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The Tropical MBA Podcast - Entrepreneurship, Travel, and Lifestyle

TMBA 710: The Wheel of Despair and the Paradox of Growth

Thu Jul 13 2023
businessentrepreneurshiplocation independencescalabilitygrowth strategies


The episode discusses the importance of finding the next million in revenue and explores topics such as location independence, scalability, and growth strategies. It emphasizes the need for founders to take brave leaps and build effective communication channels within their organizations.


Location independence is becoming less significant for digital entrepreneurs

As remote work becomes more common and traditional jobs offer remote options, the focus on location independence is shifting towards new goals and accomplishments.

Wealthy people are increasingly embracing location independence

The rise of location-independent businesses is driven by wealthy individuals who are seeking more freedom and flexibility in their lifestyles.

Founder dependence hinders growth and scalability

Many six and seven-figure companies rely heavily on their founders, preventing effective scalability. Implementing tempos and cadences can help address this issue.

Regular check-ins and communication channels are crucial for growth

To ensure strategic aims are met and prevent bottlenecks, regular check-ins with finance teams, weekly team calls, and daily stand-up calls are recommended.

Bravery and vulnerability are essential for scaling a business

Scaling a business requires founders to take brave leaps and face the uncertainty of finding the next growth strategy.


  1. The Importance of Finding the Next Million in Revenue

The Importance of Finding the Next Million in Revenue

00:00 - 36:16

  • There's this idea that if everybody goes to this meeting and everybody does this and everybody does that, the implication is that those are the questions worth answering in your business.
  • The question you need to answer is where's the next million in revenue coming from?
  • The bravery, excitement, and fear come from not knowing all the time and figuring it out as a founder.
  • Being in Barcelona for the summer brings a vibrant community of founders together.
  • The opportunity to build relationships with people in person is the best part of being there.
  • The hosts of the podcast share their experiences with negative Airbnb reviews and discuss whether leaving dirty dishes or not taking out the trash is disrespectful.
  • Trash in Europe is easily accessible with trash cans on every corner.
  • Airbnb has become more challenging and friction-filled due to service fees, cleaning issues, and uncertainty about rules.
  • Individuals running Airbnb businesses often act as if it's their personal home when convenient, causing hesitation in leaving negative reviews.
  • The speaker had a negative experience with a gross bathroom but left the response privately.
  • The speaker encourages leaving negative reviews publicly for Airbnb businesses that are clearly operating as businesses.
  • Location independence is becoming less of a big deal for digital entrepreneurs as it has become more common and even some traditional jobs offer remote work options.
  • The speaker suggests moving past the focus on location independence and exploring new goals or accomplishments.
  • Wealthy people have always had location independence, but the focus was on making the first dollars earned location independent through various business models like affiliate marketing or remote agencies.
  • Wealthy people are becoming more location independent, leading to the rise of location-independent businesses.
  • Younger generations are more inclined to start online businesses and view them as synonymous with traditional businesses.
  • There is a growing appetite for owning location-dependent businesses that can be made location independent for owners and managers.
  • Many local businesses are putting their back offices in other countries to increase margins and retiree investors are finding this approach attractive.
  • Remote work has become more common, even in tech communities that were previously highly location dependent.
  • Location independence is now seen as an attribute of cash flow rather than an identity.
  • The level of location independence needed depends on the type of business being run.
  • The problem in many businesses is that most of the direction, information, strategy, and leadership comes from the CEO or founder.
  • Employees aren't talking with each other and the information isn't moving freely within the organization.
  • This hub and spoke model makes businesses reliant on the founder and prevents scalability.
  • At eight figures, businesses start hiring actual professionals who can run their skill set on the platform.
  • Many six and seven-figure companies are founder dependent, which hinders growth and effectiveness.
  • One way to address this problem is through tempos or cadences that start with a clear strategic vision document.
  • Having an elegant champagne waterfall approach where strategy cascades down into different cadences can help align teams and ensure everyone understands priorities.
  • Key tempos include executive team meetings quarterly, team scorecards quarterly, monthly business reviews, and weekly team calls.
  • Implementing regular check-ins with finance team to ensure strategic aims are being met
  • Holding weekly team calls to review key metrics and strategic aims
  • Conducting daily stand-up calls to keep information flowing and prevent bottlenecks
  • The growth paradox: as revenue increases, founders need to focus on growing the business rather than meetings
  • Founders are often responsible for growth until around $5 million in revenue
  • Building a sales team or marketing channels may be necessary for the next phase of growth
  • Being brave and taking leaps of bravery are essential for scaling the business
  • Recognizing that the responsibility for growth lies with the founder in most cases
  • Expanding into new markets or pricing tiers may require the founder's initiative
  • Operational velocity alone is not often a sufficient growth strategy; aggressive marketing and sales are usually needed
  • At the eight-figure level, there is a trend of hiring experts from larger companies to drive growth strategies.
  • Founders of six and seven-figure companies are uniquely suited to drive growth strategies themselves.
  • However, some founders may prefer to focus on being craftsmen in their business if they can afford it.
  • Smaller companies are more fragile and susceptible to external factors like COVID or industry changes.
  • Advisors can help answer the question of how to grow, not marketing agencies.
  • The key question for founders is where the next million in revenue will come from.
  • It takes bravery and vulnerability to face the uncertainty of finding that next growth strategy.
  • Lack of information flow within a company can hinder its ability to operate effectively.
  • Running the business itself often interferes with a founder's responsibility of finding the next growth strategy.