TMBA and ERE etc

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simplex
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TMBA and ERE etc

Post by simplex » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:57 am

There is a post at http://www.tropicalmba.com/the-cult-of- ... eneurship/ , discussing MMM and a bit of ERE.

Reading it was interesting for me, because I took the same path: saving for a couple of years, and then working in/on entrepreneurship.

caveat: the tropicalmba guys are not INTJ's.

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FBeyer
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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by FBeyer » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:30 am

simplex wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:57 am
...caveat: the tropicalmba guys are not INTJ's.
No shit! They neither do math nor reading comprehension very well...
Are all their articles this rambling and factually wrong?

Edit: I am actually glad you posted this though. It reminds me that frugality and ER needs to be communicated in big FUCKING neon letters and with more emphasis on empathy than math if you want to reach the far corners of the earth.
Last edited by FBeyer on Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

7Wannabe5
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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:36 am

Interesting. I agree with FBeyer that their take on ERE is very limited and based on engineered example rather than general theory. One aspect of ERE they don't really grok is the focus on conservation of resources. For me, this always comes into play whenever I veer towards the edge of entrepreneurship that would result in taking responsibility for some fresh piece of crap being manufactured. Of course, when I start to think this way I don't want to invest in the stock market either, so...

Anyways, my point is that there is a level on which actively engaging in Frugality, Home Economics, Domestic Production, DIY, Self-Sufficiency is no different than the activity of Working at Your Own Small Business. In fact, unless you keep yourself completely socially isolated, the boundary is almost certain to become blurred. For instance, it has been my experience that I can enter into domestic partnership with an individual who works at a full-time job for pay, and contribute just as much to the shared pot towards Quality of Life (based on communicated judgment of partners along the lines of "Things are so much better when you are at home.") by just engaging in activities that fall under these categories for some rough equivalent of hours that a person who has a job actually spends working.

However, when you switch the perspective or cross over the boundary from self-organized activity towards self-benefit into self-organized activity towards benefit of others in exchange for cash with goal of maximized profit, the territory changes. The thing I have never been able to grok about most FIRE engineered plans is the wide empty divide between saving money through frugal activities and passively earning money through investment in stock market. This system works because these activities are almost exactly the opposite of each other, but there are a bajillion intermediary shades of gray, some of which would be entrepreneurial activities.

ADVISORY NOTE: The consensus calculator indicates that the reading level of this post is approximately Grade 14.

simplex
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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by simplex » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:35 am

FBeyer wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:30 am
simplex wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:57 am
...caveat: the tropicalmba guys are not INTJ's.
No shit! They neither do math nor reading comprehension very well...
Are all their articles this rambling and factually wrong?
The tmba guys have a podcast, which has some fantastic interviews. Their writing is less developed, and from a comprehension point : tmba writing = spoken language; i.e. often not exact or right, but in general to follow/understand easily.

I got very much useful ideas and takeaways from their podcast, and can really recommend it if you are going to do online business. At the same time I think they often reason like this: Here we have one successful Amazon affiliate, so everyone can do this (this line of reasoning is common to business literature), which is not so.

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Riggerjack
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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:32 am

OMG!! All this talk about Early Retirement, but nobody is talking about ME!!! I'll write a post with all the FIRE buzzwords, and talk about ENTREPRENEURS, my favorite buzzword. Nobody has done that before...

Next up, everything you need to know about early retirement, presented by interpretive dance, performed on my new F-350!





I know, even salesprofessionals need to know about early retirement. And that it comes with a Brand New Car!

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C40
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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by C40 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:47 am

@Rigger - how about if someone starts an ERE Pyramid scheme?

Each person pays in $40,000. You only need to recruit about 3 people, and then they recruit 2-3 people each, and BAM! next thing you know, you're retired!

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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by jacob » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:52 am

@C40 - I believe you're talking about the social security system.

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BRUTE
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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by BRUTE » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:36 pm

pretty clearly, entrepreneurship doesn't work for the majority of humans. and it's rarely because of any "hard limitations" - all a human would need are some free time and perseverance. yet, apparently, that's enough of a restriction to limit success to 5% of the population.

full ERE is probably as rare to lead to success - most humans don't "have what it takes" to live on <$10,000 per year. again not because of hard limitations, but because social status and fitting in is probably core to their identity and life goals.

just like 95% of humans won't do the entrepreneur struggle for 3 years, 95% probably won't do the ERE struggle for 5 years.

it seems that Early Retirement scales much more linearly though - plenty humans seem fine with MMM-style early retirement, even more with Bogleheads-style somewhat early retirement. whereas there are very few humans between "non-entreprenerial" and "entrepreneurial". it seems like there's a much bigger gap.

if an individual were really equally apt to pursue entrepreneurship or ERE, it seems to brute like from a pure numbers standpoint, ERE is still a better deal - the OP says that it takes about 3 years to get from 0 income to living wage. if the alternative is 5 years to complete FIRE, that seems much easier if the end goal is to retire.

if the end goal is to run a company, then it might make sense to merely use FIRE or FU money as a stepping stone, which seems to be what the OP promotes.

so it seems mostly like a question of goals.

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Dragline
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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by Dragline » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:49 pm

Riggerjack wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:32 am
OMG!! All this talk about Early Retirement, but nobody is talking about ME!!! I'll write a post with all the FIRE buzzwords, and talk about ENTREPRENEURS, my favorite buzzword. Nobody has done that before...

Next up, everything you need to know about early retirement, presented by interpretive dance, performed on my new F-350!

I know, even salesprofessionals need to know about early retirement. And that it comes with a Brand New Car!
:lol:

Yeah, that didn't really have much to do with ERE or FI. Becoming an entrepreneur is great for some, but the main thing I get from most interviews of entrepreneurs is the story of "I worked like a dog and I loved it." And when they described what they actually did, it's often mostly about marketing, promotion, networking and sales. Rarely is it, "I just built a better mousetrap and everyone lined up to buy it, no sweat."

Personally, I'd rather have hobbies than businesses. You can be highly irresponsible and lackadaisical in a hobby and still enjoy it. Work hard at it or not as you please. That attitude doesn't usually work very well in a business.

If a hobby should turn into a business, great. If not, I'm happy to do it anyway -- so long as I don't have to work like a dog at it or spend time trying to identify "prospects" and convince people to buy something.

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Ego
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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by Ego » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:56 pm

Bottom feeder online marketing strategy. Controversy attracts eyeballs. Attack someone who has created a movement that is tangentially related to yours in the hope that some of their followers will join your tribe. Better yet, make sure the criticism is something that is obviously wrong, that way the followers register on your site to leave a message telling you why you are wrong.

Bait. Set the hook. Play the fish. Reel 'em in. Net.

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BRUTE
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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by BRUTE » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:42 pm

Dragline wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:49 pm
Personally, I'd rather have hobbies than businesses. You can be highly irresponsible and lackadaisical in a hobby and still enjoy it. Work hard at it or not as you please. That attitude doesn't usually work very well in a business.
incidentally, brute thought something along similar lines when last re-reading ERE. it is therein described that one ought to try and turn hobbies at least into cashflow-neutral, or even cashflow-generating, semi-businesses. since the gap between "hobby" and "business" is so large, brute has always struggled with this. it just doesn't seem like a very linear transition, at least if desiring to turn into a business that makes more than a few $ per month.

maybe it is easier to generate social-cashflow than actual cashflow? actual cashflow comes with customers, expectations, taxes, liabilities.. whereas collecting non-monetary compensation in the form of trades, goodwill, or what not could have a much better RoI.

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Dragline
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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by Dragline » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:58 pm

Yes, that sounds about right. There's much more to be gained by enjoyable activities than just monetary rewards.

OTOH, it is also true that people often attempt to express their "seriousness" in a hobby by spending way too much money on it. For example, you don't need mountaineering-quality equipment for simple backpacking trips. Or a high-end racing bike when you are just a weekend rider.

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Ego
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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by Ego » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:43 pm

BRUTE wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:42 pm
maybe it is easier to generate social-cashflow than actual cashflow? actual cashflow comes with customers, expectations, taxes, liabilities.. whereas collecting non-monetary compensation in the form of trades, goodwill, or what not could have a much better RoI.
But those things, the customers, expectations, taxes, and liabilities, they can be part of the hobby too. In comes down to mindset. An angry customer can be the cause of misery or an exercise in mastering Social Engineering, depending on how you look at them. Completing business taxes can be a chore or an opportunity to learn how things work. And truthfully, with a program like Quickbooks, most of the drudgery is removed from business accounting. The only thing left is the fun part, figuring out how it works and then optimizing.
Dragline wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:58 pm
OTOH, it is also true that people often attempt to express their "seriousness" in a hobby by spending way too much money on it. For example, you don't need mountaineering-quality equipment for simple backpacking trips. Or a high-end racing bike when you are just a weekend rider.
+1.

7Wannabe5
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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:25 am

There was a small family-owned bakery in a rural town in which I used to reside. They did a pretty steady business most days of the week, but on Saturday, the only day they baked pretzels, they had a line out the door.

Sometimes, more so when I used to do my own shipping, a potential customer will write me and ask a great number of questions along the lines of "Has the book ever been stored in the house of a smoker?" My response to such inquiries is always "Oh, I am so very sorry, but that book is no longer available." It is very true that 5% of your customers will give you 95% of your problems, but if you are running the business, you can decide how to limit your customer base.

On one occasion I took a new boyfriend with me to opening day of a major library sale. His job was to follow me around, handing me boxes and bags, and then stowing them away for me as I filled them up. Afterwards, he chuckled and said "You were like a shark." (His previous opinion of me being something more like "Bunny."-lol) OTOH, because I do naturally vibe soft-mammal, on multiple occasions throughout my life I have had people come out of the woodwork to solicit me to care for their children for pay.

My point being that there is a very wide range of boundaries and roles you can enact or fulfill when you work for yourself. Enormous financial success as an entrepreneur might be found through fulfilling the role of the tireless shark set on eating the entire planet, but you don't have to choose to sign up for that competition. It is not the case that everything of value in the world can successfully be scaled up endlessly, so there are many opportunities for wide variety of "smaller is more beautiful" independent operations.

pukingRainbows
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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by pukingRainbows » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:48 pm

I'm always interested in hearing more about the possible intersections between entrepreneurship and retiring early but I didn't think this article was particularly good. It seemed like it misinterpreted the ideas of early retirement just enough to create a false dilemma that could then be solved by the author.

And surprise, surprise, the solution is what the author is selling.

On a related note, is there already a term for someone who's business model for achieving success is just pretending they became successful using their product? Like someone saying they got rich writing e-books and will sell you an e-book on how to do the same? That's my impression of this author. His business is touting business as the answer.

I like Joshua Sheats ideas about entrepreneurship and retirement. Essentially, that self employment can provide many of the features people are looking for in early retirement.

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BRUTE
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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by BRUTE » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:38 pm

pukingRainbows wrote:
Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:48 pm
On a related note, is there already a term for someone who's business model for achieving success is just pretending they became successful using their product? Like someone saying they got rich writing e-books and will sell you an e-book on how to do the same? That's my impression of this author. His business is touting business as the answer.
pyramid scheme? at least it seems like a sub category. there's definitely tons of these - online courses on how to build online courses, affiliate programs that teach using affiliate programs, ebooks..

pukingRainbows
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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by pukingRainbows » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:56 pm

@Brute I think i got it. It was mentioned on the Wealthsteading podcast with John Pugliano. It's like a version of franchising. I like that term because it's informative and neutral in tone as to whether the opportunity is legitimate or a scam.

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BRUTE
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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by BRUTE » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:09 pm

franchising implies a very specific business model, doesn't it? typically, a license to run a branded version according to very specific business rules must be purchased, e.g. the license to run a McDonalds restaurant. TMBA doesn't seem to be selling TMBA franchises, but a lifestyle dream.

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FBeyer
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Re: TMBA and ERE etc

Post by FBeyer » Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:56 am

Franchising makes sense. You're pretending to have a successful business model and you're selling your model, whether it works or not. Selling an existing business model is franchising.

Normally you'll be buying a brand as part of the franchise, but in this case you're just buying the skeleton of a possibly dysfunctional model. If you're making your money from selling an idea rather than a product, is it really that far off to call it franchising?

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