The Tropical MBA Podcast aims to show you the inside story of the people who are building "micro-multinational" businesses while they travel the world. We are interested in entrepreneurship, travel, internationalization, and personal freedom. Join 1,000's of listeners from all around the world, every Thursday morning.
TMBA 663: Overrated and Underrated Business Concepts with Noah Kagan
This show is a ‘drop in’ to the kind of conversations Dan and Ian have been having all summer long in their co-working space in Barcelona, as fellow entrepreneurs have come by the city. And today they’re joined by one of our favorite guests, AppSumo founder Noah Kagan.
The idea is a simple one - let’s just have some fun, and hopefully useful insights, rating some of the popular business memes and ideas that have taken traction in the online business world. Which ones are overrated, underrated or appropriately-rated? The discussion includes - the value of coaches, the necessity of hiring a Chief Technical Officer, cold email outreach and more:
“Where it's like, ‘I have a great idea. I just need a technical partner’, 100% overrated. Because when you're starting any business what you're really focusing on is - what is the actual problem you're solving, not a technical need. What often happens is people are using that as an excuse for rejection. And they're using an excuse from fear”.
TMBA 662: Expanding Education Options For Nomadic Families
One growing theme in the TMBA community has been the search for increased options for location independent families to provide education for their children. Traditionally it’s been home schooling, international or local schools, and very little in-between. But increasingly parents are coming together to try to create new solutions like pop-up schools, employing tutors and more.
On today’s show teacher and entrepreneur Elliott Zelinskas offers his views on a range of emails and comments we’ve received on this subject, including thoughts about whether the COVID pandemic might have accelerated the drive for change:
“I'm curious about the post COVID situation .. How did that change our world, not about how we think about viruses, but how we think about our lives, our families, our business .. The power structures got shook up, and I think there's been this kind of collective reflection on life. And you just don't really see people going back to normal in terms of their work. And I'm seeing it more with education too”.
There are also some updates from Dan and Ian about Dynamite Jobs, and their thoughts on a recent ‘digital nomad debate’.
TMBA 661: The Rewards Of Challenging Assumptions
‘Rip, pivot and jam’ is a recurring theme on this show. It’s a way of overcoming the pressure of needing ‘the best business idea ever’ by taking a model that’s working elsewhere and applying it in another field. And that’s exactly what today’s guest Justin Tan did when he founded his productised video editing service Video Husky.
Through his previous freelance career in Facebook advertizing, Justin had seen the growing importance of video creation as a marketing tool. And Russ Perry’s unlimited graphic design offerings at ‘Design Pickle’ inspired him to try that approach for clients who need regular video editing.
Justin talks to Dan about the challenges and rewards of building, and recently ‘retiring’ from Video Husky over a four year period:
“The key thing is being able to accept when your assumptions are wrong, ideally quickly, and moving on from them versus - I would hold on to certain key assumptions for the longest time, even though they weren't true. And so what I found was really helpful was getting in front of a lot of customers”.
TMBA 660: Five Easy Ways to Work Smarter (Not Harder)
Who doesn’t want to maximize results, and spend less time - or just make better use of it - in their business? On this week’s show Dan and Ian discuss five possible ways to make this happen from their own experience growing Dynamite Jobs.
They include reaching out to an expert practitioner in your field, someone who has experience and insight at the level you want to grow to, creating tight ‘backward looking’ financial accountability that gives clarity on where your money is, and should be going. And there’s more, of course. It wouldn’t be a TMBA episode without five points. It’s the law.
‘We’ve reached out to several industry experts in the job space. And I think some relationships are going to come out of that … And I think the most valuable thing that's starting to change for us, it's just the product roadmap. So if you can identify somebody that's an industry expert in your field, a lot of times they can shave years off your product development cycle.”
Listen and learn:
● Why reaching out to an industry expert in your space could be so helpful
● ‘Scaling Up’ by Vern Harnish v ‘Traction’ by Gino Wickman
● Choosing where to have a ‘work vacation’
● The power of a system to get inside your business financials
TMBA 659: The Power of Diversification and The Welcome End of DeFi Summer
The TMBA ‘summer in Barcelona’ continues with a long-standing guest visiting the city, and hanging with Dan and Ian.
His name is Travis Jamison, founder of Smash Digital, and investor in numerous other companies. He’s a badass entrepreneur who exited his previous business AMZ tracker, a SaaS for Amazon sellers, for ‘a life changing’ amount of money, a story we told on this show.
Today he talks to Dan and Ian about choosing where to live when you stop nomading, why Travis thinks agencies are highly underrated business models, ‘Defi summer’, and lots more.
TMBA 658: Let’s Talk Fish And Ponds
We’ve received some great email responses prompted by last week’s episode ‘The Europe Question’. So on today’s show Dan and Ian will be reflecting on some of those comments.
They’ll also be mulling over a recurring dilemma posed by a listener, one which is very much in their minds as they grow ‘Dynamite Jobs’:
“David and Goliath or Dynamite Jobs versus Indeed.com .. At one time you mentioned how just hearing the word Indeed gave you anxiety, maybe excitement … (this) resonated with me. My partner and I are currently building a software product that will likely go head to head with some fairly big names, and they have at least a decade head start on us …
The only thing that keeps me going back is that I've spent the past decade in entrepreneurship, always staying in safe little buckets of protected small niches .. Small niches are often easier to start but are easier to hit a ceiling in terms of market size. Having experienced growing our businesses to the upper limits of the markets we're in, we have our eyes on the bigger prize where the bigger players are players that really know what they're doing”.
Just awesome. Get down to some real business
Absolutely love this podcast. Together with startups for the rest of us.
It helped me to make a mindset shift and transition from a VC type of tech startup [dream] to a real business that makes money. Awesome. Love you guys. Really enjoyed the last episode your response to the "startup" podcast.
Wise beyond their years
Dan and Ian not only evangelise about digital nomadism, they're living wonderfully by it. Actionable and exciting, I'm inspired by the idea I too may one day include reading as a legitimate task whilst growing a business I own. Keep it up and hopefully one day see you in Asia!
The best business podcast on the market. For location independent or aspiring LI entrepreneurs this is brilliant.