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 668: 5 Small Ways To Go Big
The summer of cycling and tapas in Barcelona, Spain has come to an end. Dan and Ian are back in Austin, Texas inspired by the conversations and feedback they’ve had over the past few weeks as listeners and friends have dropped by one of our favorite European cities.
One of those people is someone we’ve had on the pod before, telling the early part of his story. So much has happened in his life that we thought it was high time to catch up with him again.
Coran Woodmass’ entrepreneurial journey has spanned ecommerce, building a successful business brokerage, to multi million dollar deal maker at Billion Dollar Exits. He’s also an investor.
Today he and Dan are going to discuss ‘Five small ways to go big’. These include why it’s sometimes necessary to ‘slow down to speed up’, the power of doubling down on your core entrepreneurial skill and the power of investing for cashflow. And just a caveat: as with all discussions about investing, this is not advice, it’s just some perspectives you might want to think about (or not).
TMBA 667: Catching The Right Wave At The Right Moment
Today’s show started, as so many of them do, as an in-person conversation in a dark bar in a cool city. That’s where Dan met Brent Zahradnik, founder of Amazon PPC agency AMZ Pathfinder.
Now ‘the agency model’ is a recurring theme on this show because they can be spun up in a weekend, are often very profitable, and they can provide side income to what you’re already doing in a business. But done poorly, agency owners can find themselves trapped in the grind of ‘wrong’ clients and staffing woes.
But Brent seems to have nailed it, and found a profitable business that also allows him to live in Montpellier, France and enjoy the great outdoor lifestyle that Mediterranean city offers.
Topics covered include: the mistake of not getting ‘A players’ on your team earlier, why Brent feels his nomadic lifestyle held back his business for a while, and some ideas for agencies you could start today.
TMBA 666: Following The Signs In Your Business
The ‘Stair Step’ approach to entrepreneurship is a recurring theme on the TMBA. Coined of course by Startups For The Rest Of Us host Rob Walling. Essentially, it describes how you can build up your business chops by for example, starting a freelance business, then parlaying some of those clients into running an agency and then maybe Software as a Service, and so on.
But honestly, you can apply a similar approach in many different ways, including applying it to one brand, which is what today’s guest Ben Dziwulski, founder of WodPrep, which helps CrossFitters improve their techniques, has done over the course of many years. He talks to Dan about how WodPrep has grown into a $1.1M business that also allows him to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle he loves.
TMBA 665: Reaching A $4M Run Rate In Less Than A Year
What began as a window cleaning service he started at college has now spun into a multi-million business for today’s guest Johnny Robinson. In January 2022 he co-founded Home Services Academy, a 90 day program and ongoing community which coaches others to reach five figures MRR by either starting their own cleaning business, or making an existing one more profitable.
Johnny talks to Dan about their sales process, the pros and cons of implementing the ‘Scaling Up’ operating system, and why he feels he held on to his former business model for too long:
“If you've been plugging away, and you're not seeing the growth, maybe it's time to take the skill set and what you've learned somewhere else … What I've realised, after building a few different businesses, is when you're in the weeds of things you start to find problems within that industry that are very, very niche. But you're like, ‘Well, that would probably be a better business than the one I’m running’”.
TMBA 664: Pivoting From 'In Person' To A Software Business
The COVID pandemic saw many online businesses boom, especially those centered on E-commerce. But entrepreneurs running in-person events really took a hit.
Today’s show focuses on one of those stories, and narrates how one owner re-invented what his company was doing by becoming a ‘Value Added Reseller’ (VAR) software service.
Dan Taylor is the CEO of AppsEvents, a ‘Google for Education’ partner whose company previously ran a huge number of conferences worldwide before diversifying into VAR:
“There are different ways you can get into it. Some of the selling is direct with Google, some of that work is with a distributor but, essentially … The ‘value added’ part means you can sell your services on top. So you can sell ongoing support services, you can do setup services, you can do customization, that's kind of what the business model is.”
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”.
Came across the interview with Sam @ Financial Samurai - loved it. Thanks for hosting!
Fantastic podcast! Dan has been around forever and is one of the first people I started following in 2009. I see the longevity! -Sam
Best Podcast Ever
This is the absolute best podcast I’ve ever listened to. I highly recommend it to anyone.