caught up in the deal.

Life after selling a business is much different than you thought it would be.

Make sure you have a good partnership agreement.

TMBA447: The Suburban Entrepreneur

Date: 2018-06-28


If you can’t be the best employee at the job you currently have how can you expect to grow a great business?

Talk to customers and find out what their issues are.

Learn on someone else’s dime.

When you are young other people who are successful take notice and want to help.

Online communities are tremendously undervalued.

Sometimes entrepreneurs can see things that other people don’t. They see stuff and go with it when everyone is telling them no.

The actual mechanics of starting a business are really simple.

TMBA448: The Cult of Early Retirement

Date: 2018-07-04


Getting financially fit means treating your personal finances like a business.

Entrepreneurship is hard. It can take years instead of months.

Be as frugal as possible to start your business.

Part of the early retirement cult is being okay in the office for ten years and then being grateful when you get out.

(If you want to be an entrepreneur) you need to get out there and acquire the skills in order to start your own business.

Life isn’t a spreadsheet.

TMBA449: The Peter Principle Revisited

Date: 2018-07-12


At some point in your organization you are going to be the one who has topped out. You have done all you can to help the company grow.

Are you self-aware enough to understand your own limitations?

There is nothing more predictable than meeting your goals and being miserable.

TMBA450: The Best Remote Business Might Be On Your Doorstep

Date: 2018-07-19


You don’t need to stick with the old idea of what a local business is.

What industry are you able to have a lot of the management pieces outside of the country? You don’t want to have too many boots on the ground.

Any location in the world can be your market. You just need to figure out where to play.

When you take venture capital you have a different boss. In a sense your investor is your boss.

A lifestyle business is based around your life. The business works for you rather than you for your business.

You can have very large lifestyle businesses.

TMBA451: Are You Suffering From Analysis Paralysis?

Date: 2018-07-26


Sometimes it is when you get when you want when you realize it is not what you wanted.

There is no limit to how much you can learn because there is no limit to the information.

As an entrepreneur you need to live in the real world.

TMBA452: How to Master a Mastermind

Date: 2018-08-02


Be very honest about your struggles.

Nobody’s life or business is perfect.

It is important to understand how to give good feedback.

The best kind of feedback is settled in experience.

You want to be careful about making to do lists.

TMBA453: What’s The First Step To Becoming an Entrepreneur?

Date: 2018-08-09


Starting a lifestyle business starts with your personal finances.

You’re going to have a hard time spending the time to start something successful if you are in a bunch of debt.

Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE)

At a million dollars you can safely withdrawal 4% a year indefinitely. At that point you are financially independent.

Once you have a goal it is much easier to run towards that goal.

There is no point in being loyal to your employer when they have no incentive to be loyal to us.

Mathematically a home is a terrible investment.

Financial independence doesn’t mean you have to quit your job but that you can quit your job.

Be grateful for what you do have right now.

Celebrate your milestones.

Everyone has different goals.

Don’t look at the peak of the mountain. Look at the next step you need to take. Celebrate conquering every small hill.

TMBA454: What Does Your City Whisper?

Date: 2018-08-16


You have to consider each cost and line item.

It is no longer assumed you are going to stay in the area you grew up.

Soon after you move to New York you consider yourself a New Yorker.

When you get in a relationship you are also getting in a relationship with the area they came from (or where their family is from).

TMBA455: The Rise of Audiobooks and a Giveaway

Date: 2018-08-23


You’re not going to get to an eight-figure business by doing 7-figure business stuff.

Never ask a doctor what you should do. Ask him what he would do if he were in your place.

Audiobook revenue is increasing.

TMBA456: An Episode For Those Who Need a Business Idea Redux

Date: 2018-08-30


What problems am I solving?

Is anybody making any money solving these problems?

If you can find a problem that is a big enough pain for people, and it is a big problem, then there is likely going to be money at the end of that.

It is easy to predict things–it is hard to do things about it.

An industry is building around podcasting.

TMBA457: Why Does Everyone Talk About Revenue and Not Profit?

Date: 2018-09-06


As a leader and business owner you need to show you now how to do (task) and are willing to do it but that there are other things that you need to take care of.

As an entrepreneur you are enthusiastic about the outcomes you are seeking.

Most people do not show up for work purely for the money.

TMBA458: Five Reasons You Won’t Be an Entrepreneur Next Year

Date: 2018-09-13


If you can dream up something that affects fifty people in a profound way–that can be your ticket.

Having your back against a wall is a great place to start if you want to get into entrepreneurship but it is also a difficult place.

California is a great place for young people to go to get a job and build a career for themselves.

You’re not read to be an entrepreneur if you are not in control of your personal finances.

There are so many people that get into entrepreneurship who think it is going to be a lottery ticket.

A deep dive into entrepreneurship is often simultaneously accompanied by a deep dive into self-development.

Don’t leave yourself an option for going backward.

It is not until the bridge is gone (you have removed fallback options) that the paths forward illuminate.

Have a little bit of faith in yourself.

(Entrepreneurship) is supposed to be hard.

TMBA459: The State of Bitcoin

Date: 2019-09-20


The Austrian crowd (school of economics) is popular in Bitcoin.

You can only inflate gold by 2% a year because you cannot mine it out of the ground faster than that.

A lot of people view Bitcoin as a hedge against the collapse of the central bank system.

The more value that is transferred over the (Bitcoin) network the more valuable it is. It has a network effect.

The more people that accept Bitcoin (for payment) the more valuable it becomes.

An ICO is an initial coin offering.

TMBA460: Are We Being Honest About the True Cost of Bootstrapping a Business?

Date: 2018-09-27


When there is a pocket of pent up demand that hasn’t been fully explored yet–that is a good opportunity.

On the web writing is everything.

There is nothing that clarifies your thinking all about writing.

The identities we give ourselves are kind of silly.

A lot of entrepreneurship is (working under anxiety) and being under enormous pressure and enormous stress and having to make decisions.

We treat bootstrapping as a meritocracy but it is very much a religion.

Book: Getting Real

What kills bootstrapped businesses is burning out.

User acquisition used to be a lot easier.

Earning an income from your customers signing up for you app is not going to be enough (for at least a few years).

Starting a business in your 30s or 40s is different than starting a business in your 20s. There are pluses and minuses.

TMBA461: The 40% Rule

Date: 2018-10-04


The 4% rule is if you have ($1,000,000) you can safely withdraw 4% a year for the rest of your life.

Everyone’s starting point is a little bit different.

A lot of people have a hard time starting from scratch. If you buy something that has some momentum there is an opportunity to learn on the fly.

(Investing in a website) can give you a 40% return on your investment if you are willing to invest some of your time.

If you spend a million in digital assets you might spend 10 hours a week and generate 40% returns.

Most people believe in others more than themselves. (They feel more comfortable investing in some other business than in starting a business.)

It is important to know (going into business investment) is knowing what you actually want.

The 4% rule is passive the 40% rule is active.

TMBA462: A Conversation with Michael Lombardi

Date: 2018-10-11


Book: Gridiron Genius

Sports are zero-sum games (but business is not).

You have to have command of self. You have to be willing to admit mistakes and be transparent.

The greatest lessons we learn are from mistakes.

Don’t evaluate people from your viewpoint, evaluate them from their viewpoint. Don’t judge them based on things you think are wrong but on who they see the world.

(When you’re stuck in a rut) go to a bookstore and buy books in areas you don’t normally read.

Scout inside out and not outside in.

TMBA463: The Tao of the Hustle Redux

Date: 2018-10-18


What is the problem you solve?

How do you solve it uniquely?

What is the distribution channel you use to expose it to your target audience?

If you have those three things you can describe your business.

The easiest business to start often require the smartest and most dedicated entrepreneurs to run.

Your product doesn’t have to be excellent to be better than the other ones.

Hustle is not sitting in front of your computer for thirteen hours a day. It is about changing your attitude. It is about dropping your ego. It is about doing a lot of things you didn’t think you can go.

Do only what you can see is worth doing. Others will eventually see it too.

TMBA464: 5 Reasons Your Presentation Might Suck

Date: 2018-10-25


Don’t assume you are the smartest person in the room. Assume someone out there knows something more. That will be valuable when it comes to your Q&A.

Make it easy on yourself–be sensible.

Audiences respond to transparency and realness.

Your presentation might suck if you are giving answers rather than inspiring questions.

Don’t use your presentation to pitch your business.

Generally people undervalue their experiences.

The more images you can present on the screen the better your talk is going to be.

Most people are worried about sharing their mistakes. That is relatable.

Be open and transparent (in your talk).

TMBA465: 5 Internet Business Themes for 2019

Date: 2018-11-01


Going remote isn’t just a luxury but can be an edge.

Most (people) undervalue what they offer.

You have to figure out what motivates people and a lot of people are motivated by freedom.

A lot of social content is misleading.

Being an entrepreneur is all about understanding systems.

TMBA466: The Dos and Don’ts of Hiring Apprentices

Date: 2018-11-08


The promise you are making to an apprentice is that they have a seat at the table and that table is where decisions get made for the business.

Apprentices require growth. Often it is the founders that are standing in the way of that.

Understand the enormous time investment you are signing up for.

It is not uncommon for people to make a living doing unethical things.

TMBA467: The Story of Empire Flippers

Date: 2018-11-15


There is a problem when you have two founders as to who does what.

Your voice sounds different when you stand up.

If you can sell you can sell anything.

When you own a business…you are responsible for every single thing.

Your business should serve your interests.

TMBA468: “Allowing Myself To Dream That Big”

Date: 2018-11-22


The first few years are hard. It is a grind and there is no way around it. There is no shortcut.

It is a right of passage to have a few tough years.

You only have so many hours in the day and energy to give.

TMBA469: It’s No Good Having Ideas if They Don’t Bring You Results

Date: 2018-11-29


You don’t need to have a big idea. You just need to solve other people’s problems.

One of the big things for ramping up a company is getting the best talent.

When you have external partnerships and you deal with other client politics come into play.

TMBA470: The Elephant in the Room

Date: 2018-12-06


It is difficult to get a foot in the Chinese market because the culture is so different.

In China 20% of the economy is done by e-commerce.

In China you need to respect the trust that an influencer has with their audience.

China is very divisive.

TMBA471: The Helsinki Bus Theory

Date: 2018-12-13


Growing online business doesn’t mean you are sitting behind a laptop all day long.

Stay on the (entrepreneurship) bus. It gets easier.

Affiliate marketing might not follow the 1,000 day principal.

There is definitely still value out there to be had.

TMBA472: Surprises and Delights of the Year

Date: 2018-12-20


Understanding (your critics) will make you better at your craft.

The piece of paper is worth less than ever before if it is not a famous business school.

Everybody has knowledge of something that is valuable.

One of the best things about starting a business is finding your tribe.

TMBA473: “Which Hill Do You Want to Die On?”

Date: 2018-12-27


A lot of home ownership is emotionally based rather than based on math.

In order to get A-players you have got to coach.

Freedom is about doing whatever quirky things you want to do.

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