Being location independent isn’t for everyone, but on some level, it’s something that we all find interesting and appealing.
Sean Ogle (today’s guest) is someone who made this lifestyle work for him. Once he had a taste of freedom, he put a plan into action and never looked back. This interview takes a look at what he’s been able to accomplish, as well as how he’s helped other people reach similar goals.
As an added bonus, he even shares his three favorite places in the world that he’s visited.
Now, for the interview…
Sean, I’m a huge fan of Location 180 – you’ve got a great mix of content about you (and other people) doing really cool things, finding a way to blend passion, life, and business. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey – Where did it all begin, and what was the bridge between your day job and your life as an entrepreneur? What’s Location 180 all about, and what else are you focused on (within your business) today?
It all began on a trip to Brazil in 2009. I’d saved up all of my vacation time to head down to Rio for Carnival with one of my best friends. It was the last day of my trip and I was walking down Copacabana Beach with a coconut in my hand and all I could think was “I should be able to do this whenever I want.”
Over the next 6 months I started Location 180, sold my car, left my job, started a business and then in January of the following year I moved to Thailand.
Location 180 is all about doing the stuff you really want to be doing in life. I specifically talk a lot about travel and entrepreneurship, and how it can be a great vehicle for reaching your goals. My primary business is my community Location Rebel – but I have half a dozen other small businesses built around various interests I have.
Can you tell us a little bit more about what Location Rebel is all about and who this might be best suited for?
A couple years ago I noticed there really wasn’t a good community for people looking to build a location independent business. I created Location Rebel with the idea that I wanted a premium offering, where if someone was willing to invest in themselves and work hard – there would be no reason why they wouldn’t be able to build a successful business.
Now nearly 3 years later we have over 600 members, and a large chunk of them have left their jobs and are doing things on their own terms.
One of the biggest surprises about it is just how diverse the group of people we have is. It’s everything from 20 year old college students who don’t want to go into the corporate world, to 45 year old single moms, and 63 year old retirees. Anyone can build this type of business, if the desire to do it is there.
What has been your greatest success (or successes) so far?
To be honest, my greatest success is the fact that I’ve built a business that allows me to do what I want, when I want. I still have to pinch myself on a regular basis.
There are the more superficial successes like building a 6-figure business, or a big email list. But frankly, it’s the fact I’ve built something that has helped both myself and hundreds of other people achieve a life that they’re actually excited about, that I think is the most important.
This one’s a little off-topic, but – what’s your favorite place in the world you’ve traveled to, and why?
Dude, that’s such a hard question! I like so many places for different reasons. So I’ll give you a few:
- Buzios, Brazil. A resort town a few hours from Rio. One of the most diverse set of beaches in the world, and a must visit if you’re in Brazil.
- Railay Beach, Thailand – Extremely secluded, exotic, and some of the best rock climbing in the world.
- Sunriver, Oregon – This is a place I grew up going to as a kid, and I’m there at least 3-4 times a year now. I haven’t found a place in the world that compares to the high desert landscape and has such a huge variety of outdoor activities.
I know you offer consulting for people who want to achieve something related to what you’ve achieved: a location-independent business, overcoming the fear and uncertainty of a big change, etc. Can you give us a detailed example of a problem someone came to you with, and how you helped them (or what action plan was put into place)?
Everyone is different, but they usually have variations on the same problem: They aren’t happy doing what they’re doing and want to change.
The most successful people I work with have without fail, all followed my 3 step process:
1) Build relevant skills – WordPress, SEO, Copywriting, Social media. Start a blog and get familiar with all of these things.
2) Freelance one of these skills – This builds income and confidence. Once you have those two things, it gets much easier to start a business that’s a bit sexier like e-commerce, apps, info products, etc.
3) Apply to your own projects: Most people start with this, and that’s why the fail – they don’t have the proper groundwork laid out to be successful.
Tristan King did this, and within a year he was traveling through South America with his wife and doing 5 figures a month as a Shopify Developer.
Stephanie Halligan paid off $30k in student loans, quit her job, and won best new blog at “FinCon” the biggest personal finance blogger conference.
Blair Robinson made $4k in his very first month of working in Location Rebel. Inside of a year, he’d left his job, started multiple other businesses, and was making more money than he was at his technical day job. (See the video below. If you are reading in an RSS reader and you don’t see the video, you may need to click through to the actual video page on YouTube.)
So it all depends, but they each started with the basics, did some freelancing, and then scaled from there.
For someone who currently works a 9-to-5 job that they hate and wants to find a way to escape and start their own business (but doesn’t know where to begin), what are some initial action steps that you would recommend?
1. Buy a domain
2. Get hosting
3. Install WordPress
4. Start writing
Doesn’t matter if you have no idea what to write about, just do it. This is what I did with Location 180. Not only is it important to learn WordPress and improve your writing skills, but it gives a way to connect with others online – finding a group of likeminded people is huge.
Even though you’re working on your own, you’ll be facing an uphill battle if you don’t have a few people to turn to for support.
Let’s take a step back and look more generally at becoming an entrepreneur. If you had to take your best advice and put it into one sentence or phrase, what would that be?
I wrote this in a blog post years ago, and it still holds true today:
There are only 7 days in a week, and someday isn’t one of them. [Click here to tweet this]
Super cheesy, but also true.
Start something NOW. If you have no clue how to start, do exactly what I instructed in the previous question
What are your favorite online resources?
There’s so much great stuff out there. Here are a few things I personally use and love:
- Sanebox – For email management
- Focus at Will – For instrumental music that’s great to work to
- Visual Website Optimizer – For testing anything and everything
Finally, where can people find you online?
To get started the best place to find me is at Location 180.
If you’re serious about building a business that lets you work from anywhere on your own terms, then Location Rebel may be a good fit.
What do you think of Sean’s story, or of becoming “location independent” in general? Leave a comment below and let us know.
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