Pssst, Did You Hear? I Am Moving To Bali for the TMBA #9 Internship!
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Pssst, Did You Hear? I Am Moving To Bali For A Bit!

17 October 2011 67 Comments

This past May, I accidentally spilled that I was looking to make a move, and seriously considering San Francisco. My darling friend Sarahwas even going to let me sleep in her closet until I found a place to live.

My move is going to take me on a *slightly* different path than San Francisco.

Instead, I’m moving to Bali to be the TMBA #9 Intern.

Yep. You read that right.

Bali. Indonesia.#BOOM

Dan, Ian, David and all those other crazy Tropical MBA guys poured over a bunch of applications, Skyped with folks, talked amongst themselves, probably drank a couple beers, and somehow decided at the end of the whole process to offer me a job.

I will have a post with more details and FAQ’s about what this position entails in the next couple weeks. Once my brain has adjusted to the HOLY-HELL-I’M-GOING-TO-BALI-ness of it all. And once we figure out what exactly I’m doing out there.

As my friend Nate (who, PS, just WALKED ACROSS AMERICA and got featured on The Art of Non-Conformity) told me last night…it is impossible to even attempt to know where to start writing about this, let alone doing it coherently. Given any 20 minute period of time my emotions range from belligerently excited to shakingly nervous to ridiculously terrified to walking-on-clouds-filled-with-glee.

AONCI have always been scared to do something like this. And not moved ENOUGH by the internet marketing and e-commerce positions (that are DREAMS for many other people) of the previous TMBA postings to push myself out of the comfortable existence I was living. Even though I had read 4 Hour Work Week and The Art of Non-Conformity, I didn’t feel like I had the guts to do what they had done.

This spring, my life felt like it was falling apart. By mid-summer I was overwhelmed with a feeling that I just couldn’t explain. I wasn’t depressed or exceedingly sad.

I had just lost my sparkle.

Then Dan posted his 9th Tropical MBA Internship.

And I was all like Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal, minus the rolling around in a bed of hundred dollar bills (though that would have been SWEET!)

Not only did I see the job entailing so many things I loved about being online (writing, editing, website and brand development) but I saw the potential for a much bigger opportunity within their organization (content management, online publishing, and brand authority). Plus, the job involved getting relocated to Bali with living expenses for 3 months to get settled with the possibility of extending.

I emailed my SPIRLBFF and said “Oh my god I want this gig so much I think I’m going to throw up!”

Staring at the computer, my mind racing as I started crafting the application essay in my head, I began coming up with every possible reason that I was completely foolish to even entertain the thought of applying.

Let alone doing it.

Eventually I closed the laptop, and walked away.

Damn laptop. It called to me. Like that plant in Little Shop of Horrors.You know, the one who sings and seems all friendly but is actually a blood-sucking alien devoted to the annihilation of the human species?

I was intrigued. But also terrified that I might unleash something that I was completely unprepared to harness.

Night after night, I’d find my way to the Tropical MBA site, and read through the description. I’d leave the tab open, thinking that maybe (just maybe) I’d go back and fill out an application. Never following through.

I talked to my sister, and was like “I’m crazy to not apply for this, right?” She listened dutifully to my concerns and excitement and vision for what I’d want to bring to the position and told me “This is the opportunity of a lifetime and it is perfect for you. It is your dream job. How could you not apply for it?”

I watched for two weeks as countless brilliant people announced that they were applying. People that I frankly thought I had no chance of ever getting the position over. So I kept mulling the application over in my head, but how could I do it? It wasn’t a good time. I had no chance.

It is crazy to wish, or even start. Wishing only wounds the heart. What happens if I fail? What happens if I fall on my face?

I began work editing Joel Runyon’s manifesto for his new ImpossibleHQ site. It was exactly what I needed to hear. “Failure is a part of a the story, but it’s not the whole story. It’s just another obstacle waiting to be overcome.”

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. It was breaking my heart to not even try for it.

Staying small hurt too much.

I spent 9 ½ hours working on that application the day before it was due. I researched their sites. I analyzed their content. I drafted each individual essay answer and then edited them a half dozen times over. By 11:30 PM I was finally ready to record my video, which was a 5 minute mixture of my absolute desire and passion for this position and everything I would bring to the table, explaining why I was the best candidate for them to hire.

In the application I said:

This might not be ‘the perfect time’ for me to apply for a job that I have half-convinced myself was written specifically for me, which exists halfway around the world.

But I do not think I will be able to wake up and look at myself in the mirror tomorrow morning if I don’t.

The whirlwind began. I blew my first Skype call with David and Dan. They say I didn’t totally blow it. I sure as hell know *I* wouldn’t hire me based on that call.

I was 7 minutes late getting on my Skype call with Ian, after breaking about 47 traffic laws in rush hour traffic in Portland. He was awesome to talk to, and knowing it was my last chance, I sold myself like I was tap dancing a cross examination in the musical Chicago.

I nailed it.

Two days later, at 10:29 on Saturday night, I got an email from Dan saying “You have a minute to Skype? EOM”

I had to Google what EOM meant.

He asked me a few more questions. He pointed out (again) that I was way over-qualified for the job they posted. He grilled me to ask if I was SURE I wanted this job and wanted to live in a house with 4 boys (who probably have cooties…thank GOD I’m getting immunizations before I leave!) and wanted to work my little fingers raw.

I asked him if he was offering me a job.

He asked if I wanted it.

I asked him if he was offering me a job.

He laughed and said yes.

Then, fortunately, his internet died for about 3 minutes. Because I was running around my friends’ apartment where I was crashing, squealing and shrieking in tones only audible to the dogs in the neighborhood.

So how am I doing now?

Well, I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me.

By the beginning of January I’ll be on my first international flight ever, preparing to live overseas having never lived anywhere other than the state of Maine. I need to get a foreign work visa and a ton of other paperwork. I would like to have a few thousand dollars kicking around “just in case”. I need to get my ass to the gym for 3 hours a day cause I’m gonna be running around in a tank top and shorts all the time (I’m assuming…seems kinda sick hot there!) I need to tan or I will fry up like a little red lobster in the equatorial sun.

When I attempted to find a flight out, I got this message:

Portland Maine to Denpasar Bali Indonesia

Thank you, TripAdvisor, for pointing out that this idea is bat-shit crazy!

It is absolutely flat out stupid for me to do this.

Dammit, I have never been happier about a single decision in my life.

67 Responses to “Pssst, Did You Hear? I Am Moving To Bali For A Bit!”

  1. Charlie says:

    Hey Elisa, I just wanted to stop by and wish you luck. I applied too and am super-jealous but it looks like they picked the right person 🙂 I love the park bench description of your approach.

    Sure it will be amazing, and I’ll keep my eye out for updates. Hope the preparation goes well!

    • Aw, thanks Charlie! My approach was involved and a story to say the least – but I have to admit I’m a little lost to “park bench description” – I keep thinking of Forrest Gump which is probably not helping the thought process! 🙂

      I’ll be keeping people updated as to what is going on. I write about my life, and this will probably be a * pretty * big part of it!

  2. This is awesome! Congrats!!!!
    It’s high time a Lady is moving into the TMBA HQ 🙂
    Maybe I’ll even make it to Bali in the time you are there.

    • Thanks Yamile! I certainly hope that you are able to make it to Bali, I hear members of DC have a standing invite to the house. It would be great to hang out in person instead of over shotty Skype connections. 😉

      I’m excited to represent the girl-faction at TMBA HQ, and stoked to work with not only the guys but their designer/developer who is a woman (so I’m not the first or the only one!) She is just a bit (lot) more modest than me.

  3. Naomi Lancet says:

    Finally Dan chooses a girl!!! I’m super stoked for you & your opportunity~~~ Hope to join you soon in the future~~~

    • Haha, thanks Naomi! The TMBA guys already have a girl on the team who works their design/development, I’m just the first intern that’s been selected. He’s mentioned in the past that not many women have applied, but I think we deluged them this time around. 🙂

      Are you looking to apply to a future one or are you going to be visiting Bali (or C: All of the Above)?

  4. Jules says:

    It’s a solid decision. I met Dan and the guys while travelling in Bali this summer – they are smart, passionate, driven individuals who get off on surrounding themselves with and connecting similar people, meaning that the creativity and buzz of the whole environment is off the charts. Good call, girl.
    Jules (London)

    • Jules – Yes! That is exactly what I like to hear. I mean, tropical paradise in Bali isn’t anything to shake a stick at, but working in an environment with people like that doing stuff I love? That was probably the best part of this whole gig.

      That’s what a good life is all about. Doing what you love and loving what you do. Doing it all with a drink with an umbrella in it from your beach chair, well that’s practically obscene. 😉

    • dan says:

      Cheers Jules, come back I got a bean bag with your name on it!

  5. Joe says:

    Congrats Elisa! Just linked here from the TMBA site and, while I didn’t apply, I think this is certainly an opportunity of a lifetime! If I did apply, I probably would have been in the same position as you – waiting because I didn’t think I could do it, then cramming it in the final day. Best of luck!

    By the way, that Trip Advisor graphic is just priceless. I love it.

    • Joe – Thanks! I think it’s a pretty amazing opportunity as well. Obviously. 😉

      Glad to know there is someone else out there who thrives so well under pressure. If I only I didn’t know I put out good work at the 11th hour, I might not be so inclined to let it get to that point.

      I love the Trip Advisor graphic as well. I’m half tempted to write to them and be like “Seriously, you need to update your messaging. It is causing hysterical laughter on my site. I’m pretty sure it isn’t in a good way either!”

  6. […] to join his team out in Bali for Tropical MBA9, or that I got beat by a much worthier opponent in Elisa Doucette, isn’t really what riles me. No, it’s mainly my own […]

  7. Very cool! I know Sean Ogle had a great time, so hope you do too. Take lots of pics and videos!


  8. […] when I found out that my blogging-got-me-a-best-friend Elisa Doucette landed a job in Bali, one of my big travel goals that I had been tip-toeing around became a […]

  9. […] @elisadoucette, our new Tropical MBA Bali employee, check out “Pssst, Did You Hear? I Am Moving To Bali for the TMBA #9 Gig!“. […]

  10. […] @elisadoucette, our new Tropical MBA Bali employee, check out “Pssst, Did You Hear? I Am Moving To Bali for the TMBA #9 Gig!“. […]

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