SFN146: Becoming a Location Independent Entrepreneur and making it last, with Sean Ogle

Sean Ogle is one of the world's leaders in location independent entrepreneurs, giving him the freedom to live his life travelling and experiencing what the world has to offer. He moved to Thailand in 2009 having quit his job in Oregon after a life changing experience at Rio's carnival, and hasn’t looked back. Sean has released a number of products which relate to his online skills, and his website, Location Rebel is designed to help other budding entrepreneurs fulfil their dreams, leave their 9-5 and have the freedom to live the life that they want.

In today’s show, Sean and Frank chat about how Sean made the leap of faith to quit his job and go out on his own, how he has created longevity in his business and what he has learned along the way.

 

In This Interview You’ll Learn:

  • 00:40 – About Sean
  • 07:04 – What inspired Sean to go out on his own
  • 09:25 - Sean's tips to reaching out to inspiring people
  • 12:40 – The situation around Sean leaving his job
  • 16:35 – Essential skills to working online
  • 17:48 - Sean's 3-step approach to getting freedom
  • 23:44 - Sean's products
  • 26:10 – What Sean has learned which has helped him get longevity
  • 30:09 – Why a personal website is so important
  • 32:39 - Sean's mentors
  • 35:40 - Sean's visions for the future
  • 40:38 - Sean's tips which have led to his success

 

Downloads:

 

Show Notes:

Podcast transcript:

Starting from Nothing – The Foundation Podcast
Guest Name Interview – Sean Ogle
Introduction: Welcome to Starting from Nothing – The Foundation Podcast, the place where
incredible entrepreneur show you how they built their business entirely from
scratch, before they knew what the heck they were doing.
Frank: Welcome to another edition of the Starting from Nothing podcast from The
Foundation. I’m your host today, Frank Mocerino.
We’ve brought on a very special guest for you, guys. One of the guys who
actually originally got me interested in lifestyle design and becoming an
entrepreneur, geez, what, it’s about seven years ago. His name is Sean Ogle.
In 2009, Sean says that his life was kind of sucking so he quit his job, moved to
Thailand, built a business, and ultimately started living the way that he’s always
wanted to.
Sean has a site called Location 180 that has documented his entire journey and
teaches you how to do the same thing. Sean’s given a TEDx talk on the future of
the American dream and also co-produces the World Domination Summit.
Sean, welcome and thanks for coming.
Sean: Thanks, Frank. It’s an honor to be here. I appreciate you guys having me.
Frank: Yeah, absolutely.
So, for those listeners out there who aren’t already totally in the know about
who Sean is, let’s give them a background. Actually, I want to step out and say
you’re an OG, man, in the internet world. I mean when I look at 2009, that’s two
years after I got out of college. I want to encourage everyone to really listen to
Sean’s journey because he’s achieved longevity in the game of entrepreneurship.
This isn’t something that he built last year and has achieved success with it in a
short term. He’s going to be a great example for you of what it takes to be a
successful entrepreneur over the long term, right?
So Sean, take us back to -- it’s 2009. What are you doing for work and what gives
you this idea that you’re allowed to go out there and build a different kind of life
for yourself?
Sean: Yeah. So, I guess you have to, like, back up a little bit farther to really understand
what I’m all about. I had the most average middle class American upbringing
possible, you know? I knew from a young age pretty much exactly what I was
going to do. I think I was in 8th Grade and I knew I was going to go to Oregon
State University and room with my best friend. Within six months of graduating
college, I had a job offer to work as a Portfolio Analyst for a small investment
firm.
So, the decisions for where I was going to go on life were always kind of made
for me and I just kind of followed the path of least resistance for a long time.
It was July of ‘07, I graduated school, I got that first job. I was making more
money than my friends. I had suit and tie. I had an office overlooking downtown
Portland. I had everything that I thought that I really wanted. At the time, the
stock market was at its peak. July of ‘07, everyone’s happy. Things are booming.
As we all know, really quickly after that, the recession hit and everything went to
hell.
And so by February of ‘09, this job that I was really excited about, basically I
realized was just sucking the life out of me. I was miserable. My boss was
miserable, our clients were miserable, and I never got to experience the kind of
fun side of being in the finance industry.
So, what I did was I saved up all my vacation time for a year. One of my best
friends and I ended up taking a trip down to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil for Carnival. I
begged my boss to let me take the time off. It took me months to get him to say
yes and just had the most unbelievable trip of my life. We danced in the Carnival
parade, we went hang gliding over Rio, we went down to Iguazu Falls which is
one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It was totally life-changing.
The day I got back, before anything else happened, my boss was like, “Hey Sean,
by the way, just so you know, we’re going to give you a 20% pay cut. It was
either we all take pay cuts across the board or we let somebody go. And so we
chose to do the pay cut.”
So, here I am, I’m not happy with my job, I just had the trip of a lifetime, and I
had that little taste of what it could be like to run a remote business or to travel,
and then I got this massive pay cut. So that was the kind of catalyst for
everything that ended up happening that I kind of -- was the back story for what
eventually was going to become Location 180.
Frank: Okay. Okay. So you experienced, essentially, factors outside of your control,
indirectly influencing your ability to live the life that you want. And that one day
you show up to a job that you always expected was going to be predictable, that
you were going to make more money than your friends, and all of a sudden the
stream shuts off, so to speak, where it’s like, “Hey, you’re getting a cut and
there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Sean: Yeah. I had two goals for myself when I got out of school. I wanted to run my
own business and I wanted to travel. The firm that I went to work for was a
brand new business. I actually came on three weeks before they opened up. I
was going to help them kind of open up the company. They were migrating from
a traditional brokerage and they’re migrating their book of business over to this
new company. So it was like, “Oh, sweet. This is going to be entrepreneurial.”
It’s the two principles: our administrative assistant and me. I knew they were
kind of grooming me to take over the company so it was like, “Great, this is going
to have all sorts of entrepreneurial opportunities and this great learning
experience.” I quickly realized that that wasn’t the case. I was just working to
build a business for my boss that I might get a piece of 20 years down the road
but I wasn’t willing to put the life that I really wanted on hold for another 20
years or what might get me some place that I want to be.
Frank: Yeah. Okay. So you walk in to work, you are offered a demotion, essentially, or a
paid cut, what starts going through your mind at that point? How do you go from
just accepting that and feeling happy with the fact that you still have a job to
taking a leap?
Sean: So, this was a really big moment because my buddy that I went down to Brazil
with was in a very similar situation. He was working at a job even less glamorous
than what I had. He was a conveyor belt salesman. Three weeks after we got
back from Brazil he’s like, “You know what, screw this.” He left his job and he
moved to Hawaii.
He said, “I’m going to hang out in Hawaii,” he was going to work as a cabana boy
for, like, eight months, and then in January of 2010, he was going to take a world
trip where he was going to -- He had about $30,000 saved up and he was like,
“I’m going to start traveling the world and I’m going to do it till I run out of
money.”
So, very quickly, my best friend who I would talk to on my lunch breaks and stuff
like that, he’s living the life n Hawaii. Basically kind of treading water, making just
enough to get by so that he wasn’t dipping into his savings. And I knew he had
this epic trip planned for January. So, if he was doing that and I was still in this
job that I was miserable with, I’d never be able to forgive myself.
Him actually taking the leap ahead of me gave me the motivation to start making
those steps to get to the point where I could actually leave.
Frank: Okay. What else was going on in your life at that point in terms of information
coming in? So, I’m curious. Aside from the fact that you’re seeing a friend do
what you want to do, what books were you reading? Who are you listening to to
kind of round out your education around the possibility of something like this?
Sean: So, there’s an obvious answer here and I’m sure a lot of your listeners have read
this book, if they haven’t, or at least they’ve heard of it, and that’s the 4-Hour
Workweek by Tim Ferriss.
Frank: Yup.
Sean: So, I read that book and that kind of opened my mind to some possibilities and
something that still seemed a little bit out of reach but it was like, “Okay, I can
get on board with what this guy’s saying. I’m liking these concepts” because at
the time, nobody was really talking about the concept of a lifestyle business, or
making a dramatic change where you can go, run a business from anywhere you
want.
But I would say the biggest influence that I had at that time was I stumbled
across the blog called the Art of Non-Conformity, Chris Guillebeau’s site. I still
remember sitting at my desk one afternoon and I read every single blog post that
he had written and which is like, “This guy gets it. This is what I want to be doing.
This is the life that I want.” It turns out he had just moved to Portland.
And so I sent him an email. I was like, “Hey, this is where I’m at. I’m desperate to
make a change. I’m willing to do whatever it takes. Can I buy you a coffee?” He
agreed and so we went for coffee. I was still in my, like, ill-fitting suit walking
over to, like, hipster central on the East side of Portland, Oregon, and I show up
in this suit. I had to lie to my boss and say I had a doctor’s appointment to go
meet Chris. I show up and he just starts laughing at me. He’s like, “Hey, nice
suit.”
We talked. He was the one that encouraged me to start a blog. That was
essentially how Location 180 was born because he said, “Hey, start a blog. Start
writing about the changes you want to make and the stuff you want to do, and
use it as a tool to hold yourself accountable for all of these changes.” So I went
back and I started it.
A month later, I wrote him back and I said, “Hey, I did everything you told me to.
Let’s get together again so I can figure out the next steps.” That was what put
me on the path to get to the point where I could leave my job five or six months
later.
Frank: Wow! So I want to actually pick apart something in there because I think it’s
going to really be valuable.
So you reached out and connected with someone who is an influencer, someone
who is doing what you want to do, right? Looking back now over the last seven
years, you’ve become an influencer yourself. So what I’m curious about is for
people considering that path which is proximity is power, find people who are
doing what you want to do and learn from them, what are some tips that you
can offer those types of people to reach out to people in a way that makes
sense, in a way that provides value to both parties?
Sean: One of the biggest things you can do, and I think this is one of the reasons I was
successful, is you’ve got influencers, you’ve got the people that you’re aspiring
to be like or there’s aspects of what they do that you want to do. All over the
place, they’re probably giving advice and they’re teaching you how to do things.
Whether it’d be blog post, products, podcast, you name it.
If you actually go and apply something that they’ve taught you and have success
with it and tell them about it, it doesn’t matter what level you’re at, people want
to hear about that. They want to see their teachings being applied in real-life
successfully.
So, if you read a book by some author you want to get in touch with and say,
“Hey, I applied this and I built a giant blog based on your advice,” or something
and you tell them about it, they’re more than likely going to be like, “Hey, I want
to feature you,” or “I want to help you. I want to spread your message because it
helps further my message.” I think that’s a fantastic place to start.
What I tell people a lot of the time is before you send an email or before you just
kind of cold call essentially an influencer, get on the radar. I think one of the best
ways to do that is for -- call it two to four weeks before you reach out to them.
Comment on every blog post they’ve got. They’re doing YouTube videos,
comment and share that. Reach out to him on Twitter.
Because if you do that consistently with every piece of content they put out
whether it’s their tweets or their Facebook post or their blog, you do that for a
month, they’re going to know who you are. It doesn’t matter how big they are.
They’re going to see those come in, they’re going to recognize that name.
And then if you send them an email and be like, “Hey, I’m a big fan of your stuff,”
and you reach out with whatever it is. Whether it’s to say hi, whether it’s a little
bit of an ask, asking for advice or something like that, they’re going to be much
more likely to help because they’ve seen how engaged you are with their brand
and their content.
Frank: Beautiful. So, two steps essentially there for the audience to pull away. Number
one, get on their radar by sharing their stuff, by commenting on their stuff.
Number two that I think is really valuable is not just reaching out and saying
“You’re an awesome person” but reaching out and letting them know specifically
what you liked about what they’ve put out there and how you’ve taken action on
that. Does that seem right, Sean?
Sean: 100%. So, for instance, you know, with Chris, we did it in person but he gave me
the advice for starting a blog and gave me some tips for how to do that. And I
came back and I did it. And then he gave me some tips for growing the blog and I
came back and did it.
What ended up happening was in his first book, the Art of Non-Conformity, there
was an entire chapter that was called the Twin Stories of Nate and Sean. And it
was basically this guy -- I think his name was Nate. Then he would -- see, once a
year when he was traveling, and every year this guy said I want to make changes
in my life, I want to do something, and Chris would give him some advice.
He would come back the next year, see the same guy he hadn’t done anything,
and he would ask the same question and Chris would give him the same advice.
So he wasn’t taking action on anything. Versus me where Chris gave me some
advice, I applied it, I had success, gave me more advice, applied it, had success.
It’s a perfect example was he told me what to do, I did it, and then published a
chapter about me and his first book. It works well.
Frank: Beautiful. Beautiful. So action is key.
Sean: Absolutely.
Frank: So let’s go back to, right, you started this blog and then five or six months later,
you actually ended up leaving that job that we talked about. When you left that
job, had you already replaced your income entirely or were you taking a bit of a
leap of faith?
Sean: I was totally taking a leap of faith. Basically -- I left my job and it wasn’t by any
means what I had expected to have happen. So what basically transpired was my
boss came to me that summer and he was like, “Sean, if you can think of any
creative ways to save the company money,” he’s like, “I’m all about it. Obviously
revenue’s down, the market’s down, so I’m open to creative ideas.” And so I
thought about it for a while and I came back.
Remember my friend, Ryan, was living in Hawaii and so I said -- Basically I
created a proposal and I said, “Hey boss, let me work remotely from Hawaii on a
trial basis for three months. I will take 50% pay cut to be able to do this. I’m
going to open this up to a new client base that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.
We’re going to make the company more secure by figuring out how to deal with
financially sensitive data, remotely, which is going to allow you guys to travel in
the future. You’re going to save money in other ways like, you know, my parking
and my computer terminal and things like that.” I said, “Let’s give it a shot. It will
save the company money, it will give me the adventure I want, and it could have
the potential to help grow the business.”
A month later, they thought about it, we had a few follow-up meetings. I really
thought this thing was a go. They pulled me into their office and they said, “Sean,
we’ve decided not to accept your proposal but we will accept this as your
resignation.” I was completely taken off guard. Here I am thinking, hey, I’m going
to do something that’s going to help everybody out, I’m thinking creatively, this
is going to be a good thing, and they basically said, “Nope, that’s not going to
work,” and “peace out.”
Basically, there was some back and forth. I had the opportunity to stick around. I
have the opportunity to save my job but I was basically like, “You know what, no.
If this is how you’re going to treat me, I’m out of here,” and there’s never going
to be a perfect time. So I might as well use this experience and say, “Hey, let’s
give this a shot, let’s try this on my own and see what happens.”
At this point, I had started Location 180. I’ve been doing it for about five months.
I had next to no income at that time. And basically, what ended up happening,
was the next week I published a post called My Last Day and it was basically --
For people that were following the site, it was very clear that this was -- things
were building up to this. I was unhappy. I knew I wanted to make a change. I just
wasn’t expecting it to be so soon.
A guy named Dan Andrews, who you probably know is the founder of the
Tropical MBA, reached out to me. At the time he had really no brand. The
Tropical MBA was -- Literally all it was was a landing page with a video of him in
the Philippines walking around in Crocs, telling people that he had this internship
opportunity and wanted to bring an American guy out to Asia to help him with
his business.
I think he had, like, five episodes of the lifestyle business podcast at the time so
really didn’t have much of a presence on the internet yet. He responded me
directly and said, “Hey, I think you’d be great for this. What do you think about
coming out to Thailand?”
So, two months later, I hopped on a flight to Bangkok. He met me at the Bangkok
Airport at 1AM, met this random dude from the internet with a sketchy looking
sales page. Met him in Thailand and the rest was history.
He paid me $800 a month. So my basic living expenses in Bangkok to work parttime
for him where he kind of gave me the tools necessary to help do some
marketing stuff and some SEO stuff for his business while also building my own
brand and my own products in the process. So, that was kind of how it all
started.
Frank: Beautiful. So I’m guessing out there, in the Philippines, you started to learn a
little bit about the foundation of what skills it was going to take for you to be
able to monetize this new lifestyle. Is that right?
Sean: Absolutely. Yeah.
Frank: What were some of those skills? What were the things that you were doing on a
day-to-day basis that you learned?
Sean: Yeah. So when I started working with them, you kind of start -- I kind of had an
inkling because I’ve been working on my site, my blog, so you start to get an idea
of, like, what are the fundamental things you need to be successful online
regardless of what you’re doing? Some aspects of that are copywriting. You can
be persuasive with your words and you can sell with your words then you’re
going to have a huge leg up against anybody regardless of what you do.
Copywriting, basic search engine optimization, making sure that your onsite
pages were setup properly, and you knew how to bring in external traffic and get
those links to bump your rankings up. The fundamentals of design. You don’t
have to be a designer to understand a little bit of what looks good versus what
doesn’t look good. Social media for business. WordPress was a huge thing. So all
of these skills, regardless of what you do, all kind of feed in and help give you a
base IQ for being successful building an online business.
Frank: Nice. Okay. So I really like that. So what I want to do now, I’m going to circle back
a little bit later on in our talk to a little bit more about your personal journey.
What I want to be able to share with listeners’ right upfront is you’ve kind of got
this three-step approach to what it would look like for somebody to get their
freedom.
Sean: Yeah.
Frank: So a lot of people right now, they’re in their job, they have dreams that’s just a
twinkle in their eye right now but they have dreams of being an entrepreneur.
What’s missing for a lot of people is a bridge because they want to know, how
can I go from my job today to being able to quit my job and build a bridge stream
of income for me to be able to do whatever it is that I’m going to do on a larger
scale later on?
So would you kind of talk us through a process of how do I go about creating
freedom for myself if I’m in a job today?
Sean: Totally. So I’ve got what’s essentially a three-step process for doing this and it’s
kind of -- I refer to it as the boring way to build a business online. It’s boring, it’s
not necessarily sexy, it’s not the stuff most people gravitate towards right away
but it is the one that’s consistent. It’s the one that if you follow this process and
you’re consistent with it and you’re disciplined with it, you will have a certain
level of success. You’re going to build that income and build that confidence
which is going to lead to the sexier stuff later on.
So the first step part of the process is kind of a two-step thing, it’s build the
relevant skills. So all of those skills we just mentioned: search engine
optimization, copywriting, WordPress, social media for business, fundamentals
of design. All of those are things that you need to kind of get to an intermediate
level at. So you need to go to work and start building those skills.
Part two is how do you actually build the skills? Well, you start a website which I
think is kind of a training ground to allow your sandbox to play in to test out all
these skills. With everything you’re learning you can start applying it towards
that.
And so there’s two different types of websites I recommend people build. The
first is just a personal blog. This is what I did. So I started writing. I didn’t have
any idea what it was going to become when I first started doing it. I was just
writing about anything and everything that came to my mind, writing about my
insecurities, writing about the things I wanted to do, and that ended up
resonating with a lot of people.
In the process, I got to learn all about how to write a headline people are going
to click on. So that helped me with my copywriting. How to get things to rank for
the search terms I want -- help me with my search engine optimization. So, all of
the skills I learned in the first year of doing Location 180 have been things that
I’ve kept with me for the last five years.
The other type of website kind of leads into step number two which is taking one
of those skills that you excel at and starting a freelance business rabbit and
freelancing them. So the other type of website is to build a freelance services
website. So this is just a basic five or six page website where you can advertise
and market your services. So homepage, about page, rates page, services page,
maybe a blog component and a contact page, you know. That’s all you need to
get going with that.
But the idea being is the easiest way to make money online is freelance writing.
You’ve got millions of websites out there, they all need content. A lot of
companies are willing to pay for it. They want to hire people like you and me to
go out and create that content. That’s a lot easier than trying to build some
affiliate niche site where you have to have an internet marketing background,
you have to have an advance knowledge of marketing to be successful with.
Starting a freelance business and specifically I would say, like, 70% of the people
that I work with, start a freelance writing business. It’s just a matter of following
the process. As long as you have a decent grasp of writing and you can write
without making yourself sound like a total idiot, you can be successful with this.
You can start making money this month. We have people that have joined our
Location Rebel Program that have made $4,000, $5,000 in their first month alone
just by going through this process.
So step number one, build the relevant skills, build a website to help use that as
a training ground to build those skills.
Frank: Okay.
Sean: Step number two, freelance in order to build up your income and your
confidence. And step number three is then you apply it to all of those other
projects; all that fun stuff. That’s when you can create an info product for your
blog, or create a membership site, or create a software as a service business, or
create an e-commerce store. That’s the sexy part.
But once you’ve got a little bit of income coming in through that freelance
business, you’ve got the confidence and your skills in order to make that
transition, that’s when you’re going to start being successful with those
businesses. As oppose to trying to start something really advanced right off the
bat while you’re in your day job, while you’re frustrated, while you still don’t
know anything. So that’s how I approach it.
Frank: Take us through the timeline of you start the blog, right? So you published it on
day one. What day was it when you actually offered your first info product for
sale?
Sean: So I started it in May of 2009 and I launched my first info product in September
of 2010 and it was called overcoming the fear of uncertainty. So it was basically
built around the premise that the only fear in the world is uncertainty. You’re
not afraid of spiders, you’re afraid of the uncertainties surrounding whether or
not it’s going to bite you. You’re not afraid of the dark, you’re afraid of the
uncertainties surrounding whether or not there’s something lurking around in
the shadows that’s going to come out and get you.
So once you kind of say, “Hey,” I know that uncertainty’s only thing I’m afraid of”
but you could turn it around and you can embrace the uncertainty and start
treating it like an asset. And start saying, “Because I don’t know what’s going to
happen, I can make anything that I want to happen.” That’s what I did to my life.
I was totally afraid to leave my job and move to Thailand but I did it. I overcame
that uncertainty and eventually I embraced it. So I essentially just built the
course in the community that was really built around what I just conquered in
my own life.
Frank: Really cool. What was the price point to that initial product that you built?
Sean: That initial product was $47.
Frank: Man! Okay. So, take us through, right? What happens after that? So now you’ve
had your blog up for over a year, you launch your first product, how do you now
go about kind of scaling up this business based on the foundation that you spent
some time creating for yourself in terms of building the site, acquiring the skills,
and getting your first low cost product out there. What happens next?
Sean: Yeah. So, at that point, you get to be a couple of years into the site. I built up my
reputation a little bit. Specifically I built up my reputation as someone who
actually takes action. It’s like I did leave my job, I did move to Thailand, I did start
traveling the world. I started doing all of these things as oppose to the person
that just fits and talks about it and never actually makes any moves.
And so all the products I’ve created have been built around something that I’ve
accomplished in my own life. So, I overcame uncertainty so I built a product
teaching other people how to do it as well.
Over the course of the next few years, I learned how to build a freelance
business online. I was doing freelance SEO to pay the bills for a long time,
freelance marketing and things like that. So I said, “You know what, this worked
really well for me.” I started to blog, I built those skills, I started freelancing it, I
built up my income, I built up my confidence. “This worked for me, maybe it can
work for somebody else.” That’s essentially how Location Rebel was born.
And so I started creating this. I did research on how to build a proper marketing
funnel and how to do a launch. My goal was, I said, “You know what, I’m going to
release this to 20 people on a beta level. If I can sell out 20 spots in, like, a week,
then I would be super stoked at $297.”
So on July 26, 2011, I did my beta launch. I opened it up at 9AM Pacific Time and
an amazing thing happened. Within 48 minutes, I had sold out all 20 spots. I
couldn’t close the sales page fast enough. I had four more sales come in so I
made 24 sales having never really done a launch like this before. I had over
$7,000 on my bank account and that was how Location Rebel was born. I said,
“You know what, there’s clearly something to this. Let’s see what happens.”
Now we’ve got over 1500 members in 40 different countries and just hundreds
of incredible case studies and testimonials and great stories have come out of it
Frank: Man, that is amazing.
I want to do a little bit of a retrospective for you now. So 2009 through 2016 is a
massive chunk of time that you’ve dedicated your life to building this business.
Sean: God, man! When you put it that way, that sounds like really long time. [unclear
00:26:12] old.
Frank: It’s so long, right? And I love the longevity because I think that one of the things
that our audience can really stand to learn from you is not how do you become a
flash in the pan but how do you do this year after year so that you can capture
the type of life that you want, right?
So what I want to know is throughout these last seven years, what were your
biggest learning moments? And I found that learning moments, a lot of times,
are your “Oh shit, I made a huge mistake” moment. But I’m curious, in these last
few years, what were the things that really gave you new direction or gave you
clarity on direction by making a mistake or by learning something new.
Sean: That’s a really good question and just because it’s fresh on my mind. I would say
one of the biggest learning experiences I had was with that beta launch. It was
one of the first times I actually put together a plan and I started marketing it in,
like, April. I started building up a list, I started building buzz around it, I had no
idea if it was going to work, and that worked incredibly well by my standards at
the time. And so kind of saying, “Hey, if you put a plan together and you actually
ship and you actually put it out, you actually execute on it, amazing things can
happen.”
So I think that was one of the fundamental moments because now I do a couple
launch promotions a year for Location Rebel and every time they’re really, really
successful because I take those same methods that I learned almost five years
ago now and I apply the same fundamental things to each of them. So I would
say that’s one really big learning experience I’ve had is put together a solid plan,
execute on the plan, and you’re going to be successful.
As oppose to just saying, “Hey, I’m going to throw up a sales page and see what
happens.” Because so many people that start businesses, like I said, they don’t
follow that three-step process, they jump straight to step number three. A lot of
the times that means starting an info product. They write the sales page the
night before, they throw it up, and then nobody buys it and they’re not sure
why.
So I think that was a really important lesson for me is say, “Hey, if you do this the
right way, people will buy what you’re selling.”
Frank: Cool.
Sean: In terms of other learning experience, I’m trying to think of big mistakes that I’ve
made, that I’ve learned from, and I guess the biggest one that comes to mind
right now is kind of the antithesis of what I just talked about.
Over the last -- call it year, year-and-a-half -- I have not been very good at
putting together those promotions for new products and shipping new products.
I actually have two fully completed courses that I’ve got completely done and I
haven’t launched them, I haven’t released them. I’ve been sitting on them for
like a year and it’s really, really good quality content.
And so the mistake I’ve made is not shipping and not doing it and becoming, in
my own mind, a little bit stagnant with what I’m putting out to the world. So you
can’t always have to be pushing yourself to evolve, to continue to put out new
stuff, and not rest on your laurels or just rest on something that’s worked in the
past.
I think that’s been one of my biggest mistakes over the last year is not putting
out enough new stuff and not shipping the stuff that I’ve already got, if that
makes sense.
Frank: Yeah.
Sean: [unclear 00:29:21].
Frank: No, that totally make sense. It sounds like the lessons that we’re pulling out of
here is that ultimately taking massive action is always the right step. Because you
either learn what’s going to work or you learn a lesson on what didn’t work so
now you can refocus your direction to the future.
Sean: 100%. And something like my Twitter bio for the last, like, six years has been
currently doing the stuff most people just talk about doing and I always want to
live true to that. So as soon as I find myself not taking massive action, that’s
when I know I need to step back and make a change.
So that’s been something I’ve been thinking about a lot over the last couple of
months is have I been taking action on the stuff that I want to and if I’m not, how
can I continue to push forward and actually start doing that again.
Frank: Cool. Cool.
One of the things that I want to dig in to, I actually want to get into a little bit of
talk around other mentors or people that you’ve learn from, but one of the
things that I would imagine some of the audience is wondering is I want to talk a
little bit about the personal website or the blog. Because putting myself in the
listener’s shoes I’m thinking, they’re going to be thinking, “Well, do you think I
should actually start a podcast or should I start on some other kind of a media
channel?” What would you say to that? Why is a personal website a better idea
than maybe starting a podcast or starting something else?
Sean: Well, I think that, one, a website is going to be a little bit more universally
applicable. Sorry, I can’t talk today. Again, for learning all of the skills we talked
about before: SEO, copywriting, WordPress, social media. And not to say that
copywriting doesn’t have its role in podcast. I mean there’s certainly a role that
copywriting place in that as well. But I think that these days, most content is still
consumed as a webpage or a website.
The caveat being, if you are a much better audio guy, you’re much better at
talking than you are a writer, then start a podcast. I mean whatever your passion
is, wherever you feel like your strengths lie, these days, like, you can be a
YouTube personality, you can have a podcast, you can be a blogger. Like any of
those have the potential to lead toward to massive success, especially if you do it
the right way and you build up in the right way.
So if you hate writing then don’t worry about it. Start a podcast or a video blog
or whatever it is. So I think any of those channels, people will be successful.
Frank: Cool.
So, one of the reasons that Sean is recommending the website is because it
builds that foundation of skills that we talked about: SEO, copywriting, things like
that. However, the message is don’t get lost in the details. If you’re going to put
out YouTube content, do it. If you’re going to be a great video or a great podcast
personality, go out and do it. Don’t get stuck in figuring out the right way.
Sean: Totally.
The one caveat with all of that is if you are going to kind of move on to step
number two, start that freelance services business or whatever, then you do
need to have a basic website so people can search for you and figure out what
you’re all about and that kind of thing. But also that can be done in a weekend or
less, regardless of how technically experienced you are. So that doesn’t
necessarily have to be the big focus. I think no matter what, everybody should
have a website but that’s not going to be the primary concern for everybody.
Frank: Cool. Cool.
Alright, so I want to circle back and just talk a little bit about who else you’ve
learned from, right? So you guys have heard, the listeners have heard Dan
Andrews of Tropical MBA very early mentor; Chris Guillebeau, very early mentor.
Who else over the last seven or so years have you worked with in, like, a mentor
capacity or has just been someone that you might have learned from through
meeting them or reading their book?
Sean: Man, there’s been a ton of people I’ve learned from. I mean everybody I meet
you’re learning something from. So that’s a tough question.
Like Dane and Andy. I mean they’re a perfect example of people that I’ve learned
a ton from. I’ve taken a few ski trips out there with Andy and hung out with
those guys a lot in person. Early on, they helped give me a lot of insight into my
marketing funnels and how I was putting things out there for Location Rebel. A
guy by the name of Nick Reese is one of the smartest guys I know, one of the
best strategic thinkers I’ve ever seen.
When I first created Location Rebel he said, “You know what, this is a good base
but we need to rethink all of this stuff.” So I flew out to New York, we met. We
spent an entire day together. Tore Location Rebel completely down, started
from scratch, built it back up. And, to this day, the structure that we created on
that day over five years ago, almost five years ago, forms the basis for the course
and the curriculum of Location Rebel. So he’s another guy. He’s one of the best
marketers I’ve ever seen.
My buddy, Derek Johanson, he’s got a site called Copyhour. He’s been a close --
We’ve kind of been in a mastermind group for a number of years. We travel a lot
together; actually going down this weekend to spend some time with him. He’s
another person that’s not only helped me with my copywriting but he’s helped
me a lot with my marketing funnels and just t he accountability aspect to
building a business.
So, those are all guys that are doing really cool things, really smart in their own
right, and have definitely had influence on what I’m doing. I’m sure I’m leaving a
lot of other people out but those people jump to mind.
Frank: Awesome.
I’m curious, Sean. Is there a team behind the scenes? Do you have employees?
Do you have freelancers or contractors that you work with that help elevate
what you do and help amplify your impact to the world?
Sean: Well, one of the things I am, first and foremost, is a lifestyle entrepreneur. It’s
like I created the businesses I created to allow me to live the lifestyle I want. So I
try and keep things as low overhead, as low stress as possible.
So I have one community manager who is freaking awesome. Her name is Liz
Froment. She helps me manage Location Rebel community, she helps me with a
bunch of my social media stuff, she helps me with Location 180 and the editorial
content there. She helps me with a lot of the stuff that I just don’t like to do as
much. So she works with me part-time but has really had a huge impact on the
business I’ve created. She’s a big part of that.
But other than that, I mean aside from a few freelancers for some tech and dev
stuff, it’s just the two of us, and it’s really been working well. Because I don’t
have to worry about managing a lot of people, I can keep it small, nimble. I keep
cost down and still have a pretty big impact with the stuff we’ve created.
Frank: Nice.
I’m curious about your vision for the future. What do you want Location 180 to
be in the next one, three, or five years?
Sean: Well, one of the things I’m thinking about -- I haven’t really talked about this at
all yet -- is the one, or one of the major problems I have with my business, is I’ve
got Location 180 which is at seanogle.com, that’s the blog, and then I’ve got
Location Rebel which is the product in the community. And there is a pretty big
disconnect between those two sites: the branding isn’t very cohesive.
A lot of people at first are confused as to what’s the difference between Location
180 and Location Rebel. So I’d like to move everything under one umbrella,
under the Location Rebel domain where you’ve got all the products, you’ve got
all the videos, you’ve got all the blog post, you’ve got all the content on one site.
So people will show up at that.
Whether they just want to read the free blog post, whether they want help with
accountability, whether they’re beginners and want to follow that three-step
process, or whether they’re more advanced marketers and want to learn how to
do a relationship-based launch which is kind of what I help with where you’re
actually building one-on-one relationships with each of the people on your list.
I want to have one central hub for all of that. All under the umbrella of building
businesses that you can run from anywhere on Earth in continuing to do cool
stuff in your own life.
So, everything I’m doing with the site now is kind of moving things towards that
end. So I’m hoping that in the next year, we’ll be able to get all of that in the
right place and really work on building a cohesive brand because I think that’s
going to allow me to take things to the next level. It has become as much clear
on people’s minds what everything is all about.
Frank: Nice. So I love the direction that you’re going.
What I want to pull out is, right, this is like a massive thing overall because
essentially you’re creating cohesion across multiple areas of your brand right
now that’s a little bit separate. So what I would love to dig in to a little bit with
you is how do you make that happen?
So you’ve got this massive vision of what you want to have happen. What I
would love to help our listeners understand is how do you break that process out
into bite-size chunks so that you can actually achieve that rather than just
looking at this massive thing that you want to do and say, “I don’t even know
where to begin.”
Sean: Totally. That’s a complicated question because it’s a hard problem and I’m not
entirely sure that I’ve solved it. Step number one, which is actually happening as
we speak, is Location Rebel’s built on a platform with, like, six different services.
We have one service for our affiliates, we have one service for our split testing,
we have another service for our membership stuff, something for our landing
pages, something for our forums. So it’s this just kind of Frankenstein site with
everything kind of hack [meal 00:38:28] together.
So, literally, as we speak, we’re moving everything over to a new platform that’s
going to have all of that integrated under one roof, under one system that’s all
going to work and play nicely together.
So that was step one for me was getting that tech side of things figured out
saying, “Okay, if I’m going to bring everything under one umbrella, one domain, I
want to make sure that all of the components of that are going to work well
together.” So that was kind of step number one. So we actually are launching
that new site and that new design tomorrow. So I’m really, really excited about
that.
The next step is kind of building out the hierarchy and the roadmap. So it’s like
how do the video blogs we do, and the blog post, and the emails, and all of the
products. How do they all work together? What’s that going to look like? What’s
that funnel going to look like? Are there going to be multiple funnels? How are
we going to promote our content?
Once we have a map for how all of those things work together, then it becomes
a lot more clear as to “Okay, the next step is obviously we’ve got to get those
funnels created, we’ve got to write those emails.” So then you write the emails
then you have all of that setup. It’s like, “Okay. Then we have to figure out our
calendar for our editorial and how we’re sharing all of our content to get more
people into that funnel.”
And then once all of that’s happening it’s like, “Okay, now is the time that it’s
worth taking this jump and moving everything from seanogle.com over to
Location Rebel.” I think it’s just a matter of being deliberate in each step, not
trying to rush it but understanding exactly what needs to happen, why it needs
to happen, and then executing it in a timeline that makes sense.
Frank: Brilliant. Okay. So the overall message to listeners is how do you eat an
elephant? You eat it one bite at a time.
Sean: (Laughs)
Frank: Okay?
Sean: Absolutely.
Frank: So, I like what you said there, Sean.
So, what I want to do as we’re winding down here a little bit is I want to
understand, from somebody who has achieved success over a long period of
time, what habits, what rituals, what do you do on a regular basis to make you
this production monster that you’ve been for the last seven years where you just
keep moving forward? What are your anchors?
Sean: So, there’s a few things that I think have led to my success.
First off, and this is a little bit counterintuitive, but we’ve given the opportunity
between work and fun, I will almost always choose fun. And that seems weird
because everyone was like, “Oh, if you’re going to build a business, you have to
work 70, 80, 90 hours a week. You have to always be working.” And there’s
something [unclear 00:40:56] for that. You have to be lazy, you have to work on
your business.
But when I’m able to go out and someone says, “Hey, you should come down to
San Diego for a long weekend and let’s go play golf in Torrey Pines,” or
something like that. To do that and then kind of realize, it’s like, “Hey, this is a
privilege. I’m able to do this because of the business. When I get back, I’m that
much more motivated to work.” It keeps me from getting burnt out all the time.
It keeps the top of my why I am so fortunate to be able to do what I do and it
helps with that work ethics.
Whether it’s someone saying, “Hey, why don’t you skip out on work this
afternoon and let’s go grab a beer or something or take a trip,” or whatever it is,
I think -- And obviously there’s times this doesn’t work. You can’t always choose
play over work. But as a fundamental rule, assuming it’s not going to be skipping
out on something like completely critical, I always try and make that decision. I
think that’s helped keep me motivated on working on the business over the long
term.
The other is one simple word that I think encompasses everything that I’ve done,
and it’s part of the reason why I’ve been successful, if not, a very good part of
the reason I’ve been successful, and that word is consistency.
A lot of people will start a business, they’ll spend all this time on, and then start a
blog, whatever it is, then they’ll hit a roadblock. They’ll hit a snag. They’ll get
frustrated, they’ll set it aside. Maybe they come back a little bit to hit another
roadblock and then they stop, and then they get burnt out. I don’t know anyone
who is consistently, day in and day out, worked on their business over the course
of, call it a year or two, that hasn’t had a certain level of success.
Here’s the thing about me. I don’t necessarily put in 80-hour weeks all the time.
I’m not necessarily always putting in 12-hour a days, but I can pretty much say --
For the most part, I’ve put in at least two hours of work every single day for the
last seven years. That consistent work that’s gone into it, day in and day out, on
working towards a common goal has been huge.
Obviously there’s days that I work a ton of hours and there’s day that I don’t
work at all, but if you’re to, like, average it all out, I probably work consistently
two to three hours a day, every day, for seven years. It’s that consistent effort
that has helped me make small incremental steady progress which has grown
into what it is today. So, hopefully that makes sense.
Frank: Yeah, no, it does.
So there’s a concept that we talk about in The Foundation that’s pulled out of
the book Good to Great. The concept is the idea of a 20-mile march versus a 50-
mile march. In the book, he describes two different groups of explorers trying to
be the first to reach either the North Pole or the South Pole. I’m not sure which
one. But, essentially, the message from that story is that if you try and go 50
miles per day only on days when you feel great, you’re going to burn out, right?
So the idea is that 20-mile march, this group of explorers that focus on 20 miles
every single day whether the weather was good, whether the weather was bad,
whether they felt like they could do more, whether they felt like they wanted to
do less, they just did it. And over a long period of time, that built up into
something great, right?
That whole idea of you often overestimate what you can do in one year’s time
and underestimate what you can do in three years time, that comes right down
to the consistency that you’re talking about where a little bit every single day
over a long period of time will be something big.
Sean: 100%. I think, you know, making even more relevant for a lot of people, I think
people tend to overestimate what they can do in one day and underestimate
what they can do in a month or a year.
Frank: Yes.
Sean: And so if you kind of back up and say, “Okay, I’m really just going to focus on
these three goals for today. It might take me four hours, it might take me 40
minutes, but I’m just going to do that. If I finish those four things, it will be a
successful day and I’ll feel good.” And then you do that and maybe you do it in
an hour less time than you think it’s going to take you. You go out, you enjoy the
day. You’re not burnt out, and you’re that much more excited to get back to it
tomorrow.
So, that small progress day in and day out. You don’t have to change the world in
a day, but if you can make small incremental progress, it’s going to make a huge
difference sort of in the long term.
Frank: Awesome. So you guys have heard from Sean Ogle. Again, been in the internet
marketing space or really an online entrepreneur for almost seven years now,
right? So pay attention to what Sean has been telling you.
Sean, people are now going to want to go engage with you and find your stuff.
What’s the best way for them to do that?
Sean: So, absolute best way is go to seanogle.com. From there, we’ve got almost seven
years of content.
And, I think, one of the cool things about the site is you can go to the archives,
go to May of 2009. I’ve never deleted a post on there, and you can see just how
clueless I was. You can follow those archives through the entire transition of me
in my day job, me making the transition, me moving to Thailand, me building the
business, me growing the business even farther, all the travels. I think there’s
very few sites where you really get from the brutal, miserable, clueless beginning
to the success that I’ve had now. So I think that’s a great place to start.
@SeanOgle on Twitter and Instagram. And then if you’re interested in kind of
following that three-step process I talked about in getting involved with other
people that have invested in themselves to build that type of business, then
locationrebel.com. That’s where it’s all at.
Frank: Awesome.
Sean, you’ve been amazing. Thank you for coming on. Thanks for sharing your
journey with us.
I really like the idea that we can go back and see everything because one of the
things that’s really important in The Foundation to building businesses is the idea
of modeling. So you can actually go out and see exactly what Sean’s been doing
over the last six to seven years to do what he’s done.
So Sean, thank you so much for coming on, man.
Sean: No, it’s my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.
Frank: Take care, man.
Closing: Thank you for joining us. We’ve taken this interview and created a custom action
guide so you know exactly what action steps to take to grow your business. Just
head over to thefoundationpodcast.com to download it for free. Thanks for
listening and we’ll see you next week.

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